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Old 02-19-10, 05:53 PM   #1
Lionheart
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Best shops/mechanics in N. Virginia area?

Any recommendations for a robust shop in the Northern VA area? If they've got a good service department even better. I live in Lorton and would prefer not to have to drive into DC or Reston if it can be avoided. No offense.
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Old 02-21-10, 02:51 PM   #2
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For mechanics, Oasis Bikeworks, Main St, Fairfax City.
http://www.oasisbikeworks.com/
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Old 02-21-10, 07:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 02-22-10, 07:28 AM   #4
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Besides Oasis (no 1st-hand experience with them), full-service bike shops I've used and had good experiences with: Spokes, Etc. (Vienna), Bikes@Vienna, A-1 (Herndon). Spokes has locations in Alexandria that may be more convenient, and A-1 has a location in Manassas (no experience with them). I have heard good things about Bike Lane (Burke, Reston Town Center) but have only used the RTC store for odds n ends.
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Old 02-22-10, 05:14 PM   #5
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+1 on Spokes... The Quaker Lane store is probably a bit farther North than you'd like but those guys are sharp.
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Old 02-28-10, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the opinions guys. I went over to the Quaker Ln. location of Spokes Etc. today and put in my machine for a complete overhaul and replacement on some wear and tear items (chain, cogset, brake pads etc.) I dealt with Ricky in the service dept. This is gonna probably cost me $350, but my bike needed it and it is worth it to keep it running well. I have a Campy Record groupo and Ricky was knowledgeable about that. I was just looking for a place where I would feel comfortable about leaving my ride and Spokes gave me that.
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Old 03-03-10, 08:00 AM   #7
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Oasis has bike maintenance clinics where you can work on it yourself, with experts there to help you get it right.
So far I've replaced my brakes, shifter cables and cassette for just the cost of parts, and I'm learning how to do it myself.
In the next couple of weeks I plan to replace the crankset and bottom bracket.
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Old 03-13-10, 01:06 AM   #8
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wow, this thread was very informative as i live in the aerea
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Old 03-15-10, 05:04 PM   #9
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Update

I picked up my machine a few days ago and here's a follow up.

Refresher:
I took it to Spokes Etc. on Quaker Ln. (I have no idea who did the work). Since retrieving it I've only done one 30mi ride. That's due to weather, not motivation.

The work done:
Complete overhaul, new cables, derailleur pulleys, brake pads, chain, cassette and bottom bracket (old one was starting to go)

My impressions:
The rear hub was either put together loose or loosened while riding. I didn't notice anything until after my ride. But it was very loose and I would not have continued riding it if I'd noticed this earlier (or would've turned around immediately).

The steering seemed a lot tighter. I'm sure that I'll acclimate to this. It's just when you're used to one thing and it changes then it's immediately apparent.

The drive train was beautifully smooth. Shifting was crisp and sharp. Braking was smooth and the grab was strong when tested. I was able to lock the rear wheel easily with my hands on the hoods. The pull weight was drastically decreased (new cables).

Other:
The wheels were true going in, so no issues there.
The rear hub's ratchet noise, while never 'loud', was diminished, almost eliminated totally. I'm not crazy about that because I liked hearing it.
Bike was definitely cleaner than when I took it in. That's of course, appreciated.
The tech gave me 10% off where he could, as I'm a member of a local club. He also gave me a substantial discount on the overhaul (-$30). This was a service promotion the shop was running of which I was not aware.

Summary:
Overall I'm pleased. I did have to return it to have the rear hub play removed. That was a bit of a hassle because I don't live especially close to the shop. And, living around here you really have to plan your life around rush hour. (I'm not helpless and would have done this myself, but do not currently have my tools with me.)

I'll definitely go back and I would recommend them to others.
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