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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2answers
8k views

What are the benefits of external bottom brackets?

Pretty soon, I plan to replace the bottom bracket on my early 90's Sakae Litage road bike. It takes a standard, English-threaded bottom bracket. Right now I think it contains loose bearings--I was ...
10
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
10
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3answers
5k views

do DT Swiss 240 hubs need proprietary tools to maintain them?

the bearings in my DT Swiss 240 hub appear to be shot, I have the toolkit for and am used to maintaining Chris King hubs but I wonder if I have to get special proprietary tools for the DT hubs as ...
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2answers
1k views

Disc Brakes: Resurface your Pads?

Is resurfacing the brake pads in disc brakes (hydraulic or mechanical) necessary? If so, what would you use to do this - medium sandpaper? I spoke to one mechanic while shopping for a bike, who ...
10
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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 ...
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1answer
486 views

How do I wrap a road bike handlebar?

What is the best way to wrap a handlebar? Specifically: Should I start near the stem or at the bar ends? wrap clockwise or counter-clockwise? How to wrap (e.g. how many times) around where the ...
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9answers
14k views

Homemade bicycle degreaser liquids

Does anyone have a recipe for a homemade bicycle degreaser solution? I'd like to make my own degreaser solution instead of buying one. I have read about using lemon juice and various types of alcohols ...
9
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5answers
5k views

How to measure the correct belt drive tension?

I own a 2010 Trek District with a belt drive. I'm fairly happy with the setup, since after months of standing outside I just picked up the bike again and started riding without the usual chain ...
9
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10answers
2k views

Where can I get some rags?

As I'm getting into the habit of cleaning and maintaining my bike more often, I am burning through my stockpile of rags. Up until now I have been using worn-out clothes as rags. I am going to run out ...
9
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2answers
6k views

Hydraulic Disc Brakes Maintenance

I have Hayes Nine hydraulic disc brakes on my mountain bike. I have recently replaced the brake pads and after that it seems that the pads are almost touching the rotor. How can I adjust it? I have ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Will a bicycle trailer damage my (steel) bicycle?

I have a rhode gear trailer with a 100 lb capacity, similar to the burley and other brands, that attaches to the left chainstay (see image of hitch below). I currently have it attached to my ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Problem with chain `skipping` (but not trying to shift)

I have two bicycles that suffer this problem, both pretty heavy frames (one a ladies, Hollander bike, and the other a man's commuter) - both have correctly adjusted Derailleurs which don't produce any ...
9
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1answer
265 views

Setting light to a derailleur

At 3:30ish in this video, they set light to a front derailleur. Why? Degreasing it? Waxy lube that needs melting in? I can't think of a good reason. Any ideas?
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2answers
2k views

My brake lever is coming loose from my handle bars; how can I tighten it?

I have a road bike with drop bars, and the left brake lever is slightly loose - it can rotate a few degrees around the handle bar from side to side. How can I tighten it? Is it possible to do so ...
9
votes
1answer
535 views

Is there any advantage to removing rust?

I mean a functional, noncosmetic, advantage. If I left the rust that was already there, would it weaken the parts? If it would cause more damage to some parts, which ones?
9
votes
2answers
412 views

How should I clean salt out during Winters?

Pretty simple question but I think some recommendations would make my chains a bit long-lasting. So when should you do something to your salted chains? When the chains already look rusty, can you use ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Cannondale Lefty DLR Ti Fork Rebuild/Maintenance

I have a mountain bike with a 2003 Cannondale Lefty DLR Ti fork. As I've been riding the bike this season, I've noticed that the fork is behaving strangely. It doesn't seem to lockout fully and it is ...
9
votes
3answers
931 views

Should or can I (car) wax my frame?

Having spent the whole summer taking a bike apart, painting it and now in the process of building it again, I was thinking about waxing it. I want the finish to last as long as possible, after all, ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Annoying clicking sound from the bottom bracket

I just purchased a Fuji ACR 2.0 road bike from a guy who bought it three months back but didn't ride it at all. I brought it home and found that it is making a clicking sound when I pedal. The sound ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I tune up or replace bike?

This question is about the economics of owning and maintaining a bike. I bought a brand new mountain bike for $250 some months ago. I ride about 30 miles a week on paved trails for occasional ...
8
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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?
8
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
8
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7answers
3k views

Can replacing my handlebar tape help reduce finger numbness?

Despite changing hand positions often and switching to more "cushiony" gel gloves, I'm still experiencing intermittent numbness when I ride (sometimes I get tingling and sometimes not). Are certain ...
8
votes
2answers
917 views

Should a link opened/closed by a chain-breaker be stiff afterwards?

I disassembled my bike's drivetrain to degrease and regrease all the components. I used a chain-breaker for the first time (previous bikes had a master link) to open a chain link and remove the chain. ...
8
votes
4answers
826 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 ...
8
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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 ...
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3answers
4k views

Fixing noisy V brakes

My V brakes make a lot of noise when I brake!! I am annoyed by such noise not to mention the pedestrians. My Mechanic said that it will not make those noise after using for couple of days, but it is ...
8
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3answers
613 views

Is it normal for a fixed gear bicycle's rear wheel to slip forward in its dropouts from time to time?

My fixed gear bike has a track fork with a chain tensioner, and uses Pitlock's solid axle nuts to secure the wheel in the dropout, though I had similar issues with the stock nuts. After tightening ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Attaching a stem to a carbon steerer: how much torque?

So I decided to travel with my bike this week and to my surprise discovered that the steerer is carbon fiber. I had removed the stem from the steerer for packing but naively assumed it was aluminum ...
8
votes
1answer
596 views

Setting chain length

My chain broke and in a moment of silliness (I was cold wet and slightly annoyed) I threw the broken one away before thinking about measuring the new one. Is there a guide to getting the chain ...
8
votes
1answer
920 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
1answer
525 views

How do I change my disc brake pads?

How do I change my disc-brake pads? How do I avoid letting the fluid out?
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Chain Lube Compatibility?

I bought the bike used, so I am not sure what chain lube was used in the past. I used Tri-flow Superior Lubricant once but may wish to experiment with other lubes in the future (Finish Line Teflon, ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What should I expect from a bicycle service?

I'm thinking about getting my bicycle serviced for the first time to make sure it's entirely roadworthy. My question is what should I expect from a bike service from a professional? i.e. what ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

If I can't find the hole causing a flat tire, do I need to replace the tube?

My back tire got flat. If I pump it up now, it can hold the air for about 30 minutes to an hour before it's totally flat. I took out the inner-tube yesterday, pump in a bit air and put it into water, ...
7
votes
3answers
331 views

Sheldon Brown's writing? [closed]

This question has been nagging me for ages. I've read a lot of Sheldon Brown's site and actually tend to use bikes from the 70s-80s because they're more economical for daily use and especially for a ...
7
votes
5answers
260 views

I live in a place where it frequently floods. How can I keep my chain from rusting?

My poor bike's chain lasted all of three months before it gave in to the winter floods where I live. Storing it indoors is not an option, and despite my maintenance efforts, the knee-deep floods that ...
7
votes
3answers
900 views

When is a good time to change tyres due to age?

When should I consider changing tyres due to age? The tyres in question are five/six years old Continentals.
7
votes
3answers
5k views

When should a wheel be replaced?

I an not talking about upgrading. How do you know when to buy new wheels because the other ones have worn out? How do you tell a wheel is worn out? I can always true a wheel back to true. And nothing ...
7
votes
2answers
246 views

Tightening a nut too much

Often guidance will be given to tighten a nut to "20 lbs of pressure" or something along those lines. What's the best way to ensure you tighten things up, but not to over-tighten? Is there any way ...
7
votes
7answers
274 views

How to fix/prevent blocked cleat bolts

I've had my SPD touring shoes for about seven years. The cleats are the originals and are now quite worn and I noticed recently that one of them (not pictured) is at a rather wacky angle that can't be ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I remove rust from my seat tube?

I just pulled my seat out as the first step of breaking my bike down for winter storage, and found that rust has formed between my seat tube and my seat post. The rust starts maybe 3" down the tube ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to maintain chains during touring?

I think requirements are reusable, simple, small-size and things-to-easily-to-carry. There are exotic answers with chain clearers and other things that do not qualify to me simple. Perhaps, the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I stop my EBB (Eccentric Bottom Bracket) from creaking?

I have a '09 Felt Niner 29" SS with an EBB. After a thorough clean and reassembly of the BB the creaking will subside for a ride or so and then come back. Any suggestions? EDIT: the problem appears ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

What maintenance does a front suspension fork need?

I've just bought a used bike on eBay, its a 2002 Marin Bobcat Trail. It has 'In-Sync 266' suspension forks. This is my first suspension bike so I need some guidance in the use and maintenance of these ...
7
votes
2answers
520 views

Do I need to plug internal cable routing ports?

I have just ordered a OneUp Components 42T sprocket and a Race Face 30T Narrow/Wide single ring so that I can convert my 3x10 drive train into a 1x10. This means that I'll be removing the front ...
7
votes
1answer
461 views

Older Carbon Bike Safety

I have an older Trek 2100 that has carbon fiber tubes with aluminum stays (The frame is used early 90's 2100/2150/2200/2300 road bikes) After a recent accident with a car (going down hill, guy pulls ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I keep a bike feeling “new”?

I think there is a subjective feeling of "newness" to a bike which is straight out of the box. What is it mechanically and aesthetically that creates that? What can I do to prolong, preserve or ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Do brake cables become more elastic with time?

I bought a used bike a few months ago, and I've noticed a drastic reduction in brake power. At first, I was easily able to lock-up the rear wheel while squeezing the brake lever only half-way to the ...
6
votes
6answers
424 views

Are there brands that sell weather-resistant chains?

I have to bike in bad weather and especially at work i have no way to store my bike in a dry place, this means that my bike chain picks up rust like nothing else, forcing me to clean it a lot. Now i'm ...