Tales from Rental Hell- all done

On Saturday, December 18, 2010, at 2:00pm, I completed the last winter refurbishment from 2010.  Approximately one week ahead of schedule.  The first delivery of the 2011 fleet order is expected on Wednesday.  The 2011 order is about 1500 bikes strong, including rental cruisers of all sizes, street bikes, mountain bikes, tag-alongs, and, new for 2011, road bikes.


Each one of the bikes the company is retaining had a new chain installed.  One 250′ roll of chain (6000 links) will replace the chain on 58 adult cruisers with 44 links left over.  Each hub and bottom bracket were checked and adjusted accordingly, and with the group of ham fisted summer employees that was a big task on it’s own.  I lost count on how many rear hubs were opened up because of dry clutch springs.  Someone at Shimano must be laughing at me over the dry hubs we got this year.


For cosmetic reasons, every crank axle was cleaned and repainted.  For whatever reason, these were not painted at the factory and showed rust within a few weeks.  However, that helped management and I keep track of what bike was serviced.  Handlebar padding and grips were replaced as needed as well.  Same for pedals and saddles.


Thankfully, the few other full time/year round employees got the thankless and finger numbing job of replacing all the company serial number decals.  The company is making a minor name change, but instead of gradually phasing out the old decals, they wanted all the decals changed before the new year.


To help recoup some expense, we’ve sold all the scrap metal that was removed from the bikes.  Every old chain, pedal, chain guard, broken kickstand, busted wheel, and soda can was sent to a recycler for the scrap value, including a few bent and cracked frames.


I learned how to use my spoke wrench not to just turn spoke nipples, but to use it to check the trueness of the wheel.  I’d like to share, but I can’t really put this method into words.


Headset adjustments had to be done on every bike.  The red company branded bikes were all loose, the silver Fuji Cape May bikes were all tight.  When I figure that one out, I’ll let everyone know.


The company is also trying to sell new bikes, and they aren’t doing so well.  They bought some nice Hampton Cruiser bikes, but try selling new beach cruisers for $300 while you have several hundred used cruisers for $50. I’m glad I get paid regardless if they sell or not.  They aren’t moving for lack of proper and precise assembly.


Being this time of year:


Merry Christmas to all, and have a Happy New Year too.

Be safe out there and keep the rubber side down…..