The Bike Doctor NYC

A new kind of bike repair service

Bart Busschaert is a retired semi-professional racer who moved from Belgium to NYC a few months ago. Since them he has opened an innovative mechanical services company called the Bike Doctor NYC. His site allows you to schedule the good doctors time, and he will even pick and drop off your bike, or do your work at your house so you can learn from him. Dont forget to pepper him with questions about racing the pros while he is there, he has some amusing stories.

Bart still manages to get on his bike a few days a week and rip the legs off unsuspecting lunch time cyclist who might just assume they can hold his wheel, or thats what this guy I know told me happened to him. This is Bart’s first submission to the site, he will try and answer any follow up questions you have. You can also find him on Facebook where he frequently communicates with his clients.


Don’t let your brake pads rub on your rims

A part of the bike that is often neglected or overlooked is the brake cable. Most of us know that the brake is a crucial device to prevent us from crashing but only few realize that it can also have a tremendous impact on your performance as a competitive cyclist.

Any friction in the brake cable may cause the brake to prevent to  return properly to the ‘neutralposition. The decreased distance between the brake shoes and the rim increases the chance of friction while riding. When riding at a steady pace you probably won’t notice much, but  sometimes and that’s why it is especially important for  racers the wheel tends to slightly move sidewards as a you will put your wheel in danger of rubbing u the brake shoe. This is especially true when you are in a break away, in a sprint or when you are riding on bad roads.

There are several reasons the smooth movement of a cable can be inhibited. The most important ones are dirt and a lack of lubricant, but also corrosion or of  the inner cable and/or outer casing.


So what can we do about it?

1. Always check your brakes before you go out of the door! This is basically a matter of safety, but it also helps detecting problems in an early phase.

2. Inspect the cable for cracks or cuts after a crash or any other potentially harmfull event (e.g. transport,…).

3. Include the cables in your maintenance scheduleor ask your mechanic for it. Keeping the cables clean and regularly lubing the outer casing helps preventing sluggish movement or even seizure.

    • Replace the cable is it is broken, frained, getting stiff or whenever you notice visible damage on the cable or outer casing.
    • We would generally recommend to replace the cables at least once a year.

Tip: If you want to spend a little more to help reducing some of the maintenance described in this article, you may consider installing a coated cable set. This type of cables has it’s own coating and needs no lubricating.


Enjoy your rides !

Bike Doctor NYC



like the sound of it, but probably wrong pitch for this site, I think even squid 5s know how to check a brake cable. and is “frained” the same as frayed?


Actually I think he has a good point, it may be obvious to some but many racers don’t seem to look at there brake cables, and often think there is something wrong with their brakes or that they need new pads.

Bike Doctor NYC

I agree, the subject might be “too obvious” for experienced racers…however, a lot of mechanical trouble happens due to some sort of “negligence” (training is obviously taking most of your time)

If you still feel that this is just a little detail, I can asure you that you wont feel the brake pad rubbing the wheel right away…but you’ll pay in cash after 100miles!

Bike Doctor NYC

Thanks for the challenge, but my racing days are over and I’m out of shape. But I’ll be happy to meet you for a training ride!


Great idea, hope it goes well.
If I recall, none other than Lance Armstrong rode a good portion of one stage with a brake rubbing. Good advice….


My brakes feel like they’re rubbing all the time since I’m going so slow. Only, they’re not rubbing. What should I do?


Funny story: I used to ride with a guy who was always worried that his brakes were rubbing and would reach down to adjust them on the fly. One day he did that while descending and his thumb got caught between the fork and a spoke. Amazingly his finger didn’t break because it was exactly parallel to the spoke. Still, he wasn’t able to ride home and had to call an ambulance. The EMT on the scene was also a cyclist and after hearing the story says “Oh, I was going to tell you that it looks like your brakes are rubbing.

Comments are closed.