Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Slow Season

The other day, I took 2 hours to do a 30 day check on a Trek 7.1 FX.  I know what you're thinking, and I was not fucking the dog, as many would assume.  I did all the usual things, but it being the slow season, I had time to do a couple things I would never take the time to do during the busy season.  Usually, I'd tweak the wheels with them in the frame.  This time, I put them in the truing stand.  Tension off?  I took the time to give each spoke half a turn and a lot of squeezes.  Those are some of the best-tensioned wheels on a 7.1 FX. 

We'd installed fenders on this one.  I noticed the front brake cable, where it jumps across the fender from one brake arm to the other, was making contact with the fender.  I checked the mounting hardware, and the fender was mounted as low as the slot would allow.  No problem.  I got out the Dremel and made the slot longer, dropped the fender a quarter inch, and no more contact.  I would NEVER take the time to do that during the silly season.

Everything had the kind of dirt and grit you'd expect after about a month of riding in all conditions.  We always wipe down the frame and wheels, but I took the time to fish the rag through all the nooks and crannies, around the chainstay bridge, behind the front derailleur, etc.  That bike left cleaner than when it was new.

The same is true for tune-ups performed during the slow season.  The bike gets cleaned better, the adjustments are more precise, and details that might be overlooked when we're slammed get attention.  Don't procrastinate, and don't pay for a tune-up during the summer.  Bring your bike to me in February, when my thumb is getting chapped because it's been up my ass for two months, and you'll get the best possible tune-up.  Period.

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