The Best Bike Mechanic in Boulder

I’ve written before about my Kline touring bike. Old school. Unbreakable. Built by the best, using the best parts and technology available—25 years ago. I have been very, very reluctant to do ANYTHING to this bike. I was taught that you NEVER break the seal on a Phil Woods hub. And, true to form, I have not done so…. for over 25,000 miles.

But seriously—do you think I am going to embark on a 15,000 mile bicycle journey without taking a very good look at my bike and all of its components? I would be crazy to even presume that my bike could survive this ride, without service. Honestly, it has seen better days.

But who do you get to tackle such a project? Most bike mechanics look puzzled when you mention a “free-wheel.” They know nothing of BioPace chain rings, never heard of Phil Woods, and—to them—Gary Kline is a myth. What do you do when the market is dominated by the latest fad, and driven by the “racing” culture?

Let me put this another way: who would you go to if you needed to have brain surgery performed on one of your children? That is how I feel about my bike. (Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit to make a point; but go with me on this.) My life is going to depend on this bike for a year. All of my hopes and dreams, my ego, are tied up into this single item. There are many people in Boulder that would be happy to work on it. Many profess to be “experts” (they’re not). But this is the DILEMA: Whom do you trust?

I spent the better part of a year asking around and getting opinions from people I respect. Ultimately, it came down to the advice of a good friend: Doug Leviton, an engineer formerly with NASA. Doug didn’t hesitate. The man for the job was Jon Stabile, owner and operator of “The Boulder Bikesmith.”


The Boulder Bikesmith is located in the mall by the Kings Sooper, off of Arapahoe and 30th.


I approached Jon several weeks ago with the task and showed him my bike. I explained my goals and objectives to him and we made an arrangement: as soon as it got too cold for me to ride, the bike would be his until he completed the job. We didn’t discuss exactly what he would do to the bike. When you commission an artist, you don’t tell him how to hold the brush.


But the product I got from Jon is absolutely amazing. My bike is brand new! The shifters and gears work like they did the first time I brought it home, 25 years ago. It FEELS solid, and rides great. Jon double-order on all of the components that he replaced, so that I can take them with me on the ride!

Of course, most of what Jon did is invisible. But the fenders, handlebar wraps and chain rins look nice! Jon was quick to point out that the job is not done. As I ride my bike over the next several weeks, adjustments may be necessary. Jon will do them, however–all part of the original job. Well done!



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