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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17
votes
10answers
3k views

How much does bike price correspond with maintenance needs?

In this question (with this answer) I asked about a commuter bike, which is to be ridden 40 km every weekday, in the city. And apparently for this scenario I can choose either of two possible kinds of ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What should I look for when buying a used bicycle?

I'm moving to a city where I can ride a bicycle to the grocery store, coffee shop etc. I want to purchase a decent used bicycle. I'm leaning towards a bike that's in between a "10-speed" or road-bike ...
16
votes
4answers
759 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to maintain chains during touring?

I think requirements are reusable, simple, small-size and things-to-easily-to-carry. There are exotic answers with chain clearers and other things that do not qualify to me simple. Perhaps, the ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I lubricate my chain?

I know I should lubricate my chain regularly. I got some lube at my LBS; how should I apply it? Do I just drip some on one spot, and turn the pedals around a few times to spread it out? Drip it all ...
41
votes
5answers
2k views

Periodic Maintenance Task for Bike Commuters

What are the periodic maintenance tasks (weekly, monthly, annual, every X miles) that anyone who relies on a bike for transportation (typically in urban/semi-urban environments) should be performing? ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Practical cleaning routine for a commuter bike

I regularly (almost daily) ride my bike, often in bad weather. I mostly ride on roads, but sometimes through parks, forest etc. on unpaved surfaces. My bike is usually rather dirty, at least the lower ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
447 views

How should I clean salt out during Winters?

Pretty simple question but I think some recommendations would make my chains a bit long-lasting. So when should you do something to your salted chains? When the chains already look rusty, can you use ...
17
votes
8answers
899 views

Where to find good bicycle maintenance info?

If there is a good book what would it be? I'm pretty sure I can find stuff on YouTube (any particular user?). Any blogs out there?
41
votes
4answers
13k views

Can I use WD-40 on my bike?

Is WD-40 really bad to apply on bikes? I was told so but still see people doing that. Also I saw WD-40 launching their new products of bike lubricant and degreaser. Did anybody try those?
11
votes
1answer
567 views

How do I wrap a road bike handlebar?

What is the best way to wrap a handlebar? Specifically: Should I start near the stem or at the bar ends? wrap clockwise or counter-clockwise? How to wrap (e.g. how many times) around where the ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Winter maintenance before putting bike in winter storage?

What kind of maintenance should I do before putting my bike into storage for the winter? Are there any special considerations for storing it? Does temperature matter? If it's hanging on the wall ...
22
votes
2answers
650 views

How to wash a bike properly?

I use my bicycle in a typical urban commute setting. No extreme MTB, but it still accumulates some dust and grime. How should I wash my bicycle?
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 ...
28
votes
8answers
7k views

How long should a road tyre hold its pressure?

How long should a road tyre be able to maintain a pressure of around 100psi, and what factors are likely to reduce this time? Background: My tyre pressures are consistently dropping to around 60psi ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I oil my seat post?

In a previous question I asked how to remove rust from my seat tube/post. In the comments of one answer somebody said I should be oiling my seat post to prevent it from rusting into my seat tube, but ...
19
votes
7answers
6k views

Does the plastic cap on a Presta valve serve any purpose once fitted to a rim?

I can see the use of the valve cap on a Presta valve when the tube is still packaged (it obviously stops the valve puncturing the tube), but does it do anything except look pretty (or not) once you've ...
8
votes
1answer
655 views

Setting chain length

My chain broke and in a moment of silliness (I was cold wet and slightly annoyed) I threw the broken one away before thinking about measuring the new one. Is there a guide to getting the chain ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Badly rusted suspension fork

I have a $300 MTB used for commuting. It has been three years now, and the rain and snow have said their word. Two weeks ago I disassembled the fork and spent a good one hour with the sandpaper, ...
28
votes
5answers
7k views

Perfectly setting up gears - how?

Every time I have my bike serviced, the bike shop sets up the gears on a stand in their workshop. The gears change perfectly on the stand, but when the bike is on the road, the rear derailleur doesn't ...
22
votes
4answers
679 views

Basic toolkit for bicycle maintenance

What should be in the basic toolkit for someone that wants to maintain their own bicycle? I'm looking for something for your average day to day maintenance and tools that I will get the most use out ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Hydraulic Disc Brakes Maintenance

I have Hayes Nine hydraulic disc brakes on my mountain bike. I have recently replaced the brake pads and after that it seems that the pads are almost touching the rotor. How can I adjust it? I have ...
8
votes
3answers
12k views

What cleaner and oil should I use on my bike chain

Hope everyone is well. I need to clean and oil my chain as its getting a little clunky when I’m changing gears. I have no idea what I should be cleaning it with and then what I should oil with. Any ...
15
votes
6answers
14k views

Does this chainring need to be replaced?

Here is a closeup of my triple: All three rings are Shimano Ultegra and have never been changed. They probably have at least 12000+ km on them. I've been pretty good about changing the chain ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Problem with chain `skipping` (but not trying to shift)

I have two bicycles that suffer this problem, both pretty heavy frames (one a ladies, Hollander bike, and the other a man's commuter) - both have correctly adjusted Derailleurs which don't produce any ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I remove rust from my seat tube?

I just pulled my seat out as the first step of breaking my bike down for winter storage, and found that rust has formed between my seat tube and my seat post. The rust starts maybe 3" down the tube ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

How do I adjust my rear derailleur (Shimano SIS) when it is only slightly out?

It has been a while since I had my bike serviced and the gears are sometimes slightly out of perfect alignment. This results in the occasional mis-shift. I also think the change in seasons have ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
487 views

What should I look for when buying chain lube / lubricant?

In the past, I personally have only used WD-40. However, I have occasionally had my bicycle looked over at the locally run, free service sessions and most of the mechanics there use a hand applied ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

Can a worn drive-train be upgraded incrementally or should it be all at once?

It seems like I have a worn drive-train (sad trombone previous question) and should think about improving it. I'm a little leery about throwing good money after bad into a used bike. Must I buy a new ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

I've had a bike in storage for over 10 years. What maintenance does it need?

I've had a bike in indoor storage (my garage) for over 10 years. I'd like to get it back into good condition to use for my commute to/from work each day. What things should I check/replace before I ...
14
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
267 views

Pre ride checks

What checks should you perform before setting off to ensure that your bike is safe to ride? I'm more interesting in mountain bikes rather ride road bikes but I guess that most checks are applicable ...
11
votes
3answers
630 views

Truing stands, go big or stay home?

I'm looking to buy a truing stand. Is the Park TS-8 Home good enough? Or should I pay double the price and get the Park TS-2.2 Pro. I have some experience truing wheels, but never on a nice stand. I ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

What are the benefits of external bottom brackets?

Pretty soon, I plan to replace the bottom bracket on my early 90's Sakae Litage road bike. It takes a standard, English-threaded bottom bracket. Right now I think it contains loose bearings--I was ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Should a link opened/closed by a chain-breaker be stiff afterwards?

I disassembled my bike's drivetrain to degrease and regrease all the components. I used a chain-breaker for the first time (previous bikes had a master link) to open a chain link and remove the chain. ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

How to care for a steel frame?

I'm considering getting a steel frame to upgrade from my aluminum xc bike. As it will be my first steel frame I'd like to understand if there is more after ride care required than my current bike. ...
5
votes
2answers
354 views

Wiping extra Lube really important with all types of Lubes?

This question about chain maintenance during touring raised this quetion. This tip sounds very unintuitive, of course, I know that the extra lube will attract dust (not good to chain) but I have paid ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why don't frame manufacturers ream/face their frames?

Before building up a new frame, it's crucially important to ream/face the headtube and crown race seat (and the bottom bracket, if using press-fit cups). You should also ideally chase the threads of ...
4
votes
2answers
589 views

Removing surface rust from my Eggbeater pedals?

So I did a couple of wet rides last month, and I guess I didn't dry the pedals as well as I should have. I have Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, and I noticed a bit of surface rust on them that I'd ...
3
votes
1answer
348 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
338 views

What are the most common causes for hysteresis in the rear derailler?

I have often seen derailleurs on cheap MTBs to degrade in performance by showing hysteresis. By that I mean that to switch to a certain cog, one needs to shift one cog further and then immediately one ...
2
votes
2answers
844 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
328 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Dealing with rust on a steel frame

I have a small spot of rust on the bottom side of my steel frame's top tube (Columbus Niobium tubing). It's from abrasion during transport that I didn't notice until it was too late. The spot is ...