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
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
86 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
3k 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
10k 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
366 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
263 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
10k 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
5answers
10k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Are single-speed bikes better equipped to handle cog/chain wear?

I need to decide between a single-speed and multiple-speed bike. I usually ride multiple-speed mountain/city bikes in the highest gear anyway (around town). They're not intended for that, and doing ...
5
votes
3answers
344 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
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 ...
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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
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2answers
613 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
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
4answers
197 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
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
749 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
480 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
857 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
798 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
107 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
137 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
3answers
304 views

How should the brakes on a child's bike be adjusted?

I picked up a child's bike from the recycling center - and I was going to give it to a financially strapped worker that I know. The brakes could easily be adjusted to be quite a bit stronger - but ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Reusable gloves for bike repairs?

I'm looking to degrease/lube the chain, adjust disc brakes, clean, etc. at home, but don't want to get my hands dirty. (Zinger alert.) Are there any special re-usable gloves for this kind of bike ...
5
votes
4answers
218 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
8k 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
30k 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
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
4answers
14k 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
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
2answers
438 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
3answers
272 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
346 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
422 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
203 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
361 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I stop my brake from sticking?

The rear brake (calliper) on my road bike sticks. When I pull the brake it pulls down but only half springs back and there's then slack in the leavers. This is causing rubbing on the rim. It's a ...
5
votes
1answer
771 views

How tight should brakes and shifters be on the handlebars?

How tight should handlebar components be? Here it's said 6-8Nm. However, I don't own a torque wrench at that range. Should the brake levers and commands be tight, or should they be able to twist, ...
5
votes
2answers
846 views

Rotate or replace tires

I ride a cross bike mostly on the road right now and my rear tire is wearing much faster than my front, which is to be expected. I found the following thread which I think is a similar question but ...
5
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
312 views

Help with cassette, worn or not?

I have done exactly 2879 km on my cassette, and currently I got myself a new chain which is a third for this cassette. With first chain I made 1985km, but I already noticed a significant degradation ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Bottom Bracket Compatability Question

Good afternoon all! In previous questions, I've mentioned that I intend to rebuild my 2000 Trek 7700 Multitrack. Well, I'm beginning by replacing the bottom bracket. According to the spec sheet I ...