Service School, Year Two

In the late fall last year, the Bow Cyclist club prez Mark sent around an email asking if anyone was interested in taking service school courses at the shop. The idea was that if we got a group together it would be fun, but we could also get a discount. Lots of people chimed in, and we scheduled a two-day bike overhaul course for this weekend.

When I did this last year, it was just the instructor and myself. This year, there are seven people all tearing their bikes apart, and two instructors and Mark as well. This means that things are going more slowly, but that’s a good thing, as I am able to stop and digest the information before rushing on to the next task. Ben and Michael are the instructors and Sarah, Peter, Ed, Kevin, Tommy and Phil are in the course with me.

Today was all about taking everything apart and cleaning it. Everyone else tore their bikes down to the frame, but we left the hydraulic brake lines intact on my bike. Everything else went, though.

Mark and my stripped Roubaix

The pile of parts

It was a fun day and it ended with a beer. I got my shifter cables re-routed, which is a finesse job when they are routed internally through the frame. The major points that we discovered today were:

  • My wheels weren’t true: the rear was especially bad, and may have been the cause of my high-speed wobble last year, and
  • My rear brake pads were pretty worn, so I’m replacing them.

Other than that, there will be parts costs for the shifter cables and new bar tape. My tires I will replace in the spring,

The biggest drama of the day was probably Phil’s bike. It’s a 2005 Specialized Tarmac. It’s top-flight bike, but twelve years old. When they took the fork off, the bottom bearing came apart, and it wasn’t a part that Specialized sells any more. For a bit, it looked like Phil might have to scour the used market for the part, or buy a new frame. But Mark came to the rescue, and measured the bearing and discovered there was a Campagnolo part that would fit. All’s well that ends well.

Day two and everything will be back together tomorrow. Thanks Dad, for the Christmas gift! 🎄

Updated Sunday

Now day two is over…

It started pretty much the same as day one, with me shovelling the driveway so I could get the Tiguan out of the garage, and then heading to Bow Cycle. We started the day with wheel truing, which is a fiddly process to try to get all of the side-to-side wobbling out of the wheels. My rear was pretty bad, but the front not so much. After that was bleeding the hydraulic lines of my disc brakes. Derek did it, and I helped and watched. (That would be the same Derek who rode the 160 km MEC ride with me, Peter and Phil) It was messy and fiddly. It took until about 12:45 to get that done. I was now behind the rest of the class, who only had cable-pulled rim brakes to set up. I didn’t need to bleed them, but it was a good chance to see it done.

The shop. From left: Tommy, me, Ed, Sarah, Peter, Kevin and Phil

Phil, Peter, Tommy and I had lunch at Cadence Coffee, where we shot the breeze and talked about winter commuting, Zwift and the class. When we headed back, Mark worked with me to put my chain back on and set up my derailleurs. Once those were done, all that really remained was some cleanup and putting my new (red) bar tape on.

Two generations: a 2016 Roubaix (mine) and a 1996 Rocky Mountain (Kevin’s)

I was one of the last to finish, due to my brake bleeding delay. At the end, Tommy, Phil and I went upstairs and got our bikes weighed. Derek insisted, because he thought that Tommy’s bike might be lighter than his own, a Cannondale CAAD 10. The tale of the scale:

  • My 2016 Specialized Roubaix: 20.3 lbs
  • Tommy’s Cannondale Synapse: 19.4 lbs
  • Phil’s 2005 Specialized Tarmac with Dura-Ace hardware: 18.6 lbs.

Pretty amazing how light his bike is. He got it a long time ago, and it was top of the line then. I was guessing between 19 and 20 pounds for my bike. It’s not meant to be super lightweight, it’s meant for long distance comfort. I could theoretically knock weight off with lighter wheels, a carbon bar, lighter tires and crank. But it’s not really a priority. I weighed my Valence when I put the carbon wheels on it, and it weighs 21.5 lbs, so it’s 1.2 pounds heavier, even with the wheels. Probably could drop the difference pretty easily with some carbon fibre parts, but the aluminum frame will always be heavier than the carbon one on the Roubaix.

The class cost $150 plus tax. The parts I replaced or added (frame protectors, bar tape, brake pads, shift cables) added up to another $50 thanks to my continuing staff discount. It was a ridiculously good deal, considering the full teardown service like that costs hundreds of dollars. Next year, if we do it again, I’ll take Tammy’s bike and work on that. And I’ll replace her shifters and brakes with a set of Shimano 105. 🙂

It was great fun to see everyone. Makes me look forward to the spring. This was the view out my windscreen as I drove home from the shop. It’s hard to imagine that I’ll probably be riding in about two months, and the club will be starting up in three.

Snowy winter view

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