Sergio Ibanez is the mechanic at one of Auckland’s most-recognised bike shops, Bike Barn on the corner of Symonds Street and Khyber Pass Road. Originally from Madrid, Sergio knows bikes inside out – he’s competed on them, repaired them and has even managed a race team. Who better to answer three questions about feeding and watering one’s bicycle? Ross Inglis poses the questions:
What’s the difference between a bike service and an overhaul, and how do I know which my bike needs?
A bike service can include adjusting brakes or gears if they are not working properly, replacing broken parts or greasing your wheel hubs. An overhaul is much more ambitious. It means undoing your whole bike part by part, cleaning and lubricating them, and then reassembling and adjusting them. Your bike needs a service when it is not working properly or when something is making strange noises. I recommend servicing a least once a year and replacing cables every year or 18 months. An overhaul is recommended if your bike has been in storage for a long time, or every three years if you use and service your bike regularly. With my own bike, for example, I do an overhaul every winter and a full service in summer.
I leave my bike on our balcony; my partner says it’s just going to rust away. It’s a cheap bike and I really don’t care what it looks like. Does a bit of rust matter?
That depends on where the rust is. If your stem bolts or bottle cage bolts are rusty and you don’t need to adjust them anymore, it won´t be a big problem. But a rusty chain or cables are bad news: gears and brakes won´t work properly, rusty spokes will soon be broken spokes and rusty bearings in your bottom bracket, hubs or headset will prevent smooth pedalling and control. If you’re not sure, the best idea is to take your bike to the closest bike store so a professional mechanic can take a look at it.
Bike prices appear to be largely determined by the quality of the components. What’s the sweet spot for price and performance?
It very much depends on the rider. For a commuting rider, a Shimano Sora groupset should be enough. If you can afford it, Tiagra is better. If you’re a road cyclist and want better performance, start with Shimano 105. Also consider the rider’s age. Say you’re buying a bike for a 13-year-old who is starting in road races. Sora or Tiagra is going to be more than enough for them, especially because they will likely grow out of the bike in two years. For me, though, 105 offers a really good balance between performance and price.
Bike Barn Central
Corner of Symonds St and Khyber Pass Road
09 379 2524