Viewing entries tagged
service

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Book Your Tune-Up Online! The Best Thing To Hit The Internet Since Cat Videos

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People really like the Internet, and since we're thinking it might be sticking around, we're making it useful. Now, you can book your next tune-up with CDC on the world wide web. 

You're busy. And you like riding bikes. It's only natural that you'd like to know that when you drop off your bike, you're going to be at the top of the list to actually get said bike into a repair stand, tuned up, and back into your loving arms as soon as possible. We're making that easier by taking something that's famous for cats and viral videos and making it a tool in your bike repair experience. 

That's right, now you can book your service online, right here. The new system from Bike Bookings lets us be more efficient and more organized because we know what's coming in the door and when, getting us a head start on orders and giving us a better idea of what we can finish. 

Everything you need to tell us, you already know! The make and model of the bike, your contact info, and any notes about the repairs needed all make the process quick and simple. And with rainy, wet, and grimy riding on the way this spring, being quick and efficient with help make sure we get more of our customers in, out, and back on the trail. 

Don't forget, this is the last Thursday night Shifting Clinic before we take a pause over Spring Break. Learn more about shifters, cables, derailleurs, and all things drive train from Bob from 6-7pm. You can even bring your own bike and we'll show you what to pull, poke or pride for silent, smooth and buttery shifting. We'll also take a look at how to identify worn parts and how to judge when they might need to be replaced. 

Get your bike in before Melting Mann and Dirty Thirty, and you'll be riding a fresh bike for any event this spring! 

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Bike Stuff We Love This Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is almost here. If you're lucky enough to love someone who loves bikes, you know that getting flowers and chocolates isn't really going to cut it. Flowers die, chocolate disappears, and disappears quickly. Instead, we've picked out a few things that'll spice up your Valentine's Day and make your bike riding better, too. 

3 Toes Threadworks Top Tube Bag. Okay, here's how you give your sweetheart some chocolote. Fill up these hand-made top tube bags with something sweet, and once you're headed out for a ride, you can fill it with snacks, your phone, or whatever you want to have close at hang. 

Level 3 Tune-Up. February is the prime-time for service specials, and we've got the Bike Love offer going strong. Take 20% off a Level 3 service, and remember, nothing says "I care" like tightening someone's hubs for them. Faster turnaround time is just an added bonus! This time of the year is a great time to get your well-ridden fat bike back in shape, or get your gravel, road, or mountain ready for spring in just a few weeks. 

A Fat Bike. Yeah, this is how you really show you love someone, or how you get out of the doghouse for getting them a crockpot for Christmas. With in-stock fat bikes up to 35% off right now and plenty of winter left to make the most of one, it's the perfect chance to go fat. Rocky Mountain and Kona make some incredible bikes, and once you throw a leg over one, you'll get it. You can see our current stock list here. 

Have a great week, a Happy Valentine's Day, and we'll see you on the trails! 

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Bike Love: 20% Off Service Special Through Valentine's Day!

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We're rolling into Februry, the month of love, passion, and Fat Bike Nationals. 

It's also a great time to get your bike tuned up. Whether you're trying to dial your winter rig back into shape after snow miles or salty commutes or getting your fair-weather bike ready for spring, February is perfect. It's a quicker turnaround, and now, we're making it even better with 20% off our Level 3 Tune Up! 

-Washing crankset, chain, cassette, front and rear derailleur in an industrial parts cleaner

-Also includes installation of new chain and cassette
-Bike wash
-True and tension wheels
-Adjust front and rear hubs
-Check and adjust Bottom bracket
-Check and adjust headset bearings
-Adjust brakes and gears
-Wipe down the frame and lube chain.
-Check and tighten all bolts
-Check and inflate tires

There's plenty to get ready for this month, too. Of course, we're really excited about USA Cycling's Fat Bike Nationals on February 10, followed by Winter Rush at Cannonsburg the following day. It's a full weekend of fat bikes, and such a cool opportunity to bring our cycling community together in the dead of winter. 

And it looks as though winter is coming back, too. After two weeks of unseasonably warm weather, there is snow in the forecast and consistently cold temperatures that should make our weekend of racing a big success, as well as our daily riding much more fun. If you're still looking to get out on a fat bike this winter, you're in luck. We have all 2017 fat bikes up to 35% off, with even a select few 2018 models on discount as well. In the snow and all summer long, you'll love your Rocky Mountain or Kona fat bike, and we've got some sweet rigs to get you out there. 

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No Tubes, No Problems: Tubeless Tires and YOU!

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Tubeless is everywhere; from fat bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes, fewer and fewer riders rely on tubes when they ride. Believe it or not, just how tubeless rims and tires work is a bit mystifying. Don't worry! Bob breaks it down here, and he'll show you how it works in real life at this week's tubless clinic! 

What makes a rim tubeless ready?

A tubeless ready rim will have a sidewall with a hooked design, which helps catch and hold the bead. Older rims will appear rounded without a hook shape. The shape of the rim will force the bead up snug against the outer hook, and will have a deep section in the middle to make it easier to remove.

The most reliable tubeless systems are those marked UST (Uniform System Tubeless standard). Rims and tires must meet a certified standard to use the UST label. A UST tire will have a square shaped bead to match the UST rim. Inside the tire carcass will be a butyl liner, basically inner tube material formed into the inside carcass of the tire body. This extra material does make the tire heavier compared to non-UST tires.

UST rims will have either no nipple holes in the rim tire bed, or these holes will be completely sealed. The UST rim bead seat is designed to accept and hold the beads of the UST tires. UST tires can be used on a UST rim without tire sealants. The most common brand to use UST rims/tires is Mavic.

You must use a tubeless ready/UST tire and rim for the appropriate seal.

Best tubeless rim tape?

The best rim tapes will vary from person to person. In the end, I think that any company that produces specific tubeless rim tape will work just fine. I prefer a more pliable tape when setting up a new wheel. My preferred tape isn’t actually tape at all. I love using the Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex rim strip. Made using a proprietary polymer blend, Caffélatex Strip has very high mechanical strength and resistance to punctures. It’s also very stable from a chemical standpoint and cannot be damaged by water or sealant. They are also reuseable. Because they have don’t have a memory, changing the strips from different wheels have very little effect on the sealing properties. This method is by far my choice when setting up fat bike wheels. Because of the exposed spoke nipples, using tubeless tape can be very tricky to get a proper seal. With the Caffelatex strips, they set flush to the rim with very few imperfections. If I had to use tape, I’d either use the Velocity tape or Stans. The Stan’s tape is slightly more pliable than the Velocity, to help reduce creasing in the tape. However, I don’t feel as the Stan’s tape holds up as well as the Velocity tape.

Tubeless tire choices?

Pretty much every company in the bicycle tire industry offers some sort of tubeless tire. In my experiences, if a company makes a tubeless specific rim and tire, using the same brand for both applications is ideal. Obviously, you can mix and match but the easiest tubeless setups are when I use the same company for rim and tire choices. Mavic’s UST system, in my opinion, is the least problematic, and the easiest to set up.

A very useful tip when setting up and new tire to a rim is to unpackage the tire and lay it flat on the floor for a few hours to let the tire take shape. New folding tires can be a pain to set up, because of the way they’re packaged.

Tubeless sealant?

There are a ton of sealant options. I really like the Orange Seal, but they do have a tendency to clog the valve stems far more often than other sealants. Orange Seal Sealant consists of multiple sizes and shapes of solid particles or what they call "nanites". When a puncture occurs, the nanites quickly seal the hole keeping the air in the tire and you rolling down the trail or road. They mix the nanites with their proprietary latex sealant to co-exist with the nanites and prevent added clotting.

The Stan’s sealant (preferrably the Extreme sealant) works well for most conditions. Instead of the “nanites” Stan’s uses something more similar to fine grit sand. I think that it dries up more quickly than other companies. I also feel that I have to add a decent amount more during the initial set up than other brands.

Our preferred sealant here is the Serfas Tire Medic sealant. It works very similarly to Orange Seal and Stan’s, the one exception is that the clotting particle is more similar to tiny fibers.

Tubeless valve stem?

There are a billion different companies making tubeless valve stems. I’ve not found any that really work better than others. The only exception that I’ve found is the Mavic UST valves when used with the Mavic rims. Velocity valve stems work very well as long as the inner channel of the rim allows for proper fitment. DON’T FORGET TO TIGHTEN THE LOCKNUT!

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James Cleans Up: Muc-Off For A Clean Bike

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Late fall and early winter here in the mitten can mean all sorts of different weather in a short time. Sometimes times that random weather can leave your favorite riding surface a little wet which can make your favorite bike pretty messy. That sucks. Good news is it doesn't have to stay that way! It can shine like new again after a good cleaning with my favorite line up of Muc-Off products! Check em out!

I like to start off with the bike cleaner so I get all the big nasty stuff off the bike before moving on to the more intricate parts. Give the whole frame a good misting of water; it just needs to be damp but not sopping, then give it a spray with the magical pink stuff. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then give it a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush or something of the sort. Then, rinse off the bike. At this point, you can either let it air dry or wipe it down, dealer's choice.

Now that the frame is done, it's time to tackle that gross drivetrain. This time, you start right off spraying that wonderful fluorescent green stuff all over the chain, chainring, cassette, and jockey wheels. Gotta let it sit a couple minutes again then start in with whatever cleaning brush you prefer to scrub out that grime. Give it a rinse and wipe down with a rag and you're ready for the final phase, lubing that chain. My preference is the ceramic lube but have been known to use the wet or dry kind from time to time.

Now that the bike is looking good as new it's time to go get it dirty all over again! For the right sprays and lubes, stop by and we'll show you what we use every day in the shop. Cleaning your bike is the best way to get more life out of parts and to avoid expensive replacements and repairs. It helps you keep an eye on wear and tear, and it's a great use of five minutes whenever you ride.  

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Welcome Back, Bob!

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Greetings!

I’m Bob.

I started out riding bikes like most kids.  At first just around my neighborhood as a mode of transportation. I grew up in the small town of Allendale where there isn’t much to do. To entertain myself I started making jumps in my parents’ driveway and yard. It wasn’t until I was fifteen when I started getting hooked on BMX bikes. A friend from school raced at the old BMX track in Wyoming and around that time started making bigger jumps. Every day after school, we’d get together and ride our bikes until it was too dark to see. 

My first bike shop job was in 1998 where I started at Village Bike Shop. I was fresh meat and would do the jobs that included tasks no one else wanted to, but I also did new bike assembly and sales. 

I eventually moved to Cycle Therapy in the Standale area.   It was there that I started to really get involved with more of the service side of bicycles.  I learned a ton from Scott, and many of the things I learned there are still necessary for the repairs I do today.

In late 2011, I heard that Nate was going to open a shop in the downtown area, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. We got together and figured out a plan. The shop opened in February of 2012 and provided service to the downtown Grand Rapids area.  In February 2013 we parted ways on good terms.

I started at Alger Bikes in March of 2013 where I became the service manager. Since bikes were getting more and more technologically advanced, I decided I wanted to learn to do everything myself. To me, bikes should not have to be sent out to have work done when services can be done locally.

In January 2015, I attended a week long, intense schooling at SRAM Technical University in Colorado Springs, CO. It was there that I earned certification in the service of all SRAM, AVID, and RockShox parts. I now have the knowledge to diagnose, overhaul, and tune all of their components. Repairs can now be completed in-house which not only saves time on service work, but also makes it so I am able to bond with customers and make sure their bikes are working perfectly.

I also developed a great understanding of the Lefty fork. I pushed for several years to become a Lefty service center. Although the service center never came to fruition, we were able to service all our customer’s forks in-house.

After nearly 5 years, I’m back at Central District Cyclery, which is where I met my wonderful wife Emily in 2012. We got married in 2014 and reside in the Midtown neighborhood of Grand Rapids with our son, Miles, and our two insane dogs, Frank and Ramona. We all love riding bikes as a family, especially at our favorite vacation spot — the Leelanau Peninsula. 

I love riding bikes and want others to enjoy it as well.  I primarily ride BMX and commute to work, with some single track thrown in there for fun. I started riding DJ bikes a little over a year ago and having been having a lot of fun doing that, when I’m not crashing super hard.

It is because of this love and knowledge for bicycles that I treat every repair as if it were my own.  I assure you that the quality of work that comes out Central District Cyclery is one of the best, and I aspire to make it the destination of service work in the Grand Rapids area.

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Meet The Crew: Alex Voorman, Service Manager.

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There are some new, handsome faces around Central District Cyclery these days, and before things get to hectic with summer, we wanted to take a second to introduce everybody. Our crew are experts in the business, but more importantly, they're just great guys. First up, Service Manager and total Leo, Alex Voorman! 

Name: Alex Voorman
Age: 33 years old
Title: Service Manager
Astrological Sign: Leo
Style: Baggies over top of spandex

1. What was your first bike? Tell us about it. 

My very first bike was a blue and white BMX bike from Montgomery Ward that my parents bought me for my 5th birthday, and I really don't remember much about it.  My first proper, memorable, bike was a 1997 GT Timberline with awesome blue/black flame decals.  In 1998 I got my first suspension fork (a Manitou something or other) with the stipulation that I install it myself.  I don't recall having tools beyond a hacksaw, screwdriver and hammer, but somehow I got it together and rode it for years without dying.  

2. Where is your favorite place to ride in West Michigan?

My favorite trail is Fort Custer, which was the first trail I ever rode and is still my favorite.  It's long, challenging, and has more features than my second favorite, Yankee Springs.  

3. What's the one piece of equipment, one tool, or one piece of tech you recommend to everyone?

A good floor pump is invaluable.  Properly inflating your tires is like remembering to tie your shoes - it's not 100% necessary but not doing it makes things needlessly difficult.  

4. How would you describe Central District Cyclery? What's the vibe like?

I haven't been at CDC for long, and I'm sure my impression will evolve with time, but I've always liked the small shop feel and the diverse clientele that has me working on everything from local commuters and neighborhood bikes to high dollar racers and everything in between.

5. How long have you been riding bikes? What got you into it?

I originally got into cycling as a kid through my dad who is himself a lifelong avid cyclist.  I fell off a bit in college but rediscovered cycling as an adult while living in Chicago, where I discovered that it was far and away the fastest, cheapest way to get around town,  

6. If you could pick any 2017 bike that's out or coming out, what would it be? 

The Kona Unit.  I've got a thing for single speed and plus size tires.  Throw a suspension fork and dropper post on there and you've got a winner.  

7. Do you have a beard? Why or why not?

I do have a beard, both because it's warmer in the winter, and because I'm a walking stereotype of a bike mechanic.  

8. Favorite beer? (There ARE wrong answers to this)

I can't commit to a single favorite beer.  How about favorite brewery?  Shorts is my pick for favorite brewery.  

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Love Your Bike?

Love Your Bike?

We do.

We believe in challenging the status quo. Introducing our commitment to customer service:
48 hour turn around on Tune-ups. Simply come in and schedule one of four levels of tune-up service. 

During the Month of March, upgrade a level 2 tune-up to a level 3 tune-up, which includes bike cleaning.        

Just ask at drop-off.  

*Upon drop off please allow time for us to assess your bicycle. Need special timing? Call and schedule a drop off that works with your schedule.