Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mr Schmid

I always feel nervous if my loved ones are away from home, so I was glad to get my Triathlon bike back from the menders today.

There's a new bike shop in town. It's just by the Cercanías train station in Pozuelo. It's called "Mr Schmid" after a trail in Cercedilla which is where their first shop is. Interestingly, they rent out up to quite fancy Trek bikes with double suspension. I thought I would put them to the test by seeing if they could fix up my Giant Trinity Advanced bike, which is about as complicated as bikes get. The rear brakes hadn't been working at all well lately - I noticed that the brake levers didn't return to their initial position - and I'd also noticed some disconcerting clanking noises coming from the nose cone every time I stood up on the pedals and started to torsion the handlebars. I asked them to be honest about their capacity to fix it and, at first they seemed a little unsure, but they suggested I left it there for the chief mechanic to look at on Wednesday.

I got a call today to say that it was ready to pick up so I ran down to the shop (literally) with a pair of cycling shoes in a backpack for the ride home. When I got there they explained that there had been a screw missing in the nose cone assembly - it's hidden from view by a rubber plug and probably worked itself loose and fell out onto the road. They also found that the brake cables had not been properly fitted in the first place: as the cables go inside the frame, there is a wire which runs through a plastic collar. The plastic collar wasn't correctly fixed to the frame so, after a while, the cables slipped further into the frame. They told me that I could also do with changing the brake pads for cork ones, which supposedly brake better on carbon surfaces. I told them that I wasn't planning on braking too much...

To be honest, I'm thinking that it was very lucky that I didn't take part in the ICAN Marbella Triathlon, because I would have been doing some crazy descents, going faster than most with my weight and my aerodynamic position. Not having reliable brakes could have been a big problem. Also, all the climbing would have meant a lot of standing up on the pedals and twisting the handlebars - perhaps the only screw that was holding the nose cone in place would have also worked itself loose and who knows what might have happened then.

Anyway, it seems that Mr Schmid have passed with flying colours. I'm very glad to have a LBS (Local Bike Shop) that I can trust to tend to my baby. Now I know where to go if I have any more doubts like, for example, how to pack the bike in a bike box, which is a little problem I hadn't got around to trying to solve yet.

1 comment:

  1. Have you flown with your bike yet? I'm bringing my Kuota Kharma to the States from Taiwan and don't know how to manage that yet. Any advice?