Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Labor Day Wknd

What a nice summer. The weather's been beautiful, and we've been busy. Real busy. The crew here has been working their tails off cranking out high-end work in record time.

So to celebrate the last gasp of summer (unofficially) Hub is going to be closed Sept 1st, 2nd and 3rd. What are we going to do with a full holiday weekend off? Well, I'm going to rip it up on the Carriage Roads, just like John D Rockefeller intended. Erich mumbled something about 'Allston Christmas' and then laughed maniacally. And Alma's back to her grind as a student. So there you go.

Watch out for moving trucks out there, and we'll see you on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

craigslist Buyer's Guide

Craigslist- a place for finding all kinds stuff (except weapons, food stamps, and body parts), bikes included. If you're patient. Really patient. And you keep a few these four things in mind:

Know what you're buying. Some bikes come from bike shops. Those bikes hold up better over time (and multiple owners). Other bikes- mostly from department/big box stores- don't hold up as well. These brands are department store bikes:
Free Spirit
 Royce Union
(newer) Schwinn
(newer) Mongoose

This means they weren't originally assembled by trained bicycle mechanics. They were originally assembled by the guy (I assume) who's also responsible for assembling grills, flat pack furniture, and baby cribs. They have 'entry level' (read: cheap) components, that don't last as long as their 'mid level' counter parts. Many of the components I've seen on these bikes aren't serviceable- so when they go outta whack you're looking at replacement, not adjustment. Bottom line- they may not be 'bad' bikes, per se, but they have a short working lifespan. If you're buying one used it's short life is even shorter. I won't say don't buy one of these bikes, but......... don't buy one of these bikes.

The guy who posted his used bike is 5'10", and so are you, but that doesn't mean his bike is going to fit you. Maybe he's been riding a bike that's too big or too small for him this whole time. Maybe he has oddly short legs, or long arms. Maybe you have oddly long legs and/or arms. Bring a multi tool with you so you can adjust the seat when you take it for a test ride.You were going to test ride it, right?

Test ride it.  Make sure there's air in the tires, that the brakes work, and that the quick releases are tight. Put your helmet on. Then take it for a spin. Keep an ear out of creaking, squeaking, clunking, etc. Noises don't mean you shouldn't buy it, but it will be helpful information to pass along to the mechanic when you bring it in for a check over.

Bring it in to your LBS to get it checked out. Even if the posting claims that it's been "recently tuned up".  "Recently tuned up" is a relative term that can mean anywhere from 'tuned up at an actual bike shop' to a 'buddy of mine (who knows alot about bikes) looked at it'. At the very least you want a trained set of eyes to make sure it's safe and worth the money.

If you don't want to wait around for your dream bike (in the right size) to pop up on craigslist, you can always check out what the fellas at Cambridge Used Bikes/ Metonomy Used Bicycles or support the good work being done at Bikes Not Bombs by buying a used bike from those folks.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hug a Trail Builder

I got out of town this weekend, and decided to see what some out of town MTBing would be like. Not great, it turns out. The trails were overgrown, eroding, and had tons of broken, tetanus-inducing 'bridges'.


I got a 4 mile ride in before I gave up. It was a really great reminder to appreciate the great trails I get to ride close to home. Those trails (I'm looking at you The Fells, Landlocked Forest, Harold Parker, etc.) didn't magically appear. They also don't magically maintain themselves. People built them, and people maintain them. People like the good folks at IMBA and, closer to home, NEMBA.

So hug a trail builder today. Or even better- donate or volunteer.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Deal

It's getting to be the time of year when new folks are moving into town. These new folks are having to find their new grocery stores, barbershops, dive bars, coffee houses, and bike shops (that's my favorite part of moving- find my new local ___________ ).

For those of you looking for your new bike shop, let me tell you what we do here. We're a bicycle service shop.

I used to tell people that Hub was a "bicycle repair shop", but I think that phrase limits the scope of what we do. We repair bikes that are broken, but even better than that we maintain bikes before they get broken. We upgrade, box for shipping, unpack from shipping, convert, outfit, trick out (and so on) bicycles. We also stock all of the parts and gear to keep bikes (and their riders) rolling safely.

That being said- we can get you a bike if you want one. But, we don't sell bikes in the same way a 'traditional' bike shop does. We can build one up for you. Surly and Soma are some of our favorite bikes/frames to work with. We can help you pick out each individual part, or we can recommend a build kit. Or if you want a super pro, super custom bike (or pedicab) we can send you to our friends at Commonwealth. But if you're looking to roll a bike off the showroom floor, we're not your gals/guy.

 So why not sell bikes? Well, by focusing our resources on bike service, we can provide the best work in the best turnaround time in town. That's our deal.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

According to Google Earth...

Hub Bicycle Co. is just a hole in the ground.