Good points all...
Let me preface the following remarks with this: I'm a 'retired' bike
mechanic, a grad of United Bicycle Institute, 2 years at the Pine
Street Pro shop in seattle, 4 years at the Conn College mechanic and 6
years at Velocipede in Lansing. I've seen pretty much everything,
done pretty much everything you can do to a bike, more than once.
Tune ups: In general, yes a tune up is a great thing to do. If you
are not mechanically inclined having a good mechanic give the bike a
once over annually is a very good thing. The money is well spent, but
like a car - if you neglect it for too long the list of "needed"
repairs can get rather extensive.
Chains and cogs wear together, and the lube you choose to use will
determine its lifespan when coupled with miles and rider power. Never
ever EVER change one without changing the other... Okay there is one
exception. If you change the chain before it wears at all the
cassette will last a long time, but you need to change the chain at
about 1/3 its usable life. Oh and never ever use a degreaser on the
chain... long story... i've said enough as it is
Cables. The type of shifting system will determine how much
worn/corroded cables will impact it. Poor shifting could be sticking
bad cables or just mis-adjustment. And as with the chains and cogs -
cables should generally be changed WITH the housing.
brake pads - kinda no brainer... if they are worn replace...
All this can add up to a significant amount of money if they've been
neglected. I have not yet had a chance to stop in to either Prov Bike
or the Hub but i hear good things about those places. I have
encountered shops that will reccomend replacing parts that aren't
really needed. I have encountered more customers though that refuse
to have NEEDED parts replaced.
And unless given the hearty and warm go ahead from the bike shop...
don't bring your mail/internet ordered parts in to have them install
and to add: my bike wax of choice is Lemon Scented Pledge...
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