img_6895.JPGThis weekend I took the Complete Overhaul class at Bow Cycle.  In ten hours over two days I completely disassembled my bike and put it back together under the watchful eye of their master mechanic, Clint.  And unlike when I’ve done this at home, this time I had no parts left over at the end!

There were five of us in the class, and I was surprised at the mix.  I thought there’d be a couple of commuters like me and a couple of hard-core off-road cyclists.  Actually I was the only commuter, and most of the others used their bikes for a sport I’d never even heard of: downhill cycling.  They go to COP (or other ski hills when there’s no snow), take the lift up and ride down.  So they need really super suspension but no low gears. 

 Two were kids with money to burn.  They were probably around 14-15, and one of them had the most expensive bike in the room, over $4000, and during the overhaul he decided to replace his perfectly good top-of-the-line front fork & suspension with another over-the-top-of-the-line model, just because he could.

Then there was Ryan, the hutterite teacher with a $3000 bike.  You didnt know hutterites bought this level of bike, did you?!  Well actually this guy wasn’t a hutterite himself, just taught school (K-9) at a hutterite colony outside of Lethbridge.  I don’t know if hutterites buy nice bikes or not.  Ryan also had money to burn, I think because there just isn’t much to spend it on where he lives (and he gets all his eggs and milk for free).  While we were in class his wife was upstairs buying a nicer bike than the one he was working on.

Clint was a great teacher, obviously enjoyed what he did and had been doing it for years so he gave us all the insider tricks and cheats.  We took apart, cleaned, lubed, adjusted and put back together the headset, brakes (my caliper brakes and everyone else’s disk brakes), chain, pedals, bottom bracket, derailleurs, rear cassette, freewheel, front and rear hubs, and trued our wheels.  And we learned what all those words mean.

The course cost $150, which is the same price we’d pay them to do the overhaul themselves, but besides learning the skills ourselves we also got a book, 15% off all parts and tools for the rest of the year, free additional tune-up work by Clint Sunday morning (so we wouldn’t fall behind!), and most importantly, permission to call Clint anytime!  Definitely well worth the money.

Bow Cycle likely felt it was well worth the money too, at least in my case, because I spent another $350 on clipless pedals, biking shoes, a pump, and other supplies. 

And the weather’s looking good this week, so I’m ready to ride!