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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-04-10, 12:57 PM
  #1  
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Regular Required Maintenance

I am about to purchase my first road bike and I was just wondering what kind of maintenance can I expect as I begin riding and continue to ride? Is there anything I should be prepared to do after each ride, after 100 miles, after 250 miles, etc?
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Old 06-04-10, 01:07 PM
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I usually repack all of my bearings after each ride. Seriously though, there is not going to be a set schedule for maintenance like there is for a car. Everyone has their own opinion on when to change chains, cassettes etc. The most common maintenance is topping off air in your tires and oiling the chain. I add air in my tires every other day and oil my chain every couple of weeks.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:27 PM
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Tighten the derailleur cables after a few hundred miles. Clean/lube the chain now and then. Pump the tires.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:32 PM
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I like to go by mileage for things, as time can vary greatly for the same distance. Some weeks I'll get in 400 miles, others 100, some none.
I check chains at 1000, and usually replace at 1500-200 miles
Cassettes I check at 3000, and usually end up replacing at 5000
I lube my chain once a week regardless, and air tires up by how they feel (usually every 2-3 days), though I'm lazy with those
Front tire gets rotated to the rear at 2000 miles for a new one, 1000 miles for one that's been rotated from the front. New one goes on the front. Or if you don't want to do that, 4000 to a front, 2000 to a rear.
Chainrings get done at 10,000 ish miles, though those are more of a keep an eye on them item. Depends on how good you are about replacing your chain
Cables get done every 5000 miles as it's cheap and will make the bike feel much better even if they would have lasted a lot longer. You can stretch these to 10-15k, but why, it's only 25-30$ and makes everything shift like new again.
New bar tape when I do cables.
I overhaul my hubs at 7500-10000 miles, completely disassemble, repack and regrease them.
This may seem like a bit of overkill for some, but I've never been in a race where a mechanical has stopped my from finishing. Never snapped a chain, or prematurely worn a set of chainrings or cassette etc. And my bike always feels and shifts like new.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lymansmtt View Post
I am about to purchase my first road bike and I was just wondering what kind of maintenance can I expect as I begin riding and continue to ride? Is there anything I should be prepared to do after each ride, after 100 miles, after 250 miles, etc?
It's a good question. As a rule of thumb, I lube/clean the chain every 100 miles or after dirty/wet rides. For me that works out to 1 or 2 times a week. I'm not real anal about tire pressure - check with fingers, usually pump up 2 times a week. I wipe down the bike at least once a week, usually do a full wash as needed. It's a good time to get up close and personals and inspect the frame, wheels, tires, cables etc. and spot problems before they get too bad. Also a good time to run through the gears and do quick barrel adjustments to tweek shift performance.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:42 PM
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Oh yea, if it's a new bike, expect to be adjusting the derailleurs and brakes for the first 300-500 miles or so, as everything stretches and settles in. Also, there are conflicting opnions about what to do with the goop that comes on a new chain. I like to take it off right away, and put my own on, others say to leave it on as long as possible. YMMV
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Old 06-04-10, 01:43 PM
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After a few hundred miles the bike should be checked over and the brake/shifter cables readjusted...they stretch a bit when brand new...spokes checked for proper tension and truing...they too can reseat and stretch a bit. All nuts and bolts checked for proper tightness.
After that, depending on how often you ride, I suggest cleaning and lubing your chain every month, wipe down wheel rims and tires with a mild cleaner...I use Windex lol...you also are looking at the tires for cuts, things that may be stuck in them, etc. Wipe down the frame and if you like give it a quick polish...I've used Endust/or another furniture polish, lightly sprayed on a clean cloth, auto spray instant shine, etc...
Depending on your skill you can remove the wheels from the bike and lightly sand, with a med...200ish or a tiny bit more coarse...grit sand paper to remove debris, then wipe then with the Windex to remove the material...brakes will grab nicely with the debris and glazing removed.
Check seat post binder bolt, stem/handlebars bolts for tightness every couple of months or so, especially for the first year of the bikes life.
I check tire air pressure every 4 to 5 days.
If you do this maintenance routine every month or two during the riding season your bike will ride like new all the time.

Once you develop a routine/rhythm it should take you approx. 30 to 45 minutes for the above. At least that is what it takes me.
Enjoy !!!
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Old 06-04-10, 01:59 PM
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"I check chains at 1000, and usually replace at 1500-2000 miles
Cassettes I check at 3000, and usually end up replacing at 5000"



I get at least twice that on Ultegra chains and cassettes and sometimes 3x that (using a chain check tool to replace at the proper time).
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Old 06-04-10, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
"I check chains at 1000, and usually replace at 1500-2000 miles
Cassettes I check at 3000, and usually end up replacing at 5000"



I get at least twice that on Ultegra chains and cassettes and sometimes 3x that (using a chain check tool to replace at the proper time).
Again, as I said, what I do is probably a little overkill. My chains are gone though at that mileage using a chain checker, and cassettes I could probably stretch out, but that would start to wear the chainrings prematurely. There's no way I can get 3-4k out of a chain without destroying my drivetrain, again ymmv, which is why I said check at 1000 (which is usually closing in on .5 for me on a chain checker). And I do lube and clean everything once a week at least, if it's wet out more often than that.
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Old 06-04-10, 02:53 PM
  #10  
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chain checkers are a waste of money.
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Old 06-04-10, 03:04 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
chain checkers are a waste of money.
Chain checker, ruler, whatever you want to use. You do have to measure it somehow to get an accurate description of how worn out your chain is, otherwise you run the risk of destroying the rest of your drivetrain prematurely.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:04 PM
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Clean and lube chain when it starts making a funny sound.
Change brake pads when I loose brake-feel.
Change cassette and chain once a year (coz I dont clean it enough I suppose).
Check spoke tension when I hear funny pinging noises.
Clean bike reasonably thoroughly once a year while new chain is put on.
Tire pressure between once per week (if I want pressure to go down for a comfortable ride) to few times a week (to keep pressure high so I can feel the 'handling').
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Old 06-04-10, 04:51 PM
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Don't bother checking the chain. Replace the chain every 1500 miles.
"Rotating" among two or more partially used chains--a procedure some will recommend--is a comical waste of time.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:56 PM
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The lower your cadence the quicker you burn through a chain on average. I haven't replaced a chain yet on my fancy multi-geared bikes, but when I used the single speed geared @ 50x14... chains came and went 3 times in one year.
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Old 06-04-10, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CyciumX View Post
The lower your cadence the quicker you burn through a chain on average. I haven't replaced a chain yet on my fancy multi-geared bikes, but when I used the single speed geared @ 50x14... chains came and went 3 times in one year.
Actually it has nothing to do with cadence and everything to do with power output. I'm sure on the single speed you had to up the power and stand to get over hills every now and then, where on a geared bike you can sit and spin. If you kept the same power at 60 cadence as you did at 100, the chain wear difference would be negligible.
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Old 06-04-10, 05:16 PM
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I check my chains around 2K, 4K, and always change out the chain & cassette in spring before I start the season. If I followed the change 'em every 1500 to 2000, I'd be changing at least two bikes out every month... that's ludicrous. Don't you guys ride?
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Old 06-04-10, 05:21 PM
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change every 1500 miles? 100 miles per week is not uncommon, so every 3 months as a minimum for most riders. smells fishy.
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Old 06-04-10, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by merckx89 View Post
Actually it has nothing to do with cadence and everything to do with power output. I'm sure on the single speed you had to up the power and stand to get over hills every now and then, where on a geared bike you can sit and spin. If you kept the same power at 60 cadence as you did at 100, the chain wear difference would be negligible.
I would think torque is the factor - not power. UMD will let me know
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Old 06-04-10, 05:27 PM
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700 miles on my first bik currently, after reading this I am scared every time I ride my bike will jut stop working 30miles from home
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Old 06-04-10, 05:29 PM
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700 miles... Holy crap I hope it ain't Carbon Fiber, that thing is bound to implode any second now.


Originally Posted by Mr.Barbeque! View Post
700 miles on my first bik currently, after reading this I am scared every time I ride my bike will jut stop working 30miles from home
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Old 06-04-10, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JaceK View Post
700 miles... Holy crap I hope it ain't Carbon Fiber, that thing is bound to implode any second now.
Seriously, that's got to be a whole week for someone who rides pretty heavily!
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Old 06-04-10, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
Don't bother checking the chain. Replace the chain every 1500 miles.
"Rotating" among two or more partially used chains--a procedure some will recommend--is a comical waste of time.
Wow. That's more chains than Mr. T.
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Old 06-04-10, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lymansmtt View Post
I am about to purchase my first road bike and I was just wondering what kind of maintenance can I expect as I begin riding and continue to ride? Is there anything I should be prepared to do after each ride, after 100 miles, after 250 miles, etc?
1. Pump up tires to your specified pressure before every ride. This is not a total must but really helps prevent stuff like pinch flats and also helps for a more consistent ride (duh).
2. Lube chain every few hundred miles or more frequently if you use a wax-based lube or ride in harsh conditions.
3. Wipe off excess lube with rag.

The necessary importance of 1-3 depends on how much you ride and how much you care about your bike.

4. Make sure brakes work before every ride (check cables for obvious snags, etc.)

5. If new bike, after a few hundred miles, you might have to tighten the RD cable. You can either take it to the shop or turn the barrel adjuster counter clockwise 1-2 clicks.

Everything else, you'll figure out on your own as stuff wears or breaks down.
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Old 06-04-10, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wens View Post
Seriously, that's got to be a whole week for someone who rides pretty heavily!
700/week??? WOW!

I've got about 220 on mine in a little over a month. I ride when I can. I have lifetime adjustments. Will probably wait 'til I hit 300 to have adjusted. Hopefully next week

Good thread. Had never really thought about this.
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Old 06-04-10, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by djlarroc View Post
700/week??? WOW!

I've got about 220 on mine in a little over a month. I ride when I can. I have lifetime adjustments. Will probably wait 'til I hit 300 to have adjusted. Hopefully next week

Good thread. Had never really thought about this.
You're new here.

Wait until you start talking about averages...
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