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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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
571 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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4answers
6k 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
649 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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4answers
266 views

Torque wrenches

How do I determine the torque required for different bolts, etc.? I am new to the world of torque wrenches and have not purchased one yet. I am suffering from chronic loosening of the left side crank ...
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2answers
308 views

How to adjust cable length on integrated brake/shift levers, when there is no barrel adjuster?

I feel bad asking this question because I've been doing bicycle maintenance for over 20 years and this seems like a noob question. I was unable to find a Shimano manual to answer this question. I ...
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2answers
668 views

Maintence on Mavic 500 hub without Mavic 670 tool

I have a beloved but well used front wheel built around an old Mavic 500 hub whose bearings are finally starting to give up the ghost. If you hold the axle and spin the wheel you can feel it grind ...
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3answers
1k 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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3answers
312 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
423 views

What maintenance is required after riding through deep water?

The road where I live is on a flood plain and tends to flood every winter. Despite this, I have continued riding to work through the water. I'm trying my best to dry the bike out at the end of the ...
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1answer
444 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
1k views

Brake pads constantly touching the rotor because piston is not moving back

I recently replaced the brake pads on my hydraulic disc brake. The brakes are a Tektro Draco 2. Now the new pads are constantly touching the rotor. This is how it looks like with caliper ...
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2answers
4k views

why do my pedals keep turning when i freewheel?

I've had my bike up on a stand to give it a clean. As I was cranking the pedals to clean the chain, then let the pedals go, I noticed that when the back wheel was freewheeling it would start the ...
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2answers
344 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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2answers
4k views

How should I lubricate my Shimano freewheel?

I have a Shimano freewheel (MX-30) that came with my bike from new. Unfortunately the internals got all gunked up and it stopped working (never engaged and became free both ways). I have bought and ...
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3answers
637 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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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 ...
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2answers
8k views

How do the adjustment barrels on a gear cable work?

I have a Shimano Sora derailleur on the bike I just bought with a triple chainring in the front. Right up by the shifters there is a sort of barrel adjuster on the cable. It doesn't seem to do ...
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1answer
3k 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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3answers
14k 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
40 views

Shimano Bottom Bracket LHS cup - splines all worn off. Removal tips?

In reference to one of these BB's: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-UN54-Bottom-Bracket/dp/B0039369B4 My kid had successfully chamferred the left BB cup's splines, until there is no useable spline ...
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1answer
201 views

Cheap, effective degreaser recommendations?

Maybe it's just me, but most of the commercial degreasers sold in bike shops seem pretty expensive for what they do. While they work well for lightweight grime, especially when used regularly, they ...
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3answers
283 views

What kinds of tools do I need to do bike maintenance, e.g. adding a rack?

I just got a new Trek 7.2 for commuting and getting around town. It's a great bike but I want to add some stuff to it like a rack. I am fairly handy and have more or less a full toolkit in my ...
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2answers
983 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
520 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
2k 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
2k 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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1answer
693 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
3k 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
2k 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
1k views

How to clean consumable metallic parts cheaply while touring?

By the term consumable metallic parts I mean things such as derailleur pulleys, chains and cassettes. I have met tourers that suggested me cooking oil for cleaning the metallic parts, more here. The ...
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1answer
1k 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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3answers
11k 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?
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1answer
757 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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4answers
981 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 ...
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1answer
499 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 How do I know if a rotor ...
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1answer
262 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
152 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
655 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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2answers
365 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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3answers
7k 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 ...
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3answers
3k 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
3k 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 an inexpensive Fixie/Track Bike (less than 150GBP). 11 kg steel ...
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3answers
912 views

How exactly are pedals attached to crank arms?

Recently I tried to unscrew the left pedal of a bicycle by turning it counter-clockwise with a spanner lengthened with a piece of pipe. The net result is the spanner broke apart and the pedal is still ...
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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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5answers
366 views

Biking in the winter more difficult?

I have two kids (about 70lbs/30kgs combined) whom I during the summer frequently took biking in a trailer (once I got them used to it, say a dozen trips this summer or slightly more). I biked 5+ ...
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5answers
867 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 ...
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4answers
7k 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? ...
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2answers
237 views

Replacing rear coaster brake wheel on 1959 Roadmaster

I have to replace rusted/'bent rear wheel with coaster brakes on my 1959 Roadmaster. I have found on Amazon the same size (24 X 2.125) new rear coaster brake wheel. Will it fit? What parameters I ...
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4answers
881 views

How to fix a sluggish bike?

I just bought a used mountain bike, and it seems to be slow. Pedaling seems like very hard work, and at a normal casual pedaling rate, I can only reach 4-5mph. If I pedal like I'm being chased by a ...