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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9
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5answers
6k 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
5k 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
778 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
388 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
303 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
4k 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
637 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
909 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
4k 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
7k 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
6answers
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
535 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
7k 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
318 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
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
222 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
6k 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
5k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it harmful to shift RD while climbing standing?

I'm just learning to climb standing, and I find I'm often guessing wrong about which gear to use; plus there are times where I'm accelerating up the hill and just need to shift up. Upshifts under ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Does the chain direction make a difference?

Recently, I helped a friend install a new chain on her road bike, and for the first time read the instructions for installing one. It seems to claim that there's a forward direction, and that it ...
3
votes
1answer
970 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
337 views

Cable adjuster recommendations

My cable adjusters always seem incredibly hard to turn, sometimes requiring the extra leverage of a wrench. I'm looking to replace them when I overhaul my bike and replace my current groupset. Does ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What kinds of brake designs exist, and what are their general pros and cons?

Here are the ones I'm aware of: Center Pull Cantilever Slightly better braking than side pull brakes. No recentering problem. Relatively rare V-Brakes Cheap to produce. Similar in braking power ...
2
votes
3answers
428 views

What should I use to lubricate my kickstand?

The kickstand that came with my bike is rusty and is difficult to adjust. What should I use for lubrication?
1
vote
1answer
320 views

Dismounting wheel in a fixie

I have a fixed gear bike, Rocky Mountain Boroughs Fixie (see picture). The chain is very tight compared to any free wheel bike. So anytime the tire gets punctured (unfortunately very often) and I want ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Why would I need a torque wrench for a bicycle?

I was rather surprised to find a question about choosing a torque wrench on this site. I haven't cycled for years, but many years ago when I actually cycled I would do with a set of ordinary wrenches ...
3
votes
2answers
462 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
394 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?
3
votes
3answers
230 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do the front and rear brakes work independently?

Why do bicycles have two individual brake levers that work independently to brake each wheel? I've always used my right brake lever because it is more comfortable to do so and I haven't noticed any ...
7
votes
3answers
988 views

When is a good time to change tyres due to age?

When should I consider changing tyres due to age? The tyres in question are five/six years old Continentals.
22
votes
2answers
4k views

What's stopping you from pedalling backwards?

On the BMX bike I have, pedalling backwards moves the chain but doesn't drive the wheels of the bike backwards like you would expect it to. Why is this?
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
727 views

Optimal Maintenance Schedule

It is forecast to rain this weekend so I was thinking I would drop a tarp down over my living room floor and give my bikes a bit of a tune up. Question What maintenance needs to be done on your ...
0
votes
0answers
140 views

What is a reasonable maintenance routine for a commuter bike? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How much maintenance? I've purchased a nice hybrid (a Trek Fx) and plan on using it as my daily commuter, maybe averaging 50 miles per week on it. What regular and ...
0
votes
2answers
162 views

Is it possible to loosen or crack the tire when I change a broken tube?

If I don't use the proper tools. Last time I used spoons to take out the tire.
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Trouble getting the right cup and cone hub adjustment

I have a pair of Shimano XT wheels and recently had issues with the hub on the rear wheel requiring new cones and bearings. These were fitted carefully but I've had issues getting the right adjustment ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How to objectively evaluate torque wrenches?

My local bicycle group bought very nice but very expensive torque wrenches (if I can remember right they cost about €300–500). My local discount store markets them for about €50. My local auction site ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

does my degreaser hang around and destroy my new chain lube?

I generally clip on the Park chain cleaner, fill it with a cheap department store degreaser (Rubbermaid), run it through for a few seconds, then fill the chain cleaner with water once or twice or more ...
2
votes
6answers
6k views

Adjusting rear derailleur - shifts to lower gear, but not to higher

Well, it will shift to a higher gear, but it takes two clicks of the shifter and it skips over a gear when it does shift. With one click the chain hangs on the current gear by the slimmest if threads. ...
2
votes
2answers
793 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How to avoid wearing out gears?

I have a Specialized Tricross which I bought new last year. In that time (approximately 1K miles), I wore out my chain and gears. At least two of my gears are still slipping, even with a new chain. ...
9
votes
10answers
2k views

Where can I get some rags?

As I'm getting into the habit of cleaning and maintaining my bike more often, I am burning through my stockpile of rags. Up until now I have been using worn-out clothes as rags. I am going to run out ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Protecting steel bike from salty roads

There is still a lot of salt on the roads in Ottawa, Canada, but I am thinking about starting to use my road bike instead of my mountain bike because the snow is mostly gone. (At least temporarily). ...