Mechanical Bike Service
At Paris Bike Co. we treat each bike as if its our own (and we’re pretty darn picky). Taking good care of your bike is as much a part of cycling as taking care of yourself. Changing your cables and housing once every year to year and a half, keeping your drivetrain clean, happy, and efficient, and tuning your bike to perfection are a few of our services. The mantra for our professional tuning service is “we have your life in our hands”. We mean it.
Here’s a small checklist to be sure your bike is in top shape and ready to ride:
- Cables and housing (when was the last time you had them replaced?!). The newer generation of Shimano 11 speed shifters (especially the rear shifter) have tighter curvatures to the shifting mechanism and thus need changed more often, around once a year, as there is a high risk of breaking the cable within the shifter body. Don’t get caught-out!
- Brake pads and their alignment. These things get used up faster than most people think. Especially if you ride in all weather conditions. Check them out! Whether you ride “normal” rim brakes or disc brakes your life depends on them!
- Headset and bottom bracket. Some are more robust than others! If you travel quite a bit with your bike (on the train or airline for instance) your headset and stem need to be checked often as dismantling and re-building can cause the system to “settle-in” so keeping on top of the adjustments is necessary to be sure of your safety and general function of your bike.
Your bottom bracket is the point on your bike where all road crud gets flung. Be sure it’s spinning smoothly and without noise. With so many bikes that have bottom brackets near the extremities of the frame they are in “the line of fire” for water and dirt. Don’t let it ruin your ride!
- Chain and cassette. It’s simple: to produce forward motion they need to be clean and efficient. Be sure to have them checked for wear. Sure, some people are harder on their gears than others (all you “cross-chainers” out there) and thus wear on the chain and cassette can vary wildly from one person to another and even how many gears you have and who makes the system can make a huge difference! An example: If you’re riding Shimano 11 speed and are starting with a new chain and cassette you should change your chain at 2300-2500 kilometres and then you get more wear from your cassette. If you go past the “magic” distance of 2500km then it’s best to let the chain and cassette wear (“get married”) together till the end of theirs lives then change them both at once. The life span can vary greatly depending on how clean you keep them and how you utilise your gears. Just be sure, especially you triathletes out there, that they’re in good shape at least 2-3 weeks before your next triathlon (or race). You don’t want to pay all that money, and time, to train for an Ironman to have it ruined by a poorly functioning drivetrain!
- Wheels and tires. You want them straight and in good shape. Period. We could discuss tire brands and models till we’re blue in the face but no matter what you ride, keep them fresh. Your rear wheel supports more weight than the front and is your drive wheel (the cassette is attached for a reason) and is destined to wear more quickly. When you see it start to “square off” you know you’re starting to flirt with disaster. Change it.
Your wheels wear too! If you have aluminum rim brakes, that black stuff you see on your pads, frame, and rim is burnt rubber and aluminum. If you feel the brake track and notice it’s concave you’re starting to get to a point where you need to replace them. Tire “blow-off” due to heat generation at the brake track is a real thing. Get them checked!
For everyone who uses a home trainer…CLEAN YOUR BIKE!! Sure, you’re not riding outside but you can’t imagine how much nasty sweat is seeping into every available crack and crevice when you’re rocking out on your trainer. Flip your hoods back and you’ll notice some dry, white stuff under there. That’s your sweat. Now multiply that by how many hours you’ve been on the trainer to to every other part of the bike (especially the cockpit and anything under your body). Yuck!
We could go on and on about how a clean bike is a happy bike but don’t let things go too far. Contact us if you have questions or concerns and let us treat your bike like our own. You won’t regret it!