How often should I give my bike a full service? Strip the bottom bracket, clean and grease it. Strip the groupset and freewheel.

And what products (or type of) should be used for each process?

It's a road bike which I ride often over the summer (Saturday and Sunday club rides 40 - 70Mi) and commute on during the week. In the winter I get out when I can so it sees some rain / salt.

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I personally think that it's a little subjective how often one would strip down a setup. I believe it really depends on riding styles, type & range of equipment and also sometimes events.

Riding Styles

I personally do freeride and XC. My FR (mostly street) setup receives more attention due to the abuse I put it through (I am heavy!) - though, I don't usually strip it down that much as compared to the XC. The XC has been through all kinds of mud, dirt and sand so naturally some of them get into areas where the sun don't shine (:)). I strip the XC down probably every quarterly but there are quarters that don't see much action where I didn't (eg really rainy seasons with no chance of heading for the trails).

Type & Range of equipment

Higher quality equipment usually would require less maintenance but that holds true only on some parts. Most modern rotational parts comes with sealed bearings so trying to clean those up for performance are pretty much futile (easier to just buy and fit a new one- like bottom brackets).

Events

You would almost always want to strip down and give a full service to your ride when you are nearing a race where it's critical that it performs flawlessly. Though do remember to do it a few days before so that you have a chance to readjust the fit/feel of your bike to you OR to change out parts that were found to have been damaged, worn out or need replacing (hangs on how much cash you have, parts availability and the like).

  • Nice answer! The "Events" paragraph also applies to touring; I give my bike the once-over before a tour. – Neil Fein Feb 5 '11 at 14:49
  • @user18403 your edits are gramattically correct, but they don't really add anything or improve the question. – Criggie Nov 8 at 3:30
  • The answer was not that easily readable before though. – gschenk Nov 8 at 10:26
  • @Criggie I was kind of thinking the same thing yesterday, lots of trivial edits of dormant posts seemed unnecessary. But starting to think it’s a way of bringing up interesting content to the surface (with occasional chaff). Not all bad. Newer users might add useful content, or read useful things they’d have otherwise missed. – Swifty Nov 8 at 19:13
  • Yeah agreed I'm torn between "trivial edits are bad" vs making the answers as good as possible. – Criggie Nov 8 at 21:04

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