________
BIKE SHOPS

Wanna Wrench?

Wed, 08/13/2008 - 7:34pm by alex

Mark Purdy has been
a professional bike mechanic for twenty years.
He isn't marking time before returning to school,
he doesn't race, he has no screenplay under his workbench, he just
wants to wrench.

In a high-end shop like Cadence, reputation is
everything, and the reputation of the head mechanic
is perhaps most important of all. Before opening last
year, Cadence had an exhaustive search for a head mechanic,
and they ended up bringing Mark from Wheel and Sprocket, a large
shop in
Milwaukee.

In the short time he has been in NYC he has become known as a top
tier mechanic. We asked him a few questions about his career and even got
an interesting job offer to pass on to our readers:

NYVC: How did you start in this business?

MP: I have been riding bikes since I was a kid, I started
riding seriously since I was 14. I remember my dad came
into my room looking for my older brother to go for a ride. I said,
I dunno where he is but I can go, he said you couldn't keep up-- and
that was it, I was hooked on cycling and knew this was how I wanted to
make a living. I learned there is not much you can do in the
cycling business, clearly I wasn't going to make money as a pro
rider (I wasn’t nearly fast enough) so I began working in a bike shop.
If you work in bike shops you will end up wearing many hats, I sold
bikes for a while but it was too much time standing around doing nothing, not
for me. I had a lot more fun helping someone else who is a better athlete ride
their bike better, that's rewarding to me.

NYVC:What does it take to be good at this job?

MP:The first thing you have to have to be a good mechanic is concern; I can
train a monkey to adjust the barrel on a derailleur and make it shift properly, but you cant teach
someone how to care. To find someone who wants to dedicate their life
to adjusting this little knob to get rid of a noise, well that's a
pretty hard thing to find in a person.

NYVC: How can you tell if a mechanic is good?

MP: Without giving away too many secrets, its a matter of
the fine details, all good mechanics have a way of walking up to a bike and
inspecting to to tell if the last guy to touch it knew what they where doing.
Things like are the cables end, are all 4, cut to the same length? Is the
finishing tape on the handlebar wrapped around 30 times covering 4 inches of
handle bar or is it precisely done?

NYVC: What's the biggest difference between working at a shop like Cadence where you work on pro bikes to
working at a regular bike shop where you would see all kinds of bikes?

MP: The biggest difference is the amount of time we
have to get the job done. I certainly mean no disrespect to a trek 820 Mountain
bike, but it's no big deal for that customer to be without his Trek 820 for a
week to 10 days. The bikes that we work on here, we you know you can't be
without your bike for long, you'd miss training or an important race. Even
right now at the height of the season; if you bring your bike to us
the maximum it would be here is two days, usually well have it
back within 24 hours.

 

NYVC: What new product has changed the industry in the past year?

MP: Sram has had a huge influence on
the component industry, I'm not saying its better than Campy or
Shimano, we all have our opinions, but that they have influence on
what their competitors paid attention to.
Sram's attention to ergonomics has had a profound effect on 2009
Dura-ace and Campy.

NYVC: What's the deal with the Cadence "Jedi
Robe" look you mechanics are rocking?

MP: Actually it does remind us that we are not like every
other bike shop, we are not Joe's Bikeorama on the corner, there is
nothing wrong with Joe's Bikeorama, they service an important need, but so do
we. Every mechanic in every bike shop you walk into is wearing the same
dark blue button-down work shirt. We have no intention of being like
every other bike shop in the country. And every time I wipe
the grease of a chain on my robe, I'm reminded we are special
(laughs).

NYVC: What do you look for in a mechanic?

MP: First off you have to have the same love of bikes and dedication
that everyone in this company has. you must be dedicated towards doing
the job right, so that our customers don't have mechanical failures
that prevent them from succeeding in their quest, a bicycle
related mechanical failure should never be the reason you
don't succeed in your race or event.

We are actually looking for someone right
now, we have two experienced mechanics we would be happy to take on
another one or even an eager inexperienced mechanic who is interested
to learn the ropes. i can teach anyone how to be a good mechanic, but
they need to be dedicated to the cause.

NYVC: What's the best thing about your job?

MP: I play with really cool toys all day and every couple of weeks
they give me a paycheck, it's a great job.

If you are interested in working as a mechanic contact
Mark Purdy (
mpurdy@cadencecycling.com or call 212 226 4400)

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What's a heart rate monitor?
By: Wheelsucker
Mon, 02/16/2009 - 2:40pm

What's a heart rate monitor? Didn't people stop using those in the 90s?

I think you missed the
By: Wheelsucker
Mon, 02/16/2009 - 2:39pm

I think you missed the point, jagoff. Doesn't matter anyway, since Mark doesn't work there anymore.

Trek 820
By: Wheelsucker
Mon, 02/16/2009 - 2:21pm

What an assjack! I ride high end bikes and when Im at a Bike shop and see the guy with the Trek 820 getting backburner treatment and the shop only giving prompt attention to the "locals" and high end techno weenies it really sucks. Ive met several people that walked out of a bike shop and into Walmart becasue of that kind of attitude. You roadie fag. Go shave your legs and whack off to your heart monitor.

Imbert?
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/22/2009 - 7:40pm
yeah....
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/22/2009 - 7:26pm

I'll stick with Imbert.

He's the only reason I go in
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/22/2009 - 5:28pm

He's the only reason I go in there!

Mark touched me on my bikini spot
By: Wheelsucker
Mon, 11/17/2008 - 4:37pm

and I liked it.

Aaaaawwwwe, Gary Glitter?
By: Sensei
Wed, 08/20/2008 - 1:00pm

I think I'd rather be the Spice Girls version.

Mark is the leader of the gang
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 08/20/2008 - 1:06am

For further explanation, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxvetM7uqms

The Michelangelo of Chainrings
By: Groupetto
Sat, 08/16/2008 - 1:22am

Purdy treats every bike and every rider the same. Show up with a $10K time trial machine or a POS winter beater and you'll get the same NASA treatment. That's the hand of a master. His is the beater master's hand.

Anybody knows Edgard?
By: Ciupster
Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:51am

Anyone on this website knows the work that Edgard (Toga East Side) is doing? He's by far the best I've seen, ever see so far. Stop by and say "Hi!", but don't mention my name.

My Roubaix Pro had been touched just 2 times by the maestro this year and it was enough. It still rolls smooth after 4000 miles this year alone.

Cadence rocks
By: Donald Trump
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 11:10pm

Once the bank signed off on the loan I was able to buy 2 tubes.

re: Bravo Bravo
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 8:08pm

funniest post in weeks.

Bravo, Bravo.
By: Tri Guy
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 7:56pm

Mark installed my bento box. Then, I set a record personal best time at the Cadence indoor triathlon. Coincidence? I don't think so!

Holding out
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 6:08pm

Hey Mark, stop hiding the secret and tell us how you cloned yourself! There's no way a mere mortal could work on all the bikes you work on, do as good a job as you do, and do it as fast.

Listening
By: SL@NYVC
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 4:00pm

Mark listens and understands what their customers are looking to achieve from their bikes and their rides. The advice and work that Mark and Jose have provided has always been 5 star.

Hey! I'm offended!
By: Trek 820
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 3:16pm

Hey! I'm offended!

A Good Mechanic is Hard to Find
By: Mechanically Uninclined
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:59pm

Mark solved a problem with my bike that no one else in the city could seem to figure out, and not surprisingly it was a truly simple solution. The guy not only knows what he's doing, but he takes pride in his work and seems to care that people go away satisfied. He's one of the best in the city, right up there with the guys at Conrads.

Purdy Rocks
By: matt
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:55pm

Mark is by far and away the most professional, competent mechanic I've had the pleasure of knowing. My bike just seems to ride better each time he touches it. He truly does care about his work, and it feels as though he is invested in your ride when he works with you (“with you” being the key phrase). You just won't get that from any other mechanic.

Mark is the best. I hesitate
By: J
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:51pm

Mark is the best. I hesitate saying it because he's got so much work as it is. But he deserves all the praise. Whoever owns Cadence should give him a free vacation to the Bahamas this off-season, he's done a lot to propel good word of mouth about the whole shop/operation in NYC.

Mike rocks.
By: alexboiko
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:50pm

I tried three other large bike shops in the city and none of the mechanics there could be even close to Mark. He pays more attention to my bike than all the others would have!
Best of all, Mark is generous with his experience and gives plenty of advice on how to keep the bike in shape so that you have to visit him less often.

Agreed
By: Greg F
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:47pm

I have nothing but positive comments about my experience with Cadence; and Mark, in particular, has done an excellent job on my bikes. Quality of the work is top-notch and he does, in fact, go out of his way to fit you in and get your bike back when you need it.

Mark is my hero
By: Rob H
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:42pm

Seriously, is there a nicer guy in town? Cadence is truly unparalleled across the board in terms of customer service, services offered and, of course, Mark (let's also not forget Jose!). Every time I've broken something on my bike (and those of you who know me know that that's once every.... ride), Mark has either been able to give me a quick fix on the spot, or a realistic and quick timeframe for when the bike will be ready -- it's never been more than 24 hours, and he usually delivers early. He even emails me when the bike is ready! Seriously, what more could one possibly ask for?!

Mark purdy taught me how to
By: CJ
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:41pm

Mark purdy taught me how to make love.

to my bike.

Totally agree
By: ScottD
Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:36am

Great service by Mike and Cadence. It's become my default shop when I get into trouble on something... and I'm very lucky to have it just a few blocks from my office. Mike's searched out odd spokes to built wheels for me, swapped components between framesets, inspected nitpicky stuff. Everything runs like butter.

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