We do a lot of bike service here at Carytown Bikes. For many of us, there’s a special thrill in seeing an old bike covered in dust and cobwebs come in for its first maintenance in decades.
What excites us so much is how those bikes so often clean up well, a good scrubbing of the drivetrain, some well-placed grease, careful disassembly and reassembly, and very quickly the customer has something that runs as smoothly as it did in 1978.
What worries us is we just don’t see newer bikes as much. An ever-present concern is what we call “disposable bikes” — bikes purchased and used for a year or two before they’re thrown into the corner of the garage or, even worse, the landfill.
We get it, interests change, kids grow up, life gets in the way. But someday, that bike will be remembered: a younger sibling will want to ride, a child will go off to college, or you’ll want something to ride around at the beach.
And with so many “disposable” bikes that’s where the problems start. The cost to breathe new life into them is almost as much as the original price, parts no longer need elbow grease and instead require replacement, it becomes a lot easier to buy a new one, and another bike finds itself in the dumpster.
We love bikes here at CBC, and we don’t want that to happen — we hate to see them suffer an untimely demise. We’d much rather sell the right bike to our customers and see them come in for occasional maintenance year after year. That’s not just something we believe for our top-of-the-line bikes, that’s something we love to see in the neighborhood cruiser and the kids’ bike now on its third rider. We love to see our bikes become part of the family.