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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 08-30-06, 08:55 PM   #26
CBBaron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kill.cactus
Speaking of lubes for the bike chains - I've read that WD 40 damages bike parts. Is this true?

Thanks
I can't imagine that this is true, but WD-40 provides very little lubrication so it doesn't last but for a few miles on a chain. I guess the solvent in it may wash out other lubes from the chain leaving it to wear faster but I've seen alot of bikes that could be helped by even a little WD40.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:06 AM   #27
Daily Commute
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I just replaced all of the cables and housings after the front derailleur cable broke. I strongly recommend changing at least the cables once a year. First, they'll be less likely to break on you at an inopportune time. Second, the rear derailleur works soooooooooo much more smoothly with an unstretched-out cable.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 08-31-06 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:07 AM   #28
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Daily
- Charge headlamp
- Check brakes before heading out to work
- Kick the tires and go

Weekly
- Check tire pressure
- Check brake pads
- Wipe/Lube chain

Monthly
- Clean chain and re-lube
- Check and re-lube cables
- Check and adjust derailleurs

As Needed
- Tighten things that squeak, creak, or rattle
- Adjust things that sound crunchy
- Replace worn parts (cables, brake pads, tires, etc.)
- True wheels
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Old 04-27-11, 06:37 PM   #29
perspiration
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I am going to be getting a bike and commuting soon, and based on this last week, it looks like I may have to ride through a decent amount of rain. My building also won't let me bring my bike inside, so it'll probably have to be outside for most of the day.

What sort of maintenance should I do often to make sure the rain isn't getting to it? What can I do to keep the rain from messing it up in the first place?
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Old 04-27-11, 09:18 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf5nd View Post
Wash bike immediately if ridden in the rain
LOL, like every day. I thought I was going to have a dry day today but a cold cloudburst caught me going over the ridge. Back to normal.

I check (squish test) my tires before riding and lube and clean the chain about once a week if I remember, and try to pay attention to what it's telling me.

I generally remember to plug in the charger on for my Cygolite headlight every night before coming into the house. :-)
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Old 04-27-11, 09:24 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7 View Post
I'm trying to figure out just how much maintenance is needed on my commuter bike. Dependant upon whom I speak to or what I read I gets lots of conflicting information so I thought I'd pose this to those of you interested enough to comment. My main concerns are cleaning of the drivetrain and lubrication but I'm sure there are other things that have not yet come to mind.
In the morning I inspect tire pressure and check that my brakes are working properly, before I leave work I do the same, but when I get home I put the bike in the shed and forget about it until the next morning.
I tried finding information online about lubrication but nothing is really specific to commuters. I ask at my LBS but the problem there is that the guys are Mountain Bikers and, according to them, baby their bikes too much. Two differant people there have two differant ideas of how much lubrication and cleaning is required. One guy cleans his after every rid, thoroughly, and relubes. the other guy does his only on the weekends and intermittently if needed.... but these guys are riding in the mud, water, and gibs.

What do the rest of you do to maintain your drivetrain properly? I was thinking about just cleaning her up once a week, on the weekends, but I have seen all these "apply daily" oils, lubes, and water deterrants and feel lost here when trying to get into some kind of rythm about taking care of my commuter.

[edit]
Another question is "how?". If you clean the gears what do you use? A brush or compressed air or, or what? How much oil do you apply and wot-not? Thanks
I was afraid to look, but I imagine you opened up a can of worms here. Me, I do a little regular maintenance, but not much, and, like you, it mainly involves cleaning. During the week, if I've had a sloppy ride, I clean the rims. Every Sunday, I clean the rims, the chain and the gears, and lube the chain. I usually clean everything with either a soft brush or a clean rag. If the chain is bad, I take it off, put it in an old water bottle full of citrus cleaner, and shake the hell out of it, but usually I don't. On Sundays I also top off the tires and make sure nothing's come loose. Since I use friction gearing, I don't usually need to mess with the barrel adjustments on the derailleurs. Unless something breaks, that's pretty much it; the whole routine usually takes me 20-30 minutes.

I don't expect the bike to be spotless; it's being used out in the world, and the world is dirty. I just want to make sure it keeps working smoothly.
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Old 04-27-11, 09:31 PM   #32
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I'm curious about maintenance schedules too. Specifically lubing the chain. I live in Vancouver so I ride in a lot of rain. I cleaned the chain and lubed it the other day and then rode it twice in the rain. By the 30th mile after cleaning I noticed it was stariting to sound rough/Grindy? Do people out there in wetter climates lube more often, like multiple times a week?
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Old 04-27-11, 09:56 PM   #33
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Daily:
Charge light battery, check to make sure U-Lock is still stored.
Go!

Weekly:
None

Monthly:
Spend money upgrading some part of the bike
Inflate tires to 110 PSI


I'm not a real hardcore rider or anything, so I havent had a need to repack any hubs, or any of that crap. If my chain gets rusty I'll get a new one. This time I'll use more Chain-L. Live and learn. There's no path to take. Bicycles aren't very complicated machines, there's little that will fail. And when they do, there's usually signs of failure so you can fix it before you're stuck without a ride. Everything is replaceable, and upgradeable.
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