Put The Books Away, Time For A Pop Quiz

All right class, you'll need a #2 pencil a piece of lined note book paper and for those of you attending a Christian University, a calculator. Unless it's a Christian Science University then you might know arithmetic but certainly nothing of what we call Science.
Draw a line down the center of the paper, on the left side of the paper write 'this' then on the right side of the paper write 'or this'.
 Okay, ready? Click on the 'this' then the 'or this' make note of the product and price in the appropriate column then add the totals for each column. Now begin.

this   /  or this

this   /  or this

this   /  or this  plus this

this   /  or this  plus this

this   /  or this  plus this

this and this  /  or this plus this

Answers are due Monday morning. Please show your work and good luck class.


Whats With This Shit (product review)

I wanted a 29er single speed mountain bike. I had 2, 26" single speeds. So all I needed was a 29er frame, 29" wheels and a 29er fork. Really there's not much left to get after that and whatever that was, was hanging off the one 26" SS I never rode.
The next step was to find the frame. I knew what wheels I wanted,  Hive Hubs laced to Stans rims. For the fork, find something as cheep as I could on Ebay. Some Rock Shox POS works for me. Fill it full of air and dial it down to just enough give so my old ass wrists don't get beat to shit.
The frame though had to be something different and something I felt wasn't bullshit. I wanted custom but only had an off the rack budget. I like weird, cause I'm weird like that, and remembered a site I cruised a couple years back as I was searching Internet Porn. Then I was talking to a friend (yes, I have one) and out of the blue he mentioned rear drop outs he saw on a single speed that were eccentric (or whatever) instead of the bottom bracket. So the two of us stood there geeking out on crank torque, BB stability and wheel adjust ability until we both had huge boners then accidentally crossed swords having to awkwardly walk in different directions. This wouldn't have been a big deal if we weren't on the convention floor of the NAHBS.
Sooo,,, after getting the hell out of there I headed home to search some more bike porn then look for a place in the US to buy this frame. I wasn't about to send my hard earned cash strait to Canada, I needed a middle man. There's no telling what kind of terrorist activities are going on north of the border and you have to admit this looks a little sketchy.
 Now the search was on but not long. Typing only 'misfit ps' into google I got the thumbs up.
A short email led to other emails that led to some Pay Pal'ing that led to me getting the wheels laced and the diSSent AL Raw Frame from the thumbs up guy. The build went great but with no gears and derailleurs and crap what build wouldn't. This bike is 'point and pedal,' an unfair advantage. Very light and stupid strong, I'm trying to break it. Climbs big with a 32x21 and slams the down hill.
The other 26" single speed I have? Gave it to the nephew until he gets the cash for some Misfit Shit.


Philippe Gilbert Scores Again

All right all right I get it, you've been having some great luck lately. Freaking guy has been drilling it AND doing quite well on the bike also. Hot wife, hanging with the Prince of Belgium, winning Classics. Plus it would appear his pee is clean.


I Applied For The Job

Date: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 8:05 AM
Subject: mechanic position

Came across this add in BRAIN and although it would appear a little late I'm interested in making a move from the shop I wrench for now to a 'bigger market.' 
Just a quick about me; I have been in the bike industry since 2001 when I helped open a shop in the Tidewater area. 6 months later a second shop opened and due to me being a 'quick study' along with having my own multi tool, I became the service mgr. of the first shop. 
 A year and a half later after attending QBP's Frostbike and meeting real bike shop business owners I realised that the shop had no chance of turning a profit so I looked for another opportunity. That shop shut down in 2005.
  I was able to pick up what I thought was temporary employment in a 'boutique shop' as a bench wrench. This shop has only been breaking even each year so any advancement in position and pay has not been possible even though I grind out repairs (part time) each week to around $1500 to $2000 with only about a 15% 'return tune up' which I have to do for free and feel is unfair.
I'd appreciate a reply with information on operations/commission percentages/hours/what your shop jerseys look like/can I wear shorts and flip flops/what is your drug testing policy/is there a happy hour and do I have to work weekends?
thank you, Frank


Want To Spend Your Spring Summer and Fall Inside NOT Riding Your Bike

Something tells me this job has got to suck. Unless of course you like being chained to a bench grinding out one derailleur adjustment after another.

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News: "Revolution Cycles Inc.

Revolution Cycles is hiring a Commission Mechanic

You’ll be an important part of the tech center at our flagship store in Arlington, VA, helping us meet ’48-hour’ turnaround on tune ups in-season. You’ll work incredibly hard from March-September and you will be rewarded for it. The hourly pay rate for this position is one of the highest in our industry. Please contact if interested."


Sea Otter Classic 2011, Pay-em What They Want

I/we/all very often hear guy's say, "I'd really like to meet a girl that can ride."
How about instead of paying Dudes Who Dope all that freaking cash it goes to building up the women's side of Pro Racing. He does look pretty in pink though.
Cierra Smith

Lauren Rosser

Jennifer Wolf

Jenifer Wolf


LBS, The Definition According to Me

I got an email that, among other things, said; "Hey Frank, you're kind of a Dick. Aren't you worried about losing sales."

                                                                                    Well if the shoe fits...

I'm not concerned about sales because I don't work in "sales."
That's not to say if you need to buy something I won't help get it for you but I don't hold an inventory of parts.
I carry what I need to fix bikes and I'll charge you a fair retail price if you need that for your repair.

What's an LBS, according to Frank? Well what's not an LBS;

Performance is Not an LBS. That doesn't mean any shop with a web-store presents isn't an LBS it just means they're trying harder.

If a shop has more than one location, they're Not an LBS. They're trying Too hard to make as much profit as possible or lose the kids college fund. Which ever comes first...usually the latter.

The "boutique" shop is Not an LBS. Filling square footage with the latest trends along with the trickiest bikes and hottest clothing line will bring the high end customers but don't get bitchy when most just come in to try on the shorts, rub their genitalia all up in it, then go home and buy it online. Also be sure to rent that space as close to Starbucks as possible.

Speaking of online shopping; The world of retail has changed and online shopping will only become more common. There will be some people that don't search the Internet for their cycling needs mostly because they don't know what they need but rather only what they want. But as hunting for parts and accessories becomes more main stream you'll see that customers will come to a shop knowing what the best price for that part is and maybe have it in hand. If you give a service customer the stink eye when they bring in a frame and a box of parts wanting you to build it up or get all pissy when someone hands you a component to bolt on and adjust you're Not an LBS.

Service is the about only thing profitable in a bike shop. And as far as I give a shit it's the fun part.
That and locking the door then going for a ride with the customer and making them buy the beer.
I encourage everyone to come to us for advice on parts. If I can I'll match online pricing and give a firm price on installation and adjustment.

So what was that email about?


Cheating On A local Level...Awkward

It's going to be really uncomfortable on the Saturday morning group ride in North Carolina when this guy shows up.
Peter Cannell seems to like the "juice" and apparently didn't think he'd be tested out of competition. I mean it's just Masters Road Racing for gods sake. What's so wrong about an old dude getting a little help building muscle along with keeping form in the off season? It's not like he's on the EPO and stuff. He just races around office parks - NASCAR Tracks and the occasional downtown closed coarse. It's not at all like real road racing. Sure he wins a bunch of the BAR points and has a "coaching" business along with a USA Cycling Masters Champion Jersey but it's all just amateur bike riding.
Wait a second, what's my point? I don't know. I guess the guy just got tired of sucking at bike racing. Now, he just sucks.


Time-Sports Cessions De Nouveau

I've always lived by the motto, "if you don't have something smart ass to say then don't say anything at all."
I don't plan on ignoring that in today's post but I'm compelled to start off with "something nice" to say about Time-Sports then immediately follow with smart-assery.
It's a good idea to fill out the warranty card and send it in whenever you buy something as expensive as any Time component. The 5 year old Titian Crankset that came into the shop the other day had issues from the start in 2006 when released to the unsuspecting public. You know the public I'm talking about. Charity ride/race specialists on 7 thousand dollar 15 pound carbon road bike master pieces banging out centuries for the Livestrong Foundation in 12 hours and 35 minutes. Well as the chainring bolts loosened and the crank-arms fell off and the drivesides released from the through axle the complaints started showing up in forums on the intertubes. This caught the attention of Time, along with some unpleasant emails (I'm assuming) and Time stepped up.
A nicely worded email voicing concern about "manufacturing defects" was sent to Time-Sports and a response was received the next day simply saying "send it in and we'll replace with a new crankset."
Damn! We were just excited to get a reply!
We mailed out the old and in came the new.
It's nice but Time-Sports being French surrendered as always by using an FSA Ceramic (?) BB. The original BB was the best thing about the Titian system. Amazingly engineered titanium through axle sleeve that interlocked the cup bearings. where as that BB was a beautiful piece of bike porn this FSA BB is a lot like HBO After Dark, it gets the job done but you'll feel a little disappointment.


You Lost Me Paul

I have for a long (enough) time thought Paul made jewelry with their hubs and such. But as with most niche builders/component engineers, they have lost their shit with "style" over function just in time for yet another Custom Bike Show.
 Apparently fixie riders that "run" breaks know nothing of modulation and want front and rear calipers activated at the same time. Personally I like a little less front with my stopping power.
But then again maybe it's just me and I should ask this guy.


Race Face, The Enron Of Bike Parts

Craig Pollack seems to have screwed the pooch (employees) of Race Face. The twisted tail of ignorance followed with lies and old fashioned corruption has left a lot of hard working people holding a heaping bag of shit.


It's Nice When It Seems Like You're Finally Getting Your Act Together

 Sometimes when I keep getting my ass kicked I just find new friends to ride with too.
Nick Nuyens just wasn't feeling it with Rabobank the past couple of years. The relationship was at the point where the team director publicly called him out with an "at the end" kind-a statement.
Well luckily there was someone who really wanted to sign you up.
There's no way this could end badly, right?


The Travel Chanel's Triple Rush; What's missing?

Skid Extras

Date: 2011-03-29, 8:43PM EDT?]

Needed for next seasons Triple Rush messengers reality show
This time we're stepping it up to include more Hipster Culture. So we need extras with Top Fixed Gear Skills that want to show them off.
Shooting begins late spring and ends mid summer so we need you to apply NOW!
Reply with photo of your bike and any still shots of you doing "Fixie Tricks."
This is an example of what we're looking for.