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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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
1k 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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2answers
202 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
132 views

Are Shimano components compatible with each other? Do I have to get a specific chain?

My cycling maintenance experience goes as far as changing tyres, but winter has been cruel and I need to replace some components. Setup: Cassette is a Shimano 105 CS-5700 Front chainring : Shimano ...
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2answers
448 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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4answers
3k 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
261 views

Stop my front brake lever screws from vibrating out?

One of the most common maintenance tasks on my Mongoose Tyax Super is to tighten a small screw in my front brake level. It shakes loose both due to use, and from a habit I picked up riding in ...
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2answers
4k views

How do I cut hydraulic brake hose without expensive tools?

I've seen some expensive hydraulic hose cutting tools. I just want to cut the two new brake hoses I have now, so I don't want to buy an expensive tool. I want to do it myself, and I don't mind ...
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2answers
185 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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3answers
159 views

Carbon bike specific maintainance

I am about to get my first carbon bike next spring, it's a MTB with a carbon frame with some aluminium components. What are the things I should do and should not do, to avoid damaging it by improper ...
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2answers
842 views

Questions to ask before buying a bike?

I have thought about few questions to ask to the shop keeper before buying a bike. But would like to know from you experts, a complete set of questions like warranty period? Number of free services ...
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1answer
308 views

Why is my front Derailleur not shifting as smooth as it used to?

I have a Specialized Hard Tail 10' Model. When I ride and am shifting to the bigger gear on my front derailleur it isn't as smooth as it used to be or sometimes doesn't shift to the gear I'm going ...
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3answers
497 views

Where can I buy Framesaver in Canada?

My LBS has told me they're unable to order Framesaver due to difficulties shipping aerosol canisters across the border. Are there any reputable retailers (either online or in the Greater Toronto Area) ...
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3answers
721 views

What rear brake should I get for a Surly Steamroller?

I recently acquired a Surly Steamroller (fixed gear bike). I want to ride is as a single speed for everyday use. I changed out the rear wheel and got one with a flip-flop hub. I'd also like to add a ...
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4answers
4k 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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3answers
198 views

Bike Repair Information in Germany

I have been riding a bike for many years now, but I am embarrassed to tell you all that I am an novice when it comes to repairing and maintaining bikes. I have always had a problem with repairing ...
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1answer
234 views

cheap bike tools or “can I just use generic hardware store tools instead?”

I want to maintain my bike. There a number of tools which are very specific, which also cost a lot of money. I have an old road bike which uses a freewheel. The freewheel remover cost me something ...
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2answers
201 views

Will shimano 10 speed triple shifter work with compact chainset?

Will a right hand shifter described as shimano 10 speed triple work with a SRAM 9 cassette and a shimano compact chainset?
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3answers
353 views

Where can I find a 9mm x 26thread axle nut?

I have a Gravity Swift 2 that I got off Bikesdirect. Somehow I lost the left front axle nut. I have been to two LBSs and neither of them have (or have even seen) an axle nut this size. I e-mailed ...
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1answer
1k views

Tips for radial wheel truing

Several drive side spokes on a mountain bike rear were damaged the rear mech being pushed into the wheel by a rock, with one snapping completely. I've replaced the affected spokes and have managed to ...
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2answers
559 views

Squeaking sounds after lubricating the cogset and chain

My bicycle didn't produce any squeaks until the last weekend, when I decided to make a little maintenance. First, I used "Easy Clean" spray from the White Lightning brand to clean the cogset and the ...
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3answers
4k 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
155 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
181 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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2answers
343 views

storing bike outside - avoiding trapped moisture and rainfall (bike covers)

I just got a specialized tricross for riding in the city and going on short tours around Europe. Unfortunately I don't have enough space in the corridor of the house so I will have to put it outside ...
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4answers
233 views

Will an 1/8' chain and cogs wear slower than 3/32' chain and cogs for single speed / fixed gear setup?

Will an 1/8" chain and cogs wear slower than 3/32" chain and cogs for single speed / fixed gear setup? What about using an 1/8' chain mismatched on 3/32" chainring and cogs?
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1answer
657 views

How can I adjust index shifter so it doesn't skip the second chainring?

I recently replaced my chain and cassette on my commuter bike. It was a first time operation for me, as I am a new to doing bike maintenance. That part seems to have gone fine. While I was at it, I ...
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1answer
409 views

Joe Blow Pump Maintenance

My Top Peak Joe Blow floor pump has been getting harder and harder to pump. I bought the high end model so that my 94 lb wife could pump up her own tires, but it has gotten to the point where I can ...
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4answers
2k views

Keeping a leather saddle in good condition

Is shoe polish a good or at least adequate solution for keeping a leather saddle in good condition? And/or better options?
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2answers
389 views

What are early signs of failure in forks/stem/handlebars?

I ride an SE Lager. In the past year, the following components have worn out or broken Front chainring Rear cog Rear freewheel Chain Seat (one of the bars snapped off) Many, many spokes Wheels ...
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1answer
2k 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
351 views

What should I look for in a torque wrench?

It has come to the point where I need a torque wrench for installing things on my bicycle. What should I look for when purchasing one?
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2answers
924 views

The drivetrain on my bike needs replacement, given the cost, do I just get a new bike?

Probably best to not go through the specific components on my bike, however, the sprockets, chainset, jockey wheels and chain need replacing due to excessive wear. Coupled with that, the cables are in ...
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2answers
393 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 ...
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2answers
244 views

Cold weather chain lube?

My Rock N Roll Gold bike lube seems to get solid or gelatenous when stored on my unheated, but enclosed porch at colder temperatures. Is a chain lubricated with this product still going to be ...
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1answer
634 views

How to clean a bike after muddy/sandy cyclocross race (or mountain bike ride)

What do I need to be concerned with when cleaning my bike after a typical muddy and sandy cyclocross race (Also probably applicable to mountain biking). Particularly, what can be done (in the field) ...
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2answers
5k 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
667 views

Bike Assembly - What all needs lubrication?

I'm in the middle of a frame swap for my road bike. As I'm putting the bike back together, I've been wondering what all needs lubrication? Is there a comprehensive list somewhere that explains what ...
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3answers
6k views

What tool is needed to remove a Shimano HG-50 freewheel?

What tool is needed to remove a Shimano HG-50 freewheel from the wheel hub? It looks like a 12mm or 13mm Allen key. Will this do it or is there some detail I have missed?
3
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1answer
588 views

Bottom bracket square taper (cartridge) extraction, too tight in one side

I'm getting weird noises coming from the bottom bracket (BB from now on), and I wanted to extract it to check if the problem is there or not. The guide video I used is no longer public (free) as when ...
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2answers
268 views

What kind of master link is most convenient for IGH / fixie / ss setups?

Here's a question related to this and this -- I've got a IGH bike and want to keep the drivetrain clean. I prefer to remove the chain for regular maintenance, but don't want to have to remove the ...
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1answer
864 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
101 views

Does rebuilding a hub increase efficiency?

I was recently helping a friend build a bike from scratch, and one of the first things he did was to inspect the hub to check that the wheel was rotating smoothly. He was adjusting the cone and lock ...
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1answer
136 views

When not in use, How should I store my tubeless tires?

I have a bike setup with tubeless mountain bike tires. I tend to ride about 20-25 PSI. How should I store my tubeless tires? Does it matter what pressure I store the tires at between rides? Should ...
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1answer
107 views

Should I grease pins when re-installing them on cottered cranks?

I'm restoring a vintage Peugeot with cottered cranks. When reattaching the cranks to the bottom bracket spindle, should I grease the pins or put them in dry?
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2answers
231 views

How do I find the right derailleur (gear-mech)?

I have a 9 x 3 speed mountain-bike. The derailleur got broken (and was since lost), I'm trying to find a new one. What do I need to go by to ensure I get a good fit? The rear-casette (sprokets) range ...
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0answers
191 views

Disc brake pad and rotor compatibility

The SM-RT53 rotor should be used together with resin pads. If it is used with metal pads, the pads will wear out very rapidly. from Shimano BR M-416 disc brake manual Which rotors work well ...
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3answers
2k views

Is my local bike shop asking to much money to change a rear cog?

I normally have much love for my LBS, but I've moved recently and am a little unsure about this new one due to the fees he is asking. I have a flip flop hub with a fixed gear (18 tooth) cog on one ...
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6answers
2k views

How do you spot the left side pedal on egg beater pedals?

I've just got a new set of crank brothers egg beater pedals and I can't tell which pedal is for the left side, and which is for the right just from looking at them. Is there an obvious way to tell ...
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5answers
2k views

Best bang for the buck to improve a cheap fixie?

What are things to improve on a cheap bicycle that make a real difference? I'm looking at the bang for buck tradeoff. The bike is a Challenge Fixie Track Bike. 11 kg steel frame Flat bar Front ...