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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5
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2answers
312 views

What size are the screws used for water bottle mounts etc?

There's one size of bolt that's used all over modern bikes: water bottle mounts and the braze-ons for racks leap to mind. Whenever I need a few, I take one to the hardware store and sift through the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
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votes
5answers
7k 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
1answer
864 views

How do I disassemble my headset? How do I know if I need to replace it

I just bought a cheap frame off craigslist because I want to build myself a fixed gear bike. When I turn the fork, it feels like there is sand in the bearings. How do I go about taking the headset ...
5
votes
2answers
227 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
542 views

How should I prepare a carbon frame when I want to swap in a new bottom bracket?

My four-year-old, carbon-framed road bike has developed a case of creaky cranks. I only hear creaking when pedalling hard, when I pedal more softly it just sounds like it has always done. Given the ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
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7answers
3k views

What to use to clean a derailleur?

I'm not sure what type of solvent to use to clean a derailleur.
4
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5answers
479 views

Cycling clothing care products

Given a "standard" cyclist's wardrobe (e.g. paddded shorts, jerseys, moisture-wicking t-shirts and socks--made of blends of lycra, spandex, wool, and other "specialty" fabrics) what special-care ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Securing sliding bar grips without hair spray?

I have some Bell anatomic handlebar grips that tend to slide (rotate) on the bar. I've read that using hair spray is useful, but tends to be rather permanent. I'd like to make the grip tackier but not ...
4
votes
1answer
405 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
385 views

Why does the chain tension vary as pedals are turned?

I have a new single-speed bike (after purchase this year, it was unused in a garage for a few months), but as I turn the pedals, the tension in the chain varies noticeably. What should I check, ...
4
votes
2answers
441 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Bent Chainring causing chain to attempt changing gears

I was riding my road bike last night when something strange happened. I stopped at a stop sign. (I didn't have time to slow down so I was in my highest (fastest) gear. When I started I had to press ...
4
votes
3answers
375 views

What tools are required to replace a spoke?

When out riding at the weekend, for the very first time, I managed to break a spoke on my wheel. Because I've not done it before, and I want to get back out on the bike soon, this time around I am ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
895 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
313 views

Should cassette “wiggle”

Recently My freehub broke and so I removed the cassette to replace the freehub and noticed, whilst off the bike, 4 of the remaining bolted together 8 sprockets wiggled (4 wiggled together but ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What are common causes of premature chainring wear?

My bike mechanic told me today that my front chainrings are starting to wear out and I should consider replacing it soon (with my next chain replacement). The cassette is still in good condition and ...
4
votes
2answers
987 views

Tightening rear quick release stops rear wheel

I have a medium sized Trek Mountain Track/Antelope with a seven speed freewheel. When I tighten the rear quick release, I have to carefully back off on the tightness so that the wheel will actually ...
4
votes
4answers
276 views

How long should pedals last?

I use cheap flat pedals, aluminum or plastic. They lasts about a year (1K-2K kms) before dying (cracking noises at each stroke). I don't mind paying US$10 each year, but it hurts my eco-heart: I want ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

LBS said creaking under torque is normal?

on my last question i asked about a creaking/tick i was getting when i was stand pedalling on a climb. I took it to my LBS today and they said they had stripped all the crank and bb and re greased it ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
478 views

Removing surface rust from my Eggbeater pedals?

So I did a couple of wet rides last month, and I guess I didn't dry the pedals as well as I should have. I have Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, and I noticed a bit of surface rust on them that I'd ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

Seatpost maintenance : removing rust

I have an aluminum seat post in a steel frame. The post was really hard to extract and I don't want this thing corroding on me. You've discussed how to take care of the rust on a steel frame and on ...
4
votes
2answers
393 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
942 views

Protecting steel bike from salty roads

There is still a lot of salt on the roads in Ottawa, Canada, but I am thinking about starting to use my road bike instead of my mountain bike because the snow is mostly gone. (At least temporarily). ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Will I have problems maintaining a bike from the UK in the US?

I'm moving to the US from the UK and am considering taking my fairly average hybrid road bike with me. It's nothing special but I quite like it and the cost of taking it on a plane doesn't seem to be ...
4
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Is there not enough shim on my suspension pivot?

I bought month ago new full suspension bike "Kellys Beast 2013". When I maintained it, I noticed that there seems to be a shim missing on one rear pivot: The most interesting that it is symmetrical ...
4
votes
3answers
773 views

Carbon Seatpost / Frame in Repair Stand

I've got a Park PCS-10 repair stand, and just acquired my first carbon bike. Is there anything I should know about clamping either the frame or seatpost in the stand? Being a few years old, the frame ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

How often to sevice suspension forks

Consider a SunTour XCR coil fork or any similar. Service manuals suggest "full service" every 30 hours of riding time. I take that to mean removing the boots and re-lubing the stanchions. However, ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Badly rusted suspension fork

I have a $300 MTB used for commuting. It has been three years now, and the rain and snow have said their word. Two weeks ago I disassembled the fork and spent a good one hour with the sandpaper, ...
3
votes
5answers
725 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
396 views

How do you protect the underside of your brooks leather saddle?

I'm new to leather saddles and I'm working on breaking mine in. I'm using a Brooks B17 Narrow. I use clip on fenders with my bike when the weather is bad. However, sometimes I get caught in the rain, ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
670 views

What's the loss of effective output, with a worn chain?

I was just bought a new fine ultegra chain for 10 speed road race bike. This is actually the first new chain for this not so old bike. I am a fan of statistics, measuring power with a power unit on my ...
3
votes
4answers
222 views

Essential maintenance for my bike whilst on a long distance tour

I am thinking about what I need to do for maintenance whilst on a long distance tour I am planning. can anyone help me out with this?
3
votes
2answers
170 views

Replacing rear coaster brake wheel on 1959 Roadmaster

I have to replace rusted/'bent rear wheel with coaster brakes on my 1959 Roadmaster. I have found on Amazon the same size (24 X 2.125) new rear coaster brake wheel. Will it fit? What parameters I ...
3
votes
3answers
825 views

What causes my chain to derail at the rear when I accelerate?

I recently bought a beat-up old mountain bike for commuting. I've tried to clean and adjust the derailleurs and everything seems to work well enough in my garage. But when I put heavy weight on the ...
3
votes
2answers
416 views

Possible to repair a pushed in braze-on?

I have a Trek 7200 (Alpha aluminum frame) and it has two water bottle holder mountings, the top braze-on on the seat tube seems to have broken from over-tightening and has sunk into the frame. These ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find replacement screws?

I have a handful of rusty screws on my bike; where can I find such small parts?
3
votes
3answers
184 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
200 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 ...