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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 01-07-08, 03:01 PM   #1
GKrebs
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How to clean and what to use????????

Hey I just started riding this past year and have finally came across a problem. I dry my chaing and rub down the outside of the bike everytime I am done. I do ride in the winter which probably does not help. THe problem I have is that i cannot shift my top three gears. I was wondering if i have to clean the derailer or do i take the bike apart and give the pieces a more detailed cleaning. WHat schould i use?? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-07-08, 03:58 PM   #2
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THe problem I have is that i cannot shift my top three gears. I was wondering if i have to clean the derailer or do i take the bike apart and give the pieces a more detailed cleaning. WHat schould i use?? Any help is greatly appreciated.
You likely need a derailleur adjustment.

Try Sheldon Brown or Park instructions.
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Old 01-07-08, 05:48 PM   #3
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Check the cable guide under the bottom bracket. Often times it gets gunked up with road jizz whcih will most defintely affect your shifting.
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Old 01-08-08, 09:56 AM   #4
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Check the cable guide under the bottom bracket. Often times it gets gunked up with road jizz whcih will most defintely affect your shifting.
Or gook gets in the cable housing itself. Shift the bike into a low gear (tighten the cable) and then, without spinning the crank, shift to higher gears. This will release tension on the cable and allow you to slide the cable housing off the stops. Clean and grease the inner cable.

And, as masiman said, adjust the derailer.
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Old 01-08-08, 02:24 PM   #5
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What procedures should be done if you ride an older bike in the winter and in the rain and never shift out of the highest gear, and leave it for a couple weeks and you notice a rust color on the rear gears? The gears and chain are covered in black and and a rusty color.

Is there a special way to remove the front and rear gears and to clean them up nicely?

Along with that topic; what else can be done? Prevention? Maintenance? Etc...

I just don't know much about bike care. Maybe even a link to a good site that has extensive bike care and maintenance procedures? I have a Schwinn Traveler by the way.

I know thats a lot, but it sure will help.

thanks!
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Old 01-08-08, 02:36 PM   #6
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you can remove the cogset if you want, and the crank and chainrings, then go at the rust with a Fiberlene cloth. That takes surface rust off pretty well, but nothing well get at rust that has eaten deep.

Replace your chain.

Removing the cogs and rings takes the right tools. If you don't have them then just replace the chain and while chainless get in there with a good degreaser, rag and toothbrush and fine clean EVERYTHING. Then, when dry pump some oil onto a rag and rub all the metal parts down for a good coating. The oil will keep the water off the surface of the metal. Put new chain on and go!

As for prevention I wipe the bike down after every ride if it's wet at all. If dry I don't. I have two rags, one for the frame and various parts and another for the drivetrain only. Wipe down and lube the chain properly before every 4th ride.

On the weekend I do a more detailed wipe and I'll drip a drop of lube on my canti bosses, my cables, derailleur pulleys and pivot points and I'll do any fine adjustments I need to like wheel truings or tire changes. Sometimes I get anal and I'll even use some rubbing alcohol on a rag to take all the brake goop off the rim surfaces.

About once a year I overhaul my headset: take it apart, soak everything in degreaser, let dry. Then repack with the correct grease (marine grease is great for wetter climates, just use the synthetic stuff). I've done hubs, but not as often. BBs get replaced when need be, maybe once every year and a half or two or when they feel like they need it.

A really good idea is at least once a year make sure you check out all screws and put a thin film of grease on the threads. Put a thin film on your seatpost and saddle rails, even your handlebar and stem connection.

Sounds like lots, but it's not...you just need to think of your bike like your best friend and lover! Treat her right and she'll always be there for you.
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