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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2
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2answers
104 views

Can you trim rim tape once installed?

I installed my rim tape then noticed was too wide so I trimmed it with a razor knife. Would this have caused any damage to the rim bead?
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?
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I re-insert a chain pin that has been pushed completely out?

While breaking the chain, I pushed the pin too far and pushed it out completely. Now the chain is too short. How do I re-insert this pin, or should I look for other options.
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Is graphite grease suitable for bicycle bearings?

The Wikipedia article doesn't explicitly list the applications of graphite grease. Would it be suitable for bicycle bearings and threads? Furthermore, I went ahead and purchased a single package (the ...
7
votes
4answers
214 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What to do about a stuck chain link on 10 speed chain

I put a new chain on my bike and after 3 rides or so, I developed a stiff link. I'm not sure what caused the issue, but now it barely bends at the pin at all, unless forced. It causes skipping ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

Twist shifter cannot shift down – what might be the cause?

My son's bike is stuck on 7. When we try to shift down to 1, there are no clicks. It just shoots right back to 7. This is a dial/twist/grip shifter, not a trigger shifter. I do not think it has ...
2
votes
1answer
735 views

ideal dérailleur height for a Deore on non-round/oval Cranksets (e.g. a Biopace)?

Reading on every site about front dérailleur adjustment, the distance from the bottom of the outer dérailleur plate to the bigger crank cog should be "one penny". Mine is around 1cm! it does shift ...
2
votes
1answer
353 views

converting stem shifters to brifters

I'm new. I'm 26, from the UK and until last year I'd never cycled more than 10 miles before. Then in September I cycled 2700 miles from Maine to Florida. It was great. I've just bought a Dawes ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

For 'classic' cantilever brakes, are cartridge brake shoes better than non-cartridge ones?

What are the advantages of cartridge brake pads compared to non-cartridge ones? Do they offer better braking characteristics? I'm about to replace brake pads on a 1994 MTB which has Shimano STX ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Are Shimano Hollowtech II bottom bracket spacers unique?

I'm moving my Shimano Hollowtech II XT crankset and bottom bracket over from a bike with 73mm bottom bracket to a 68mm bike. The only problem is that I only have 1 spacer and now I need 3 bottom ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

What type of grease to use as general purpose bearing lubricant? [duplicate]

Lithium grease, white litium grease, graphite grease, carbon grease, SRAM`s Liquid O-ring. And those are only the types of greases I have heard about. What type of grease would be suitable for ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Chain Replacement

I'm having a hard time finding an appropriate replacement chain for my bike. Its a 21 speed, Wal-mart brand mountain bike. My local bike store has chains that were up to a 10 speed. I know I need a ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Brake hard on new cycle

I saw someone after buying a new bicycle (a hybrid), pulled the brake as hard as he could for few seconds and dragged the cycle along while braking like that, 1 brake per centimeter. Why did he do ...
23
votes
8answers
6k views

What should I look for when buying a used bicycle?

I'm moving to a city where I can ride a bicycle to the grocery store, coffee shop etc. I want to purchase a decent used bicycle. I'm leaning towards a bike that's in between a "10-speed" or road-bike ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

How to re-tension front derailleur cable

Bike is a mid 80s Miyata with early Shimano 105 components. It's a 10 speed, 5 speed cog and 2 chain rings. I recently had my front derailleur set up again by a good mechanic after it stopped ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Left pedal coming loose

On my bike, which I just built out of spare parts, the left pedal seems to constantly be coming loose. It seems to come out about 5m every time I ride ~10km. It's an old cotter pin crank, and the ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Why is part of this Derailleur loose? (Sun Tour Cyclone II)

As you can see from this picture, part of my Derailleur is loose. Notice how the gear is not in flush with the cylinder. It has a no other parts (that I can find!) than a threaded screw to go in ...
13
votes
5answers
23k views

What makes grease appropriate for bikes?

I'd like to grease my seatpost, and in front of me I've got a tube of "CMD Extreme Pressure Lube #3" that claims to be good for "ball bearings, roller bearings, deep drawing, rivet spinning" and a ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

I've had a bike in storage for over 10 years. What maintenance does it need?

I've had a bike in indoor storage (my garage) for over 10 years. I'd like to get it back into good condition to use for my commute to/from work each day. What things should I check/replace before I ...
10
votes
1answer
265 views

Bike pump: what is this lump?

What is this lump in the picture and how does it work? I have another pump, which physically is the same but minus the bulge. The one in the picture seems to perform better, ie less work to reach ...
28
votes
10answers
4k views

How much does bike price correspond with maintenance needs?

In this question (with this answer) I asked about a commuter bike, which is to be ridden 40 km every weekday, in the city. And apparently for this scenario I can choose either of two possible kinds of ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Shifter cable running beneath the bottom bracket without a sheath

I am trying to solve the neverending issue of my derailleur shifting on its own by replacing the shifter's cable and its sheath to see if it not sliding properly could be the cause of the issue. ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

What is the hydraulic brakes expected life?

I bought a pair of hydraulic brakes (Shimano BL-M395) for my MTB. After 8 months (less than 1,000 kms), both (front/rear brake) started to leak oil thru pistons, rendering pads contaminated and the ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How to prevent spiders from making webs on my bike? [duplicate]

I really hate spiders and I'm afraid of them so this is really a problem for me. I use bike every day to get everywhere - to work, to shop etc. These nasty things can make a web in a matter of a few ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

What's wrong with my tire?

My back tire caught a flat from a pot hole. The next day I take it to a shop and I get an inner tube change. From the shop I ride the bike home, but the tire catches another flat on the way. What do I ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

Scott S30 road bike 11speed with 10 speed compatibility

I have a Scott S30 bike currently running a shimano 105 2x10 speed 50-34 crankset, shimano 105 10 speed front shifter and 10 speed cassete and chain. I have a new crank that i want to install, the ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Corroded brake levers

I think this corrosion comes from sweat. How can this be removed?
8
votes
1answer
20k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

How do I know I should replace the chain? [duplicate]

I have been riding a folding bike in the past. I have never replaced its chain. Recently, I have bought a second handed road bike for $500. I am afraid of the chain breaking suddenly. How do I know ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Burping v/s bleeding hydraulic disc brakes: is it safe?

I found a method for burping (get the air out of the circuit) hydraulic disc brakes in YouTube (see here). The method is: 1) Rotate/move the hand lever assembly until the reservoir cap is facing up ...
0
votes
4answers
384 views

Are rusty disc brake pads a worry?

I'm the fool who didn't wash the snow off his bike - it's a rusty mess. I've just taken apart the front disc brake as it was rubbing. I think that was more to do with the disc being bent, but as I ...
9
votes
3answers
8k 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
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Visual inspection of wheel hub

I need to build a new bicycle (others are gone, stolen :( ). Good thing is, I have two spare wheels of decent quality in my basement. These old wheels took quite a beating though, when I was younger. ...
6
votes
2answers
840 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
6k 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
227 views

Will short arm crank conversion work for me?

I own an 18 speed "Columbia Journey Comfort Bike". Since having 2 knee replacements I find that I do not have enough knee bend to pedal. I have raised the seat & still cannot even do one ...
0
votes
1answer
460 views

guide to correctly assemble a Walmart bike [closed]

I bought a genesis max air from Walmart last fall used it a few times before the winter and two weeks ago brought it back out. For the last two weeks me and the wife have been riding about 8 miles ...
20
votes
9answers
1k views

Where to find good bicycle maintenance info?

If there is a good book what would it be? I'm pretty sure I can find stuff on YouTube (any particular user?). Any blogs out there?
3
votes
2answers
492 views

How to adjust cable length on integrated brake/shift levers, when there is no barrel adjuster?

I feel bad asking this question because I've been doing bicycle maintenance for over 20 years and this seems like a noob question. I was unable to find a Shimano manual to answer this question. I ...
2
votes
3answers
21k views

How to adjust Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic disc brakes?

I have a Trek X-Caliber and the rear disc is rubbing a little. So I want to adjust the brakes so it doesn't rub and make things a bit easier of course. I see many videos about brake adjustment but ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Restoring a 16"

This here is my 16" bike which I'm going to at least try restore. I've put some wider bars on it, fixed loose things etc. My friend removed the pedal back but I don't think he has put it back ...
1
vote
1answer
445 views

How do I fix U brakes?

I found an old bmx in my shed and I'm just doing it up a little as a good muck around bike. It's not very good, I don't even know the brand but i cut the front brake off, because it didn't even work ...
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 ...