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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.

View Poll Results: My maintence schedule is
Complete shop overhaul once a year. 2 4.76%
Wait until it demands fixing. 18 42.86%
I do a complete overhaul once a year 12 28.57%
A combination of shop and self maintenance. 10 23.81%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-02-07, 03:39 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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what is your maintenance schedule like

I have completed some simple maintenance items. Used to be like cleaning my chain. I actually recently changed out the ball bearings on my BB of my touring bike. Something about cutting the cable to install new shifter cable. Dont wanna do that.
But, without paying big bucks on a fleet of bikes, I fear many of us just wait until it demands fixing? Is that a good idea. ? How many don't do maintenance on hubs, BB's for maybe years. ?
So, what is your maintenance schedule? Do you do it yourself. ? Take it to a shop for a complete annual overhaul? What maintenance do you do yourself. ? What do you have the shop do.?
Poll below.
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Old 02-02-07, 06:08 AM   #2
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a question. Wait until it demands fixing. Any problems associated with that. ? Can that course end up costing one far more in the long run. Not to have a well tuned, dependable machine is the obvious consequence.
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Old 02-02-07, 06:53 AM   #3
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I take care of situations as they develop, not when they have failed. I only use a shop when I don't have the tool... if it's a one time job.
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Old 02-02-07, 07:31 AM   #4
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The road bike gets a basic clean and lube once a month and a more detailed tune up in my shop twice a season to stay on top of any developing issues. The MTB gets a regular thrashing and gets a good once over every month. I do all my own wrenching because A. I enjoy it and B. We are a large family and all of us ride. Less labor money at the LBS = more money for bikes and parts.
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Old 02-02-07, 09:26 AM   #5
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My maintenance tends to be a complete overhaul when I paint it, which is in the every 5-8 year range. Otherwise, just do what it needs. Headset, sometimes twice a year. On the other hand, I have front wheels I haven't touched in 10 years.
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Old 02-02-07, 10:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
a question. Wait until it demands fixing. Any problems associated with that. ? Can that course end up costing one far more in the long run. Not to have a well tuned, dependable machine is the obvious consequence.
Depends what you mean by "demands fixing." If you mean the bike becomes unridable, or some part becomes unusable, you've left it too long.

If you mean some system becomes noisy, rought feeling or loose, then that's fine.

The drive train should be regularly checked for wear with a ruler as explained at:

http://sheldonbrown.com/chains

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Old 02-02-07, 10:28 AM   #7
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Fix things as they break, tighten things when they get loose.

Before every ride I do the thumb trick to the tires and pick up my bike and drop it to see if it sounds solid.
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Old 02-02-07, 11:06 AM   #8
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Thanks Sheldon. I guess, I meant wait until it become unrideable. Should one have multiple bikes that makes such a course easier on the avid cyclist.
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Old 02-02-07, 02:01 PM   #9
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If it's making noise, I won't be able to stand it until I fix it. Otherwise, I'll check it over at the beginning of the season.
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Old 02-02-07, 02:28 PM   #10
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To assure having my bikes checked out, I need to go on a tour. Never leave without a check up.
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Old 02-02-07, 05:27 PM   #11
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I have replaced a chain that "didn't need" replacing, it wasn't skipping over the sprocket, but I noticed it was stretched. Oddly, it was stretched over only part of it's length. I was afraid it would snap, sending me for a face-plant.
I had a spare chain, new in box, so I changed it.

Bottom brackets? I haven't touched one in a few years. I can't find my crank-puller.
I used to overhaul bottom brackets all the time. I suspect some *#@&head was putting dirt down my seat tube when I wasn't looking.
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Old 02-02-07, 05:46 PM   #12
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None of the above.

Fussing with my bikes has always been one of my favorite stress-reducing activities. There's always something that can use a little tweaking or cleaning, not to mention my fascination with experimentation.

I do everything at home unless I don't have a tool and don't feel justified in investing in one, but my LBS lets me use theirs because I drop by with six-packs of imported beer fairly often to remind them that I love them.
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Old 02-02-07, 06:40 PM   #13
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for those who do a complete shop overhaul, what do you expect to be serviced. Everything? And for a given price do they in fact complete all recommended maintenance ? such as replace all bearings, etc. ?
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Old 02-02-07, 11:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
for those who do a complete shop overhaul, what do you expect to be serviced. Everything? And for a given price do they in fact complete all recommended maintenance ? such as replace all bearings, etc. ?
Complete shop overhaul should be exactly that; complete.

We would strip the bike to the frame and essentially rebuild it. Hubs were repacked, wheels were trued & cables were pulled. Parts that needed replacing (including bearings) were replaced; those that were still servicable were cleaned, lubed, reinstalled and adjusted.
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Old 02-03-07, 03:29 AM   #15
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RM. Just curious about what is a normal shop charge for a complete overhaul. I had wondered if overhaul does not normally mean actual needed maintenance. Let's say a shop recommended sealed bearing needed replacement, a complete overhaul could run up addional costs. But, at least such a discovery might cut down on initial labor costs.
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Old 02-03-07, 12:08 PM   #16
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Erm, does inflating the tires and oiling the chain now and then count as maintenance? (I'm a lazy sod)
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Old 02-03-07, 12:55 PM   #17
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did not occur to me . Does wait until it demands fixing mean the owner repairs the bike or some shop.
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Old 02-03-07, 01:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
My maintenance tends to be a complete overhaul when I paint it, which is in the every 5-8 year range. Otherwise, just do what it needs. Headset, sometimes twice a year. On the other hand, I have front wheels I haven't touched in 10 years.
Let me amplify.

Other than wiping the chain every time I ride, and measuring the chain for wear once a month, I don't really do anything until it needs it.

As far as maintenance goes, I think the best thing to do is check your bike over often so that you can catch a problem early.

Every few times I ride I:

1. Check the wheel bearings for play and smoothness,

2. Make sure the headset is smooth and has no play,

3. Spin the wheels to make sure they are true,

4. Check the brakes to make sure both caliper arms move in synch and check that the brake pivots have no play.

The checks take about 2 minutes to complete and goes a long way towards finding problems that could worsen into major repairs. For example, a loose headset or wheel bearings can ruin a headset or hub if you don't catch it right away.
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