It sure has been taking its sweet time, but spring has officially been here for a couple weeks now. Whether it feels like it yet is another story, but facts are facts – we’re in spring.
This means, if you haven’t already, it’s time to pull the ol’ bike out of the garage, shed, basement or, at worst, the puddle of mud in your backyard from when you forgot to put the bike inside last November.
If your cycle has been sitting for the past six months or so – especially if it’s been sitting outside or somewhere that sees any moisture – it might be time to bring it in to get tuned up and ready to hit the spring roads. Since a lot of people might not know too much about proper bicycle maintenance – ourselves included – we stopped by Goodale’s Bike Shop last week to get some pointers from their staff, who deal with this kind of stuff all year.
When we walked into the store last Wednesday, Dustin Iverson was behind the counter performing a full suspension spring service for a customer’s high-end mountain bike.
“Just like a car needs an oil change, so do these shocks,” Iverson said as he tooled away on one of the bike’s rear shocks. The suspension service also entails replacing all the seals and grommets inside the shock to ensure nothing leaks or loses pressure.
But your bike might not have full suspension, or even any suspension at all. Not to worry, though – there are plenty of services available for “regular” bikes, too.
For starters, there are three different tiers of tune-up packages to choose from: just the essentials ($84.99), advanced ($129.99) and deluxe overhaul ($259.99). The essential package includes brake and shifting adjustments; alignment of bars, stem, seat, seat post, crank arms and pedals; alignment (or trueing, as the insiders call it) of the front and rear wheels; and giving the whole bike a nice lube job and wipe-down. As you go up the scale to the next two tiers of tune-ups, more detail and more adjustments are added, as are aesthetic-minded procedures such as a full frame shining. The top tier includes taking the entire bike apart and putting it back together in tip-top shape.
For each of the tune-up levels, additional charges are required for suspension and hydraulic brake services.
If you don’t think you need a full tune-up, you can also get services on an a la carte basis. Maybe you just need to replace a blown tire or warped rim, or you want a new set of brakes – you can get those things done all by themselves at Goodale’s.
For those sporting new bikes that really don’t need any kind of maintenance work at this point, there are all kinds of hot accessories you can pick up that will improve your cycling experience, either the technical side of it, the safety side or just the fun side.
“A water bottle cage is key,” Iverson said, referring to those metal holsters that can be attached to the frame of the bike to carry your water. They have tons to choose from at the store, and plenty of water bottles to put in them, too.
On the safety side, lights of all types are very popular. “We’ve been trying to push lights a lot,” store manager Brad Hill Jr. said. A trend that’s gaining a lot of traction in the cycling community lately is daytime running lights, Hill said, which can greatly improve your visibility even in broad daylight.
Whatever it is that you might need for your bike, you’ll want to get on it sooner than later. The guys at the shop said they’ve been getting quite a few bikes in for repairs and tune-ups lately, so waiting around could mean going longer stretches without your bike.
“This is when we start getting really busy,” Iverson said. They work on about six to 10 bikes a day, and though the typical turnaround time is about two to three days, it can take up to a few weeks to get your bike back if there’s a significant backlog when you bring yours in.
And if you really don’t have any time to leave your bike, even for a day, there’s one go-to product that always comes through in the clutch – grease.
“A bottle of chain lube is the best thing to keep on hand,” Iverson said. Luckily, there’s plenty of that to choose from at the store.
To get your bike in for any type of service, give the shop a call at 225-5111 or go to goodalesbikeshop.com for more info.