Dave the Bike Mechanic
Serving Ottawa since 1993.





(613) 283 7635

Only $11.00 an hour...

         Because greed sucks!


I have a BLOG!

What a rider should do

  1. Keep tires inflated to recommended pressure or very firm.
  2. Tighten the brakes as the brake pads wear down (hand-adjusted).
  3. Oil the chain once a month.

What Dave the bike mechanic does

If your bicycle needs to be tuned up or repaired, modified or simply cleaned off, call Dave the bike mechanic at (613) 283-7635 or email at davidhoffman7@gmail.com.
Labour is only $11.00 an hour.
Inspection and estimates are free and as is pick-up and delivery.

All bikes need this every year or two, just from regular use. Brakes are adjusted and tightened, gear shifting is adjusted, chain, cables and pivots are oiled. Tires are pressurized. Axle bearings are inspected. The difference before and after a tune-up can be quite startling.

This often means punctured inner tubes being replaced, warped wheel rims are trued. Broken or rusted cables are replaced. Sometimes it means replacing a bent rear wheel axle or a chewed up crank axle, or worn-out handlebar grips. About the only thing that can't be fixed or replaced on a bicycle is the frame. Fixing your bike instead of replacing it won't cost more than a quarter of the price of a new bike.

Beneath the brake pad powder, chain oil, creeping bearing grease, dried out road grit and mud ...is your bicycle! Cleaning is included during a tune-up or repair, such as removing rust from chrome. Wheel rims must be cleaned so the brake pads can grab them properly.

Sometimes its really bad, especially if your bike hasn't been worked on for years. `Really bad' means three to five hours of labour, plus replacement parts, but not always, and even when it does, you either love your bike or you don't. And every bike that doesn't get manufactured is a quarter ton of air pollution avoided and a scoop of iron ore unmined. That's what keeping your old bike can do for your planet

This usually means taking the racing handlebars off of an old 10-speed and replacing them with upright mountain bike handlebars, so you don't have to lean forward so much. It also means replacing the brake levers which is good because mountain bike brake levers provide better stopping power than racing levers. Parts for this total $30 and up.


Making a bike more comfortable
Alterations that can make a big difference without replacing anything include raising the seat or handlebars, moving the seat forward or raising its nose, repositioning the brake and shift levers on the handlebars or even rotating the handlebars to prevent chronic wrist strain. These adjustments can make life easier for your back, neck, butt, arms and hands, so you can enjoy riding more. If the bike belongs to a growing young person, they take longer to outgrow it, which saves money. Other changes, like a handlebar conversion, can include replacing a hard seat, adding fenders for the rain or installing a carrier rack to carry work clothes or groceries.

Replacement parts cost what I pay for them. Cables are $2-$4, brake pads $5-$10 a set, chains are $5-$15, tires $5-$15, tire tubes about $5. Fancier components can be obtained. Costs can be described upon request.

Labour costs are $11.00 per hour. A typical tune-up takes two hours ($20.00). Replacing a punctured tire tube takes about a half hour and costs, with a new tube, about $9.00. A serious overhaul usually runs three hours ($30.00) Estimates are provided after inspection. A common surprise is when the axle of the rear wheel is bent. Replacement axles with their nuts, cones and bearings cost about 12.00.

Free pick-up and delivery
This service is available to residents and workers in the town of Smiths Falls who can't drop by. When necessary I use a custom-built bicycle trailer to transport your bike to and from my workshop, year-round (I have eighteen years of winter riding experience, eight years of that pulling trailers). This service is free because its so much fun.

Most riders in Ottawa put their bikes away for the winter and take them out in the spring. What better time to have your bike tuned up than when you're not riding it? Then it will be ready to go in the spring.

A home-based business
I operate my workshop in compliance with municipal zoning bylaws. I don't stock or sell bicycles so my labour charges don't subsidize storefront space. I charge what a bicycle mechanic is usually paid by a bike shop. There are no investors or loan payments to cover. Since I only charge what I pay for replacement parts, I have no vested interest in selling them to you. I use no motor vehicle to pick up and deliver nor toxic solvents for cleaning. The bicycle is the world's cheapest and cleanest form of mechanized urban transportation and my mission is to keep it that way.

Bicycles and health
If your journey is under 3 km, a bicycle is faster than a bus and much better for you. Your body and mind need this kind of physical activity to stay healthy and sharp, and yet on a bicycle you don't have to adopt the airs of an athlete, cope with injuries like `runner's knee' or `tennis elbow', or be cooped up in a fee-charging club.

Getting outside and zipping around on a bike lets your body make its own feel-good chemicals and clears out the toxins. There's a good reason why Ottawa has more bikes than recycling boxes and why ten percent of trips made into the downtown core are pedal powered. This is a great place to bike!

A history lesson
The modern bicycle was developed in the 1880s and first mass-produced in the 1890s. They became so popular that people stopped buying other goods like pianos and jewelry. Twenty years before the automoble, they were the why our roads were first paved, and they became crowbars by which Canadian women of the 1890s pryed themselves out of constrictive traditional clothing that hampers autonomous physical movement.

Today, more freight tonnage is hauled by pedal power in Asia than by all the world's motor vehicles combined.

Bicycles and taxes
Heavy motorized vehicles like cars, buses an trucks wear down the roads and the public pays to fix them. A bicycle causes a tiny fraction as much road wear, so the more people that ride them, the less money needs to be spent on road repair. Fewer cars mean rduced congestion and also less air pollution, especially downtown. Ottawa has serious levels of life-threatening pollution thanks to the internal combustion engine. Everyone pays, but it doesn't have to be this way and you don't have to be the cause.

Winter Biking
Thousands of people across our city ride their bikes in winter. Bike paths along the Rideau Canal are plowed and often provide excellent hardpack with traction as good as pavement. Core road conditions become clear again within five days of major snowfalls. Think its nuts? The trick is high-traction tires. Check out the Icebike website.


Call Dave the bike mechanic


(613) 283-7635