As the last of the signs of winter melted away, Employees in the Norrøna HQ office received this exciting email in their inboxes.
Sun’s out bikes out
It’s time for bicycle spring tune-up. Unsure how to swap out worn disc brake pads with fresh new ones? Don’t remember how to change from studded winter tires to summer tires? Is your bike stuck in first gear? Gear Bear is here to help!
I won’t clean your bike and change your tires for you, but I’ll teach you how to do it yourself. I will bring the tools necessary to freshen up your bike and make it spring ready, and teach you how to do basic maintenance and cleaning.
//Bjørn aka Gear Bear
Gear Bear’s invite perfectly reflects the company’s way of working. Learning by doing, and keeping sustainably as a main component in everything we do.
Promoting a greener commute is a topic that comes up and sticks on the walls throughout the year at the Norrøna office. We’d love to be able to claim that 100% of our employees take part in a green commute. But right now we’re just proud of the noticeable swing in the right direction.
In 2016 we saw that 85% of our employees commuted eco-friendly, and 33% of our employees biked, ran or walked to the office. In 2018, 96 % of all employees travelled eco-friendly to work. In 2019, the percentage came up to an impressive 99%. And then the pandemic hit us all and nearly made the word “commute” extinct.
Luckily, many of us working at Norrøna headquarters have been able to make a safe return to the office. And what better way to celebrate than getting our hands greasy and prepping our bikes!
For a few Norrøna newbies who attended the event. It was a complete surprise that Norrøna’s bike garage came complete with a heated room for bike maintenance.
Bjørn was all business. He was happy to chat, but we could see he was ready to share his incredibly helpful tips. As we waited for a few that were running behind, talks behind our bikes and daily commutes became the natural subject of the participants as they waited around and sipped on beer or soda.
Gear Bear started with the chain. Of course there are many parts of a bike that are essential. But the chain could be considered the heart of the bike, as it needs to function correctly for all other parts to do their job.
After the chain was zipped through that handy device that no doubt kept our fingers clean. Bjørn went on to explain a little more about chain lube. There are typically two types you can choose from -wet lube or dry lube. For commuter bikes, Bjørn recommended the dry lube.
We then moved onto the disk rotors. This is where your hands can get extremely dirty. So throw on some gloves if you have them.
Once our chains and rotors were looking fresh, we moved the body of our bikes. Nothing too fancy here. We rolled up our sleeves, got buckets filled with a dab of soap and warm water, and scrubbed away. Just some good old fashioned suds.
If you’re one of the many (including this writer) who thought a good spray with the hose was the last step in cleaning the body of your bike, consider giving your two-wheeler a little extra TLC and wiping it down with a clean cloth or towel to completely dry it in order to avoid water spots. You can also go the extra mile and spray the body of your bike with a silicone teflon coating spray in order to avoid washing it often .
In addition, we were shown how to find out if our chain had stretched out.
If the tool’s pointed edges fit between the chain links as just as this one in the photo does, then it looks like your chain has stretched and you may want to consider buying a new one.
As the invite promised, Bjørn also showed us how to switch our tires, and get out of first gear. But of all the technical talk and tricks we learned, the main takeaway Gear Bear wanted us to know was this; “Take good care of your bike, and your bike will take good care of you”.