Tools, parts, techniques, and procedures to keep your bike in working order. MAINTENANCE is not the same as REPAIR, a separate tag. Maintenance is what one does on a regular basis. Repair is what one does only when something is broken.

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12
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5answers
2k views

How many miles and/or commuting seasons will a modern internal geared hub last?

I've been considering drive trains on a utility / commuter bike. What are expected or actual lifetime / maintenance needs of modern internal hubs? The Shimano Alfine internal 8-speed hub is on ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I know when to replace my bottom bracket?

With out completely removing the cranks and bottom bracket, how can I tell when it's time to replace my bottom bracket? The current symptom is a slightly 'rough' feeling when I pedal. It's not ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

What makes grease appropriate for bikes?

I'd like to grease my seatpost, and in front of me I've got a tube of "CMD Extreme Pressure Lube #3" that claims to be good for "ball bearings, roller bearings, deep drawing, rivet spinning" and a ...
8
votes
3answers
11k views

What cleaner and oil should I use on my bike chain

Hope everyone is well. I need to clean and oil my chain as its getting a little clunky when I’m changing gears. I have no idea what I should be cleaning it with and then what I should oil with. Any ...
5
votes
2answers
20k views

How do I measure a bottom bracket?

I need to replace the bottom bracket bearing on my fixie. I plan to get a Shimano UN26, but I note that there are a number of different sizes. The sizes seem to be expressed as 68-110, where 68 is the ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

What's stopping you from pedalling backwards?

On the BMX bike I have, pedalling backwards moves the chain but doesn't drive the wheels of the bike backwards like you would expect it to. Why is this?
12
votes
4answers
574 views

How to choose the right Citi Bike?

It's 2013, and bike sharing has finally made it to New York City. Of course, the branded cruisers aren't the most speedy bikes on the road. They weigh a whopping 45 pounds, and their third gear - ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I maintain a Brooks leather saddle?

I've got a Brooks leather saddle and i like it a lot, but i am entirely clueless on how to care for it. I know i am supposed to rub some sort of fat on it, but i have no idea what kind of fat, or how ...
10
votes
7answers
16k views

How to remove a crank arm with stripped threads?

A friend called me up yesterday after a mis-adventure during his attempt at a bottom bracket overhaul. He stripped out the threads on the (left) crank arm while using a Park crank puller. In a pinch, ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

What parts of a bike could potentially be harmed by degreaser?

I'v been using citrus degreaser to clean my bikes for years. I usually get a gallon jug of it from the auto parts store, and it lasts a long time. I use it for cleaning the drivtrain, either using a ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Buying a used higher quality bike vs a lower quality new bike

I'm in the market for a new or used bike in the $1000 range and am trying to figure out whether it is worth it to buy a nicer bike with better components if they are already used and worn. For ...
4
votes
5answers
551 views

Cycling clothing care products

Given a "standard" cyclist's wardrobe (e.g. paddded shorts, jerseys, moisture-wicking t-shirts and socks--made of blends of lycra, spandex, wool, and other "specialty" fabrics) what special-care ...
2
votes
3answers
255 views

How to remove rust from unpainted parts?

I would like to remove rust from some old parts such as cassette, bolts, and nuts. Most of the rust is just surface rust, and I would think there would be a good technique for doing this. Besides ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

What's the rubber tube in my puncture repair kit for?

I've got an old school puncture repair kit, the type with glue and patches. As well as the sandpaper, patches, 'vulcanizing fluid' and instructions, there is a 2.5cm long, 3mm wide, beige rubber ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

Should I grease a carbon fiber seat post?

I was reading a recent question when I saw this answer: You should absolutely grease your seatpost (unless it is carbon fiber). Why should I NOT grease a carbon fiber seat post?
14
votes
3answers
337 views

How to prevent my hub body from freezing?

In the winter, as soon as its gets a little bit below 0°C, after 10-15 minutes the body of my rear hub gets frozen. This means the pedals/chain do not have any grip anymore on the rear wheel, the ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Sequence for a complete road bike overhaul

I have a road bike that I plan to completely overhaul soon. Over the years, and with several bikes, I have overhauled most every component, but have never managed to do this for an entire bike, start ...
12
votes
4answers
749 views

Minimal effort chain cleaning

One of the main reasons I eventually give up my bicycle commute in winter is that keeping my bike -mainly the drivetrain- clean despite all the rain/dirt/salt/hail/snow becomes too much of a time ...
8
votes
1answer
954 views

How often should I strip my bike down?

How often should I give my bike a full service? Strip the bottom bracket, clean and grease it. Strip the groupset and freewheel. And what products (or type of) should be used for each process? It's ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

How often should I clean my bike?

How often should I clean my bike? I've used it several times over the summer, but only once in muddy conditions, should I clean it after every ride or once per quarter?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Do narrow tires puncture more frequently?

Does a narrow bicycle tire puncture more often, or does it requires more attention regarding its maintenance and servicing?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Metal or plastic levers?

What are the advantages of buying plastic over metal tire levers? (or vice versa). Which ones are easier to use?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How often should I change brake cables and housing?

Seems like every year towards the end of cyclocross racing my brake cables start to get 'sticky'. The STI shifter is fine for changing gears, but when pulling on brakes it feels like I'm breaking ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

How to prevent my chain from breaking?

After my chain has broken what should I know about buying and maintaining a new chain (apart from lubing it and replacing when it 'stretches')? Do you keep a spare chain, or a spare link? I have a ...
6
votes
3answers
651 views

Should a chain be replaced even if it's not stretched?

This question suggests using a tool or ruler to assess chain stretch to determine when to replace a chain. I have one such tool (Park Tool CC-3), and it tells me that my chain is not stretched even to ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Trouble getting the right cup and cone hub adjustment

I have a pair of Shimano XT wheels and recently had issues with the hub on the rear wheel requiring new cones and bearings. These were fitted carefully but I've had issues getting the right adjustment ...
5
votes
2answers
389 views

Why are some leather saddles laced at the bottom and should I do this to mine?

Some Leather saddles, such at the brooks b17 imperial have holes at the bottom for lacing. What does lacing a leather saddle do and should I (or when should I) do this to my own leather saddle? ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How to make a lockable front suspension last longer?

Lockable suspension is very handy on every ride. But I have witnessed a few cases where they break way too soon, in comparison with other types of suspension. The locks fail to be effective, or the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Brake callipers not long enough to allow adjustment of pads

I upgraded the standard Tektro brakes on my SE Lager to Shimano 105s. The braking performance is vastly improved. I also have Charge Plug wheels, rather than the stock wheels. However I've noticed ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Does my bottom bracket need replacing?

About two months ago I bought a Boardman HT Comp. Today I took it into my local bike shop for a service. While I was in the shop one of the technicians had a quick look at it and told me that my ...
4
votes
2answers
487 views

Where to park a bike during a year for free ? (in the Netherlands?)

We are two French in love with the Dutch people and culture. Each time we have the time we rush there. Rather than hitchhiking (as we used to), we plan to travel across the Netherlands by bike as it ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

How to correctly align “be seen” lights

My "be seen" bicycle light is bar mounted and has to be reattached every time I jump on the bicycle, due to theft risk. How do I determine when it is correctly aligned? In particular how are "be ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How long is the life cycle of a bicycle?

This may not be a particularly practical question, but I wonder how often do you find yourself looking for a new (or another) bike? There are, of course, two main aspects of it: Mechanical decay. If ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Chain drop under load

I have a problem. Today I was riding (flat-out) up hill, and went to shift up a gear on the rear, which caused the chain to drop off the front chain-ring (was in the big-ring, so dropped to the ...
3
votes
3answers
725 views

How to correctly align “to see” bicycle lights?

My "to see" bicycle light shifts out of position. While I need to fix it (fork bridge mounted dynamo), how do I determine when it is correctly aligned? In particular how are "to see" lights ...
3
votes
1answer
996 views

How can I adjust index shifter so it doesn't skip the second chainring?

I recently replaced my chain and cassette on my commuter bike. It was a first time operation for me, as I am a new to doing bike maintenance. That part seems to have gone fine. While I was at it, I ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What causes my chain to derail at the rear when I accelerate?

I recently bought a beat-up old mountain bike for commuting. I've tried to clean and adjust the derailleurs and everything seems to work well enough in my garage. But when I put heavy weight on the ...
3
votes
2answers
298 views

What kind of master link is most convenient for IGH / fixie / ss setups?

Here's a question related to this and this -- I've got a IGH bike and want to keep the drivetrain clean. I prefer to remove the chain for regular maintenance, but don't want to have to remove the ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Bottom bracket making noise, should it be fixed now or can I wait until regular maintenance?

My bike has been ridden 4 months / 2000 miles and is no longer completely quiet. About a month ago I noticed a whispering noise like a wire brush sliding across a cymbal. It happens on the ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

When do bearings need to be replaced?

How do I know when bearings need to be replaced? Should I go by time? Or is there a symptom to guide me?
2
votes
2answers
900 views

Identifying bottom bracket

First and foremost.. I'm slowly trying to replace my bottom bracket.. it makes a kind of knackered-bearings sound when I move the pedals round without the chain attached. This is because I've been bad ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is my drivetrain so noisy after replacing the chain?

I ride an SE Lager fixed. On the 30th of May this year I did a bit of an overhaul, replacing the rear cog, chain, wheels, tyres and brake pads. I measured the chain last weekend and discovered that ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

How do I clean my bike in winter?

How or where do I clean my bike in winter? I live in Michigan, USA and winter can be very harsh, along with the added salt used for ice removal. I am not commuting or anything, just occasionally ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Front derailleur won't spring back to lower gears

The front derailleur on my mountainbike sometimes gets stuck in high gears. When this happens and I want to shift down I can nudge it a bit with my foot and it will spring back to the lower gear. I ...
1
vote
2answers
851 views

10-speed chain too short, can I add links?

I purchased a new KMC DX10SC 10-speed 114 link chain to replace my worn out chain. I'm running a mountain triple and it seems that The chain is slightly too short at it's full length. I can't get in ...
0
votes
2answers
452 views

Back Gears Clicking

I've got a ten gear cassette in the rear and the top gear is fine. But, if I'm in my next four or five gears before the top gear I get a clicking noise of the type you get when you shift and it ...