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Word From The Wax Bench...

Happy Birthday, Joel!

Top, left to right: Joel all gussied up in his younger days, skiing for the Moon, helping out a customer; Middle: taking a break with the Ercolina; Bottom: Joel and the New Moon sign, helping out with a lumber project, Joel on the trail.

 

Top, left to right: the Harrison clan, Joel and Lauren take a Twizzler break on their roller ski; Middle: this is the meanest Joel has ever looked, Reese and Joel head out to guide on the trails; Bottom: this is the best pic of Joel ever-he looks like an Aussie adventurer, Lauren, Reese, and Joel on their Zion vacation last month.

spring tune-ups

Right now is a great time to get your bike into New Moon (or your local bike shop) for a Spring tune-up.

After a long winter in the garage, shed, or even the basement, your bike’s parts likely didn’t miraculously fix themselves. Tires may have mostly deflated. The carefully applied film of chain lube has secretly collected a substantial layer of dust, fuzz, and your cat’s hair… It is now time for the Spring tune-up… not just to keep your bike riding well for many more miles, but especially to be safe on the roads and trails, we always recommend getting your bike looked at before you start the season.

A bike on the stand ready for its Spring check up.

A basic tune-up covers the most common and basic adjustments and required lubrication. A tech will clean your bike, relube components, and do a safety check of all the hardware – bolts, tires, tubes, etc. They will also work their magic with the working systems of the bike – brakes and drivetrain. These key adjustments are what most riders notice most after a tune-up. Gear shifting and brake function often degrade slowly through the course of a season or many seasons, and cyclists are often shocked at how much better a bike works after a tune. In some cases new cabling, brake pads, or drive components like a chain or a cassette are needed to get everything working smoothly. If any additional parts or repairs are needed, the customer will be notified if they wish.

Top: a rusty chain in need of repair; middle: a chain tool that will gauge how “stretched out” your chain is; bottom: the tool on a chain.

Cyclists are often surprised by the mechanics’ recommendations – specifically new chains and new tires. Chains wear out with use, becoming “stretched” over time. That, in turn, wears the teeth more quickly on the rear cogs or the front chainrings. At that point, the worn chain is accelerating wear on the rest of the drivetrain and potentially ruining otherwise good parts. Big or strong riders will stretch a chain much more quickly than lighter or gentler riders. Our area’s mountain bike trails invariably have a sand component in the soil. Sand is an efficient abrasive, and, yup, that will wear your chain out, too. For the road bikers, sand is found on road shoulders, often in abundance. One ride on a wet shoulder, and, you guessed it, ‘crunch crunch’ – sand in the chain. Our service department is equipped with special instruments to check for chain wear. We’re happy to gauge your chain anytime, just swing by the shop and we’ll show you what condition your chain is in. It just takes a few seconds! We can also show you special chain cleaners and wax-based lubricants that help keep your drivetrain grit-free and running smoothly. Keep that chain clean between tune-ups and you can actually save some money in the long run!

A small cut, top, can expose the fabric of the tire, below.

Now for tires… Tires are the real unsung hero of the modern bicycle. Often just paper-thin, these are ultimately responsible for getting you out and back safely, not to mention quickly if you’re into that. Bike tires can and do weather with exposure to the sun and the atmosphere. Most rubber compounds will ‘dry out’ and crack or split over time leaving the fabric casing deeper in the tire vulnerable to cuts and punctures. Then there’s wear & tear, just like your car tires. Instead of getting upset about wearing out a bike tire, be glad you’re lucky enough that you ride often and did just that. Tire wear and weathering can be subtle. We’re happy to help you evaluate the condition of your tires and will find a perfect replacement for your riding style and needs. Again, if you’re unsure,  stop by the shop with your bike or just bring your wheels if that’s easier.

Top: Dusty ready to ride at ‘OO;’ bottom: Dusty gets some air at Hatchery Creek park. All the spectators are impressed!

This summer, the New Moon’s Service Department will be headed up by Dustin Dale. This will be Dustin’s 5th year here at New Moon. He has been in the bike industry since he was 13 years old, starting with trail building for 7 years. He raced semi-professionally for about 2 years in Wisconsin’s WORS series. Here in Hayward, he originally studied wrenching for about a year-and-a-half under New Moon alum Dave LaRosa, and, now, we are lucky enough to have Dustin as a year-round service tech and salesperson.

With Dusty, New Moon’s Service Department will continue to be the one of the best in the Midwest. Among his key priorities is keeping turnaround time to a minimum, understanding that it is often a long drive to the Hayward area. He also prides himself on offering in-house service on most suspension forks and shocks.

    

As usual, Dustin will be backed up by a team with many decades of bike tech experience, including Darrell, and, of course, Chris (above, right), who will continue to work on special projects, wheel builds, and bike fittings, as well.

So, even though we are still having a great winter this spring, get your bike in early for that tune-up. Beat the rush, stay safe, and keep your bike working great!

—Chris & Judy Young

 

 

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