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Advice needed on general maintenance

Old 12-22-21, 02:36 PM
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LostVagabond
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Advice needed on general maintenance

Dear fellow cyclists 🚴‍♂️
I recently bought a second hand Cube Travel with which I intend to do a tour through Europe in Summer. I’m slowly buying bits and pieces and preparing for my trip.
my rather content with my new purchase and what I’d really like to to do is overhaul the bike and get it performing a bit better. I’m relatively new to cycling and very curious about Bike mechanics and I am currently reading “ Complete bicycle repair and maintenance” by Todd Downs. It’s a fine book, however, I think practice would be better than theory when it comes to learning by the nuances of bicycle maintenance. My question for the forum is, what would you your recommendation as to the necessary things that I should do to clean the bike up and fix it up? The cassette is quite dirty, as is the chain and the front derailleur has accumulated some rust. I have bought myself a chain checker and a multi tool and I intend to rip the wheels off this weekend and clean the bike right up. Should I check spoke tension? Is it worth removing the rear derailleur and cleaning it up ? Any tips on removing rust ? Is there anything else I ought to do with say the crankset or front derailleur. What is fundamental when maintaining the tyres?

Any advice would be much appreciated. The book I’m reading is rather helpful but somewhat overwhelming and I don’t really know what is necessary and what not sure necessary

thanks in advance

Matt
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Old 12-22-21, 02:50 PM
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Since none of us can see the bike any advice is somewhat useless. We don't know how dirty it is, but I would clean everything. Ditch the multi-tool and buy some real hex wrenches. Chain checkers are not as accurate or reliable as a plain old ruler. I'd replace the shift cables/housing. Tires don't really get 'maintained', wear them out and replace them. Check brake pads and anything with bearings. If any of them feel rough, replace them.
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Old 12-22-21, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Since none of us can see the bike any advice is somewhat useless. We don't know how dirty it is, but I would clean everything. Ditch the multi-tool and buy some real hex wrenches. Chain checkers are not as accurate or reliable as a plain old ruler. I'd replace the shift cables/housing. Tires don't really get 'maintained', wear them out and replace them. Check brake pads and anything with bearings. If any of them feel rough, replace them.
Thanks CX wrench
I appreciate the advice. To be honest shift cables/ housing wasn’t on my radar but I’ll add that to the list.
I wanted to post photos of my cogset and all the main components but unfortunately the forum won’t let me because my account is new
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Old 12-22-21, 03:49 PM
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I'd just make certain it's shifting perfectly. If you can shift into every possible gear combo easily and quickly then something probably isn't right and needs attention.

If it was bike you've had since new and it was only a dozen or so years old and less than 20,0000 miles, I wouldn't even worry about the wheel bearings or BB. However since this is a used bike, you'll have to make a judgment call on that. If you think the previous owner took care of it, then I wouldn't bother. If you think it's been abused then maybe have the wheel bearing and BB checked. If they can be cleaned and lubed then do so. Cartridge bearings are cheap, just replace them if you can get them.

If you aren't a DIY type with experience working on bikes, then considering you have a big trip planned, I recommend you use a good mechanic at a trusted LBS. Noobs working on their own bikes can sometimes get strange ideas of how things work and go together. It'd be a shame to receive a failing grade from DIY school while on the trip.

Otherwise, how are you tires? If you don't have the confidence they are up for the trip, then change them.

Last edited by Iride01; 12-22-21 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 12-22-21, 03:49 PM
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If you're going to be carrying a load, it's worth checking spoke tension. It's worth checking wheel true anyway.
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Old 12-22-21, 04:35 PM
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I’m a bearing person.

Even with new cup-cone hubs, I open them up, clean, re-grease (or in some cases actually apply grease), and adjust.

Cartridge is up to you, feel how smooth they are, and replace if needed.

I’d drop the fork and check the headset, and re-grease if applicable.

Check the bottom bracket for play or gritty.

Check pedals.

John

Last edited by 70sSanO; 12-22-21 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 12-22-21, 04:56 PM
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@LostVagabond's Album:
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/user/548131
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/23513111







I assume this is the bike. You might post a few more photos of the bike.

Here is the Cube Travel web page:
https://www.cube.eu/en/2022/bikes/ci...ffroad/travel/

From those two photos, your bike doesn't look like it is particularly high-end, but it should be functional.

I'm not seeing a rack nor panniers, so that should be on your list for touring. I like the racks that have a rear extension part to help stabilize the panniers.

Anyway, you can upload more photos to your album, and that would give us a bit of a start.

As far as mid-winter. Try to get some miles on the bike and get used to riding.

Edit: Photo of one tire also uploaded

Last edited by CliffordK; 12-23-21 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 12-23-21, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
@LostVagabond's Album:
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/user/548131
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/23513111





I assume this is the bike. You might post a few more photos of the bike.

Here is the Cube Travel web page:
https://www.cube.eu/en/2022/bikes/ci...ffroad/travel/

From those two photos, your bike doesn't look like it is particularly high-end, but it should be functional.

I'm not seeing a rack nor panniers, so that should be on your list for touring. I like the racks that have a rear extension part to help stabilize the panniers.

Anyway, you can upload more photos to your album, and that would give us a bit of a start.

As far as mid-winter. Try to get some miles on the bike and get used to riding.
I would suggest that you make a few short trial runs of your bike and camping equipment, to get problems wrung out and find what you really need and what you don't, before setting off on some big journey. I would suggest that your trials include practice at changing and patching tires, adjusting derailleurs and brakes, opening and closing a chain and so on, using only the tools and materials/parts you have brought along. These exercises will quickly point out where improvement is needed. The time to find out that you did not bring essential tool X and your rain poncho is not by the side of the road during a downpour.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:14 AM
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I'm kind of in the same boat as you except I bought a 1995 Trek 520 that had been ridden for very few miles before it was 'cosmolined' and stored. That being said, the 520 is a winter project. I disassembled the entire bike down to the frame and fork and went through and cleaned and lubed ALL of the bearings, cleaned and re-lubed the derailleurs, replaced the cables ....yadda-yadda. For me, I approached it as a learning experience (the perspective of a 74 year old). I suggest that you do not take any short-cuts on bike maintenance/prep. You should know exactly how to repair and adjust prior to taking a multi-day/week/month tour in a foreign country where english MAY NOT be the primary language. You won't be damaged by learning everything you can about the bike...imho.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:49 AM
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[QUOTE=

From those two photos, your bike doesn't look like it is particularly high-end, but it should be functional.

I'm not seeing a rack nor panniers, so that should be on your list for touring. I like the racks that have a rear extension part to help stabilize the panniers.

Anyway, you can upload more photos to your album, and that would give us a bit of a start.

As far as mid-winter. Try to get some miles on the bike and get used to riding.[/QUOTE]

Good advice here, and also from IceTee2. While the bike may not be "high end," it is in better shape than I assumed from the first post. I can do basic maintenance such as clean, lube or replace chain, adjust brakes and derailleurs, replace/patch tubes, etc. If I were planning an extended trip in a foreign country (I should be so lucky) on a newly acquired used bike, I would have a professional go through it completely.
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Old 12-23-21, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LostVagabond View Post
Dear fellow cyclists 🚴‍♂️
I recently bought a second hand Cube Travel with which I intend to do a tour through Europe in Summer. I’m slowly buying bits and pieces and preparing for my trip.
my rather content with my new purchase and what I’d really like to to do is overhaul the bike and get it performing a bit better. I’m relatively new to cycling and very curious about Bike mechanics and I am currently reading “ Complete bicycle repair and maintenance” by Todd Downs. It’s a fine book, however, I think practice would be better than theory when it comes to learning by the nuances of bicycle maintenance. My question for the forum is, what would you your recommendation as to the necessary things that I should do to clean the bike up and fix it up? The cassette is quite dirty, as is the chain and the front derailleur has accumulated some rust. I have bought myself a chain checker and a multi tool and I intend to rip the wheels off this weekend and clean the bike right up. Should I check spoke tension? Is it worth removing the rear derailleur and cleaning it up ? Any tips on removing rust ? Is there anything else I ought to do with say the crankset or front derailleur. What is fundamental when maintaining the tyres?

Any advice would be much appreciated. The book I’m reading is rather helpful but somewhat overwhelming and I don’t really know what is necessary and what not sure necessary

thanks in advance

Matt
Far too many people do far too much “maintenance” on bicycles. Bicycles aren’t delicate and don’t need constant work to maintain them. Ride the bike. Fix stuff when it needs to be fixed. Lube the chain when it needs it and only as much as it needs. If the bike gets dirty take it to a car wash and wash it.

From the pictures posted, your bike isn’t particularly dirty. Wipe the chain to remove a bit of the grim but you shouldn’t need much more than that. The rust on the front derailer isn’t anything to worry about but if it really bothers you, use a bit of steel wool and physical remove it.

Your chain checker is sufficient for checking for chain wear…aka chain “stretch”. Check the chain when you think about it but you don’t need to check it every day or even every week. If you think that you’ve got 1000 miles on the chain, check it. Check it again when you think you have another 1000 miles. When it shows whatever the tool maker’s directions say is a worn chain, replace it.

The chain checker tool is accurate and precise enough for what you need to check. The ruler method is far less accurate than its proponents suggest since most of them are estimating the wear past the 12” mark anyway. Any time anyone says “estimate”, that’s neither accurate nor precise.
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Old 12-23-21, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Far too many people do far too much “maintenance” on bicycles.
In all my years I have never heard this before.

John
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Old 12-23-21, 02:46 PM
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Is that a Kenda tire?

There are better tires, either with lower rolling resistance, or greater puncture resistance and longevity. It depends a bit on what kind of riding you're planning.

For now, keep grinding away on the current tires, then acquire a new set of tires to swap in a few weeks before the big trip (just long enough for a short break in period).
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Old 12-23-21, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Far too many people do far too much “maintenance” on bicycles.
In all my years I have never heard this before.

John
If this is a lightly used 10 year old bike, then it may not need a lot other than chain lube, and checking it over.

Bearings could be sealed cartridge, and largely ignored if in good shape.

I have seen it written here not to go bonkers with a bunch of upgrades. So, say the bike has a Deore rear derailleur and Altus front derailleur. There are better derailleurs available, but those should be solid enough. Check the cables?

It is good to learn about truing wheels, spokes, etc. But, never anticipate a newbie to be a master wheelbuilder. It is easy for newbies to get lost once they start messing with spokes, and it may be best to leave them alone.

Knowing how to replace tires, tubes, etc, is always a valuable skill when on the road and away from help.
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Old 12-23-21, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The chain checker tool is accurate and precise enough for what you need to check. The ruler method is far less accurate than its proponents suggest since most of them are estimating the wear past the 12” mark anyway. Any time anyone says “estimate”, that’s neither accurate nor precise.
I'm not going to say anything about the 'too much maintenance' comment. What isn't accurate as hell about using a 12" ruler to determine chain wear?
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Old 12-23-21, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
I'm not going to say anything about the 'too much maintenance' comment. What isn't accurate as hell about using a 12" ruler to determine chain wear?
I found that statement rather funny! A ruler works just fine. In fact, if you're getting up in years and your eyes aren't like they used to be (moi), you can pull the chain off (thanks to easy links) and use a quality yard stick or tape measure and measure 24" of chain. It's much easier to see if you're over or under 1/8" wear instead of 1/16" in a 12" span.

My only complaint about "too much maintenance" is those people who feel compelled to get their chains PERFECTLY clean! I've ranted enough about it over the years. Chains are consumable and they wear out, so no need to make it clean enough to eat off of! Plus, riding off road means that pristine chain is dirty in about five minutes! Plus, a totally degreased chain needs so much damn lube to quiet all the squeaks, it's beyond absurd. And using all manner of organic compounds to clean it? Gasoline? Ludicrous! Hey let's poison ourselves while working on bikes! Or burn the house down and die in a fire!!!

Use some citrus degreaser on a rag, wipe that chain, cogs & rings off and relube. Then wipe off. That's IT!

Or use submersion wax if you really want to try to reach chain nirvana. But anything else is a complete waste of time. The fancy solvent bath thingies with little scrub brush wheels? Why? Plus, if you've just done a four hour mud slog, you're gonna wanna wash the bike off thoroughly with soap and water anyway. So you'll get your chain nice and de-mudded just fine. Blow it off with compressed air and relube.

I'll add that if I were the OP, I'd strip it completely down and rebuild it. But that's me; I'd want to know everything's A+ before a summer tour of Europe. I'm not the OP, however. I have a full shop, so I don't have the problem of lacking any tools.

I bought a Co-Motion tandem in January and it got the WORKS! Removed rust from all the insides of the tubes (thanks to S&S couplers), treated with Fluid Film & JP Wiegle and rebuilt it from the ground up. And it turns out, I too, am going to be touring some in Europe too! Yeah! And if you do this to a lower-priced bike, the result will be "better than a factory build" if done correctly. Extended touring means I want to KNOW the bike was assembled properly and will go the distance.

But the OP doesn't have everything for this. So perhaps not a full overhaul. The most cost-effective work would be replacing all housing and cables. Brake pads too, if old. This will ensure crisp, nice shifting and safe, effective brakes, if they're cable-actuated. And yes, 10 year old, but hardly used bikes often need new shift housing & cables to restore them to functionality. A blast of lube to the shifter internals if often needed too. STI gums up over time, rendering it useless. Oh what a little oil and a grease gun can fix!

Good luck to the OP!

Last edited by LV2TNDM; 12-23-21 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
I'm not going to say anything about the 'too much maintenance' comment
Clearly our friend does not work in a shop or does not see commuter bikes come through. Too much maintenance is rarely if ever a thing. Sure if you are completely stripping your chain every week and re-lubing it maybe but if you are wiping and lubing it not a bad thing. If you pump your tires once a week not a bad thing. However yeah a complete overhaul may not need to happen that often but jeez some people don't touch their bikes at all aside from riding. I have seen some ultra trashed stuff like worn the entire drivetrain out not just chain and cassette and chainrings the whole shebang thing was falling apart and he had the money and isn't some dummy but didn't feel he needed to get the work done.

I want to see these too much maintenance people and see if they want to work on my stuff?! I could use someone to clean and polish my bikes, I keep them running and clean and lube and such but actually getting all the dirt out of everywhere yeah sometimes not for a while.
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Old 12-23-21, 11:04 PM
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Funny because I failed to mention the 2017 Pivot I just serviced. The owner rides it a lot and hasn't done much service except a little chain maintenance and airing up tires. Well, let's just say 12.5 hours wasn't even enough to get to it all. Still needed: brake bleed, rear pivots overhauled and forks & rear shock fully serviced. Yeah, who actually overhauls anything these days? It's "ride it till it dies" and then replace. I KNOW no one services their suspension as often as is "suggested," but other things like bearings? Ride 'em until they fail. Or a new wheelset before you ever even think about those greasy-turney thingies on the inside!

Not too many bikes get "over-serviced" in my experience. ****, I can't even keep on top of MY bikes - and I have ZERO excuses! (It's the mechanic's car that's in the worst shape...!)
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Old 12-24-21, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
I found that statement rather funny! A ruler works just fine. In fact, if you're getting up in years and your eyes aren't like they used to be (moi), you can pull the chain off (thanks to easy links) and use a quality yard stick or tape measure and measure 24" of chain. It's much easier to see if you're over or under 1/8" wear instead of 1/16" in a 12" span.
Yes, a ruler works just fine. So do chain checkers and they are much faster. They are also accurate enough.

My main problem with the “use a 12” rule” is that a 12 inch rule can measure 12” accurately. A 12” rule can’t measure 12 1/16” accurately. Even a tape measure or a longer rule have their own problems in that they are difficult to keep in place since they are just laid on the chain. There can be almost that 1/16” variance in placement. At least a chain checker measures the same distance each time.

My only complaint about "too much maintenance" is those people who feel compelled to get their chains PERFECTLY clean! I've ranted enough about it over the years. Chains are consumable and they wear out, so no need to make it clean enough to eat off of! Plus, riding off road means that pristine chain is dirty in about five minutes! Plus, a totally degreased chain needs so much damn lube to quiet all the squeaks, it's beyond absurd. And using all manner of organic compounds to clean it? Gasoline? Ludicrous! Hey let's poison ourselves while working on bikes! Or burn the house down and die in a fire!!!
That is mostly where my “too much maintenance” comment was aimed. People on these forums clean their chains weekly and many clean their drivetrains just as often. I have seen people at my local co-op who would do a complete tear down and rebuild of their bikes weekly if we gave them the time. There is simply no need for that kind of maintenance schedule.

I have ridden everyday for weeks at a time on tour through all kinds of weather and road conditions without doing a single bit of any kind of maintenance other than a bit of chain lubricant every 600 or 700 miles.

Or use submersion wax if you really want to try to reach chain nirvana. But anything else is a complete waste of time. The fancy solvent bath thingies with little scrub brush wheels? Why? Plus, if you've just done a four hour mud slog, you're gonna wanna wash the bike off thoroughly with soap and water anyway. So you'll get your chain nice and de-mudded just fine. Blow it off with compressed air and relube.
I agree on the chain cleaning tools. They are more messy than effective. However, I use solvent wax which is just as clean and just as effect as hot wax without the need for a Crock Pot. That 600 mile interval above? I relube with solvent wax and go on my way. I don’t have the space to carry the stuff for hot waxing nor do I have the fuel for it.

I'll add that if I were the OP, I'd strip it completely down and rebuild it. But that's me; I'd want to know everything's A+ before a summer tour of Europe. I'm not the OP, however. I have a full shop, so I don't have the problem of lacking any tools.
Since LostVagabond has to ask the question, LostVagabond probably shouldn’t be tearing down a bike and trying to put it back together. LostVagabond‘s lack of tools and experience would likely result in a bike that would need more work than less. If LostVagabond has access to a co-op or to some place that is teaching maintenance classes, perhaps taking the bike apart would make sense but trying to do the work needed for a complete rebuild with a multi tool and no experience would not be advised.

The most cost-effective work would be replacing all housing and cables. Brake pads too, if old. This will ensure crisp, nice shifting and safe, effective brakes, if they're cable-actuated. And yes, 10 year old, but hardly used bikes often need new shift housing & cables to restore them to functionality. A blast of lube to the shifter internals if often needed too. STI gums up over time, rendering it useless. Oh what a little oil and a grease gun can fix!
And there’s where that “too much maintenance” statement raises it’s head. Why replace cables if the bike functions properly? Even 10 year old cables on a lightly used bike that is as clean as LostVagabond‘s appears to be shouldn’t need replacement. Nor should the shifters need prophylactic lubrication. If the shifters have a problem or if the shifting is off, then do that kind of work. But if everything is working, don’t mess with it.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:10 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Clearly our friend does not work in a shop or does not see commuter bikes come through.
Clearly you haven’t been paying attention. I’m a long term volunteer at a co-op and have worked on thousands of bicycles. Almost all of them have been bikes that a commercial shop would say “Nope! Not going to touch it!”

Too much maintenance is rarely if ever a thing. Sure if you are completely stripping your chain every week and re-lubing it maybe but if you are wiping and lubing it not a bad thing. If you pump your tires once a week not a bad thing. However yeah a complete overhaul may not need to happen that often but jeez some people don't touch their bikes at all aside from riding. I have seen some ultra trashed stuff like worn the entire drivetrain out not just chain and cassette and chainrings the whole shebang thing was falling apart and he had the money and isn't some dummy but didn't feel he needed to get the work done.
My comment was aimed more at people who do weekly chain cleanings and monthly complete overhauls than at people who pump up tires because they need air. If your bike’s drivetrain is so filthy that you have to clean it weekly, you should use a different lubricant. If you are constantly having to wipe down the chain because it is covered in black gunk, you should use a different lubricant. Any of the bearings on a bicycle should be able to go for thousands of miles before needing to be relubed. Any derailer on a bike should be able to shift cleanly and efficiently without the need for constant adjustment.

LostVagabond‘s bicycle looks very clean and well maintained from the pictures. And, yes, pictures don’t tell the whole story but the bike doesn’t appear to be a basket case. LostVagabond should just ride it and maybe take a class or two on how to maintain the bike.


I want to see these too much maintenance people and see if they want to work on my stuff?! I could use someone to clean and polish my bikes, I keep them running and clean and lube and such but actually getting all the dirt out of everywhere yeah sometimes not for a while.
I think we are more in agreement than you think. My bikes aren’t polished and immaculate. The drivetrains are clean and dirt free. The rest of the bike? Not so much. It’s doubtful that they get washed more than once a year. If something needs to be fixed, I fix it immediately but I’m not one to work on the bike just because of time or mileage. In fact, all my bikes (and my wife’s as well) have bearings in the hub, bottom bracket, and headset that seldom need any kind of maintenance.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:20 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
Funny because I failed to mention the 2017 Pivot I just serviced. The owner rides it a lot and hasn't done much service except a little chain maintenance and airing up tires. Well, let's just say 12.5 hours wasn't even enough to get to it all. Still needed: brake bleed, rear pivots overhauled and forks & rear shock fully serviced. Yeah, who actually overhauls anything these days? It's "ride it till it dies" and then replace. I KNOW no one services their suspension as often as is "suggested," but other things like bearings? Ride 'em until they fail. Or a new wheelset before you ever even think about those greasy-turney thingies on the inside!
Twelve and a half hours of work? How do you do 12.5 hours of work and not do a brake bleed, rear pivots, and shock overhaul? I am currently doing prep work on donated bikes at my co-op for 4 hours each week. In that 4 hours, I can often do 2 bikes which includes replacing parts as well as tuning wheels. And that includes finding the replacement parts. It also includes greasing those “greasy-turney thingies on the inside” of the wheels. We don’t get many bikes with hydraulic brakes nor with serviceable suspensions, but I’m fairly certain that I could do those inside of a 12.5 hour window.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:34 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Clearly you haven’t been paying attention. I’m a long term volunteer at a co-op and have worked on thousands of bicycles. Almost all of them have been bikes that a commercial shop would say “Nope! Not going to touch it!”

My comment was aimed more at people who do weekly chain cleanings and monthly complete overhauls than at people who pump up tires because they need air. If your bike’s drivetrain is so filthy that you have to clean it weekly, you should use a different lubricant. If you are constantly having to wipe down the chain because it is covered in black gunk, you should use a different lubricant. Any of the bearings on a bicycle should be able to go for thousands of miles before needing to be relubed. Any derailleur on a bike should be able to shift cleanly and efficiently without the need for constant adjustment.
Ok Fair Dinkum but I would have made that one clearer. Though I don't often see people overly cleaning chains at least not with any of the bikes I see. Maybe your co-op has heavily stressed chain cleaning. I also don't know a lot of people doing monthly overhauls aside from a former mechanic of mine but he was mostly just taking apart his various fixed gears so he could ride different ones less so then actual real maintenance so sometimes every day he might swap parts over to another frame to make it rideable for one reason or another but that was just silly and he knew it and I offered to help him get parts so he could have complete bikes rather than swapping to other frames so often.

If I had the time to do overhauls more often I would but not monthly but again I don't' see that being hugely realistic unless someone is riding through slop on say a mountain bike often.
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Old 12-25-21, 10:27 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Ok Fair Dinkum but I would have made that one clearer. Though I don't often see people overly cleaning chains at least not with any of the bikes I see. Maybe your co-op has heavily stressed chain cleaning. I also don't know a lot of people doing monthly overhauls aside from a former mechanic of mine but he was mostly just taking apart his various fixed gears so he could ride different ones less so then actual real maintenance so sometimes every day he might swap parts over to another frame to make it rideable for one reason or another but that was just silly and he knew it and I offered to help him get parts so he could have complete bikes rather than swapping to other frames so often.

If I had the time to do overhauls more often I would but not monthly but again I don't' see that being hugely realistic unless someone is riding through slop on say a mountain bike often.
To be clear, it’s not just something that happens at my co-op. There’s lots of people here on the Forums who are obsessed with a hyper clean bike and claim to be cleaning them weekly.
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Old 12-25-21, 10:50 AM
  #24  
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If you are riding in wet conditions it doesn't hurt to spray off the bike before the crud sets up and toweling it down. I have an old rag that I put some spray lube on and run the chain through it. Every once in a while I use a spray wax to wipe down frame before a ride. Doesn't take long.
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Old 12-25-21, 11:46 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Far too many people do far too much “maintenance” on bicycles. Bicycles aren’t delicate and don’t need constant work to maintain them. Ride the bike. Fix stuff when it needs to be fixed. Lube the chain when it needs it and only as much as it needs. If the bike gets dirty take it to a car wash and wash it.

From the pictures posted, your bike isn’t particularly dirty. Wipe the chain to remove a bit of the grim but you shouldn’t need much more than that. The rust on the front derailer isn’t anything to worry about but if it really bothers you, use a bit of steel wool and physical remove it.

Your chain checker is sufficient for checking for chain wear…aka chain “stretch”. Check the chain when you think about it but you don’t need to check it every day or even every week. If you think that you’ve got 1000 miles on the chain, check it. Check it again when you think you have another 1000 miles. When it shows whatever the tool maker’s directions say is a worn chain, replace it.

The chain checker tool is accurate and precise enough for what you need to check. The ruler method is far less accurate than its proponents suggest since most of them are estimating the wear past the 12” mark anyway. Any time anyone says “estimate”, that’s neither accurate nor precise.
Thank you for respondign cycocommute. In regard to the chain, would you recommend a degrease and then relube and if so would this best be done off or on the bike?
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