Sunday, August 21, 2011

A visit to the shops...

My 10 year old is almost kaput, i finally made the splurge and spent some $680 on a 2nd hand GT ava 3.0. I couldn't get myself to leave this frame and fork. And just the other day I had a new headset installed too $40... Upon getting the GT home, I thought I would just dump the two bikes over at C2C and pay them to swap the parts over... But after hearing that just doing would cost me some $80 in labour, I decided to get a set of bike tools and DIY the swap. The bike tools? About $98.
So I went home and started swapping... The front and rear derailleurs, front and rear hydraulic brakes, disc wheelset and crankset. Only to realise the cables and rear hydraulic brake hose were too short... Back to the bike shop... This time to a nearer SH Store, when there I inquired about the cabling and was quote $14... The uncle didn't have hydraulic fluid or the hose...

After some persuasion, i decided to trust the uncle and do up the cables... Unfortunately, at 8pm tuning of gears can take quite some time to get them dialed... The rest of the family owned shop was already packed and I offered to come back tomorrow.

Day 2
I came down, and the uncle said shifting is not instant due to an incompatible and slightly larger chain. Please go try it out... 

Well after trying out, it shifted worse than my previous drive train of deore shifters, slx cassette, slx crankset, slx front dee, xtr rear dee. Hmm... Full SLX is not da SEX?

I got of my bike and checked the rear dee alignment... To see that the rear dee high limit was out. Well maybe I could just go to C2C and ask for a free tuning :D

At C2C
They were unsurprisingly busy and had to wait some 2 hours just to change the hydraulic hose and re-bleed... Jason was really patient and did the bleeding with care, after that I just wanted the gears to be tuned... He adjusted the rear high limit as I expected than when checking the tension of the rear dee cable notice the housing for the derailleurs are actually brake housing... He asked about them and I said I just had them replaced... He told me to go back to ask if they can be changed as to do the tuning and change of housing would cost me some $25. Brake Housing will stretch after some use... This part of the hose he used derailleur housing, old one. Second hand?

Back at SH Store
Uncle says it doesn't matter, brake housing is larger than derailleur housing and shouldn't affect the shifting much! As a matter of fact, bigger housing means easier time oiling the cables and if mud gets in between, performance wouldn't suffer as much! He than pointed me to a few of his loyal/regular customers outside his shop. Repeating that C2C only likes to deal with new bikes and don't know how to fix my bike.

I will have to stop here, and just come straight to the conclusion I wanted to make. 

Sometimes, the art of tuning a bicycle can really boil down to rivalry between bike shops, misunderstandings, lack of knowledge and simply a difference of opinions and preferences.

To satisfy myself, would probably mean doing everything myself or putting all my trust in one or using a lot of time to research/try it out myself.

Other than putting all my trust into one, the rest is terribly time consuming.

Next steps
What will I do? What will you do?

1. Ride and hope for the best.
2. Change the chain at SH store.
3. Change the housing and cables at C2C
4. But new chain, cables and housing and DIY.

After: about 8pm last night.

Again, school is taking most of my time. So much to write but so little time. I will update my next steps... Riding and maintenance, truly symbiotic..

tags: bike shop rivalry 


  1. Either the SH Shop is really old school and expect the bike to be ridden at <10km/hr around the estate with little need for shifting or he's trying to sell a crock of bull.

    Brake cables tend to have slop-- can never be good for shifting esp as number of cog increase (ie 9 and 10 spd etc) and the indexing between each shift gets smaller.

  2. I guess the shop is really a mixture of both, it has been there for as long as i can remember! And yes, most of his customers are the <10km/h ard estate kind.

    Thanks for the tip Den! I will have those housings changed and hopefully, and finally! Get smooth gear changes... Something i have been yearning for for a long time.