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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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 ...
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2answers
6k 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 ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
363 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 ...
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3answers
365 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 ...
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4answers
9k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
22k 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 ...
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1answer
332 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 ...
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1answer
485 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, ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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5answers
11k 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 ...
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2answers
247 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 ...
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1answer
335 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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5answers
421 views

When to lube a chain?

Should a chain be lubed each time after riding in the rain*? What about a 100km mudride (occasional water up to the hubs)? Should I stop in the middle of the ride to re-lube the chain? If so, is it ...
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7answers
5k views

What to use to clean a derailleur?

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

maintenance schedule tracking software

Can't seem to find software to track maintenance i do / is due on bike(s). I just want to enter when i changed the chain/casette on bike A, then track how many km ive gone with it. Distance could be ...
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6answers
5k 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 ...
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5answers
587 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 ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
296 views

Please help me identify my bike

I have recently bought a house and found this bike in the garage. I'm currently thinking of giving it a full service, but I'm not a super expert on it and therefore I'd maybe like to take it to a ...
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1answer
740 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 ...
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2answers
237 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?
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2answers
496 views

Where to park a bike during a year for free ? (in the Netherlands?)

We are two French in love with the Dutch people and culture. Each time we have the time we rush there. Rather than hitchhiking (as we used to), we plan to travel across the Netherlands by bike as it ...
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2answers
662 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, ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
910 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 ...
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4answers
212 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
406 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.
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2answers
778 views

How can I keep spiders and other bugs off my bicycle?

I am an extreme arachnophobe, to the point that I've left dishes in the sink due to a dead spider the size of an M&M. My bike at work is right in the open, and because of the soft winter, there ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference in procedures for bleeding different disc brakes?

I want to learn to bleed my new disc brakes. While there is a wealth of knowledge on the topic, it is difficult to tell the difference between pedantic explanations and sloppy work. In the official ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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
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2answers
201 views

How to correctly align “be seen” lights

My "be seen" bicycle light is bar mounted and has to be reattached every time I jump on the bicycle, due to theft risk. How do I determine when it is correctly aligned? In particular how are "be ...
4
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1answer
291 views

Rotating 2 chains on one cassete

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, ...
4
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1answer
453 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
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2answers
4k 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
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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
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4answers
452 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
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2answers
123 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.
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2answers
6k 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
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2answers
617 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
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2answers
311 views

How do I know if there is water in my fork

I have a SunTour XCR fork. Not wanting to ruin it I am worried that a significant amount of water has penetrated beyond the seals. I have recently ridden the bike in rain, snow, and washed it in a ...
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2answers
323 views

Maintenance Schedule

There are many questions that deal with routine/ preventative maintenance (including this one which is probably the most comprehensive Optimal Maintenance Schedule) but none deal with issues related ...