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Is your bike ready for Ironman Wisconsin?

Mechanical gremlins lurking inside your bike may end your big day before the finish line- or in an ambulance. See the problems we found this week on bikes headed to Ironman Wisconsin and then bring your bike in for a Pre-Ironman Wisconsin tune-up to avoid the problems and risks. You trained hard for Ironman- don't let a minor mechanical problem become a major disappointment.

Ironman Wisconsin tune-ups are being done now and receiving top priority. With an appointment, we can do them while you wait- about 2 hours. This includes complete inspection, tuning and mechnical work. Expect to pay between $50 and $200 depending on how much work you need and the cost of replacement parts. Call us TODAY at (313) 278-1350 to arrange a tune-up before Ironman Wiscosin.

Some problems can ruin your race, others may contribute to a serious crash. This stem was on a bike that is meticulously maintained and ridden moderately. Simple wear and tear in addition to other factors started these small cracks. Eventually the stem would fail, causing the handlebars to come off. These are the type of perfromance and safety problems we look for in a pre-Ironman tune-up.
A brake barrel adjuster with a cable ferrule lodged in it was tough to spot. The brass ferrule has jagged edges that damages cable housing. White perspiration residue caused the brake cable to have friction resulting in poor braking and possibly contributing to cable breakage. After a long season of Ironman training this is what we look for.
Corrosion on the cable clamp bolt and brake shoe attachment bolt make adjustment difficult and can contribute to component failures. An accumulation of perspiration and sports drink residue make for a corrosive soup that damages lightweight alloy components. Carrying the bike on an outside car rack speed the process by exposing it to the elements like rain, sun and high freeway wind speeds. This is also something we are looking for before you take your bike to Ironman.
The brakes felt sluggish and did not return well. This plastic bushing is supposed to be a perfect cylinder- like a miniature black plastic paper towel roll. Instead, wear and tear has caused the bushing to break and the brake to become less effective. This is dangerous while cornering and descending. On a hilly course like Ironman Wisconsin this is an accident ready to happen. In a pre-Ironman tune-up it is all about the details.
It's not about the bike: The cleats on these shoes were dangerously worn by a long season of Ironman preparation. Each of us tend to stop with one foot down on the bike. This is the foot where your cleat wear is highest. It is important to inspect your shoes as well as your bike before you leave for the big race.
Both cleats are significantly worn but few people think to check their cleat wear. also, seized hardware can ruin your expensive cycling shoes. One thing you don't want to do is switch shoes right before Ironman. In a pre-Ironman tune-up we check your shoes also. For want of a $16 pair of cleats your race could over. Or worse.
The dangerous part of worn cleats is the thin toe section. Look at the difference between the thickness of these two cleats at the front of the cleat.
The wear is difficult to see from above but can result in the toe piece snapping. This would cause the rider to suddenly unclip from the pedals. It would be tough to finish a 112 mile bike ride with on pedal, especially after a crash from unclipping when you least expect it.
Bottom brackets are another source of potential race-ending problems. This bottom bracket on a relatively new bike was filled with sports drink residue that had entered the frame through a water bottle braze-on hole. This likely won't lead to failure, but may damage your frame and increase friction.

 

 

© Tom Demerly, Bikesport Inc.
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