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Bottom bracket - crank area

Hi, I have a Santa Cruz Heckler from 2011 that was in storage for the last three years, and before that I was riding it a few times a week on local trails. I never did anything maintenance-wise beyond changing tires and brake pads as needed. I've started riding it again and it clearly needs some tlc. The issues I'm seeing are:

  • terrible shifting and skipping drivetrain,

  • creaking from all over the place.

I plan to regrease all bearings and replace the chain.

I am interested in suggestions for maintenance under such a situation and also what tools I will need to do these repairs for this particular bike?

Update: I got to work and here is what I found.

-Headset and rear wheel bearings were dried out and needed grease -drive side bb brearing was toast -cassette and middle ring on the front are worn and need replacement -The kona pedals came apart easily and could be greased

Thanks all for the pointers!

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    Start by giving it a good wash, then let it dry, and then take a decent photo of your bike only, from the left side, ideally in sunlight. – Criggie Jan 7 '18 at 22:51
  • Shocks will definitely need a service. – mattnz Jan 8 '18 at 7:41
  • Glad you are are learning some bike maintenance and are on your way to having the bike back on the trail – Argenti Apparatus Jan 11 '18 at 16:03
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The maintenance you need to do depends on how many miles you put on the bike before it went into storage. Assuming you were riding it regularly between 2011 and it going into storage you just need to do a 'well used bike refresh' which includes replacing a number of parts that wear out.

As others have said, start out by giving that poor bike a good cleaning. It was not a good idea to store it wet and dirty and that may have contributed to some of the problems you are seeing now. As part of that process thoroughly de-grease the chain, cassette, rings and rear derailleur idler wheels. There are a number of bike cleaning videos out there that make recommendations for cleaning supplies.

You will need a basic tool kit: hex wrenches 2-12mm, open-end/box wrenches 6-17mm, small and medium needle-nose pliers, set small to medium flat and Philips screwdrivers. On some bikes with disc brakes a T25 torx wrench is needed. A bike-specific torque wrench is nice to have. I'd recommend at least a 2-8Nm one for small bolts. You'll have to decide if you want a larger one (up to about 15Nm) as well.

There are many good instructional videos available on all aspects of repair and maintenance. I personally like Park Tool Company's YouTube channel. These will tell you the specialized tools you need, but I'll mention them below as well.

Go over the bike and check for general obvious problems and loose bolts or fasteners.

If you were riding the bike regularly a new chain is a certainty. You will also need to check the cassette sprockets to see of any of them are too worn, and replace the cassette if required. If you need to replace the cassette you will need a chain whip and cassette lock-ring removal tool. I believe most lock-ring tools require a 25mm wrench, a large adjustable wrench will work. You may want to invest in a chain wear tool as well. Chain rings wear more slowly than cassette sprockets but check those for excessive wear also.

While you have the chain off, check the derailleur idler wheels, if they do not turn freely they will need servicing and re-lubricating, or just replace them.

Also with the chain off, check the crank spins freely in the bottom bracket bearings. If it does not turn freely, but there is no roughness you may be able to service the bearings. Research the particular type of bottom bracket you have for serviceability. If there is resistance and roughness it will need to be replaced. You will need the appropriate external bearing bottom bracket removal tool for your bottom bracket.

I don't know if chain quick links existed in 2011. If yours does not have one you will need a chain tool to break the chain, and to connect the new chain if you get one without a quick link.

When the new chain (and if needed, cassette and rings), perform a full front and rear derailleur adjustment (Park Tool's derailleur videos are particularly comprehensive). It's more than likely that you will need to replace the derailleur cables and housing to get your shifting working correctly. It's a good idea to replace them anyway. You'll need a special cable and housing cutter.

Service and adjust the brakes. I'm guessing they are mechanical disc which I don't think require special tools (someone please correct me in a comment if I'm wrong here). As with the derailleur cables the brake cables may need replacing. The same housing and cable cutter required.

Check for play or roughness in the headset bearings. If there is play but no roughness you can adjust the bearing tension. If there is a gritty feel you will need to disassemble, clean and repack the bearings.

Check for play or roughness in the pedal bearings. Depending on what pedals you have there may be as service kit or replacement bearings available if the bearings are worn out.

Check the wheel axles for play or roughness in the bearings. Depending on the hubs the bearings may be serviceable or replaceable. You'll have to research your particular hubs. Check rims for trueness and check for loose spokes. If the wheels needs truing I recommend having a bike repair shop do it.

Forks and rear shock may need re-build or servicing but that is beyond my knowledge.

The various creaks you will have to individually hunt down and address.

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  • Thanks for the advice. I ordered a new chain, cassette, and shifter cables along with tools. The wheel bearing a really gritty and hard to turn so I'll hope for the best one I get the cassette off and have a look at them. – Brian Paden Jan 10 '18 at 15:51
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First of all, you will need to wash your bicycle. Besides being a virtue on its own, it will allow you to better access the bicyles's state, because some problems might be hidden behind the dirt.

Now, a full set of tools to service a bicycle is huge and costs more than a home mechanic would want to invest in it. Besides, certain operations require experience beside tools. For example, your bike is full suspension, and re-pressing bearings in rear linkage is not a thing one can do in five minutes without experience. There is a smaller and much cheaper subset of tools which is enough to do ~90% of regular work, but again, you will need to know exactly what you want to fix in order to tell whether some tool is needed or not.

I would recommend looking for and addressing discovered problems one-by-one. For each isolated problem, there might be an answer either on this site or somewhere else on the Internet, as there are good manuals from certain bike tools vendors.

You will be able to change tires, cables, chain, cassette, maybe perform brake bleeding etc., but it will be cheaper and easier to true wheels or change pressed-in bearings in your local bike shop.

Now on to the more specific things in your question.

  • Bad shifting most likely indicates that you will need to change shifting cables as well.

  • Creaking sounds may come literally from anywhere, especially given that it is a full-suspension bike that has more moving parts. There are some techniques that help isolating the source of the noise, and I am sure they are already described on this site.

Your plan to regrease all the bearings assumes that your know where all the bearings are, how to get to them, and what type of grease to use in each case. Do you? If not, I would recommend visiting your local bike shop and asking them to do that for you for your better overall experience: so that you spend less time tinkering and more time having fun on your bike!

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But you need remove cassette, chain, and cranks. Clean them. Lubricate. Also clean rear and front derailers. Please love your bike.

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    Our goal as a Q/A site (rather than an typical forum) is to have detailed and relevant answers to fairly specific questions. Your answer has been flagged as "Not an Answer" or is getting downvoted by the community because it either doesn't answer the question, or doesn't add valuable information given the answers that already exist. Answers like this will often be deleted or converted to comments. Please see the Tour for an overview of how this and other Stack Exchange sites work. – Gary.Ray Jan 9 '18 at 13:38
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Very bad condition. And photo bad too. But how i understand you need that tools for remove bottom bracket. enter image description here

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  • 1
    Our goal as a Q/A site (rather than an typical forum) is to have detailed and relevant answers to fairly specific questions. Your answer has been flagged as "Not an Answer" or is getting downvoted by the community because it either doesn't answer the question, or doesn't add valuable information given the answers that already exist. Answers like this will often be deleted or converted to comments. Please see the Tour for an overview of how this and other Stack Exchange sites work. – Gary.Ray Jan 9 '18 at 13:39

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