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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9
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2answers
7k views

What size are the screws used for water bottle mounts etc?

There's one size of bolt that's used all over modern bikes: water bottle mounts and the braze-ons for racks leap to mind. Whenever I need a few, I take one to the hardware store and sift through the ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

How to care for a steel frame?

I'm considering getting a steel frame to upgrade from my aluminum xc bike. As it will be my first steel frame I'd like to understand if there is more after ride care required than my current bike. ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Are single-speed bikes better equipped to handle cog/chain wear?

I need to decide between a single-speed and multiple-speed bike. I usually ride multiple-speed mountain/city bikes in the highest gear anyway (around town). They're not intended for that, and doing ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why don't frame manufacturers ream/face their frames?

Before building up a new frame, it's crucially important to ream/face the headtube and crown race seat (and the bottom bracket, if using press-fit cups). You should also ideally chase the threads of ...
5
votes
2answers
459 views

Wiping extra Lube really important with all types of Lubes?

This question about chain maintenance during touring raised this quetion. This tip sounds very unintuitive, of course, I know that the extra lube will attract dust (not good to chain) but I have paid ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I keep spiders and other bugs off my bicycle?

I am an extreme arachnophobe, to the point that I've left dishes in the sink due to a dead spider the size of an M&M. My bike at work is right in the open, and because of the soft winter, there ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Brake pads constantly touching the rotor because piston is not moving back

I recently replaced the brake pads on my hydraulic disc brake. The brakes are a Tektro Draco 2. Now the new pads are constantly touching the rotor. This is how it looks like with caliper ...
4
votes
2answers
762 views

Removing surface rust from my Eggbeater pedals?

So I did a couple of wet rides last month, and I guess I didn't dry the pedals as well as I should have. I have Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, and I noticed a bit of surface rust on them that I'd ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
1answer
368 views

Dismounting wheel in a fixie

I have a fixed gear bike, Rocky Mountain Boroughs Fixie (see picture). The chain is very tight compared to any free wheel bike. So anytime the tire gets punctured (unfortunately very often) and I want ...
13
votes
7answers
12k views

How do I bring an old bike up to speed?

I'm an adult that is new to biking due to a triple whammy of a childhood aversion to effort, my family moving to a town on the side of a mountain with steep roads, and my bike getting run over by a ...
9
votes
8answers
7k views

How long should a well maintained chain last and what can I do to prolong its life?

I commute on a fixie. I'm using KMC Z410 chains. Every evening if it's wet I wipe and re-lube my chain, using ProLink lube. Every weekend I remove the chain, soak it in kero, brush it with a citrus ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is torque relevant for steel/aluminium? Where do I find torque specs?

When you are not dealing with carbon, is torque relevant? I've never seen it mentioned on the hundreds of answers here, or the hundreds of how-tos I've read elsewhere. Should I just tighten ...
17
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Preventing frozen brake cables

This response to another question provides a wealth of info on winter riding preparation, but doesn't mention any techniques for preventing cables, especially brake cables, from freezing. Is there a ...
14
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What kind of maintenance does a shimano dynamo hub need?

I have a shimano dynamo hub on the front of my bike. Does it need any special maintenance, or maybe it needs just a little synthetic grease once a year, like a normal front hub?
7
votes
4answers
6k views

How much should I inflate my tires?

I just purchased a new bicycle pump with a pressure gauge and after checking my tyres, inflated them to the top end of interval printed on the tyres (4.5-6.5 bar). I'm wondering when the tyres ...
5
votes
2answers
32k 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
7k views

Why does pedalling backwards not move my bike backwards?

On the BMX bike I have, pedaling 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
750 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 - ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it harmful for a hydraulic brakes bike to be put upside down

I heard somewhere that bikes with hydraulic brakes should not be put upside down. If they are, 15 minutes should be allowed, before the bike is used. Is there any truth in this? What process could be ...
8
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
643 views

What is the necessary equipment on longer bike rides?

Let me provide some context to the question. I mostly cycle alone and cover distances in the range from 45 km to 65 km; depending on the route, these rides last from less than 2 hours to well over 4 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How to clean a rear derailleur?

This has always bugged me. At the end of the season I'm breaking down my bikes and cleaning every inch of them and I get to the derailleur and can't seem to ever get all the junk out of the middle of ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

replacing shifter cable housing?

My rear cable housing got torn apart while I was tunning gears as you can see in the picture. I'm quite new to cycling so i'm not sure if i should replace the whole cable or just the part of the ...
4
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
777 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

How do I tell if a loose chain is because of the chain or the ring wearing?

My chain looks as though it's 'stretched' - by the time it's fed around the large front chainring it appears to be 'longer' than when on the other chainrings. Therefore I'm trying to work out whether ...
2
votes
3answers
355 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Can't shift front gear, despite loosening, tightening, etc. What could be wrong?

Disclaimer: I'm clueless and am piecing together what little information I know from reading this site and from watching YouTube 'intro to repair' videos. I've been gifted a used mountain bike, my ...
0
votes
4answers
213 views

How much of a bruising can a MTB take?

I recently purchased my first MTB, a Rockrider 560, and I'm curious to know how much a roughing up can it take? For example, can I ride up and off kerbs without wrecking the tires? What about bunny ...
16
votes
4answers
10k 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?
16
votes
3answers
10k 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
2answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
994 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
438 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Separate hex keys vs. combined multi-tool for bike adjustments?

Are separate hex (Allen) keys better than a multi-tool for adjusting and maintaining a bike at home? Some of the separated sets also have ball-ends for the 4/5/6mm keys: Apart from Torx T25 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
7k 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?
9
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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?
8
votes
3answers
926 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

What are the absolute essentials a cyclist should own? [closed]

Context: My bike shop includes free servicing as a standard with a new bike. I don't need such thing and live too far away. In lieu of waiver I can get €100 of stuff from the shop. Best bike problem ...
7
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
521 views

Is the durability of more expensive chains better than cheaper ones?

Do expensive chains last longer? I get 300-400 miles using Wally World's $10 8 speed chains while riding off road or dirt. I monitor and replace the chain at close to 1 percent stretch. Would a ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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
4k 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
2answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...