Welcome to bikeforums.net Bicycle Mechanics Forum. Here mechanics can discuss issues and riders can pick their brains. If you have a mechanical question about your bicycle, here is the place to ask it. (For older bikes, the equally large Classic and Vintage forum might be better.)
Newcomers are welcome. To get the most from your time here, please read these hints.
Before posting, do some research. Educate yourself. You must have at least a rudimentary knowledge of bikes in order to discuss them. Fortunately there are some excellent resources for you:
- Sheldon Brown (R.I.P, Captain Bike) authored a world-class web site dedicated to bikes and how they work. His Bicycle Glossary is a brief definition of terms with links to more in-depth treatments. The Articles are the more in-depth treatments.
For basic repair and maintenance procedures there are on-line instructions. Please review them before posting the 10,000th iteration of "How do I adjust my handlebars?" Hint: Not like the guy below.
- Park Tool USA publishes what many consider to be the definitive repair site. Park Tool Repair Help and Education
- UtahMountainBiking.com is a bit more irreverent and opinionated, deals with some topics that the Park Tool site doesn't, and is by no means limited to mountain bikes. Click the silly picture to go there. ("But be warned -- we accept no responsibility for how badly you bugger-up your bike trying to fix it yourself!")
- For the visually-oriented (I mean, who has time to read any more?), the videos on this site might be just the ticket. [Note: Now requires monthly subscription fee.]
- If you have Shimano components,
there are two sites that you may find useful. The first, the Help Desk, has parts lists and instruction sheets for more recent components (since about 2000). The second, Tech Tips, is more topic-oriented and has good info on internal hubs - something of an arcane subject.
The Help Desk has changed and moved. See here or here. The Tech Tips section seems to have gone away.
Search this forum before starting a new thread.
Your issue is not unique. It happened to someone else last week. If what you find in Search Forum doesn't help, then by all means post on the topic.
When you post a problem or question, be specific about the bike!
Most frustrating - and common - are questions posted without enough information to answer them. We get this a lot:
so my new FSA Super Wonderful crankset finally came in can i use my old bb?Say what??
This one's a little better, but...
I have a StarTrek 9000. Can I replace the big chain ring with a SuperCog 2000?
You can't expect everyone to remember what crank Scotty used on a given model, or to know whether you chose the double or the triple version. Sure we could do the research for you, but we won't.
- Tell us at least the type of bike, who made the components in question (e.g. Shimano, SRAM), what group (e.g. Ultegra, Force, Deore), and some idea of the age. 1999? 8-speed? Double or triple crankset? Are the parts original?
- Best of all would be the part numbers, e.g. "Shimano FD-6503". The part number is stamped or cast on nearly every part, but it can be hard to find without removing the part.
- How do you use the bike? Are you a racer? BMXer? Do you tour with 100 kilos of equipment? Commute?
- Pictures are good! One picture is worth 156 words - especially a picture of the problem area. Eye candy is welcome too.
Please use good posting form.
- Type a meaningful Subject line.
Make a good first impression. Subjects like help ME!!!!! are likely to be ignored.
- Check your spelling. The thing that slows you down is a 'brake', not a 'break'.
- Use standard English capitalization and punctuation.
Otherwise the thread topic will become your 'style', and it won't be complimentary.
- Put your location in your bikeforums profile.
Yes, it can make a difference whether you're in San Diego or Latvia.
- DO NOT resurrect old threads, like over a month old, unless you have an update to that specific thread. Start a new thread. Link to the old one if you must comment.
- Topics such as these have been done, re-done, and over-done:
Chain lube and cleaning - Don't use WD-40 or butter. Beyond that, everyone has a different opinion.
Entry-level toolkits - what kit should I buy (if any) - Again, everyone has a different opinion.
How do I turn my geared bike into a fixie? - answer: buy fixed-gear parts
Something is creaking! - see Sheldon on creaks
My pedal fell off! - usually meaning the crank arm - answer: someone put it on wrong. Now you need a new one.
Campy vs. Shimano - so tired it probably won't even start a flame war.
- Here are some acronyms that are commonly used on the forum. There are many more related to bicycles. If you don't recognize one, ask!
LBS - Local Bike Shop
MTB - Mountain Bike
BB - Bottom Bracket
FD - Front Dérailleur
RD - Rear Dérailleur
mech - Mechanism, usually a dérailleur and associated parts (UK)
DS - Drive Side - the side of the bike with the chain et al.
NDS - Non-Drive Side - the side of the bike without the chain
nnT - e.g. 34T - the number of teeth on a chain sprocket, usually used as the size of the sprocket
BCD - Bolt Circle Diameter - how chain rings bolt to a crank (or don't)
QR - Quick Release, usually for holding a wheel to a fork
IGH - Internal Gear Hub
Sometimes your LBS really is the best place to get your wonderful machine fixed.
Fix that bike and go riding!!