If you’re a loyal reader of A Dude Abikes, this may seem like a little deja vu. On October 24, 2019, I wrote Sophie Gets a New Drive Train, and She Rides Like Buttah. Many thousands of miles later (6,666.66 in 2020 alone), she was past due for another replacement of some very worn and pretty filthy parts. You could say that Sophie has been a dirty girl. Grit and grime attach themselves to the oil on the chain, chain ring and cassette. The teeth or cogs wear down, the chain stretches, and tends to slip off when changing gears — especially on hills or high pressure. So I took her to the friendly neighborhood shop that’s been serving the University of Texas for about 20 years, and let the pros at Clown Dog Bikes take care of bidness.
Welcome to Clown Dog Bikes! Thanks for checking us out! We’re a little neighborhood shop that’s been across the street from UT for almost twenty years! We’re the number one shop for campus bicycle sales and service. We keep our prices low and our repair turn around time unrivaled! We pride ourselves on treating our customers like the bicycle kings and queens that they are and you will never be disappointed!
And I think it’s pretty accurate. Although the pandemic has created a wave of people rediscovering and buying or bringing their bikes in for repairs, that’s kind of overwhelmed shops. The global supply chain problems that I wrote about recently hasn’t helped. Fortunately, things are getting better now as people get vaccinated against coronavrus, factories are producing and distributors distributing. Plus they got more help. So I was there pretty much at opening, and had the bike back the same day. Plus, their prices are very reasonable.
And Sophie again rides like buttah. There’s a marked improvement in pedaling and shifting is at it should be. I can get a little lazy with oiling and cleaning the chain, and tend to keep going past the point when repairs and replacement parts are needed. I guess I’m a little frugal (aka cheap) that way. But it was worth every penny to have a much smoother motion, less stress on the feet and legs, and in turn a smoother ride. Whether it’ll make me faster remains to be seen, but I won’t be stopping regularly to reseat the chain anytime soon!
The nice thing about supporting your local bike shop is that it’s more than just a transaction. These guys love bikes, too. So while it’s their job to get you rolling again, they genuinely care about your bike like it’s their bike. While this is true to varying degrees with all bike mechanics, whether a corporate shop worker or from an LBS, and everyone has their bad days, I just get the sense that Clown Dog guys care. Plus, they really were cheaper than the big new player in town. Sorry, Trek Bikes Austin! I call ’em like I see ’em.
With the recent addition of a new shifter and cable, adjustment of the brakes, cleaning of the messy parts hard to reach with the drive train on, Sophie is largely like new. CDB did say I need a new cable and housing to go with a derailleur, but that can wait a bit. Bike parts and labor aren’t cheap, but if you’re going to roll everyday for going on 600 days, you need your bike to be a mean, clean, pedaling machine. If anything goes wrong in the next few weeks, they’ll tweak any issues for free, too!
Sophie and A Dude are grateful to Clown Dog for the great service and for quickly getting us back on the road again. If you’re in Austin, check ’em out! They’re right off San Jacinto near Crown and Anchor Pub and Posse East. Tell ’em A Dude Abikes sent ya’!
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