Sunday, August 14, 2005

RogueMechanic Moves to TypePad.

Please note that I have moved this blog to TypePad. The new address is:

http://www.roguemechanic.typepad.com.

Please remember to update your bookmarks and feeds as well.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Checking in

It's been a crazy week since my last post... As I said before, business before blogging! I've been really busy lately and therefore haven't had the time or energy to post. I do want to keep you up to date with some of the things...

First of all, I've been consumed with taking care of my "people". I'm on top of things and I'm constantly moving forward. It's a good problem being so busy.

I'm in the process of moving this blog over to Typepad. It's better all-around. It's supports my theory that "You don't get what you don't pay for..." (Blogger is free and Typepad isn't).
I'll keep everyone posted and will send the link when the move is complete.

Hey everyone who has a Chris King headset, I'm sure that you're aware that it has a 10 year warranty, but do you know that they recommend that you you have the bearings serviced every 2 ish years? I recommend that you stay on it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Finally, I just want to thank all of my new clients that took the time to contact me this past week and those who made the referrals. I'm honored and thrilled to have the opportunity. Thanks again!

That's it for now. Back to work. Thanks for reading! -John

Friday, August 05, 2005

Teach them how to fish

Recently, I had a neighborhood kid stop by an ask me if I could fix his bike that had a flat front tire. I found that this was a great opportunity to teach him how to fix a flat and to therefore be more self reliant if or when this happens again. He completed the work with my supervision. I made sure the he did the work and not just watch me do it. How he knows how it's done. I believe that it's better to teach someone how to fish rather that just giving them the fish....

Quite possibly my next bike...

Now that I want to do the Leadville 100 again (in 2006 of course), I'm going to have to purchase a new ride since I sold mine last summer. With all of the possibilities out there, it would be hard to not get this one... Yes, I'm still a fan of OCLV...

For some good reading about the LT100 (and some laughs), check out the Fat Cyclist blog.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Why not warranty labor credits?

Here's a excerpt from a email that a client of mine received from bike company in regards to warranty labor...

We don't reimburse authorized or unauthorized dealers for the breaking down and building up of your frame, nor is this the industry standard. It is common practice among our authorized dealers not to charge you for this service, especially with warranty issues such as yours.

Why dosen't IBD's get compensated from the manufacturer for their time and expenses? And why should a shop NOT charge for this service? Herein lies one of the more common problems that I believe plagues the IBD...giving away free labor. It's actually costing the shop for doing this work (if of course they don't charge the customer). It's not the shops fault that the frame failed, but as a compensation for being an authorized dealer, they have to eat this expense. That's not right. There souldn't be any out of pocket expense for the dealer as well as the consumer.

To be fair, if my memory serves me correctly, Trek used to give minimal warranty labor credits under certain circumstances. The amount was small but at least it was something. Why doesn't the industry come up with some system like the auto industry where the dealerships get compensated for all warranty work and therefore the consumer doesn't have to pay for warranty work. This is just my 2cents....

Monday, August 01, 2005

Future Post Topics

While I'm thinking about it AND near my computer, I thought that I'd post a few ideas that I've come up with for future posts...
  • IBD's current state of affairs.
  • Channels of liquidation of "old" inventory. What is/isn't allowed and why.
  • Service dept./mechanic image.
  • Parts wear out!
  • Dissimilar metal corosion (WARNING!!! this one cound be boring!!!)
  • Local cycling related news.
  • Trek Store Columbus Story

...that's good for now. Now, you can hold me to these!!! Let me know if there's anything that you want me to chime in about.

Friday, July 29, 2005

H2O + Bearings = Trouble

Most bikes that I come across for some reason do not have drain holes in the bottom bracket area of the frame. Most frames allow water to collect in the bottom bracket with nowhere to go. This results in the bottom bracket component sitting in water, which isn't good. Below are just a few examples of what I'm talking about...
















As you can see, the results are generally not good. If you catch it early enough, you might not have to replace anything. This will depend on the design of the component and the lenght of time it was submerged.

For some reason, it's more common to find drain holes of some sort in euro frames than domestic. This leaves me scratching my bald head... How difficult would it be to add a drain hole under the bottom bracket (at the lowest point I must add because not all of the drain holes that I do find are at the lowest part of the frame...)? I have been known to fabricate a way to allow drainage without doing anything to the frame that will void the warranty. Anyway, the moral of the story is that if you seem to regularly get caught riding in wet weather and your bike doesn't have drain holes located in the area of the bottom bracket, I would recomend that you have it checked out by your favorite mechanic. If you're lucky, the bearings will be fine the cups will not be corroded in the bottom bracket....

Ritchey WCS Recall Update

The link to the page with the info regarding the recall is now working... It's here. Now it's up to them and American Classic to make it right. I can't imagine that recalling 2000 wheels is going to have a positive effect on their bottom line...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

VisionTech USA Integrated Aero Bar Recall...Unplugged

It's been one day since VisionTech USA came out publicly and recalled their four models of integrated aerobars, specifically the SuperMax, TriMax, TriMax Plus, and the Pro Integrated Bicycle Aero Bars. The hazard being "The centerpiece of these bicycle aero bars can crack or break, causing the bicycle rider to lose control and crash." The "centerpiece" being the stem. The last time I checked, nothing ever good comes out of a stem failure such as this.Why am I so interested in this recall? It's because it was my client who experienced the failure last fall and initiated the recall. Fortunately, he was able to walk away from it (he can tell you all about what it's like sliding along the pavement at 28+mph a second or so after cruising along tucked in an aero position...). My part of the process was to compile report that would include my professional opinion as to the nature and cause of the failure as well as photos. These photos clearly show, even to the untrained eye, that there were inconsistent stem wall thicknesses as well as voids in the casting that contained silca sand, that is used in the casting process. Neither of these deficiencies should ever be present in a cast aluminum component so critical in nature as a stem. It's clearly not only a bad cast but also a very questionable design....
This photo shows the failure from the riders prospective...




Here's a closer view...


Here a photo from the front looking towards the steer tube clamp...


And finally, a magnified view of the impurities found in the casting of the stem wall (the white granular material is the silca sand and the larger "pebbles" is wax...)


Needless to say, a picture is worth a thousand words... These photos tell the truth about what is the force behind the recall. Hopefully they do the right thing and get all of these off of the market and out from under the riders before someone gets more than just "minor scrapes and abrasions. " One final note, they stated in the press release that, " VisionTech has received two reports of the centerpiece of these aero bars breaking, resulting in minor scrapes and abrasions. " I find it hard to believe that they would conduct a national recall of a product that they received only two reports of failure. Something smells fishy... With all of this being said, it's needless to say that if you currently own a pair of these integrated bars, I highly recommend that you cease using them immediately. Spread the word.

He did it.


This is one of the most powerful and thought provoking photos that I have seen in a while. It definitely ranks up there as one of my favorites...

Seven Cycles.....Wow!

My hat's off to the folks at Seven Cycles for a ONE week turn around (including shipping!!!) for a warranty frame repair that included replacing a seat tube. Very Impressive.

Confession.

"Hi, my name is John, it's been 18 days since my last posting....."
The fact of the matter is is that I've been really swamped with work that by the end of the day, or I should say, when I get everything done that needs to be done, I find myself out of steam. I like to call this a happy problem! Anyway, enough about my excuse for not posting...
I have a lot to share with all of you that I'm sure you will enjoy. I am in the process of putting together the photos that ended up being a major factor in the recall , (CPSP link)that was announced yesterday of VisionTech aerobars. I have to laugh at their comment that they only know of two failures of this nature... The design is completely flawed. More on this later.
If you have been around for a while, you would remember the issue with the Ritchey hub/freehub body. It was FINALLY announced that there is a recall (The link given by Ritchey as of today is dead...) on the hub that was manufactured by American Classic. Well, I FINALLY received the call tag from Ritchey to send the wheel back. I REALLY appreciate the folks at Ritchey for keeping on top of this... I mean, it's been only 4 months... I'm not happy about this, and neither is my client.
I do not want to sound like I'm bitching about everything, but I've had it up to here with issues like these... And the industry wonders why it's in the position that it is in. Again, more on this later. I gotta run because I have some bikes that need my attention. Thanks for reading. -John

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Yes....it's Gary

For your entertainment, here's one from the Old Skool BC Photo File...Yep, that's Gary Fisher at The Bike Club. The story behind this photo is that he just flew in to town to do a ride at, if I remember correctly, Vulture's Knob, and he had us assemble his bike which happened to be his prototype 29'er. Those of you who are familiar with BC knows who's who...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My opinion regarding the crash

Based on the videos that I have watched showing the Zabriskie crash in the TTT, I highly doubt that it was caused by the chain "skipping" as was quoted. I believe that he touched the wheel in front of him. Clearly rider error, not mechanical.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New FAQ Page!!!

Check out this link to the RogueMechanic FAQ page that I'm working on. Let me know if you have any questions that you would like for me to include. Thanks! -John

Saturday, July 02, 2005

This is great....

19:02 Jan Ullrich labouring, chugging a monster gear but not looking like his usual locomotive self... HOLY MOLY... Lance Armstrong has Jan Ullrich in his sights... The American started one minute back of the German champion and can now see Ullrich just up the road. Can you spell H-U-M-I-L-I-A-T-I-O-N?

19:06 AMRMSTRONG RIDES RIGHT BY JAN ULLRICH, DUMPING THE GERMAN LIKE GARBAGE!!!!

19:05 LANCE ARMSTRONG -- turning a killer cadence -- is right on Jan Ullrich's heels... The American reeling in the German like a fatigued fish... 4 km to ride... Armstrong just 5 metres off Ullrich's wheel...

This week in review

It's been a good week, but challenging, as usual. Again, happy problems. I appreciate everyones tollerance with my absence. The vacation was just what the Dr. ordered. I had a great time with my family.
As I mentioned in a prior post, upon my return, I had to hit the ground running. This week consisted of mainly installations/upgrades and assessments. Nothing overly challenging. I did receive some news from a client that was not good regarding a big event... I'm not at liberty to discuss the details but all that I can say is that with decisions like this, I can see why the sport of cycling in the US will never get to the level it is in Europe with the USCF in charge.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you are aware that the TdF starts today. Definitely exciting. It's interesting that alot of the big names are already saying that Lance is unbeatable even before the race starts. It's laughable how Jan didn't waste any time by showing off his bike handling skills yesterday motorpacing... As usual, I'm really looking forward to this years race.
As an admitted tech addict, here's a few photos of Lance's new TT bike that I found that caught my attention... Definitly cool stuff. For the life of me, I cannot understand why more people who do multisport events and TT's don't ride the Trek E11 or the mac-daddy TT frameset. It's probably just because it has "Trek" on the downtube... Anyway, that's it for now. Enjoy your 4th of July weekend. Thanks for reading! -John

It's nice to see this posted on Yahoo today...

To be expected....I guess

I found this today .....
Just in time for the Tour de France, the French will not miss out on the opportunity to show their discontent over national matters. Using the media coverage, the "Grande Boucle" is a perfect occasion for the country's typical protests. Unhappy about new governmental restraints, the sardine fishermen of the Atlantic Ocean have therefore threatened to throw fish on the parcours of the time trial today. Weather forecasts have not predicted any rain for today, fortunately, so let's hope the riders won't slide over wet sardines...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Back in the Saddle

Hello Everyone. I'm back and I've hit the ground running. As you can imagine, it just a little crazy playing catch up, but rest assured that I'm getting to everything as fast as possible. It's good to be back. Thanks for reading. -John

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I'm out for some R & R...

Just a heads-up that I'm going to be away until June 27th to get some very needed R&R with my family. The past 13+ months have been nothing short of incredible, both mentally and physically. It's time for me to re-charge my batteries. Upon my return, I'll be hitting the ground running. If I'm able to find a Wi-Fi Hotspot, I'll check my email when I can. If I can't, I won't. I'm also hoping for good cellular reception....But all of you know how that goes... You know how it's not my style to let anyone hang... Anyway, I gotta roll. Thanks for reading. -John

There's no reason on EARTH not to go fast on this rocket. I do still have a weakness for OCLV... Nice bike.

This joy is an example of yet another reason to make sure that your aluminum seatpost is properly lubricated when it's being used in a steel frame...(or an aluminum or ti frame...)....what a pain...

Friday, May 27, 2005

A quick word of thanks...

Over to past 2+ weeks, I've had the pleasure of being contacted by a few past Bike Club customers (you know who you are!). It took an effort by every one of them to hunt me down and I am greatful and quite frankly humbled that they took the time and effort to do so. I also what to thank everyone who has been kind enough to refer me to others. I don't take any of this for granted and again I just want to say Thank You.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Happy Problem

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had the time or energy to post here. Yesterday evening I again reached max capacity of bikes on and in my Jeep (currently 8). If this continues, I guess that I'm going to have buy more bike mounts for my Yakima roof rack (I should be able to carry at least 3 more without any problems...). These are happy problems. Thanks for reading. -John

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Just a thought...

You wouldn't think that a Trek dealer would do something to a Trek bike that could possibly void the lifetime warranty on the frame (an OCLV carbon nonetheless...), would you?!?! I've had it up to here with the rampant incompetence.... I just had to get that off of my chest. That's all for now. Back to work...-John

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Challenges

Hello everyone. I'm checking in after what has been a really busy week. I feel that we all have had to deal with some challenges this past week. For most of you, it's been the lousy weather... the crazy snow storm that we had last weekend and the rain during the week I'm sure reminded all of us of where we live. It sure didn't help that we were "teased" with the prior twoish weeks of relatively great weather (heck, even I had to sneak in a one hour road ride...). Looking back, it now seemed like some cruel joke. The silver lining relating to the weather this past week was that I was able to put a significant dent in the work that I had scheduled without the added pressure of super-quick turn-arounds that I am known for. This being said, I still promissed and delivered a couple of jobs that didn't have any wiggle room nor any time for an appearance by Mr. Murphy. All jobs completed and delivered as promised.
Now for an update. I'm STILL waiting on that freehub body and upgraded rebuild kit for that Ritchey rear wheel that I posted about last week (scroll down a bit...). Come on guys... How can you reapeatedly drop the ball on your wheels. I am not happy about this and neather is my client. I haven't been too impressed with Treks performance in regards to their warranty/customer service. I'm currently completing a built for a client that has waited 18+ weeks to get his warranty replacement and upgraded Trek Top Fuel 100 frame. When they finally shipped his frame to a local dealer, it was damaged (the scratches and gouges in the paint was actually under the bubble wrap... which means that it happen at the factory.) The second frame had a scratch on the top tube...strike two (actually strike 19...). The third frame also came shipped with a paint chip on the rear shock mount.... I've seen frames made and painted in taiwan delivered without any paint damage. What's up with this Trek?!?! I want to be proud and assured that the "Handmade in the USA" decal means that it's going to be a superior product. I want you to care about what you ship out to your customers. I know that it's a mountain bike frame and it's more than likely going to get scratched during the maiden ride, but it's really a matter of principle... That is all. Thanks for reading. -John

Before and Faster


This is an upgrade that I completed this past week. As you can see, there were some major improvements made here. The new cockpit consists of mainly Easton carbon products including the new Delta Force carbon pursuit base bar, Aero Force carbon clip-on aerobars as well as an Easton EA70 stem. Great products. Great upgrades that has made this multi-IM finishing bike lighter and faster.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Nice Try Tom.....


Nice try...As you can see, these two freehub bodies are not remotely the same...well, they both can have cassettes installed on them, so I guess that they ARE similar in that respect...nevertheless, they sent the wrong freehub. All of this after I clearly explained what exactly happened and what I needed. I was told today that what I have is a V3 freehub (which is actually an American Classic hub design....another one of my favorite companies....) and not a V1. I was told that I am getting shipped a "beefed-up" replacement. We'll see. I completely understand the $hit happenes sometimes, but I'm not holding my breath ....Hey Bob, let's hope that you won't have to wait for months this time!

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Arrow points to the cause of the failure of this Ritchey WCS freehub. This is in my opinion a flawed design and a pretty good example of an over-engineered design. The following photos show the hub side and how is is supposed to work. This failed with less than 100 miles on this new wheel. Not good. I must add that Ritchey ackowledged that there was a problem with this design and promptly said that they are sending a replacement freehub body/rebuild kit that is supposed to have been improved...We'll see. I'll post when I receive it hopefully in a couple of days.

This is the mechanism in the "open" or "free-wheeling" position that engages the freehub body...Note the indents that are around the cartridge bearing...

This photo shows the engaged position (when you start pedaling) with help from the WunderSpoke...The piece that broke off of the freehub body (first photo) is what is supposed to engage the indents which then pushes the plate which in turn rotates and moves the "teeth" (the 6 pairs that you see near the rubber seal) that engage the teeth that are machined in the freehub body. That's how it's SUPPOSED to work... They should take notes from the folks at Hugi...which in my opinion has the best design.

This is a non-drive side spoke that became unseated from the hub. I believe that this happened under heavy loading and hitting something big (rough road)... This was fixed and is back on the road.

A frame-up build that was completed this past week. Very trick-out Trek Project-One 9.8

Front view of Project-One Build. This bike is definitely on a high carbon diet...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wow....

.....I feel that I need to appologize for not posting for a few days. I've just been too busy and to tired to do so.... I guess that this is a good problem to have. Hopefully I'll get something up here in the next day or so. Thanks for checking in. -John

Friday, April 01, 2005

What the....

I'm sure that by now you have seen or at least have read the latest stuff regarding Lance Armstrong (it was only plastered all over CNN yesterday evening...). If he's guilty or not doesn't really matter at this point now that Armstrongs reputation has been tainted in the mainstream media by some punk that has an axe to grind. It's the media bias that really gets me burning. Just because some schmuck is all upset because he got fired and didn't get the cash for a bike shop that Armstrong had "promised" him. Quite frankly, I'm tired of this whole entitlement mentality bull$hit... That is all...

Thursday, March 31, 2005


This is the reason why I've been unable to post on a regular basis lately...It's blured because I'm working so fast....

Saturday, March 26, 2005


This is a cleaner way to route a Power Tap pick-up.

Clarification...

I just want to get the record straight on a few issues. Those being my position regarding Independent Bicycle Dealers and the cycling industry as a whole.
First of all, let me make this crystal clear. I am not anti-IBD (Independent Bicycle Dealer). I am against shops (or ANY business for that matter) that provide sub-par service. In fact, I will go out of my way to recommend a shop to someone if I feel that they are providing great service. On the flip side, I am not going to "promote" a business that is providing crappy service. On the same note, I make it a point to never say negative things about these sub-par businesses in public. That's not my style. Never has and never will. I think that I have made myself perfectly clear on this issue. Now let's move on.
Now on the subject of the cycling industry. In some of my past posts, I have come out and made some pretty strong points and some somewhat "radical" predictions. I'd admit that. They can be considered far-reaching when compared to what we've become used to over the past decade or so. But hey, hasn't just about every other industry gone thru some major transformation in the recent years? Maybe my predictions are sort of a warning shot over the bow of IBD's... A heads-up of sorts. Over the past year or so, I have taken a few steps back and maybe that has given me a unique perspective. Sometimes it's hard to see the forest thru the trees... Thanks for reading. -John

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Checking in

No, I not ignoring you guys... I'm just REALLY busy with bikes. In fact, I'd recommend to anyone who is wanting me to go over their bike(s) before the season really hits, that you contact me asap so that I can have your bike back to you as soon as humanly possible. That's it for right now. I have a boat-load of bikes that need my immediate attention. Thanks for checking in. -John

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Follow-up to Cycling Industry Pt. 2...

I wanted to follow-up my previous post with a couple direct quotes from both John Burke, President of Trek, and Roger Bird, Director of Retail developement. Here goes....

At the most recent Dealer Meeting which was held in Madison, WI this past fall, John Burke made Trek's plan very clear: "We will be opening Concept Stores in your area if we feel Trek is not well-represented."

In a recent article in an industry publication, Roger Bird made the following statements:
"Our focusis world-class retail" Bird said, "Go to the Apple Computer Store, or the Disney Store, or The Gap on 5th Avenue, or to Times Square in New York and look at any of those stores- that's world-class retail, that's our benchmark."

Bird emphasized that Trek is not looking to own concept stores, but rather to build them in strategic markets rither with a dealer, or independently, and then hand the operation over to a competent and commited retailer.

These are direct quotes folks. I'm not making this stuff up. Trek is obviously positioning themselves for growth and survival in todays ever-changing retail environment. It seems apparent that that direction does not include the "traditional" bike shop. Thanks for reading.
-John

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Cycling Industry Part 2

After a recent conversation with a shop owner who just happen to find this blog, I think that I need to take a moment to make my position when it comes to IBDs (Independent Bicycle Dealers) perfectly clear. First of all, I am not anti-bike shop nor do I go about "bashing" bike shops whenever I have a chance to do so. I like visiting a local bike shop as much as the next guy, but I believe that most are going to go the way of the dinosaur if they don't get their collective heads out of the sand.
The cycling industry, more specifically the retailers, have been slow to change with the current national and even international retail environment. That being said, its (the IBD) threatening demise is solely not its own fault. Choices made by the manufactures and distributers have had large effect on the current state of retailers. Distribution, purchasing programs, and the lack of some sort of legitimate certifications are just a few issues that I think fall squarely on the shoulders of the manufactures and distributors.
I think that current IBDs need to realize that it's only a matter of time when the larger bike manufactures open up factory stores (or "convert" to largest, most established dealer to Branded Trek Stores) in every medium and large metropolitan area. Trek has already fired warning shots over the bow in recent industry publications by stating that they will open Trek stores in any areas that they feel that they are under-represented... If that isn't open-ended, I don't know what is! It really comes down to this. The bike guys and the component/accessory companies need to continually grow their sales. Their main distribution chanel (independent bike shops) has been drastically shrinking. Because of this fact, I'm sure that those who are in charge of those companies are rethinking how they will distribute they products to the end-user. And when the dust settles, I think that we're going to see a completely different playing field. But that can be the topic for Part 3. Thanks for reading! -John

Monday, March 07, 2005


Snap-On Torque Wrench being used to during a recent Dura Ace 10 build...

Check this. Tech Fashion

Oakley Puts Own Spin On Hands-Free Phone Calls MARCH 07, 2005 -- FOOTHILL RANCH, CA --Oakley and Motorola have developed Bluetooth-enabled sunglasses, which allow the wearer to talk on the phone through their sunglasses. The shades, called "RAZRwire," wirelessly connect to the wearer's cell phone after a call is initiated."Motorola's leadership in Bluetooth wireless technology has opened doors with industry leaders like Oakley, who have the credibility and engineering expertise to collaborate on breakthrough products," said Bruce Hawver, vice president and general manager at Motorola Companion Products group.The Bluetooth-enabled sunglasses are available in three different colors and have impact-resistant and UV protection. The glasses are expected to be available by mid-year."Technology is shaping the future of fashion," said Cos Lykos, vice president business development at Oakley. "RAZRWire is a uniquely positioned product that innovates fashion with science to blend form with function, optimizing both."Motorola also collaborated with snowboard maker Burton to produce a Bluetooth-enabled jacket and helmet, which will be available for winter 2006.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I can't wait...

When will cycling computer manufactures such as Cateye, Ciclosport, Vetta, or even the power guys (PowerTap and SRM) incorporate BlueTooth technology into their products? It bugs the heck out of me having to string wires from stem to stern almost like a Christmas tree! Especially on high-end beautiful bikes... Kinda looks like a piece of artwork that has been tagged with graffiti. I don't know of any sexy way to run the wires for a rear wheel sensor wired computer with cadence. Maybe that's because there isn't a practical way to do it. Take Power Tap for example. It's a great product that can be even greater if you didn't have to run wires in just about every direction. Maybe it's time to step up to the latest in short-distance wireless technology. And while we're on the subject of wireless, wouldn't you think that the Shimano and Campy folks are thinking the same thing? Wireless electronic shifting... God, I love technology! Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Testimonials...

I just added a page to the website that contains testimonials from customers. You can find the page here. I will be adding more when I get time.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Check this out...

I just made a call to the Trek Store down in Columbus Ohio. Among other things, I was informed by a salesperson that they have a 30 day exchange policy. You can go in there, drop $1k+ on a 53cm Lemond XXX. You take it home and ride it for a week or so. But something in the back of you mind is bugging you, such as, "maybe I should have bought that Madone instead..." or "I should have purchased the 55cm..." Now that's no longer a concern if you purchace that bike from the Trek Store... As long as you bring that recently purchased bike within the 30 days of purchase, Trek will put the amount that you paid for the bike that you are returning towards another bike. Wow...kinda takes the worry out of making a large $$$ purchase mistake.
Hey, all of you IBD's out there...kinda scary huh? It's just a matter of time when there will be a Trek Store in your neighborhood. Then, what are you going to do?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lance is going for 7

This just out...Lance Armstrong has make an official announcement that he will indeed do the 2005 TdF. Here's the link.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hey Trek...

Hey Trek....What the heck are you doing?!?!? Are you following in the footsteps of other companies that provide crappy customer service or are you just trying to help the other bike companies sell more bikes?
I know of three people in the same amount of months who are less than happy with the warranty process. In fact all three are really hacked off. All are seriously considering jumping ship to another brand. Besides me getting upset because of the level of service these good people have received, I also feel one inch tall because of my recommendations made. Maybe it's time for me to start changing my tune...
Up until recently, making the recommendation to buy a Trek was an easy one and my confidence was high that if there was ever a warranty issue, it would be rectified seamlessly. That's the way it was for me the 12+ years of dealing directly with the company. Hey, maybe it's time for me to change the way I recommend Trek. In fact, I welcome John Burke, President of Trek Bicycle Company, to call me directly at 440-503-6257 if he wants to discuss this with me. Hey, I'll go to bat for these three disgruntled clients... For some reason I have a feeling that there's more out there that share the same frustrations. Hey Specialized and Giant...are you listening... Thanks for reading. -John

Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Hi!! I'm am Completely Unemployable!"


...I don't even know what to say....Maybe that you're still going to look like an idiot even after you 13+ hours of laser surgery...

...Maybe I'll join the Circus...


YOUR CAPTIONS GO HERE.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Latest Build. VCW with Ultegra 10 ...Nice.


I just completed this latest custom build of a Vail Cycle Works built up with Ultegra 10...Nice Bike.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Happy Birthday Bob Marley!

Today marks the day that Bob Marley would have been 60 years old. Even though I disagree with some of his beliefs, I do appriciate his music and some of his influences. For me, nothing marks spring more than listing to Bob Marley.

View regarding Ultegra 10 and DA 10

I just wanted to give you my brief opinion regarding the quality level of the new Ultegra 10 vs. the Dura Ace 10. I will be asked numerous times over the course of the year my opinion about the two Shimano 10 speed groups. Initially, I can say that without any doubt, that DA is worth the extra $$$. That's not to say that the new Ultegra 10 isn't a great component group....But is there a substantial difference between the two? My short answer is yes.
That being said, I was impressed with the latest build that I performed that involved mainly an entire upgrade to Ultegra 10, less the derailleurs (Yes, an Ultegra 9 rear derailleur, as long as it's in good condition, will work with Ult 10 STI's , chain, and cassette). Can I honestly recommend a 2005 Ultegra 10 group or at least a drivetrain upgrade? Absolutely Yes. Is the Dura Ace worth the difference in the price? Again, absolutely yes. That is if it's in your budget... In closing, the new Shimano Ultegra 10 is a great way to get into the wonderful world of 10 speed without breaking to bank. That's it for now. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

SRM and PowerTap Article

As requested by someone I met yesterday, here's a link to the abstract of an article regarding accuracy and calibration. I'm still trying to get a link to the complete article.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Quote of the day...

"Any ideas on why so many local bike shops are almost hopelessly inept at servicing the road cycling crowd? I'm all for supporting local business and I'm damned sure I've given my local and my race team sponsor shops plenty of opportunities but it's like they go out of their way to not have this or f-ck up that. Thank Christ for ExcelSports and the like."--participant in The Cycling Enthusiast - 2004, produced by International Cycle Works

(knock....knock...heeelllllloooooo) Mr/Mrs BikeShopOwner..... This attitude is more common than you think... This viewpoint isn't new...

Monday, January 31, 2005

Check it out

It's a first for RogueMechanic. You can find the first print advertisement in the just released "Keeper" edition of North Coast Sports. I firmly believe that word of mouth and referals are the best forms of promotion, but, I felt the need and the obligation to all the cyclists out there to "send up a flare" so to speak. I believe that there are thousands out there that deserve better. So, to all of you reading this blog for the first time, welcome. Check out the website. See what RogueMechanic is all about. Thanks!

Shimano Road Brake Cable Recall

Here's the link to the recall info. All RogueMechanic clients need not worry. I did not use the cables that is involved in the recall. Here's the link.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Lance speaks his mind...

Check out this link to an audio file of Lance calling Trek HQ after his first ride on his new OCLV TT frame that he used in the 2000 Tour de France. Turn up your speakers...
http://rbi.ims.ca/4385-569

Monday, January 17, 2005

A few things...

Wow, I'm back. I think that I'm finally over a bout with either ebola or the flu...I'm still not sure what it was because, among other things, I SWEAR that I was bleeding out of my eyes....Wow, that was not fun.... Anyway, I'm tweeking the blog a bit based on some suggestions that I received both from the poll and other casual outside sources. You said that you want more photos, tech info, and behind the scene bike shop stuff... Well, I aim to please. Keep those comments and suggestions coming. I'll do what I can.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Website updated!

Instead of posting, I've been spending what time I have updating the RogueMechanic website. I'm not done yet, but you should still check it out.
www.roguemechanic.com

Thanks! -John

Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you and your family the best in 2005!
Cheers!
-John

Friday, December 24, 2004

Wishing all of you the Best!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope that this holiday season is relaxing and enjoyable to you and yours! -John

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Cycling Industry Part 1

In this series of posts, I will give you my opinion of the current state of the industry and where I think it needs to go. Sounds like a bold statement coming from one person. I'd be the first to admit that it is. I also firmly believe that I have always looked at things differently and have always tried to not march lock-step with everyone else. So, sit back and take it all in. And, as always, let me know what you think. Your comments are always welcome.

The current bike shop as we all know, has over the years, gone thru relatively minor changes. You can walk into just about any shop in the US and there would be less than a handful that would stand out as being unique. Most are stuck in the rut of doing the same thing that they were doing in the 90's with the exception of maybe a computerized point of sale system. I'd make a bet that you chance of experiencing at least one of the following would be better than 90%...
-A major attitude if you bring in a mail order catalog.
-More floor space dedicated to bikes than anything else.
-A minimum of 3 tattoos and 2 piercings.
-A staff with an average age of 19.
-The "Mechanics" having less than 2 years of experience.
-An owner with a bad attitude towards the major bike producers.
For the most part, nothing has changed in the last decade, with the exception that now, more than ever, there are fewer shops and that they are dropping like flys... To be continued...

New for 2005, RockShox Ultra convenient Quick Release Stanchion Tubes! (Not available on all forks...) No...this is not supposed to happen...

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Sometimes you have to make the tool to get the job done the right way...Here's a side view of a tool made so that I can properly torque the new style Shimano NDS crankarm onto the spindle. I couldn't wait for Shimano to produce one...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Checking in

Wow...I would have never expected to be this busy. The last two months have been good. I'm starting to see that there's a strong demand for what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. I have so much that I want to write about, but I also have alot of work to do. Clients trump posting on the blog....They always will. So everyone's going to have to sit tight until I get a chance to write. Thanks for reading! -John

Thursday, December 09, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Warning!!! This can be your bar!!!


Here's an example of a damaged carbon bar more than likely caused by over tightening the fasteners. This was caught during a typical inspection before failure and is subsiquently being replaced. You, on the other hand might not be so lucky...Like I said in a prior post, Inspect your bars and stem or have me inspect them for you. Ok...enough preachin'...

Great Gift Idea...

Do yourself a favor and impress all around you by ordering a Capt Brecks Rum Cake. It's the Official Rum Cake of the RogueMechanic. Without a doubt the BEST rum cake on the planet. Heck, get one for yourself too. I highly recomend the Chocolate Raspberry. Here's the link, www.captainbreck.com . Order while you still can! -John

Blind to change.

Change just to change is not necessarily good, but change towards improvement is almost always a good thing. It's safe to say that in the last five years we've seen major changes in the way numerous industries conduct business. With the music industry, there's mp3's that can be purchased and downloaded off of the internet (Have you checked out iTunes lately?). How about greeting cards (American Greetings and Hallmark) have been shifting their focus because of the popularity of e-cards. The huge change in radio broadcasting that is coming in the form of satellite radio...These are just a few examples. Why am I bringing this up? Because I firmly believe that the only change that the cycling industry has been experiencing is IBD's dropping like flys. This industry needs a major change and I plan to make my voice heard. Stay tuned... Thanks for reading. -John

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Free Advice #2

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Listen up!!

I feel that it's important to make all of you aware, or at least remind some of you, of the critical importance of bar and stem care. First of all, let me remind you that most manufactures of high quality (i.e. pro level, light weight) handlebars and stems recommend that you replace these items after 2 years of racing or hard riding and/or immediately after a crash. I'll bet anybody a beer that 90% out there who are riding on bar that is in the neighborhood of 200g has been using that bar for over 2 years and/or has laid the bike down without even thinking about replacing the bars ("I'll just straighten the lever and replace the tape and I'll be good to go...") You should at least have the bars and stem inspected post crash by someone who knows what to look for. Next, I need to mention following proper torque for all stem bolts. This is critical. Most of the bikes that I inspect for the first time have the stem bolt severely over-torqued. This is bad. The consequences are usually a handlebar failure or a bolt failure. Both of which are not good.
The moral of the story is, 1. If you have been riding on handlebars that are in the 200g range and/or a stem in the sub 150g range for over 2 years or have crashed, replace them asap before things go bad real quick. 2. Inspect your current bars and stem for damage. This includes bolts that have been torqued well over the manufactures specifications.
I don't mean to be an alarmist, I just care. You know how to contact me. Thanks for reading. -John

Free Advice #1

Speak to me John...- click to play

Sunday, November 14, 2004

New Addition Audio Posting

this is an audio post from John - click to play

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Beef and Respect

I want to know what happened to good old customer service and the pursuit of excellence? Just because you own a business or have a job doesn't mean that you are entitled to business or that job. This frustrates me. Don't be put off by me being there asking questions or look for a pat on your back for actually doing your job. If customers annoy you, close your business. If you hate your job, then quit. Go do something that you enjoy doing and save both of us the grief. The opportunities are limitless. One last thing, thank a Veteran today on Veterans Day and don't EVER forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this great country. -John

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Who's Next?!?!

Now that I am out from under a ton of work, I can resume posting. It has been kinda busy lately... but nothing I couldn't handle. It's good to be busy at this time of the season. It's not like it was when I had the store....
I have in front of me the July 2004 Cleveland Yellow Pages. Looking under "Bicycles-Dealers" I see the following; Bicycle Boulevard, Bike Authority, Bikes Boards Skates, Brecksville Velo Sport, Century Cycles (4 locations), Cycle Sport & Fitness (2 locations), Easy Rider Bicycle Shop, Eddys Bike Shop (4 locations), Fairview Cycle and Fitness, Fantasy Toys Lowrider Bicycle and Hobby (oh my...), Fleet Bike Shop, Fridrich Bicycle Inc. (a Cleveland institution...), Garfield Bike Shop, Gordon Cycle and Supply, Hi-Tech Cycles, Hubbub Custom Bicycles, Independence Bike Shop, Lorain Triskett Cycle and Fitness, Marty's Bike Shop, Marty's Cycle Center, Odens Bike Shop (who?!?), Ohio Bikes and Boards, Parkside Cyclery, Parma Cycle, Royal Cycle, Schneider's, Shaker Cycle (W5th goes thru Shaker?), Ski & Sport Haus, Solon Bicycle, Spin, ...whew, I'm getting tired typing...but I'll go on...Spoke-n-Wheel Cycle Center, The Triathlete Store, Westgate Cycle. I think I'm done. Now, I counted 40. Forty shops just in the Cleveland area! This list is not up to date because a number have already closed or are in the process of closing. I just received word today that Hubbub Custom Bicycles is in the process of selling their remaining inventory... Now, who's next? -John

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


How NOT to ship your bike!!! I received this shipment today via DHL. I want to go on record and say that I strongly recommend AGAINST shipping your bike in this fashion. -John

Monday, November 01, 2004

Response to Bicycling Mag Article

Last week I received a few calls about the cover article in the latest edition of Bicycling Magazine titled "Is your mechanic honest?" Most of the calls wrote the article off as an example of shock journalism. An effort to sell more magazines. I have to agree. When I took the time to read the article, I found it more outlandish than real. Does this stuff really happen? Makes me want to avoid NYC bike shops. Three of the examples have to do with blatant dishonesty and illegal practices. The other two paragraphs are directly associated with incompetence....No suprises here. Remember, Hal is writing about bike shops. Speaking of Hal, after doing a little research about the shop where he "wrenches" at, I am not suprised at all about this article. Bicycle Habitat does not come across as a shop that exudes talent and high standards. Then again, neither does Bicycling Magazine. -John

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

BC and the World Series (it's a stretch!)

While talking with my brother about the World Series today, he jogged my memory about something that happened at TBC that I had forgotten about that kinda ties TBC in the wildest sense (work with me here...) to this years World Series...Sometime in the mid 90's (I'm thinking 1995ish....) Julian Tavarez (who is a pitcher on the Cardnals) came into the shop (he was on the Indians roster at the time) that purchased something. My brother recalls that when he handed him the change, Julian dropped the coins on the floor and said that he "doesn't do coins...." and walked out. Based on his temperment durring this years playoffs, it appears that he hasn't changed much. A real class act. Another reason to say "Go Sox!" That's it for now. If I remember, I'll write about the time Bill Belichick (Browns head coach) stopped in to pick up a bike for his daughter. I gotta get back to work. Thanks for reading! -John

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Someone to turn to.

One of the services that I provide is consulting. Now you have someone to turn to for an unbiased opinion about what bike/frame/component/wheels to buy that will best fit your needs. What works and what doesn't. What's the best bang for the buck. I cut thru all of the marketing BS and tell you like it is. It's refreshing and it will give you the piece of mind so that you can make the right purchasing decision.
Unlike your local bike shop, I do not have rows of bikes and shelves of components that I need to sell. Unfortunately, when you walk into a bike shop, they are going to recommend something that they stock or carry no matter if it's right for you. This is certainly not unbiased. Now you can walk in and tell them exactly what you want knowing that it's the right product for you. Period.
"What's all of this going to cost me?" you ask... I typically require a mere $50/hr. Anything over and hour depends on the beverages that are being poured... When you are considering a bike purchase over $2k or a wheel/component upgrade over $1,500, this is a small price to pay to know that you are making the right purchase. Think about it. We can meet anywhere that is convenient for you. Typically, I've meet clients at the local Starbucks, pub, restaurant, home or office. For those of you that are out of town, the phone works too. All you have to do is call me at (440)503-6257 or send me an e-mail at roguemechanic@hotmail.com to arrange an appointment. That's it for now. Thanks for reading! -John

Sunday, October 24, 2004

What I do.

One common question that I am asked is what services I provide. Well...here goes in list form...

  • All common maintenance issues.
  • All repairs short of major frame repairs.
  • All Component installations.
  • All suspension work including rear pivots.
  • Wheel building.
  • Insurance estimates.
  • Expert witness for legal cases related to bikes.
  • Consulting

There you have it. This is a very condensed list but it will at least answer some questions. I pretty much do everything...and then some (with the exception of BMX. You have to draw the line somewhere!). Thanks for reading. -John



Fun with PhotoShop 2...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Please explain...

Instead of dancing around the subject, I'm going to get right to the point. Why is it that some cyclists, who are more than your run-of-the-mill enthusiasts, those who own bikes that are on the north side of $2k and are associated with some sort of team or club with a sponsorship, are willing to entrust their bike maintenance/repairs/upgrades to someone or some place that most of the time does sub-standard work and lacks the experience, knowledge and integrity that one deserves? Where the main focus is to sell you as much a possible, if you need it or not. Where the main enticements is the "Holy Discount". Without the discount, would they still support the shop? Maybe, maybe not. I can understand wanting/needing some sort of discount, especially with bikes, accessories and such. But not when it comes to actual work done on your bike. The discounts given on repair work has to be recoopted from somewhere else...usually in low wages for mechanics and quick turnaround with your repair. Turn 'em and burn 'em. Get them in and out in the shortest amount of time possible. Quality be damned.... I find this disturbing. I see this way too much. Bikes assembled improperly and the same with repairs. Are people ultimately willing to forego high quality work and standards for the lowest price? I want to believe that is not the case. I believe that people seek out excellence and integrity. With this comes confidence. Confidence that the work performed on your bike was done properly and to each manufactures specifications. Confidence is paramount. Especially when dealing with components that push the envelope in material science (were your stem bolts or crankarm bolts torqued to manufactures specifications? When was the last time they were checked?). I believe that this piece of mind is important. My focus is to provide you the highest quality work possible with integrity and at the professional level that you should expect and deserve. Period. That's it for now...I have bikes that need my attention... As always, I welcome your comments/opinions here or at www.roguemechanic.com Thanks for reading. -John

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Not sure...

IF the Sox and the Astros make it to the World Series, I'm not sure what I'd like to see more....Clemens winning a ring or Pedro stepping into the batters box ... :)

Prediction #1

Within the next 12-24 months, Trek is going to have at least one Factory/Company store in the area. Columbus already has one with a second opening soon. This store most likely will not be owned by Trek, but rather branded as a Trek Store with all of the signage, POP and such. The ownership won't change. I think that John Burke (Pres. of Trek) will offer Eddys a financial offer that he won't be able to refuse to convert the Stow location to a Trek Store. Concurrently, one-third of the current single location stores will close. I guess that only time will tell...

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

As if we didn't see this coming...

I just heard a few days ago that another shop in N.E. Ohio is closing its doors. This didn't come as a suprise...I'm suprised that it lasted as long as it did... If you really want to know who it is, you're gonna have to ask...

Venti...

This morning it's a Venti. Usually it's a Grande...but after staying up late to watch the Sox and Yankees game, finishing up on some quotes, working on this blog, and bills, I need a little extra this morning. Thank God for Starbucks. As for the game, I want the Sox to win, but I still hate Pedro more than the Yankees. It would be neat to see the Astros vs Sox in the World Series. It would be great to see Clemens win one with Houston.

Anyway, here's a few more things...for your convenience, I can be reached via IM. MSN=RogueMechanic and Yahoo=johnlsatory.

Hey, check out the poll on the bottom of this page. Help me out by taking the poll.
Thanks. -John

Monday, October 18, 2004

Fun with Photoshop


Your Fearless Leader.

Truth and Consequences

As mentioned in my prior post, I am realizing that to take this to the next step, which is beyond solely word-of-mouth promotion to get the word out, one of the consequences is that I will not be making anymore friends (or keeping them) with the bike shop set (ie the owners). Now, there are a few forward thinking shop owners (you know who you are...) whom I have very good symbiotic relationships with. I am grateful for those relationships and I will work to grow them. Anyway, here's why... What I am doing brings to light their lack of focus, incompetence, and unprofessionalism. It's not that they intend to possess these qualities, most just have them (and few are doing anything about it). When I am asked to evaluate a repair or inspect a bike (new or otherwise) and I find blatant errors, it is my responsibility to inform my client what is wrong and why. To speak the truth, there is no other way but to say, "this was installed/adjusted/spec'd improperly." This does not make the shop look good. Another aspect is the "de-programming" that I do. The mis-information that is spread by some shops is enormous and wide spread. I'm not talking about opinions about one thing or another, just facts. This will indeed take some work... Speaking of work, I have get back to it. -John

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Looking back...

It's hard to believe that I've been doing this thing since May. This thing that I dubbed RogueMechanic is growing into something that has the potential to make an impact. Not only in the cycling industry, but it can network into other industries that require technical and skilled mechanics/technicians. For now, I will only be focusing on the industry that I know well.
Looking back over the past 6ish months has been a real eye-opener. One thing that I have come to believe is that I can no longer move forward doing what I do and not burn some bridges. Unfortunately, this is going to be unavoidable. RogueMechanic brings to light the incompetence, illegitimacy, and unprofessionalism that saturates this industry. I also will have to spend a considerable amount of time and energy un-doing what has unfortunately become the status quo or common practice. One example is relying on taking your bike to a bike retailer (shop) to get need repairs, maintenance, or advice. This is only the beginning. This blog-thing is gong to be fun... -John

Welcome to RogueMechanic!!!

Welcome to the blog for the RogueMechanic. You can check out what RogueMechanic is all about at www.roguemechanic.com The views and opinions posted in this blog are those of the host. I reserve the right to tell the truth. Don't be alarmed. I also welcome any input and opinions. I hope that you will find this blog insightful, eye-opening and maybe even entertaining. I am going to use this blog as my soapbox so to speak. It's time to rise up against the mediocrity associated but not limited to the cycling industry. More specifically, the service aspect. I hope that you will make this blog a regular stop. I promise to do my part to raise some eyebrows and to lead you in the revolution against the status quo. I'm glad your here. -John