The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Please try not to get oil on the carpet

Freewheel sent three representatives to the Park Tool Tech Summit in Chicago last weekend to take part in what proved to be a great learning experience. Eight major brands came together to offer technical seminars on their latest products to a motley group of mechanics, service managers and bike shop owners.

We attended six seminars in two days and got our hands dirty in everyone of them. We dug into hydraulic brake systems from Avid, Hayes and Shimano; we pulled apart suspension components from Fox, Manitou and Rock Shox; we put wrenches on Campagnolo wheels, shifters and drive trains; we even got to absorb pearls of wisdom from the legendary John Barnett.

Along the way we had a chance to catch up with some folks you may recognize from the blog archives. Here we are with Nick from Fox Racing Shox, who stopped by Freewheel back in August:

...and here are with Andy from Hayes/Manitou, who we visited in Milwaukee last July:

The other great part of events like this is meeting and talking with other bike mechanics from all over the country to compare notes, trade stories and share a couple beers. And inevitably we bump into people from other bike shops here in the Twin Cities--imagine the Sharks/Jets interactions in West Side Story but without the knives and a lot less dancing, and in the end we manage to become friends.

In these two days we learned a ton, got to work on a bunch of cool new components and had a blast. And the best part is that the primary beneficiary of all this is you, the customer. Stop by and give us a chance to put our knowledge and skills to work.

Trivia!! Now's your chance to attend an intensive training session--the first person to answer all four questions below will win a full-ride scholarship to Freewheel's Bicycle Maintenance Class ($100 value)!

1) What is the name of Rock Shox's new hydraulic remote lockout lever?

2) New 32mm Fox suspension forks use their FIT damper--what does the acronym "FIT" stand for?

3) What cycling industry giant invented the quick release skewer?

4) DOT hydraulic brake fluids are rated in part by their wet and dry boiling points--what do the terms "wet" and "dry" refer to in this case?
Edit: 9:51pm 1/23/10 The first person with the correct answer wins.
1/24/10 4:13pm We have a winner. Thanks for playing.