Monthly Archives: May 2011

Why buy your next bike from Chain Reaction?

The PDFs below will give you an idea of why so many people have been happy with their Chain Reaction bikes! We do a lot of things that surprise people, including caring about you & your bike long after you’ve handed over your credit card and we’ve given you the owner’s manual. There are significant differences between various bike shops, and you’ll pick up on this if you’ve visited a few. Fortunately, we’re in an area with a number of reputable, caring bike shops. It’s not too hard to figure out which are good & which aren’t. Perhaps the best question you can ask yourself is this- Is this a shop that’s going to take good care of me if I come back a few months down the road with a gear issue, or maybe need some help with getting rid of a pain I get in my shoulder on longer rides?

And what if you didn’t buy your bike from Chain Reaction Bicycles, and something’s not quite right about it? We’re a bike shop, so we have an obligation to try and keep your bike on the road, whether purchased from us or not. But if our backlog gets so large you’d have to wait weeks, we may refer you to Eric Fetch, also known as THE BIKE DOCTOR. For quite a few years he’s run a mobile repair operation, offering fast turnaround, high quality and reasonable rates. Call him at 408 202 8833 to set up an appointment, or email him at

Does it seem strange that we’re advertising a competitor for bike service? Perhaps. But we have an obligation to the cycling community that we take seriously, and if we can’t take care of something ourselves, we’re very happy to find someone who can.

For bike fittings, we can do a very limited number of bike fittings (on bikes purchased elsewhere) on Wednesdays between 1:30-4:30pm in our Redwood City location. These have to be scheduled ahead of time, and are available only as staffing and business conditions allow (during the busier time of the year, typically from mid-March-September, we may not be able to do them at all). The cost is $50 for the first half hour, and $15 each subsequent 15 minutes. A typical fitting will involve interviewing you regarding the type of riding you do, your goals, and the issues you’re having. We’ll likely observe you on your bike as it’s presently set up, so we have a baseline. Then we may take arm, shoulder, torso, inseam & foot measurements, and make changes to your bike according to recommendations from the New England Cycling Academy’s FitKit. We will then look at you on the bike again, because measurements are just the beginning. Depending who is doing the fitting, you may or may not be set up in a trainer (I would rather observe someone doing laps in our parking lot. It’s my feeling that people tend to “perform” when set up on a trainer, trying to figure out what I’m looking for. When outside, after just a minute or two people relax and I’ll see things I otherwise wouldn’t. But that’s just me; most prefer to set people up on the trainer, feeling it’s a more controlled environment and easier to work with. –Mike–).

Just to be clear, when you buy a bike from Chain Reaction, there is no charge for fitting you to that bike, including subsequent reassessment down the road. On bikes we have sold, such service is included with the sale of the bike (but applies only to product purchased from Chain Reaction Bicycles, which includes things like handlebars & stems). We will swap out stems during the period of time where we’re getting things dialed-in (provided changing the stem doesn’t involve re-cabling the brakes and/or gears, as might be needed if someone were to go to a dramatically-taller stem than a bike would normally come with).

Our goal, when we sell a bike, is to do everything we can to make sure that bike is everything it can be. We want someone to be thinking, every time he or she walks past their Chain Reaction bike, I want to get out and ride! And doing that takes time & effort on our part. It’s worth it.

Thanks-   –Mike–

“Clean Air Vehicle” that runs on gas? I don’t think so!

This is a "Clean Air Vehicle?" It runs on gas, it requires large amounts of asphalt for parking, and it encourages driving for errands. Maybe "cleaner" than some alternatives, but cannot compare to a bicycle. Your bike is a true "Clean Air Vehicle."
Hybrid cars. Some people love to hate them, mostly for how they’re driven (if only they’d get rid of that meter telling them how, if they roll through the stop signs and drive like Grandma they’ll get 53 miles per gallon instead of 48). OK, so they have one thing in common with bikes, but getting stuck behind two of them today and having that orange sticker staring me in the face that says “Clean Air Vehicle” while they’re burning gas running errands to the shopping center… I’m sorry but that’s just too much.

A “Clean Air Vehicle” shouldn’t burn gas! It probably shouldn’t even run on electricity. The only true “Clean Air Vehicles” are those self-propelled. Your bicycle is a true “Clean Air Vehicle.”

Besides the recreational/fitness aspects of cycling, you truly can use a bike to avoid driving. Today, I did a run to the bank before heading to the shop, and how much gas did I use? Exactly zero. How many square feet of asphalt were required for me to park my bike? Exactly zero. The air would be a whole lot cleaner if there were more bicycles used for shorter trips and fewer “Clean Air Vehicles.” It’s time for some truth in advertising. Or maybe a new advertising campaign for Chain Reaction!