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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6
votes
1answer
175 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
168 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

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 ...
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
562 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
574 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
483 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
5answers
16k views

What should I use to lubricate a freehub?

I've noticed my freehub has gotten quite a bit louder over the last few months. Several people have recommended that I lubricate the freewheel by tipping the bike on its side and dripping lubricant ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
100 views

How do I find the right size of bottom bracket?

I have an old cup-and-cone system that I need to replace; for the sake of simplicity, I would like to replace it with a cartridge. Alas, I have no idea how to figure out what dimensions of the ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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
votes
1answer
11k 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
84 views

How to assemble '70s-era center-pull brake

I've (supposedly) got a 1976 Motobecane Le Champion with what appears to be the original center-pull rim brakes, which unforunately are not in one piece and need to be re-assembled: As you can see ...
6
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
376 views

does my degreaser hang around and destroy my new chain lube?

I generally clip on the Park chain cleaner, fill it with a cheap department store degreaser (Rubbermaid), run it through for a few seconds, then fill the chain cleaner with water once or twice or more ...
6
votes
1answer
314 views

Front derailleur rubbing against chainring

I'm trying to fix up my old (1999) Trek 4500, and I've run into a snag while adjusting the front derailleur. It's a Shimano FD-CT92 (bottom bracket mounted E-type), and it's rubbing against the ...
6
votes
2answers
12k views

How to remove rust from gears?

I have a 2 year old Diamondback bike with gears that have already rusted while living in the desert southwest. I'm not sure how or if they can be cleaned. Also, was something I should have done to ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
346 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
7answers
6k views

What to use to clean a derailleur?

I'm not sure what type of solvent to use to clean a derailleur.
5
votes
2answers
641 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
3answers
2k 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
votes
4answers
238 views

Are all vintage bikes difficult to work on?

I have had a couple of vintage bikes (from the '80s and earlier) and all have been absolute nightmares to work on: They always seem to have weird dimensions which aren't available anymore or in the ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
826 views

What are the most common causes for hysteresis in the rear derailler?

I have often seen derailleurs on cheap MTBs to degrade in performance by showing hysteresis. By that I mean that to switch to a certain cog, one needs to shift one cog further and then immediately one ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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
505 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
882 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
833 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
2answers
116 views

Typical Torque Values For Bicycles

I'm thinking of getting a torque wrench (or something similar) for working on bikes. The ones I have for cars are pretty ungainly and I think I'd be at the low end of the range where they aren't too ...
5
votes
4answers
182 views

The shifter for the front derailleur is “soft” in my vintage bike

So I bought a used vintage bike. I just love the bike and it's awesome. However it came with one problem: gears problems. First of all I have very little experience with bike, especially gears ...
5
votes
4answers
16k views

How to repair sticky Ultegra shifter

I have Ultegra 3x9 shifters and derailleurs that were installed just a couple months ago. I purchased them on eBay and although they were new, they had been sitting in inventory for a couple years so ...
5
votes
4answers
219 views

Daily Maintenance

I cycle to work, leave my bike in an open but well covered cycle rack, basically in a multi storey car park so it wont get wet but it is open to the fresh air. It sits there for 8 hours or so and then ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
9k 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
votes
2answers
32k views

How do I measure a bottom bracket?

I need to replace the bottom bracket bearing on my fixie. I plan to get a Shimano UN26, but I note that there are a number of different sizes. The sizes seem to be expressed as 68-110, where 68 is the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why don't frame manufacturers ream/face their frames?

Before building up a new frame, it's crucially important to ream/face the headtube and crown race seat (and the bottom bracket, if using press-fit cups). You should also ideally chase the threads of ...
5
votes
2answers
459 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
votes
2answers
7k 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
votes
2answers
134 views

Suspension Maintenance

How often do you need to have your fork and rear shock fully serviced? My guess is that this depends on how many miles you are riding, so lets say 150 miles/ year.
5
votes
3answers
305 views

Storing commuter bicycle indoors during winter

I got myself a road bike that I intend to ride occasionally during winter (mostly for commuting). I live in an apartment, so storing the bicycle in a dry and cold place such as garage is not an ...
5
votes
1answer
358 views

Rotating two chains on one cassette

I clean my chain on the bicycle, mostly because taking it off for a bath, drying, etc seems to take more time than I have. But maybe I could use 2 chains in rotation, I would take one chain off, ...
5
votes
3answers
430 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
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is torque relevant for steel/aluminium? Where do I find torque specs?

When you are not dealing with carbon, is torque relevant? I've never seen it mentioned on the hundreds of answers here, or the hundreds of how-tos I've read elsewhere. Should I just tighten ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

replacing shifter cable housing?

My rear cable housing got torn apart while I was tunning gears as you can see in the picture. I'm quite new to cycling so i'm not sure if i should replace the whole cable or just the part of the ...
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
1answer
363 views

Maintaining an old bike properly

I have a 6 years old bike, I got it when I was 9. It's a great bike, however I've always had the problem of maintaining it properly. I have a few questions which I hope to get answered here. Before ...