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Basic Maintenance

Old 01-19-11, 06:32 PM
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Commando303
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Basic Maintenance

I've had my bicycle for many months, now, and, though nothing is wrong, I wonder if people could share their ideologies of rudimentary bike maintenance. Yes, the chain should be lubricated. What else?

Thanks.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:49 PM
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The chain (and rest of drive train) should be clean, so wipe it down after every ride. Put air in your tires before every ride (to recommended pressure).
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Old 01-19-11, 07:01 PM
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Best flat tire prevention trick I know is to inspect and clean your tires after every ride. Remove any thorns, glass shards and the like, before they work their way into the tube. bk
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Old 01-19-11, 07:34 PM
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It's not a bad idea to check all the various fasteners, just move about the bike and snug things up as you go. Make sure the cable guide under the bottom bracket is clean so the shifting cables work okay. After a thorough cleaning, I like to lightly lube all the pivot points of the brakes and deraillerus, etc. A bit later, I'd recommend checking wheel trueness and tension. Check the headset by simply rocking the bike with the front brake engaged. Again, after more miles, check the cranks and chain rings for tightness. Get to know your bike and it shouldn't let you down. None of what I've recommended requires much in the way of tools, except for perhaps the wheels. Oh, and it's probably a good idea to repack and adjust the wheel hubs/bearings about once a year depending upon your mileage.
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Old 01-19-11, 07:38 PM
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Clean/lube your chain. Replace every 1500-2000 miles. This is very basic maintenance.
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Old 01-19-11, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by iareConfusE View Post
Clean/lube your chain. Replace every 1500-2000 miles. This is very basic maintenance.
Or rather, check chain for wear periodically. Chain wear can't be estimated with any precision based on mileage.
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Old 01-19-11, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by iareConfusE View Post
Clean/lube your chain. Replace every 1500-2000 miles. This is very basic maintenance.
I don't know what kind of chain you're using but 2000 miles is not much for a chain. A chain should be measured fairly often. By the time one foot of chain has stretched to 12 1/16 inches it should be replaced. Chain checker tools are a good supplement but there is no substitute for a good steel ruler.
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Old 01-19-11, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
I've had my bicycle for many months, now, and, though nothing is wrong, I wonder if people could share their ideologies of rudimentary bike maintenance. Yes, the chain should be lubricated. What else?

Thanks.
Take rubbing alcohol and wipe down the rims every once in a while. Clean the brake pads with a oil free clean rag. Sand and grime build up on the pads will mar the rims leading to premature wear.

Also, a lot of bikes come with brake pads that have metal flakes built into the pads for some reason, this also accelerate rim wear. If you see a lot of wear in a short about of time, there's a good chance your pads have metal flakes, replace them with something like Kool stops which are known to be gentle on rims.
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Old 01-19-11, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
Also, a lot of bikes come with brake pads that have metal flakes built into the pads for some reason, this also accelerate rim wear.
No they don't.

The metal flakes ONLY come about from actually using the pads on rims.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:07 PM
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Besides putting lube on all the pivot points (there are several) also apply a lite lube on the cables (do not lube if they are teflon coated or a similar type of cable). You may want to check your cleats (tighten any screws and check for wear). If you had purchased the bike from a bike shop -- there usually a free check up involved. So take the bike and get a free check up. Not sure how long "many months" is but your headset may need tightening (easy to check and easy to fix). Hopefully the BB is OK (still nice & tight) but if your bike now makes noise when you are climbing/accelerate/pedaling under a load -- then check your BB. Treat your bike like it is a investment. Do not wait until it breaks.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:37 PM
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Grease all the bearings that can be greased, headset, bottom bracket, axles, pedals.
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Old 01-20-11, 08:30 AM
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Anytime I have the bike on the stand, I take a look at wheel true and brake caliper adjustment. Clean the rims and pads. Wipe down the calipers from all road grime, lubricate at the pivot points and spring stops. True wheels and adjust brake cables for optimal pad-to-rim spacing. Lubricate brake lever pivots. Done.
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Old 01-20-11, 12:07 PM
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Here is my maintenance log and schedule for one of my bikes.

MAINTENANCE PLAN (S/N# UMxxxxxx)
Change out chain (3 sets, 4 cycles) and lube Speed Play Zeros every 1,000 miles.
Lube head set and bottom bracket bearings annually with tuneup.
Install new rear cassette every 12,000 miles.

MAINTENANCE LOG
0 070109 installed new cassette, chain1 and shifter cables
1,174 082709 changed out to new chain2 and lubed Speed Play Zeros
2,534 101909 changed out to new chain3 and lubed Speed Play Zeros
full tuneup @ TriBuys - trued up rims, adj'd cables, lubed head set and bottom bracket bearings, cleaned drive train and installed chain3
installed new handle bar tape, Fi'zi:k (silver), and left shifter name plate
2,674 102809 broken spoke replaced #15 rear
2,888 110909 replaced broken Garmin Edge 705 handlebar mount
2,923 111009 overhauled rear hub
2,923 111109 warranty replacement for rear Mavic Equipe rim (stress cracks)
3,300 020210 lubed Speed Play Zeros
(keep chain three on until 4,000 miles - 1 2 3 3 2 1 1)
4,186 041810 changed out to chain2 and lubed Speed Play Zeros
4,449 050610 cleaned and greased rear hub
4,665 051710 installed new K-Sword handlebars and tape, Fi'zi:k (silver)
5,142 062810 replaced Speed Play Zero cleats
5,228 070510 changed out to chain1 and lubed Speed Play Zeros, identified stress cracks in rear Mavic Equipe rim
(keep chain one on until 7,000 miles)
5,233 071210 installed Easton EA90 SL wheelset
6,183 092610 replaced shifter cables and housing (FD main housing not replaced)
6,260 101110 removed pedals and lubed spindles

INSPECTION PLAN
Inspect brake/shifter handles for proper operation.
Inspect brakes, derailleurs, cables and housings. Align and adjust brakes and derailleurs, replace pads, cables and housings as needed.
Inspect braking surfaces for unevenness and abrasions.
Inspect rims, hubs, and spokes for damage and wear.
Inspect rims for trueness.
Inspect tires for damage and wear.
Inspect chain for damage and wear.
Inspect forward crank rings and rear cassette for damage and wear.
Inspect rear hub and overhaul as needed (does the chain rotate when bike is in the highest gear with wheel off the ground and spinning?).
Inspect frame and fork for damage and wear.
Inspect head set for proper adjustment.
Inspect handle bar tape and hoods for damage and wear.
Inspect pedals for damage and wear.
Inspect shoes for damage and wear.
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Old 01-20-11, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Or rather, check chain for wear periodically. Chain wear can't be estimated with any precision based on mileage.
You're right, wear can't be accurately estimated based on mileage, however the average joe schmoe bicycle rider isn't likely to have a chain stretch tool around, or is willing to buy one. The mileage is just a simple, very basic rule of thumb if you don't have the tools or the know how to check for chain wear. Some people don't want to learn how to fix bikes and become a mechanic, some people just want to ride their bikes.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by iareConfusE View Post
You're right, wear can't be accurately estimated based on mileage, however the average joe schmoe bicycle rider isn't likely to have a chain stretch tool around, or is willing to buy one. .

All you need is a ruler; changing chains based on arbitrary mileage really isn't a good idea when you can check for wear very reliably without any bike-specific tool. Even if mileage was a reliable gauge for wear, arguably, Joe Schmoe rider is far more likely to be able to use a ruler than he will be likley to accurately track mileage.

Last edited by DOS; 01-20-11 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 01-20-11, 05:39 PM
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https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/

Last edited by davidad; 01-20-11 at 05:42 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 02-03-11, 12:28 AM
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Thanks, all.

A question about brake-pads: I recently noticed a "scraping" sound upon applying my front brake. When I reached home (I braked with the rear, the rest of the way, until I did), I inspected both sides of my rim and found one had a fine scratch running along it (nothing terrible — maybe even just the removal of some dirt). I looked over the suspect pad, and found a small bit of metal in it; yet, the pad wasn't worn past its "grooves," which I believe indicate when it's time for a replacement. I was able to pull out the metal flake, after which, it ran smoothly.

The question, then: What the hell...? Where'd that come from? Is it part of the pad? A bit of the rim? Debris from the street (seems doubtful, but still I ask)?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-03-11, 04:01 AM
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It's metal from the street. I get that all the time. Just flick them on and off a few times and it will usually pass.
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Old 02-03-11, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
All you need is a ruler; changing chains based on arbitrary mileage really isn't a good idea when you can check for wear very reliably without any bike-specific tool. Even if mileage was a reliable gauge for wear, arguably, Joe Schmoe rider is far more likely to be able to use a ruler than he will be likley to accurately track mileage.
Winner: DOS
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Old 02-03-11, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
It's metal from the street. I get that all the time. Just flick them on and off a few times and it will usually pass.
I thought it was metal from the rim itself.

On a related note, and at risk of hijacking the thread, after reading on this forum and others praise numerous recommendations to use kool stop pads, I took plunge yesterday aand bought some. What, exactly, makes them superior to, say,the shimano pads I have been using?
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Old 02-03-11, 09:24 AM
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They have a soft compound and Iron Oxide (rust) that improves wet braking, is the spin I've read.

They do work better in wet for sure. There's plenty of other brands around that have as soft compound though. Kool-stop just has better marketing, and brand loyalty on this board.
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Old 02-04-11, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MilitantPotato View Post
They have a soft compound and Iron Oxide (rust) that improves wet braking, is the spin I've read.

They do work better in wet for sure. There's plenty of other brands around that have as soft compound though. Kool-stop just has better marketing, and brand loyalty on this board.
If they're softer, don't they wear out (i.e., have to be replaced) more readily?
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Old 02-05-11, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
I thought it was metal from the rim itself.

On a related note, and at risk of hijacking the thread, after reading on this forum and others praise numerous recommendations to use kool stop pads, I took plunge yesterday aand bought some. What, exactly, makes them superior to, say,the shimano pads I have been using?
Nothing. The shimano DA and Ultegra pads are the best in wet and dry conditions.
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Old 02-05-11, 10:35 AM
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I just ride my bike into a self serve car wash 3.00 gets the degreaser foam brush wash and wax bike and chain look brand new all i do then is get out the dry lube and hit the chain ...as for inspecting my bike I usually do that at red lights to pass the time ...hmmmm tire tread ..yep ...brake pads .... yep ...chains not dragging ..check .. skewers open ,,,hmmm better close that
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Old 02-05-11, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
No they don't.

The metal flakes ONLY come about from actually using the pads on rims.
The old Modolo and Campagnolo "sinterized" pads did have metal particles in them, but I haven't seen them on the shelves for a long time.
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