Spin Doctor Old Tools Quiz

Spin DoctorOur head Spin Doctor, Gaynor, likes to create challenges to test the Spin Doctor mechanics in our stores. Last week he created this tricky “old tools” identification quiz, although perhaps “old” is the wrong word – let’s just call them “seldom-used”. In any case, we thought you might like to play along at home, so here are 8 images to test your obscure bike tool knowledge.

Post your answers (or guesses) in the comments below. We’ll even give you some hints to get started: Tool #2 is actually parts of a tool (think steering) and Tool #5 is not a 4th hand cable puller (think wheel). Good luck!

Tool #1:

Tool #2:

Tool #3:

Tool #4:

Tool #5:

Tool #6:

Tool #7:

Tool #8:

Spin Doctor Mechanic Profile: SRAM Technical University

All of our Spin Doctor mechanics keep up-to-date with the latest in bicycle repair and maintenance – earlier this month, a group of Spin Doctor mechanics from our Colorado stores attended an excellent refresher class at SRAM Technical University (STU) in Colorado Springs. At STU, our Spin Doctors received in-depth hands-on training from SRAM instructors on the latest SRAM products and maintenance techniques.

Here’s a group shot of our graduating team of Spin Doctors – we don’t want to brag, but their instructors did mention several times that it was the best bunch of students they’d had in a long time!

As you can see, STU looks like a science classroom, and the training was just as rigorous. It was a great experience for all of our Spin Doctors, as they learned to overhaul and maintain 3 suspension forks, one rear shock and Avid XX disc brakes.

Here’s Mark, a Spin Doctor in our Greenwood Village store, learning the finer points of Avid XX brake maintenance. Having your disc brakes properly set up is key to performance and feel out on the trail – disc brakes nowadays are quite robust, but a little maintenance and fine-tuning can make a big difference.

Above, Tim, a Spin Doctor in our Colorado Springs store, fine-tunes his brake-bleeding skill. In addition to disc brakes, our team also got the chance to tear down and re-build both front and rear shocks. The engineering that goes into modern shocks is impressive, but this is an area for maintenance that most folks neglect until it’s too late! Like other moving parts on your bike, suspension systems should be overhauled on a recurring basis, to replace worn parts before they become an issue out on the trail.

The trip to STU was a fantastic experience for our Colorado Spin Doctor team, and they can’t wait to apply their fine-tuned skills in their home stores – although, as you can see below, they will miss the stunning view of Pikes Peak out the door of STU!

 If you need some work done on your disc brakes or suspension (if you can’t think of the last time, then you probably do), or need anything else on your bike checked out, drop by your local Performance Bicycle store and let one of our Spin Doctors diagnose the problem. Our Spin Doctor mechanics are all highly trained and experienced, and ready to work on any make or model bike – from an entry-level road bike to your brand new full-suspension 29er.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: What to bring the day of a charity ride

Spin Doctor

We know that many folks out there have decided to ride in their first group charity ride this year. Whether the goal is to raise money, challenge yourself, or just have a good time on the bike, it takes some planning and preparation to make for a successful and stress-free day on the road. But all of your hard-earned training and planning can be for naught if you forget a few simple essentials the day of your ride. For advice on what to bring along with you the day of your big ride, we’ve turned to one of the resident Spin Doctors here at our headquarters (and veteran of many charity rides), Gene, to provide his insight into what you should bring to your next charity ride to make your day go as smoothly as possible.

Your bike – Check the condition of the tires, brakes, and drivetrain beforehand.  Lube the chain and cables.  Inflate the tires to the pressure marked on the tire’s sidewall.  Look for cracks and cuts in the tires and replace the tires if necessary.  Clean your bike.  Some think that a clean bike is faster than a dirty bike.  Whether or not this is true, while cleaning your bike, you may find a problem with the bike that was previously overlooked.

A helmet – Your helmet should fit snug without being uncomfortable.  The helmet straps should buckle below your chin without putting pressure on your chin.  Most charity rides require helmets be worn by all riders.

Water bottle / hydration – Almost as important as a helmet.  Dehydration could drastically effect your enjoyment of the ride.  You should drink about 28 ounces (a large capacity water bottle) of fluids every 30-45 minutes or whenever you are thirsty.  Electrolyte drink mixes will help replenish the minerals lost during cycling activity as well as aid in recovering after the ride.

The front wheel – Bikes transported on roof racks sometimes require that the front wheel be removed.  Nothing will ruin your day faster than realizing that you’ve left the wheel behind or misplaced the front wheel skewer.

Repair tools – Bring tools for flat tire repair and easy adjustments.  These tools include a frame pump and/or CO2, tire levers, spare tube, tube patch kit and bicycle multitool.

Floor pump – Makes pre-ride bike prep easier and may lead to new friendships when you help someone else inflate their tires!

Riding gear – Cycling jersey, cycling shorts, cycling socks, cycling shoes, cycling helmet, cycling gloves, sunglasses or eye protection and sun block.  None of these items are mandatory, except the helmet, but all of these items will make you more comfortable during and after the ride.

ID and an insurance card – Good to have at rider check-in and in emergency situations, especially if you have special medical needs.

Cell phone – Can contact ride control or a friend for assistance.

Money – Can be used as an extra donation to the charity being sponsored, for a bite to eat on the route, a tip for the mechanic (if you feel their service was exceptional), to purchase a replacement bike part, a dollar bill to “patch” a cut tire, and for post-ride activities.

First Aid kit – Nice to have at the car. Good for blisters, road rash, etc.

Knowledge of group riding – There are several sites with good articles about riding in a group, if you want to read up before trying your hand out on the road, available here, here, here and here. But the essentials of riding in a group are straightforward: be predictable, communicate with the group, stay alert, and be considerate of others.

An attainable goal – Ride a route that is suitable for you.  Typically, you can safely complete a charity ride route if you’ve been able to recently ride 2/3 of the route’s distance comfortably.  Don’t forget to take into account weather conditions and route elevation changes.

Foul weather gear – Be aware of the weather forecast.  If rain is forecast, bring rain gear.  If the temperature at the beginning of the ride is going to be much colder than later in the ride, layer your clothing so outer layers can be removed during the ride.

Nutrition – “Keeping the gas tank filled”.  Nutrition bars and gel packs are easy to use while cycling and provide additional fuel for your ride.  Experiment with new drink mixes and nutrition products well before the charity ride, not on the day of the event.

And finally, a friend or family member – Sharing the experience is much more enjoyable.  Conversation and support during the ride helps the miles go quicker!

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Hydration 101

Spin DoctorProper hydration is key to your optimal cycling performance, as all bodily functions depend on good hydration. Sweating out as little as 2% of your body weight reduces your body’s ability to pump blood and cool itself!

Dehydration is a serious problem for us as cyclists, especially when temperatures & humidity rise. On those hot days that critical 2% can be lost in less than an hour! For safety and optimal performance, we need a balance of fluid, energy and electrolytes before, during and even after exercise.

Staying hydrated is a big and coordinated effort of your stomach, intestines and circulatory system.

Stomach: The stomach’s job is to prepare food and fluids for the intestines where absorption into the blood takes place. It adjusts the saltiness of food to match that of the intestines and blood, to speed absorption. Sport drinks are isotonic, which means that they are formulated at just the right saltiness so they move more quickly to the intestines.

Bottom line: Isotonic drinks move faster through the stomach than water alone.

Intestines: Fluids, food, electrolytes and energy molecules have to pass through the intestinal wall to reach the blood stream. The key constituents of sport drinks are designed at the molecular level to move more easily and quickly through the intestinal wall.

Bottom line: Sport drinks accelerate the passage of energy, select nutrients and water.

Circulatory System: The blood stream transports oxygen, fluid and fuel to the muscles then moves metabolic wastes and heat away. To work it needs fluid and salts, and isotonic sport drinks supply them and more.

Bottom line: By providing fluid, energy molecules and some salts isotonic sport drinks support the circulatory system and exercise performance.

Skin: The skin protects us, on cold and hot days. During hard exercise and exercise in the heat, your body loses necessary moisture and blood salt levels rise.

Bottom line: Sport drinks replace water and help to balance critical salt levels in the blood.

Kidneys: The kidneys function to maintain blood volume and saltiness, but during exercise, blood flow is diverted to muscles, heart and skin and so the kidneys are basically off line. After exercise the kidneys work to normalize blood fluid volume and saltiness.

Bottom line: Drinking sport drinks right after exercise can speed recovery from exercise.

Bottom Line Overall: To stay hydrated during the hottest days and hardest workouts, you need a sports drink made up of water, energy (from carbohydrates), and electrolytes (salts).

All of the sport drinks we carry feature a blend of these important nutrients, but, as always, if you have questions about any cycling nutrition & hydration products (or anything else we carry), give our in-house Spin Doctor Technical Support team a call at 800 553-8324 (TECH), or send your email question to spindoctor@performanceinc.com.  They’re ready to answer your questions and offer advice 5 days a week.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Shimano and Campagnolo Chains

Spin Doctor

So you’ve decided to upgrade to the latest and greatest drivetrains from Shimano or Campagnolo, but now you’ve got to figure out how to deal with the new chain that you need for your new components.  Read on below for some important information, from our Spin Doctor Product Services team, that you need to know before you ever install a Campy 11-speed or new Shimano 10-speed chain.

Campagnolo 11-speed Chain

Installing or shortening the Campy 11-speed chain requires special procedures and tools:

• New chains can only be shortened on the end opposite the special link. The special link is marked by a plastic tag and a batch number.

• The 11-speed chains are connected with a special piloted connecting pin (Ultra-Link CN RE 500). The pin must be driven from the inside out.

• For secure operation the end of the connecting pin Ultra-Link CN RE 500 must be flattened or peened once its pilot is snapped off.

CT-11 in action

• The Campy UT-CN300 chain tool can shorten, connect and peen the connecting pin, or the Park Master Chain Tool (CT-4.2 or CT-4) can be used for connecting and shortening but the Park CT-11 tool must be used for peening. The CT-11’s sole function is peening the Campy 11-speed chain. It should not be used for anything else.

• The Campy 11-speed chain can only be broken and reattached 2 times and the special connecting pin can only be attached to the special link.

Shimano Asymmetric 10 Speed Chains (Dura-Ace HG CN-7901, Ultegra HG CN-6701, 105 HG CN-5701)

Like the Campy 11-speed chain, the Shimano Asymmetrical chains requires some special steps:

• The chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have rectangular cut-outs. The outside outer chain plates will have model designations.

Dura-Ace 7901 chain inside plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an out plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates - connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

Item #50-6585

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed except if the chain is to be discarded.

Shimano Dyna-Sys 10 Speed Chains (M980 XTR chain, HG94 XT chain, HG74 SLX chain)

Dyna-Sys chains have 4 different types of outer plates that facilitate shifting up & down on the cassette or between chainrings.

• The Dyna-Sys chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have no lettering while the outside has outer chain plates that are alternating stamped with HG-X and Shimano.

HG74 SLX chain - inside chain plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an outer plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates - connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed again except if the chain is to be discarded.

In case you’re wondering, the close-up shots of these chains come from sample versions of our new 2011 bike lineup, available soon (shot in the lobby of our headquarters, because it was a sunny spot).  The road chain was on our top-of-the-line 2011 Scattante CFR Pro road bike:

While the mountain chain was on our brand new Access Stealth 3.0 carbon 29er mountain bike, as seen below (we’ll have a whole lot more to share about these bikes very soon):

If you still have questions about Campy or Shimano chains, just head down to your local Performance store or contact Spin Doctor Product Services by phone, email or chat; they’ll be happy to help!

Call: 800-553-TECH
Email: spindoctor@performanceinc.com
Chat: Live Help at PerformanceBike.com

Spin Doctor Mechanic Profile – Andrew Miller

Spin DoctorFor today’s employee profile, meet Andrew Miller, the Spin Doctor mechanic for our Akron, Ohio store.  Andrew is not only a top-notch Spin Doctor-certified mechanic, he is also gives back to the local cycling community through his work with the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association and the Cleveland Bike Alliance.  Read on below to learn more about Andrew, or just swing by our Akron, Ohio store and say hello.

How long have you worked at Performance ?

Since 2009.

How did you get started in cycling ?

I rode bikes as a kid, but I really started riding again after a visit to D.C. with my sister, during which we rented bikes.  I immediately fell back in love with the sport and I haven’t stopped cycling since.

How long have you been cycling ?

It’s been 4 years since I started up again.

What’s type of riding do you like?

Anything with 2 wheels: mountain bike, cyclocross or road!

Do you have any racing experience?

I have raced for 3 seasons: 3 seasons off-road, 2 on the road, and 1 cyclocross.

What are your favorite places to ride?

Medina Reagan Park or Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

What’s your favorite aspect of working in a bicycle store?

Meeting new friends to ride with, and of course seeing all the new gear!

Dream place to ride?

Paris Roubaix or Tour of Flanders.

Photo by Graham Watson via Cycling Weekly

Any cycling goals? Something you’re working toward?

This year I’m trying to get back into shape after 4 months off due to an injury.

Any hobbies outside of cycling?

I’m into music and video games.

How long have you been a mechanic?

1 1/2 years at Performance.

Have you ever wrenched for a pro team/ pro cyclist?

Not yet, but I have had the chance to ride with pro’s Jeff Lenosky and Emily Batty.

Specialties?

I’m best at sprinting and climbing.

Certifications?

I became a certified Spin Doctor in November, 2010.

Club Affiliation?

I’m the current president of the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association and a stakeholder in the Cleveland Bike Alliance.

You can find the Akron, Ohio store at:

790 Arlington Ridge, Suite 307
Arlington Ridge Marketplace
Akron, OH 44312
330-644-8133

Store Hours:
11:00AM- 7:00PM Monday- Friday
10:00AM- 7:00PM Saturday
12:00PM- 5:00PM Sunday

View on Google Maps

Spin Doctor Tech Tip – 10 Speed MTB Drivetrain Compatibility

Spin DoctorIS TEN TOO MANY?

The 2 snarling dogs of mountain bike components (SRAM and Shimano) have decided that 9 are just not enough. Yep, they are telling us that our mountain bikes need 10 gears in the back.

The first whisperings came in 2008 when bike mags and blogs hinted at the change. Late in 2009 SRAM trotted out its high-zoot XX 2×10 drivetrain. Then in 2010 SRAM expanded their 2 x10 offerings to include their X0, X9 and X7 groups.

Then the cold war turned hot! Could or would Shimano stand pat? No way, and in 2010 out comes Shimano’s 10-speed Dyna-Sys drivetrain in their top shelf XTR and XT cross country groups and in their SLX all-mountain group.

According to the early reviews these groups work great but what about compatibility? We’ll try to answer those questions but first let us introduce the new…

SRAM 2×10. The 2×10 is so-called because it pairs a double chainring crankset with a 10 speed cassette. The surprising thing about SRAM’s 2×10 drivetrains is that they have pretty much the same range of easy and hard gears as traditional 3×9 systems.

How is that possible?  First, the 10-speed cassette has an extra cog and a wider range (11-36 vs. 11-34 for the old 9-speed). And second, the double cranks have a wide jump between small and large rings.  The double is available in either a higher 28-42 or a bit lower 26-39 tooth combinations.  Traditional triples are 22-32-44.

SRAM XX 10-speed Cassette - Item #50-7639

Here’s SRAM’s take: “2X10 gives you the same amount of useable gears of a 3X9 system but with lighter weight, faster front shifting and less complexity.”  According to SRAM the 2X10 would not be possible without their new X Glide chainrings (which use a unique 4-bolt 120/80mm bolt circle diameter). These specially mated rings are sized so every tooth on the small ring lines up perfectly with a tooth on the big ring. Plus the teeth are shaped to facilitate each shift, either up or down.

SRAM XX 39/26 BB30 Crankset - Item #50-7620

The good news is that 2×10 is lighter, simpler and its shifting is synapse-quick, but there are compatibility issues. SRAM’s 10-speed drivetrain components are all cross-compatible, with a few exceptions:

1. The 2×10 drivetrains require a double left hand shifter, double crank with the X-Glide rings, 10-speed chain and double front derailleur.

SRAM XX Low Clamp Top Pull Front Derailleur - Item #50-7635 (next to old X9 triple front derailleur)

2. Their 3×10 drivetrains require a triple left hand shifter, 10-speed triple crank, 10-speed chain and triple front derailleur.

3. In a switch, SRAM’s 10-speed mountain bike derailleurs (XX, X0, X9 & X7) are now compatible with their 10-speed road shifters (Red, Force, Rival & Apex). So you can use Rival shifters with a XX rear derailleur and wide range X7 10-speed cassette for mountain centuries.

SRAM XX Rear Derailleur - Item #50-7616

4. And the bummer, their 10-speed MTB derailleurs are not compatible with their 9-speed MTB drivetrains!

SHIMANO Dyna-Sys. Shimano revamped all the key parts of their 10-speed Dyna-Sys drivetrain. They have created cassettes, front and rear derailleurs, shifters, chains and cranks that are unique and essential to the operation of the system.

The rear derailleur got a more direct cable routing (like SRAM), their shifter actuation ratio got tighter (like SRAM), their cranks got redesigned chainrings (like SRAM), their cassette got a wider range (11-36 like SRAM) and their D-S cranks are available in both 2X10 (D-S XTR only) and 3X10 (like SRAM). They also redesigned their Dyna-Sys specific asymmetrical chain (not like SRAM). The D-S chain got 4 distinctly different outer plates to speed shifting. Their triple cranks got tighter ratios (24-32-42 vs. 22-32-44) and their brand new D-S XTR double is available in multiple combinations (28-40 & 26-38 are options, with 4-bolt 88mm BCD) with ranges like SRAM.

As far as compatibility, Shimano’s Dyna-Sys products are only compatible with components in the Dyna-Sys lineup, from XTR to SLX. They are not compatible with any other parts, such as using a Dyna-Sys derailleur with 9-speed shifters.  The only part that has not changed is the front/left shifter.  It has remained the same and does not include a Dyna-Sys logo.

1. The Shimano Dyna-Sys XTR 2×10 drivetrain requires a Shimano D-S XTR left hand shifter (that is convertible for double or triple), Dyna-Sys XTR double front derailleur, D-S 10-speed chain and Shimano XTR double crank.

2. Their 3×10 drivetrains require a triple left hand shifter, 10-speed D-S triple crank, 10-speed D-S chain and Shimano D-S triple front derailleur.

3. In a switch, Shimano’s D-S 10 speed rear derailleurs (XTR, XT and SLX) are NOT compatible with Shimano road shifters nor with other non-D-S MTB shifters.

We hope that this clears up some of the questions you’ve got about these new 10-speed mountain bike components, but if you need more help be sure to give Spin Doctor Product Services a call; they’ll be happy to help!

You can find all of our 10-speed mountain bike components in one handy group here.

Spin Doctor Mechanic Profile – Ed Kajioka

Spin DoctorOur Oceanside, CA store’s Spin Doctor-certified lead mechanic, Ed Kajioka, has been a professional bike mechanic since 1992.  A native of the sunny shores of Hawaii, Ed is truly passionate about our sport and enjoys riding bikes as much as he enjoys wrenching on them as a Performance Spin Doctor.

He’s excited about turning people on to cycling, and helping them in any way he can: whether that means repairing or upgrading their bikes, or simply talking about the places he rides.  As an extremely experienced mechanic, Ed relishes the challenge of maximizing the performance of his customers’ bikes.

Ed’s top-notch mechanic skills include everything from performing basic tune-ups to custom wheel builds and fork overhauls. Ed will work on any type of bike without prejudice, from an $89 bike to an $8,900 bike purchased at another shop.

Of course Ed also loves to ride, and he participates in all cycling disciplines at a high level. His mountain bike handling skills are second to none, and you can often find him taming the singletrack on the trails around Lake Calaveras.  Ed has even been known to mix it up at the local BMX park or on a nighttime urban assault ride.  And as if that isn’t enough, he’s also super strong and fast on a road bike.

Ed’s passion is cycling, any type of cycling,so if you drop by our Oceanside store, be sure to head back to the Spin Doctor counter and say hello…  your bike will thank you! And if you ever get the chance to ride with Ed, you don’t want to pass it up!

Spin Doctor In-Store Clinic – Traveling with your bike and gear

Spin DoctorEvery month, your local Performance Bicycle store has a free in-store clinic about an array of cycling topics, from basic bike maintenance to more advanced subjects like adjusting your derailleur.  Having just returned from a trip to France, this author was interested by the latest clinic topic, “traveling with your bike and gear”.  Our Spin Doctor in-store clinics can vary a bit according to who attends and what specifics they want to learn, but in this post I wanted to cover the topic that caused me much trepidation before I headed overseas with my bike: packing up my bike in a bike case.

Bringing your own bike on a trip is always the best, since you will be comfortable with your bike right away and all you need to worry about is enjoying the ride at your destination.  But I, like many people, was worried about packing up my bike securely for my big trip.  It turns out that it’s really not that difficult a process, and only takes a little planning once you have seen it demonstrated.  With that in mind, I headed over to our Chapel Hill, NC store this past Thursday, the night of the latest Spin Doctor clinic, to enlist the help of one of our friendly store employees, Brian, in shooting a short video on how to pack up a bike in a travel case.

Before we get to the video, though, I wanted to go over a few lessons I learned while traveling with my bike (specifically if you are traveling by plane):

  1. Be vigilant of anything that can rub together in your case–friction is your enemy and your case will undoubtedly be tossed around a bit if you are checking your bike on an airplane.  I ended up with a some scuffed up spokes when I unpacked my bike in France, as I neglected to pack my wheels in wheel bags for protection.
  2. Be aware of weight and size restrictions for checked luggage, as these vary by airline.  It’s best to know what the listed rate is for a particular airline, to avoid being overcharged, but I also found that sometimes airline personnel will simply check in your bike as a second piece of checked luggage (which is much cheaper than the bike-specific fee) as long as you are below the over-weight limit, normally 50 lbs.
  3. Put a bunch of stickers or other identifying markers all over your bike case–odds are if you are traveling to a bike-friendly locale, someone else will be too, so having a distinctive mark on your own case helps alleviate any confusion upon arrival (since big black or gray bike cases tend to look the same!)

In terms of the actual process of packing up a bike in a case, it’s actually less intimidating than you might first think.  All you need to do the job is a little patience and a set of allen/hex wrenches (plus possibly a set of open-end wrenches and/or a pedal wrench).  To disassemble your bike for packing you will need to be able to remove your:

  • seat post (don’t forget to mark your post height)
  • wheels and skewers
  • pedals
  • stem (you can leave your handlebars attached to your stem & just remove the entire stem/handlebar assembly from the fork steerer tube–just remember to screw in the headset top cap after removing the stem)

For some cases you will also need to remove the rear derailleur to avoid any damage (to the derailleur or the derailleur hanger).  Then it’s just a matter of situating the bike in the case so everything fits comfortably (which can vary from case to case).

But I find that it’s easier to actually see how the process works after reading a description, so we put together this short video that shows how to pack a Pro Bike Case for travel.  You may need to tweak these instructions for different case designs, but the basic concepts should remain the same no matter what case you use (although most cases don’t have a handy inner stabilizer frame).  And don’t worry, if you still have questions about packing up your bike, just head down to your local Performance store or give Spin Doctor Product Services a call; they’ll be happy to help!

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Spin Doctor Mechanic Profiles – Jason Randall

Spin Doctor

For today’s Spin Doctor bicycle mechanic profile, allow us to introduce Jason Randall from the Tyson’s Corner, VA store. Jason has been wrenching for 15 years, and he’s ready for any job that comes his way, be it big or small.  So if you are in the Tyson’s Corner store, be sure to head back to the Spin Doctor area and say hello to Jason (sorry, we made a mistake with our original post when we said that Jason worked in the new Columbia, MD store).

When did you start with Performance?

2004.

How did you get started in cycling?

I hung around a local shop everyday, all day, taking out their trash and absorbing all of the info I could until they offered me a job. I was already into cycling and thought there was no better place to get more of it than in a local shop.

How long have you been cycling?

Since I was three years old. I really took it up as a hobby when I was 13.

What’s your favorite type of riding?

I started off only mountain biking, but the past few years have been mostly road.

Any racing experience?

I’ve done a few mountain bike races, mostly endurance events. Bike mechanics are normally working when everyone is racing, so one has to know that going in, and be willing to sacrifice his own racing glory and live vicariously through those bikes he prepares for the races.

Favorite places to ride?

Schaffer Farm for mountain biking, but on the road I like going out to the west from my house on some old country roads and portions of the W&OD trail. Downtown on the Mt. Vernon trail and Beech Drive are a lot of fun as well.

What’s your favorite aspect of working in a bicycle store?

Not having to wear a suit everyday! Discounts are nice, but I really like all of the people I’ve had the chance to meet. I’ve met a lot of friends working in bike shops, friends I’ll have for life.

Dream place to ride?

Italy.

Any cycling goals? Something you are working toward?

Working toward getting faster on the road, becoming a better climber, putting a hurting on my riding friends. I might also join a team and do some limited road racing this year.

Any hobbies outside of cycling?

Hanging outside with my Lab, Zoey.  Hiking, camping. I’m also into racing cars (drag and auto x) and building hot rods.

How long have you been a mechanic?

15 years, I started when I was 14 years old.

Have you wrenched for a pro team or pro cyclist?

Dave Fuentes of the Battley Harley Davidson Pro Cycling Team, plus lots of really good local guys.

Any specialties?

Attention to details and custom/pro builds. I like to think that there is no job on a bike I cant tackle. I’ve pretty much done it all, although every year the game changes, so I am always learning and adapting.

Any certifications?

I am certified Spin Doctor and I am also certified by Park Tools .

Any club affiliation?

None currently.

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