Your Hometown Bicycles Service Guide

Hometown Bicycles Service Manager Matt Fitzhorn
(Hometown Bicycles Service Manager, Matt Fitzhorn)

THE WHY’S AND WHEREFORE’S OF WHAT WE DO SO WELL 
I’ve been promising our new, superstar Service Manager, Matt Fitzhorn, that I would devote an email to service. And with service bikes now arriving hourly – and sometimes even minute by minute! – it seems fitting to give the department we’re most famous for a little podium time. (So, this one’s for you, Matt!)

EVERYONE knows that the Hometown Tune-Up is a thing of beauty. You know it. The community knows it. The cat down the street knows it.

But do you know WHY?

Hometown Bicycles Service Crew, Joe Shafer and Andrew Jackson
(Hometown Bicycles Service Tech, Joe Shafer, and Service Lead, Andrew Jackson)

Did you know that we founded our company on service, making service our area to excel? It’s true! Hometown 2010 began as a pint-sized service shop, well before adding all the bells and bikes. We’ve held true to that core ever since, serving an increasing number of cyclists over the years – 2,854 bikes serviced in 2017 and over 17,000 since opening! – with the mission of making each bike “Work Great, Look Great & Blow Your MIND!”

Hometown Bicycles Service Tech David Keller
(Hometown Bicycles Service Tech, David Keller)

It’s important to us that our value always exceeds our price. I’ll break this down further in “Hometown Bicycles Tune-Up: The Real McCoy” below, but suffice it to say, we respect your hard-earned dollars by working hard to make those dollars work hard for you (say THAT 10 times fast)! Plus, our turn-around time is FAST to get you back in the saddle where you belong!

Hometown Bicycles Service Tech Matt PershaBecause we don’t want to have to hide when we see you coming – we live here, too! – we get our kicks by doing right by our customers. When we say you need something, it’s because we know it will give you the longest and best cycling experience possible. And when we say you DON’T need something, it’s because we don’t want to gain a dollar at the expense of your trust. You can rest easy, knowing that we’ll tell it like it is, and always treat you fairly and squarely.

And we don’t leave you hangin’! We legitimately want to know that our service did the trick, and kept you rolling. That’s why you can always expect follow up from our Crew(At right: Hometown Bicycles Service Tech, Matt Persha)

You probably also know by now that we LIKE being a resource! Ask us your questions, build your own bike, watch our Crew in action. The way we figure it, the more passionate you are about cycling, the more you’ll advocate for the sport, and that benefits ALL of us in the long run.

Hometown Bicycles Service Crew Dan "CycloDan" Tribble and Mason Verbison
(Hometown Service Guru & lead singer Dan Tribble and “I-mean-business” Service Lead Mason Verbison)

Plus, what bike shop has a rhythm & blues rockstar for a service tech? That would be us!

We also have a unique way of motivating our staff… no, not giant mallets. It’s giving our crew the green light to do good, important, life-changing work in an environment that supports them and the sport they love. We may not always be perfect but, as a Crew, we’ve got your back.

This may be a good place to interject that *ahem* we’re hiring!

And that, my friends, is our service in a nutshell, and why you feel so darn good when you bring your bikes to Hometown Bicycles. Come on down, and try us out!


Wheel true at Hometown Bicycles Service Shop

HOMETOWN BICYCLES TUNE-UP: “THE REAL MCCOY”

If you’re not familiar with our tune-ups, here’s the run-down of what makes ours so special…

Remember how we talked about our 3 service goals – to make your bicycle “Work Great, Look Great & Blow Your MIND!”? Well, to achieve that we have a 3-step process:

  1. Evaluate your bike to see what it needs, whether that be a tune-up or repair.
  2. For a tune-up, we disassemble, clean, reassemble, run all new cables and housings, and then dial and adjust your bike. If it’s a road bike, we also include new handlebar tape… because old bar tape is disgusting. (We’re talking, Bacteria City.)
  3. Charge a fair price. For most bikes, that’s $69.99. For Road bikes, it’s $89.99. And for Tri bikes, it’s $99.99. We know we offer the best service for the best value. Don’t believe us? Check around!
Bonus Hometown Bicycles Tune-Up FAQ’s:

Q: Why do you replace cables & housing?
A: Your shifters and brake levers tell the derailleurs and brakes what to do via the cables, which act as messengers. 90% of issues stem from a faulty messenger, so we replace cables/housing to guarantee that the bike will work the way you expect it to.

Q: My bike is fairly new, so do I even need new cables/housing?
A: That’s why we always start with an initial assessment of the bike’s condition. If your bike doesn’t need new cables, then you probably don’t need a tune-up. We’ll just address your bike’s specific issues, and get you back out riding – typically the same day!

Q: How often should I bring my bike in for a check-up?
A: We recommend you bring your bike in for an assessment two times a year – once at the beginning of the season to set you up for cycling and make sure all parts are in working order, and again mid-season to check on the wear of your bike’s parts.

Q: How often should I get a tune-up?
A: Always bring your bike in when your bike begins affecting your riding experience. We’ll do an assessment to help you determine the best course of action from there.

Q: How often should I ride my bike?
A: Every day, Hometownies… every day!


Team Hometown Bicycles riding the Dawn Farm Recovery Ride - Joe Ostervik, Jacob Henriksen, Van Gorden, and Jim Cleer

TEAM NEWS: DAWN FARM, YANKEE SPRINGS TIME TRIAL

Our Team mixed it up last weekend, with a combination of need-for-speed riding and charitable cycling. Saturday morning kicked off with the trail-bound Team of Erik Frazier, Linc Wehrly, John Wyatt, Keith Cowgar and Scott Simpson at Yankee Springs Time Trial. Keith and Scott both bounded into 4th in their respective age groups.

Then Sunday dawned bright and beautiful on the farm, as Joe Ostervik, Jacob Henriksen, Joe Van Gorden, and Jim Cleer set out to support the long-term recovery of addicts and alcoholics on the Dawn Farm Recovery Ride. Nice work, Team!


ANSWERS TO THE HOMETOWN BIRTHDAY QUIZ

How Well Do You Know Your Bike Shop?: A Hometown Bicycles Birthday Quiz!A couple weekends ago, as part of Hometown Bicycle’s 8th Birthday celebration, we invited our guests to take part in a “How Well Do You Know Your Bike Shop?” birthday quiz.
Debra Verbison won the accompanying Tune-Up Gift Certificate drawing (congrats again, Debra!), but there’s been so many post-event requests for the answers that I’m including them here today!

(Also, congrats went to John Kline for winning the “Guess How Many Ferrules” game with his guess of 2,650. The actual number was 2,700!) 

1)  Answer (d) – Over 17,000
2)  Answer (b) – Shaun & Dawn got married
3)  Answer (d) – All of the above
4)  Answer (c) – Trinidad & Tobago
5)  Answer (f) – All of these
6)  Answer (d) – All of these
7)  Answer (a) – Jamis
8)  Answer (c) – Roller rink

Join our crew

WE’RE HIRING – STOP IN AND APPLY!
Creating the magic of Hometown is no small thing, and we don’t hire lightly, but we do offer positions that are meaningful and make a real difference in the lives of customers, our community, and the cycling industry. We currently have openings for:

Part-Time Social Media Specialist
Helps market and share the Hometown culture on social media. Must be social media savvy, highly organized, an excellent writer, and skilled in photography. Graphic design skills a plus.

Part-Time Events Coordinator
Coordinates and manages on- and off-premises shop events of all types. Must be highly organized, creative, detail-oriented, an excellent communicator, sociable, and enthusiastic.

Full- and Part-Time Service Techs
Provides reliably outstanding technical bike service. Some technical knowledge preferred. Must be self-motivated, detail-oriented, focused, and a quick learner.

Full- and Part-Time Sales Associates
Provides reliably outstanding customer service, including sales, cashiering, and shop organization and cleanliness. Must be self-motivated, detail-oriented, sociable, enthusiastic, and a quick study.

Drop by our shop, introduce yourself, and pick up an application. You’ll never know unless you try!


Hometown Bicycles Women Only Tuesday Night Road Ride
THIS WEEK’S SHOP RIDES
Hartland Gravel Grinder – Intermediate/Advanced
SUNDAY, MAY 6  |  9:00AM (MEET BY 8:45AM)  |  FROM HARTLAND TWP HALL
Come enjoy beautiful, HILLY country roads and wonderful ride company. Expect several TOUGH, LONG CLIMBS, at an average 14 – 15 MPH pace for all 28.2 miles. The group may split into 2, with the front pack averaging > 15 mph. (Check out Dan’s Gravel Grinding 101 ride for a less grueling option.) Cross/Gravel, Mountain and Fat bikes are welcome. Meet in the Hartland Twp. Hall lower parking lot (turn right once in the drive) at 2655 Clark Rd. Check Facebook for ride confirmation and changes!

***Rent a Fat Bike at the shop!***

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Beginner Friendly Road Ride
MONDAY, MAY 7  |  6:00PM (MEET BY 5:45PM)  |  FROM HOMETOWN
This one’s for the beginner rider who wants to increase mileage and speed. We’ll ride the well-known “to-the-Green-Dumpster-and-back” loop (~12-15 miles), or more for those who are ready. A and B groups will average 10-15+ mph. Road bikes only! Please have some experience on your bike, along with basic shifting and braking skills for the safety of the group. Beyond that, we’ll share some tips to make the hills easier and the flats faster! Check Facebook for ride confirmation and changes!

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Ladies’ Road Ride
TUESDAY, MAY 8  |  7:00PM (MEET BY 6:45PM)  |  FROM HOMETOWN
Ladies, this one’s just for you! This weekly, road ride is for gals of all ability levels. We’ll ride the well-known “green dumpster” loop at Island Lake (~14 miles) at a conversational, 10mph pace. All bikes welcome, NO DROP RIDE. Afterward, relax, connect, and rehydrate with your new biking friends. BYOB!Check Facebook for ride confirmation and changes!


Zumba with Leslie Barrett and Cardio Drumming with Martha Soraruf at Hometown Bicycles
FITNESS CLASSES AT HOMETOWN BICYCLES
Many of you are familiar with the rockin’ beats and great cardio that take place weekly on our showroom floor. But for those who haven’t yet experienced fitness classes at Hometown, or simply want a high-energy pick-me-up, here are a few classes you’ll absolutely want to try!

CARDIO DRUMMING | Wednesdays at 6:00PM
$5 drop in / $5 equipment rental – With Martha Soraruf
Click to learn more

ZUMBA | Mondays at 6:00PM & Thursdays at 9:30AM
$8 drop in or “10 classes for $50” punch card – With Leslie Barrett
Click to learn more


Donuts

Reasons number 12, 13, 14, and – oh, why not! – 15 to ride your bike.

~ Every cyclist who’s ever caved in (thanks for the mm-mm-motivation, Livingston County United Way!)

Daddy-Daughter, Ladies Spin Challenge & Party Invitation

How Sweet It is to be Loved…

Hometown Bicycles, with Shaun Bhajan, sponsoring the Howell Parks and Rec Sweetheart Dances
(Shaun & Aria enjoyed daddy-daughter dancing, and congrats to our dance-time drawing winners!)

KIDS, CANDY, CUTENESS – AND BIKES! – AT THE SWEETHEART DANCES
Hometown hit the dance floor last week for not one, but THREE, Sweetheart Dances that we enthusiastically sponsored through Howell Parks & Rec. Family values reigned supreme (and our son picked up some new dance moves) at these A-is-for-adorable, mother-son / daddy-daughter dances.

Some of you readers signed up for our e-newsletters at the event – welcome, and ride on!

We also want to tip our helmets to truly some of the kindest souls on the planet – our cosponsors, Brennan Investment Services and McCaskill Family Services. Can’t wait to participate in more events with these big-hearted businesses!

WE  YOU, HOMETOWNIES! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! 

Happy Valentine's Day from Hometown Bicycles!


Pizza and Jamis Bicycles - A Clinic-Party at Hometown Bicycles

THIS THURSDAY (2/16):

  EAT, DRINK & BE CURIOUS!

YOU’RE INVITED TO A JAMIS CLINIC-PARTY COMBO THIS THURSDAY! 
This Thursday, February 16, from 6-8pm, we’re hosting a pizza-and-beer clinic celebration that combines the best of Jamis, bike smarts, and cyclist sustenance.

Come out and meet Tom, our uber-awesome Jamis rep, who’ll be sharing insider industry scoops, cool Jamis facts, and answering any questions you might have about the company and the bikes.

You’ll also hear from Shaun about why, when we had an opportunity to carry any bike brand, we determined that Jamis would rock our customers’ worlds and help support the industry we love. The answers may surprise you.

Everyone is welcome – the Jamis owners, the Jamis newbies, and the simply Jamis curious. Bring your family; bring your friends; bring your neighbors; bring your coworkers. What better way to spend a winter evening than surrounded by bikes, connecting with fellow cyclists, and relaxing with a full belly?

REGISTER NOW TO ATTEND OUR “WHY JAMIS?” CLINIC-PARTY
We appreciate your early registration, so that we can make sure there’s enough food for all!

Hometown Bicycles loves Jamis Bikes


SPEAKING OF JAMIS… HERE’S HOW TO WIN ONE!

Jamis Bikepacking Contest videoJust wanted to send you a reminder to check out this bikepacking contest that Jamis is running through the month of February, with a grand prize of something like $5,000 in bikes and adventure gear! How sweet would it be if a Hometownie won?! What are you waiting for… ENTER NOW!!


 

Ladies Spin Challenge with Dawn at Hamburg Fitness Center

OH, HOW THE TABLES DO TURN…

Well, it was all fun and games when I gleefully signed Shaun up for his Spin-Off at the Hamburg Fitness Center. And, of course, look what came of it – he became a spin convert!

But our Hamburg Fitness Center peeps have turned the tables on me with a spin-off of Shaun’s Spin-Off… now it’s MY turn to jersey up and spin with our lady customers.

Ladies, please don’t make me do this alone!! I’m several years out of shape, and looking for some serious moral support. The Ladies Spin Challenge is (of course) women only, and runs FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH AT 9:30AM – $5 HOMETOWNIE SPECIAL. Child care is available, fellow mamas! (Call 810-231-4169 to pre-register your kiddies.)

REGISTER NOW TO SPIN WITH ME – CLICK HERE!


A SECOND SPIN-OFF WITH SHAUN…

Ready to clip in for another round of spinning with Shaun at Hamburg Fitness Center? SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH AT 10:15AM – $5 HOMETOWNIE SPECIAL

REGISTER FOR THE HOMETOWN SPIN-OFF WITH SHAUN


Hometown Bicycles service lead Andrew Jackson
(Image at left courtesy Andrew Jackson)

MEET YOUR CREW: ANDREW JACKSON

Andrew is a Hometown phenomenon – mature beyond his years and with a natural ability to lead. You’ll spot him running lead in our service shop, and participating in tons of shop rides. Customers love him, our kids love him, we love him. Andrew’s a treasure:

Coming from a family of eight children myself, Hometown is just another extension of my big family. Whether it is cranking out the tune-ups, watching the kids for Dawn, or helping Shaun finish up the projects around the shop, I am there. I enjoy mountain biking or road riding with some of my fellow Hometown crew members, racing in the MiSCA series, or working on a project or two of my own (usually bike related). Quote I live by: “The only bars I want to be behind in my life are a set of handlebars.”


Hometown Bicycles Fat Bike Friendly Shop Ride heading to Island Lake Badlands

Fat Bike Friendly Shop Ride – TBA

Our weekly adventure through the Island Lakes Badlands is up in the air this Saturday, as we wait to see whether the ground is firm enough to handle a thundering herd of fat bikes. Can’t believe we’re saying this, but… come on, cold weather!! Follow us on Facebook for ride confirmation and updates.

Need a fat bike? We rent! Call our shop:  (810) 225-2441


Fitness classes at Hometown Bicycles - Yoga with Tocca Massage, Zumba with Leslie Barrett, and Cardio Drumming with Martha Soraruf(Photo cred: Yoga pic at left courtesy Ashley Knuth of Tocca Massage & Yoga)

FITNESS CLASSES AT HOMETOWN

Hey, Hometownies! Mark your calendars for these fantastic winter fitness programs running right here inside your favorite bike shop:

Cardio Drumming with Martha Soraruf at Hometown BicyclesCARDIO DRUMMING | Wednesdays at 6:45PM
$5 class fee / $5 equipment rental – With Martha Soraruf
Click to learn more

Cardio Drumming with Martha Soraruf at Hometown BicyclesCARDIO DRUMMING FOR KIDS | Mondays at 11AM
Parents welcome! $5 class fee / $5 equipment rental – With Martha Soraruf
Click to learn more

Dynamic Yoga with Ashley Knuth of Tocca Massage & Yoga at Hometown BicyclesDYNAMIC YOGA | New series pending… stay tuned!
$10 drop in – Presented by Tocca Massage & Yoga
Click to learn more

Zumba with Leslie Barrett at Hometown BicyclesZUMBA | Mondays at 6PM & Thursdays at 9:30AM
$5 drop in – With Leslie Barrett
Click to learn more


Spring tulips

SPRING: 35 Days & Counting

5 weeks ’til Spring… can you believe it?! Don’t panic… we’ll get you AND your bike there in top form!

Take advantage of our fat bikes and rentals, winter shop ridesfitness classes, and famous bicycle tune-ups and repairs!

Our Favorite Fall Ride + Splatter Bike Art

Tour de Livingston website

♩♫  TAKE ME OUT TO THE TOUR, TAKE ME OUT TO THE RIDE… ♫ ♪
You may not be buying peanuts and cracker jacks at Tour de Livingston, but you WON’T care if you ever get back! This legendary local ride is the epitome of fun fun FUN, and we Hometownies look forward to its arrival all year round.

We’re just a week away from Tour de Livingston, so here’s our question for you:

Can’t wait to hang out with you at this year’s event!!

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THIS WEEK’S “TASTE OF HAMBURG FITNESS” 

Hamburg Fitness Center website logoTRY POWER PILATES THIS MONDAY (10/3 at 6PM)!  It’s part of the 6-week sampler series, “A Taste of Hamburg Fitness”, being held in our Community Room. Here’s the scoop…

“Want to get fit but aren’t sure which type of class you would like to join? Try a sampling of Hamburg Fitness Center & Camp classes in Hometown Bicycles’ Community Room. Each week is a different one-hour class starting at 6PM Mondays. Sign up for one or sign up for all. Classes offered are Zumba, Power Pilates, Tabata, Vinyasa Yoga, Functional Training and PiYo. $10 per class OR just $5 each if you bring a friend! For class descriptions, visit Hamburg Fitness’ website.”

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YEAH, HE’S DEFINITELY ONE OF OURS! 
Andrew Jackson helps out the Brighton High School Mountain Bike Team at a MISCA event

Point of pride: Check out this photo (above) of the true Hometown spirit in action. The jerseyed rider pictured here is our very own Service Guru, Andrew Jackson, helping out fellow high school mountain bikers (the Brighton Bulldogs) at the recent MISCA youth cycling race… even though they weren’t on his team!

We’re proud of you, Andrew! Way to embody the core values of Hometown Bicycles!!

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LAUREN’S NEW LINE OF SPLATTER STITCHERY  

LPbyLP Lauren Patrell bicycle sewing craftsmanship at Hometown Bicycles

Lauren Patrell of LPbyLP beside her bicycle art at Hometown Bicycles in Brighton, MIOur best-selling bike artist, Lauren Patrell of LPbyLP, has the uncanny ability to blow our socks off every time she stops in. Every. Time. We’ve taken to keeping a roll of tape handy when we know she’s dropping by… saves us the trouble of having to track down wayward footwear!

Her latest bit of sock-blowing magic comes from a line of splatter art blended with mad sewing skillz to create total craft nirvana. It’s everything from coin purses and wallets to the sweetest keychains on this green earth, and it’s all available here.

Be prepared to fall madly in love…

Bicycle splatter art craft by Lauren Patrell of LPbyLP at Hometown Bicycles

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TEAM NEWS: GREEN GALS GRAVEL GRINDER & PROGRESSIVE 

 

Hometown Bicycles Green Gals gravel grinder

Our all-women ride group, the Hometown Bicycles Green Gals, recently wrapped up another season of stellar mountain bike shop rides with their first ever Gravel Grinder & Progressive Ride, which entailed everything from pedaling scenic back roadways, to touring the converted church home of a fellow Green Gal, to wrapping up the evening with bonfires and sweet treats.

Want to learn more about our Green Gals? Email Hometown Events Coordinator Jennifer for details – events@myhometownbicycles.com. Team membership not required to ride with us!

Hometown Bicycles Green Gals progressive ride

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HOMETOWN’S DAY AT KEM KREST WELLNESS FAIR 

Hometown Bicycles at the Kem Krest Wellness Fair
(Photo courtesy of Kem Krest… thank you!)

Kem Krest logoFollowing up on the fun we had at last year’s event, Brighton’s Kem Krest – provider of supply chain solutions – once again extended us the honor of an invitation to participate in their annual Wellness Fair. Held on company grounds, we were one of several stations where Kem Krest staff could learn about health and fitness options AND collect points toward winning prizes for doing so. Such a cool program for a company to offer their team!

Want Hometown Bicycles to be a part of YOUR next company, school, or organization event? We LOVE being involved! Email our Events Coordinator Jennifer atevents@myhometownbicycles.com.

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HOMETOWN BICYCLES’ SHOP RIDES

Hometown Bicycles shop ride

Tune in to our Facebook or web calendar to confirm all rides. Here’s what’s coming up this week:

SATURDAY, 9:00AM – Tour de Livingston Training Ride

SUNDAY, 9:00AM – Iceman Training Gravel Grinder

SUNDAY, 4:30PM – Beginner Mountain Bike Ride

WEDNESDAY, 8:45AM – Rails-to-Trails Ride

CLICK HERE for details about these Hometown shop rides!

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