Summit County Bike Doctor practices unique form of cyc-ology
FRISCO, Colorado His hands in surgeons rubber gloves, the doctor pokes and prods at the patient, clucks his tongue and shakes his head.Youve been dropping your chain behind the cassette again, Gary Lunsky says. You can see these spokes are chewed up.Lunsky, who operates out of his home in Frisco as the Bike Doctor, has gained renown as one of the top specialists in Summit County, the mechanic entrusted by serious racers and weekend cruisers alike with their treasured but occasionally neglected rides.And despite the struggling economy or perhaps in part because of it his bike-repair enterprise, now in its third year, has been booming.This business has gone through the roof, Lunsky said as he effortlessly stripped down a high-end Scott mountain bike for one of his patented full tune-ups. Its huge beyond my wildest dreams.Lunsky, who operated Cyclesmiths bicycle shop in Frisco for eight years and was the shop mechanic at Wilderness Sports after that, now makes house calls, if you will, by picking up and returning bikes and repairing them in his operating room.He saw business double last year after tripling the year before.I know exactly why, he said with typical assuredness. The bike industry is one of the industries that doesnt feel the full brunt. … People are willing to spend more money on bicycles and recreation than almost anything else.That goes especially in Summit County, where many residents still have expendable income or an insatiable thirst for recreation, or both, and are willing to pay big money for a hot bike that theyll enjoy.One thing almost everyone in the county has in common is they came up here to recreate, Lunsky said. A huge thing is they need stress release, and exercise is one of the best forms of that.For many, money remains no object.He points to a set of wheels ordered by a customer that costs $4,000 and shows off a carbon-fiber saddle for a triathlon bike with a built-in water-bottle holder that goes for $580, noting that the matching aero handlebars run $1,000.Just the bars are worth more than most peoples bikes, said Lunsky, who also is a dealer for expensive, custom-made Pinarello road bikes and Niner mountain bikes and is on pace for a record year in sales.A former serious amateur racer who at one point logged 33,000 miles annually on his assortment of bikes each meticulously noted on a calendar Lunsky is a perfectionist known to chide bike owners for bringing him dirty or abused machines.One of the lines I use is take good care of your bike, or Ill take it away from you, he acknowledged, although he also shows great patience with the once-in-a-summer rider needing a replacement for a rusty chain or the beleaguered parent bringing in a kids bike with a flat.Clark Johnson, a recreational mountain-bike racer from Frisco, has experienced Lunskys sharp tongue, but knows its all in jest and stems from Lunskys undeniable passion for bikes.I guess scold is a decent word to use, Johnson said with a chuckle. He doesnt sugar-coat anything and tells it the way it is.Lunsky generously shares his wisdom, as well.It seems every time I talk with him, I learn something new about how to take care of my bike better or how to ride so that I dont have a problem, Johnson said.Like many of Lunskys loyal customers, Johnson swears by his work and refuses to take his rides a custom magnesium Leonard Zinn road bike and a custom Zinn mountain bike to anyone else.I feel so confident that when I hand off my bike to him that hes going to give it back to me and its going to be dialed, he said. Hes just got so much experience and expertise when it comes to tuning bikes and taking care of them and finding the little things that eventually could be a problem if you dont fix them.Jim Cancelosi, another regular, said he wont let anyone else work on his Serotta road bike, Niner mountain bike and Van Dessel cyclecross bike.I take it there because hes the best bike mechanic Ive ever had work on my bike. Hes passionate about what he does. Hes so helpful, and hell take the time to help you.Customers like Cancelosi also know that their bikes will be running perfectly after Lunsky has worked them over.The perfect response for me, Lunsky said, is: My bike rides better than when it was brand new.