Undercover mechanic: ‘I was Just Riding Along’ are not the words your bike shop wants to hear

In my early days, working in a local bike store, we used to clock a good 'JRA' at least once a week

Mechanic looking disgruntled
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Any mechanic that has worked in the industry for more than a couple years will have heard the immortal words “I was just riding along when…”. It’s such a well-used phrase that there are websites and YouTube channels named as such and, within the industry, it’s become known as a ‘JRA’.

JRA may be the acronym used, but what it’s really short for is any customer who is after free service work or warranty work on their bike, and isn’t being entirely honest about the cause of their ailment. 

undercover mechanic
Undercover Mechanic

Cycling Weekly's Undercover Mechanic will be publishing his thoughts on the state of the industry once a month. He's been working with bikes for over two decades, offering servicing on models from some of cycling's best (and worst) marques. You'll find him at all major trade shows and events, just don't expect him to make himself known.

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