Originally Posted by mstraus
Everyone talks about lubing your chain, though I hear everything from ever few rides to every few weeks - so would like more clarity on that. Same for cleaning the chain. I have been told to wipe it down when you lube but also to do a deeper cleaning less frequently - again I hear everything from every few weeks to couple months. Would love to hear some more educated opinions on this.
The trouble is that a lot of the answer you're looking for is "It depends". It depends on the lube you use. It depends on your conditions. It depends on how many bikes you have in rotation. And it depends on how anal you are.
In general, I recommend a good, persistent chain lube like DuMonde Tech, Chain-L #5
, or NFS. The thinner clean-running lubes like the traditional Tri-Flow or ProLink just don't last, IME.
If I was using only one bike, it would work out that I'd wipe the chain down a couple of times a week, and lube it as required depending on rain and so on. Could be once a month, or once a week or more. It's just something you get a feel for after awhile.
I've also found my chains last much, much longer WITHOUT any "deep cleaning".
Originally Posted by mstraus
How often do people bring their bike in to their LBS for a tuneup/inspection?
I don't. I do maintenance myself. It means that I don't put off little things until they become big things. And it means I don't have downtime. I can do a quick fix after supper instead of spending time on BFN. ;)
I do the "big" maintenance every spring. New cables and housing, new brake pads, new chain.
As the year goes by, two of my bikes eat right shift cables at intervals of about 2K miles, so at the first sign of wonky shifting, they get new cable inner wires.
I used to keep track of chain wear, but now with three bikes in rotation, I pretty much get a year on every one.
Brake pads on the disc brake bike aren't worn out after a year, but I replace them anyway. On the rim brake bikes, I listen as I brake, especially after a wet ride. When I hear grit caught in the pads, I dig out the grit with a little pick I made, and freshen the pads with sandpaper. If it's time for new ones, I replace them.
I keep spare parts in stock, at home, on the shelf. I buy 10 meter rolls of cable housing (about $20), bulk cables (about $3 each), brake pads (about $5/set for KoolStop Salmons, about $15/set for the disc pads), chains ($22 for 10-speed, $11 for 8-speed).
I'm getting my tire stock down to two types, 28mm Conti 4-Seasons for the commuters, and 25mm Conti 4000S for the roadie. I can use the same tube in each. I buy tubes in 10-packs every few years, patching in between. They get three-strikes before being tossed.
When it's time for a new cassette, one comes off the shelf and I buy a replacement to put back on the shelf. I've had to replace middle rings, so I have spares of those too.
When I started out doing my own maintenance, basically, whenever I needed parts, I bought two, one for the job and one for the shelf. Then I replaced the one on the shelf when it was used. Now with multiple bikes, I buy in multiples. For example, ten meter rolls of cable housing would last a long time if I had only one bike.