Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Check Your Brakes

We've been working on a ton of brakes in the last couple of weeks. All of the sand and salt that's been on the streets really does a number on brake pads. Mix that with rain and slush and you've got a perfect slurry for wearing out brake pads. If you've noticed that your brake levers take a little more pull to engage, you're in good company.

If you want your bike to stop better (and you probably do), your bike needs either a brake adjustment or brake pad replacement. Here's how to tell if your pads need replacing-

You don't need any tools, or even to remove the wheels to see if you need new pads. Just take a look. Brake pads have grooves that run top to bottom. This allows for water and junk to be cleared from the rim while braking, and they also provide wear indication. If you don't see those grooves- the pad is worn out and needs replacement.

You can see that the two "Partially worn" guys in the picture are more worn out on one end than the other. That's not uncommon to find (brake pads often need to be angled to stop brake chatter and squeaking). In that case you'd want to think about replacing those pads when any one of the grooves disappears.

Don't be alarmed if it seems like you're blowing through brake pads this time of year. It's (probably) not your fault (I don't know... maybe you're brake crazy or something). It's the weather. Just replace those pads and remember that spring starts on March 20.

Monday, February 11, 2013

OPEN today

Hope everyone had a safe and cozy weekend. I rode through the obstacle course that are the Camberville roads today to open up the shop. It's gross out there. Just to echo everybody else- don't drive if you don't have to today. And if you do (or if you're riding bikes, or walking, or public transporting)- take a deep breath, be patient, and think about how awesome it's going to be when spring gets here.

Friday, February 8, 2013


We're here! And we're open!

Yes there is a blizzard. The craziest, most dangerous blizzard the world has ever seen, if you ask the local news about it. I know there aren't going to be a whole lot of folks riding bikes today, but (1) there's work to be done here. (2) I've got a perfect commuter bike for this occasion. And (3) the shop is warmer than my apartment.

We're going to be here drinking hot chocolate, building wheels, and watching bike videos. Come by and have a hot chocolate with us, if it's safe for you to get here.

We're most likely going to close up a little early- but I'll post it here, on all of our social media, put a sign on the door, change the shop phone message, write it in the snow, etc.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trade You

Bikes are filthy. I'm not complaining- a dirty bike is a bike that's being used for the greater good (I assume). We clean every bike that comes in for service because it allows us to inspect for damage and wear. A clean bike also looks better, works better and parts last longer. To properly clean bikes we need rags.

We go through a boatload of rags. Especially this time of year- the bikes we're seeing for tune ups are covered in road salt and grime. As soon as the weather warms up a little all of the dusty 'stored in the basement/garage' bikes will be coming of of hiding. Old t-shirts are my personal favorite rag choice- absorbent enough, soft enough, and strong enough to last through multiple uses. Also- cheap and plentiful (sometimes). Last spring I did a major purge of my own t collection, and it's lasted pretty much until now (I had a lot of shirts to get rid of). This year I can't spare any more shirts, so I'll trade you for yours.

Bring in 4 old cotton t's- washed, please, I don't want your armpit stank in the shop- and get a FREE FLAT FIX. You know those shirts that are too worn out/embarrassing/stained to donate to Goodwill- we'll take 'em. 

We'll give you a card- you don't currently have to have a flat to get in on this.

You aren't going to wear that shirt you got at that 5k three years ago. We need it, and we'll put it to good use. Maybe we'll even use it to wipe your bike down when you bring it in for that flat.

We'll keep this deal going until we have enough rags, which is going to be a while. I'll give you fair warning so you'll have plenty of time to get your hands on some free flat fixing.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Two Questions

Curious minds want to know (also, I may have a gentlewoman's bet to settle). Help out by answering two questions?