There I was, just days from heading to Arkansas to ride the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, a rugged and remote International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) “Epic,” and my bike hadn’t seen professional service in seven months. Typical procrastination. Between work, family obligations and packing for the trip, there was no way I was making it to the bike shop beforehand.
I emailed Francesca DeRanzo, the local franchisee for North America’s largest fleet of mobile bike shops, and made a reservation for the next day. The big red-and-black VeloFix van pulled into my driveway right on time after I got home from the office, and while my daughters played around in the front yard with Campy, her canine co-worker, DeRanzo got to work.
I’d signed up for “The Broken Spoke” basic tune-up — VeloFix offers six levels of tune-ups, three for road/tri/cross bikes and three for commuter/mountain bikes — and DeRanzo started off by asking me if I was having any issues with my two-wheeled rig.
Yes, in fact: There seemed to be a slow leak on the rear tire.
DeRanzo put my bike up on the repair stand and checked the tire in question; turns out I needed more sealant for my tubeless setup and there was probably a small puncture that hadn’t been filled in and was seeping air. DeRanzo added more sealant, then refitted and inflated the tire. No more leak, an easy fix.
But that was just the beginning. For the $70 basic tune-up fee, I also got a frame and fork inspection and wipe down, drivetrain inspection and cleaning/lubrication, bearing wear inspection, gear adjust and tune, brake adjust, full bike bolt check and adjustment, and wheel truing.
DeRanzo saw substantial wear to my chain and suggested a new one, which she had in stock and quickly sized and installed. The VeloFix van is equipped with all the tools and parts needed to perform common maintenance and repairs, and any special equipment can be ordered and delivered, oftentimes overnight.
During her post-service test ride, DeRanzo noticed some squeaks and took the time to torque bolts until all the noises were gone. That may seem like a minor detail, but it speaks to the high level of service you can expect from DeRanzo and VeloFix St. Louis.
The whole tune-up lasted about 90 minutes. The bike was cleaned and adjusted impeccably, and I had the confidence of knowing that it had been looked over by a professional prior to my trip to Arkansas. The best part was that all the work was performed at my home around my schedule — and the van and Campy entertained my kids for the evening, too!
Learn more at velofix.com/locations/st-louis/.
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor of Terrain Magazine