76

I am an industrial chemist, and manufacture commercial-grade degreasers and other cleaners. Firstly, there are 3 main parts to a degreaser: Alkaline booster, to increase the pH, allowing the dirt, grease and grime to be effectively removed, for faster cleaning Solvent, to cut through tough grime and grease, as well as extract grime and grease from hard-to-...


64

WD-40 is mostly a solvent with a very light lubricant mixed in. It's great for getting stuck parts moving again. When you spray it on, the solvent dislodges whatever gunk may be causing the part to stick and then evaporates, leaving a light lubricant behind. This will allow the previously stuck part to move again. The reason it is generally not considered ...


52

If this happened over the course of 1 ride, it sounds like the wheel just slipped forward in the dropouts. If you loosen both nuts on the rear wheel axle and pull it backwards evenly, you should be able to retension the chain to proper working specs. Then just tighten it back to a torque of pretty f**ckin tight so it doesn’t slip again!


50

Do nothing. Yes, nothing. Unless you are biking wearing a hazmat suit through some corrosive volcanic crater where it rains acid. Rinse it off, at home when it's convenient, or it is especially dirty. Give a more thorough cleaning once a year in the spring. Lube the chain occasionally when it begins to make some noise. Other than that, you really don't ...


39

What harm could it possibly do? The cranks are held firmly in place by the bottom bracket; the back wheel is held firmly in place in the drop-outs. The chain is completely non-structural: all it does is transmit power from the pedals to the rear wheel. The only issues I can think of are make sure you know how to remove and replace it, obviously; I pretty ...


30

I think that I stretched the chain. No, you most likely did not. Bicycle chains are very strong (and chains on children's bicycles are usually similar to chains on adult bicycles). Plus, if a chain is really overloaded, the links will separate (i.e. the chain will tear) before the force is great enough to actually stretch the chain material (which is ...


29

Belt drive + Internally Geared Hub is a popular combination. Existing systems are based around a gates carbon belt drive. See the Breezer Beltway series bikes. Also Reeb Cycles began offering belt drives for mountain bikes when they first came to market. Also, now there is a breakable belt system called Veer that doesn't require a frame cutout (though uses ...


26

That's not the correct skewer for the wheel. I think you likely are using the rear skewer in the font wheel. Front hubs are typically 100mm between the drop-outs, rear are 130 or 135mm (or even 145mm on some mountain bikes that have stronger through-axle designs).


24

Of course things rust in normal use. Still, rust without moving is worse, as things stick together. Even if the chain is generously oiled (more so than normal) before storage you'll get rust and probably stiff links. Any gears made out of normal steel will also rust. (A light coating of spray oil will reduce but not stop this. I use GT85 on my outdoor bike;...


23

WD-40 (original) can be used as a de-greaser on bike parts. It is a bit harsher than other bike specific de-greasers, or common house hold degreasers (like Simple Green) that are often used by bike mechanics but essentially does the same thing. Keep it mind that it is NOT a lubricant, but a de-greaser. After using any de-greaser you want to wash the ...


22

I periodically check and pull out the street glass shards I have been doing the same for as long as I have a bike. Glass shards, small sharp stones, nails, drawing pins... name something I haven't pulled out of my tires! But I never worried of patching the tire, and never had problems because of that. My tires (even those which weren't puncture resistant) ...


22

I think your pedal is a lost cause. Even if you did get it off in the current condition, reinstalling and later removal will make later-you hate current-you. I would disassemble the pedal from the outside - remove the axle cap, locknut, cone, and bearings, then slide the pedal cage outboard. You may have a second set of bearings inboard, or a bushing. The ...


21

The real answer is you need inner tubes with longer valve stems. Tubes come with various length stems to accommodate deep section rims. There are screw-on valve stem extenders available for both Presta and Schrader that you could use to extend your stems. (I think some Schrader ones are actually for car tires, but they would still work for a bike.) With ...


20

Issues of where to find a bike have been answered pretty thoroughly here, including the standard disclaimers of making sure a bike isn't stolen before purchasing. On advice for how to see how ride-worthy a bike is: Definitely take a look at the bike before buying. Give it a quick once-over for general wear or use. If the bike looks like it hasn't been ...


20

For the most part, bicycles have terrible resale value, which means that you can usually get a really good deal on a used bike. As for the condition of the components, one can't say without actually seeing them, but quality components should have a much longer life than 1500kms. That said, inspect for obvious signs of wear (there should be almost none), and ...


19

Prevention is the best cure. I know it takes 2 tyre levers to deal with a flat on my road bike, so I carry a pair of decent ones (with some silver paint on them so they show up better by torchlight). In addition I carry a third, old and worn but known good, because I've been known to snap plastic tyre levers (luckily at home). They can also ping off into ...


19

In my experience - breakage is not directly correlated to wear. I've had bikes with unknown mileage on them, and have chosen to ride the transmission into the ground. Generally the performance slowly deteriorates, with chain slip under power being a sign that things are getting bad. Unlike other answerers, I've never had a worn transmission break and strand ...


18

It's doable although it doesn't make sense from a cost perspective. Only do it if you have an emotional investment in the bike or want a fun project that will teach you a lot about bike mechanics. To give you an idea, I bought a 1975 Peugeot UO18 Mixte (a woman's road bike, perhaps similar to your mom's) that had been stored in a barn and turned it into my ...


18

This is what I tell everyone to get first when they get a new bike: Seatbag, to hold the following: Spare tube (maybe two) Small multitool Mini-pump or CO2 inflator Tire patch kit 2x tire levers That assumes you have bidons and cages. Those six things should get you by for many miles and should get you out of any trailside emergencies. As with ...


17

Each set of "inner plates" is a link. Each set of "outer plates" is a "link." In the photo below you can see two whole links. Thus to answer the question, Image A in the question above has 4 links. Image B has 8 links. When you buy this box of chain that is labeled as having "120 links" and is standard 1/2" pitch, you should expect to get 60 inner ...


17

Bicycles cost money to maintain. Even if you do all your own mechanic work, you still need to purchase parts. That being said, more expensive bikes are generally more expensive to maintain at the level you bought them at. By this I mean you can purchase a replacement derailleur (of roughly the same quality) for a $250 for perhaps $10 to $20. If you had ...


17

You have already answered your own question really. When I slam the brakes on the wheels lock up(front and back) but i take longer to stop than i'm perhaps used to. If the brakes are strong enough to lock up the wheels they have plenty of power, but you have overcome the ability of the tyre to grip the road.


16

For the casual rider the simplest approach is to go to a bike shop and get a bottle of "chain oil". Apply the chain oil fairly liberally (drizzle it on while cranking the chain backwards, if the bike has a freewheel), then wipe the chain with a rag (while cranking backwards). If the chain is REALLY dirty, repeat. For slightly more aggressive cleaning (on ...


16

There are two risks to turning your hydraulic brakes upside-down. The brake system isn't filled to overflowing with hydraulic fluid: there's likely to be a small air bubble. Normally, this sits at the highest point of the system: the oil reservoir at the brake lever. There, it's not compressed by the piston when you brake, so it can't interfere with braking....


16

This question leads to one of the great religious debates of the bicycle culture. Ask ten mechanics which chain lube is best, you'll get ten different answers. The honest answer is "it depends on your maintenance habits and the weather and your preferences, so you should try some different things until you develop an opinion of your own." That's tough to do ...


16

Sheldon Brown was a good man, a good cyclist, and he spent an inordinate amount of time writing answers for everybody to questions that every new cyclist has. In a lot of ways, his answers were pretty dead on. However, like any person with the energy and commitment that Mr. Brown showed with his site, he was very opinionated on a number of issues which are ...


16

For most applications, most of the time, in the global north, if you're trying to save money then just buying a new wheel is the most economical. The main exception that comes up is if you have a premium quality hub that's built to go indefinitely and is worth re-rimming. But, good handbuilt wheels offer the highest level of reliability and longevity, and ...


16

The only times you need to consider the tyre is if the hole is large enough for the inner tube to poke through, or if the hole is in the thin sidewall I once had a hole that was ~1 mm across, and seemed okay. It took about 3 flats every 200 km of riding to realise that the tube was herniating through the hole and wearing through. A black tube and a black ...


16

There are different things that can cause this problem and different tools and techniques that can be used to fix it, depending on the cause and severity. Frame material cannot be left out of the conversation. Between steel, aluminum, and carbon, the problems and acceptable solutions are all different. Carbon should usually be approached with elbow grease ...


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