Hand Me Down Bike Tuneup
I am very new to cycling again. In fact, I have only ridden a bike for 5 minutes in the last 20 years, and that was last night. A friend of mine gave me his old bike and I want to begin riding. I figure I'll get the hang of cycling with this freebee bike and when I know what I want/need, I will buy a new one (next year).
But, I am concerned about the condition of this bike. It is a comfort bike purchased from REI, called the Santa Fe. It is not available anymore. I went to a LBS and they told me I need a size 21 bike. This is a size 22, but I fit okay. (I'm 6'5"). However, the gears and chain are extremely dirty. I am concerned about this failing or jamming.
I know nothing about bicycle mechanics. Would it be worthwhile to take this to a LBS for a "tuneup"? What do I ask for? I don't want to be taken advantage of by them since I am a newbie. What should I expect to pay?
Thanks for any help
Yes, it will be worth it to have this bike tuned up at the LBS. Ask them to clean the chain, etc, adjust the brakes, true the wheels, and check the condition of the tires. If it has been sitting awhile, the chain might be rusty and need to be replaced.
Depending on where you live, it could cost anywhere from $60 up to $100.
Take it to Metro Bike -N- Sport on Gratiot just south of Metro Parkway, those guys won't rip you off.
In my opinion, any bike is a good bike so long as the crank turns the wheels and the brakes stop them. Though the much nicer bikes make for a great ride.
Please don't tell me you took your bike to American Cycle and Fitness on Big Beaver?!?!
Please don't tell me you took your bike to American Cycle and Fitness on Big Beaver?!?![/QUOTE]
Funny you should mention them - I live around the corner from there, and that was the bike shop I visited. I did not make a purchase there or give them any business yet. What is wrong with American Cycle and Fitness? I'll have to check out Metro Bike -N- Sport. That is not far away from me either.
I went to AC&F when I decided to get into biking, told them how much money I had and to reccommend a bike. Without a second thought the guy pulled something off the rack and said "this is the bike for you". Well, me being as green as spinich and not knowing anything about anything I paid for the bike and went on my way.
Come to find out he pawned off old stock on me. The bike couldn't handle my weight or riding style, even though I told him what I planned on doing and he could obviously see that I was a bigger guy (340lbs at the time). Within a 2 month period I went thru 20 spokes, 3 wheels, and a hell of a lot of pain because of the cheap 700c low spoke wheels and the bike being too big for me.
Hell I knew nothing about being fitted for a bike and all that jazz at the time. I just took his word for it.
Then I discovered Metro Bike n Sport. The owner took time to talk to me and explain things to me. Even though I let him know up front that I had no more money to spend, he didn't care, he just wanted to help me out.
After a while I started spending money there to buy things, even though I could order online and get huge discounts I'd still support the local shop. He respected that and as time went on started hooking me up with free wheel truings every week or so, loaner parts, and finally hooked me up with a new bike that fits me properly and can handle me and what I do with it. And to beat it all he let me walk out of the shop with the bike without me spending a penny on it. He's letting me have it for cost and I'm only paying him 50 bucks a week. He's cool and cares about customer satisfaction and doesn't look at me like I'm some fat ass with a few hundred bucks for him to weasel from me.
Needless to say they have my business for life. If you look back at my past posts you'll see that I have nothing but good stuff to say for this "little hole in the wall" bike shop.