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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8
votes
3answers
5k 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
1k 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
509 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
229 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
5k views

Does the plastic cap on a Presta valve serve any purpose once fitted to a rim?

I can see the use of the valve cap on a Presta valve when the tube is still packaged (it obviously stops the valve puncturing the tube), but does it do anything except look pretty (or not) once you've ...
16
votes
3answers
5k 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
6k 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?
13
votes
2answers
270 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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
702 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
915 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?
6
votes
3answers
573 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
1k 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
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
7answers
3k 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
591 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
327 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
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
160 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
2k 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
669 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
0answers
239 views

Disc brake pad and rotor compatibility

The SM-RT53 rotor should be used together with resin pads. If it is used with metal pads, the pads will wear out very rapidly. from Shimano BR M-416 disc brake manual Which rotors work well ...
3
votes
1answer
795 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
920 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
276 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
3k 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
6k 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
686 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
4k 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
634 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
351 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 ...