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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 09-14-08, 01:40 PM   #1
leannS
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Maintenance help

I bought my 80's Bianchi road bike during the summer, and I have been riding it like three to five times a week, about 12-15 miles each time, sometimes more, sometimes less. I have not done anything as far as maintenance goes except wipe the dust off with a rag. And I am wondering what regular maintenance I need to do to keep my bike in good working order. So what do I need and where should I start?
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Old 09-14-08, 02:53 PM   #2
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Here's some easy regular maintenance items:

Lube the chain regularly, maybe every two weeks or so. Wipe off the excess with a paper towel or rag afterwards. Measure 12 inches of chain with a good metal ruler, pin to pin. Once it hits 12 1/16 inches, the chain is close to being worn out.

Check your brake pads to see that the pads are wearing evenly, and that they are lined up with the rims correctly. When the pads are worn enough that the notches in the pads are done, it's time for new pads.

Use some chain lube on the derailleur pivot points once a month or so.

How does it shift on the back? if the chain isn't centered on the cogs, and you hear some rubbing noises, you can adjust it by turning the adjuster on the end of the cable housing back there. Unscrewing it will pull the cable more, moving the chain inwards towards the hub. Screwing it in moves the chain the other direction. You just turn it slightly and try it out.
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Old 09-14-08, 03:39 PM   #3
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Also, if it hasn't been done already, clean and grease all bearings (bottom bracket, hubs, headset).
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Old 09-14-08, 03:57 PM   #4
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First order of business: buy and read a good bike maintenance manual (Bicycling Magazine and Lennard Zinn both have good ones). Also, study Park Tools and Sheldon Brown's web sites. Both are treasures of maintenance tips and procedures.

Until you have a grasp of how bicycle components work, there is little to be gained by what we can tell you here.
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Old 09-14-08, 07:12 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks for the help, guys. I think you are right, HillRider. I need to a little homework.
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Old 09-15-08, 12:10 PM   #6
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One thing no one has mentioned yet, is to check the tire pressure and add air, if necessary, before each ride.
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Old 09-15-08, 01:04 PM   #7
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get to know your lbs-- i am all for do it yourself--- but you can save yourself some money occasionally and meet some cool peeps
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