Our workshop services
Glow Worm Electric Bicycles in Sydney has a fully equipped mechanical workshop, customised for electric and cargo bicycles. We offer unmatched workshop servicing to anyone who owns one of our electric bicycles. Our mission is to keep your glow worm e-bike as your main mode of transport.
In some cases we can even provide a courtesy electric bike while your e-bike is in our workshop!
All electric bicycles need regular servicing, in order to keep them safe and in good working order, preserving warranties and reducing unscheduled downtime.
Customers who are getting their regular servicing needs met by us have access to courtesy e-bikes and fast-tracked bookings if something were to come up between their service interval. We also offer a higher level of warranty service than the standard manufacturer's warranty - specifically, all labour is free of charge when taking care of warranty matters.
We can get you on track for regular scheduled services when you buy your e-bike. The first one is free at the 3 month point and from there, based on usage, we will schedule in your next one! For most people this will mean 1-2 scheduled services per year.
If your servicing history has been a bit patchy, we're happy to get your back on track. The first step is to make a booking.
How to make a booking
Our workshop at any given moment is fully booked so you need to contact us to make a booking before coming in.
You can visit in person with your bike to make your booking, but in most cases you'll need to come back with your bike again on the booking day.
Dropping your bike off for its service
Please drop your bike off on its booking day before 11am. It's also fine to drop it in a few days before your service if you want to, but let us know either way so we can expect you.
Keep in mind you'll need at least 15 minutes when you arrive for us to talk to you about your bike and where possible, provide you with a quote before you leave.
For regular servicing, we will aim to service your bike on the scheduled day. We will call you when it is ready to pick up. If you haven't heard from us, please call before coming to pick it up, in case it's still in progress.
If you can't make your booking, please let us know. The more notice, the more quickly we can find another spot for you (it won't be the next day!).
Frequently asked questions
Q - Who has access to your workshop
A - Anyone who purchased an electric bicycle from us
Q - How long does it take to get a booking
A - Usually about 2 weeks. The best time therefore to book your next one is right after your service!
Q - How much does a service cost
A - A service on a regularly maintained e-bike start at $240 (cargo bikes are more). Parts cost extra, as does the fitting of such parts. For a daily user in Sydney, a typical annual service bill might be the service charge ($240), long-wearing brakes pads front and rear ($80), a puncture resistant tyre ($80) and installation (~$100) for a total of $500.
As time goes by, more parts and time are required for a service, such as servicing the internal hub gears.
Recreational riders generally find their total bill is closer to the $240 regular service charge, as they're more likely to ride on cycle paths and in good weather and carrying less stuff.
Q - Do I have to get my e-bike serviced with you, or can I go elsewhere?
A - You're free to get your servicing needs met wherever suits you. Some people even do it themselves. Just be aware that we won't be as available for courtesy e-bikes or for doing 'just that bit you couldn't do yourself' or on short notice 'because the other shop is busy' etc. We provide an option for a holistic maintenance system for your e-bike if you'd like us to and if you choose not to, that's okay, but that was the choice that was made.
Q - I don't get my e-bike serviced with you but I have a warranty issue. Will you help me?
A - If we sold you the bike, absolutely! We will uphold the manufacturer's warranty, which generally means you will be paying for labour and freight if required.
Q - I haven't been getting my bike serviced regularly but I want to get back on track. Can we do that? I also happen to have a warranty issue and need a courtesy bike...
A - Sure, no hard feelings, call us up and we'll book you in and get you back on the wagon. You will have to wait for the booking day for that courtesy bike though.
Q - I've found other places offering a cheaper 'bike service', why does yours cost more?
A - It's hard to compare one 'bike service' with another. We're charging what we need to keep the workshop available for all aspects of your years of owning one of our e-bikes. Other than rent and wages and tools, we also have to budget in training new staff, courtesy e-bikes and keeping spare parts on hand (some of which will never be used but we keep them just in case).
Q - I've always come to you for servicing and it used to be cheaper
A - See above - we simply weren't properly covering all the costs of keeping the workshop open.
Non-electric bicycles and general workshop services
As of September 2019 we are exclusively servicing the electric bicycles that we sold, raising the level of service to our e-bike owners even higher with faster turnaround times and quicker bookings.
This means we are no longer accepting repair work for any non-electric bicycles or for e-bikes that we did not sell. This was not an easy decision to make and we know it will cause significant inconvenience to many of you who have been coming to our workshop for years - please see our FAQ for previous workshop customers here.
BASIC BICYCLE CARE
Here is a list of bicycle care procedures anyone can do at home, designed to be as simple and straight to the point as possible. These procedures are in addition to periodical servicing by a bicycle mechanic.
1) Keep tyres at correct pressure, at least once per month.
- A floor pump with a pressure gauge is much easier for this than a handpump. (Hand-held pumps are better suited to carrying with you when cycling for emergencies or long rides.)
- Your tyres will typically have a minimum and maximum recommended pressure written on the sidewall. Generally pump toward the higher end of this range. Lower pressure will be more comfortable and easier on your body and the bike, but if your tyre pressure falls below the minimum, you risk 'pinch flats' when you hit bumps, your tyres will wear faster and if you don't pump your tyres ever, they'll eventually be unsafe for cornering.
2) Keep chain lubricated. Do this monthly.
- Do not use WD40 as a lubricant. a degreaser can be used to clean the chain when it is filthy, but a lubricant should still be used afterward.
- Most people either never lubricate their chain, or they lubricate too often and use too much oil! All you are trying to do is get some lube between the metal surfaces of the chain - you do not want your chain to be wet to the touch or glistening. That will ride well for a while but will attract a huge amount of muck that will stick to the chain.
- The easiest thing to do is get an all-rounder lube from a bicycle store. Apply lube to the chain while rotating the pedals backwards with one hand until the entire chain has been lubed. Try to get every link, but don't overdo it. Run the bike through all the gears, front and back. Wait 5 minutes then hold a rag around the chain with one hand applying light pressure, and rotate the pedals with the other hand. This is to wipe away excess oil which will only attract dust and dirt.
- Note that your new e-bike will come with a factory lubricated chain. This often feels dry to the touch, as they are more likely to have used powder than oil. This lubricant lasts a long time, as they did it while the chain was still in all its hundreds of small pieces and they can get in between them all. It therefore may be months before you need to lubricate for the first time. If it's not squeaky, it probably doesn't need lubrication yet.
3) Keep an eye (or ear) on your brakes
Most e-bikes come with hydraulic disc brakes. These need very little maintenance, until the pads are worn out. Pads can wear out in as little as 1000km for people who have to stop a lot. For others they could last 5000km and more. Some brake pads are also longer wearing than others.
It is common for people to show up to our workshop with pads worn down to the metal, to the point that the disc rotor also needs replacing. In some cases the resulting heat build up damages the brake calipers themselves too.
Unfortunately you will only get subtle hints as your brake pads first start to wear out - the lever won't feel quite the same when you pull it and the braking won't be as good. The next stage is when you hear a little bit of noise, even when not using the brakes (particularly just after you stopped using them). From there it very quickly becomes a very noisy brake, by which time you've possibly done some damage to the rotor.
Storage and inspection
- Check out this link, some wise words about what has been covered here, as well as some pointers on storage and inspection of bikes.