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Old 04-09-07, 02:50 PM   #1
Zero_Enigma
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When should you consider a full overhaul service on the bike?

I would like to know when is it best to consider a full overhual of the bike?

http://www.silentsports.com/store/go/about-us/

I was just reading up the pricing at the LBS. The prices are in CDN. I am currently nearing 3000km (2963.2km) if my bike computer is correct.

Also I would like to know the seal at the headset, do they sell replacement seals? My seal got wobbled off when the headset was loose. My LBS told me they don't sell seals but I'm a bit skeptical on that so I'm askng here because I think they do on the market.

Here is a photo of the headset close up shots.

Here 1
Here 2

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-09-07, 04:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma
I would like to know when is it best to consider a full overhual of the bike?
Here's a rough guide from a site I was browsing today:
http://www.oakbaybikes.com/techstuff.htm

Use your judgment, based on your riding conditions, distance, abuse/care of the bike, and regular inspection. Last summer, I rode an old mtb commuter home in heavy rain, with plenty of grit on the road shoulders, and found out that the bottom bracket seals are probably not doing their job. I had just repacked it with fresh grease, and by the next day, it sounded like I had mixed the grease with sand. That bike needs moving parts relubed more frequently than others in my fleet.

The $125 for an overhaul seems like a lot of money to me, but then I've been (mis)maintaining my bikes for several years now. The cost is probably commensurate with the amount of time it takes a mechanic to tear everything down. Of course, for $150 at MEC, you can buy most of the tools you need. Another $125 gets you a repair stand. The next $125 gets you the oddball tools, and all of your consumables for the next few years (chain cleaner, citrus-based degreaser, ball bearings, chain lube, grease, etc). And by having the tools and skills to do it yourself, you're more likely to be able to deal with problems that arise during journeys, and avoid leaving your bike in the shop for 2-3 days every time something goes kaput.

As for the headset, a good LBS should have a bunch of old parts on the shelf to cannibalize, unlimited new parts available by special order, and they should be able to come up with a solution for just about any problem your bike might experience. They might not be able to do it cheaply (ie, perhaps you'll require a new headset for $20-50 as different brands might not have interchangable seals), but they should be able to offer you a solution, not a shrug of indifference. There is a price to pay for expertise, and when I'm scrounging for parts at my LBS, I just pay what they ask.
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Old 04-09-07, 06:15 PM   #3
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Sounds like it's all labor charges in that $125.00. It is a bit of a pain to clean the drivetrain throrougly (I mean complete teardown of cassette, cranks and bottom bracket) A full overhaul for me would have to include cable and chain replacement though, why go through all the trouble of cleaning just to put the old stretched cables/chain back? Splurge for new ones.

It sounds like a fair price for a good cleaning if you don't have the time and desire to do it yourself. For the money though you could invest it in tools and a manual and never have to rely on a bike shop except for major mechanical stuff which is rare if you do regular maintenance and inspection.
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Old 04-09-07, 07:45 PM   #4
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I've always thought that full overhauls were for when you'd been neglecting the bike enough to let many parts of it get in bad shape at once. If you fix stuff as it gets out of adjustment or needs lube or whatever, I doubt you'd get to the point where a full overhaul was needed.
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Old 04-09-07, 09:41 PM   #5
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I agree. More often, I just replace what's worn beyond what anymore maintenance can fix.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:03 PM   #6
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The only time I really do such an overhaul is when I am selling a bike so it looks and runs completely clean. If I am riding it then I don't bother since it gets dirty on the first ride anyways. Regular maintenance and cleaning is enough.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:50 AM   #7
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Depends on the bike and the usage. When I had a Raleigh 3 speed as my only commuter it never got a full tear down. I fixed stuff as it complained That bike is still around 25 years later and after 30,000 miles of use, misuse and abuse is still ridable and has yet to have a complete tear down. It will be getting one in the near future! I also used a rigid frame MTB from the early 90's as a commuter for a while, that one got a complete tear down about once a year, but it was also being used for trail rides on the weekends, and had an exposed drive train. About half of my bikes now are vintage so get a complete tear down and rebuild when I get the time mainly because I don't know how well the PO took care of them. I would suggest that you acquire the tools and knowledge to do it yourself if you are at all interested. To me there is nothing more relaxing that being out in my shop on a cold day with the heat going, a cold beer (if that's your choice ) and a bicycle to work on.

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Old 04-10-07, 04:53 AM   #8
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Although you probably can't do a headset on your own, and bottom brackets will be a challenge (I haven't messed with mine), but you can do most of the rest on your own. Get a copy of Zinn and the Art of _____ Bike Maintenance. He has them for road and mountain bikes. Park Tools also has a good online site.

The first couple times you do a repair, it will take an ungodly amount of time, but if you buy the part and the tool, you will save money over time. Plus, a good LBS will offer you advice with the purchase.

Learning to maintain my own bike has been one of the joys of commuting. Over time, I have learned to fix almost everything. I have also learned what spare parts to keep on hand. It's been a very long time since I couldn't ride because of a mechanical problem when the LBS was closed.

As to when to do it, like others have said, it depends on how much stress you put on your bike. Unless you've ridden through deep water, your bottom bracket is probably fine. You need to adjust brakes, derailleurs and the true of the wheel as they become problems. At 3000km, you might want to consider overhauling your hubs, especially if those have been icky winter kilometers.
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