Hot answers tagged maintenance
Aesthetically, it's just a case of keeping it clean. Use a toothbrush to clear accumulated dirt out of the little nooks and crannies, like the joints between tubes (especially around the bottom bracket). Waxing the frame can help keep it keep that brand-new lustre. The back of the chainring and spider, sprockets, rear hub, and dropouts, can get grotty ...
One proven way to retain the "new" feeling of a bike is to keep adding new parts to it. It's a well known (I would say proven but can't find the article) fact that people experience a noticeable performance boost when riding a new bike or upgrading gear. This expectation of better performance actually does lead to a small performance increase. The same ...
You can cut an aluminum soda can into a small strip and wrap that around and fold it like a tiny burrito into the end. Crimp with pliers. Picture lovingly misappropriated from http://billgrady.com/wp/2002/11/14/how-to-wrap-a-burrito/
Ultimately its going to be down to how zealous you want to be. When you think of cleaning a chain, you need to think of two things. First, there is the cleaning - getting off the dirt and lube that has caked itself onto the chain. Then, there is lubing the chain to make it run nicely, (As part of a lube you'd maybe give the chain a rub with a dry cloth to ...
It sounds like you need to adjust your rear derailleur - the cable may have slipped a bit and have insufficient cable tension, or if you recently had a crash, you may have bent your derailleur. I'd recommend reading this to learn how to adjust your derailleur.
The mainstay tools are really wrenches and allen keys, certainly these will be all you need for something trivial like fitting a rack. But the more you get into things, there are a myriad of different tools around, often which can be used for one and only one task. For example if you want to get the cranks off you need a crank puller, of which there are a ...
I usually use an old spoke nipple. Slide it over the end and crimp with an electrical (stake-on/solderless connector) crimper.
Usually when you take a bike out of the box, it's disassembled. I'm guessing that this isn't what you are referring to :P. If you want your bike just like when you got it from the bike shop, there's a few easy things you can do. Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure. If you get a decent pump, it should be easy to keep the tires inflated. ...
The main question is why are they needing cleaning, as this drives the need for chemicals. If its normal road and trail mud and grime, as suggested in the comments, hot water and a nylon scrubbing pad (even a "goldilocks" type metal one if used gently). If you remove the wheels to be safe, then use a bit dish washing detergent and rinse well with hot water ...
I have actually used these options: Epoxy glue: let it dry a little before applying. It is too liquid just after mixed, so let it dry and use it like if it were modeling putty. Thin cooper wire from a telephone cord. Wounded it around the end of the cable. It would look like a bass guitar string. Solder wire applied cold, wound a couple of turns and crimp ...
These folks should be able to help out for super cheap: London Bike Kitchen
Good answers above. I would add:: new bar tape wash and service your bike weekly buy yourself new gloves or jersey occasionally - this one is about the bike/human relationship :-) These things keep the bike running at it's optimum. And yes, allow the bike to mature. It gains character. If you look after your bike, it's not the bike that changes but ...
Go to an auto parts store. In the case of cleaners and the like they typically sell the same things in larger packs and larger quantities than bike stores. They often also have a house brand that's cheaper than the other stuff. You can get degreaser in the spray can (something like GunkFoam or also a non-foam version). Or you can get a solvent as used as ...
If you have a soldering iron and some solder, that may stop it from fraying further, but won't make it any less sharp. You could consider a bit of alu foil, but I doubt this would stay on. Perhaps with some glue suitable for metal? Perhaps a small cable tie done up super-tight with pliers?
Wrap it tightly with electrical/gaffa tape?
If you plan to do regular bike maintenace, then I would not put off buying a bike specific tool kit. I have a garage with tools capabale of pulling down a car engine (unfortunately the user of my tools is less capable of building one up again :( ), yet I still have a bike specfic toolkit. Although I have a double up in some tools, the bike tool kit is small, ...
The empty ink-tube of a ballpoint pen makes good cable ends. The metal ones may be squeezed into place. If you have a plastic one cut off 1 cm, put over the cable end and heat with a flame.
I agree with what everyone else has said, but i'd add.. aside from your frame, your bike SHOULD be pretty much new. A well maintained bike will have all these components replaced on regular inteverals: bar tape (I do this once a year) Chain (I do this once or twice a year) bottom bracket (maybe every 5 years) brake/derailleur cables (once a year) Big chain ...
Be seen lights can be rougly divided into two categories: focused and diffuse beams. Focused lights are much like to-see lights, they're just not actually bright enough to see with. They focus the light into a rougly circular shape that points mostly towards the front (or back) of the bike. Diffuse beams spread light much more evenly, and while they might ...
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