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  1. #1
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    Degreasing/greasing chain: Mechanical disc brakes

    I recently purchased a Specialized Hardrock sport disc 29er and I had a couple of routine maintenance questions if anyone would care to give me some advice/tips.

    First, how often and what is the process I should use to degrease/grease my chain. Also do I need to take the chain completely off. If so how is that done if possible? What products are recommended?

    Secondly, how do I know when my disc brakes are wearing down and in need of changing? Ive never had them before. I noticed from when I first purchased the bike, that my front brake lever is much easier to pull in then my back brake, is that normal?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelcity82 View Post
    I recently purchased a Specialized Hardrock sport disc 29er and I had a couple of routine maintenance questions if anyone would care to give me some advice/tips.

    First, how often and what is the process I should use to degrease/grease my chain. Also do I need to take the chain completely off. If so how is that done if possible? What products are recommended?

    Secondly, how do I know when my disc brakes are wearing down and in need of changing? Ive never had them before. I noticed from when I first purchased the bike, that my front brake lever is much easier to pull in then my back brake, is that normal?
    Since you bought the bike from a bike shop, they should offer this basic kind of help as part of the sale, but it's up to you to ask.

    As for chain cleaning maintenance, ask a dozen knowledgeable people and expect 13 different answers. Do a search here on this forum or generally on the internet and be prepared to do lots of reading.

    As for the brakes, fronts are often easier to pull than rears because of the shorter straighter cable run. But without seeing the brake there's no way anyone on the forum can tell you if yours are within the normal range. definitely point this out to the dealer when you bring it in for the 30 day check.
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  3. #3
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    Chain cleaning info.
    Chain cleaning tool.
    Some people clean in a kerosene solvent or diesel oil and others use citrus products to clean the mucky oil off.
    Solvents are all a bit harsh and you need to get lube back inside the links.
    I only use solvents when the chain is covered in thick oily gunk. Modern bike lubes help to prevent the build-up of this oily mess.
    How often do you need to clean the chain? It depends how much you ride and on your local conditions.

    New cables stretch so mech disk brakes may need adjusting after a few weeks of use.
    Disk brakes should be bedded in to get the best bite.
    You can tell the wear by looking at the thickness of organic brake pad material remaining on the metal brake pad. There may be some kind of wear indicator if you remove the pads but visually, about 1mm should be OK. The front wears out more quickly but they should last at least 1 year.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    As for chain cleaning maintenance, ask a dozen knowledgeable people and expect 13 different answers.
    LOL! Yes, the above is true. Chain cleaning is a "religous" topic.

    I was planning to say that the one thing most riders agree upon is the utter uselessness of those plastic, chain-cleaning devices that fills with solvent and attaches to a chain. But then I saw MichaelW's post recommending one.

    Some people like to remove their chains for cleaning, as you mentioned. If you decide to go that route, I recommend buying a removable link. You might already have one on your chain. If not, your dealer can sell you one for five bucks or so, and can show you how it works. I use the "remove the chain" method maybe once a year during my winter overhaul. Sometimes I don't even bother.

    Others will clamp a rag over their chain while it's on the bike, and spin the chain so as to wipe crud off onto the rag. This is the method I use most often. You won't get shiny perfect results, but that's ok. You don't need to obsess over every spec of grit.

    Some like those clamp-on degreaser devices. I tried one--Pedro's brand. The result was degreaser all over my bike and my workstand. My Feedback Ultimate stand to this day has discoloration from the degreaser splatter. Meh. Others like those devices, but I do not.

    Bottom-line, I keep it simple. I wipe with a rag to get most of the crud off. Some crud will always be left in between the plates where the rag doesn't reach. What matters most is having lube insider the rollers. I don't sweat the small bits of crud between the plates.

  5. #5
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    Alright well thanks for all the information. As for I shoulda asked the dealer what they recommend.. This is my first bike I've purchased and after asking number questions forgive me if I failed to ask every single one. I appreciate the advice, are there any particular brands commended for degreasing/regreasing?

  6. #6
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    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html I remove and clean mine every 650 miles. It's easy to remove with a master link.
    If you check with the brake manufacturer they will tell you how thick the pads are when they have worn down. My friends have Avids and they recommend twomm thickness replacement.

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