Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Got Greasy & I Haz Mad Bike Cleaning & Loob Skillz, y0! (Part One)

Yesterday I attended the first of two Basic Bike Maintenance classes at Goodale's Bike Shop.  It was just me and one other kid with a mountain bike, so we got a lot of attention from our instructor.

Some of you know, I intend to ride my hybrid for my first tri-season because I'm too cheap (and too novice) to invest in a good road/tri bike.  So, my hybrid was well overdue for a good scrub down and adjustment, and I learned a few cool things.

We went over getting our bikes into the stands, shifting to the smallest gear, and removing our wheels.  Then we used some high test, dissolving solution to clean up the drivetrain and brake systems.  Some of my gears were nice and caked with a flaky black junk.  Nothing the flathead screw driver, degrease solution and an air compressor couldn't handle, though.

Next we did a thorough wipe of the entire bike and wheels, loosened up all the brake and shift cables and did some tri-flow teflon drip lube in all the cable housings, and tri-flow sprayed all the pivot points.  Who know there were a million pivots in a rear derailleur.  I think that thing is more complicated than any part on my car.

Finally we had time to true our front wheels. This was probably the coolest part of the evening; although, I must say, that kid kinda kicked my butt.  He was pretty much a prodigy at truing wheels.  Maybe they'll give him a Summer job next year.

Since I needed my bike for a workout tonight, our instructor helped me get my bike back together.  The other kid left his bike in pieces for the second class on Thursday night.

After we were all done, I think I was dirtier than my bike.  We headed to the back to cleaned up, where I learned that Goodale's facility there on Broad street is pretty much GIGANTIC.  The store front is probably not even an eighth of the size of that place.  In the back, they have a HUGE storage room, to which I said, "Holy mackerel!  This place is enormous!"  That was nothing, the instructor said, "Oh you think this is big, check this out," and he opened another door which revealed a room, probably twice as big as the one I was just in that had rows and rows of new bike inventory.  I've never seen so many bikes in my life, unless you count that time I was in Amsterdam and saw that ridiculous bicycle parking lot on the canal.  My jaw dropped to the floor.

But wait, there's more, we walked down a long hallway and into another back room that was full of trainers that they use for their spin classes.

Anyway, that place is redunc-huge.

We cleaned up with some good ole GoJo, and I rolled on outta there.

Stay tuned for a summary of the second part of the class on Thursday, where we'll learn about making adjustments and some other stuff.

Now, what kinda scripture can I add here today?  I looked up "clean" and came up with this one:
"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."  John 15:3
This is a pretty lame analogy, but degreaser over a drive train is like the word of God over us, it makes us shiny and new.  :)  Folks, this is why you need to go to church.  A good pastor will be a little more eloquent than me.

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