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What Maintenance REALLY needs to be done ? . . .(6 posts)

What Maintenance REALLY needs to be done ? . . .Nomatt
May 27, 2003 9:57 AM
just got my first road bike, and i was wondering what maintainance REALLY needs to be done on a daily/monthly/yearly basis, in your opinions. I read the owners manual yeah yeah yeah, but what REALLY should be done and how often? In other words, should i wash off the bike after every ride? and with what? how often should i remove the chain and clean it, etc. etc. etc. thanks everybody
re: What Maintenance REALLY needs to be done ? . . .Dave Hickey
May 27, 2003 10:13 AM
Here is what I do. This time of year, I ride between 150-200 miles/wk spread between 2 bikes.

Before every ride
1. Put air in tires- don't skip this step. It will reduce your chances of flats.
2. Give your bike a "pre-flight inspection". Visually check everything over.

After every ride
1. Wipe down bike with a cloth. I use the glass cleaner towelettes in a tub. They work great for getting grime off.
2. Inpect spoke tension on wheels.
3. Wipe off and relube chain if necessary.

Weekly
1. I clean each bike throughly. I don't use water on my bikes. I'll use degreaser and the above mentioned towels. 2. Make sure you clean the brake shoes. It will give you better braking and extend the life of your rims.

Do you have to do all of the above? No you don't, but I've seen too many people standing on the side of the road because their bikes broke down. Many of the equipment failures can be prevented with regular maintaince.
Lube chain...biknben
May 27, 2003 10:19 AM
A lubed chain makes all the difference. Depending on how often/long you ride you may need to lube it every week or every month. At some point, the chain gets all gunked up and has to be thoroughly cleaned. At that point, you might as well remove the cassette and chainrings and clean them good too. Doesn't make sense to put a clean chain back on nasty gears.

After a weekend of really nasty weather, I overhauled the drivetrain completely yesterday. Chain, cassette, cranks, BB all came off to get some special TLC. It totally sucks, makes a real mess, and takes away from ride time. BUT...I won't hear any mystery creaks or grinding of parts any time soon.
Buy "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance." Invaluable. nmTNSquared
May 27, 2003 10:47 AM
the things I've noticed that need to be done areishmael
May 27, 2003 2:02 PM
lube chain, air in tires.

after those two the most common things I do are adjust hubs and headset, clean rims and brake pads, and adjust rear deraileur.

when you lube the chain only use a tiny bit on the rollers, not the whole chain, and wipe off as much as you can or else it'll collect dirt.
re: REALLY ? . . .Fredrico
May 28, 2003 1:45 PM
1. Before every ride: Air tires. Run your hand around the tread feeling for cracks, sand particles, glass shreads, to make sure nothing is imbedded, ready to give you a flat.

2. Once every three rides: Clean and lube chain. I use dry lube, dribble it on and wipe off excess along with the minimal dirt build up. With a rag and if necessary a little citrus degreaser, I clean the freewheel cogs and rear derailleur pulleys, and then squirt a drop of lube on the pulley bearings and freewheel bearings. I stopped taking chains off years ago, when I began avoiding rain. By the time the chain is gunked up so badly you have to take it off, it usually has over 2000 miles on it, and just gets replaced.

3. Once every ten rides or so: Spin the wheels and click the brakes: are the pads centered? Rims true? Push the bike forward and click the front brake: Does the headset make a clicking noise? (It's loose.)

4. Once every several months: Turn all moving parts by hand, wheels, crank, steering, and feel for smoothness and play. If not smooth, disassemble and lube. If any play, tighten bearing adjustment. Clean everything with a rag and degreaser then wax all over the frame. I clean when the bike needs it. Dirt doesn't get into the bearings, except the lower headset, and then you have to take it apart. If the frame has a rust spot, a little touch up paint is in order. I wipe my bike off with a damp rag and a little degreaser or very weak dish soap. I don't want water to get into the bearings, so I never spray water on the bike. With sealed bearings, that may not be a problem now.

5. Once a year, or 6000 miles: Take apart all bearings, regrease, and adjust everything to perfection. Pull out the brake cables and lube them. Adjust the spokes on the wheels to true, round, and have a tone when plucked. This is the only time alot of riders would prefer to take their bikes to a shop. But you can do it yourself, and getting to know your bike eventually answers your questions above.

Invest in a stand of some sort, so you can get the wheels off the ground, and the moving parts up where you can scrutinize and manipulate them like a man, not a monkey.