Bike service on wheels: Q&A with Velofix

VelofixInAction

Photo courtesy of Velofix

Is your bike broken and you have no ride to the shop? A new repair service offers to-your-door repairs. dandhorse recently spoke with Steve Rabjohn, owner of the Toronto Lakeshore-Beaches franchise of Velofix, a continent-wide fleet of mobile fix-it shops.

When did Velofix come to Toronto and why?

Two years ago, a franchise of Velofix opened in Toronto. It was based on the very successful model developed in Vancouver, to provide a quality premium mobile pro bike shop service.

What kind of service do you provide? For example, if my bike got damaged today while I was riding on the lakeshore path, could I call you to come and fix it for me?

Our hope is to catch potential problems before they occur. While we cannot provide on-call roadside assistance, we can provide support to an organized ride or race.

Typically, we work by appointments; you book us online, our fully equipped mobile bicycle pro shop comes to you, and the work is performed there and then. You save time, so you can ride more.

We can also provide workshops for your office or group: how to fix a flat, maintaining your bike, riding in cold weather, and more. Give us a topic and we can help. If you are travelling, book us ahead of time to pack your bicycle properly and prepare it for the trip. When you return, we can rebuild your bike and ensure that it is in top condition, ready for your stomping ground.

What other repairs do you do?

Our vans are fully equipped with the tools, parts and accessories to maintain and repair your bicycle. We provide three levels of service from a Basic Tune Up, to a Major Overhaul which includes stripping the bike down to the bare frame and rebuilding it. A-la-carte services can be added such as handlebar wrapping, bleeding hydraulics, and removing/gluing tubular tires.

What area(s) do you cover?

Currently there are four vans in the immediate GTA, with four more spread across Ontario. If you are in one of those areas, our website, www.velofix.com, will display a calendar showing the availability of that van. If you are outside one of the areas, call our toll free number and you will be connected with the van closest to you. Either way, we will be there for your appointment.

How many mechanics do you have and what kind/types of bikes can they fix?

Each of the four vans has its’ own mechanic and they can handle all kinds of bikes: road bikes, mountain bikes, BMXs, commuters, kids' bikes, cargo bikes, and spin bikes. One day, we even had a tricycle up in the stand.

Here is a tip; if your bicycle is unique and requires special parts, let us know ahead of time and we will order the parts prior to your appointment. This will ensure that we can complete all of the work at that time.

What about insurance?

All of our work comes with a full warranty. If something does not seem right, call us back and we will make it right. As with any business, we are required to carry a certain level of insurance. Most of the vans on the road exceed this minimum as a good business practice.

How long does the repair take and how do I pay?

The time required will depend greatly on the work required and the state of the bike. A basic tune up can be completed in as little as half an hour, while a full overhaul can take three hours. If special work is required, we have racks in the van to transport up to three bicycles on those rare occasions that we have to take the bicycle away.

Our prices are similar to bike shops, especially when you consider the list of services provided. Check our website for a complete list of options. Payment can be made by debit or credit card, interact or good old cash. We also provide the option for Velofix gift cards, “the tool that fixes everything.”

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Velofix is built on a passion for cycling and our goal is to save you time so you can ride more.

Convenience and personal service are central to the Velofix experience. We come to you, whether it is your home, work or bike club. While the mechanic works on your bike, you can sit, chat with the mechanic, have a coffee or espresso, or use the Wi-Fi. You can actually see what is happening to your bike. If the mechanic finds an issue with your bike, you can discuss it then and there and decide on the right action. After the work is completed, you can take your bike for a test ride to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the work.

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