Boise area....what shop/mechanic to you use?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Boise area....what shop/mechanic to you use?

    Have ridden the Boise foothills for more than twenty years (yes....I'm old as dirt) and in that time I've supported many of the local bike shops, but in the last five years I've purchased three used Titus frames (I did buy my Hammerhead as a complete bike) over the internet and built with parts (except for wheels) I've found on websites.

    My mechanic for the last ten years (he worked at the Tailwind shop in the mid 90's) has been Brian Grieger..

    Brian doesn't need any advertising........he's busy enough as it is. He has no peer (in SW Idaho at least) as a wheel builder, but what I want to give him props for is in the last three weeks I've had crash replacement (broken Hammerhead front triangle) and warranty issues (Magura Marta brakeset) that would have left me bikeless if I had been going to anyone other than Brian. He stripped, boxed and shipped my Hammerhead frame the day I brought it to him and had my bike back to me in less than ten days (kuddos to Titus also).

    Have been running Magura Martas on my Quasi for more than a year.....they started failing on a SW Utah/N. Arizona trip in October and even with bleeding they weren't working well.....Brian contacted Magura and was sent a pair of new calipers (they have great CS...like Titus), but when he installed them he found my levers were leaking too (backordered until January)......bummer out of bikes.

    Brian set me up with a demo set of IRD dual banger mechanicals and saved my weekend.......I can't say enough good things about the guy.
    Last edited by Markv; 12-22-2004 at 03:09 PM. Reason: clarity

  2. #2
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    I second that

    Brain is definatly the best mechanic in the area and I don't let anyone else touch my bikes. Plus I always learn something new when I am over at his shop.

    Chris
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  3. #3
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    The best of the best

    I will second and third that nomination for the best bike mechanic. I have had the pleasure of working in several shops in Idaho and Utah and visited shops throughout the west. Without question, Brian is the best mechanic I have ever met. He has an immense memory of bike knowledge ranging from the thread patterns of old campy bottom brackets to the dirty tricks of getting a stuck seat post out. He is also very generous in sharing his knowledge.

    There are other good mechanics in Boise but none of them have the access to the tools Brian has acquired over time. Part of the reason he is such a great mechanic is because he has invested the time and money to get the right tool for the right job. When he sets up your brakes they are done with the right tools and the precision you would expect on an Italian sports car. They won’t squeal when Brian is done with them!

    Where he really excels is at wheel building. He takes it to an art form! One of the best upgrades you could ever give your bike and yourself is a set of hand built wheels from Brian!

    My bikes and I thank you Brian!

    Mike e.

  4. #4
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    I have heard many people recommend Brian Grieger but I've never had a chance to use his services. I do all the wrenching on my three bikes and my wife's two bikes and haven't had a need for a pro to do what I couldn't figure out myself (with some help from the Park Tools website). That said, if I did need something I think I'd give Brian a call, especially if I needed a wheel built.

    For parts, I've found that Big Bikes in Hyde Park usually has either the tool or the obscure part that I've needed. Seems to be a rider's shop, although I can't really comment on the quality of their mechanical work.

  5. #5
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    I too do all my own work except for wheels. Brian has been my builder for about 10 years. But I recently jumped into the world of Campy 10v, and Brian is WORLDS more knowledgeable than anyone in the state. Did you guys know he used to be a national member of the track team and is one of the founding riders of the BCC??

    As for Big Bikes.... I was going to insert a big rant but I'll leave it out in the holiday spirit.

  6. #6
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    You had a bad exp?

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    As for Big Bikes.... I was going to insert a big rant but I'll leave it out in the holiday spirit.
    I've had nothing but good service from them, and they're mechanic.
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  7. #7
    Hi!!!
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    What is Brian's contact info?

    A looooong time ago I took a bike maintenance class from him through the Boise School District and man did he know his stuff.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    What is Brian's contact info?

    A looooong time ago I took a bike maintenance class from him through the Boise School District and man did he know his stuff.
    9 3 9 1 7 0 5

  9. #9
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    correction

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    I too do all my own work except for wheels. Brian has been my builder for about 10 years. But I recently jumped into the world of Campy 10v, and Brian is WORLDS more knowledgeable than anyone in the state. Did you guys know he used to be a national member of the track team and is one of the founding riders of the BCC??

    As for Big Bikes.... I was going to insert a big rant but I'll leave it out in the holiday spirit.
    I mean THEIR mechanic
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  10. #10
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    Now, nothing against Brian,...

    Quote Originally Posted by Markv
    Have ridden the Boise foothills for more than twenty years (yes....I'm old as dirt) and in that time I've supported many of the local bike shops, but in the last five years I've purchased three used Titus frames (I did buy my Hammerhead as a complete bike) over the internet and built with parts (except for wheels) I've found on websites.

    My mechanic for the last ten years (he worked at the Tailwind shop in the mid 90's) has been Brian Grieger..


    Brian set me up with a demo set of IRD dual banger mechanicals and saved my weekend.......I can't say enough good things about the guy.
    as he has built most all my wheels, cut my steel frames and done other complicated high-end wrenching for me over the years on half a dozen bikes, and if you can find a better wheel builder, I want to meet him.

    But for convenience, price, and speed, I rely on Steve Parrish of Dirt Dart for everything else. He's a friend, a good family man, and always comes to my home or office. Going to the boonies of Eagle is too much of a stretch for me, when I can just pick up the phone, dial 895-8000, and they come to me. Steve's honest as the day is long, and a lot of fun to ride and hang with, too.

    So hope y'all are riding in Boise. I'm riding a trainer at the inlaws up in Washington. A breathtaking setting, but kinda boring. Actually got to drive up to Paradise at Mt Rainier and hike the mountain. Not every December you can do that. Great fun.

    Talk to y'all later, but don't forget the bike shop that comes to you, 895-8000
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  11. #11
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    And then Dirt Dart can deliver your Zoke to Brian so he can work on it for you.

  12. #12
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    Pete, pete, and re-pete

    Quote Originally Posted by CBro
    So hope y'all are riding in Boise. I'm riding a trainer at the inlaws up in Washington. A breathtaking setting, but kinda boring. Actually got to drive up to Paradise at Mt Rainier and hike the mountain. Not every December you can do that. Great fun.
    No riding here in VA. I'm in the small part of the SE corner of the state that was hit with a big (for here) snowstorm the day after Christmas. 8 - 10 inches of snow in Chesapeake, with more snow further west of here. (A little less in Virginia Beach, where I've been the last couple of days.) Still about 4 - 5 inches on the ground and lots of hardpacked ice on the roads. I was able to get in a 5 mile run on Christmas and a 6 miler yesterday, but yesterday's "run" was more like a hike b/c the footing was super-treacherous.

    As for mechanic (so I'm not hijacking Mark's thread), I've used Brian once to knurl a seatpost for me. He basically told me not to call him for any bike work unless it was something nobody else in the valley could do, so I got the sense that he wasn't interested in return customers. Therefore, Pete at IMT is my first choice of local wrench. Usually, he has to undo some bonehead thing I've done to one of my bikes in the name of "fixing" it, and then do it right for me. (I'm not what you'd call "good with tools.") He also suggests and implements solutions that are usually easier and cheaper than what I have in mind. IMHO, he goes above and beyond what's called for and is the main reason I go back to IMT for anything He's also one heck of a rider and a really great guy. Bob, Aaron, and Greg at IMT are also very good mechanics as well as great guys, and I would be proud to recommend any of them.

  13. #13
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    Congrats on the Ventana Geoff...

    As for mechanic (so I'm not hijacking Mark's thread), I've used Brian once to knurl a seatpost for me. He basically told me not to call him for any bike work unless it was something nobody else in the valley could do, so I got the sense that he wasn't interested in return customers. Therefore, Pete at IMT is my first choice of local wrench. Usually, he has to undo some bonehead thing I've done to one of my bikes in the name of "fixing" it, and then do it right for me. (I'm not what you'd call "good with tools.") He also suggests and implements solutions that are usually easier and cheaper than what I have in mind. IMHO, he goes above and beyond what's called for and is the main reason I go back to IMT for anything He's also one heck of a rider and a really great guy. Bob, Aaron, and Greg at IMT are also very good mechanics as well as great guys, and I would be proud to recommend any of them.[/QUOTE]


    I saw your post on the Ventana board for the X-5 that you ordered from Larry......sweet frame!

    If Brian retired today I would be doing a lot more work on my own bikes and going to Pete for anything I couldn't do (which is unfortunately alot). Pete is a diamond in the rough......give him as much time working on bikes as Brian has and....well....we will all be driving to Pete's place to get our bikes worked on. As far as the mechanic/rider combo......I think Pete is the best. I'm prejudiced on this. I really enjoy riding with the IMT guys!
    Last edited by Markv; 12-28-2004 at 03:01 PM. Reason: spacing..

  14. #14
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    Diddo on Pete

    I totally agree that Pete is one of the best local shop mechanics. He is great at building wheels and finding the best low budget solutions for problems. As an example, he suggested using PVC pipe instead of expensive spacers to deal with building the rear wheel for a single speed. The PVC allows you to get the perfect alignment without busting the bank.

    Unfortunately, Chris the owner of IMT doesn't invest in his own bike shop and purchase the best tools available for his mechanics to use. Chris needs to purchase Chris King hub and headset tools, Marzocchi fork tools, high end tensionometers and other wheel building equipment, Magura brake tools to mill and align disc brakes etc. Brian has made the investment! If Pete had these tools he could build the wheels and then dial them into a nat’s eyebrow like Brian does.

    Pete is probably the best local mechanic we have. But when the shops need some work done, they take it to Brian because he has the tools they don’t.

    One area that Pete excels at is testing equipment. If it holds up under Pete’s riding, it is worthy. I always look to Pete for advice on what works and what is a “piece.” He is also a hoot to ride with and have an after ride beverage. Hats off to Pete!

  15. #15
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    Yep

    Pete at IMT is always awesome to me. There is another kid there, forget his name, he's from NC. He installed my XTR rear der and XT stuff. the little Kik shifts like butter now.
    Pete's attitude is exceptionally helpful.

    Dirt Dart is a friend of mine, and always will be, although I do not share his religious convections. He has done good work for me. The mechanic at Big Bikes is good.
    Listen, a lot of these guys are good.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    Pete at IMT is always awesome to me. There is another kid there, forget his name, he's from NC. He installed my XTR rear der and XT stuff. the little Kik shifts like butter now.
    Pete's attitude is exceptionally helpful.

    Dirt Dart is a friend of mine, and always will be, although I do not share his religious convections. He has done good work for me. The mechanic at Big Bikes is good.
    Listen, a lot of these guys are good.
    Brad is the NC guy. Maybe one of the best freeriders in the area. Here is his site, a branchoff from the infamous hickhucksters.com

    http://www.bradsidahosite.homestead.com/index.html

  17. #17
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    Thanks DK

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    Brad is the NC guy. Maybe one of the best freeriders in the area. Here is his site, a branchoff from the infamous hickhucksters.com

    http://www.bradsidahosite.homestead.com/index.html
    Server slow or lotsa traffic but I was able to pull down a few of their pics.
    Yep, those guys know how to ride bikes for sure
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    No riding here in VA. I'm in the small part of the SE corner of the state that was hit with a big (for here) snowstorm the day after Christmas. 8 - 10 inches of snow in Chesapeake, with more snow further west of here. (A little less in Virginia Beach, where I've been the last couple of days.) Still about 4 - 5 inches on the ground and lots of hardpacked ice on the roads. I was able to get in a 5 mile run on Christmas and a 6 miler yesterday, but yesterday's "run" was more like a hike b/c the footing was super-treacherous.

    As for mechanic (so I'm not hijacking Mark's thread), I've used Brian once to knurl a seatpost for me. He basically told me not to call him for any bike work unless it was something nobody else in the valley could do, so I got the sense that he wasn't interested in return customers. Therefore, Pete at IMT is my first choice of local wrench. Usually, he has to undo some bonehead thing I've done to one of my bikes in the name of "fixing" it, and then do it right for me. (I'm not what you'd call "good with tools.") He also suggests and implements solutions that are usually easier and cheaper than what I have in mind. IMHO, he goes above and beyond what's called for and is the main reason I go back to IMT for anything He's also one heck of a rider and a really great guy. Bob, Aaron, and Greg at IMT are also very good mechanics as well as great guys, and I would be proud to recommend any of them.

    Pete did some work on my singlespeed when it was getting converted/built up, back when he was at Moo's and he did a great job, and was really friendly, too. I try to say Hi whenever I drop in at IMT.

    CB
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  19. #19
    Hi!!!
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    Brad the NC guy was also featured in an issue of "Thrive" sometime this past fall or maybe even summer. He talked about the Hick Hucksters and the trouble they got into when they were building trails.

  20. #20
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    fingers crossed

    Quote Originally Posted by Markv
    I saw your post on the Ventana board for the X-5 that you ordered from Larry......sweet frame!
    Thanks - I hope I can afford to keep it. I wasn't planning on purchasing anything until February/March at the earliest (if at all), but the Ventana sale was so good that I borrowed the $$$ and pulled the trigger. Ventana is also slackening the angles on the X-5 for 2005, making it less XC and more FR - not really what I want. I know you're a big fan of Titus/Hammerhead, and I strongly considered the Moto-lite and the Switchblade, but the measurements and angles of the Ventana were exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully, if all works out as planned, I can keep the Superlight as a true XC bike and use the X 5 as an all-rounder. In any event, it will be nice to look at for a couple of months while I wait to pay it off!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Thanks - I hope I can afford to keep it. I wasn't planning on purchasing anything until February/March at the earliest (if at all), but the Ventana sale was so good that I borrowed the $$$ and pulled the trigger. Ventana is also slackening the angles on the X-5 for 2005, making it less XC and more FR - not really what I want. I know you're a big fan of Titus/Hammerhead, and I strongly considered the Moto-lite and the Switchblade, but the measurements and angles of the Ventana were exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully, if all works out as planned, I can keep the Superlight as a true XC bike and use the X 5 as an all-rounder. In any event, it will be nice to look at for a couple of months while I wait to pay it off!
    Is the Ventana sale good enough that I should inquire about a model with less travel than the x-5? Wow, 5 inches is major cush for southwest idaho, but I bet it's nice!

    Just checked ventana's site. The Salty fits the bill but the sale price is still kinda high for me, and the design doesn't have a chainstay Horst link. Crap for me.

  22. #22
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    Seemed good enough to me

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    Is the Ventana sale good enough that I should inquire about a model with less travel than the x-5? Wow, 5 inches is major cush for southwest idaho, but I bet it's nice!

    Just checked ventana's site. The Salty fits the bill but the sale price is still kinda high for me, and the design doesn't have a chainstay Horst link. Crap for me.
    20% off when you're getting into and over $2000 for a frame seems like a good deal to me. The savings from regular price is approximately what I spent on a King wheelset last year, so you tell me if it's a good enough deal!

    I agree that 5" of travel is more than you "need" for the foothills, but I also ride a good deal in McCall and occasionally other places (Moab, Tahoe, etc...) where 5" will be useful. Frankly, you don't "need" any suspension for the foothills trails (having ridden a rigid SS up there for over 2 years), but it sure is nice to have it.

    The El Salt without the 3-4-5 rocker will go 4" of travel. I considered the El Salt, but I'd rather have the travel and not need it than want the travel and not have it. (Also, Ventana sold out of the 19" El Salts the day before I bought my X 5).

  23. #23
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    Where in Tahoe? I lived there for 5 years.


    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    20% off when you're getting into and over $2000 for a frame seems like a good deal to me. The savings from regular price is approximately what I spent on a King wheelset last year, so you tell me if it's a good enough deal!

    I agree that 5" of travel is more than you "need" for the foothills, but I also ride a good deal in McCall and occasionally other places (Moab, Tahoe, etc...) where 5" will be useful. Frankly, you don't "need" any suspension for the foothills trails (having ridden a rigid SS up there for over 2 years), but it sure is nice to have it.

    The El Salt without the 3-4-5 rocker will go 4" of travel. I considered the El Salt, but I'd rather have the travel and not need it than want the travel and not have it. (Also, Ventana sold out of the 19" El Salts the day before I bought my X 5).

  24. #24
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    Yep,

    Quote Originally Posted by assgasorgrass
    And then Dirt Dart can deliver your Zoke to Brian so he can work on it for you.
    he's referred my wheel building out to Brian, shock rebuilds to the hippy guy, and doesn't seem to be afraid to bring an expert when one's justified. good business.

    CB
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  25. #25
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    You're still good

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Ventana is also slackening the angles on the X-5 for 2005, making it less XC and more FR - not really what I want.
    Plus (as you know), the 04 has a what I consider perfect all around 70 deg head angle.
    I'm looking at that myself, but if I go Ventana, can't decide the diff between that and an El Salt with 4/5/6 rocker.
    Sound of Tires on Dirt: Sole Music
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  26. #26
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    4-5-6?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    I'm looking at that myself, but if I go Ventana, can't decide the diff between that and an El Salt with 4/5/6 rocker.
    Are they making the El Salt with the 4-5-6 now? I thought that the El Salt had a 3-4-5 option, whereas the X 5 has a four position (3-3.5-4-5-6) optional rocker. The X 5 has a lower standover than the El Salt and weighs about three quarters of a pound more.

  27. #27
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    Just checked Ventana site and you're right

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Are they making the El Salt with the 4-5-6 now? I thought that the El Salt had a 3-4-5 option, whereas the X 5 has a four position (3-3.5-4-5-6) optional rocker. The X 5 has a lower standover than the El Salt and weighs about three quarters of a pound more.
    The El Salt is the 3/4/5 option. I'm getting confused being in the mode of checking out and looking at so many bikes. That X5 is a really nice frame. I think you can't go wrong with it, and 4/5/6is just a sick amount of adjustability!

    I just sent my fox ProPedal in to get PUSHED, so probably keeping the Kona Kikapu since it's such a good all around XC bike, but not an all mountain bike, really.

    How was your trip to VA?
    Say, have you ever ridden York River State Park?
    When I was in VA I went trail running there, just on part of the area. Really wanted to ride that fun, twisty stuff!
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    Brian Grieger passed away and memorial ride information.

    Brian Grieger, who as some of the other posters mentioned, was unquestionably the best bike mechanic in the Southern Idaho Region. Unfortunately he passed away Oct 27, 2008 in his sleep. He will be be sorely missed by all of us, thanks for all the help and everything you did for us Brian!!!

    I have included information on a memorial ride for him.


    Brian Grieger Memorial Reception and Remembrance Ride



    Natalie Grieger will hold an open house and Memorial Reception to honor Brian from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 1. The location is the Grieger home/Brian’s Pro Bike--2422 N Haven Dr., Eagle, ID

    The Brian Grieger Remembrance Ride will start that morning from Camelsback Park and finish at the Memorial Reception.

    The ride will depart from Camelsback at 11:00 and will head to the Idaho Velodrome and Cycling Park. It will then depart from there at 11:30 and go the Grieger Home.

    Team Dobbiaco/Boise Cycling Club & IO/Lost River Cycling are asking for a small ($5.00) donation from each rider to help us purchase a Velodrome block in Brian’s memory.

    Natalie is thankful for the cycling community's support and the love that has been expressed. She asks that those who wish to bring food bring appetizers for the memorial reception.

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