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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-29-08, 06:57 PM   #1
rbiked
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cyclocross specific maintenance and a few Q's

i got a few questions... and yes, i've read sheldon's site a few times i just got a poprad disc and i'm thinking it's about time i refine all of my skills in bike care as i want to do everything a bit more proper now that i have this bike... my bike gets to travel much faster than my old bike and of course has been getting much dirtier... soo what i'm wondering how do you guys treat your cyclocross bikes.... any differently than other bikes?

i'm also beginning to use some crushed limestone trails more often now... horrid for dust... soo i'm also concerned about that crap on my bike... any advice for handling that? i've been avoiding the trail for a while but want to start doing some rather long distance riding...


chain cleaning... turning the bike upside down and cleaning the chain with simple green, toothbrush, and a rag then dry and lube... should i do anything else?... what lubricant should i use on my bike?


also, one wheel is in need of truing... i read sheldon's website but i'm still not confident to true my own wheels... if anyone could give me more info or articles... that might help... think i might take this in to the LBS for that, i don't want to risk doing any damage




any and all advise and knowledge will be greatly appreciated, thanks
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Old 07-29-08, 07:58 PM   #2
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Bike Maintenance is much like car maintenance to a certain point. If you drive cars in dusty conditions, then maintenance is much more often. And mud also. And much of it depends on your personal desire for a clean bike.

If I paid that much money for a nice bike, you better believe I am going to keep it from getting to the point of no return.

As far as your wheel, depending on how long is "just purchased" the bike shop you purchased it from should true it up for you.


I have used Pedros Ice Wax on chains for years. Don't use automotive degreasers on your bike parts, especially stuff like Purple Power or similar brands, it really takes off your decals and lettering, etches rims and is just too harsh for your bike. It also cuts through any anodized part on your bike such as stems, etc, Pedros also makes a bike wash in a pump spray that is excellent. Not expensive, a bottle will last about 3 washes.
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Old 07-29-08, 08:19 PM   #3
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Get Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. Not the road version, because it won't have any info on disc brakes.

For chain cleaning, no need for Simple Green nor turning the bike over. Just wipe the chain with a rag. Then apply a small drop of bike chain lube to each roller. Work the lube in by turning the crank backwards for a few spins. Then wipe the excess off the chain with the rag. That keeps the chain more than clean enough.

Doing minor truing isn't such a difficult thing, but since the bike is new, the wheels probably need more significant work. That's because most mass-produced wheels arrive undertensioned. What typically happens is that getting the wheels broken in and trued is an iterative process, you'll need it done less and less over time. Ideally, a wheel can be built to the correct spoke tension and broken in (stress-relieved) all at one time and rarely need truing, but it requires more time and effort.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:44 AM   #4
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For chain cleaning, no need for Simple Green nor turning the bike over. Just wipe the chain with a rag. Then apply a small drop of bike chain lube to each roller. Work the lube in by turning the crank backwards for a few spins. Then wipe the excess off the chain with the rag. That keeps the chain more than clean enough.
this is a somewhat contentious issue but i agree. if you do this regularly (and you have to do it regularly) your chain will stretch before grit or dirt becomes a problem. be sure to wipe the chain off well, that lube is a dirt magnet.

i hose my bike off to clean it. if it's real bad i'll spray some simple green on there and let it sit for five minutes. this is also contentious, as you can spray the grease out of your bearings. with a little care not to do that, the hose is quicker and easier.

keep your brake rotors clean, even if you don't have time for the rest of the bike. clean them with rubbing alcohol, NOT a degreaser and don't touch them with your fingers. for the trail i like those little rubbing alcohol wipes you can get at the pharmacy. if the brakes get so they squeal a lot, take the pads out and score them with some steel wool.

once before every season i do a total teardown and clean everything (besides brake rotors) with simple green. sometimes lighter fluid for the tough stuff, but that's usually not necessary.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:01 AM   #5
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Doing minor truing isn't such a difficult thing, but since the bike is new, the wheels probably need more significant work. That's because most mass-produced wheels arrive undertensioned. What typically happens is that getting the wheels broken in and trued is an iterative process, you'll need it done less and less over time. Ideally, a wheel can be built to the correct spoke tension and broken in (stress-relieved) all at one time and rarely need truing, but it requires more time and effort.
I recently got a poprad disc as well and have noticed a faint ping/tick noise from my front wheel as I ride. It sounds like it's coming from the spokes and isn't super loud, but seems to get a bit louder when my tires need a bit of air. Could that be a symptom of an under tensioned wheel? After riding a clunker bike for so long I'm not sure what sounds are normal.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:04 AM   #6
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I recently got a poprad disc as well and have noticed a faint ping/tick noise from my front wheel as I ride. It sounds like it's coming from the spokes and isn't super loud, but seems to get a bit louder when my tires need a bit of air. Could that be a symptom of an under tensioned wheel? After riding a clunker bike for so long I'm not sure what sounds are normal.
Could also be the brake? Take to your LBS, preferably the one that sold you the bike. Probably a quick fix.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:10 PM   #7
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thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. i got my wheels trued by the LBS and the bike is doing good :-)
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