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Grampy™ 06-25-06 10:09 AM

Those of you with multiple bikes......
How do you keep track of maintenace? Do you wait for a chain to start squeaking before you lube it, or do you keep a maintenace log, or do you just clean and lube 'em every week wheather they need it or not?
What's you method?

Coyote! 06-25-06 12:23 PM

With important lube issues like chain, it's a cleanup and re-lube after every ride. . .an after dinner-and-dishes ritual accompanied by talking back to the NPR hosts and whistling at my neighbor. Quite pleasant. . .especially the neighbor, but THAT'S another story my children. :)

With other stuff, while riding I keep a running list in what's left of my head of issues to be handled [e.g., cable adjust, squeaks, thumps, puckers, and non-safety-issue loosenings] for the after dinner ritual and take them on then. Mind you, safety issues are dispatched on the spot. Less critical lubes and inspections [like derailleur trapezoid lube or headset wobbles] seem to be well taken care of just as a result of the frequent look-see they all get.

A log? Nah. WAY too formal for a coyote aaaaand I like my maintenance ritual damn near as much as cycling. [See 'neighbor' above.]

Minor tangent on the maintenance theme. . .I always use my multi-purpose chain tool to maintain all my rigs. Over time, this lets me know exactly what other tools I need to pack and helps me develop the 'feel' for using the multi tools that can be dev'lish compared to their standard version.

Bizurke 06-25-06 12:30 PM

Sorry I'm not 50+ but I did notice we're from the same town and figured I'd throw in my two cents.

On my commuter I just check it daily for anything that may need toyed with. I go over it about once a week to clean it and fix anything else.

My MTB and Roadbikes I check them after long rides, just a glance really. And I have my cycling computer set to give me an alarm/visual notification every NN amount of miles/hours/days/weeks etc to do a full maintainence job on them.

Keep on riding in CR (around here 90% of riders are 50+... I'm out numbered!) :-)

Grampy™ 06-25-06 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by Bizurke

Keep on riding in CR (around here 90% of riders are 50+... I'm out numbered!) :-)

And don't you forget it kid..... :D :p ;)

Digital Gee 06-25-06 01:24 PM


Originally Posted by Grampy™
How do you keep track of maintenace? Do you wait for a chain to start squeaking before you lube it, or do you keep a maintenace log, or do you just clean and lube 'em every week wheather they need it or not?
What's you method?

We're supposed to do maintenance?

Makeitso 06-25-06 01:30 PM

I haven't had multiple bikes for long but, I have settled into about 125 miles a week, I ride one bike for a week then switch. I lube the chain once every 2 weeks of use (once a month on each bike). When I lube the chain, it's just a wipe off the dirt, lube the chain then wipe off the excess lube before I ride it the next week. I clean and check the rest of the bike at the same time including lubing the rear derailer. I also look at the tires for embedded objects, glass, thorns, etc. I haven't been back riding yet for a year but..., Once or twice a year I take it to the LBS and have them rebuild it, depends on how much I ride, which they say they disassemble all the bearings, clean lube and reassemble/adjust. I check the tire pressure before each ride and if I notice any problems such as loose parts or any such things I take care of those ASAP.

fifty5 06-25-06 01:36 PM

I keep a maintenance log book.

Dusk 06-25-06 01:39 PM


Originally Posted by Grampy™
And don't you forget it kid..... :D :p ;)

I would guess that most poster are about 12 years old by their questions :eek: ...hmmmm just my thoughts at 48.....:(

As far as Mx on bikes :D . I track my mileage and denote what bike I'm on. I built a MS excel file that i can update on my Palm when on a tour.

I have 5 bikes and my flight deck computer will track 4 bikes but only use it on the road and Cyclocross. I need more bikes that work with it.... or just want more bikes....:roflmao: I have computers on both MTBs nothing on the touring bike. but is has not turned a mile in years due to supported rides don't need you to pack everything on the bike.

I can tell you how many miles I have on any bike, tire and chain. If I swap wheels I know the mileage so I know what wear is on the cassette. How many miles I have on my SPD cleats.

OH :eek: I do need to get a life! What a geek I have become…… :eek

NOS88 06-25-06 01:43 PM

I do mine by miles and weather conditions. If it gets ridden in the rain, I do the rain maintenance (chain lube, bike wash, cables get thin coat of grease, pivoting points on other equipment get a drop of very light lubricant. Everything else is based on mileage with bearings getting greased at about 1000 miles, wheels set in the stand for a once over at 500 miles. Yearly, new handle bar tape. Tires and tubes as needed.

stercomm 06-25-06 02:04 PM

I'm horrible with any planned maintenance. I have over 3000 miles on my main bike (got it last year and ride it on weekends and my backup during the week as i work in a different location than I live so need a bike in both locations) and just got it in for it's first tune up. During the winter and after a particularly wet ride will do a little chain and cog maintenance but otherwise just ride it till it starts acting up. I just got my week-day back-up bike in and finally had the chain replaced after about 7000 miles. So my rule of thumb is ride them till they complain probably not a wise approach but has worked for over 20 years.

DnvrFox 06-25-06 02:41 PM


Originally Posted by stercomm
I'm horrible with any planned maintenance.


Five bikes.

I run them by my friendly LBS every now and then to have chain "stretch" measured. If too long, I have the chain replaced.

I lube the chains pretty regularly (I generally catch the lube before that "dry" sound), and wipe the chain afterwards but have never "cleaned" a chain and don't plan on learning how. I do occasionally scrape the grime off as it builds up on the der wheels, etc.

I hate messing with stuff like this, so I don't. I would rather spend time doing the things I ENJOY and let the LBS take care of my bikes.

P.S. - I have never had a bike fail mechanically while riding over about 28,000 miles.

stapfam 06-25-06 02:42 PM

I suppose it is the mechanic in me- but I note the parts of the bike that do not seem to be running correctly on a ride and these get dealt with before the bike goes out again. On the MTB and Tandem- they are cleaned after every trip and in cleaning I am looking for frayed cables- tight headsets- bottom brackets getting wear--- in fact it is a mini check for service after every ride- with everything being repaired or replaced as necessary. Thats what I get for running through the Mud I suppose.

Now this new thing I have- You know- the one with the funny handlebars ang gearchangers and skinny tyres= That has not seen a polishing rag yet,. and has not been checked in the 300 miles on it so far. BUT today- there was a noise coming from the headset. Got back and checked for tightmess (Too tight or Loose?) and seems ok. That will be checked before the next ride- and I think it is just lubrication. I'll strip it down tommorrow- find if there is a problem and grease and re-assemble. If that doesn't cure it- it is still under warranty so the shop can sort.

will dehne 06-25-06 04:02 PM

I belong to a club: "If it isn't broke don't fix it."
That being said, I found out that changing gears is much better if you do basic maintenance to the chain. That consists of wiping it down with WD 40, lubricate and wiping excess lubricant off. Take 5-10 minutes and I do it often and definitely after rain.
BTW, I also check for chain stretch while I am at it.

2manybikes 06-25-06 04:26 PM

I mark the mileage of each wheel bearing repack on a tiny note on each bike computer. I check and clean a bike after almost every ride, so I know how they all are. If something needs to be done I leave the bike in the house until I do it and then put the bike out in the garage. So most all are ready to go after checking the tire pressure. The bike computer odometers help me know how long different things last too.

roccobike 06-25-06 05:03 PM

I kept a mental log but with the addition of some road equipment this year it's become difficult. I've begun a computer log, but it's not complete yet. By the end of next month, I'll have it all on a spread sheet.

roccobike 06-25-06 05:07 PM

I need to add, the maintenance varies depending on the type of cycling. My MUP bike gets special attention because the sandy surface beats the chain and everything else (managed to jam the shifter cable last time out). Mountain bikes are next then road bikes go the longest between chain cleaning and tune up. Greasing occurrs in the winter unless a problem surfaces.

Red Baron 06-25-06 06:07 PM

When mine gets dirty, I just buy a new one - Much easier

(Can't wait till the folks on cycling forum quote this)

Velo Dog 06-25-06 06:52 PM

I quit worrying about it years ago. We have nine bikes in the family (four mine, three for my wife, one for each of the non-resident kids), ridden from 4000 to about 40 miles a year--I'm not about to make up a chart for maintaining them. On the bikes I ride a lot, I lube the chain and check everything over about every other ride, or when it occurs to me I haven't done it in awhile. My daughter's going to school 400 miles from home and is interning this summer in D.C., and I rarely even think about hers. Obviously I check all the tires before every ride, things like that. But nothing that's dangerous is likely to go wrong all of a sudden, and things like bottom brackets and headsets give you a lot of warning. I have one headset that's AT LEAST 15 years old and never been opened. Still feels smooth, and that's good enough for me.

BluesDawg 06-25-06 07:22 PM

I don't follow a real maintenance schedule. I give my bikes a quick look-over before each ride, before pumping the tires. I lube the chains when they look like they need it or after every ride in rain or water. With Pro-Link I don't really need to clean the chain, just wipe off any excess crud by running the chain through a rag in my hand. Every few weeks I'll give all my bikes a rub down with Bike Lust to keep them looking pretty and to keep crud from accumulating. Before any special events, like a century, a big MTB ride or a tour, I'll give the bikes a closer look and tighten everything.
Once a year, I strip each bike down to the bare frame, clean and lube everything, touch up any paint scratches, replace anything that needs replacing or upgrading and make sure everything is adjusted and working properly. I usually replace chains and cables at that time, whether they really need it or not. If I come across anything I'm not able to do myself, I'll take it to my LBS for help.
Since I build up my own bikes, I have a strong sense of how everything is working. If anything seems out of whack, I check it out.

Retro Grouch 06-25-06 08:07 PM

During every ride I make a mental list of anything that I percieve as needing attention. Then I generally see to it before I ride that bike again. I don't do any planned preventive maintenance.

Trogon 06-25-06 09:49 PM

I lube the chain when it gets a bit noisy and I adjust things that need to be adjusted. Nothing more than that. Once a year I might pull the chain and give it a good cleaning. Everything else I leave alone. If I get caught out in the rain, I give the bike a good bath and the chain a thorough cleaning. Doesn't happen very often, living in the desert. None of my bikes get more than 400 or so miles a year, so it's not much of a burden.

foolish heart 06-26-06 05:04 AM

I maintain a bike maintenance log in my computer. I also have a bike mileage log that notes how far and where I go every trip.

Louis 06-26-06 09:12 AM

I don't keep any logs or records, just play it by ear. Only 2 or 3 of my 7 bikes are ridden regularly so it's not a big deal.

I enjoy doing maintenance and just loafing in my basement workshop/study. Ahhh...bearing grease, tools, bikes, books, music, beer...who said life sucks?

jcm 06-26-06 09:18 AM

I check my chains by holding them in the middle of the longest section and twisting them. If I hear too much gritty sound for my liking, I take off the chain and manually bathe it in a tray of mineral spirits until it's absolutely clean. No need to scrub, I just swish it around for about 5 minutes. That's usually long enough to eliminate the gritty sound in the rollers. Can't do too much more than that.

While the chain is off I use a small paintbrush and mineral spirits to clean the gearworks and derailluers. The dirty chain stuff is fine. Rinse off with a jet of carb cleaner. Relube all with Teflon spray stuff. Everything gleams.

I find that wiping the chain with a rag just doesn't do the job for the rollers and I obsess over it as I ride, knowing that I'm grinding my drive train to a premature end. This obsession is worsening, I'm afraid, as I now have four bikes and the investment is beginning to spike. :eek:

I told my wife that cycling is cheaper than a boat! :roflmao:

2manybikes 06-26-06 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
During every ride I make a mental list of anything that I percieve as needing attention. Then I generally see to it before I ride that bike again. I don't do any planned preventive maintenance.

Do you try and repack the wheels and replace the balls before the cones are damaged, or do you not worry about it ? One of my older bikes seem to have hard to find cones.

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