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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 06-13-06, 07:57 PM   #1
fuerein
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Maintence for apartment dwellers.

I'd like to start learning basic bike maintence, do some basic work on my bike. However I live in a high-rise apartment in the city and thus have no real place outside I could do any work.

Does anyone else have any similar issue and how did you overcome space issues (AKA no space at all)? I have an extra room I could use, but I doubt my apartment management would be thrilled at the prospect of me doing bike maintence on their carpet... I'm not overly hot on the idea either. I don't want to have to pay to replace it when I move out!

Thanks.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:18 PM   #2
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I use a thick piece of cloth I bought at IKEA. It's pretty dirty now, but carpet underneath is clean.
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Old 06-13-06, 09:04 PM   #3
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Cloth under your work stand is the way to go. Make sure you don't have any spray off your drivetrain go on the walls
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Old 06-13-06, 09:25 PM   #4
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I posted a similar query in the Classic & Vintage forum. Do a search under my login. There were some good suggestions there. I often use the tub for parts cleaning.
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Old 06-13-06, 09:26 PM   #5
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You could live in a dorm. There are too many weird stains on the carpets already for my bike maintenance to make any difference.

Maybe that approach isn't what you're looking for though. Cloth or newspaper then.
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Old 06-13-06, 10:48 PM   #6
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my bedroom in my apt consists of my bunk, comp desk, study desk, drafting table, repair stand. i'm soon going to replace the study table with a craftsman workbench with a vise/anvil combo. see if my apt manager likes that! as far as carpet goes, seriously just put down a cheap rug or old towel while working. no problems. and as for bike storage, i managed to fit 7 bikes and various parts on my top bunk when my roomie moved out, and 3 tubs of parts and tools under my bed. wash parts in the sink, and go outside on the breezway or something if you really want to get messy lubing your chain or something. and you say you've got no room but an actual extra room, well there is your answer.
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Old 06-13-06, 11:22 PM   #7
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Check out your hardware store - they should have clear plastic runner for a few bucks per yard. I'm putting that in my small hallway as you walk in so the bikes don't drip on the rug if it rains and can use it to stop grease from going through rags and stuff.
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Old 06-14-06, 06:28 AM   #8
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Newspaper makes a good dropcloth. You can also get plastic "dropcloths" at any paint supply store for pretty cheap. Either works fine.
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Old 06-14-06, 07:14 AM   #9
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I use a thick rubber mat...of the type people use for the cargohold of their SUVs. Just get a flat one. The raised lip is great if you happen to spill a bottle of lube or whatnot.

Oh, and for hammering in fork crown races...if your shoulders are up to it, hold the fork in one hand, and hammer it with the other. It takes a while, but it does work. I done this to install a race at 2 in the morning without getting any complaints.

Only thing I MUST do when nobody is around is installing star nuts....that tends to really annoy those downstairs.
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Old 06-14-06, 10:21 AM   #10
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There are also mats designed specifically to soak up oil and grease. These usually consist of an oil/water proof vinyl backing bonded to a layer of some kind of absorbent material. Much better than cloth or newspaper if you're a slob like me and drip chain lube all over the place, because it can't soak through to the carpet. Finish Line makes a smallish one, or you should be able to find them at most auto parts stores.

I bought a couple of these though they are almost too big:

The Abzorb Oil Drip Mat
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Old 06-14-06, 10:35 AM   #11
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I use an old beach towel, and I also find that a supply of rags and taking your time doing stuff prevents most dripping.
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Old 06-14-06, 11:34 AM   #12
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Wash it in the bathtub, fix it in the kitchen on a couple of layers of cardboard.
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Old 06-14-06, 12:15 PM   #13
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ditto on the cardboard....
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Old 06-14-06, 12:54 PM   #14
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If you do get grease on the carpet, the best thing I have found to get it out is waterless hand cleaner like GoJo. This little trick has kept me married for 13 years.
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Old 06-14-06, 06:04 PM   #15
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Sealed cartridge bearings are the answer. You can also get one of those tool boxes with rollers and do your maintenance outside.
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Old 06-15-06, 06:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalanche325
If you do get grease on the carpet, the best thing I have found to get it out is waterless hand cleaner like GoJo. This little trick has kept me married for 13 years.
+1

Goo-gone or other citrus solvents (e.g. Zep degreaser) also work pretty well, especially if you follow it up with some soapy water and a wet vac or better yet a carpet cleaner.
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Old 06-15-06, 11:22 AM   #17
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+3 on the cardboard. i just flattened out a bike box and set it under the work part of my stand. perfect size, and when it gets too shoddy, i can just swap it out.
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