Bike FAQ
1 Mechanical Issues
1.1 I think my bike has a flat, do I need to replace the tire and tube?

How long has it been since you pumped air into it? Unlike automobile tires, bicycles tires do not retain their air pressure nearly as long, so it may appear that you have a bad tube when in fact it just needs air.

If the tube is bad, the options are to use a patch kit (only a temporary fix) or replace the tube itself. You do not need to replace the tire unless there is significant damage (dry rotted, torn, or severely punctured).

1.2 What caused my flat tire?

Flat tires can be caused by numerous objects or circumstances in our area.  One of our primary causes is the Sand Spur (Cenchrus Tribuloides Linnaeus).  These little seed pods can and will puncture your inner tube by embedding themselves in your tire.  If you ride any of our paths or trails in the area beware of these weeds along your route and if you see any in your tires, carefully flick them off your tire with some sort of tool.  We say carefully as they will quickly stick in your fingers.

Another cause of a hole in a tube is riding with low pressure.  This primarily causes two types of flats, torn valve stems and pinch flats.

Other types of punctures are more obvious and occur from objects penetrating the tire and making a hole in the tube.  Make sure you know what caused your flat prior to installing your new tube.

1.3 Do your services include patching up tubes?

Unfortunately, we do not perform that service. Though we do carry a wide variety of tube sizes and will gladly do a tube replacement for you.

1.4 I replaced my worn bike chain and now the new chain still skips gears. Why is this happening?

It's possible that your chain was far too worn to warrant just a chain replacement. This can be avoided by periodically checking for chain wear using a chain checker tool like the Park Tool CC-2 and altering your riding habits by shifting into different gears. Consistently riding in one or two gears, in conjunction with a worn out chain, will not only accelerate wear on your chain but also on your cassette and chain rings.

2 Our Services
2.1 Why does my repair quote cost more than how much I paid for bike?
2.2 Do you perform restorative work (eg. paint jobs and rust removal)
2.3 My bike was assembled incompletely or incorrectly. How much will it cost to have you make it right?

Normally we'll have customers come in with partially assembled bikes that they either ordered online or from a big box retailer. Most often in those cases we charge a $100 assembly fee to give it our due diligence, where we approach the job as if the bike came directly out of the box. Through our experience we found that this approach avoids costly or dangerous outcomes stemming from lack of oversight.

2.4 Can I schedule a bike service?

We perform services on a first come, first serve basis and encourage customers to be proactive by bringing in their bikes before the outset of riding season. 

2.5 How often should I bring my bike in for a tune-up?

That depends on several factors such as how often you ride, where the bike is stored. and riding habits. If you ride regularly, the rule of thumb is to have your bike serviced once a season. 

2.6 Do you buy used bikes?

We do not, however, we do take in trade-ins (on our discretion) for new bikes.

3 Bike Sizes
3.1 I am not sure what sized bike I need. Where do I begin?

Sizing charts from bicycle manufacturers are often the primary source for determining the right size for your bike. You can find such sizing charts in our online bicycle listings, which are specific to the individual bike model. However, sometimes sizing charts are not as accurate as one would hope, due to an individual rider's body geometry (e.g. long torso, short legs v.s. short torso, long legs). For that reason we encourage customers come into Bike Cycles to undergo a brief, complimentary sizing session using our state-of-the-art Retül Match Tower technology.

3.2 I think the bike I bought from you is the wrong size, can I return it for an exchange or refund?

Yes, you may return your bike within 30 days of the purchase date. No questions asked. We can arrange for an exchange should the appropriate model/size become available.

3.3 Can you explain how bike sizes are measured, and what the differences are between mountain bike and road bike sizes?

We can, but we'll let this brief wikiHow video do all the explaining.

4 Riding in Wilmington, NC
4.1 How do get around Wilmington by bike?

We get it. Getting around this town by bike can be problematic. However, navigating around Wilmington doesn't have to require living here your whole life. We're here to help! While the alternative transportation infrastructure is lacking some parts of Wilmington and its environs, local governments are aware of the increasing demand for bicycle and pedestrian friendly-paths. We highly recommend checking out the Wilmington Area Metropolitan Organization's (WMPO) GIS page to understand our community's current bike / pedestrian path layout. Or just drop by the shop to receive free map printouts.

4.2 Are lights or reflectors mandatory by law?

During low light conditions, the state of North Carolina requires that bicyclists equip their bikes with headlights visible from 300 feet and taillight or rear reflector that is visible from 200 feet.