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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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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1answer
365 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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2answers
14k 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 ...
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1answer
879 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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1answer
4k views

How hard is it to disassemble and reassemble a bottom bracket?

I ride an SE Lager. It's a pretty cheap and crappy bike. I've had to replace pretty much everything on it due to wear/breakage. The only area I haven't tackled is the bottom bracket. I can ...
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2answers
339 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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2answers
17k views

Which lubricant/grease to use for ball bearings?

A little mishap happened today during cleaning my bicycle. I tried to take off the sprocket wheel for easier access, but instead I opened the lock nut of the hub (cassette type) and the balls came ...
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1answer
230 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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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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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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 ...
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1answer
460 views

Fixing hydraulic disk brakes, what to check first?

I have a 10-year old bike, fitted with hydraulic disk brakes. The bike has been actively used for around 4 years only though. Recently, my brake levers started to have more and more "play" before the ...
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5answers
632 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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3answers
287 views

How much runout is acceptable in a disc brake rotor?

I'm trying to sort out pad dragging / noises in Avid BB-7 mechanical disc brakes and I'm wondering how much runout in the rotor is acceptable? Right now I have about 0.05 mm (measured with a Park ...
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4answers
1k views

What should I look for when buying chain lube / lubricant?

In the past, I personally have only used WD-40. However, I have occasionally had my bicycle looked over at the locally run, free service sessions and most of the mechanics there use a hand applied ...
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6answers
4k views

How do I clean my bike in winter?

How or where do I clean my bike in winter? I live in Michigan, USA and winter can be very harsh, along with the added salt used for ice removal. I am not commuting or anything, just occasionally ...
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2answers
2k views

SRAM chain with Shimano cassette and crankset?

When new my bike had all Shimano components. When it was time to replace the chain, the LBS installed an SRAM chain. Was that a mistake on their part (if so, was it a bad mistake)? I had a problem ...
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6answers
10k 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
781 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
2k 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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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4answers
3k views

Where can I find replacement screws?

I have a handful of rusty screws on my bike; where can I find such small parts?
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2answers
575 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
2k 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 ...
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1answer
359 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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2answers
270 views

Can I 'toe in' these cantilever brake pads?

I'm riding a new bike (new to me) and I am unfamiliar riding with some of the components, specifically the cantilever cross brakes. On my road bike, I toe in the brake pads to help with noise, feel, ...
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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.
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1answer
323 views

How dirty should the chain and the cogs be before I should consider cleaning them?

I'm new to bicycling and have been riding for a month or so. I just saw a few questions here regarding cleaning of the chain and thought "whoa, I should clean the chain". How dirty (visually) should ...
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2answers
1k 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
4k 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
260 views

How often do you need to bleed your Avid Elixir 1

I have a Trek bike with Avid Elixer 1 hydraulic brake. Not sure if it's a manufacture defect but I have returned to the shop 3 times since I bought the bike this April, for them to rebleed. The ...
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2answers
251 views

Tire Repair / Maintenance

This question, What's the cause of the tyre cut, got me wondering if there is anything that can, or should, be done to repair small cuts in the tread of a tire. As I was looking at the damage to the ...
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1answer
4k views

What maintenance to do after buying a brand new road bike?

I've just bought a new GMC Denali road bike. I've put it together, but riding it has revealed that there are a few things that need to be fixed, such as the front-side brakes being too loose. Is ...
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1answer
3k views

How do I clean the inside of a freehub?

I didn't know any better and I let degreaser drip into the freewheel body of my Shimano FH-RM65. Now it makes a terrible retching noise when it rotates. How do I clean the inside of this thing? ...
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4answers
508 views

Is it OK to leave my bicycle unlubricated for a day after a hose-down?

I just cleaned my bike with low pressure water but I don't have any lubricant. I left it to dry in my basement with the window left open. Is there any chance my bike will malfunction or rust before ...
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2answers
165 views

Bicycle is harder to pedal when standing

From a few days now, when trying to pedal standing, my pedals become very rigid and it sounds like if the brakes are dragging. If I sit down again, the noise goes away and it's easy to pedal again. In ...
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2answers
2k 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
1k views

How can I remove the bottom bracket from this old road bike?

I need some help removing this bottom bracket. I am obviously no mechanic, and watching several videos on youtube I found nothing that could help in this specific case. Basically after removing both ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

Can I use 53-39T chain rings with compact cranks?

I have shimano 105 5700 compact crank(50-34T). Can I use 53-39T chain rings with compact right arm.
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2answers
267 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
731 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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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4answers
8k views

How many ball bearings to put in an axis?

I'm cleaning out most of the axes on my new (second hand) bike. I'm replacing the grease inside the pedal axes and I was wondering. How many ball bearings should be inside? I thought there had to be ...
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4answers
788 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 ...
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2answers
771 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 ...
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2answers
94 views

Rear derailleur lifespans

How should I know when my rear derailleur is getting worn? I can measure/inspect chains, tyres and brakes; gears tend to show problems on a new chain if they're worn. But when changing my chain at ...
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1answer
168 views

Is it possible to over-clean a bike chain?

I've seen it suggested that cleaning a chain too often or too thoroughly is bad for it, in that it removes the lubricant from the innermost parts of the chain, where it's most needed and most ...
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2answers
610 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 ...