Street Bicycle Reconditioning

In my introduction I explain my humble beginnings. The main concern of Tail Wind Shoppe was to offer high quality service and started out with the ‘Full Reconditioning’. Why? Madison Wisconsin in the early 80’s was said to have more bikes per person than anywhere else in the country. I wonder if that were ‘working’ bikes? Get them in here and begin their journey of life from that day on fully tuned and then provide a cost effective ‘Tune-Up’.

I figured that there were at least 600,000 bicycles in Dane County, where Madison is nested. As I traveled on my bike around town, I noticed all the instant oil change places there were to service the auto industry. Why was there not a ‘Tune Up Clinic’ for bicycles in Madison? Hence; the beginning of Tail Wind Bicycle Shoppe.

The Shoppe was to run efficient by having a small area to work in and run by appointment, a method that is used by many other industries. I am a hard-core commuter and understand the importance of fast turn-around. All service in the Shoppe is done by appointment. This allows work to be done in 24 hours or less.

First, I wanted to establish the definitive of full bicycle overhauls. Parts were to be cleaned by a parts cleaner. This is where the ultrasonic cleaner came in. Its ability to clean begin from high frequencies sent through a cleaning sulution causing billions of little bubbles to form and vibrate. These bubbles then break down dirt and oils that accumulate on the drive train components, brakes and bearings that can be disassembled from the bike and fit in the cleaner.

After the parts are cleaned, they are lubricated and set aside for reassembly. The remaining parts are then cleaned in a bath of soapy water. Tires are given an ample coating of rubber protectent (non-silicone) to keep the Sun’s UV rays from breaking down the rubber. Reassembly allows full inspection of the bike frame and fork for integrity. Wheels are trued and given a reading of tension with a Wheelsmith spoke tenison-meter.

Ready for the customer!

Listed below is pretty much the account of my method and what is included with the full reconditioning service that is offered here:

  • Cables and housing removed.
  • Chain, derailleurs, and freewheel removed and put in cleaner. Derailleur jockey pulleys are removed, cleaned and bushing or bearings lubricated.
  • Brakes removed and put aside.
  • Stem with handlebar and all remaining parts removed from the frame. This includes the disassembly of the headset and bottom bracket.
  • Bottom bracket (non-sealed) and headset parts that can be removed from the frame are then cleaned in the parts cleaner. All remainder of the parts are then cleaned in the parts cleaner.
  • Chain rings are removed from the crank set and then scrubbed in the sink, reassembled after the chain ring bults are cleaned and lubed.
  • Frame and fork cleaned and waxed with automotive wax.
  • Wheel bearings are overhauled and then the wheels cleaned. Wheels trued
  • Pedals overhauled if the labor is justified. A lot bikes these days have plastic pedals and labor charge is $40 for this service. New plastic pedals are around $8.
  • Reassembly of the bike with new cables and housing. Housing is non-compression type for shifting and standard for brake. Housing has a liner. Cable and housing kits offered from 3rd party venders are available for an additional cost. Bicycles with shifter and brake cables that have been wrapped under the handle bar tape will not be removed unless indicated by the owner and new tape will be installed for an extra charge.
  • The bicycle is test-driven and then the owner is contacted if a date and time were not established when the bicycle was dropped off.

All this for only $175 for a 10 speed bike. Three speeds and single speeds are priced per item serviced. (Headset, bottom bracket, etc. Bearings overhauled individually are charged $25/bearing set. During a reconditioning charge is $20/bearing set).

Reconditioning of a single speed bicycle includes:

  • Headset Overhaul
  • Bottom Bracket Overhaul
  • Front Wheel Bearings
  • Rear Coaster Hub Overhaul
  • Frame Cleaned
  • Tires Cleaned and Protected With Rubber Protection
  • Wheels Trued
  • Chain Cleaned