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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 09-17-01, 02:51 PM   #1
nikos
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How many miles before tune up needed?

Just wanted to see at what milage point does my bike need to go in for a tune up. I put about 600 miles on my bike for commuting in two - three months time. Roads are not to bad, dirt and sludge not really to much of an issue. Just wanted to check. thanks
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Old 09-17-01, 03:28 PM   #2
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I'm assuming you purchased the bike new from a LBS.

It's hard to put a mileage on when a tune up will be required but it's inevitable on a new bike.

In time the braking and shifting will become imprecise due to stretching of the cables.

I've had machine assembled spokes loosen.

You'll know when its ready.
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Old 09-17-01, 04:33 PM   #3
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You are from Wisconsin. You shouldn't need a tune-up after 600 miles under most road conditions. Even the off-road you would experience in Wisconsin is pretty easy on bikes. You should be able to go at least 1000 miles without a major tune-up.

You will probably have to change or maintain the brake pads. Do you feel any extra play in your cables such as excess play in the brake levers? If yes, then tighten them up.

The thing you need to consider is winterizing your bike for the upcoming season. You may need to change your lubrication - certainly so for your chain.

You also need to give exterior metal part of your bike (except the chain) a good coat of wax. This need includes the spokes.
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Old 09-17-01, 05:49 PM   #4
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What's a tune up?
Every year (sometimes twice), I lube all the bearings. I clean and lube the chain as needed, true the wheels as needed, adjust derailleurs as needed, etc. If you maintain your bike, you don't need to pay some $6/hour flunky in a bike shop to do it (usually poorly) for you.
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Old 09-17-01, 08:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by D*Alex

Every year (sometimes twice), I lube all the bearings. I clean and lube the chain as needed, true the wheels as needed, adjust derailleurs as needed, etc.
Throw in cable replacement and you are doing a complete overhaul, D*Alex.

A "Tune-up" to a lot of shops is so simple that it isn't worth the trouble of bringing your bike all the way to the shop. This would include: Check Brakes/cables, check derailure, Throw the bike on the stand, spin the crank & listen/feel for noises, lubricate chain, true wheels ( ? most shops consider this an optional extra).

Most shops don't consider regreasing all the bearings part of a standard "tune-up" and it really is more than just a tune-up.

Although cleaning and greasing ALL the bearings is a labor of love for our own personal bikes, it is a lot less fun when you are doing it for someone else. Bike shops deserve the money they get for completely disassembling a bike to clean and regrease bearings. It is time consuming work that requires knowledge and skill.
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Old 09-18-01, 07:15 AM   #6
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The bike shop I deal with does a free checkup on new bikes after 300 miles. Basically just the stuff D*Alex and Mike mentioned - check cable tension, brake and derailleur adjustment, etc. New cables can stretch.
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Old 09-18-01, 07:40 AM   #7
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I don't think its easy to put a number of miles against the requirements for a "tune up". Different things wear at different rates.

The amount of travel and sharpness of brakes is your guide to brake pad wear. Noise is a guide to chain wear and bearings.

Alex's post abount maintenance is pertinent.

Every day before heading out - check tyre pressure, check tyres for stones, glass & other nasties caught in the treads.

After a ride in nasty wet weather, spray some oil all over the derailleur and chain (who said cycling was green?)

A good clean and oil evey week/fortnight will help you spot any other parts coming loose, or rust spots, chipped paint. give all the spokes a good tug to feel for loose ones (tho a wheel rubbing against the brake blocks can be an indicator of a rim going out of true because of a loose spoke)

If you commute daily you are often forced into repair. If something goes "sproing" on the way home, and you need the bike for the trip in the next day you may have no choice other than immediate home repair. Many of us have gone a week on one gear, while waiting for a part thru the post.

You'll find that bike maintenance grows on you, your stock of tools slowly increases and you find yourself doing things you wouldn't have dreamed of months ago - spoke tensioning, bottom bracket replacemenmt etc.

And if you do the job you can be sure its been done right.

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Old 09-26-01, 08:57 AM   #8
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I use high-quality grease and try to repack wheel, crank, and pedal bearings biennially. I true the wheels, replace the brake pads and tyres, and adjust the derailleurs, brakes, and bearings on an as-needed basis. I have not adopted a schedule for brake cable replacement, but it's probably a good idea to do so. (Of course, any shift or brake cable with one or more broken strands is a candidate for immediate replacement. Likewise, any loose spoke triggers a general wheel retensioning and truing.)
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Old 09-26-01, 11:33 AM   #9
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You guys are worrying me. I have done about 2K miles (I guess I don't have a computer) on my bike but no real tune up yet (works fine though) except some adjustment after the first 100 miles. I check tire pressure, brakes and clean cogs and chain every so often but nothing more than that really. Perhaps I will go soon. It is my bike 6 months b-day next week!

Are these things like teeth in the US: if you don't check up every 3 months you get a 4 figure bill???? Ah I miss British dentistry! Granted, some UK dentists are real butchers (no offense) but they are so cheap in comparison to the US. It is not worth brushing: get me a root canal right away.

Last edited by PapeteeBooh; 09-26-01 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 09-27-01, 01:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by PapeteeBooh

Ah I miss British dentistry! Granted, some UK dentists are real butchers (no offense) but they are so cheap in comparison to the US. It is not worth brushing: get me a root canal right away.
It is always worth brushing - gets the coffee stains off!

I tend to play with my bike constantly. Just at the moment I'm slowly replacing half the spokes on the front wheel, because the previous owner kept it unridden in a damp shed and half the spokes have gone rather rusty. So I'm retruing every couple of weeks. I reoil the exposed gear cables every time I wipe my bike down, so every couple of days, and try and clean the chain once a week. I've just cleaned and regreased the cogs on my rear mech, too.

But then again, I live on my own, so noone minds if I spend an hour or so fixing up my bike in the kitchen!
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