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Hardware/Small Engine Repair Shop wants advice on Bicycle Repair Inventory

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Hardware/Small Engine Repair Shop wants advice on Bicycle Repair Inventory

The Hardware/Small Engine Repair shop in Ripley NY also repairs bicycles for local bicyclists. The owner is willing to upgrade inventory and service to include long-distance bicyclists. The town of Ripley also wants to support and encourage distance-bicycling through the town. What specific inventory would you suggest be added to the repair shop to best meet the needs of long-distance bicyclists? We are on a major long-distance bicycle route on route 5.

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The basics are probably all

The basics are probably all you need. Supplies that wear out are the usual: tubes, tires, patch kits, spokes, gear and break cables, smaller bottles of lubricants, etc. in a variety of sizes. Maybe some gloves. As far as equipment, a truing stand to straight wheels, the various hand tools to perform the various repairs to tubes, tires, cables, tightening the headsets, bottom brackets, and air compressor (probably already has), etc.

You should know there is a full-service (dedicated) shop over in the town of North East, OH, so unless the owner finds out there are sufficient quantities of major repairs the owner might want to wait on that. I would start smaller and let demand determine what the owner needs. Once this becomes available, be sure to contact Adventure Cycling Assoc. and let them know so they can update their maps.

Finally, Ripley could have a dedicated low-cost area that allows overnight camping (there already is a campground in the area though). At bear minimum, a 24-hour access toilet and level, non-rocky ground. Obviously, hot showers, electrical outlets (charge phones, GPS, batteries, etc. so actual cost is low), a covered picnic shelter (metal table so can cook on in the rain), and shrubs/landscaping that blocks cars from shining lights continually on the tents as they drive by, would be on my wish list. Wifi would be nice but that is a bit of a reach perhaps. A lot of towns put this near (within a few blocks) the public swimming pool so the showers are available already. However, the toilets would still need to be made available.

Thanks for looking for ways to assist the bicycle touring community!

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Follow-Up Questions and Comments to the Basics

Are there any sizes that predominate that he should stock? This owner is really good at problem solving mechanical issues and is already fixing bicycles for locals. I think I will check with Adventure Cycling Assoc. now and describe the resource and see what they think. I am aware of the shop in North East PA. That is where we bought our bikes and where we go for tune ups.

A grant is being written for the Ripley Town Park. The plan is for a picnic shelter, picnic tables, shower, compost toilet, electric and 5 campsites for the exclusive use of bicyclists. Also, Lake access stairway to the Ripley Beach. The campsites are planned to be located toward the Lake and away from the road in a wooded area. It is a two year plan and construction will not start until Spring of 2018. But we are hopeful that it will come to fruition. I would not have thought of the metal table. Thanks for that info. The showers may not be warm at least at first. Any ideas on low cost warm showers from other sites? Anyone seen solar used at such a site?....just wondering. I have good access to the guy who is writing the grant! The plan is for it to be low cost too....and the park still closes at sun set to only.

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For touring (as opposed to say day club rides), probably 700x32, 700-x35, Get both presta and schraeder tubes. I have not seen "warm" showers, other than a place that skimped on the heating. One thing to remember is that you can charge some for the showers, i.e. coin operated, so it pays for the hot showers. Hot showers are definitely a plus. I personally have not seen solar and I would run the numbers to see just how long that takes to pay for itself. Remember, a bicycle tourist uses very little electricity overall. My guess is that a traditional electrical system would be substantially more cost effective, both in the short and long run. However, a solar water heater might be ok but have not seen one. Regarding the park closing, just make sure the cyclists can leave early in the morning (sunrise) so have a open slot (at least 2.5' wide for the bike with packs) in any gate/fence.

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Besides the usual things for

Besides the usual things for drivetrain, brakes and tires that apply to all bicycles, it would be useful to stock repair kits and replacements for panniers and racks.

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