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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13k 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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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
20k 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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3answers
425 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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2answers
132 views

How can I protect cables in inclement weather?

I cycle year round, in Maine. It is pretty much guaranteed my brakes and shifter cables will need replacement in the spring, even if I try to maintain and clean the bike after each ride. Does anyone ...
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1answer
154 views

Brake hard on new cycle

I saw someone after buying a new bicycle (a hybrid), pulled the brake as hard as he could for few seconds and dragged the cycle along while braking like that, 1 brake per centimeter. Why did he do ...
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1answer
716 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
198 views

How do I tell if a loose chain is because of the chain or the ring wearing?

My chain looks as though it's 'stretched' - by the time it's fed around the large front chainring it appears to be 'longer' than when on the other chainrings. Therefore I'm trying to work out whether ...
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1answer
539 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
376 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
6k 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
717 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
10k 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
472 views

Remove front derailleur without breaking chain

I recently purchased a Diadora Orbita bike from SportChek. As I was riding it my front derailleur got bent and now I can't use my pedals. So, my question is, can I remove the Shimano FD-TY18 front ...
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1answer
162 views

What is the hydraulic brakes expected life?

I bought a pair of hydraulic brakes (Shimano BL-M395) for my MTB. After 8 months (less than 1,000 kms), both (front/rear brake) started to leak oil thru pistons, rendering pads contaminated and the ...
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2answers
531 views

Maintenance for a single speed bike

I love biking. And I also love maintaining my bikes. This is the first time I've gotten a single speed road bike, specifically this one. My question is, for maintenance purposes, what should I look ...
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1answer
266 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
334 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
1k 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
665 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
594 views

When Installing chainrings which are pinned, how should I orient the chain drop prevention pin?

I'm setting up a double crankset with a new front chainring which is ramped and pinned. How should I orient the outer front chainring with respect to the chain drop prevention pin? Should this line ...
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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
891 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
4k 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
42 views

Do the cups of headsets with cartridge bearings wear out?

On my bike I have an FSA headset Orbit X-CX which has cartridge bearrings. I re-grease the headset a few times each year and have recently replaced the lower bearing after ca 13,000 miles. The upper ...
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1answer
139 views

Fettling issues - slow shifting rear gears while riding

I've recently had an issue with my gearing, struggling to shift down onto the last few cogs on the cassette. I've got a Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset, but when I shift whilst riding, I get a ...
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1answer
140 views

The piston on my Avid Elixir 5 brakes popped out. Does the caliper need to be rebuilt?

One of the pistons popped out of the caliper on my Avid Elixir 5 brakes. Can I just put the piston back in and bleed the brakes and then they will be good as new, or do I have to rebuild the whole ...
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2answers
167 views

Old freewheel removal

I have an old rear wheel - I think its from a Raleigh Arena roadbike from the late 70s or early 80s. There are broken spokes that require the sprockets removed to access. I've done this plenty of ...
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1answer
830 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
1k 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
39 views

Avoiding hydraulic brake system overfill when bleeding with worn pads

I have limited experience with bleeding Avid Elixir 5, Shimano SLX and cheaper Shimano and Tektro brakes. I usually time the bleed just before brake pad replacement, in order to avoid the risk of ...
3
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1answer
535 views

Fox Float RP2 rear shock problem - soft run and hiss sound on first 5-10% of travel

I might have a problem with my Fox Float RP2 rear shock (Giant Reign, 150 mm of travel, bike & shock only 6 months old). When pumped to 200 psi, the shock has a considerably soft run and is making ...
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1answer
648 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
162 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
791 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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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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2answers
421 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
9k 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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6answers
4k 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
1k 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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4answers
6k views

Can I use gear oil on my chain?

I don't have any chain oil right now, but I have some gear oil left over from working on my car. Would it be an effective chain lubricant? It's listed as 80W90, but reading the Wikipedia article ...
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4answers
120 views

Ease of servicing brifters

How easy are "brifters" (e.g. Shimano Total Integration or Campagnolo ErgoPower) to maintain and adjust as a hobby cyclist at home?-- Although quite a lot of road bikes have them (including even light ...
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4answers
4k views

Alternative Chain Grease/Lube

Can I use this general-purpose lithium grease on my chain until I can get some Finish Line lube? Thanks in advance.
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1answer
103 views

What is the purpose of greasing BB threads?

As is known for Shimano sealed bottom bracket cartages (e.g. page 16 here), if the BB cup is made out of metal, grease should be applied to the frame-cup thread. If the cup is plastic, grease should ...
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5answers
988 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
8k 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? ...