Service School with Miranda

Today was the first day of two days of bicycle service school at Bow Cycle. Yes, the same complete overhaul course that I did in 2016 and in 2017. But this time, I took Miranda!

Hamid, Mark, Mike, Phil and Miranda. My bike in the foreground.

With her joining the club, I thought it would be a good idea for her to know how her bike works. It’s also a really reasonable cost for a complete top-to-bottom rebuild of her bike, which is six years old this year. I took my Giant Seek commuter bike, for the same reason. I tore down my Valence in 2016 and my Roubaix in 2017.

Miranda did very well, keeping up with everyone else. The funniest part was about mid-day, Colette (one of the ladies taking the course) was amazed when she came over and looked at Miranda’s workstation. She was being her usual orderly self, which is to say completely amazing.

Miranda’s ridiculously organized workstation

Both of our bikes have been torn down to nothing. We’ve started putting our stuff back together. She will have new bar tape and new brake callipers, as well as new cables and tiers. My bike is getting new cables, but also a new 1×11 shifter system (no front derailleur, and a wide-ratio 11 speed cassette at the rear. Look at this thing. It’s amazing. The lowest gear is bigger than my disc brake rotor!

New 11-speed cassette

We finish up tomorrow!


The course is now over, and not without any last-minute drama. Both Miranda and I were finished early. I was waiting for one of the instructors to have the time to take a look at my rear hydraulic brakes, which had gotten squishy late in the year. I replaced the original mechanical brakes in 2015. I didn’t think much of it, and at about four, Mike quickly bled the brake line. That was when he noted a leak, and persistent air getting into the master cylinder. It took until almost five to definitively say that the brake needed to be replaced, which meant that I actually finished late. Oh well. New brake on the rear.

It made me think about how much of this bike I have replaced. When I bought it in 2012, cost was a major factor. It was $600. But as with most bikes that you buy to a price point, the long-term costs add up. If you compare the bike in the photos in 2012 to this one, there’s a short list of what is still the same.

Is it still a 2013 Giant Seek 3?

The things still the same:

  • Frame
  • Seat post
  • Handlebar
  • Disc rotors
  • Fenders
  • Front reflector.

That’s not a long list.

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