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
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3answers
7k 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
3answers
391 views

There is a lip on my brake pad from bad positioning. Can I remove the lip?

One of my bikes had the brake pads positioned poorly and they developed a pretty pronounced lip where the pad hung off machined braking surface on one side. The bike is using cantilever brakes. These ...
8
votes
3answers
875 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
19k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
613 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
200 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, ...
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
5answers
592 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
592 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
7k 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
5answers
2k views

Will using dry lube and wet lube together give you better protection/performance than from using just one of them?

I think the only way to use them together is to put on dry lube first and then wet lube. Will the wet lube hold? Will applying both give you the best that each has to offer? Update Just found this ...
7
votes
5answers
290 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
373 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
2answers
286 views

When should the metal clips be replaced on a brompton folder?

I have a brompton which is about 7 years old. Do I need to think about replacing the aluminium clips that lock the frame in place when unfolded?
7
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?
7
votes
4answers
180 views

Bicycle maintenance notes, technical book: do you have one?

Well, I drive a car and I have a technical book (maintenance) and automatically I want to do the same for my newly bought bicycle. I would love to track repairs, maintenance schedules, changed / added ...
7
votes
9answers
782 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
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
3answers
941 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
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. ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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
116 views

When is it time to replace the gear-cable housing?

Please keep in mind that this question is specific to mountain bikes which roll through lots of dirt and mud. I heard stories of bikes that had their cable housing last for years, but I doubt that ...
7
votes
1answer
617 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
7answers
721 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Why does my gear slip when going uphill / standing?

I have a road bike that I use to commute ~6 miles to work every day. Some of the portions of the ride are at a steep incline, and I've noticed that when I get up to stand on some of these hills, my ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

What's in this patch kit?

I have a patch kit (from Bike Hand) and it includes: Rubber solution Metal rasp Patches Along with the aforementioned supplies there are two small rubber tubes, hollow, and about 1cm long. ...
6
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
397 views

Winter tyres or winter wheels?

I've just picked up some lightly studded tyres - winters aren't too bad here but ice can be a problem. The bike is a hybrid mainly used for commuting, with some early starts. Most of my route is ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
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
3k 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
votes
4answers
293 views

Adjust handlebar position/height (damaged screw?)

I was trying to adjust the position of my handle bar...but might have turned the screw too hard in the wrong direction or perhaps it was like this earlier...not sure.... Is there anything that can be ...
6
votes
2answers
644 views

Replace chain at 0.5% wear, or 0.75% wear?

Why do chain wear indicators have an indication for 0.5% wear and one for 0.75% wear? Are both measurements included because there is some personal preference from mechanic to mechanic, or rather are ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
3answers
416 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
7k 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 ...
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
1answer
169 views

What is the name of this type of bolt for the front crank on my bike?

I recently had to take the front gear off of my bike and had some difficulty undoing the bolts. Because of their poor condition, I have decided to replace them. However, I have no idea what they are ...
6
votes
1answer
163 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
votes
2answers
5k views

What's the performance difference between a front-load and top-load bike stem?

I recently bought a bmx and after doing a few tricks on it, the front-load stem became loose enough for the bars to slide forward (they rotated towards me about the point the bars were connecting at ...
6
votes
3answers
513 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
votes
2answers
545 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
votes
4answers
433 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
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...