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Routine maintenance

Old 06-09-05, 07:18 AM
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alison_in_oh
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Routine maintenance

I did a quick search and didn't find anything too recent that covered this even though I'm sure it's a FAQ.

Last night I got reamed out for not knowing that I should change my chain every 1000 miles (I've put some 1500 miles on my bike since getting a 9s cassette). I frequently get scolded for having a dirty drivetrain, and the grime leads to frequent rookie marks even though I'm trying to avoid them like the plague. I was told I should be spending about twice the time I'm currently spending on the upkeep of my machinery.

What are some routine upkeep chores that need to be done to keep a bike running smoothly, and about how frequently should they be done? I mean even simple stuff, like I've been giving a quick tri-flow lube or occasionally white lightning lube every third or fourth ride, but now I feel like I should lube after every ride? How about a complete drivetrain cleaning? Or washing the bike down, just when it looks icky?

I hope to have my new bike built within the next couple of weeks, and god help me if I mistreat it. So thanks in advance.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
Last night I got reamed out for not knowing that I should change my chain every 1000 miles
You got reamed out by somebody who doesn't know what they're talking about.

http://www.execulink.com/~dtierney/w...m#Chain%20wear

What are some routine upkeep chores that need to be done to keep a bike running smoothly, and about how frequently should they be done? I mean even simple stuff, like I've been giving a quick tri-flow lube or occasionally white lightning lube every third or fourth ride, but now I feel like I should lube after every ride? How about a complete drivetrain cleaning? Or washing the bike down, just when it looks icky?
Keep your drivetrain relatively clean, and relatively well lubricated:

http://www.execulink.com/~dtierney/wmc/SRAM/chains2.htm

Learn how to change a flat tire: http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQtires.shtml

Leave most other things to your bike shop for now. As you get more miles under your belt, you can pick up any of a number of repair books and start getting brave....
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Old 06-09-05, 07:48 AM
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thats a good link

yes of course you dont need to change your chain every 1000 miles- you just need to check the wear every so often and change the chain when the wear has exceeded a certain predefined point (usually the 16th inch mark)
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Old 06-09-05, 08:03 AM
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Thanks for the response. I'm not sure why you say that my friend didn't know what he was talking about, when your site states clearly that even minimal chain stretch can lead to major damage to the cassette. With ~1500 miles on that chain, it noticeably failed to match in length when I measured it out to get the right number of links. And I've been getting some mild skip which ceased to be a problem with the new chain. I felt very fortunate not to have worn cogs.

Let's just assume the bike shop is out of the picture for all but the most major issues. What should I do for *preventive* maintenance, *before* I have a problem?
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Old 06-09-05, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
Thanks for the response. I'm not sure why you say that my friend didn't know what he was talking about, when your site states clearly that even minimal chain stretch can lead to major damage to the cassette. With ~1500 miles on that chain, it noticeably failed to match in length when I measured it out to get the right number of links. And I've been getting some mild skip which ceased to be a problem with the new chain. I felt very fortunate not to have worn cogs.
Because many factors determine chain wear. Proper care and lubrication may extend its service life five-fold. I get more than 5,000 miles on a chain. Replacing it, religiously, at 1,000 miles is probably throwing away $$.

Chain 'stretch' is a misnomer, btw. Better to refer to it as chain 'wear.'

Let's just assume the bike shop is out of the picture for all but the most major issues. What should I do for *preventive* maintenance, *before* I have a problem?
Keep your wheels true: http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_truing.shtml

Lube pivot points on front and rear derailleurs when you clean your drivetrain (points where the derailleur moves).

Keep an eye out for frayed cable ends (derailleur and brake).

Keep your rims' braking surfaces clean (scrubby sponge and isopropyl alcohol) and the brake pads free of foreign debris (picked out with a tiny screwdriver or ~)

Keep it reasonably clean (gives you a chance to eyeball everything): http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/BCB4.shtml

Don't fret over it too much. Ride it more. Fix it less.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:19 AM
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Thanks! Muchly appreciated!
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