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13

Sheldon Brown was a good man, a good cyclist, and he spent an inordinate amount of time writing answers for everybody to questions that every new cyclist has. In a lot of ways, his answers were pretty dead on. However, like any person with the energy and commitment that Mr. Brown showed with his site, he was very opinionated on a number of issues which are ...


12

For use at home, there's no question that separate keys are more useful and more economical. A multi-tool has limitations that make it cumbersome to use in tight spots because all the keys are attached to the tool. Separate keys suffer no such limitation. Separate keys can be bought and replaced individually and very inexpensively -- not so with a ...


9

There are some good answers here, but none describes a pre-ride check that is both quick and covers the main problem points encountered with Citi Bikes. These cruisers are special. They are extremely heavy, they can only be ridden in short spurts, there is nearly always a dock within a 10-minute walk, and the bikes are used and abused by riders and passersby ...


9

The effects of rust are typically overstated. Where is you concern? Remove rust (or replace the parts) on moving components such as chains and cables, they will run smoother, more efficiently and quieter. On non-moving surfaces such as frame and handle bars etc, forget about it. Under normal use high quality steel gets nothing more than cosmetic rusting, ...


9

For the most part, bicycles have terrible resale value, which means that you can usually get a really good deal on a used bike. As for the condition of the components, one can't say without actually seeing them, but quality components should have a much longer life than 1500kms. That said, inspect for obvious signs of wear (there should be almost none), and ...


8

There are a few things that are going to cost you more, simply because you are not used to working on a bike and will have to have them done for you. Tuneups - You generally get one free at about 30 days after you buy the bike. Mostly this consists of readjusting the derailleurs (shifting mechanisms) and the brakes as the cables stretch. Tuneups in my area ...


8

Typically you would want to do an ABC Quick Check - the information below came originally from the League of American Bicyclists site. A = air Inflate tires to rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire. Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure. Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace if damaged. B = brakes Inspect pads ...


8

Possible causes: There is "play" in the bottom bracket bearings, this could also explain the clicks. Usually this is quite noticeable, and you can check it by grabbing the crank-arm and trying to move it sideways. Usually this is not the cause for variable chain tension on singles; The chainring is "eccentric", either because of haveing been tightened ...


8

You need to move the open end of the posts closer together so you can pop that plate into place. To do that, bend the chain sideways at that master link to get it to close. There's a bit of technique, but it's not too hard to close (opening it again often requires three hands - the extra one to lift the plate off. Sometimes the plate will pop off if you ...


8

This can be a fairly common occurrence with a fixed wheel bike. It may depend on a few different things, ie what sort of nuts you are using, how tight they are, what style of dropouts, and what the dropouts are made of. A different sort of nuts may help. eg something with serrated nuts or washers could grip better. Also you may be able to tighten the nuts ...


8

There are two risks to turning your hydraulic brakes upside-down. The brake system isn't filled to overflowing with hydraulic fluid: there's likely to be a small air bubble. Normally, this sits at the highest point of the system: the oil reservoir at the brake lever. There, it's not compressed by the piston when you brake, so it can't interfere with ...


7

Park Tool recommends their own product: I used to hate gloves for anything (car, bike, whatever) until I got used to wearing them while in Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally I used the Mechanix Wear gloves and I still like them for working on my car:


7

Normally you replace a cable when it becomes too badly rusted, or the cable inside begins to break. The first condition you notice because the cable does not move freely, and the second you notice because the brake levers "give" (and don't bounce back) when you squeeze them hard. If not rusty, a set of cables can easily last 10-20 years. In your case it ...


7

It largely depends on the usage you want to make of them and the particular tire/rim combination you use. Plastic levers are usually small and lightweight, and if they are of good quality, they are enough for most tires that are properly fitted to the rim. I mention this because sometimes, rims and tires can physically differ from the nominal size they bear ...


6

Issues of where to find a bike have been answered pretty thoroughly here, including the standard disclaimers of making sure a bike isn't stolen before purchasing. On advice for how to see how ride-worthy a bike is: Definitely take a look at the bike before buying. Give it a quick once-over for general wear or use. If the bike looks like it hasn't been ...


6

Using car wax on your frame could certainly help protect it over time, though storing it indoors is much more important so that all of the components are protected from the weather. There are bike specific products like Pedro's Bike Lust but if you don't want to go that direction you should be just fine with any auto wax. In the past I have heard of people ...


6

When I was doing bike rehab for Christmas Anonymous I saw many bikes like this. It can be good or it can be bad, depending on how much weather it's seen. First thing is to do the obvious -- wash it (we used a power washer), clean & oil the chain, clean and oil the derailers. If it's been in the weather enough then the cables will rusted solid and will ...


5

I am a industrial chemist and manufacture commercial grade degreasers and other cleaners for a as my occupation... this is what i recommend for a home-made degreaser... Firstly there are three main parts to a degreaser... they are as follows: Alkaline booster (to increase the pH to allow the dirt and grease and grime to be effectively removed for faster ...


5

I'd transform the comparison between single-speed vs. multi-speed(derailer) to SINGLE-CHAINLINE(single, fixed, or internal-geared-hub) vs derailed(assumed always multi-speed). Then, there are ONLY advantages for the single-chainline bike: Overall material is thicker. On the other hand, the need to pack a lot of gears in a cassette requires that the cogs ...


5

If you do most of your own maintenance then you just have to deal with the "wear" items -- chains, rings, clusters, brake pads, tires, and tubes. Bearings wear out, but that takes a long time in most conditions. Stuff like bar wrap needs occasional replacement, but you can always cheap it out with adhesive tape or whatever. I generally figure 2000 miles ...


5

This type of bearing is not serviceable. The plastic piece is the seal that retains the grease and keeps water and dirt out. The crank needs to be pressed out to remove the bearings. Try to tap the crank with a soft faced hammer. the bearing on the opposite side should be pushed out by the crank. Installing the new bearings will require some care. I have had ...


5

If you believe you have diagnosed the problem then a clean and a service should be all that is required. You don't have to remove the FD. WD-40 will not displace mud effectively. I would: use a hose with a decent amount of pressure to remove the gunk, wait for it to dry. (be careful not to spray around the bottom bracket) apply WD-40 to any moving parts ...


5

As a bicycle mechanic in the Netherlands, I always advice not to use a waterhose. Rain doesn't get into your bearings and chain, while water from a waterhose sometimes does get in nasty places. I sometimes see chains or even a bearing which is rusted because the oil/grease is 'hosed away'. You can safely use water out of a bucket, with a sponge. But do not ...


5

Since the actual tire has burst, I think the most likely cause is that over the course of the 4000km you have ridden, the tire has suffered a cut or other damage that you did not previously notice. While sitting in your room, the pressure of the tube has gradually stretched the damaged area, and then burst. Inspect the other tire to check for cuts or ...


5

It depends. On a road bike you'll want them fairly tight to be able to ride on the hoods without the brake levers turning away or moving downward on the bar. On a mountain bike, at least the brake levers should be able to rotate away in case of a crash. But they still should be relatively tight such that they don't turn away while braking or because of ...


4

The friction between the bearings, pawls and lubricant in a freehub or freewheel are usually enough to turn the pedals when the wheel is spinning. If you hold onto the pedal and the wheel freewheels normally, probably there isn't anything to worry about. Of course, if the wheel stops freewheeling altogether or the friction to resist the wheels turning ...


4

Yes, a dished wheel can be built or re-dished without a frame handy. In order to get the wheel to revolve, the rim must be equidistant between the insides of the stays/fork. The reason why most rear wheels/front wheels with disk brakes are dished is because the hub flanges aren't centered between the ends of the axle. This is to accommodate the width of a ...


4

If you're buying a new bike at a bike shop I'd do the following: Ask yourself: Do you know what type of riding you plan on doing? Do you plan to race on this bike and/or commute on this bike? Do you prefer a specialized bike or a versatile bike? Do you have a strong preference to disc vs rim brakes? Do you plan to use this with racks / fenders, does it ...


4

You may run into issues if you apply radically different lubricants on top of each other. You won't do any damage to the chain, but you might effectively use one lubricant to repel another. I would cycle through the various lubes that you have mentioned you would like to experiment with during your normal maintenance window. Every 1-2 months give the ...


4

Quick answer: Don't worry. Front and rear are already "functionally different" on two-wheeled vehicles, to the point that we have different tread patterns and even wheel sizes (at least in motorcycles this is common-practice). So, having brakes with different "feels" is not a problem by itself, unless this bothers you, or makes you over/underestimate ...



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