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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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
434 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 ...
6
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8answers
951 views

What are good ways to dry shoes?

I ride through the winter in the Pacific North West and get soaked about every other ride. What are the best way you've found to dry your shoes? I've found that stuffing them with wadded up ...
6
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3answers
753 views

What's the point of removing the excess oil after lubing the chain?

There is a very strong point in bike-mechanics culture, which I've seen in very competent answers here, too, to apply one drop of lube in every single roller of a clean chain, and then (!very ...
6
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3answers
2k views

What's the easiest way to insert a star nut into a steerer tube?

I need to install one of those star-fangled nuts, but I don't do this often enough to warrant buying a special tool for it. I usually manage to hammer the thing in eventually but in the past it has ...
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4answers
1k views

Friction in the free hub?

I have noticed there's some friction in my free hub on the TCR - when I pedal backwards slowly, I can get the rear wheel to roll backwards (while on the stand). This strikes me as a bad thing - means ...
6
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3answers
1k views

What tools do I need to disassemble and re-assemble an 80's road bicycle

I would like to do maintenance on my 1982 miyata 310 road bike myself. What tools are necessary to take the entire bicycle apart, lube, and put it back together? Here is what I have come up so ...
6
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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 ...
6
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4answers
768 views

Which way should a seat post clamp be oriented?

I heard somewhere (I don't remember where) once that a seat post clamp should be oriented with the gap at the front of the seat tube, opposite of the gap in the top of the seat tube. The logic behind ...
6
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3answers
678 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?
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2answers
14k views

How do I adjust my rear derailleur (Shimano SIS) when it is only slightly out?

It has been a while since I had my bike serviced and the gears are sometimes slightly out of perfect alignment. This results in the occasional mis-shift. I also think the change in seasons have ...
6
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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
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2answers
766 views

Cleaning Cable Housing?

I commute about 3600 miles a year and I am able to keep my gears adjusted pretty well. I do find that I get a lot of grime from rainy, muddy conditions, and I think I might be replacing my shift ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

When to change derailleur pulleys?

A friend said me that if you have one part in a very bad condition like a cassette and then you put a new stuff like a new chain it will destroy the new stuff very quickly. A LBS said that I should ...
6
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4answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

How are Prophete chains with built-in locks assembled?

I recently bought a 3/32" chain from Prophete, and despaired in the attempt to close it. The complex end of the chain looks like this: Now, at first thought, the slight groove (the one where you ...
6
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4answers
1k views

How long should spokes last?

Trek Fx 7.3, 1 year old, 1900 miles 3 days short of my 1 year bike purchase anniversary I discovered some broken spokes on the rear wheel. The bike shop gave me a new wheel they had in the shop, an ...
6
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3answers
300 views

Why does not the derailleur adjustment work the same way while riding?

I suppose most of the people have noticed it. While adjusting both front and rear derailleurs, it will shift accordingly, when you have adjusted or are adjusting it, but when you test it by riding, ...
6
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3answers
657 views

mountain biking - post ride tasks

After completing a long mountain biking trail (complete with lots mud and water etc) - what post ride checks / tasks should I be doing? I ask this because I don't want to be taking my bike into a ...
6
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2answers
423 views

Can anyone recommend a good maintenance-free rear shock?

The old shock just gave up its life in my old single-pivot all-mountain frame. I'd like to replace it with something tough and maintenance-free, so that I don't have to worry about air pressure, oil ...
6
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4answers
255 views

Concerns with different brake types for the front and the rear wheel

I'm considering adding a disc fork to my surly cross check and using some avid bb7 road brakes for the front. I've got tektro road levers on drop bars (outfitted with retroshift shifters) I've got ...
6
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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
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3answers
607 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
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4answers
1k views

How to objectively evaluate torque wrenches?

My local bicycle group bought very nice but very expensive torque wrenches (if I can remember right they cost about €300–500). My local discount store markets them for about €50. My local auction site ...
6
votes
2answers
846 views

What is the difference between DOT brake fluids?

I know that the two main categories are the mineral oil (Shimano, Magura) and the DOT type (Avid, Hayes). But what is the difference between the DOT 3, DOT4, DOT 5.1? Which one should I choose for ...
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3answers
2k 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?
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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 ...
6
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2answers
5k views

Can my bike be recovered from the rust monster?

First question here, and please note that I am a total bike virgin, other than the fact I can (just about) ride one. Last year I bought a Felt Q520 (I think) the 2009 model, secondhand that had been ...
6
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4answers
2k 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. ...
6
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1answer
9k views

How do I bleed Avid Elixir brakes

My bike has a set of Avid Elixir R hydraulic brakes. The front brake barely goes on when I pull the lever and the back brake feels pretty soft. I think I need to bleed them. How do I go about doing ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

Beyond the chain, what other parts of the bike do I need to lubricate, and how?

Beyond the chain, what other parts of the bike do I need to lubricate, and how? Can anyone provide some guidance of how to get to the hubs, derailleurs, brake parts etc, that need occasionally ...
5
votes
6answers
255 views

What can I use for a DIY cable end?

I am in a pinch and need something to crimp onto the end of my brake cable to stop it fraying. There aren't any hardware shop's nearby and its a long way to the nearest bike shop. Any household ...
5
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3answers
303 views

If you keep a bike inside for months in a row, do you have to check it?

For example, if you keep it in a garage or in basement, I am thinking the tires might lose air and then the wheel will pressure down the tire. So do you need to check the bike once in awhile and ...
5
votes
2answers
353 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
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2answers
2k views

How long should I expect handlebar tape to last?

I assume that if handlebar tape is grimy, torn, or peeling, it should be replaced. How long should I expect handlebar tape to last before it needs to be replaced? How often do most cyclists replace ...
5
votes
3answers
658 views

Cost of maintenance of a roadbike

I am going to buy a bike and ride upto 1000 km or more in a month. Adding them, I think it will come to 12 k to 15 k per year on an average. I will be riding on highways, so there won't be any ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Is it harmful to shift RD while climbing standing?

I'm just learning to climb standing, and I find I'm often guessing wrong about which gear to use; plus there are times where I'm accelerating up the hill and just need to shift up. Upshifts under ...
5
votes
6answers
7k views

7-speed MTB cassette on 8/9-speed wheel hub, where does spacer go?

Sheldon Brown says "Add a 4.5 mm spacer before installing a 7-speed cassette on an 8-, 9-, or 10-speed hub", but doesn't seem to show spacer placement in any picture. My direct experience is that the ...
5
votes
2answers
899 views

Where can I get a basic toolkit for bicycle - Walmart etc?

I want some basic things in toolkit (like oiling of chain, tightening of brakes etc). Where can I find them and how much does it usually cost? I want to buy one, so can you name the basic tools with ...
5
votes
1answer
318 views

Can I flip my worn chain to extend it's life?

Assuming my chain is showing that it's worn and getting close to needing replacement due to chain 'stretch'. I know you can flip single speed chainrings to extend their life when they become worn. Can ...
5
votes
3answers
541 views

When to change winter tires for bicycles

At work, we discussed when to change to winter tires for bicycles (and cars). We assumed that temperature was the key factor and I used a program (Mathematica) to check the mean temperature in ...
5
votes
2answers
580 views

Do you need to lubricate gears after cleaning gears and chain?

I just cleaned my gears and chain with a biodegradable degreaser. I'm going to lubricate my chain. Do I also need to lubricate the gears or do I just pedal and make sure that I hit all gears? Will the ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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
2answers
1k views

Swapping cranks, but the new crank is wider, how do I compensate for this?

I was swapping the cranks and bottom bracket on my karate monkey from a Truvative stylo crankset (Mountain Double, GXP bottom bracket) to a Race Face Evolution DH (Mountain Triple, Race Face bottom ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Fixed gear: slipping

I have a single speed bike with a flip-flop hub and recently I decided to try out the fixed side. When testing it out in the car-park I was applying backpressure to brake and found sometimes the ...
5
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7answers
4k 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
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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 ...
5
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2answers
336 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 ...
5
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3answers
328 views

What happens when a bike has not had maintenance for a long time?

I recently traded my Kent BMX bike I got from Wal-Mart: for a Ross road bike ). My friend tells me the bike sat in his back yard collecting rust, I see it has rust on the chain, the gears, brake ...
5
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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 ...