Warm Weather Means the Shop is Getting Busier

You know, half of what I do at a bicycle shop is educating the customer. I had a few gathering information today. It starts with listening to the customer and asking some targeted questions to understand what they really want and/or need. If it had not been raining today, they would have taken the bikes out for a test ride. That will be for another day.

Tune-ups are also starting to come in. And this reminds me that there are some items that need to be checked and replaced so that other more costly items don’t have to be.

Very important is the chain.

Stretched chain

Stretched chain

The chain in front is the stretched one. A chain doesn’t really stretch, but the pins and holes loosen up effectively making it longer. The picture above has a new chain in back and the old chain in front. (Sorry it’s a bit blurry)

What happens when you ride with a chain stretched beyond tolerances is that it kind of deforms the cassette or freewheel teeth. You will see the spaces between the teeth uneven and sometimes several teeth will look like a shark fin. If this goes on too long, even the front chainrings will get deformed.

While you may be able to ride like this without problems for a bit, when it comes time to replace the chain it won’t run over these deformed teeth smoothly. You will get skipping and/or slipping. All deformed parts will have to be replaced.


So, make sure when you take your bike in to get serviced to have the chain measured. Could save you a bundle.


First Ride of the Year


This past Sunday I took the XtraTalus out for my first spin this year. And am I out of shape!

Hopefully tomorrow the rain stops for my second ride. I did make a couple of changes to the bike. A stem with a slight rise and my old Surly 1×1 bar. After the ride I put my Thomson layback seatpost on it. And I am riding platform pedals.

I will try to post more regularly for the 2015 season.

Metamorphosis of the Karate Monkey…


Originally built as a 29er singlespeed.



Then hooked up to an Xtracycle…the XtraMonley or Garbage a Cycle.


And now as a 9speed pavement commuter/fun bike.


With what today is called a trekking bar…or Glen bar back in the 90’s.

The Twenty Inchers Are Gone!

Since I last posted, months ago, I have been cleaning house…or rather the shed…of some of my rides. Both of the 20″ wheelers are gone. In their place, and after a couple more make their way to new homes, will be one of a couple of ideas….not sure which yet and so not ready to post about it either.

So say goodbye to…



The GT Ricochet Trials bike. It’s going to someone who had their yellow one stolen a few years back.



And the DK BMX race bike. It ended up going to a friend.

And I am happy both bikes will have good homes and will be used properly and taken well care of.


Mini Vacation

I spent the last week in a tiny cabin doing nothing but eating, reading, and sleeping!


This weekend was a Cannondale Roadie.


And again, loads of tacky grease in every bearing surface. You know I was in heaven!


My Weekend Project at the Shop


This older Raleigh is really a beautiful bike. I wish the paint was in a little better condition. Here is a link to what looks like the original ad for the bike. Here’s another link. Looks to be a 1974 – 1976 Super Course MK 2.


It had a machined aluminum crankset.


I spent a great deal of time taking bearing areas apart and the above was the usual result. Good shape, but in really gummy grease. Cleaned and repacked all of it.


Not sure if you can see any difference. The silver stays and fork blades polished out well. I ended up re-lacing part of the rear wheel. Surprisingly it trued up nicely.

Hoping for another good weekend project next week!