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Old 09-10-12, 05:15 PM   #1
Training.Wheels
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Please help me surprise my brother by helping me fix his converted Bianchi. :)

So.. like the name implies, I'm a total newbie at this stuff. My brother's bike doesn't run too well.

Picture 1: I am quite certain both his wheels will need truing. How much does this generally cost?

Picture 2: He has one bent spoke. Is it worth the price to replace the spoke when I get the wheel trued?

Picture 3: When he converted the Bianchi from a geared bike to a single speed, he had trouble putting the chain on and was recommended a chain tensioner. Is this necessary and does it hold any advantages?

Picture 4: The back wheel kinda rocks from side to side. Does this mean he needs spacers? Also, the back wheel is REALLY hard to pedal. It is showing resistance. A bike shop recommended looking at the bearings. Does that sounds accurate?

Picture 5: The brakes stop well, but I feel that I have to pull on them quite far before they engage. I don't have much experience with brakes on drop bars, so does this look like the normal pressure one applies for these types of brakes?

All in all, how much do you think this work will cost? The LBS' around me all price their services differently so I'm sure some of them are either overcharging or don't do very good work. Thank you so much in advance.

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Old 09-10-12, 07:59 PM   #2
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Here's a bit of advice in brotherly relations, take it for what it's worth. Regardless of his bike's condition, and your good intentions, working on it with his permission could backfire. The risk is that much greater, if you don't have the skill to assure a first class job.

What you might do is sneak the bike down to a decent mechanic, and get an estimate for what it would cost to bring it up to snuff, then give your brother a gift certificate to cover the work.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Training.Wheels View Post
So.. like the name implies, I'm a total newbie at this stuff. My brother's bike doesn't run too well.

Picture 1: I am quite certain both his wheels will need truing. How much does this generally cost?

Picture 2: He has one bent spoke. Is it worth the price to replace the spoke when I get the wheel trued?

Picture 3: When he converted the Bianchi from a geared bike to a single speed, he had trouble putting the chain on and was recommended a chain tensioner. Is this necessary and does it hold any advantages?

Picture 4: The back wheel kinda rocks from side to side. Does this mean he needs spacers? Also, the back wheel is REALLY hard to pedal. It is showing resistance. A bike shop recommended looking at the bearings. Does that sounds accurate?

Picture 5: The brakes stop well, but I feel that I have to pull on them quite far before they engage. I don't have much experience with brakes on drop bars, so does this look like the normal pressure one applies for these types of brakes?

All in all, how much do you think this work will cost? The LBS' around me all price their services differently so I'm sure some of them are either overcharging or don't do very good work. Thank you so much in advance.
All the problems with your brothers bike could be fixed with a tune-up that usually costs about $75 (probably less because it's a SS). To answer your questions. #1/#2- most bike shops charge about $40 an hour. Truing a set of wheels should take around 15-20 minutes but it can take quite a bit longer. If the spoke is just bent with no other issues it can be straightened on the wheel; if not it would need replacement which cost very little if the wheels are getting trued anyway. #3 The photo of your brothers bike shows it already has a tensioner. #4 Probably your biggest worry. If the wheel is shifting back and forth the most common cause is a cone has come loose. If this has been allowed to continue for quite some time, the rear hub may not be salvageable. #5 brakes can be adjusted to the like of the rider; your photo doesn't look like there is a problem. Most of these issues are beyond the causal rider and as FBinNY said best to turn it over to a good mechanic..
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Old 09-10-12, 10:27 PM   #4
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Where are u located?
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Old 09-10-12, 10:33 PM   #5
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Where are u located?
Stop offering to fix BFers bikes. It comes off as a little creepy. I can appreciate the good that exists here, but I think you're bridging a gap that should not be bridged.
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Old 09-10-12, 10:40 PM   #6
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Don't see the problem helping people man... if the guy is around my area I really have no issues fixing his bike for free, if its a problem for you to help a fellow member that is in the same town than you then well that's you, i don't have issues with that.
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Old 09-10-12, 10:40 PM   #7
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Don't see the problem helping people man... if the guy is around my area I really have no issues fixing his bike for free, if its a problem for you to help a fellow member that is in the same town than you then well that's you, i don't have issues with that.
It's not the fact that you do it that bothers me, it's how​ you do it.
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Old 09-10-12, 10:41 PM   #8
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Ok i'll ask him again... dude if you are in DC metro I can fix you the bike... if you are in denver CO... dont ask for help
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Old 09-10-12, 10:42 PM   #9
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Ok i'll ask him again... dude if you are in DC metro I can fix you the bike... if yu are in denver CO... dont ask for help
You know I appreciate you on this forum! Nothing personal!
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Old 09-10-12, 10:44 PM   #10
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Nothing less coming from you
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Old 09-11-12, 12:50 AM   #11
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Haha, thanks guys. I live in San Jose, CA. I would have totally taken you up on your offer though; I have been eager to build a bike from scratch or tune up my own stuff but there is no one to show me the ropes close by. I shopped around for prices and decided to just bring it to REI. I have a membership there so it's cheaper than the LBS' around my area. Looks like I might have to get a whole new back wheel; that hub looks like it took a beating. Everything else is salvageable. I already asked my bro for permission so everything is all good.
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