Questions tagged [maintenance]

Tools, parts, techniques, and procedures to keep your bike in working order. MAINTENANCE is not the same as REPAIR, a separate tag. Maintenance is what one does on a regular basis. Repair is what one does only when something is broken.

33
votes
10answers
6k views

How much does bike price correspond with maintenance needs?

In this question (with this answer) I asked about a commuter bike, which is to be ridden 40 km every weekday, in the city. And apparently for this scenario I can choose either of two possible kinds of ...
31
votes
10answers
8k views

What should I look for when buying a used bicycle?

I'm moving to a city where I can ride a bicycle to the grocery store, coffee shop etc. I want to purchase a decent used bicycle. I'm leaning towards a bike that's in between a "10-speed" or road-bike ...
31
votes
2answers
13k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Setting chain length

My chain broke and in a moment of silliness (I was cold wet and slightly annoyed) I threw the broken one away before thinking about measuring the new one. Is there a guide to getting the chain ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Optimal Maintenance Schedule

It is forecast to rain this weekend so I was thinking I would drop a tarp down over my living room floor and give my bikes a bit of a tune up. Question What maintenance needs to be done on your ...
20
votes
5answers
5k views

What kinds of brake designs exist, and what are their general pros and cons?

Here are the ones I'm aware of: Center Pull Cantilever Slightly better braking than side pull brakes. No recentering problem. Relatively rare V-Brakes Cheap to produce. Similar in braking power to ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I lubricate my chain?

I know I should lubricate my chain regularly. I got some lube at my LBS; how should I apply it? Do I just drip some on one spot, and turn the pedals around a few times to spread it out? Drip it all ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Winter maintenance before putting bike in winter storage?

What kind of maintenance should I do before putting my bike into storage for the winter? Are there any special considerations for storing it? Does temperature matter? If it's hanging on the wall ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How to maintain chains during touring?

I think requirements are reusable, simple, small-size and things-to-easily-to-carry. There are exotic answers with chain clearers and other things that do not qualify to me simple. Perhaps, the ...
21
votes
6answers
41k views

Does this chainring need to be replaced?

Here is a closeup of my triple: All three rings are Shimano Ultegra and have never been changed. They probably have at least 12000+ km on them. I've been pretty good about changing the chain ...
15
votes
4answers
20k views

Fixing noisy V brakes

My V brakes make a lot of noise when I brake! I am annoyed by such noise, not to mention the pedestrians. My mechanic said that it will not make this noise after using it for couple of days, but it is ...
74
votes
6answers
176k views

Can I use WD-40 on my bike?

Is WD-40 really bad to apply on bikes? I was told so but still see people doing that. Also I saw WD-40 launching their new products of bike lubricant and degreaser. Did anybody try those?
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What should I look for when buying chain lube / lubricant?

In the past, I personally have only used WD-40. However, I have occasionally had my bicycle looked over at the locally run, free service sessions and most of the mechanics there use a hand applied ...
55
votes
5answers
5k views

Periodic Maintenance Task for Bike Commuters

What are the periodic maintenance tasks (weekly, monthly, annual, every X miles) that anyone who relies on a bike for transportation (typically in urban/semi-urban environments) should be performing? ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

Where to find good bicycle maintenance info?

If there is a good book what would it be? I'm pretty sure I can find stuff on YouTube (any particular user?). Any blogs out there?
23
votes
2answers
1k views

How to wash a bike properly? [duplicate]

I use my bicycle in a typical urban commute setting. No extreme MTB, but it still accumulates some dust and grime. How should I wash my bicycle?
19
votes
2answers
7k views

Dealing with rust on a steel frame

I have a small spot of rust on the bottom side of my steel frame's top tube (Columbus Niobium tubing). It's from abrasion during transport that I didn't notice until it was too late. The spot is ...
47
votes
8answers
36k views

How long should a road tyre hold its pressure?

How long should a road tyre be able to maintain a pressure of around 100psi, and what factors are likely to reduce this time? Background: My tyre pressures are consistently dropping to around 60psi ...
9
votes
3answers
32k views

How do I adjust my rear derailleur (Shimano SIS) when it is only slightly out?

It has been a while since I had my bike serviced and the gears are sometimes slightly out of perfect alignment. This results in the occasional mis-shift. I also think the change in seasons have ...
8
votes
3answers
54k views

How do I measure a bottom bracket?

I need to replace the bottom bracket bearing on my fixie. I plan to get a Shimano UN26, but I note that there are a number of different sizes. The sizes seem to be expressed as 68-110, where 68 is the ...
10
votes
2answers
853 views

How should I clean salt out during Winters?

Pretty simple question but I think some recommendations would make my chains a bit long-lasting. So when should you do something to your salted chains? When the chains already look rusty, can you use ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Practical cleaning routine for a commuter bike

I regularly (almost daily) ride my bike, often in bad weather. I mostly ride on roads, but sometimes through parks, forest etc. on unpaved surfaces. My bike is usually rather dirty, at least the lower ...
20
votes
5answers
58k views

What makes grease appropriate for bikes?

I'd like to grease my seatpost, and in front of me I've got a tube of "CMD Extreme Pressure Lube #3" that claims to be good for "ball bearings, roller bearings, deep drawing, rivet spinning" and a ...
9
votes
3answers
30k views

Which lubricant/grease to use for ball bearings?

A little mishap happened today during cleaning my bicycle. I tried to take off the sprocket wheel for easier access, but instead I opened the lock nut of the hub (cassette type) and the balls came out....
24
votes
8answers
19k views

Does the plastic cap on a Presta valve serve any purpose once fitted to a rim?

I can see the use of the valve cap on a Presta valve when the tube is still packaged (it obviously stops the valve puncturing the tube), but does it do anything except look pretty (or not) once you've ...
15
votes
3answers
21k views

Should I oil my seat post?

In a previous question I asked how to remove rust from my seat tube/post. In the comments of one answer somebody said I should be oiling my seat post to prevent it from rusting into my seat tube, but ...
17
votes
4answers
393 views

Pre ride checks

What checks should you perform before setting off to ensure that your bike is safe to ride? I'm more interesting in mountain bikes rather ride road bikes but I guess that most checks are applicable ...
17
votes
5answers
23k views

How do you count the number of links in a chain?

I thought this was a simple question but apparently there is some confusion - and it's good to have a basic question to refer people to. How many "links" are in these short bits of chain: Image A (...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Should a link opened/closed by a chain-breaker be stiff afterwards?

I disassembled my bike's drivetrain to degrease and regrease all the components. I used a chain-breaker for the first time (previous bikes had a master link) to open a chain link and remove the chain. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Disc brake pad and rotor compatibility

The SM-RT53 rotor should be used together with resin pads. If it is used with metal pads, the pads will wear out very rapidly. from Shimano BR M-416 disc brake manual How do I know if a rotor is ...
3
votes
4answers
16k views

Badly rusted suspension fork

I have a $300 MTB used for commuting. It has been three years now, and the rain and snow have said their word. Two weeks ago I disassembled the fork and spent a good one hour with the sandpaper, ...
3
votes
3answers
32k views

Front derailleur won't spring back to lower gears

The front derailleur on my mountainbike sometimes gets stuck in high gears. When this happens and I want to shift down I can nudge it a bit with my foot and it will spring back to the lower gear. I ...
41
votes
11answers
114k views

Homemade bicycle degreaser liquids

Does anyone have a recipe for a homemade bicycle degreaser solution? I'd like to make my own degreaser solution instead of buying one. I have read about using lemon juice and various types of alcohols ...
34
votes
5answers
11k views

Perfectly setting up gears - how?

Every time I have my bike serviced, the bike shop sets up the gears on a stand in their workshop. The gears change perfectly on the stand, but when the bike is on the road, the rear derailleur doesn't ...
26
votes
4answers
978 views

Basic toolkit for bicycle maintenance

What should be in the basic toolkit for someone that wants to maintain their own bicycle? I'm looking for something for your average day to day maintenance and tools that I will get the most use out ...
18
votes
7answers
32k views

How do I bring an old bike up to speed?

I'm an adult that is new to biking due to a triple whammy of a childhood aversion to effort, my family moving to a town on the side of a mountain with steep roads, and my bike getting run over by a ...
13
votes
4answers
95k views

What cleaner and oil should I use on my bike chain [duplicate]

Hope everyone is well. I need to clean and oil my chain as its getting a little clunky when I’m changing gears. I have no idea what I should be cleaning it with and then what I should oil with. Any ...
25
votes
3answers
149k views

What is the “preload” setting on the front fork suspension?

I've made a photo of the actual "thing" as I find it very difficult to explain otherwise: I'm wondering what this "thing" sets and how it actually works. So, what is "preload" and what happens when I ...
17
votes
1answer
846 views

How do I wrap a road bike handlebar?

What is the best way to wrap a handlebar? Specifically: Should I start near the stem or at the bar ends? wrap clockwise or counter-clockwise? How to wrap (e.g. how many times) around where the brake ...
16
votes
7answers
33k views

How to remove a crank arm with stripped threads?

A friend called me up yesterday after a mis-adventure during his attempt at a bottom bracket overhaul. He stripped out the threads on the (left) crank arm while using a Park crank puller. In a pinch, ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

Hydraulic Disc Brakes Maintenance

I have Hayes Nine hydraulic disc brakes on my mountain bike. I have recently replaced the brake pads and after that it seems that the pads are almost touching the rotor. How can I adjust it? I have ...
10
votes
1answer
28k views

What maintenance does a front suspension fork need?

I've just bought a used bike on eBay, its a 2002 Marin Bobcat Trail. It has 'In-Sync 266' suspension forks. This is my first suspension bike so I need some guidance in the use and maintenance of these ...
23
votes
7answers
7k views

How many miles and/or commuting seasons will a modern internal geared hub last?

I've been considering drive trains on a utility / commuter bike. What are expected or actual lifetime / maintenance needs of modern internal hubs? The Shimano Alfine internal 8-speed hub is on ...
12
votes
3answers
15k views

Is it harmful for a hydraulic brakes bike to be put upside down

I heard somewhere that bikes with hydraulic brakes should not be put upside down. If they are, 15 minutes should be allowed, before the bike is used. Is there any truth in this? What process could be ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I learn to take care of an old (70s era) road bike/get it back to working condition?

I found my mom's old road bike from the 70s tucked away in a corner of our attic. It's not in great condition and is pretty rusty. I don't know a lot about bikes from a mechanical or upkeep point of ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What kind of maintenance does a shimano dynamo hub need?

I have a shimano dynamo hub on the front of my bike. Does it need any special maintenance, or maybe it needs just a little synthetic grease once a year, like a normal front hub?
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I remove rust from my seat tube?

I just pulled my seat out as the first step of breaking my bike down for winter storage, and found that rust has formed between my seat tube and my seat post. The rust starts maybe 3" down the tube ...
6
votes
4answers
985 views

How can I remove the stripped plastic cups of a bottom bracket?

I have a 2 frames with FAG bottom brackets (can't tell the exact model from the outside, but something like this): (datasheet here) in various states of destruction Bike 1 I didn't have the tool so ...
5
votes
3answers
21k views

What tool is needed to remove a Shimano HG-50 freewheel?

What tool is needed to remove a Shimano HG-50 freewheel from the wheel hub? It looks like a 12mm or 13mm Allen key. Will this do it or is there some detail I have missed?
33
votes
5answers
34k views

Does the chain direction make a difference?

Recently, I helped a friend install a new chain on her road bike, and for the first time read the instructions for installing one. It seems to claim that there's a forward direction, and that it ...