Questions tagged [mechanical]

Repairs, maintenance, mechanical issues, or drivetrain parts.

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49
votes
4answers
457k views

How can I tell which size chain my bike uses?

After learning how to break a chain and reattach it, and also how to add and remove a master link, I find that I can now do much more in the way of maintenance at home. I'll no longer need to bring my ...
42
votes
16answers
177k views

Creaking from cranks/spindle. How to fix?

Recently the cranks on my bike started to creak. I checked with my usual "bike-bible" Park Tool. They recommended dis-assemble, lubricate, re-assemble. So I did that. Remove cranks. Remove spindle. ...
22
votes
4answers
35k views

How to tighten a brake?

This is probably a really basic question but I'm confused by the whole brake mechanism so... My left (front wheel) brake has to be pulled in really far before it actually starts to brake (I guess ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a practical gain from elliptical/oval chainrings?

I have seen competitive (amateur) cyclists with oval chainrings (front). What is the deal? Are they just for showing off, or is there a practical gain from it (different force transfer).
18
votes
9answers
24k views

Rear wheel slipping out under load

My commuting/cyclocross bike (a Surly Crosscheck) has a problem. If I tighten the quick release skewer to a normal level, sort of firm to close it, then if I step on the pedals hard at some point, ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I fix a puncture?

I got a flat/puncture on my bike tube, how can I fix it myself without going to the nearest bike shop? What kind of equipment would I need?
16
votes
4answers
25k views

How do I prevent the rear derailleur from slipping gears?

What's the best way to tune the rear derailleur of my bike to stop slipping gears? It seems that every time I re-adjust it, the middle/upper gears are perfectly aligned, but the lower gears never ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How often should I strip my bike down?

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 ...
14
votes
8answers
5k views

Loose spokes after only a few rides

I have recently joined the cycling world after committing to losing weight. I am a heavy rider at about 28st (390 lbs) and have after some advice gone for a GT Avalanche. I have had the bike less than ...
14
votes
11answers
22k views

Is there such thing as a freewheel that doesn't click?

The clicking sound of the freewheel on my singlespeed when it's coasting is annoying for me, so I flipped over my back wheel and rode fixed for a few months in blissful silence. But having to pedal ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I replace all wheel bearings when only some are worn?

I just ripped apart my mom's mountain bike's rear hub. One of the bearings was incredibly rough, so I replaced it, and the other one was smooth, but didn't turn very easily. Since I didn't have a ...
13
votes
2answers
60k views

How can I tell if a chain has a master link?

I need to remove the chain on my internal-hub cruiser to clean it (i.e., no rear or front deraileur), and I'd rather not remove my back wheel if I can avoid that. What do I look for to find the master ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Will a bicycle trailer damage my (steel) bicycle?

I have a rhode gear trailer with a 100 lb capacity, similar to the burley and other brands, that attaches to the left chainstay (see image of hitch below). I currently have it attached to my heavy-...
11
votes
3answers
17k views

Attaching a stem to a carbon steerer: how much torque?

So I decided to travel with my bike this week and to my surprise discovered that the steerer is carbon fiber. I had removed the stem from the steerer for packing but naively assumed it was aluminum ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

How to fix new chain that switches gears when pedaling backwards

I just recently replaced a chain that got incredibly beat up in the winter (it was rusted, and practically stiff when I removed it.) I removed links from the new chain to match the length of the ...
10
votes
4answers
20k views

How to fix front gear taking 2 shifts just to move onto next cog

I was out on a ride yesterday and several times when I was changing up and down between big chain ring and little chain ring (I only have the 2 rings up front) it required 2 gear changes. The gears ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

Why do current, entry-level shimano rear derailers have large-diameter pulleys?

I have seen (and recently bought) entry-level rear derailers from Shimano (Tourney for MTB, 2300 for road bike), and I keep wondering why they are making these parts with such large pulleys. I don't ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Broken stem tube – LBS “just” lowered handlebars. Is this safe?

I have asked this elsewhere on the internet as well, but this is the Stack Exchange adaptation. I have three related questions and I'll try to make it clear what they are. Here's some background where ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does my rear derailleur keep breaking?

I upgraded my rear-mech with a new cassette, chain and new cables a few weeks ago since then i've mangled two rear mechs! Both times I've just been riding along; not in a big gear; not at the ...
8
votes
5answers
18k views

Unscrewing a rounded allen bolt

I need to take out my rear shock but one of the 2 allen bolts that is holding it (the upper one) has been rounded. I've been told about various ways that such a bolt can be taken out including: ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Bent front sprocket

My chain just started to slip off my front gears and it happens within a minute of riding. I discovered that the middle sprocket is bent. This leads me to my questions: How much should a LBS charge ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How feasible is it to transfer modern (2010) components to a 90s frame (road bike)

My 2010 aluminum frame may be toast (stripped bottom bracket) and I was considering getting an older chro-mo frame and transferring the components to it. It's a racing/sport style with drop bars and ...
8
votes
1answer
297 views

Is it necessary to reinforce a carbon fiber steer tube?

There seems to a belief circulating online that carbon fiber steer tubes need to be reinforced with the compression plug specifically underneath the clamp points of the stem. If this is true, why isn'...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Derailleur Pulley Wheel Compatibility

I can't find replacement pulley wheels for my derailer that are explicitly made for it. Should I be safe replacing them with a set with the same number of teeth (i.e., the same diameter) and targeted ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Pad spacer and mechanical disc brakes

My bike, a Trek, has Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Do I need to insert a pad spacer when the wheel is removed to prevent the brake from locking if the lever is accidentally moved?
7
votes
3answers
12k views

How to replace a Sturmey Archer's cable?

I would like to replace the cable of a Sturmey Archer hub, but can't find a way to disassemble the old cable without destroying it, and it puzzles me how to insert the new cable. To better explain, I ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Stuck gear hub on the way into a gear on an internal geared hub

My bike recently got stolen :( therefore I have borrowed a bike with an internal gear hub from my stepdad, which was working fine until recently when the pedals just wouldn't turn whenever I switched ...
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Reverse Gear in Bicycles

For an ordinary bicycle (neither fixed gear nor capable of changing any gears). Is it possible to modify it to have a reverse gear on it? (i.e. reverse pedaling causes the bicycle to go backward) (...
6
votes
3answers
913 views

Replacing an FSA chainring

I would like to replace my chainring for a bigger one. I looked up my bike specs and it comes with a FSA CK-316BT, KSS, 42T chainring. I couldn't find any information about this, so I don't know how ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Approximately where is the center of mass of a mountain bike?

Take a "standard" multipurpose bike like this one: http://www.islabikes.co.uk/bike_pages/beinn29.html (Weighing 12.2kg) I'm conducting a physics investigation, and for this I need to know the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to replace bearings in Shimano XT bottom bracket cups?

Curious if I can just replace the bearings in my existing cups or if I would need to buy new cups? If possible to replace them then what are possible high quality replacement bearings?
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Fork lube. Should I use it? If so how often?

I ride a mountain bike with front suspension. I've recently seen fork lube for sale on an online retailer. This got me thinking. Do I need to be using fork lube? How does it help? If I bought some how ...
5
votes
7answers
12k views

What to use to clean a derailleur?

I'm not sure what type of solvent to use to clean a derailleur.
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How to clean out the inside threads of a braze-on?

I'm installing a basket on my cruiser, and getting some of the allen screws into the fork braze-ons is rough going. It feels like there's dirt or grease inside the threads of the braze-ons. Forcing ...
5
votes
3answers
19k views

Convert old road bike to comfortable commuter

I have an rather old road bike, that I'd like to convert to a comfortable commuting bike. The bike should be used for everyday commuting (< 5km) and occasionally day tours. I'd like to keep the old ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Busted Dept store Mongoose Shifter - Scrap or Fix

My wife convinced me that we should buy bikes (2x$100.00) @ a dept store. I found a Mongoose (which I can remember used to be decent) and within 6mos I broke the bracket that holds the shifter in ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How to reassemble a completely disassembled brake caliper?

I have mechanical disk brakes in my XC bike and in the process of replacing the brake pads, I completely opened the insides of the brake caliper. There were three ball bearings and a spring attached ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

What are cheap options for an extra set of brake levers for mechanical disk brakes?

A quick question. I want to have an extra pair of brake levers for my mechanical disk brakes set at a different position on my handlebar(s), and I want the whole upgrade to cost as little as possible. ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Why does my chain have a single hollow pin?

I have some version of a SunRace 10-speed chain, and I'm curious as to why it seems as though each pin is a regular "non-hollow" pin, and a single one on the chain is hollow. Is this some kind of a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Wald basket legs too short for cruiser — how can I install the basket?

I recently purchased a large handlebar basket, a Wald 139-WW for my cruiser, a Trek Pure. I'm having trouble installing the basket. Context: The basket attaches using hooks on the basket to the ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

How to make sure that the brake cable anchor bolt properly holds the cable?

I am referring to the bolt, in the V-brake, that holds the cable on the opposite side of the noodle (as in this question). Yesterday I loosened that bolt to take the wheel off (I learned later that ...
5
votes
1answer
586 views

How do I get rid of weird rubbing noise on my cx bike?

Recently I got the Giant Revolt 3 and have been riding it for a few days now. I have lately noticed that there is some rubbing noise when I apply the brakes. If you look at this picture (might be a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Swapping STIs for barends — what issues are likely to arise?

I'm planning to swap shifters and brake levers from one bike to another. One bike is a randonee with STI brifters, and the other is a Surly Long Haul Trucker with barends and separate brake levers. ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

One stripped post mount on suspension fork

I have a suspension fork, which has a stripped lower post mount, i.e. the bolt used to attach the brake caliper doesn't grip the post. Before anyone asks - yes, it is the correct size bolt, as the ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Fixing hydraulic disk brakes, what to check first?

I have a 10-year old bike, fitted with hydraulic disk brakes. The bike has been actively used for around 4 years only though. Recently, my brake levers started to have more and more "play" before the ...
5
votes
0answers
68 views

Tool/proceedure to remove Shimano direct mount rim brake bearings (Ultegra in this case)

Looking for some advice on what tool I need/the process to remove the pivot bearings from the Shimano Ultegra direct mount rim brakes. It looks like I'll need a hook wrench(?) to get at the rear ...
4
votes
6answers
16k views

Mechanical disc brakes lacking stopping power

I bought a carbon road bike about 4-5 months ago with Tektro Spyre dual pivot mechanical disc brakes. Love the bike except for the brakes :( Brakes are not too bad on the flat but when going ...
4
votes
2answers
399 views

Shimano Deore hydraulic brake problem

I have a bike (Cannondale Quick MX) I used frequently until last fall, when I got a driving license (not my first, well out of my teens) and a car to use. The bike is 3 1/2 years old now. Since the ...
4
votes
3answers
31k views

What do I need to know about fitting new wheels on a bike?

My girlfriend has had the wheels stolen from her bike. I'd like to replace them, but we're working with a limited budget so I'm going to do the work myself and source the parts second hand. I've done ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

When is a wheel considered true?

Generally speaking, how much runout can a bicycle wheel have and still be considered true?