Maintaining a fleet of bikes throughout the cycling season is no easy task. Between my wife and I, we’re looking at five bikes; two for her, two for me, and our tandem – the tandem being the more important of the five this year as we’re putting so many miles on it. I’ve been writing for something like eleven years (almost twelve) and every year I have at least a half-dozen posts on maintenance issues.
Well, I haven’t written much about that because, and God help me I hope I don’t jinx anything, I have yet to experience a difficult mechanical issue this year. The Trek and Venge are as near perfection as they’ve ever been. Additionally, my wife’s Alias, after getting a new rear wheel, is as close to perfect as I’ve ever had that bike. Then there’s the tandem, which got new cables last year and is just as good as the rest of the stable.
Now, there’s one interesting thread to this story, and that’s my wife’s saddle location on the tandem. As I said I would earlier this season, I’ve put more time into properly locating my wife’s tandem saddle that I did for my whole stable (mountain, gravel, two road bikes & the tandem). It took the better part of three weeks of stopping now and again to fiddle with the height, fore/aft location, tilt or skew (she actually prefers the saddle to skew ever-so-slightly to the left) but we’ve finally got it to the point she’s content. I almost wrote “happy” but we’re not quite there yet. Close, though, for sure.
Her Specialized Alias was an even bigger triumph. For that, we didn’t even mess around with the “now and again” approach. Before DALMAC we took her bike out and I set to fixing it on the road. We took more than an hour to ride eleven miles but we got the fore/aft and tilt just right before we hit the driveway (she already liked the saddle height, so that was one thing we didn’t have to worry about).
I should add, as well, it helps when major components of the drivetrains on my Trek and Venge were replaced last year. While the shifters, cranks and front derailleurs stayed, the chains, cassettes, rear derailleurs and brake and shifter cables (and housings) were all replaced. My wife’s bike got a new chain, cassette, and cables/housings… and the tandem got new chains early this season and new cables last season. There wasn’t much left to change!