Inexpensive bicycle goods and services. Maintenance and repairs done cheaply, etc.

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21
votes
2answers
4k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get started riding without spending a fortune (too much)?

I've just recently moved to a city (Seattle) where owning a car seems less appropriate than it has to me in the past. Before, I lived in a far more suburban environment where biking was more-or-less ...
4
votes
1answer
810 views

What is the technical name for this nut-bolt thing with inner hubs?

Its size is 2.2cm times 1.5cm. The width of axle is 0.92 cm (measured on the curved area, not probably the right way to measure) for axle in the hub Shimano Nexus SG 8R20 (12mm stop washer but cannot ...
5
votes
8answers
10k views

Are there substitutes for chain lubricant?

With long journeys and particularly during winter I have noticed that the salt erodes the chain very quickly, even when I have lubricated the chain beforehand. When you are missing proper chain ...
13
votes
11answers
2k views

Recommended budget waterproof jacket

I'm a bit baffled by the large choice of cycling waterproof jackets. Could someone recommend me a good budget waterproof jacket? A bit more information: I mostly ride off road About £70 (approx 112 ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I choose a bicycle fork?

I'm putting together a bicycle on a budget from a frame I was given and various parts from a bike with a broken frame. The only part of any expense that I really need is the fork, and I want to get ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the most secure type of bike lock that costs less than $30?

I already have the cable cable kind with the combination lock. It just seems cheap and easy to break into. Is that sufficient or are the U shaped ones better?
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Should I use an already master-linked chain or add a masterlink to a plain chain?

Trying to find moderately-priced 9-speed chain is a pain, particularly with a master/missing link already installed. I can only find PC-971 master-linked chains from US market but shipping and ...
3
votes
1answer
365 views

Are all 9 speed chains compatible with all 9 speed systems?

My current chain is x9, but it's expensive in eBay. Can I use any 9 speed chain like on this page?
2
votes
2answers
731 views

How to clean consumable metallic parts cheaply while touring?

By the term consumable metallic parts I mean things such as derailleur pulleys, chains and cassettes. I have met tourers that suggested me cooking oil for cleaning the metallic parts, more here. The ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Buying from AliExpress

I've notice that the business to business site AliBaba and it's more consumer friendly AliExpress website have a number of bike components for sale. They tend to be complete component groupsets and ...
30
votes
6answers
34k views

At what time of year can I buy a bicycle for the best price?

Is there a month when new models come out and dealers discount stock like with cars? Do they raise prices in the spring and lower them in the winter?
34
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the real difference between cheap and expensive helmets?

Is there any real difference between the cheap and expensive cycling helmets? Is it really worth buying a helmet at say 3 or 4 times the price of a cheap helmet? Will that helmet really give you 3 or ...
27
votes
11answers
3k views

Alternatives to buying a repair stand?

I'd like to buy a repair stand, but I can never seem to convince myself to drop the $100 minimum it seems I'd need to spend. Has anybody had any success building a stand themselves, or is it worth it ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there something particularly wrong with exclusively riding a mountain bike in a city setting?

I live in Davis, and I ride bikes simply for commuting around the university and around town. My last bike is a hand-me-down from my sister's friend over 6 years ago; it's pretty much on it's last ...
11
votes
1answer
929 views

Do I need to change my cassette if I can't see any wear?

I bought a new road bike with Campag Athena 11 speed in March last year. To the end of Jan it had covered 9000km. In all that time I hadn't changed the chain because I don't have the Campag tool, and ...
10
votes
5answers
650 views

How do you know if you can trust your LBS?

I've visited a lot of bike shops in my time. There have been great ones, and scary ones. One thing I've noticed is that they all seem to have the best intentions. I've never had one deliberately rip ...
5
votes
7answers
513 views

What brands of repair stands are sturdy?

I'm considering getting a repair stand, used if I can find one. Aside from the obvious (Park Tool stands), which ones are well-made? I'd like to try and snag a good one on an eBay auction if I can for ...
-4
votes
3answers
500 views

If I attached a “pointy” pool noodle to my bike, would it make me safer even from sadistic drivers?

A few sources suggest that mounting a foam pool noodle on the back of your bike can help stop drivers from passing too closely. Such noodles are available at my dollar store, unlike spring-loaded bike ...
11
votes
10answers
11k views

Vegetable oil to oil a bike?

Is vegetable oil as good as motor oil to oil a bike?
10
votes
4answers
957 views

Are bicycle helmets repairable or disposable?

Suppose I wear a bicycle helmet, and I fall hard and my helmet cracks. Do I buy a new helmet or can I try repair the old one with some glue?
5
votes
2answers
766 views

Are lighter chains worth the cost?

I'm replacing chains on a number of bicycles, and trying to decide what chains to purchase. I'm a fan of Sram's master links, so I'm comparing the Sram PC-971 to the PC-991. The PC-991 is ...
4
votes
4answers
892 views

When is Cyclometer useful?

Some call it speedometer or odometer but I mean the thing to measure velocity, trip distance and such things. When you come up with a usage-case, please, point out the function which you use. The only ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Switching from 3x9 Gears to Cheaper Ones?

Alert I am unsure of the right terminology for gear-wheel but I mean the round things near pedals such as 3x9 or typically with 3x7 (3 front, 7 back) mix in commuting bikes. My current gears are 3x9 ...
1
vote
2answers
726 views

Are Merino cycling boxers/cycling pants worth the cost?

I can find boxers of various materials such as latex, spandex, nylon, cotton, merino -- now I am totally lost for the reasons to pay about 30 times more for Merino boxers. I am more interested in the ...
0
votes
6answers
479 views

Long-lasting price-worthy fenders?

My bought-as-2nd-hand bikes have plastic fender-attachements which tend to break. When they break, the fender starts to make a lot of annoying high-pitched sound. So which fenders do you recommend to ...