Rebuilding a bike before the Race

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When I was a junior, I used to work at a bike shop. The night before a race, after work, I would essentially completely rebuild my bike. I would completely disassemble the bike, clean every bearing with solvent and then reassemble it. It took a long time. My legs were usually pretty dead from the task. But, that was what we all did. It was like a ritual. And we didn’t race nearly as often as nowadays.

I remember Kyle Smear, owner of Bikes BiKyle, a high end shop on the Mainline in Philly and PRO bike race team director, once telling me a great story. A financial trader called him one day and want to buy a complete Campagnolo Super Record Group. But the guy wanted it completely disassembled and cleaned of all the grease. He wanted to have this Groupo in his desk draw, at hand, so he could “play” with the parts while he was trading on the phone all day. He had cone wrenches and a T wrench, ect. so he could assemble and disassemble the parts over and over again. I thought this was so great. At the time, I would of loved to have a virgin set of Campy Super Record to just mess with.

Last night I was rebuilding the hubs on my XTR wheels. The reason I continue to ride Shimano wheels mainly is because the hubs are tunable. The have free bearings and last forever. I get so tired of screwing with people’s wheels that have these “sealed bearing” that are seized after just one muddy cyclocross. Anyway, there is something to be said about rebuilding hubs. I love it. Maybe it is just because of my early racing days, but it relaxes me and makes me feel like I’ve done everything possible to make my bicycle work correctly.

I’ve even like to do it if I was racing this weekend and was just sitting at a desk fiddling.

Kyle and Rip Scott with their team.

3 thoughts on “Rebuilding a bike before the Race

  1. KermitT79

    The ol “Motobecane” tool. A rubber mallet as I recall. A tool of first or last resort as I remember you telling me then. I bought my first bike there at Gran Sport with my allowance money and lawn mowing funds. A red Raliegh Gran Prix or something like that.


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