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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-30-07, 09:25 PM   #1
mbologna
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What Routine Maintenance for Commuter?

What things do you do regularly in terms of maintenance for your commuter bike? How often?

I just bought a new bike specifically for commuting and errands, and want to try to keep it in good shape, but must confess, I'm terrible with bike maintenance, and pretty lazy about even basic cleaning. The grease on the chain and cassette of my road bike would appall most riders. Hoping to make a fresh start with the new ride, and looking for some advice.

I don't really know how to care for a bike and I don't know much about making adjustments to brakes, shifters, or derailleurs. Am I supposed to wipe off the chain and re-lube after every ride? Anything special required for a steel frame? What products do you use to clean the chain and cassette? Are those chain cleaner contraptions useful? Anything else I should do routinely?
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Old 11-30-07, 09:36 PM   #2
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Wipe and lube your chain when it gets noisy. That's pretty much all I do. Use lube according to conditions. Wipe the dirt off the rest of the bike once in a while, clean it with something mild if it looks really dirty.

http://sheldonbrown.com/ for all adjustment questions.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbologna View Post
What things do you do regularly in terms of maintenance for your commuter bike? How often?

I just bought a new bike specifically for commuting and errands, and want to try to keep it in good shape, but must confess, I'm terrible with bike maintenance, and pretty lazy about even basic cleaning. The grease on the chain and cassette of my road bike would appall most riders. Hoping to make a fresh start with the new ride, and looking for some advice.

I don't really know how to care for a bike and I don't know much about making adjustments to brakes, shifters, or derailleurs. Am I supposed to wipe off the chain and re-lube after every ride? Anything special required for a steel frame? What products do you use to clean the chain and cassette? Are those chain cleaner contraptions useful? Anything else I should do routinely?
Try these websites: http://www.bikewebsite.com http://www.sheldonbrown.com There's all kinds of tips re routine maintenance. You'll need to invest in some basic tools, wd-40, 3in1 oil, shop rags and hand cleaner. When I started commuting years ago I was fortunate to have been dating a woman who worked for a book publisher/distributor and I was able to get a few books on bicycle maintenance. Get an old light colored blanket or sheet for your work area. The biggest thing is to just go for it. If you get in a jam take the bike to your lbs and they'll straighten out the problem...for a price. Which is why I decided to learn how to do my own stuff. Set aside some time and enjoy yourself...bike maintenance is good therapy and fun.
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Old 12-01-07, 08:56 AM   #4
Jim-in-Kirkland
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My sugguestion (assuming that you do not have disc brakes) is after a commute in the rain is to wash off the crime on the wheel/rim sidewalls. I do it outside with a small bucket of water and a sponge. Too much junk on the rims really affects you braking.

Keep an eye on brake pad wear and if hear a metalic sound while breaking you need to remove the wheel and clean the brake pads of any metalic burs. I like Cool Stop Salmon pads for extra braking in the rain.
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Old 12-01-07, 01:48 PM   #5
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My single speed is simple. Check the brakes and cables. Check the tires and pressure. Check the chain. Every now and again clean and lube the chain.
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