The Golden Wrench

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

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ancient Mountain Bikes

It's been just over a year since our Eden Prairie store opened up, and we're finally getting to service the bikes that we knew were out there. In the meantime, we built, serviced, and got proficient with the new stuff, but we knew that, for example, Raleigh Technium bikes were hanging like stalactites from the rafters of several area garages. The conversation went like this:

Mechanic: "There are Raleigh Technium bikes hanging like stalactites from the rafters of several area garages. Just wait."

Other Mechanic, from behind a carbon road bike: "OK, I'll just wait."

Time Elapses...

Mechanic: "Should be any time now. Raleigh Technium. Glued together using glue. Al-you-min-eeee-yum tubes glued to steel lugs using glue, you know, to keep them together. The tubes and lugs I mean."

Other Mechanic, from behind a carbon mountain bike: "I'm getting excited. I can't hardly wait."

More Time Elapses...

Mechanic: "Perhaps while we wait we could do some online certification training for Raleigh Techniums."

Other Mechanic: "I'm not here. I went over to the grocery store to get some food a while ago, and I'm standing over in the self-checkout line checking myself out. Hey, check me out! Haha!"

But then the day came when all our dreams came true.

Mechanic: "Look, our dreams are coming true. There's a customer with a Raleigh Technium that has served as habitat for noxious insects since Czechoslovakia was touristy."

Other Mechanic, through a mouth full of grocery store treasures: "Furrrmmuurrr hummmurrr shruutthhunnn rruuuhhhtt uurrrrt."

Just to amuse ourselves, we stuck magnets on the so-called "Al-you-min-eeeeeeeee-yum" Raleigh Technium.

Hee hee hee! Marketing!

Now that we've been here for a while, people are beginning to bring all sorts of historically significant bikes in for repair. I speak for myself, but I like working on the old stuff. When I was a kid I used to catch big air and otherwise violate terms of manufacturer warranty on a 1988 Rockhopper with beartrap pedals, bull moose handlebars, Grippa tires, and Ron Wilkerson signature ODI Mushroom grips. I remember bending the fork on a motorcycle jump. I also remember that my father was somewhat less impressed with me than I was.

Nowadays I smile on the inside when customers bring their ancient machines in and ask "Do you still fix these?"

I love to say "It's not even broken properly!"