Bicycle Mechanics - Little help. What to do to a used bike to get it running well and simply running.
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I'm pretty knew to maintaining my own bikes so I thought I ask what to redo or tune up when getting a used bike (think sitting around for a while). I searched a couple times but found not much direct advice. It seems people already know what to do. :o
Anyway, I'm making a list, so far:
degrease and regrease chain.
clean and grease gears and shifting mechanisms.
redo brake and shift lines
get new bar tape
anything else? And does anyone have any good site that elaborate on the afore mentioned tasks. I'm no fool around bikes but I haven't really worked on them ever either other than tire changes, just rode them. :D Thanks for any advice.
09-11-04, 12:56 PM
what kind of bike is it, how old is it etc???
check your tubes and tires, adjust your brakes and shifters, true your wheels, check your BB make sure its not loose or overly tight Or you could disassemble the whole bike, check all your bearings and regrease, replace all that need to be..
09-11-04, 02:37 PM
If the bike has just been sitting, not ridden lots, don't bother replacing the chain. BUT if the chain is worn, this can be a cheap solution to get nice shifting again. Use a metal tape measure line up on rivet/pivot point, go out 12 inches and you should hit exactly on another pivot point. If 1/16+- off, replace the chain, if 1/8 or more off, you have some wear (probably) to the drive teeth (freewheel/cassette and/or chainrings) and replacing the chain might even cause the chain to skip some teeth. You could probably figure this out by sound and feel when you have some experience, but this is a decent rule of thumb.
Move the bars around/back/forth while holding frame steady, if there is movement, need to adjust headset - might as well remove/repack at the same time.
Also just make sure the tires don't have any cracks in sidewall or tread under full pressure. Cheap insurance to replace them. :)
Borrow a repair stand if you know someone who has one. Any adjustments and most of the things you listed are tons easier with than without.
Have a good time ;)
Well I degreased and lubed up everything. It's all very smooth now. Measured the chain, exactly 12" between pivot points (and I measured multiple spots). On another note, I was cleaning up the gears and thought they might have a little wear and corrosion on them but after I put degreaser on, the wiped clean and looked almost new! They just had a layer of grime. Bike looks very nice now and rides smoothly. My only gripe is that the stem is 30 cm tall! I need a new one in 22.2mm to not be upright when not on the drop of the bar. But all in all, chalk another one one up for the great deal on a used bike.
09-11-04, 08:51 PM
You might also want to pull the stem and seatpost to regrease them. On my first real road bike I didn't grease the stem and it eventually welded itself to the steerer tube through galvanic corrosion.
09-11-04, 10:52 PM
Wow. Pretty commendable. Most without some experience would have worked themselves up to this and you did it in a day. Congrats and have some fun tomorrow!
09-12-04, 04:59 AM
I found this website very useful:
That's a useful site. Just looked it over. Helps. Thanks
09-12-04, 11:31 AM
That darned galvanic corrosion is one of the great unknown nuisances of the mechanic's world; I've had to torch an old alternator off one of my cars before because of it.
If you've got the space and inclination, I recommend disassembling the whole bike; it's a great way to uncover unseen troubles and just get acquainted with your new machinery.
09-24-04, 12:50 AM
I've been volunteering with repair co-ops for a few years now, and a good way to approach a used/unknown bike is to first check the frame for damage. Obvious denting, bends, cuts (yes, cut chainstays!). Check for bubbling paint (could be crack underneath). Put your foot on the bb and give a few little pushes. Would you let your mother ride it? At a coop that doesn't follow this protocol, I've seen someone finish a COMPLETE repair, only to realize that the frame wasn't safe. woops! Second, check that the seat post and the headset aren't seized. If one of them are, it might be ok to continue with repairing the bike, if it will fit whoever will be riding it. If not, strip it for parts?
degrease and regrease chain.
I do hope that you didn't use grease on the chain.
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