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Old 06-14-08, 04:56 PM   #1
Crabby Deb
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What makes a "tune-up"?

I love the LBS where I bought my road bike. I bring it in for a "tune-up" about once a year. Lately I've seen them for new tires, a shifting problem and a new chain. Everything's been fine.

Today I picked up my local grocery getter from them---a Breezer Villager---after it's yearly tune up.
Problem is that I can't figure what they did. Yes, the tires had the appropriate amount of air in them, the brakes are safe, the gears are shifting but I have a finely greased RUSTY, grity sounding chain. This for $50?

Before I get on the phone with them, what do you consider the appropriate steps in a "tune-up"?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-14-08, 05:33 PM   #2
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Check/adjust brakes, check/adjust shifting, lubricate chain, pivots and housing, inspect frame and components
As part of the tune up they shouldn't replace the chain but they should give you a call or let you know when you come in that the chain should be replaced and they can do so for X dollars
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Old 06-14-08, 05:37 PM   #3
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Adjust derailleurs, adjust brakes, lube derailleurs and brake pivots, check brake pads and advise, check wear on chain & lube chain, advise if out of spec, check wheels for true-ness and adjust if necessary, check tire pressure and advise on tire wear, inspect frame & fork for cracks or any other damage.

Basically, I adjust and lube, and let the customer know if he needs tires, brakes, cables, or a chain. I learned a very long time ago NOT to replace anything without first asking.

The wrench at your LBS should have mentioned that you could use a new chain... But I would also have lubed the one that was on the bike... a well lubed worn out chain is better than a squeaky worn out one.

Just a suggestion... Bikes are way simple things to maintain. All you need are a few tools and lubes from Performance or Nashbar, and the basics are spelled out in the manual that came with your bike. There are numerous bicycle maintenance books on the market, and they make it ALL look easy. Anybody with even basic hand-eye coordination can tune/fix/replace just about anything on a bike... Let the LBS do stuff like wheels, headsets, and bottom brackets.

If you invest in an 8'x10' el-cheapo rug, you can work on it in your air-conditioned living room.

If you're single...
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Old 06-14-08, 06:03 PM   #4
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It's up to the shop. It's also up to you to ask what they're going to do before you tell them to go ahead and give it a "tuneup"
It could be as little as oiling the chain and pumping up the tires, it could be quite extensive.
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Old 06-14-08, 06:17 PM   #5
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To the wrenches - doesn't a tune up include greasing the bearings in head set, BB, and both hubs? Those have to be taken apart, cleaned, inspected, and greased with the proper grease, and I would expect my LBS to do that.
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Old 06-14-08, 06:23 PM   #6
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To the wrenches - doesn't a tune up include greasing the bearings in head set, BB, and both hubs? Those have to be taken apart, cleaned, inspected, and greased with the proper grease, and I would expect my LBS to do that.
That's what's usually called "a big tune-up". And it's gonna cost you much more than 50$. 50$ for a basic is kinda with though, it's usually between 35 and 40$.
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Old 06-14-08, 07:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the fast replies. I didn't expect more than the basic tune-up as I have low milage on the bike.

I can do the basic on my road bike but the in hub gears are a black box to me. Yep, I thought if the chain was rusty they'd let me know rather than just grease it. This bike has a chain guard (for those of us wearing long skirts) which is a booger to get off. I'll give them a call and ask them to change it.

I did work on my road bike this winter----fireplace, glass of wine, tire levers, white lightening, toothbrush, and allen wrenches. Ah, the wild life of a single girl.
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Old 06-14-08, 07:14 PM   #8
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To the wrenches - doesn't a tune up include greasing the bearings in head set, BB, and both hubs? Those have to be taken apart, cleaned, inspected, and greased with the proper grease, and I would expect my LBS to do that.
Yeah, but for $150, not $50. We usually call that an OVERHAUL as opposed to TUNE-UP. Replacing a BB, as most are cartridge units these days, is over $50 alone for parts and labor. The OVERHAUL does not include chasing BB threads, replacing headset cups, or broken axles. New parts, such as bearings and cones, are extra.
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Old 06-14-08, 07:40 PM   #9
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Yeah, I agree. You got to be really careful because alot of bike shops try to cut corners with tune-ups. I believe that the tune-up is a big waste of money for the rider. There are exceptions and some good bike shops out there. An overhaul by a bike shop, you know in advance exactly what is going to be done. A tune-up is like a check-up to see if anything is wrong. And if so, they adjust it, stuff like headset, brakes, shifting, etc. Nothing wrong, well you still pay like the next guy who had to get everything adjusted. Shop around and KNOW exactly what you are getting.
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