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Old 11-14-12, 11:15 AM   #1
Paul Ebert
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How much time do you spend on maintenance?

So, a friend of mine seems to think it's a waste of money to spend a bunch of money on a low maintenance commuter (such as the Breezer Beltway Infinity I've been ogling). So, since I'm new to this, how much time do you spend maintaining your commuter?
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Old 11-14-12, 11:35 AM   #2
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i first oiled the chain at 1000km.

i will replace things when they wear out, which probably won't happen at my current pace for a long time.
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Old 11-14-12, 11:40 AM   #3
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A lot depends on the conditions you ride in. If you will be riding in snow and slush (especially if the roads are salted), maintenance is a much bigger issue than what I deal with here in SoCal.
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Old 11-14-12, 11:45 AM   #4
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Here in the pacific northwet, I would say I wipe my chain down 1/week in the rainy season, and give it a quick spritz with the lube of choice after. I will grab the brush and cleaner and clean the rear cogs and derailleur about 1/month. I give the whole bike a quick wipe down with a rag about once a month as well. It gives me a good opportunity to look for any issues like the beginnings of cracks or rust spots.

During longer dry spells, I check the whole thing about 1/month, and don't usually need to do anything else to keep it going. (I ride a recumbent, too, so my chain is about 3x longer than most bike chains.)
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Old 11-14-12, 11:45 AM   #5
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This is one area without compromise, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles all require serious maintenance checks and that's even while you are ridding... Its also part of the fun...
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Old 11-14-12, 11:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
So, a friend of mine seems to think it's a waste of money to spend a bunch of money on a low maintenance commuter (such as the Breezer Beltway Infinity I've been ogling). So, since I'm new to this, how much time do you spend maintaining your commuter?
I've used a Shimano Alfine 8-speed rear hub over the last 3 years. It has performed flawlessly. Zero maintenance there. Front hub is old Campy Record. Headset and bottom bracket are Suntour Grease Guard. 5 minutes to inject new grease every 6 months or after every very wet ride. 2 new chains and one new chainring every year. 2 sets of brake pads per year. New rims (not wheels - rims) every 1-2 years.

For a derailleur-based system, with traditional components, maintenance would be higher. For me the tally would be:
  • 4 chain replacements per year (derailleur compatible chains wear faster)
  • New cassette and chainrings every year
  • Overhaul both hubs twice per year. BTW: Shimano hubs are generally better sealed than cartridge-bearing based hubs, and are easier to service. If you ride in the wet, there is no escaping the requirement to overhaul hubs.
  • Replace bottom bracket every 2-3 years
  • Overhaul headset every year.

Riding in the rain more than anything, kills bikes. Wet and gritty conditions are worse.
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Old 11-14-12, 12:18 PM   #7
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A quick clean and lub is not very long to do so I'll do it once a month approx. As for the bike I'll do it also once a month.
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Old 11-14-12, 12:25 PM   #8
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My commute bike is also my CX race bike, so maintenance is usually driven by the race schedule.




<=============== See avatar.





But for commuting, hardly at all.
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Old 11-14-12, 02:05 PM   #9
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I have 6 bikes. Every year (usually in spring), I overhaul the bottom brackets and hubs (around $25.00 each), replace the chains, overhaul the headsets, and every so often replace a tube or a tire, or seat. I replace cables about once every 3 years or so. I do all the work myself, so the maintenance costs are not that much, and I consider working on the bikes half the fun of owning them. If I also figure in the price of the work stand, tools, grease, oil, etc...., I still don't think my upkeep costs for all 6 bikes exceeds $200.00 per year, and that's keeping them in A-1 condition both mechanically, and cosmetically. Most people that I know spend at least that much money every week, just for gas in their cars.

I don't think there is any question that bicycles give you the most bang for your bucks, even over walking. If you walk everywhere, you will go through a lot of pairs of shoes, or boots, very quickly (I know...been there, done that). You'll be spending more on shoes than what it would cost to keep a used bike rolling.

Just my opinion, anyway.
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Old 11-14-12, 08:23 PM   #10
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I guess my question really is how much time I might expect to save, say in a year, by owning a bike with a Gates center line rather than a chain. I plan to ride year around except when there is actually snow or ice on the road. We get a lot of rain.
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Old 11-14-12, 08:39 PM   #11
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Probably a good bit in little segments. I use probably 30 mins a week on maint mostly on chains, but as stated thats part of the fun. In my view cartridge hubs make a big diff on maint as well. When I had shimano hubs it was routine to regrease 1-3 months. Cartridge hubs with good grease, a good automotive type, go well over 1-2 years, sometimes longer and that includes trail racing. Not all are created equal or sealed the same however. Brake tracks should be scrubbed regularly to keep the black junk off, and that changes with conditions or style of brake(disc is an advantage there).

The other thing that takes time and can't be overlooked for the true all weather commuter is waxing. A waxed frame will last a lot longer than one with scratches(and who has a scratchless commuter?).
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Old 11-14-12, 08:55 PM   #12
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new chain annually, Oil it weekly .. replacements:
the IG Hub cog every couple years , I have a Rohloff Hub ,
so i give it an annual oil change in the summer. that's about it.

prefer black anodized parts since I don't polish the shiny stuff, much

may replace disc brake pads as needed, might get a couple years out of them.
IDK as I am still on the Original BB7 set .. 2nd winter

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-14-12 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 11-14-12, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
So, a friend of mine seems to think it's a waste of money to spend a bunch of money on a low maintenance commuter (such as the Breezer Beltway Infinity I've been ogling). So, since I'm new to this, how much time do you spend maintaining your commuter?
Your friend is right unless you live someplace very rainy/snowy/dirty.

I spend maybe 60 seconds lubricating my chain every 200 miles in dry weather and every 100 miles in wet weather and got 5000 miles out of the last chain.

Where commuting takes about 6 hours for 100 miles due to traffic that means I'm spending 0.15 to 0.3% of my time on maintenance which wouldn't be needed on a "low" maintenance IGH bike with a belt drive. That pretty much rounds to zero.

In 5000 miles I also replaced two rear shift cables, one tire, and a pair of bebop cleats due to wear over that time period (I'm switching back to SPDs because that stinks) which would have worn about the same on a "low" maintenance commuter. I also injected my hubs with fresh grease which would have take more time on an IGH bike where they'd need to come apart for lubrication (grease ports are only common on Campagnolo hubs and they don't do IGH). I needed to tighten the rear bearings once due to wear (cartridge bearings would have required replacement which would take more time), although the front has retained its adjustment for a long time.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 11-14-12 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 11-14-12, 09:03 PM   #14
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The other thing that takes time and can't be overlooked for the true all weather commuter is waxing. A waxed frame will last a lot longer than one with scratches(and who has a scratchless commuter?).
I ride a titanium frame which doesn't need wax or paint. After 16 years it looks better than the steel frame which preceded it did in less than half that time because scratches are the same color and other damage shows up as polished spots which are a lot less noticeable than primer or bare metal under paint.
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Old 11-15-12, 11:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
So, a friend of mine seems to think it's a waste of money to spend a bunch of money on a low maintenance commuter (such as the Breezer Beltway Infinity I've been ogling). So, since I'm new to this, how much time do you spend maintaining your commuter?
I do what it takes to keep things spinning freely and not squeaking; in winter that tends to involve liberal use of chain lube and periodic wiping (no chain cleaning ever I just replace it in the spring, which can be as late as July around here). Does the Breezer Beltway have a belt drive like it sounds like? That would be a dream low/no maintenance bike (brake pads would be about it, plus longer-lived consumables like tubes & tires). (and periodic wheel truing)
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Old 11-15-12, 01:01 PM   #16
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Even a belt drive and internal gearing doesn't eliminate all the most common maintenaince tasks. You should still check tire pressure every couple days, check for broken spokes or uneven spoke tension once a week, and check that all fasteners (rack, wheels, handlebars etc) are tight on a regular basis. Most of thats easily done when you wash and clean the bike which in some cases - is done every week. Bearings - wheel bearings, BB bearings, pedal bearings and headset bearings also need an ocassional inspection or servicing, but in most cases once a year will be OK. Brake pads depend on your usage. Disk brakes with DOT fluid should have the fluid replaced every couple years as it absorbs water. Even a belt will degrade with exposure to UV rays.

None of its a lot of work - but there's no such thing as a maintenaince free bike. Some just require different maintenance than others.
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Old 11-15-12, 01:13 PM   #17
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I do what it takes to keep things spinning freely and not squeaking; in winter that tends to involve liberal use of chain lube and periodic wiping (no chain cleaning ever I just replace it in the spring, which can be as late as July around here). Does the Breezer Beltway have a belt drive like it sounds like? That would be a dream low/no maintenance bike (brake pads would be about it, plus longer-lived consumables like tubes & tires). (and periodic wheel truing)
I can't agree more. Those chain cleaning threads drive me nuts. Lube, wipe, ride, repeat.
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Old 11-15-12, 01:13 PM   #18
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Once a week usually a 5-10 minute maintenance tuneup/safety check.
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Old 11-15-12, 01:23 PM   #19
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If you ask my wife, I spend all my free time in the garage. There's some truth to that, but most of it is unnecessary. I've got six bikes (though obviously I need seven) and I've usually got one of them in some state of disassembly for a component change of one variety or another.

As for what needs to be done.... I mostly base it on noise. If the bike is making noise, I try to figure out why and stop it. Generally that means nothing more than keeping the chain clean-ish and well lubed. Once in a while a bolt will come loose and need to be located. Even less often something with bearings will need to be cleaned and greased. Otherwise, I adjust the cable tension when shifting isn't clean, replace the cables when tension adjusting doesn't fix it anymore, replace the chain when it the chain checker says it's time (I know...a steel ruler, but the chain checker is easy and close enough) and replace the tires when I start getting frequent flats.

How much time does this take? I honestly have no idea. Maybe 30 minutes a week plus an hour or so here and there for the bigger jobs.
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Old 11-15-12, 01:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
So, a friend of mine seems to think it's a waste of money to spend a bunch of money on a low maintenance commuter (such as the Breezer Beltway Infinity I've been ogling). So, since I'm new to this, how much time do you spend maintaining your commuter?
All bikes need maintenance if they're going to continue to be usable. The level is of course up to the individual owner/rider. I top off the air bottle on my AirZounds daily, I also check my tire pressure daily or at least every other day. I wipe the frame down every other week to monthly, I clean and re-lube the chain weekly. I inspect the tires for abrasions, cuts, tears, and other wear and tear daily to at the most every other day. Depending on the type of road(s) one rides checking the tightness of nuts, bolts, and screws is a good idea. As well as lubing the cable i.e. shiftter and brake.

It's also a good idea to check the chain for stretch periodically, as well as looking at the links for wear and tear.
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Old 11-15-12, 01:53 PM   #21
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(grease ports are only common on Campagnolo hubs and they don't do IGH)
WTB greaseguard hubs , and BB and Headsets,
but they got a license deal with Sun Tour, who later, went under,

I see a few Suspension forks, OEM parts under that name now..
maybe the name used by a different company IDK..

But I just unscrew the indicator chain from my AW3,
squirt in some Phil Tenacious oil and Its Done ..

Grease on the axle bearings keeps it in.

Or, cheaper by volume:mix, STP adds the sticky ness,
to say a 90 weight gear oil bought by the quart.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-15-12 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 11-15-12, 04:18 PM   #22
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I check tire pressures hourly, at 5 minutes past the hour. Every Friday evening at 6:08pm I replace the chain, then Pedro it and lube it twice daily until the following Friday. Headset and Bottom Bracket are removed and serviced/replaced on Wednesdays. I wash and wax the frame Tuesday evening after the Results show on "Dancing With the Stars". The first Sunday of each month I sand the frame and repaint. I own a $45,000 electron microscope with which I look for small cracks in the handlebars and frame. This is accomplished at 2:46am Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I soak my Brooks in 30-Weight Motor Oil every Monday morning. The fourth Saturday of each month I rebuild my wheels.


Funny, I never seem to have time to ride.

Actually, I wipe/dry lube the chain every Saturday, check tire pressures every other day, and occasionally tweak a brake or derailler adjustment. Weekly maintenance on the bike is about 20 (?) minutes.
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Old 11-15-12, 04:23 PM   #23
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a $45,000 electron microscope
I don't know where you buy yours, but we just installed a €5M scope for cryo-tomography.
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Old 11-15-12, 10:43 PM   #24
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During the winter I clean once a week all the grime from the crankset, chain, cassette, and derailleurs, relube, total time maybe 15-20 minutes. I'll wash the frame/fork every 2-3 months.
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Old 11-15-12, 11:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
So, a friend of mine seems to think it's a waste of money to spend a bunch of money on a low maintenance commuter (such as the Breezer Beltway Infinity I've been ogling). So, since I'm new to this, how much time do you spend maintaining your commuter?
I'm a little eccentric, and absolutely insist on a nearly silent ride. If there is any creaking noise, bottom bracket or pedal squeaking, excessive chain noise or even too much pannier rattling, I will go out of my way to make it go away. I clean and oil the drive train at least twice a month. I replace brake pads every 3-4 months. (I ride about 80-100 mi/week.) Even with this level of neurotic tweaking, though, I probably still only spend about 20-25 minutes a week doing bike maintenance. They're simple machines, and not a whole lot will go wrong if you don't totally abuse them.
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