Most people are so happy to buy a good bike that they forget about a very important part of buying a cycle – your bike mechanic. Sooner or later you will need one unless you maintain your bike yourself. If you buy from a store, ensure they have a repair/maintenance wing. Stores are more partial to fixing bikes they sell – especially in Europe with the owner/operator running the bike shop. If you buy online than its up to you to find a trusty bike mechanic.
The more you ride – especially on badly paved roads full of holes and bumps – the higher the chance that screws will get loose and you will start hearing noises…..hello mechanic. The older the bike, over 20,000 kilometers , the more often you will need assistance – not road side – but in between rides – you will get to know your mechanic well. He/she will try to sell you a new bike – maybe a good idea – depending on your finances.- as the repair costs mount.
Always ask for an estimate before the work is done. You will be surprised by how many riders are so eager to get back on the saddle they forget basic economic sense and pay whatever – hey I am riding again – who cares about the bill – until the time you feel “had”. Most riders assume the mechanic will do a good job and will have done what they were supposed to do. A good mechanic will take time to explain what has been done and give you some tips on what you need to watch out for. If you don’t feel that the price is right or the bike is performing– bring it up with the store – check out other stores/ mechanics – look for online reviews… Your enjoyment and safety are at risk.
Have a great ride!