I just picked up a new bike from the folks over at B&L Bikes.
I really like their shop. I’ve been to a number of shops in the area, bike shops are kinda like cheeses, there are a lot of different kinds. Some are a little smelly…
It can be hard to find a shop where the people know what they’re talking about but at the same time don’t come off as elitist. Or maybe there’s animosity between the mechanics and the sales staff. Or people just don’t know what the ef they’re talking about and just make shit up instead of admitting they don’t know.
When I was setting up my Zipp wheels for cross, I was having trouble with the cassette body having a lot of drag. On high speed descents, my chain was kicking back on me when I tried to freewheel, and when your going 50 mph down a long hill in a big group, it’s a very disconcerting event. I still didn’t know the B&L guys that well. I went to another shop near me that’s sort of a high end tri shop because I figured they had a ton of Zipp wheels and would probably take a quick look at it and be like, “Oh yeah, we see that a lot with those hubs, just do X,X, or X and they’ll run like a champ.”
Instead, the guy spun my cassette once and was like “What’s wrong with it? It feels fine to me.” I mentioned my previous issue and he just said they were supposed to have a little drag and it was normal.
I don’t really dress like I ride a bike when I’m not riding a bike and I’ve worked in shops before, so I can usually tell when I’m getting blown off.
I took my toys over to B&L. the first mechanic I met, Gordon, gave my cassette the same spin as the other guy and was like “Hey, do you have the 10spd spacer on the cassette body? You would have seen it… unless you took your cassette of a Dura Ace wheel or something because then it wouldn’t be there.”
Ha! There was the X. Just like that. I had taken the cassette off a DA wheel and had no idea I needed a little .5 mm spacer behind my cassette. Gordon threw one on in about 2 minutes, spun the cassette again, and drum roll please… pure buttah.
Oh yeah, the bike? It’s sick. 2009 Tarmac SL Pro with SRAM Red. I don’t know what it weighs, but it ain’t much. Size 61.