Monday, June 17, 2013

One on One Bicycle Studio

Mixed feelings

Following the Tour of Lakes ride and the front derailleur debacle, my bike was in desperate need of a tune up.

I felt lucky earlier in the spring to have scored an Amazon Local Deal group discount on a tune up at One on One Bicycle Studio in Minneapolis, and was looking forward to checking out their shop in more detail and exploring their basement “junkyard” for a replacement front wheel for my other bike. I was able to quickly find what I needed, but can see how someone could spend hours down there.

I have to say some mixed feelings about the recent work I had done on my bike. (That is "Minnesota Nice" or passive aggressive for saying I was a bit annoyed - but what can I do but blog about it?). 

Here are just a few issues That still grate on me a week after picking my bike up:

1. Time: Their website says that they like to get them done within a couple of days. To be precise, it says "Turnaround time's usually in a matter of a day or two, not a week or two. Even in the summer. We don’t want to store your bike for you, we want you to be out riding it." 

I called ahead and they said it could be done in a couple of days, but it  actually took a week for them to take care of my bike. If I had not already paid for the “groupon” I would have taken my bike somewhere else just due to the timing of getting it done. I need my bike every day.

2. Extra Parts and labor not covered by the groupon: It felt a little like when you take your car in for something you know is wrong, but then they tell you a bunch of other things that need attention – and make you feel like you need to do all of those things now. New chain, new sprockets, new cables, it all starts to add up. To be fair, I knew my bike would need new chain soon, and it is running a little better with the replacement. But I still wonder if the new cassette was needed right now. I know that they degrade over time, but the lack of a technical or demonstrative explanation at the time leaves me feeling a little hosed. 

3. New parts don’t “match”. Visually, the new cogs and chain do not match what I had before, and the chain appears a little "heavier". The new cables also seem to be a heavier gauge and the end caps were put on a little clumsily. I want to be riding my bike, not letting it gather dust in a nasty basement... So I didn't complain about this. But now I am wondering if I should have.

4. Overlooked issues: Overall, the bike seems better to ride, but the bottom bracket is still feels a little clunky, like there is some tention somewhere when it is under a lot of torque. There also seems to be a little more noise with the new chain when it is shifted.

5. Some people think I am anal; I prefer the word "particular". A testament to the overall sloppiness of tune up is the grease on parts of my bike where it shouldn't be, like the seat and handlebars. I think it is fine that a mechanic is greasy, but they need to keep their hands clean and clean up when the job is done. Because other shops that I frequent clean the entire bike after the tune up, I expected that here. Not the case.

I am glad to be back on my bike after a week off, but I end with mixed feelings about One on One. Tom, the dude at the desk who helped me was a super nice guy, so I want to give them another chance. Did the person who worked on my bike just gave an off day? Or are they trying to move too many bikes through? 

I wonder.

The Junkyard 



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