20

I have a road bike that I plan to completely overhaul soon. Over the years, and with several bikes, I have overhauled most every component, but have never managed to do this for an entire bike, start to finish.

Is there an optimal sequence for a bike overhaul? Or does it matter?

  • Is it important to you to strip all the way down to a bare frame? Or is overhauling one system at a time OK? – Jay Bazuzi Oct 21 '10 at 18:22
  • Probably won't strip to bare frame. I'm not sure that I need to. – user313 Oct 21 '10 at 20:26
  • I don't like the title, but I can't think of a better one! Good question. – Neil Fein Oct 22 '10 at 0:18
11

I have two overhaul checklist links that are great. One of the checklists I modified for personal use and have included.

The first is from United Bicycle Institute (checklist PDF link) - UBI is one of the premier US bike mechanics schools.

The one below I modified from the A Convenient Cycle blog (the blog is now dead...) and is what I use in my personal shop.

Wheel Systems:
[ ] Front Hub bearings greased.
[ ] Front Hub bearings adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] Rear Hub bearings greased.
[ ] Rear Hub bearings adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] All hubs locknuts secured.
[ ] Hubs inspected for bent axles and external evidence of internal problems.
[ ] Rims trued laterally to .5mm tolerance or better.
[ ] Rims inspected for damaged or other work needed.
[ ] Tires checked for proper wear and damage, proper mounting, and inflation.
[ ] Wheels mounted in proper alignment and secure.

Drive Train System:
[ ] Bottom Bracket greased
[ ] Bottom Bracket fixed cup secured.
[ ] Bottom Bracket fixed cup secured.
[ ] Bottom Bracket adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] Bottom Bracket inspected for external evidence of internal problems.
[ ] Crank arms securely mounted.
[ ] Chainrings bolts secured.
[ ] Wobbling chainrings aligned.
[ ] Pedals lubricated
[ ] Pedals securely mounted.
[ ] Chain cleaned
[ ] Chain lubed and whipped down
[ ] Chain inspected for wear
[ ] Freewheel cleaned and rinsed
[ ] Freewheel inspected for wear
[ ] Freewheel lubricated.

Brake System:
[ ] Cables lubricated and replaced if worn.
[ ] Front Braking surface cleaned and checked for ware.
[ ] Rear Braking surface cleaned and checked for ware.
[ ] Brake calipers checked for mounting security.
[ ] Caliper arms and pivot/mounting bolts checked for damage.
[ ] Adjustable brake pivots adjusted for no play or binding.
[ ] Pivot nut/bolts checked for secure.
[ ] Brake caliper lubricated at pivots, springs, and cable adjuster barrels.
[ ] Brake barrels adjusters reseted.
[ ] Brake pads checked for wear and replaced if more than 50% worn.
[ ] Brake pad height set so as not to rub tire or hit partially below rim.
[ ] Pads set tangent [parallel] to rim.
[ ] New pads set with .5mm to 1.5mm toe to reduce squeal.
[ ] Pads clearance set to 1mm -2mm per side [except MTB type].
[ ] MTB pad clearance set so that when the pads contact the rim the lever clears the handlebar by a minimum of 1 inch.
[ ] Brake levers set to proper alignment and secure.
[ ] Brake level pivots, cable anchor pivots, and cable adjusters lubricated.
[ ] Cable removed and inspected for rust, frays, and kinks in the inner wire and housing.
[ ] Housings sized to proper length and ends finished with filing and end caps where fit.
[ ] Cables lubricated wherever they pass through housings.
[ ] Cable system stress tested by pulling brake lever fully to handlebar a minimum of ten times.
[ ] Cable end finished with cap or soldering.
[ ] Rims cleaned of lubricants and road grime.

Shift Systems:
[ ] Cables lubed and replaced if necessary
[ ] Rear derailleur removed and hanger checked for proper alignment.
[ ] Rear derailleur pivots, cable adjusters, and jockey wheels lubricated.
[ ] Rear derailleur inspected for damage and worn jockey wheels.
[ ] Rear derailleur mounted securely.
[ ] Front derailleur checked for proper mounting height and rotation.
[ ] Front derailleur checked for proper secure mounting.
[ ] Front derailleur pivots lubricated.
[ ] Derailleur cables removed and inspected for rust, frays, and kinks in the inner wires and housings.
[ ] Housings sized to proper length and ends finished with filing and end caps wherever they improve fit.
[ ] Cables lubricated wherever they pass through housings when appropriate.
[ ] Cables pre-stressed.
[ ] Chain length checked.
[ ] Rear derailleur limit screws set to allow shift to largest and smallest sprockets.
[ ] Rear derailleur checked for over shift at all gear combinations.
[ ] Front derailleur limit screws set for minimum clearance of the derailleur cage to the chain in high and low gear.
[ ] Front derailleur checked for over shift at all gear combinations.

Steering System:
[ ] Headset lubricated.
[ ] Headset adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] Headset locknut secured.
[ ] Headset inspected for external evidence of damage, wear, or loose cups.
[ ] Fork inspected for damage.
[ ] Stem inspected for proper depth insertion, alignment, and secure.
[ ] Handlebars inspected for damage, proper alignment, and secure.

Miscellaneous:
[ ] Frame checked for damage.
[ ] Seat post checked for allowable minimum depth of insertion.
[ ] Seat post secure mounting checked.
[ ] Seat checked for proper alignment and secure mounting.
[ ] Accessories checked for mounting security and interference with moving parts or safety hazards.

Test Ride:
[ ] Brakes checked for stopping power and squeal.
[ ] Bicycle checked for tracking problems.
[ ] Derailleurs checked for performance and over shift.
[ ] Chain and freewheel cogs checked for skipping under load.
[ ] Bicycle checked for unusual noises.
2

I usually start by stripping a frame down. I'll leave the cables on if I'm not going that far but at least take the headset apart and take out the BB. Once I get it that far I'll finish off the frame then move on to the wheels. Pull out the bearings and check the balls, get new ones if needed and re-pack the hubs. I also clean the cassette at this point since it's mostly apart.

I've never had pedals that required a rebuild but I guess I'd do it after I put the cranks back on.

Then put it back together.

2

Seeing as the links in the OP don't work, here's the text checklist, and here's the PDF:

[ ] Front Hub berings greased.
[ ] Front Hub berings adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] Rear Hub berings greased.
[ ] Rear Hub berings adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] All hubs locknuts secured.
[ ] Hubs inspected for bent axles and external evidence of internal problems.
[ ] Rims trued laterally to .5mm tolerance or better.
[ ] Rims inspected for damaged or other work needed.
[ ] Tires checked for proper wear and damage, proper mounting, and inflation.
[ ] Wheels mounted in proper alignment and secure.
[ ] ALL DONE
[ ] SEE NOTES: Problems in need of further attention.
Drive Train System:
[ ] Bottom Bracket greased
[ ] Bottom Bracket fixed cup secured.
[ ] Bottom Bracket fixed cup secured.
[ ] Bottom Bracket adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] Bottom Bracket inspected for external evidence of internal problems.
[ ] Crank arms securely mounted.
[ ] Chainrings bolts secured.
[ ] Wobbling chainrings aligned.
[ ] Pedals lubricated
[ ] Pedals securely mounted.
[ ] Chain cleaned
[ ] Chain lubed and whipped down
[ ] Chain inspected for wear
[ ] Freewheel cleaned and rinsed
[ ] Freewheel inspected for wear
[ ] Freewheel lubricated.
[ ] ALL DONE
[ ] SEE NOTES: Problems in need of further attention.
Steering System:
[ ] Headset lubricated.
[ ] Headset adjusted to not be tight or loose.
[ ] Headset locknut secured.
[ ] Headset inspected for external evidence of damage, wear, or loose cups.
[ ] Fork inspected for damage.
[ ] Stem inspected for proper depth insertion, alignment, and secure.
[ ] Handlebars inspected for damage, proper alignment, and secure.
[ ] ALL DONE
[ ] SEE NOTES: Problems in need of further attention.
Brake System:
[ ] Cables lubricated and replaced if worn.
[ ] Front Braking surface cleaned and checked for ware.
[ ] Rear Braking surface cleaned and checked for ware.
[ ] Brake calipers checked for mounting security.
[ ] Caliper arms and pivot/mounting bolts checked for damage.
[ ] Adjustable brake pivots adjusted for no play or binding.
[ ] Pivot nut/bolts checked for secure.
[ ] Brake caliper lubricated at pivots, springs, and cable adjuster barrels.
[ ] Brake barrels adjusters reseted.
[ ] Brake pads checked for wear and replaced if more than 50% worn.
[ ] Brake pad height set so as not to rub tire or hit partially below rim.
[ ] Pads set tangent [parallel] to rim.
[ ] New pads set with .5mm to 1.5mm toe to reduce squeal.
[ ] Pads clearance set to 1mm -2mm per side [except MTB type].
[ ] MTB pad clearance set so that when the pads contact the rim the lever clears the handlebar by a minimum of 1 inch.
[ ] Brake levers set to proper alignment and secure.
[ ] Brake level pivots, cable anchor pivots, and cable adjusters lubricated.
[ ] Cable removed and inspected for rust, frays, and kinks in the inner wire and housing.
[ ] Housings sized to proper length and ends finished with filing and end caps where fit.
[ ] Cables lubricated wherever they pass through housings.
[ ] Cable system stress tested by pulling brake lever fully to handlebar a minimum of ten times.
[ ] Cable end finished with cap or soldering.
[ ] Rims cleaned of lubricants and road grime.
[ ] ALL DONE
[ ] SEE NOTES: Problems in need of further attention
Shift Systems:
[ ] Cables lubed and replaced if necessary
[ ] Rear derailleur removed and hanger checked for proper alignment.
[ ] Rear derailleur pivots, cable adjusters, and jockey wheels lubricated.
[ ] Rear derailleur inspected for damage and worn jockey wheels.
[ ] Rear derailleur mounted securely.
[ ] Front derailleur checked for proper mounting height and rotation.
[ ] Front derailleur checked for proper secure mounting.
[ ] Front derailleur pivots lubricated.
[ ] Derailleur cables removed and inspected for rust, frays, and kinks in the inner wires and housings.
[ ] Housings sized to proper length and ends finished with filing and end caps wherever they improve fit.
[ ] Cables lubricated wherever they pass through housings when appropriate.
[ ] Cables pre-stressed.
[ ] Chain length checked.
[ ] Rear derailleur limit screws set to allow shift to largest and smallest sprockets.
[ ] Rear derailleur checked for over shift at all gear combinations.
[ ] Front derailleur limit screws set for minimum clearance of the derailleur cage to the chain in high and low gear.
[ ] Front derailleur checked for over shift at all gear combinations.
[ ] ALL DONE
[ ] SEE NOTES: Problems in need of further attention
Miscellaneous:
[ ] Frame checked for damage.
[ ] Seat post checked for allowable minimum depth of insertion.
[ ] Seat post secure mounting checked.
[ ] Seat checked for proper alignment and secure mounting.
[ ] Accessories checked for mounting security and interference with moving parts or safety hazards.
[ ] ALL DONE
[ ] SEE NOTES: Problems in need of further attention
Test Ride:
[ ] Frame cleaned.
[ ] Frame waxed.
[ ] Frame checked for damage.
[ ] Brakes checked for stopping power and squeal.
[ ] Bicycle checked for tracking problems.
[ ] Derailleurs checked for performance and over shift.
[ ] Chain and freewheel cogs checked for skipping under load.
[ ] Bicycle checked for unusual noises.
Notes: These problems could not be repaired and/or are in need of further attention;
1

I start with a basic M check - what is wrong with the bike. List the things that need doing. That means a close inspection of the frame for damage/cracks - if the frame's a write off the bike is a parts donor only and stripped.

I start by removing all the bad bits and decide if they would be serviceable after a rebuild or if they need replacement.

Once everything is off the bike that doesn't work, I make a judgement call about whether its worth fixing at all. Avoid sinking a lot of time into a bike if its marginal. There are a lot of bikes out there, and while sentimentality and history helps move the boundary you still need to be selective.

Work on each subsystem in turn. IE I'd make the BB perfect and then move on to cranks. Then rear wheel, cassette, derailleurs, chain.

Always clean things before working on them. A clean bike is nicer to work with. So do the dirty parts first - that's transmission, wheel hubs, wheel truing etc.

Leave finishing details till later. Saddle, bartape, reflectors, inner cables for brakes/shifters, and brakes are toward the end of the sequence.

Finally, test the bike. You should ride it for a few minutes, slow at first then getting up to speed and testing the brakes and shifting.

After 4-6 weeks you will want to tweak the brake and shifter cables too - they bed-in with usage.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy