We’re getting a lot of calls for “hybrid” bikes; it’s one of the hottest segments of the bike market this year. Some people may not really know what a “hybrid” bike is; let me explain. They’re basically a bike that combines the faster speeds of a road bike with the comfort of an upright riding mountain bike. This design came about in the 80’s when mountain bikes were all the rage but people found them too slow for longer trips on hard surfaces, so bike companies responded by making “hybrids” which combined the best of both worlds (at the time).
So, since new hybrid bikes are no longer available at bike shops throughout the country, consider making one out of your own old road/ touring bike, or buying an old road/ touring bike and having a bike shop like ours convert it for you! Here are a few examples of ones we’ve done over the years to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
The cost to convert depends on a lot of factors and each bike is so unique that it’s hard to generalize. The purple Gitane was a pretty simple, straightforward conversion that only involved changing out the handlebars and brake levers; that was about $95 for parts and labor. If we’d also moved the shifters up to the handlebars for ultimate comfort that would add another $40-50 or so depending on the shifters.
Give us a call, email or just stop in with an old bike and we’ll give it a full examination and give you an estimate for what it’ll take to convert it to something comfy like a “hybrid”. If you watch our pre-owned bikes for sale you might be able to find an old road/ touring bike for sale in the coming days/ weeks that we could convert for you.
For bike mechanics the stuck seatpost, essentially a seatpost that won’t budge for rust (or other reasons that get into chemical terminology I won’t bore you with), is one of the worst things to repair in the world of bike problems.
The famous and highly helpful article about removing stuck seatposts by Sheldon Brown (RIP) has long been referred to by mechanics to help with these awful things, and it’s helped us too over the years. However, our success rate was maybe 10% with 90% resulting in frames that were sadly scrapped as the seatposts generally get destroyed when attempting to remove them with most of the methods.
When we saw a video by RJ the Bike Guy showing how he made a contraption to remove stuck posts we were convinced that it was a tool we needed. So, we had a very skilled machinist make us our very own tool for removing these evil things and our success rate has now inverted to approx. 90% success!
Here’s a very short video showing off one of the first frames we saved with our new tool (before a couple modifications were done to improve it).
So, if you’ve got a bike with a stuck seatpost that you really really want to save and be able to adjust the seat height contact us for a quote. Just so you know, the BB (bottom bracket – the crank assembly that goes through the frame) needs to come out and oftentimes those are also rusted in with frames that have stuck seatposts, so it could be even more complicated/ expensive. Your frame also needs to have enough seatpost showing for us to drill 2 holes through it as the photos below show for us to use the tool successfully.
Like any bike shop in the country we’re extremely busy but without regular in-person classes we’re very short on skilled staff. There are great benefits to working here on campus, like no late evenings or weekends! We’ve got one of the largest and best equipped work shops in mid-Michigan. Stop by and check us out if you’ve never seen our shop. Oh, and we’re a gold-level Bike Friendly University, so you know biking at MSU is highly valued and encouraged!
We’re interviewing for two student positions (mechanic and clerical assistant).