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  1. #1
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    Cleaning, Maintenance and Tips for Mountain Bikes

    I've purchased an Orbea Dakar 2012 about a week ago. I cut a distance of about 40 miles. After the 3 rides I performed, I noticed the following:

    1- Some scratches to the Pedal Crank (due to frictions to platforms jumping in the roads).
    2- Some scratches to the aluminum frame and left shifter plastic indicator (due to falling on ground by a sudden front brakes application)
    3- Dirt and mud (due to streets and conditions)
    4- Lower performance on applying both front and back brakes
    5- Sudden gear shifting to higher speed (back gears) while riding (I ignore the reason but I feel ease of cycling on 5th Gear Back and 2nd Gear Front which soon after accelerating from 0 to about 10 Km/hr it suddenly shifts itself to 6th gear)

    I'd like to get information regarding:

    1- Can I patch the paint scratches simply (especially it's black)? Is it necessary?
    2- What is the best way to clean the bike parts? Just a dry clean piece of cloth for all parts? When shall I use a wet cloth? (Wheels, frame, wires,...) Do I need gasoline or any lubricant for certain parts like gears and moving parts?
    3- Is it common to get a lower performance in brakes after a number of miles? What shall I do to make them as stock?
    4- Why I got that gearing issue and how to overcome it?

    I'd be glad also if you provided me with further tips to maintain the mountain bike for maximum usage.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    i wouldnt worry about the paint, the frames aluminum. your just gonna get more scratches as you ride it.
    soap and water for your basic cleaning. degreaser for the drivetrain. no high pressure water or air.
    for the brakes and shifters i recommend a good cleaning and new cables.
    Semper fi

  3. #3
    absent Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
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    40 miles is a fairly good shakeout for a new bike.
    1- I agree with sloar on the minor scratches. They look bad now, but wait a while, the bike will eventually look badass.
    2- No gasoline. Use your chainlube to clean the chain. you can also lightly lubricate the other moving parts. Keep oil off the brake pads/rims.
    3- Keep the bike reasonably free of muck. Debris on the rims will hurt your braking. Make sure the pads are contacting the rims well.
    4- Sounds like your derailleur cables may have stretched a bit. This is normal. You'll need to use the cable adjusters. Learn how here.

  4. #4
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    It's a Mountain Bike, if you don't want to get it scratched, warp it in bubble warp and don't ever ride it again.

    Would look at any wear as sign that the bike is being used for it's intended purpose. For the shifters, this I would look at replacing this damaged part if this was from a higher groupset, for the EF51 on the Orbea, this would probably not be cost effective. Would also look at their setup, as simply coming off the bike should not result in their damage.

    For the braking and gear issue, did you get the bike from a shop? if so, they should offer a free adjustment service after purchase, as the cables stretch / settle in, they will need an adjustment to return them to their original setup.

  5. #5
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Use a bucket of soapy water and a sponge to clean off the frame. Use a small brush to get the grit/grime from your derailleurs and chainrings. Wipe off your rim braking surfaces and clean the brake pads with a toothbrush. Rinse with low pressure water. Wipe with dry rag everywhere and let dry in the sun...

    Apply lubricant to the chain at each roller point, link by link, something like tri-flow - but your local ship will have several substitutes that will work just as well. Rotate the cranks for several revolutions and let it stand. Wipe down the chain's exteriior so that it's fairly clean to the touch.

    Air up the tires and you're ready to go again.

    Also, agree on re-adjusting your cable housing lengths using the threaded barrel adjusters. Study on-line for this, as it's not hard to learn.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ncfisherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    new cables.
    You absolutely do not need new cables.

    Cable stretch is a myth. What actually happens, is that the housing/ferrules settle in causing a slight reduction in cable tension which leads to inaccurate shifting. Any mechanic worth his salt should be able to settle in the cables/housings while the bike is in the stand, which would avoid the issue you are having -- sadly, a lot of bike shop mechanics just aren't very good.

    As far as cleaning goes, I'm a huge proponent of dry cleaning whenever possible.

    Brake issues: you may want to pull the pads and check the condition. If there is a sheen/shiny surface, your pads are 'glazed'. You'll want to remove the top surface with some fine grit sandpaper. That will give you a little more bite.

  7. #7
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I use some Simple Green when I wash the bike. I can scrub the chain with the solution when I do a On bike chain cleaning. I did buy a small bottle of Model pain from a Hobby shop for touching up my bike.

    I use Dumonde Tech for chain lube and a light teflon spray for cable housings and tubes. Bike shops have tons of option.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  8. #8
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    You absolutely do not need new cables.

    Cable stretch is a myth. What actually happens, is that the housing/ferrules settle in causing a slight reduction in cable tension which leads to inaccurate shifting.
    +rep

    I love a good debunking

  9. #9
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    First of all, +1 on everything here except the new cables as stated previously.

    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Brake issues: you may want to pull the pads and check the condition. If there is a sheen/shiny surface, your pads are 'glazed'. You'll want to remove the top surface with some fine grit sandpaper. That will give you a little more bite.
    How fine of a sandpaper is necessary? The finest I've got is about 120 grit I think. I might have some finer but I'd have to dig around a little bit.

    Josh
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ncfisherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jowilson View Post
    First of all, +1 on everything here except the new cables as stated previously.



    How fine of a sandpaper is necessary? The finest I've got is about 120 grit I think. I might have some finer but I'd have to dig around a little bit.

    Josh
    Anything that is not coarse grit will work fine.

  11. #11
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Take a tooth brush and a bottle of 409, simple green, what eva and degrease your chain and gears, spend lots of time doing this, make a mess
    NO HIGH pressure water or Air compressor,,,you will blow dirt inside of things..

    Get It clean and use old T-shirts to dry the chain real good,,,DRY everything completely,,then use this and only this:
    WHI0001-S8OZSQU.jpg

    FOLLOW the Directions and do two or three applications, letting it dry between each...
    change all the gears on the work stand several times..

    Then after a nasty ride, Hose it off and fagetaboutit,,repeat twice a year or when the lube wears off..


    OR Use any kind of grease or oil based lube that sand and dirt sticks to
    and buy new chains and gear sets more often,,your LBS will sell you what wears things out the fastest XD
    Getting Stronger, Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Harley 1200R Sportster

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