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Tune-Ups: What and How Often?

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Tune-Ups: What and How Often?

Old 02-23-09, 10:04 PM
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ok_commuter
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Tune-Ups: What and How Often?

I performed basic-plus maintenance on my bike today.

- Cleaned chain and drivetrain using the cheapest Park Tool chain cleaner thingy and a basic non-toxic degreaser.
- Lubed chain and drivetrain with DuMonde Tech Lite.
- Wiped down entire bike with shop rags.
- Adjusted front and rear brakes. Test ride. More adjustment. Test ride. Small adjustment. Test ride. Perfect. (EDIT: I have disc brakes, and when I first got the bike I could endo just thinking about my left hand. After lots of riding and some small adjustments... I've had a couple close calls lately b/c I expected more stopping power than I had. Testing today, I had zero stopping power in the rear and not enough in the front. It's scary what you can talk yourself into thinking is normal. I'm back to endo-land now.)
- Messed about with seat height. Raised by 1 cm.
- Tightened all accessories, especially fender stays and my homebrew rear light mount. I *hate* rattling, and Austin has terrible surface streets, so I stay diligent about keeping the noise down. (And I listen to music when I ride so I don't hear it. Don't tell any of the nannies/haters.)
- There would have been some wheel/tire stuff involved, but I did all that yesterday when I put my 25s back on.

I do this once a month, and I always think my bike is just fine until I do this, then ride. My last test ride today was the best the bike ever felt; way better than new, probably just now (after almost a year) breaking in. I'm really happy with how well the Shimano 105 group holds up when properly maintained. It's starting to work like the proverbial "well-oiled machine". Can't wait to ride tomorrow...

What do you do to your ride, and how often?

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Old 02-23-09, 10:48 PM
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105 disc brakes?
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Old 02-23-09, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
105 disc brakes?
53 on the front, 52 on the back.
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Old 02-23-09, 11:31 PM
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Yeah, no. Avid BB7. Group is certainly the wrong word. The crank is Elita. Rear hub is XT. Everything else (?) is 105.
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Old 02-24-09, 01:29 AM
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I clean my rims, and clean/lube my drive train once a week. While I'm at it, I wipe the frame down. So far this winter, the bike has been more or less flawless.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:03 AM
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* Clean and lube anywhere between once a week to once every two months, depending on the bike and season.
* Serious drivetrain clean every 3 months, roughly (chainrings, jockey wheels, cassette innards).
* Clean rims, adjust brakes, and clean/sand braking surfaces whenever they annoy me or seem to have reduced power.
* Tune up whenever I get missed shifts, usually at least once a month per bike
* Clean shifters/cables if the shifting seems sticky, probably once a month or two on my MTB, couple times a year for the road bike.
* General check about once a month per bike (brake wear, cable fray, headset play).
*Wash as needed

This stuff definitely adds up with 3 bikes!
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Old 02-24-09, 08:05 AM
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I oil and wipe down my chain when it's dirty. In the winter, that means about 2-3x a week. In the summer, 2-3x a month. New chain when it's worn, usually about 1800 miles.

I power-wash it in the summer when it gets really muddy and I already have the washer hooked up for something else. The power washer can clean the derailler and such to an extent that I couldn't without taking it off and pretty much bathing it in solvent. I replace the brake pads when they're worn to nothing.

That's pretty much it for regular maintenance.

My components are...components. I don't know or care what they are as long as they work. The original rear hub was a cheap-cheap-cheap freewheel, and the axle broke at about 15000 miles. I replaced the entire wheel, it was about the same price as buying components and building it myself. It's now a freehub, so it's stronger.

I replaced the freewheel twice ($13 each), when I let the chain go too long before replacement. If I replace the chain at 1800 miles, the drivetrain seems to stay fine.

The front wheel made it 13000 miles before I built a new one to use Avid BB7 disc on the front. The original wheel is still fine though the rim is worn very thin from the brakes. I use $6 clone brake pads from eBay on the Avids, they work as well as the $18 Avid pads.

The rear derailler and bottom bracket have both been replaced. The BB made it about 11000 miles before the clicking made me irritated enough to replace it - that cost me I think $16. The rear derailler lasted about 10000 miles before the shifting got sloppy - at that point the wheels were worn almost completely smooth. Cheapest route was to replace it with exactly the same RD, for $25.

I'm on my 3rd set of full fenders. Twice I've had things fall or sticks get blown into the rear spokes and destroy the fender.

Of course, tires as needed.

FWIW, I've never had to adjust anything but brakes. The shift indexing has always been spot on once aligned once after installation, even thousands of miles later. If it's shifting slow, it's always been due to dirt or ice built up in the RD. That only really happens in the winter, because in the summer I power wash the thing at least once a month, and that's plenty to keep the RD clean and working.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:06 AM
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This year I had my studded tires on an alternate wheelset w/ their own cassette, so when I put the studs on, I gave my other cassette a major degreaser bath and now it sparkles (spread out on paper towels in a spare closet...).

A couple times a year I take the crankset apart and scrub it down, pull all the pine needles out from around the BB. I find that just a paper towel, no solvent, works well enough for that.
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Old 02-24-09, 09:08 AM
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I wait until i notice a problem; and my definition of problem is probably a lot more dynamic than most people's.
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Old 02-24-09, 03:07 PM
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Inflate the tires twice a week or so. Oil the chain every week or two. Fix problems as I notice them.
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Old 02-24-09, 06:05 PM
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What possible benefit is there to "wiping the frame down"?
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Old 02-24-09, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lot's Knife View Post
What possible benefit is there to "wiping the frame down"?
1. None
2. Looks Good
3. It's Fun
4. Reminds me how superior the Salsa paint job is
5. Helps me tell the dirt clods from the scratches
6. Helps the paint fade evenly in the sun
7. You can't be a bike weenie without doing the weenie parts
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Old 02-24-09, 06:41 PM
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Makes sense! Thanks!
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Old 02-24-09, 07:24 PM
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10 minutes a week - clean & lube the chain, check for any loose parts/spokes, etc., inflate the tires and wipe it down. That way, I'm good to go Monday morning!
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Old 02-24-09, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lot's Knife View Post
What possible benefit is there to "wiping the frame down"?
You need to do it before you wax it?

The trouble with a clean frame is that you risk looking like you barely ride the bike.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:43 AM
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I usually just clean my chain and parts with gasoline. It's a very good solvent and it's tons cheaper than any solvent youll find at a shop. It also evaporates quickly, so you can clean and just let you stuff dry.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:59 AM
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Don't forget to lube pulleys and moving parts on the rear derailleur and all points where cables meet housing to reduce friction. That is what I do, along with drivetrain cleaning/chain lubing twice a month, and I get smooth shifting everytime.
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Old 02-25-09, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
...
- Messed about with seat height. Raised by 1 cm.
...
I do this once a month
...
How long've you had this bike? Someday you'll run out of seatpost...

I get the seat adjusted when I get a new bike, then its bolted down for theft protection. Never changes after that.
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Old 02-25-09, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
I wait until i notice a problem; and my definition of problem is probably a lot more dynamic than most people's.
This is more or less my thinking. I check tire pressure once a week and oil the chain as needed (often in sloppy weather, not so much otherwise, but if it's shifting and stopping well, the wheels are true (well, 2-3mm runout is OK) and the saddle doesn't slip down, I leave it alone.

Oh yeah, and I change the batteries in my lights on an as-needed basis. Headlight crapped out on me today...boooooo.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
How long've you had this bike? Someday you'll run out of seatpost...

I get the seat adjusted when I get a new bike, then its bolted down for theft protection. Never changes after that.
Ha. OK, I don't do *that* once a month. But I also don't rule out the occasional small adjustment simply b/c it was "correct" when I bought it.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
Oh yeah, and I change the batteries in my lights on an as-needed basis. Headlight crapped out on me today...boooooo.
Batteries?! Booooo.
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Old 02-25-09, 02:25 PM
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Yeah yeah yeah. I'm saving up for a bottle generator. It's been a tight few months, and my last one broke, so I had to cheap it with a Bell headlight...
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Old 02-25-09, 02:34 PM
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when you guys lube bits, do you lube things like hubs, bottom bracket, etc. or just the small things like the chain?
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Old 02-25-09, 03:07 PM
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Generally, I wouldn't drop oil in a place that was assembled with grease, because it will dissolve the grease and leave nothing but oil. Thereafter, the oil will dry out. This is OK if you plan to oil repeatedly, but there's no need to do that.

The grease assemblies are: bottom bracket, hubs, pedals, and headset.

Oil pivot points on derailleurs, brakes, shift levers, and brake levers. Oil the entry and exit points for cables that run through housings. And the chain, of course.
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Old 02-25-09, 03:39 PM
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cool thanks, how often should one get the grease assemblies regreased?
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