Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Neglecting maintenance for commuting?

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Neglecting maintenance for commuting?

Old 07-11-19, 09:02 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,749

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1992 Post(s)
Liked 1,249 Times in 794 Posts
Neglecting maintenance for commuting?

I heard clicking as I started to walk out the door this morning. On checking, I found three of four cleat bolts were a bit loose. It made me think. Coming out of work a couple days ago, my left foot attachment seemed a bit loose, but I ignored it.

Last month I had to replace a crank, along with cassette and chain, because I'd let the chain wear too much. I thought I'd checked it earlier in the month, but you know, it could have been three or four months since I'd given it a close look.

Have you ever let something slide because a commute is a short ride, or it's cold, or you're wet? If so, how has it come back to bite you?
pdlamb is offline  
Old 07-11-19, 09:18 AM
Senior Member
Skipjacks's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 2,115

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1002 Post(s)
Liked 234 Times in 153 Posts
I've had a pedal clicking for a month.

If it breaks....I'll probably look into dealing with it.


Last edited by Skipjacks; 07-11-19 at 10:18 AM.
Skipjacks is offline  
Old 07-11-19, 09:34 AM
Zip tie Karen
Phil_gretz's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Posts: 7,003

Bikes: '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022, '21 Tsunami SNM-100

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1459 Post(s)
Liked 1,534 Times in 802 Posts
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. So they say. It's funny how we have different personalities expressed on this issue.

I do corrective or preventative maintenance on everything we own. If you look for it and keep a running list, there's enough to keep you busy doing only one thing a day.

I also do maintenance on my neighbors' bikes whenever I come upon something that's "not right". I can't help myself.

Living with something that I know doesn't work right? I couldn't do that, with one running exception. The federal regulators thought that the car industry should have tire inflation sensors to tell dummies to keep their car tires inflated properly. Well, those sensors fail sometimes, or their connectors fail, causing a light on the dash. Unable to get the reset to hold, I'm leaving the light on. There's no way I'm buying a replacement sensor. I'm bright enough to keep my tires inflated, thank you very much.
Phil_gretz is offline  
Likes For Phil_gretz:
Old 07-11-19, 09:40 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,549

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1281 Post(s)
Liked 641 Times in 328 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Have you ever let something slide because a commute is a short ride, or it's cold, or you're wet? If so, how has it come back to bite you?
Constantly, and constantly.
ksryder is offline  
Old 07-11-19, 12:33 PM
Portland Fred
banerjek's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 11,548

Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Have you ever let something slide because a commute is a short ride, or it's cold, or you're wet? If so, how has it come back to bite you?
All the time.

I don't think you come out behind timewise if you defer maintenance -- and you actually know what you're deferring.

However, you significantly increase the risk of having to do some kind of emergency work at a time and in conditions not of your choosing.
banerjek is offline  
Likes For banerjek:
Old 07-11-19, 01:37 PM
Senior Member
rumrunn6's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,563

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 108 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4622 Post(s)
Liked 2,318 Times in 1,584 Posts
I don't need to commute to neglect maintenance ... sorry, couldn't resist. but yeah the more I ride, the more maintenance I need, but because I'm riding more I'm less likely to make time for the maintenance

reminds me, one time, at work, a cycling buddy & I were marveling at the (late) business owners light, custom bike, cuz he rode to work that day. & we noticed his rear tire was so worn, the inner threads were showing. we brought it to his attention & he said he had no idea & thanks. he was an avid cyclist. miss him
rumrunn6 is offline  
Likes For rumrunn6:
Old 07-11-19, 02:57 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Saulkrasti, Latvia
Posts: 888

Bikes: Focus Crater Lake

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 332 Times in 201 Posts
I don't worry much about drivetrain wear; I lube and wipe it on a regular basis, but other than that I ride it until the chain starts to skip and then replace it together with the casette. The shifting, of course, gets worse towards the end, but as I live ina flat place, that doesn't matter much, and the need for little overshifting when downshifting a few times during a commute isn't too terrible.

Other parts I like to have in order though.
subgrade is offline  
Old 07-11-19, 06:45 PM
aka Tom Reingold
noglider's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 40,176

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 495 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7014 Post(s)
Liked 1,764 Times in 1,099 Posts
Sure, we all defer maintenance, and sure, we all do it too long, from time to time. And sure, the more we defer, the more dangerous and costly it gets. But you know all that.
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 07-11-19, 07:06 PM
vespertine member
wipekitty's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Land of Angora, Turkey
Posts: 2,476

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 686 Post(s)
Liked 215 Times in 163 Posts
Winter bike...rusted!

I had a few bad times with brake cables snapping on commutes, so at least keep up with that much.
wipekitty is offline  
Old 07-12-19, 12:23 AM
Overdoing projects
JaccoW's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, former republic of the Netherlands
Posts: 2,282

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist, Gazelle Lausanne, Gazelle Tandem, Koga-Miyata SilverAce, Koga-Miyata WorldTraveller

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 732 Post(s)
Liked 982 Times in 572 Posts
My everyday, short haul, commuter still rides but...
  • the 8-speed Shimano hub skips in all gears but 1 & 5. It might be worn out after 40,000+ km
  • I should probably replace the brake cables since the left one has cracked all around through the outer cable though the inner one is still fine.
  • Speaking of cables, the shifter wire has a tendency to pop out of the gripshifter. probably due to a worn out shifter and rusty cable.
  • chain seems a bit rusty. I can tell from the brown slosh on the rim.
  • tyres and lights are still good.
I swear I take better care of my other bikes.
JaccoW is offline  
Old 07-12-19, 09:49 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,153

Bikes: Sekine 1979 ten speed racer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1304 Post(s)
Liked 461 Times in 306 Posts
I hear clicking coming from my rear wheel. Stopped to check what was hitting any part of the spinning wheel. Nothing. I guess it's the bearings wearing. Will get it fixed in the fall when I switch bikes.
Daniel4 is offline  
Old 07-12-19, 02:39 PM
no motor?
Unlisted member
no motor?'s Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 6,193

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1376 Post(s)
Liked 431 Times in 296 Posts
I used to be a part of a service club that solicited donations on streetcorners during rush hours, and was surprised to hear the noises coming from the commuter bikes when I did that. the noises didn't bother the riders, but had me wondering how long it was going to be until more maintenance needed to be done.
no motor? is offline  
Old 07-14-19, 04:25 PM
Senior Member
commo_soulja's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: C-Ville
Posts: 1,246

Bikes: are fun to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
While I don't rely on my bike to commute throughout the week, only 3 days a week / 34 mile round trip, I want a reliable bike to get me to work and back without any issues in between. I achieve this by doing quick maintenance on the weekends that include a quick wash and lube, checking bolts and QRs and checking tires and inflation. At the end of each month, I check the chain with a chain checker. Better to replace a cheap chain rather than a new chainring, cassette and chain. This usually doesn't take more than 30 minutes per bike so I can give more maintenance attention to the other bikes in the garage. Maintenance also includes helmet, shoes and gloves. I usually have to give them a wash every couple months, especially during the sweaty summer months.
commo_soulja is offline  
Old 07-14-19, 04:44 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 18

Bikes: 2015 Fuji Track, 2017 Fuji Cross 1.5, 2019 Cannondale Quick NEO

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
My general rule of thumb is, "if it's obvious, fix it this week or so." That's about it. I don't replace my chain for example when it's "time" if it's still okay.
Aletifer is offline  
Old 07-14-19, 05:40 PM
Phamilton's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: KFWA
Posts: 1,272

Bikes: A touring bike and a hybrid

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 454 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 69 Posts
It’s not nearly as costly to neglect maintenance on a bike vs a car. I wouldn’t want to commute on a bike I couldn’t replace entirely for a couple hundred bucks. So yeah, admittedly I’m pretty lax with my maintenance. And always keep a spare bike if you can.
Phamilton is offline  
Likes For Phamilton:
Old 07-16-19, 09:04 AM
Keepin it Wheel
RubeRad's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9,862

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Krampus

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 2,345 Times in 1,701 Posts
For a few months recently I let a slow leak slide. At the end I would pump up, ride to work, then after work come out to a flat tire, pump it up, ride home. I also needed a tire change, so I took everything off, and ended up patching three holes in two tubes.

Currently I have a flat tire again. I happen to have to drive a lot this week because of things I have to go to after work, so the bike is sitting flat in the garage. If I have time to replace the tube Wed then I will ride Thu.

Also I started noticing when I would shift down to power up the steep driveway, my chain/cassette would slip. Not quite sure whether it was actual slip from a worn cassette, or I hadn't shifted quite right. The first time I noticed that was probably 5 years/10,000 miles ago.
RubeRad is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
08-20-18 08:47 PM
04-28-16 11:50 AM
Living Car Free
11-22-13 03:50 PM
12-10-11 08:48 PM
Bianchi Ben
Road Cycling
10-11-11 02:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.