Sunday, March 8, 2009

Your Bike's Stimulus Package

Cleanliness Aidan can believe in!

Now that spring is upon us and Daylight Saving has begun, the opportunity and call to ride is upon us. So as we dust off the old bike shoes and head out into the hills, what in God's name is that creak in my bottom bracket? How come my wheels are out of true? Why won't my bike shift into that 11T cog?

The number one thing you can do for the quality of your riding this spring is to bring your bike into Blue Sky Cycles for a high-performance tune-up. Many of us would prefer to whip out some rags, crank some Bon Jovi, and spend a weekend wrenching it up. But with the good weather bearing down, work piling up, the weekend hours are in short supply. More often than not I just let bicycle maintenance go unanswered because I don't have the time.

Well, with the Tucson trip around the corner, my errands list growing, and my sleep hours dwindling, I decided to bring my bike and Jenna's bike into Blue Sky Cycles. After 12+ years of avid riding, it was the first time I let a shop do any amount of appreciable work on my bike.

It was worth every penny! During a high-performance tune the shop basically takes your bike apart, soaks the drivetrain in solvent, and puts it back together again. I've been racing hard on my Ultegra groupset for 2+ years, and as you can see, it looks like new again!

I also had a potpourri of requests of things I have not had the time to address, and the shop dutifully noted them and took care of it. This included lubing Jenna's Speedplay pedals, checking my hoods for even height, and replacing worn chains.

The performance tune includes all new cables and cable routing. And yes, if your cockpit doesn't look like this, then you're doing something wrong.

By the way, year 2 of the PowerDome experiment is going swimmingly. The cassette is still looking new after more than 5,000 miles. No Shimano or Campy cassette will last that long and weigh this little.

The tune-up also included some things that I had not expected. The tension on my wheels was checked (and corrected). Both bikes had new handlebar tape installed (never underestimate the psychological boost of new bar tape). And, because I wanted to keep training this week, the shop let me schedule the work ahead of time so that the bikes were AWOL from my garage for the minimum amount of time.

In short, do yourself and every compatriot on your group rides a favor, and bring your bike into the shop for a little spring cleaning.


Anonymous said...

Sweet! Now you'll really be fast!

bizalich said...

dang, man... that tape is off the chain!

Blue Sky Velo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Sky Velo said...

You should see how good I LOOK on my bike now after the bike fit from Rob! Michelle