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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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, ...
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3answers
441 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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3answers
1k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
9k 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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1answer
345 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 ...
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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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1answer
367 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
16k 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
969 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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564 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 ...
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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
363 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
2k views

Alternative Chain/DriveTrain DeGreasers

My question is whether there is anything "special" about the Bicycle-Specific Branded Chain degreasers or whether the much cheaper alternatives are just as good. I've used the ParkTool CB-2 (http://...
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1answer
310 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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2answers
503 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
662 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
348 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 DT-...
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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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558 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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Where can I find containers to dispense bulk chain lube

So, I'm looking for drip style containers to keep in my messenger bag and my home shop to dispense bike chain lube. I want to just buy a 32oz container of lube for cheap on amazon and fill my own ...
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5answers
792 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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4answers
4k 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
595 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
365 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 shop....
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1answer
345 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
298 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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2answers
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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, one-...
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3answers
5k 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
318 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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4answers
528 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
168 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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3answers
23k views

When do bearings need to be replaced?

How do I know when bearings need to be replaced? Should I go by time? Or is there a symptom to guide me?
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2answers
117 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
106 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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273 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 ...