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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3
votes
2answers
461 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the easiest way to insert a star nut into a steerer tube?

I need to install one of those star-fangled nuts, but I don't do this often enough to warrant buying a special tool for it. I usually manage to hammer the thing in eventually but in the past it has ...
2
votes
5answers
583 views

What's the best way to fix up my used bike?

I bought a used bike on craigslist, for cheap, and while I wasn't expecting it to be great the brakes and changing gears don't work perfectly. The front brakes are very tight and the back ones are ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Do brake cables become more elastic with time?

I bought a used bike a few months ago, and I've noticed a drastic reduction in brake power. At first, I was easily able to lock-up the rear wheel while squeezing the brake lever only half-way to the ...
6
votes
2answers
735 views

Cleaning Cable Housing?

I commute about 3600 miles a year and I am able to keep my gears adjusted pretty well. I do find that I get a lot of grime from rainy, muddy conditions, and I think I might be replacing my shift ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

How to prevent my chain from breaking?

After my chain has broken what should I know about buying and maintaining a new chain (apart from lubing it and replacing when it 'stretches')? Do you keep a spare chain, or a spare link? I have a ...
5
votes
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Disc Brakes: Resurface your Pads?

Is resurfacing the brake pads in disc brakes (hydraulic or mechanical) necessary? If so, what would you use to do this - medium sandpaper? I spoke to one mechanic while shopping for a bike, who ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there such a thing as frame failure?

Several general questions have been asked regarding how long a bike or bike frame will "last", and the gist of answers seems to be that a bike can last quite a while of the replaceable components are ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Is there a sign that a fork needs hydraulic/lubricating oil changed?

What are the signs that a fork needs an oil change? I'm asking this because lately my RS Revelation (1yo) seems stiff. I checked the sag and found I should increase it... so I did, but it's still ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

My brake lever is coming loose from my handle bars; how can I tighten it?

I have a road bike with drop bars, and the left brake lever is slightly loose - it can rotate a few degrees around the handle bar from side to side. How can I tighten it? Is it possible to do so ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
245 views

Beyond the chain, what other parts of the bike do I need to lubricate, and how?

Beyond the chain, what other parts of the bike do I need to lubricate, and how? Can anyone provide some guidance of how to get to the hubs, derailleurs, brake parts etc, that need occasionally ...
1
vote
3answers
707 views

Where to find bolts for an old Raleigh Bicycle?

The college kid in our family has a old/ancient Raleigh 3 speed bike with long fenders. Those fenders are held in place with a strange bolt that is threaded on both ends and has a head near one end. ...
2
votes
4answers
734 views

Maintenance lube for Aluminum Electra Townie

My wife just bought me a used Electra Townie with aluminum frame and wheels. The previous owner claimed it had been serviced in the past year. Checking the bearings, I can tell it was a poor job of ...
3
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Can replacing my handlebar tape help reduce finger numbness?

Despite changing hand positions often and switching to more "cushiony" gel gloves, I'm still experiencing intermittent numbness when I ride (sometimes I get tingling and sometimes not). Are certain ...
5
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Removing SRAM Red Chainrings

This is almost certainly very simply, but how do you undo the chainring bolts on the SRAM red chainset? I can fit a 5mm (or 8mm can't recall now) hex head into the black screws, but they just spin on ...
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 ...
2
votes
5answers
880 views

Home-made sealed freewheel?

Is there any way to do a home-made sealing on my freewheel? Is there any material recommended to do it? Anyone can find some previous try documented? Will I fail miserably if I try to source a ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

Real measurable benefit to ceramic bearings?

Is there a real difference between riding on ceramic bearings and riding on stainless steel? How would you measure it? Does it require it to be every bearing in the drive train, or will each set of ...
2
votes
1answer
8k views

Shimano Chainring Compatability

In my previous question we determined that I probably need new chainrings. I was/am planning on replacing the chainrings, and leaving the original crank. Now this bike is running Shimano 105 FC-5600 ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I bring an old bike up to speed?

I'm an adult that is new to biking due to a triple whammy of a childhood aversion to effort, my family moving to a town on the side of a mountain with steep roads, and my bike getting run over by a ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
448 views

ideal dérailleur height for a Deore on a Biopace?

Reading on every site about front dérailleur adjustment, the distance from the bottom of the outer dérailleur plate to the bigger crank cog should be "one penny". Mine is around 1cm! it does shift ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What parts of a bike could potentially be harmed by degreaser?

I'v been using citrus degreaser to clean my bikes for years. I usually get a gallon jug of it from the auto parts store, and it lasts a long time. I use it for cleaning the drivtrain, either using a ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

How to measure the correct belt drive tension?

I own a 2010 Trek District with a belt drive. I'm fairly happy with the setup, since after months of standing outside I just picked up the bike again and started riding without the usual chain ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is my drivetrain so noisy after replacing the chain?

I ride an SE Lager fixed. On the 30th of May this year I did a bit of an overhaul, replacing the rear cog, chain, wheels, tyres and brake pads. I measured the chain last weekend and discovered that ...
3
votes
2answers
665 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
371 views

how much can i raise my stem?

I've got one of these stems: It's currently fully inserted into the bike, and it's too low for me. Can I simply loosen it, raise it 5cm and tighten it again? What's the minimum length that ...
2
votes
2answers
272 views

Manage and Track Maintenance Schedules

I'm wondering how people manage the required (and completed) maintenance for their bikes, especially when you have a couple each with completely different component sets (i.e. a road bike, a XC, a ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

How long should a well maintained chain last and what can I do to prolong its life?

I commute on a fixie. I'm using KMC Z410 chains. Every evening if it's wet I wipe and re-lube my chain, using ProLink lube. Every weekend I remove the chain, soak it in kero, brush it with a citrus ...
6
votes
3answers
592 views

Should a chain be replaced even if it's not stretched?

This question suggests using a tool or ruler to assess chain stretch to determine when to replace a chain. I have one such tool (Park Tool CC-3), and it tells me that my chain is not stretched even to ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How long should spokes last?

Trek Fx 7.3, 1 year old, 1900 miles 3 days short of my 1 year bike purchase anniversary I discovered some broken spokes on the rear wheel. The bike shop gave me a new wheel they had in the shop, an ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Determining front & rear derailleur compatibility

I have a 2009 Kona Dew and I'm just wondering how to figure out what front and rear derailleurs are compatible with my bike. Do I just have to find a matching Shimano part that fits 8-speed gearsets? ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How many miles and/or commuting seasons will a modern internal geared hub last?

I've been considering drive trains on a utility / commuter bike. What are expected or actual lifetime / maintenance needs of modern internal hubs? The Shimano Alfine internal 8-speed hub is on ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
777 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
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
6k 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?
5
votes
5answers
7k 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
5answers
510 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

What makes grease appropriate for bikes?

I'd like to grease my seatpost, and in front of me I've got a tube of "CMD Extreme Pressure Lube #3" that claims to be good for "ball bearings, roller bearings, deep drawing, rivet spinning" and a ...
6
votes
3answers
287 views

Why does not the derailleur adjustment work the same way while riding?

I suppose most of the people have noticed it. While adjusting both front and rear derailleurs, it will shift accordingly, when you have adjusted or are adjusting it, but when you test it by riding, ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Fixing noisy V brakes

My V brakes make a lot of noise when I brake!! I am annoyed by such noise not to mention the pedestrians. My Mechanic said that it will not make those noise after using for couple of days, but it is ...
3
votes
2answers
215 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?
1
vote
3answers
5k views

How do you connect and disconnect a quick release chain link?

I can't find any nice video or pictures tutorial that explains how to connect and disconnect a quick release chain link. Am I not finding anything because it has another more common name? How do you ...
3
votes
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 ...