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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.

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98 votes
11 answers
308k 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?
Ian Song's user avatar
  • 1,031
67 votes
9 answers
6k 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? ...
noah's user avatar
  • 874
56 votes
11 answers
181k 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 ...
Bernard Tyers's user avatar
51 votes
9 answers
55k 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 ...
Will's user avatar
  • 1,075
44 votes
11 answers
8k 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 ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 12.1k
39 votes
5 answers
57k 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 ...
zigdon's user avatar
  • 2,396
38 votes
5 answers
12k 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 ...
PeterB's user avatar
  • 481
37 votes
2 answers
15k 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 ...
user avatar
36 votes
4 answers
257k 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 ...
Frantisek's user avatar
  • 1,139
35 votes
7 answers
13k views

Bike shop did too much work on my bike - do I need to pick it up?

A month ago I bought a 90s Trek road bike for $100 off of Craigslist. It was my size but it had sat outside untouched for over a year so I took it to my local bike shop for a tune-up. I was expecting ...
Trek Senda's user avatar
35 votes
7 answers
29k views

How do self-adjusting hydraulic disc brakes work?

I have Avid Elixir brakes on my mountain bike. They are the only part of the bike that's a total black box to me. I understand the principle behind disc brakes, and I understand the principle behind ...
Benson's user avatar
  • 1,496
34 votes
10 answers
11k 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 ...
MrDatabase's user avatar
33 votes
2 answers
18k views

Why does pedalling backwards not move my bike backwards?

On the Mountain bike I have, pedalling backwards moves the chain but doesn't drive the wheels of the bike backwards like you would expect it to. Why is this?
Ambo100's user avatar
  • 2,564
31 votes
7 answers
5k views

Why do the front and rear brakes work independently?

Why do bicycles have two individual brake levers that work independently to brake each wheel? I've always used my right brake lever because it is more comfortable to do so and I haven't noticed any ...
Ambo100's user avatar
  • 2,564
28 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
milesmeow's user avatar
  • 2,363
26 votes
11 answers
9k views

Are there real-life alternatives to the chain+derailleur combo?

I was reading an article about the CeramicSpeed’s Driven concept and, while not interested in the efficiency part, the chainless system reminded me of something I was wondering for some time: are ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 1,113
26 votes
7 answers
13k 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. The Shimano Alfine internal 8-speed hub is on several bikes I've liked. I've also heard good things about SRAM and Nexus hubs. I ride ...
bmike's user avatar
  • 454
26 votes
9 answers
4k views

What is the most ecologically sustainable way to handle rags covered in chain grease?

I have a handful of cloths that I've used to clean and grease my bike chain over the years. Each is covered in chain grease and other gunk that was once on my chain. I'm starting to wonder what I ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 395
26 votes
4 answers
79k views

How do I know when to replace my bottom bracket?

With out completely removing the cranks and bottom bracket, how can I tell when it's time to replace my bottom bracket? The current symptom is a slightly 'rough' feeling when I pedal. It's not ...
Gary.Ray's user avatar
  • 16.4k
26 votes
2 answers
2k 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?
Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski's user avatar
25 votes
8 answers
26k 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 ...
Will's user avatar
  • 1,075
25 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Brian Campbell's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
30k views

What's the rubber tube in my puncture repair kit for?

I've got an old school puncture repair kit, the type with glue and patches. As well as the sandpaper, patches, 'vulcanizing fluid' and instructions, there is a 2.5cm long, 3mm wide, beige rubber tube....
Jonny Cundall's user avatar
24 votes
6 answers
7k 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
4 answers
2k 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 ...
sixtyfootersdude's user avatar
24 votes
7 answers
63k 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 ...
darkcanuck's user avatar
  • 10.9k
24 votes
8 answers
33k views

How can I clean sand off my bike chain?

I recently went for a ride in the forest. Sections of sand were encountered during that ride and I can clearly see sand sticking to my bike chain now. How can I clean the sand off effectively? There ...
user155695's user avatar
  • 2,913
24 votes
5 answers
36k views

Should or can I (car) wax my frame?

Having spent the whole summer taking a bike apart, painting it and now in the process of building it again, I was thinking about waxing it. I want the finish to last as long as possible, after all, I'...
Matsemann's user avatar
  • 635
24 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
sleske's user avatar
  • 2,319
23 votes
13 answers
113k views

How long is the life cycle of a bicycle?

This may not be a particularly practical question, but I wonder how often do you find yourself looking for a new (or another) bike? There are, of course, two main aspects of it: Mechanical decay. If ...
StasK's user avatar
  • 357
23 votes
9 answers
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
4 answers
13k views

Sequence for a complete road bike overhaul

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 ...
user avatar
22 votes
5 answers
76k 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 ...
Thalecress's user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
5k views

How maintenance-free can a commuter bike be?

Commuting is hard on bikes, especially when doing it all-year long. Maintenance is essential to assure one can get to work every morning without issues but it takes time and care. Fixed-gear and ...
olliebulle's user avatar
  • 4,119
21 votes
9 answers
49k 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, ...
user avatar
21 votes
6 answers
91k views

How often should I grease and repack my hubs and bottom bracket?

I am commuting 7 miles a day (round trip) in all weather in New England (temperate, moderately wet climate, cold winters). Overall I am putting about 1000 miles per year on my commuter bike, a 2009 ...
Adam Franco's user avatar
  • 1,584
21 votes
7 answers
36k 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 ...
Kalamane's user avatar
  • 313
21 votes
3 answers
31k views

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

I have heard that bikes with hydraulic brakes should not be left 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 ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
21 votes
2 answers
12k 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 ...
darkcanuck's user avatar
  • 10.9k
20 votes
10 answers
4k views

What would happen if I don’t replace worn drivetrain components?

What would happen if I took a entirely new drivetrain and just never replaced anything? Of course, I’d keep it clean and lubricated. With 11 and 12 speed chains being as expensive as they are, the old ...
MaplePanda's user avatar
  • 15.6k
20 votes
10 answers
11k views

Stuck pedal, I've tried everything

I'm looking for suggestions, when basically everything has failed to remove a pedal. It's a pretty new bike (Trek 520). The drive side pedal came off fine, the non-drive side did not. I am aware that ...
Padraic's user avatar
  • 301
20 votes
10 answers
8k views

How does one wipe clean and oil the chain? (maintenance details)

This may sound like a dumb question -- I know how to oil a bike chain, but apparently not how to do it correctly. I have a relatively new gravel bike, a Giant Revolt, which I ride (on tarmac) about 25 ...
Cerulean's user avatar
  • 1,061
20 votes
4 answers
2k views

Minimal effort chain cleaning

One of the main reasons I eventually give up my bicycle commute in winter is that keeping my bike -mainly the drivetrain- clean despite all the rain/dirt/salt/hail/snow becomes too much of a time suck....
jilles de wit's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Kibbee's user avatar
  • 21.8k
20 votes
5 answers
15k views

Post Rain Ride Wipedown

I've tried avoiding riding during the rain for years because I didn't want to hurt my bike. But, tomorrow I really want to ride, rain (most likely) or shine. What should I do after the ride to ...
J126's user avatar
  • 857
20 votes
5 answers
32k views

What are the benefits of external bottom brackets?

Pretty soon, I plan to replace the bottom bracket on my early 90's Sakae Litage road bike. It takes a standard, English-threaded bottom bracket. Right now I think it contains loose bearings--I was ...
DC_CARR's user avatar
  • 3,870
19 votes
7 answers
47k views

How to patch glass cuts in a bicycle tire?

How do you deal with the small cuts in a bicycle tires main tread? Do folks fill these small cuts? I have continental gatorskins which I periodically check and pull out the street glass shards. ...
akyeung's user avatar
  • 193
19 votes
11 answers
29k views

Is there such a thing as frame failure?

Several general questions have been asked regarding how long a bike or bike frame will "last", and the gist of answers seems to be that a bike can last quite a while if the replaceable components are ...
orome's user avatar
  • 1,444
19 votes
5 answers
10k views

How does a bike 'degrade' whilst unused

What (if anything) will happen to a bike whilst it sits unused, that wouldn't happen to it whilst being used for a work commute over the same period? Suppose I take a 3 month sabbatical and leave my ...
Brondahl's user avatar
  • 333
19 votes
3 answers
36k 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 ...
user229044's user avatar
  • 3,606

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