I bought my 2005 Volae Tour used a year ago last August and have put over 1400 miles on it since. The bike had about 1000 miles on it when I bought it so I figured that now with a bit over 2400 miles on it, it was time to check the chain for wear (a new learning experience for me). Ooops, 1/8 inch stretch already. Time to replace the chain and since I'm attacking the drive train I decided to change my gearing a bit. I'm running an 11-32 on the rear which is fine but there's a 26-38-48 up front that I wanted to change to a 26-42-52.
My daughter goes to school in Milwaukee and we were going out to visit her, so I threw the Volae in the van and we took a little side-trip to Steven's Point to visit the Hostel Shoppe. There we were greeted by Scott, the store manager and Barb Garthus the store co-owner. What a fantastic experience. Scott answered a lsit of questions that I had concerning not only my Volae, but also my Tour Easy. He helped me quite a lot with his knowledge of the Bob trailers and was able to answer all my questions concerning it's versitility with my vast aray of towing bikes.
He encouraged me to bring my Volae inside and he had the shop mechanic look it over for any potential wear beyond the chain and cassette, all they found was one short section of cable housing that needed attention. His expert advise helped me decide on upgrading to a 26-39-52 (two new rings) up front and just replacing the cassette and chain with new. I also purchased a kick stand and the attachment gizmo for my Volae. When Scott offered to install all these goodies and have the bike ready to roll within the hour for a very, very minor fee...you could have knocked me over with a feather.
Now granted, it's only a bike...but I tend to get a little nostalgic when I think of my Volae back in the hands of it's creators, so to speak. I felt that the shop personel shared that feeling a bit too. They complimented me on the accesories I have mounted on the bike such as three Planet Bike Super flashes, flashing Blackburn headlight, etc., even the milk crate. I think they're happy to see one of their bikes being used for multiple purposes...commuting, errands and just tooling around. So when they rolled my bike back out to me with all her new parts they smiled when I said I was going to shot a picture of me and bike in front of the store. They encouraged me to take as long as I wanted. Oh, by the way, the wrenching was perfect as they test rode the bike before realeasing it. When I got on the bike later I was pleased to discover that the bike had been completely tuned and the questionable cable housing replaced at no extra charge. What better place to get your bike serviced than where it was born?
Below is a picture of me and the Volae that came home for a visit and a little TLC.
Last edited by cranky old dude; 10-13-09 at 08:54 PM.
These people are the best!! Its nice to work with people that like what they are doing. It must be satisfying for them to see there creations well appreciated. Rolf and Barb have done a lot for their community as well as the cycling and recumbent community. Rochester, MN
I have only dealt with Hostel Shoppe over the phone or online. They are always great with helping people with recumbents. They tried to help me modify my 2001 Vision R40 to accomidate a new seat frame I bought from them. Did not work. Geometry was incorrect and it literally hurt to ride the bike. Sent everything back to Hostel Shoppe for a refund. This was no fault of theirs, no one knew it would not work until I tried it. Again they are gret people to work with and got to for help.
I got a great deal on a Volae Club at the Hostel Shoppe. After I got it home, I felt a bump in the front rim when I would brake. I called up and they offered to replace BOTH WHEELS. I got a new front wheel in a couple days, and have since ridden it 850 miles. Best bike I have ever owned.