Spring Tune-Up Time

GetATuneUpYour happiness on the bike is our primary concern. It's why we do what we do here. Since this has been a particularly long winter, we figured we'd better remind you that the bike riding season isn't very far away. When spring comes, and it will, it'll be so glorious that everyone will get their bikes out all at once. This inevitably means that the supply of awesome bike mechanics will be small in comparison with how many bikes will be thirsting for their attention. The last thing you want to do is bring your bike in for a tune-up to just be told you'll miss the next beautiful riding day because everyone else had the same idea at the same time.

We've illustrated the best time to get a tune-up in the graph, above. Basically, this is now, don't procrastinate on it as it will mean a high likelihood of you wanting to kick yourself. We don't want that to happen.

Why Tuning your Bike is Very Important

Tune-ups are very important! At the very least, it helps ensure you're riding a safe bike. We've seen a huge variety of safety issues in bikes that have been brought in, issues that were discovered during the tune-up process. Not to be alarmist, but focusing on safety can't be overemphasized.

  • Winter grime on a bike hides problems. A crack in the frame or parts won't be obvious until the bike is cleaned thoroughly.
  • Tires dry out over time. A dry-rotted tire won't withstand much. It could blow out easily and there's not much to prevent it from flatting when rolling over road grime or hitting a pothole.
  • Humidity, salt from the road, and salt from sweat all cause parts to rust. A rusted bolt can fail at any time leaving the rider without a working seatpost clamp or the handlebars can come disconnected from the stem, for real (very scary) examples.
  • Wheels' rims wear down from braking. Eventually the sidewall of the rim can get very thin and the wheel can break. This happens rather quickly when a bike has been ridden in bad weather or when the wheel/brake pads have grime on them. The brake pads wear away to nothing quickly, too.
  • If a bike has been ridden for any time on a trainer, the tire (if not a tire made for a trainer) likely has a flat spot where it's too thin.
  • Another issue we've found is that a bike that's been ridden on a trainer may have sweat built up under the handlebar tape, thereby corroding the handlebars.

Screenshot 2014-02-26 12.53.43Mike Berlinger, RSC's head mechanic, builds a Honey Bike for the 2014 Honey debut. Photo taken from video by Thom Parsons.

What is a Ride Studio Cafe Tune-Up?

A tune-up, aside from being a 12-point safety inspection and opportunity for your bike to shine (it's cleaned and detailed), is its chance to have adjustments made on its shifting and braking, have bolts properly tightened, have the chain lubed, true both wheels, and have fresh air is put into the tires. Sometimes a saddle has tipped up or down, quick releases aren't tightened correctly, or levers have moved from their ideal position. Our professional mechanics look at every part of the bike and let you know what might need to be changed and point out anything that may not be set as it should.

When you bring your bike, bring your helmet and cleats, too. Cleats that are worn down are not safe nor are they good for your knees when you pedal. Your helmet should be free of scuff marks or any crashes/rough handling and the straps should be in good condition.

About your bike chain: people often let their chain stretch and go well beyond its proper lifespan. This wears out an expensive cassette more quickly than a regularly-changed chain. This is one of many examples where proper upkeep saves money and the amount of work that needs to be done to your bike.

Don't you feel the bike go faster and feel easier to pedal after it's tuned? A clean, properly tuned bike is faster.

Turn Around Time

We ask that if you want a tune or other service work done, to email us or call* after 10am any day of the week. We minimize the amount of time we have to keep your bike by scheduling our work. This keeps you out riding your bike and it helps us stay very focused and concentrated on each bike when its here. We get to know you and your bike and having this history is another factor in keeping you riding, effectively diagnosing problems should they arise.

* We work on modern bikes with up-to-date components. We do not work on recumbent, BMX or children's bikes as there are other shops in the area that specialize in these bikes. Feel free to call with questions if you aren't sure about your bike or what it needs, we are always happy to help.