Review: Menlo Velo Bicycles Tune Up

by on July 23, 2009

in consumer, consumer reviews

The Bitterness of Poor Quality remains long after the Sweetness of Low Price is forgotten!

Before last week, my idea of a bicycle tune up seemed ludicrous. In fact when I read articles in Mountain Bike and such, I always found myself questioning statements like “more responsive turning,” “snappier response,” and the such.

I think I must digress in my own opinion and say there just may be something to it. It’s like Twitter. How can a featureless, often crashing website get off the ground? I stand corrected.

So I needed a few things on my black and silver Gary Fisher bike and I went to Menlo Velo Bicycles to get them taken care of. I needed new tires, a new seat and what the heck, I thought I’d try a tune up for my beast. It’s been 2,021 miles since I started riding seriously in late ’07, so what the heck.

I didn’t realize what I was in for when I picked it up on July 16th, 2009!
New Tires:

We talked about what I’m going to be doing on the bike, and settled on some nice round tires. Rather than full on nobbies, I got tires that have a center ridge, helping the speed factor on road, while I have serious knobbies on the 1/3 to full on sides for when I’m cranking over in dirt to turn. They look pretty sharp, but then, anything new on my bike might. The old tires were bald and due to the speeds I take turns at, I was fishtailing a lot.

New Seat:

What do I know. I sit, it works.

Tune Up:

The tune up included going over the bike, looking over cables, tuning up the derailer / shifting system and what not.

They ended up replacing a stretched and frayed cable.

They replaced my bottom bracket with a sealed bracket.

They cleaned my bike.

In my mind, a month ago, I would have said whoopee. So what? Today, I’m a jazzed owner of what feels like a brand new, faster, sleeker Gary Fisher bike.

The tires have increased my speed, and damn, the bike IS repsonsive in turning. That’s just freaky to me that there is a difference.

They tuned my shifting system and it is so smooth now that I’m depressed I put up with all its idiosycnracies as long as I did. It shifts sharp, quietly and quickly. In otherwords, efficiently.

The tune-up also includes truing my spokes & cleaning my bike. I’ve seen people’s idea of clean, but I’ve never seen Menlo Velo’s idea of clean. My bike is so clean it looks brand spanking new, right down to the tiniest part. There is not one smudge of dust or dirt or grime anywhere on the bike. They are thorough.

They also trued my wheels and did whatever to get rid of my front wheel squeak when I used my front brakes.

End Result:

This beast is now fast. I accelerate faster, I can maintain about a 2 mph faster pace than before, I can turn harder and at speeds much faster than I thought the bike could do, my shifting is responsive to the lightest touch and overall I fell back in love with my bike. I would still be pretty happy if I only got the tune up, but zing! New tires, tune up and parts just come together to make the whole package.

The next time you need new tires, drop a few more dollars and get a tune up also. It makes the world of difference. If you’re in the neighborhood of Menlo Velo Bicycles, by all means, make sure you go there. They’re efficient, responsive and knowledgeable and are competitively priced for the area. Trust me, I called several places before settling on Menlo Velo.

Oh yea, it would seem that they do stand by their motto that covers their logo.

menlovelobicycles.com

433 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 327-5137

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