Yesterday at the shop, a guy wheeled in a Trek 4300 he wanted us to "fix" his rear wheel on. Well, the thing was, the wheel was modified for use with a motor of some sort. Yeah.........that's pretty much the magic word that means I won't work on it. There are a lot of things inherently wrong mechanically and philosophically with the whole concept of modifying an existing bicycle to accept a motor. I won't get into the several reasons for that here. The thing I was surprised to hear about was that I must not be the only bike wrench to feel this way. A co-worker of mine sent me the following from a FAQ on a small engine site:
Would a bicycle shop be a good place to take my Eagle for installation?
No, many bicycle shops have a negative attitude, when it comes to motorizing a bike, they feel everyone should be in Lance's physical condition. If you don't have the time (or the inclination) to do the installation yourself, take the unit to your neighborhood lawn and garden repair - these folks are familiar with engines And which end of the screwdriver to use!
So, What's Lance got to do, got to do with it? ( appologies to Tina Turner)
This is so funny and pathetic on many levels. Obviously, the touch point for most folks outside of cycling is Lance Armstrong. Now that is interesting. Given that the image they probably have of him is of a man in tip-top physical condition, a condition most of us are unlikely to reach in our lifetimes, and you can see why this is what "they" think cycling is. Then the observation makes more sense. It also points to what I've been saying for years, that lionizing people like Lance Armstrong isn't going to do cycling any favors with the general public, but that's a whole 'nuther story.
It's interesting also to me that they recommend taking your ill-concieved motorcycle to a lawn and garden shop. Hmm..........makes me wonder if they've allready been laughed out of the local motorcycle shop. Because, well........usually you take a motorcycle to a motorcycle shop, right? It seems to me that this "motorized bicycle community" has an identity crisis.
Well, one thing is for sure, if you put a motor on a bicycle it becomes a motorcycle. That's pretty obvious I think. Next, don't be bringing your motorcycle to a bicycle shop. Wrong place to get service on anything motorized, ya know?
Finally, perhaps we all could do a better job of being nice to these freak machine wielding folks when they come into our shops. Apparently they don't understand who they are, so how can you blame them.