The cost of owning a mountain bike is more than the initial cash investment, especially if you want to consistently get top-level performance out of your favorite equipment. But how much maintenance is actually necessary to keep bikes running at their best?
As a former bike industry mechanic, I perform all the labor on our bikes aside from suspension damper services, which I have no interest in learning to perform. (for the time being) If I don’t own a tool for a repair, I’ll simply purchase it. Over the years, I’ve built up a well-stocked home shop with a wide selection of tools.
With our current shelter in place rules in effect, I’ve taken the opportunity to reorganize the garage — a work in progress — and our bikes have finally been receiving good amount of service that I had previously overlooked. It feels like I work on our bikes a lot – with an ample quiver of bike the amount of work required adds up – but I’ve never bothered keeping a real log of what repairs and maintenance actually being performed. I think I’ll add a dollar amount to each repair as well – at the end of the season, this should be an interesting figure to see. A local bike shop – Universal Cycles has shop labor broken up by product pages, so I’m going to use this link as the baseline to determine labor costs.
That ends now, and since I enjoy geeking out of this stuff, it stands to reason that if you’re reading this, you do as well, even if it’s just perspective. So I’m going to try something new with this piece, creating it in the form of a long-form blog post/log that I’m planning to update throughout the rest of the 2020 season.
Observation: with shelter at home, my bikes are finally getting some serious love.
5/9/20. Bike: Transition Sentinel. Install new XT 8160 4-piston brake. It turns out the new 12-speed models are indeed compatible with the 11-speed shifters – yay, i-Spec.
5/8/20. Bike Transition Sentinel. Replace broken spoke on Reynolds TRS carbon rear wheel and true wheel. While cassette is off bike, cleaned cassette and inspect for wear.
5/5/20. Bike: Santa Cruz Jackal (large) Install new Shimano XT front brake, custom shorten brake hose. Change grips. Shorten rear XT brake line.
5/2/20. Bike: Santa Cruz Jackal, size large. Added gears to the dirt jump bike: a 1×11 Shimano XT drivetrain, install chainguide, chainring, cassette, dial in guide spacing.
5/1/20. Bike: Santa Cruz Jackal, size small. Install tubes in wheels. Install saddle, rakes and grips.
4/30/20. Bike: Kona Honzo Carbon. Received new saddles from SDG (that are officially launching next month) and installed for product review testing.
Remove boost spacer on FSA wheels. Convert to QR 135mm for use on Kona Rove Ti CX bike. Install WTB CX tires, make tubeless. Convert front FSA Afterburner wheel to QR to work on carbon Kona fork. Replace Shimano rotor with Avid BB7-friendly rotor. Adjust brakes while considering replacing cable brakes with TRP Spyre calipers.
4/23/20. Grip swap on the Sentinel and Honzo carbon. Trying Spank Spike 33 grips on the hardtail.
Job 2: Install longer stem on the cross bike as well as a wheel and tire swap.
4/18/20. Bike: Santa Cruz Nomad 2c (2011) Install disc brake pads and bleed brake x1. Total cost: $85.00.
Disc brake pad replacement x2. Retail Cost of Parts: $44.00. Retail labor cost: $50.00
Front Shimano SLX Disc Brake Bleed. Retail labor cost: $35.00
4/16/20. Bike: Santa Cruz Nomad 2c (2011) Install seat and seat post.
4/15/20. Bike: Santa Cruz Jackal. Swap out pedals. Swap out freehub cog for lower gear to try out. Added a link to the chain.
Retail cost of labor: $30
4/14/20. Bike: Kona Honzo c. Install tubeless tires and swap wheels and cassette. Adjust and center XT disc brake calipers. Install fresh brake pads. True rear wheel. Adjust rear derailleur to fix indexing on swapped out wheels.
Retail cost of labor: $100
4/13/2020. Bike: BMC Road Machine. New tubeless tire installation, x2. Total retail cost: $210.00.
Retail cost of labor: $50.00
Retail cost of tires: $166
Install front and rear Vittoria Corsa Tubeless Ready Graphene 2.0 Tires.
4/13/2020. Bike Ragley Marley. Swap out dropper post for new model and clean to sell.
4/9/2020. Bike: 2018 Transition Sentinel. Repairs and work performed: Suspension fork lower leg service and new headset installation.
Job: Cane Creek 110 headset installation. Total Retail Cost: $180.00
Retail cost of labor: $20+
Retail cost of parts: $160
The OEM FSA headset has been developing a creak from time to time, that I’ve addressed by pulling it apart, cleaning it and regreasing seals. The bike has taken a few solid impacts due to a handful of cases when I was learning the flow of the Johnny Royale Jump Trail at Sandy Ridge.
Job 2: 50-hour lower leg service on Rockshox Lyrik fork. (fork actually has closer to 100 hours of ride time, so this is a long overdue service.
Bike Repair Shop Log Entries Begin: April 2020