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Cranks, chains and sprockets

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Cranks, chains and sprockets

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Old 05-13-18, 08:38 AM
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wthensler 
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Cranks, chains and sprockets

I wonder if any folks here do their own maintenance other than simple tire changes. Admittedly, I’m a little rough on my road bike; I probably get less than 3,000 miles on a chain. I didn’t know this at first (just was noticing sloppy shifting), and the rear sprocket had started to wear due to chain stretch, and needed to be replaced,

After this morning’s ride, I was replacing the chain (I finally bought the tool to measure chain stretch and the extractor) which is not a difficult job. Much to my horror, I discovered the crank was quite loose. I mean shake it up-type loose. I know I had the dealer replace the crank bearings last year. So I maybe have 4,000 miles on it.

Perhaps this is not abnormal, given the hard road riding I do. No complaints, just wondering how often folks check and/or replace their bottom bearings.
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Old 05-13-18, 12:22 PM
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I put a Hawk Racing bottom bracket on my ACE in 2013 after I found out I had frozen bearings on the non-drive side of the Shimano Ultegra BB it replaced. It has almost 40,000 miles and still spin like they are new. I do my own wrenching and pull the cranks with every chain change (about every 2,000-2,300 miles). I clean the bearings and grease the race and both sides or the dust covers as well as put a new coat of grease on the crankshaft. If you have press fit bearings, look into Wheels Manufacturing bottom brackets. Their bearings are made by Enduro. Not as good as the Fulmer Technology bearings in the Hawk but they are better than Shimano Ultegra BB bearings. The nice thing with the Wheels Mfg BB is that the bearing cups will never creak and/or loosen up like plastic press fit BB cups do. I have a Wheels Mfg PF86 BB on the CRS and that's got over 10,000 miles on it and they're still spinning great. I originally had the shop put a Hawk BB on the CRS when I bought it, last year. But alas, the cups started creaking two months after I get the bike (around 2,000 miles) and neither I or the bike shop could get them to stop creaking. So I went with Wheels Mfg.
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Old 05-13-18, 12:38 PM
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Hey, thanks John. Turns out the Trek dealer was open today, so I stopped in and he looked the bike over. Coincidentally, it was one year ago to the day they replaced the bearings. He agreed the non drive bearing was kaput, called it “premature”, and I believe agreed to fix it under warranty (wouldn’t that be nice). I think it’s a combination of the Florida sand, afternoon rains, hard riding, etc, etc.

Been a rough week. My store in NC lost its “brain” on Friday (my busiest day), costing me a day’s income, the HVAC unit in our 1 year+ old house crapped out yesterday ( just out of warranty), and my 911, which is in for major service, is more major than I hoped for. Oh well........

But it sounds like you’re way more on top of maintenance than I am, and now I see why.
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Old 05-14-18, 08:37 AM
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I do all my own maintenance and repairs. If you are mechanically inclined it is not difficult. Youtube videos abound and are helpful, as are manuals such as Barrett's. What I have found is that the proper tools go a long way towards your success and that cheap tools are not the bargain they seem to be. A decent, sturdy bike stand and a wheel truing stand have been my most valuable purchases.
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Old 05-14-18, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gman107 View Post
I do all my own maintenance and repairs. If you are mechanically inclined it is not difficult. Youtube videos abound and are helpful, as are manuals such as Barrett's. What I have found is that the proper tools go a long way towards your success and that cheap tools are not the bargain they seem to be. A decent, sturdy bike stand and a wheel truing stand have been my most valuable purchases.
Same here, on all counts. "There is no such thing as a cheap tool."

Proper tools are essential for bottom bracket, crank, wheel truing, freewheel/cassette, and bearing work, and good-quality general purpose tools are needed for everything else. My best frustration-reducing tools are a good cable cutter and a "third hand" brake caliper clamp. Good spoke wrenches, either a multisize disk or a set, are needed, as well, because even a slight mismatch will quickly damage spoke nipples beyond repair.
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Old 05-15-18, 07:47 AM
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My reasons for doing as much as I can on my bike:
1. I like doing the work, it's relaxing, even if takes me practically forever to get simple things done.
2. I feel more in tune with my bike when riding, when I have done the wrenching.
3. My mistakes are learning tools (after I stop cursing myself). for example, I am paying the price for my chain oil/chain choices. New chain and cassette this weekend!
4. I get to buy more tools. I buy cheaper when I can, but get better when I can.
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Old 05-15-18, 08:02 AM
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I'm capable of doing most tasks on a bike. However, I still have one major tune-up on each bike done by a local mechanic who is now a friend of mine. The tune-up includes a few upgrades and the bike is ready for another year. If I need to change tires, a chain or cassette, I'll do that at home. I wish I had time to maintain my fleet independent of help, but other demands on my time make doing all the work needed on every bike practically impossible.
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Old 05-15-18, 04:38 PM
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Having several bikes I continually monitor crank arms for any play and stiffness. I recently replaced my BB on my Y2K Trek 1000 after approx. 3500 miles. No play existed but it was pretty bound up as I could not spin the freewheel as easy as it should. This little piece of maintenance is pretty easy with the proper puller and be sure to get the measurements correct for your frame.
As mentioned above, internet vids can be extremely helpful for first time maintenance. Generally speaking after its done once your good to go in the future for the same maintenance
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Old 05-15-18, 04:59 PM
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I can do pretty much everything but build wheels. I sit at a desk all day so it's nice to be able to get my hands dirty every once in awhile.
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Old 05-15-18, 06:28 PM
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I try to do most of my own. The things I cannot do are headsets, wheel hubs and wheel rebuilds - mostly things requiring expensive specialized tools or specialized equipment.
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Old 05-16-18, 10:05 AM
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I'll do my own wrench work for anything I have the tools (or reasonably safe improvised tools) to be able to do. I can't recall the last work I took a bike into a shop for aside from bearing installs as I don't have a bearing press; but I'll do everything from bakes, cables, cassettes to bearing overhauls (cup and cone) and wheel building/truing myself.
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Old 05-17-18, 04:40 AM
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I do all the maintenance on my bikes, (both keepers and flippers) and plenty of bikes for others. Besides being enjoyable it provides a small amount of additional income which helps pay for my bikes. I have a nice shop set up in my garage, plenty of tools, and a decent spare parts bin in the basement. Grab a drink and turn on some tunes...
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Old 05-17-18, 02:13 PM
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Pretty much the only thing I don't do is wrap the handle bars. I don't do it enough with the newer(for us any way) thicker bar tape. With the old cloth tape, I did it all the time because it would wear out or rip quickly.
Of course doing volunteer work in a bike shop keep my mechanic skill sharp.
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Old 05-18-18, 03:56 PM
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I do everything I can (pretty much everything but build wheels; I do true them so figure I could build if I wanted to?). Have built a couple bikes up from frame. Diagnosing problems that are not based on just straight wear and age can be tricky though so it's nice to be able to fall back on a shop when I need to.


ps-> to the extent that perfect craftmanship is a challenge to the heavens, I do keep my craftmanship unchallenging, on the bike and everything else around the house or car...
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Old 05-28-18, 05:52 AM
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I draw the line if I do not have the necessary tools or physical strength to do a particular job safely and reasonably efficiently, but I have always done most of my own bicycle, car, appliance, plumbing, electrical, home, etc. repairs, and I invited both sons to watch and later help as they were growing up. This was high-quality parenting time which provided them with useful life skills while fighting some of the normal teenager alienation/rebellion. A teenager will sometimes magically open up when you are passing tools back and forth to fix something and eventually see the results of your combined efforts.

Next project, already starting -- my elder son's boys. Henry, age 3, is already teaching little brother Erik how to build with Megablocks. This is where it begins ... .
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Old 05-28-18, 10:04 AM
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I do most of my own maintainance, at least until something goes wrong... Changing chains, cogsets, adjusting derailleurs, brakes, spoke tension, truing etc. fall easily within my purview of 'maintainance'. I am still trying to figure out what to do with the stripped Allen screw on the seatpost clamp... Cheap Allen bits on my torque wrench...
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Old 05-30-18, 03:08 PM
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I do the easy stuff, change out a chain and sprocket, adjust derailleurs and cable tension. Cables, bottom brackets, hydraulic discs, truing, etc are just beyond what I want to learn. I could, but just too much time compared to taking it to a local mechanic that is the best. I feel good when I support him and the turnaround is so fast. I feel people like him need to be supported. Decent tip each time helps.
BTW, I'm a cabinetmaker by trade and I'm used to fussy stuff so I've no doubt that I could do a lot more on my bike then I do now. I'd rather ride my bike and spend my shop time with wood. I believe in paying trained craftspeople to do things well. I mean where does it stop? Surely, with the internet, we can all become bike mechanics, appliance fixers, car techs, and on and on. I guess if you've the time you can become any of those things.

So, if you like to do wrenching, then good for you. If money is an issue then doing it yourself is great. I'm recently retired and , though I've a fixed income, a few hundred a year for my 2 bikes is not gonna kill me. I'm lucky because I can afford it and also because part of my social circle now includes my bike mechanic and he knows I respect him. To each his own, there's no wrong or right.
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Old 05-30-18, 03:55 PM
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I do it all on the bikes, and given how little I have the time or expertise to do at an acceptable level of quality on the house and the boat, itís essential to my self image as a handy, self-sufficient, guy. When we were looking for a house in the professional inner suburbs to downsize into, I was amazed at how few had a workbench or tools in evidence. Must be a generational thing. It would depress me not to be able to fix things with my hands.
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Old 06-03-18, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I do it all on the bikes, and given how little I have the time or expertise to do at an acceptable level of quality on the house and the boat, itís essential to my self image as a handy, self-sufficient, guy. When we were looking for a house in the professional inner suburbs to downsize into, I was amazed at how few had a workbench or tools in evidence. Must be a generational thing. It would depress me not to be able to fix things with my hands.
well stated and I agree 100%. YMMV
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