I'm trying to figure out where to take my bike for a tune-up, preferably in/close to NW DC, and the online reviews aren't terribly inspiring. Based on the few reviews there are, seems like the options are places that make you feel like a dumbass but know what they're doing (City Bikes) and places that make you feel like a dumbass and don't know what they're doing (pretty much every place else).
Or, should I try to go to a bike maintenance session somewhere and handle it myself (I'm pretty clueless about bike maintenance, so I'm a little nervous about that option). Hm, so apparently I AM a dumbass where my bike is concerned but would prefer not to be called out on that by bike service shops. :)
I'd really appreciate any advice. Thanks!
Take it to Bike Rack. They are pretty good. Just remember usually people in bike shops that work on bikes have been around and doing this for probably a long time. So they might not actually want to make you feel like a dumbass, they just forget that they are talking to less knowledgable people. FYI- We have all felt like that one time or another.
I'd say do the clinic then take it in for a tune up. The clinic is probably designed to teach you daily maintenance (tire inflation, changing tubes, lubrication, cleaning). A tune will include things like derailleur and brake adjustments and checking the chain, chainrings and cassette for wear, most of which is not worth doing on your own unless you have a lot of time and the right tools. Do the clinic first so you'll be more familiar with the bike and its issues and can better explain what you want the mechanic to do. This should also help with the intimadation/communication issues. The more you know about the bike the better the experience will go.
I have had good experience with Revolution Cycles in Georgetown. I've never had any work done at the Bike Rack, but have spent a fair amount of time talking to the sales staff and mechanics and found them very helpful.
if your bike needs a complete overhaul as in everything is taken off and cleaned down to the frame and the bike is put back together to work like new expect to pay 200-300 for this work, but it will work great.
i personally suggest a conrad's in nyc for this work, its where i bring my bikes for the 1 time a year overhaul then i dont' have to do anything for the rest of the year on the bike except oil the chain and change flat tires when the need arises.
I am also looking to get a tune-up for my bike. I called Conte's and they offer two-levels of tune-ups (basic and more advanced). Does anyone have experience with tune-ups from Conte's or advice in general as to whether or not it is worth the extra $$$ for the complete tune-up? Thanks!
I also checked with Conte's and talked to them about the two levels. They recommended doing the higher level since it has been a while since my bike has been tuned up (however, I haven't ridden the bike very much so am not sure I would agree with that assessment).
Anyway, I ended up going to the Bike Rack -- they have just one rate for a tune up -- $89, which, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think is quite a bit cheaper than the less expensive Conte's tune up. Presumably, if the Bike Rack finds something terribly wrong that they need to fix it could be more I guess. They take tune-ups on a walk in basis and are working on about a two week turnaround, so I haven't gotten my bike back yet. I obviously don't have a lot to base it on yet, but I've been pretty happy with the Bike Rack so far. I'll post an update after I get my bike back and have something more objective to base an assessment on though.