22 votes
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What are the counter-intuitive surprises an amateur bike mechanic encounters, after pedals and cables?

More grease is not always better. Attracts excessive dirt and stuff. Well-greased bearings don’t spin smoothly by hand. Lots of amateur mechanics under-lubricate or use too thin of a lubricant because ...
14 votes
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Why do some triathlon seatposts go straight up and down instead of at an angle?

To crudely simplify things, a triathlon/TT bike position is much the same as a road position, but basically "rotated forward", so your arms rest atop the very-low-set bars. A consequence of ...
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  • 2,509
13 votes
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Why do I constantly have to re-index gears?

The most likely causes are cable friction and derailleur hanger misalignment. Indexing adjustment has gotten more sensitive to both as the speed count has increased. Derailleur hanger misalignment ...
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13 votes

What are the counter-intuitive surprises an amateur bike mechanic encounters, after pedals and cables?

Anyone tinkering with bikes needs to be aware of the perverse variety of standards (how many bottom bracket standards are there now?); that multiple actual sizes can be indicated by the same nominal ...
10 votes
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Brooks saddle angle dilemma

I noticed the same thing when I first got a B17. I fiddled with various angles and so forth, but in the end I found it's mainly just a matter of getting used to the smoother feel of leather as ...
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10 votes
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What does this barrel adjuster do on the rear derailleur (SRAM Apex 1)?

It lengthens or shortens the housing length to adjust the lateral position of the derailleur cage. It's used to adjust derailleur 'indexing' so that the chain sits properly on the cassette sprockets. ...
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10 votes
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Shimano Acera hits spokes. Which screw to turn?

You need to adjust the L-Limit screw - Have a look at this Park Tool guide. The problem may also be a bent derailleur hanger. Checking and, if needed, fixing this is best done with a specialized tool, ...
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9 votes

Why do some triathlon seatposts go straight up and down instead of at an angle?

Triathlon bikes are about one thing, and one thing only. Aerodynamics. Dan Empfield, the creator of the Quintana Roo brand, recognized this early on. Cervelo came along soon after, and their designs ...
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  • 3,217
9 votes
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How do I adjust my handlebars to allow me to ride hands free?

Stability of a bicycle is mostly determined by its geometry: primarily the wheel diameter, wheelbase and front fork geometry. If the rider is not touching the handlebar it has very little effect (its ...
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9 votes

Why do I constantly have to re-index gears?

Your shift cables need to be replaced, like NOW. This is a very possible symptom of deteriorating cables (as in, starting to fray and eventually snap), which makes sense considering 10 and 11s ...
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8 votes
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Misadjusted B-screw: symptoms?

The B-screw controls the body angle of the derailleur. It pulls the pulleys away from the sprockets, so you don't rub against them. If you set it in the largest rear cog (as you should), when you're ...
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  • 45.5k
8 votes

How do I adjust my handlebars to allow me to ride hands free?

In short It is part of the design on the bike but if a bike has been damaged the stability of the handlebars gets worse. Personal experience In many years of riding (Dutch) bikes I have noticed a ...
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  • 3,234
8 votes
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Rotor rubs caliper after every ride

Sounds like you are adjusting the position of the wheel axle in the frame drop outs to move the rotor relative to the caliper. Your weight and the forces generated going over bumps will push the axle ...
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8 votes
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Are Adjustable Stems With Reasonable Merit?

Whether they work: Short answer yes, they do not have major widespread problems. Most problems that do occur are related to undertightening the bolts on them to start with, or adjusting them without ...
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7 votes
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How can I tilt up a stem of my bike's handlebar which is held by two bolts?

Adjustable stems follow a couple different design schemes, all of which involve some interlocking toothy bits that hold the angle in place. If the angle isn't changing, the toothy bits are still ...
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7 votes
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Adjust deraillers after changing chain?

Replacing a chain on a drivetrain that was previously well tuned will not take it out of alignment. Provided that the new chain is the same width and number of links as the old one and that the ...
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7 votes

How do I adjust V-brakes as the pads wear?

The rim brakes on my last bike had a barrel adjuster that did what you ask. My new bike has disk brakes and they self-adjust. The barrel adjuster here is the black cylinder on the right-side. The ...
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7 votes
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Impossible to properly adjust rear derailleur indexing

The number one cause of poor shifting is excess cable friction somewhere along the line. You describe "hesitant" shifting coming down from largest cog to the next. This is a symptom of ...
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  • 6,868
7 votes

What are the counter-intuitive surprises an amateur bike mechanic encounters, after pedals and cables?

In my experience, BSA and T47 cups are counterintuitive, and it is the right side cups that are left threaded, I.e. opposite to the case for pedals. Note that the original question was more broad, and ...
6 votes

What can be done to seat post too long/saddle too high?

I think what you are saying is that you need to drop the seat post all the way down into the frame, so the saddle is as close to the frame as possible. You need a seat post to connect the saddle and ...
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5 votes
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How to adjust cable length on integrated brake/shift levers, when there is no barrel adjuster?

If there's no barrel adjuster, then you'll need one installed. Ask LBS to do that or do it yourself: Get an inline barrel adjuster and two 4mm ferrules. These are pretty cheap. Get tools to cut cable ...
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5 votes
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Axle flex under load normal for freewheel hub?

As @Batman says, 2mm is VERY little clearance on a bike. It is more likely to be the frame flexing (more so the chain and seat stays) causing the tyre to move around a bit. I would see if there is a ...
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  • 548
5 votes

Would Lowering my Handlebars Help my Performance?

If you are looking for pedalling performance, adjusting the seatpost (up and down) and the seat (back and front) is the answer. There are literature about adjusting seatpost so you can look them up on ...
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  • 3,461
5 votes
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Front derailleur takes 6 clicks to shift gears, instead of 3

This is normal. The procedure is called trimming. It allows you to move the front derailleur cage a bit to prevent the derailleur cage rubbing on the chain due to the changing angle of the chain ...
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  • 45.5k
5 votes

Saddle height for toddler's balance bike

They grow so fast it really doesn't matter, but if the kid looks too low then they are, so go up a bit. Rider should be able to stand over the seat with both feet on the ground. While some balance ...
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  • 96.4k
5 votes

What does this barrel adjuster do on the rear derailleur (SRAM Apex 1)?

Better than a long answer watch this video for a comprehensive explanation of the settings of the RD:
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  • 8,125
5 votes
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How to tighten v-brake pad without turning it out of position?

I usually just grab the pad with my fingers, and carefully apply torque in the opposite direction of the torque I apply to the screw. The two torques must be roughly equal (very roughly), if you apply ...
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5 votes

What tool to adjust brakes

Shimano BR-MT520 brakes are hydraulic discs. The alignment can be adjusted by loosening the two mounting bolts. The bolts typically have Torx T25 size heads, so you need a basic T25 wrench at least. ...
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5 votes

Is this a helmet defect or not?

The jagged and uneven edges you are seeing around the straps are merely cosmetic. At best they are at the minimum tolerance for manufacturing quality and at worst are an isolated case of tolerances ...
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  • 357
5 votes
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Visible play in the front wheel that is not in the thru axle but in the hub itself? (video included)

Yes, this is play in the bearings. How to fix it depends on the type of hub you have. 'Cup and cone' bearing hubs have ball bearings between fixed cups in the hub and adjustable cones on a threaded ...
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