At B&L we work on all kinds of bikes. For most people we recommend that they get a tune-up once a year. We do two main types of tune ups: the Minor Tune and the Standard Tune.
We do free estimates. Don't worry it does not cost anything for us to look at your bike. Just bring the bike in and one of our staff will take a few minutes to look at it and determine what work needs to be done. Customers should feel free to tell us what their intended purpose for the bike is and this will also help us determine what we can do to help the bike.
Minor Tune: The braking and shifting are adjusted. Tires are aired to optimum pressure. The chain and pivot points are lubricated. The Minor Tune is best for bikes that are in relatively good condition. Sometimes while servicing a bike it it also necessary to replace some of the bike's components that have been overly worn. Chains, brake pads, and cables are probably the three most common items needing to be replaced. These items and the labor to install them are an additional expenditure.
Standard Tune: In our Standard Tune, we do all the things that we do in our Minor tune. We also true both wheels (straighten them) and do all of the bearing adjustments, including the wheels, headset and on older bikes that need it we adjust the bottom bracket bearings. The Standard Tune up is also for bikes whose wheels are badly out of true as it takes more time to straighten them.
We do work on most kinds of bikes, including department store bikes. These are significantly less expensive than the bikes that we sell. The purchaser thinks it will save him or her money. However these bikes need significantly more maintenance than a bike shop quality bike as they are made of less expensive medals and do not hold their adjustments as long. The bikes are often poorly assembled and adjusted which can lead to premature wear on some of the parts. We will gladly work on these. However, sometimes the cost of repairing these bikes exceeds the value of the bike. In these instances we advise the customer to not repair the bike. However, if the customer insists, we will still work on it.
Frequent riders should be aware that for most, a tune-up once a year will probably suffice. However, these riders should also know that some of the parts on the bike may need to be replaced more often than once a year. The biggest issue is the chain. The chain stretches over time. It can safely stretch so to a certain point, but after that point it damages the cogs that it touches. So it is important to replace the chain before it damages the rest of the drive train. Most bikes come with chains that will generally only last between 1000 to 2000 miles. Frequent riders can easily cover this distances in only a few months. We have a tool that measures the wear of the chain and we can make sure the chain is replaced before it damages other parts of the bicycle. We also sell very high quality chains that will last between 3000-5000 miles, reducing the frequency of replacing the chain. Brake pads are one of the other parts that need to be replaced often. If the rubber brake pads are worn down to the metal this can damage the rims, causing them to need replacement long before they would normally need it.
Some bikes only need some very minor adjustments. If you have a flat tire, or need a quick brake or gear adjustment we can often do this on the spot, depending on how busy we are. If you have five minutes and can wait, we try to get the bike back to you right away.
We do free bicycle safety checks at B&L. If your bike has been in storage for a significant period of time or if you have recently had an "incident" on your bike and are not sure how safe it is to ride, bring it to us. We'll make sure that everything is attached to the bike the way it should be. An inspection is also made to insure that none of the parts or even the frame is broken. We'll see to it that your brakes work properly. If anything is wrong with the bike we'll make you aware of what the issues are and give you an estimate of what it will cost to repair them.