bike servicing

12 months on. The Pedaler story thus far.

It has been 12 months since we kicked off this new venture and it is amazing how much has changed in that time.  The journey continues but I felt it may be interesting to provide some insight into where we have come from.

My background has always been specialised sports podiatry.  This has been my bread and butter for the last 16 years.  Over the last 9 years, cycling orientated podiatry has also become a focus. I love riding.  I love bikes and I enjoy the culture around the industry.   

 

My first foray into the cycling industry was through Cobra9 Cycling Orthotics.  I started this company in Hobart in 2009 with my close friend Chris Angel who had reintroduced me to cycling in 2007.  We started making specialised carbon insoles for cycling shoes and grew from there.  We played to our strengths.  We also enjoyed plenty of nights on the wines thinking big about our fledgling company.

 

In that same year, we sponsored our first race team - Cobra9 Racing.  This was a bunch of early adaptors and hubs, including myself, who raced down the grades and got belted at events routinely.  The first kit was fairly basic but the core and ethos was born.

As the racing team grew, so did our associations within the industry.  Our earliest supporter Dion from 4Shaw has hooked us up with socks since 2011.  I can still remember his email discussing a collaboration (rare in that time) with our socks.  I ignored the email as I didn't have a clue who he was.  A year later, 4Shaw was huge and meekly I finally replied to his email and we organised our first hook up.

 

With Cobra9 growing, the racing team became an important focus for marketing purposes. The team has grown from 5 riders to around 35 currently.  The team's involvement has shifted from Elite B, to Masters A and now to the Elite A level.  The team now competes regularly at NRS events and occasionally at UCI races.  The same underlying ethos remains. Race hard and enjoy the experience because the journey is the destination.  Every moment we race, travel and train is there to be enjoyed.  It won't last forever and the time to embrace it is now. As we commence preparations for season 2017, Cobra9 Intebuild Racing has become one of the longest standing active cycling teams in Queensland.

The team's emergence and increased prominence has grown some of our most important connections within the industry.  Long time supporters Megabake emerged out of this evolution and Wurkstand grew alongside the team's journeys.  Industry heavyweights, Attaquer jumped into our corner in 2013 which has been enormous for our brand and business.  I can't speak highly enough of the crew behind this particular company in terms of their professionalism and work ethic.  In an industry full of hollow promises and whingers, these guys keep delivering.

 

The Pedaler was conceived to capitalise on these strong brand associations.   However it would be another 12 months before the shop opened.   In the foot hills of the iconic Park Rd 'Eiffel Tower' where the cycling scene kicked off in Brisbane, The Pedaler was born.  The business model was supported by a sports focused Podiatry business in parallel with a strong core of quality cycling brands.  

 

We set out to only carry brands that we believe in.  POC safety gear fits this concept neatly as do the shoe offerings from Suplest, Fizik and Lake. The fabled Italian brand Colnago was our primary bike brand followed shortly after by Johnson Bikes from Ben Johnson in Noosa. Another example of a quality human in the cycling industry.

Our onsite lab has allowed us to build all types of orthotic solutions for our clients.  It also helps us ensure the best fit for our clients and their cycling shoes.  We have grown from one shoe brand to four and hope to create a proper 'wall of shoe' for our customers. It naturally plays to our strengths as qualified podiatrists.

None of this would be possible without our crew.

Our staff started with a very small core group. Podiatrist and now born again trackie, David Gruhl has been with us from the start.  He has been a stellar example of continuous endeavour and purpose.  His manual therapy skills have been incredibly important to our practice and his relationships with trainers and industry professionals continues to grow. 

 

Phil Cavdarski has manned the front desk regularly since opening and always presents with purpose.  He also brings humour and coffee.

 

The most recent arrival to our team in March of this year was Josh Prete. He is a huge addition for us as we have transitioned into comprehensive bike servicing and more complex builds. His customer relations are impeccable and he has grown into an integral part of The Pedaler providing assistance in developing brands and generating new market directions.  

 

We also need to laud the assistance of some other 'staff'.  Hadleigh has cleaned up our books enormously and allowed us more time to focus on the business and less time spent trying to untangle my BAS musings which look a lot like a scene from 'A Beautiful Mind'. Dugald runs the racing team with an efficiency that could only come from working at Australia Post for decades.  Adam my brother is a constant with the race team and co owner at Cobra9 Cycling Orthotics.  Daniel of Cycling Enquirer fame has also helped us look better then we really are on a regular basis driving much of our social media. 

 

Abbie and myself continue to learn important lessons daily. The first 6 months were pretty intense.   Up front costs associated with starting the business from scratch were epic and the ongoing expenses were uncomfortable.  As our community and the business has grown, the pressure has eased and the head space this allows has fuelled more creativity.  We like enjoying our days at work and subscribe to concept that our staff are our most valuable asset. We toast mars bars, take suicidal photos on Douglas St, create album covers and enjoy the experience.  In this way, the ethos of The Pedaler is similar to the race team's.  Enjoy the journey now.  Our other motto is just as important.  Don't spend every moment of every day worrying about the next.  If you have a quiet period, relax and use it.  

 

In our first year we have also had our fair share of set backs.  We lost our mate and most loyal fan JJ to depression.  He was an enormous help for us over the first few months of our journey. He was also our biggest supporter and it was a huge shock to lose him in such painful circumstances.  We hope to create an event in the coming months as a fitting memorial to our mate and one that typifies what this colourful character meant to the Brisbane cycling scene.

We also lost another of our best friends Steve Small from Wurkstand.  He was the victim of a hit and run on his way home from work in Noosa.  It is impossible to put into words how much he helped us create The Pedaler and also, how much he meant to our race team.  His untimely death is still painful to digest.  Fittingly at our 1st Birthday, we will unveil our Tribute kit to Steve.  All profits from this venture will go to his family to help reconcile a tiny portion of their loss.

There are more ideas and business ventures we are hoping to launch in the coming months. We remain loyal to our foundation brands and will grow from this base.  We also remain focused on providing comprehensive best practice Podiatry care and a top shelf customer experience. Each interaction is a relationship, not a transaction.   

Thank you all for your support.  Come along on Saturday to our Sausage Festival and enjoy the snags (maybe even a few vegan versions by popular demand).  Tunes, drinks, banter and epic snaps.  It's The Pedaler way.

Nathan

 

 

Battle on the Border is getting close. Be sure to give your race rig the 'once over'.

With the annual stage race Battle on the Border less then 2 weeks away, now is the time to ensure your machine is ready to roll.  There is nothing worse than training for an event only to be let down by your equipment.  Here is a list of the crucial points worth checking.

  1. Tyre Wear - Check your tyres thoroughly for any cuts, or signs of degradation. Degradation usually shows itself by the tread of the tyre starting to crack. 
  2. Chain Wear - A stretched chain means gear slip, you don't want this. If you are running Campagnolo, and have a vernier at your disposal, it is quite easy to check your chain for wear. Count out 6 links and measure the length of the chain, if it is over 132.6mm your chain is worn. A new campag chain will measure 132.2mm.  If you do not have a specific chain checker for Shimano and Sram chains, a simple way to check wear is to shift the chain into the big ring on the front and the lowest gear on the back (ie 25 or 28t). When the chain is in this position, attempt to lift the chain off the front chain ring. There should be no give in the chain in this position.  If there is it would suggest that your chain is worn out. (Again, if you run Campy, then be sure to have it fixed and race ready before you head to remote race locations as the likelihood of finding spare parts is poor).
  3. Cassette and chain ring wear - If you have a worn chain, you may also have worn out your cassette and chain rings. The teeth on your cassette and chain rings should look slightly squared off on the top, if you notice that they are starting to look like sharks teeth then they are worn out. On the cassette an easy way to do this is look at the middle gears, and compare this to the 11 or 12 tooth cog, typically most people will be riding in the middle of their cassette for the majority of their rides, so these are the cogs that will show wear first.
  4. Cable wear - Deterioration of cables is the unseen destroyer on race day. If you are running a mechanical groupset, a fraying cable can creep up on you and suddenly snap when it is under load. It would be a good idea to completely remove your cables and check for any kinks, or frayed sections. If you have internal cables make sure you pull a sleeve through from the exit point to the entry point near the lever before removing the cables, otherwise you may spend more time than necessary trying to reroute your cables. Also be sure that your cables are not crossed inside the frame. It is amazing how easily this can happen.  It is not always obvious when cabling a bike, but the shifting will turn very bad, very quickly if you accidentally do this. When pulling cables through a frame, make sure to check that they don't pull on each other before tensioning them to the derailleur. 
  5. Brake pad wear - This is an easy one, as most brake pads have wear indicators. Make sure you have enough meat on your brake pads, and of course if you are swapping to carbon wheels chuck in your carbon specific brake pads. 
  6. Bartape - This is purely aesthetic, but getting to the start line with crisp new bar tape always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

Words by: Joshua Prete
                  Wurkshop Manager

How often do I need to service my bike?

 

How often should you be servicing your bike?

 

A common question asked at bike shops is 'how often should I be servicing my bike?'. Unfortunately, there is no blanket rule, and a lot of variables influence our answer.  

 

For arguments sake lets say you are a cyclist who rides 4-5 times a week, races a crit on the weekend and has a few big goals throughout the year. Apart from a major incident, the components on your bike will wear out a pretty steady rate. This makes it difficult to know when your bike needs a service until its blatantly obvious, (e.g a cable splitting inside the lever).  

 

For the most part, the work that should be done to keep your bike in a great condition is stuff that can be done at home, so I have come up with a bit of a schedule of what you should be doing to keep your bike rolling as it did when you bought it.

 

Daily:

·         Pump up your tyres and check for cuts

·         If you have done a sweaty ergo session, hose your bike down, and get the sweat off your bars and levers. We sweat a lot in Qld, and the amount of salt that gathers under some peoples bar tape is incredible. The last thing you want is for your alloy bars to snap under you. It happens.

 

Weekly:

·         Wash your bike. Degrease the drive-train and apply some fresh lube to the chain, jockey wheels and pivot points on the derailleurs and brakes.

·         Look for any wear and tear while doing this, particularly fraying cables and gritty bottom bracket and headset bearings.

 

Monthly:

·         Check the state of your chain. Bring your bike into The Pedaler and let us measure the chain to check the wear.

·         If you have Di2, we can check for new firmware updates and make sure you have the latest software and do an error check.

 

Quarterly:

·         Degrease and re-grease the Headset and Bottom Bracket. Its good to know how much life you have left in your bearings. Spin the bearings with your finger and feel for roughness.

 

Half Year:

·         Replace Cables, chain, tyres, handlebar tape and cleats. For both safety and aesthetics.   

 

The most important aspects of this process are the first two. By keeping your bike clean and tidy you will be fixing problems before they arise. Your drive-train will last longer and you won’t be getting any corrosion on your bars and levers.

 

Obviously this can all be quite time consuming, and that’s where we step in.  We are happy to do the little jobs, and keep your bike running smoothly and looking awesome. A good quality bike deserves to be maintained, not ridden into the ground then resurrected.  

Wurkshop Launches at The Pedaler

After careful deliberation, we now provide full bike mechanic services out of our Milton Cyclery.  We also offer a Valet Service for those that are too busy to drop off and pick up.

To cater for this service, The Pedaler welcomes Joshua Prete into our family.  Josh has raced extensively across Australia and internationally.   He has also has been working as a mechanic for the past 5 years including many years specifically working with Colnagos.

 

We offer an extensive range of bike service options and use only Park Tools and Wurkstands within our Service Course.  Give us a call when you next need a service for your bike or yourself.