What to expect at the bike shop when you come in for a spring tuneup

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Behind the bike shop: What to expect when you come in for a tuneup

It's that time of year again: Everyone needs a tuneup

By Brent Robinson

There's no question that more and more people are cycling in this city - which is great for everyone - and as a result spring in a bike shop is always a hectic time. Both the sales and the service side of the shop reach their operating limit at this time and we've got more people streaming through the doors than any other season.

I like to compare bike shops to restaurants. The salespeople are your wait staff, your front-of-house folk. They're likely the first people you're going to talk to as you walk in the door and they should be able to give you information on buying a new bike or accessories.

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If you come in to any shop on a sunny Saturday in spring, odds are it's going to be absolutely packed. Always leave more time than you think to test ride a few different bikes once you've narrowed down your choices.While we try and say hi to everyone that walks in the door, the bike buying process can take some time.

As well, popular accessories sell off the sales floor, so if you can't find what you're looking for it's likely in overstock and if not there then it's likely orderable. If you need some help, always ask someone. Even if they're busy and can't help you right away, they will do their best to track down someone who can.

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In terms of the service center, they're definitely the chefs of the bicycle world, the back-of-house. You may not have as many interactions with them but every bike in there – every sale, every bike that had to be built, every tuneup – went through them. As soon as the warm weather hits everybody wants to get their bike out and have it tuned, and as a result tuneup wait times can get quite long. We do our tuneups by appointment so always call or email before walking in with your bike. We offer a 24-hour turnaround so that you're never without your bike for more than a day. However, we don't offer tuneups on weekends and it can be a two- to three-week wait for an appointment.

Spring is the time where everybody needs to come in to the shop and our staff definitely see it. We strive to make sure that everybody gets helped out but during this season we experience the biggest  rush of the year. With a little bit of patience and knowing that we want to help everybody possible, we can work together to make sure you have a smooth and safe spring ride after your shop visit.

Brent Robinson is a dandyhorse contributor who works at Sweet Pete's.

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