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Old 09-12-08, 07:31 PM   #1
bkaapcke
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What People Don't Do To Their Bikes

One of my bike buddies went on a cruise for two weeks, and I said he could drop off his bike and I'd install the new cassette and chain he bought. (at my insistance) The bike is a three year old Trek 7200, which I had worked on before for him. Well, I'm just blown away by how dirty everything is, and by the complete lack of maintenance. Disgusting!

So, I cleaned it all up, installed the cassette & chain, adjusted the ders, lubed the jockey wheels, lubed the headset and brake pivots and installed new brake pads. It looks and runs great, again. I'm going to recommend new tires this winter as well as getting the hubs serviced and the rear wheel trued. With that, it will be as good as new.

So, what's my beef? Why do people let stuff go like this? Maintenance is so easy and inexpensive. Yeah, it takes a little time, but not that much. I just don't get it. OTOH, I do feel that doing it for him tends to encourage this slack behavior. What to do? bk
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Old 09-12-08, 07:33 PM   #2
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People are lazy.
Hopefully, merely riding the bike will open his eyes.
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Old 09-12-08, 07:48 PM   #3
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I see bikes like the one described come in the shop all the time. Seems people buy them and ride and ride and ...... FILTHY!!!!
Would they treat their precious BMWs or Mercedes like that? Or any other decent vehicle?

I think DataJunkie is right. Many bike owners are LAZY!
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Old 09-12-08, 07:49 PM   #4
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Tell your buddy to ride through more puddles. Or less, as it were...
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Old 09-12-08, 08:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
So, what's my beef? Why do people let stuff go like this? Maintenance is so easy and inexpensive. Yeah, it takes a little time, but not that much. I just don't get it. OTOH, I do feel that doing it for him tends to encourage this slack behavior. What to do? bk
People "do" to their bikes what they feel like doing, which may not always match your tastes in maintenance;
so, what is your beef? Besides, why should your buddy "do" unnecessary (in his opinion) stuff like that when he's got you to do it for him?
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Old 09-12-08, 08:38 PM   #6
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I know I'm just venting here, but it irks me to see decent machinery treated so badly when maintenance is so easy. I can understand why people don't maintain their BMW's and Mercedes. It's expensive, and most can barely afford all that fake prestige in the first place.
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Old 09-12-08, 08:55 PM   #7
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Guilty as charged. What's a good source to describe necessary maintenance and the proper schedule? I know it's not in my owner's manual!
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Old 09-12-08, 09:01 PM   #8
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"It's just a bike."

Plus, unlike a bike's drivetrain, the moving parts of a car are all but hermetically sealed from the elements.
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Old 09-12-08, 09:27 PM   #9
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For many people, including relative newcomers to serious cycling like me, it may simply be genuine ignorance about how important cleaning a bike's drivetrain can be. Washing lube off the chain periodically? That sounds like crazy talk, until someone like bkaapcke takes quality time to explain why it is important.
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Old 09-12-08, 09:30 PM   #10
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I see bikes like the one described come in the shop all the time. Seems people buy them and ride and ride and ...... FILTHY!!!!
Would they treat their precious BMWs or Mercedes like that? Or any other decent vehicle?

I think DataJunkie is right. Many bike owners are LAZY!
yea, I bet people that treat their bike like that treat their Mercedes the same. Some people dont deserve nice stuff.
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Old 09-12-08, 09:31 PM   #11
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I see some filthy bikes at our shop but since it is a co-op it is up to the owner to clean the bike before we start working on it.

I find that once people know how to clean their bike they often make this a regular habit and folks are always asking me why my bikes are generally so spiffy...

All I usually do is keep the drive train clean, periodically clean them and wipe them down with a little light oil and ride them.

It's not that hard or that time consuming.
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Old 09-12-08, 09:37 PM   #12
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All I usually do is keep the drive train clean, periodically clean them and wipe them down with a little light oil and ride them.
Wait, you apply the light oil on more than the drivetrain, like the frame...?
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Old 09-12-08, 09:44 PM   #13
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The drive train gets Triflow...

The bike's frames, exposed cables, and some of the bright work gets rubbed down with a very light coat of light oil.

This bike is 21 years old and since I have had it, it has seen three Canadian winters where it has been ridden daily... there is barely a speck of rust on it or in it although I did touch up the chain stays this spring.

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Old 09-12-08, 09:45 PM   #14
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I'd much rather see a dirty bike than a 15 year old relatively clean bike with the unridden tires cracked and falling off the rims.

At least it's getting ridden.
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Old 09-12-08, 09:47 PM   #15
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I'd much rather see a dirty bike than a 15 year old relatively clean bike with the unridden tires cracked and falling off the rims.

At least it's getting ridden.
Yep... lets not forget the pristine bikes we see that have bottom brackets and hubs full of ossified grease.
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Old 09-12-08, 10:16 PM   #16
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Oh no, it just came to me. I'm a b-b-bike NUT. I will admit to a certain obsessive-cumpulsiveness. Clean, lightly lubed, perfectly tuned, and I'm happy. I'll just have to learn to overlook things. But my friend is going to hear about it, that's for sure. Oh yeah, no more volunteering for me. bk

I guess this is what happens when you buy a set of tools and learn to use them. Be warned, all you would be wrenches!

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Old 09-12-08, 10:56 PM   #17
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U sound like Brad Garrett in Seinfeld... U don't try, u Do It! Hey man, yer free, why do it myself?
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Old 09-12-08, 11:03 PM   #18
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A clean bike is a happy bike . . .
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Old 09-12-08, 11:16 PM   #19
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You insisted on working on the bike, as I read the original post. If you don't like it, don't work on it.

My commuter bike has just come through a tough, wet winter and right now looks filthy. The commute includes 4km on a rough gravel road each day. The bike was a rescue from the rubbish dump, and has clocked up almost 2000km this year (4400km in total). It gets scant attention unless it needs it (squeaky chain, new or adjusted brake pads, wheel true, BB grease). Cleaning it wouldn't improve its appearance much. You would probably vomit at the sight of it.
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Old 09-13-08, 11:42 AM   #20
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Yes, the problem is that I came for free. This will be the end of that. I'm sure paying for maintenance won't make any difference, though. Some people just don't maintain. His excuse for not lubing a new chain all year long was; It's been skipping since it was put on, and I figured to replace the chain & cassette at the end of the season, so why bother lubing a chain that will just be replaced.

If he doesn't care, why should I? bk
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Old 09-13-08, 12:32 PM   #21
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Hmmm... Maybe I should just find a new home for the bike, one that will appreciate it more. When My friend gets back, I could tell him to go back to Wal Mart 'cause it's all he can handle. Comments? bk
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Old 09-13-08, 12:44 PM   #22
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Better idea -- offer to trade him regular maintenance for dinner once every few months. He's going to notice how much better it rides.

The main reason I didn't do the kinds of things I was supposed to was basically lack of space. I live in an apartment with only a passable work space in the garage, so fixing bikes is a huge PITA. Now that I'm involved with a local club that has a workshop, my bikes are much better maintained.

Fundamentally, though, a bike is a bike. People are much more valuable, so there's not a good reason to burn a friendship over how someone treats a < $1000 piece of property that belongs to them. Passion is good. Losing sight of priorities isn't.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:46 PM   #23
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some people just don't understand PM work.


I'd dare to bet his home and car are in similar neglect.


When in doubt remember this: A clean machine is a happy machine.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:47 PM   #24
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My neighbor's bike is just ridiculously unmaintained. Every component on his bike is rusted, I don't even know how the damn thing functions. Every time I ask him about it he just shrugs and says he doesn't care. I just don't get that mentality. He'd rather go buy another bike than take two minutes to clean the one he has. It's a shame really.
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Old 09-13-08, 12:58 PM   #25
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Hmmm... Maybe I should just find a new home for the bike, one that will appreciate it more. When My friend gets back, I could tell him to go back to Wal Mart 'cause it's all he can handle. Comments? bk
It's getting eerily similar...

TONY: I think I know what's goin' on here, and I just wanna hear it
from you. But I want you to be straight with me. Don't lie to me, Jerry. You know
that motor oil you're puttin' in there? (reproachful) From one of those
quicky lube places, isn't it?

JERRY: Well, I change it so often, I mean to come all the way down here...

TONY: Jerry, motor oil is the lifeblood of a car. Okay, you put in a
low-grade oil, you could damage vital engine parts. Okay. (holds up component)
See this gasket? (throws it down) I have no confidence in that gasket.

JERRY: I really wanna...

TONY: Here's what I wanna do. I wanna overhaul the entire engine. But
it's gonna take a major commitment from you. You're gonna have to keep it under
sixty miles an hour for a while. You gotta come in, and you gotta get the oil
changed every thousand miles.

JERRY: How much money is this gonna cost me?

TONY: (contempt) Huh. I don't understand you. It's your own car we're
Talking about. You know you wrote the wrong mileage down on the form? You
barely know the car. You don't know the mileage, you don't know the tyre pressure.
When was the last time you even checked the washer fluid?

JERRY: The washer fluid is fine.

TONY: (angry) The washer fluid is not fine!

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