Monday, July 18, 2011

Bike Gallery

Okay, so there was a good long time that I just wasn't totally in love with the Bike Gallery. In fact, just to be quite honest, I disliked them quite a bit.

My dislike of this bike shop started way back in 2003 when Tom and I started shopping around for a road bike for me. I had spent the summer riding my mtn bike all over the place and I kept up my end of the deal by riding so many miles by the end of summer. So...I researched entry level road bikes and decide that I want a Trek 1200. Aluminum framed...Tiagra/105 components...aluminum alloy frame...perfect for a newbie dork such as myself. It would be a couple of more years before I would realize my inner bike geekness.

We checked out Bob's Bicycles on Division which is where we bought our Mtn Bikes way back when. Found the Trek that I was interested in and then decided to check out another shop or two and go from there. The other shop was the Bike Gallery on Sandy. After being "helped" by one of the associates and telling them what we were looking for, we started to wait. We waited for quite a while before we decided to hunt down the sales person and ask if they ever found the bike. It appeared that they had not found it and it also appeared that if they couldn't find the bike, then they didn't need to find us again to let us know that they DIDN'T have it at their shop.

Thus began my dislike of the Bike Gallery.

Fast forward to Cycle Oregon 2011.

On Day 1 of CO 2011 I noticed that my rear derailleur wasn't acting quite right and shifting took a little more than on tap on the shifters. It wasn't so much that I couldn't ride, but just enough that it was a little annoying. After awhile I mentioned to Tom that I should probably have my bike looked at and maybe event call Mark A. and see if he would have time to tune-up my Fuji. Now, I was aware that Bike Gallery had several mechanics available during the event and since the road was pretty mucky on Saturday I was pretty sure that I probably should at least have one of the guys lube my chain before we started out on Day 2.

So, I decided to have someone lube my chaing and look at my rear derailleur. May as well, they are available for such situations. So we moseyed over to where the Bike Gallery people were set up and had the Owner/ Grand Fromage himself take a look at my bike - that would be Jay Graves. What a super nice guy!

He started to look at my bike and after a couple of minutes asked if I had any problems riding my Then he asked if I had any accidents with this bike...NO...not on this bike at least. He appreciated me clarifying that no accidents on the Fuji...he was somewhat amused by that. Then of course, I had to tell him the raccoon story - which entertains all who hear it...

Well, he was a little surprised that I hadn't had more problems with a bent derailleur hanger - which I think may have been bent from day one, which would be why I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. So he got to work and got that fixed to his satisfaction and then went on to lube the chain and checked out the shifting. Still not quite we (me and the bike) got passed off to the other mechanic that was still on site...James.

James manages the Woodstock Bike Gallery and he checked out (inspected) what Jay had done and decided that he had done well...hehe...then after tinkering a little more decided that the cable and cable housing needed replacing. Not a bad idea since I have over 5000 miles on my Fuji and all the cables/housings were original. Turns out there was a kink of some sort in the cable AND there could have been some stuff wedged into the cable housing that would cause the shifters to not work that great.

So, I got a mini tune-up for $12 - They had to have spent at least 30 minutes working on my bike and with shop rates at a minimum of $40 per hour (depending where you go) I got a bargain of a price for a job that would have cost way more.

After a very positive experience, I'm thinking Bike Gallery isn't so bad after all.

Jay Graves working on my bike....James in the background wearing the beanie

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