Ramsey Bicycle Shop (home of the free lifetime bike tune-up).
Clerk: “Good Afternoon. What can I help you with today?”
Me: “I just need a tune up”.
Clerk: ” No problem. We will have it ready by Saturday. Anything you want to make sure we check for you?”
Me: “Just wondering if there are any parts that I need to replace from time to time…brake pads, tires, chain?”
Clerk: “Nah. Those are usually good for several years. You just got this bike last year right? Generally all of those parts are good for a good 2000-3000 miles.”
Me: “Well, I have logged over 1500 miles in the last 20 weeks since I have started my training program, and about 2700 miles since I bought the bike.”
Clerk: “Damn! Well they should still be good. It is hard to wear out those parts that fast. The brake pads have these ridges on them. You should replace them when they are worn off.”
I take a look at my pads. Clear ridges present on the front brakes. Nothing on the rears.
Me: “The rear brakes look shot to me”.
Clerk comes around the counter to look at the bike. “Yeah, you do need new brake pads on the back. The back tire is really squared off as well. That should be replaced too. The front still has a few hundred miles left in it will will need to be replaced soon. And the chain is about 75% worn. We generally advise swapping it out at this point. Use it any longer and the gears can get damaged.”
Store Owner: “You need new brakes, tires and chain after a year?!?!?! How much riding have you been doing?”
I tell him. He already knows that I am training for an Ironman. I tell him I have a 70.3 in a couple of weeks.
Store Owner: “Damn, you turned into a hardcore cyclist. And you thought you were a runner…”
I decided not to tell him that I have logged more running hours then cycling in the last 20 weeks…
I oddly feel good about having to buy all these replacement parts. The bike is getting used and was a good investment. Having worn out my bike in just over a year is surprising since I was never a cyclist before. Most bike owner never replace these parts. Having done so in 13 months (and having impressed the local bike enthusiasts in the process) makes me realize just how far I have come. I just might become an Ironman after all…