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Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?(20 posts)

Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?Silverback
Sep 4, 2003 11:48 AM
Standing around the garage last night looking at the bikes (nine of them for the four of us), I got to thinking about what maintenance I REALLY do. It pretty much comes down to lubing the chain every couple of weeks, plus fixing anything that breaks or goes out of adjustment. On the two bikes I ride most, I might do a little more, but I never touch my wife's or kids' bikes until they say, "Dad, it won't . . ."
Am I the worst in the world, or is this common?
I keep the drivetrain moderately clean and lubed, andOldEdScott
Sep 4, 2003 11:50 AM
I wipe it off when it gets muddy. Other than that, I fix it when it breaks.
Same in my housePaulCL
Sep 4, 2003 11:57 AM
Five people, seven bikes, one mechanic. I dote on my primary road bike. The others get worked on if I hear "Dad, it won't..."

I tell myself that every winter I'm going to give each bike a complete overhaul. But I don't. I might this year becuase my two daughters have moved from Huffy-like kids bikes to $300 small adult bikes. I want them to be able to rides them for years to come. It just takes time and motivation.
re: Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?PEDDLEFOOT
Sep 4, 2003 12:00 PM
I'm very anal about keeping the drive train (chain,cassette ,and chain rings)clean every ride.I lube once a week.Wipe down the bikes every week. Lube pivot points and cables every so often.I do minor repairs and brake and der adjustments when needed.
Sep 4, 2003 12:02 PM
I do routine maintenance on my bikes such as adjusting gears, lubing/cleaning chain and drivetrain, replacing tires and tubes, minor wheel trueing and checking bolts, but for anything else I usually just bring it into the shop. My time is more valuable than the time it takes to do some repairs and I'm not the kind of person who really enjoys messing with bikes for the sake of messing with them. I'd rather be riding.
On my bikes, keep air in the tires & try to keep chain lubed...PdxMark
Sep 4, 2003 12:11 PM
even clean the chain sometimes. Keep an eye on chain stretch and replace as needed. True the wheels whenever I take them off for a tire change or something. Once or twice a year will clean each bike.

For wife's & kids' bikes, adjust or fix whatever needs it. Keep an eye on saddle height for the kids.
re: Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?Juanmoretime
Sep 4, 2003 12:27 PM
Lube the chain once a week,check wheels for gashs in the tires and for trueness weekly, probably true once a year, adjust cables and derailleurs as needed. Check the chain for stretch every couple of hundred miles, replace handlebar tape annually and change cables every other year. I never lube cables between change outs. Lube wheel bearings once a year and check the headset a couple of times a year and yank on the cranks when I lube the chain to check for bottom bracket play. I probably put about 10 minutes into it evey week. Check air presure every other ride.
maintenance vs. repair...Chicago_Steve
Sep 4, 2003 12:31 PM
My drivetrain gets cleaned with a rag and lubed once or twice a week. The bike gets washed once or twice a month. I add air to the tires once a week...

For yearly maintenance I usually go through a chain and a set of tires. I also like to give a spray down with JP Weigle Framesaver...

As for repairs I feel pretty confident doing about anything with my bikes including rebuilding suspension, building wheels, repacking bearings, pressing headsets, etc. The only thing I really rely on a shop for would be realigning/facing/reaming a frame, factory warranty issues, etc. It's a bike not rocket science!
Same as Chicago_Steve, subtract the wash, add a chain nmMg1
Sep 4, 2003 4:17 PM
Whatever needs itbimini
Sep 4, 2003 12:36 PM
My wife rides casually once a week or so. I clean & lube the chain once every couple of months and check tire pressure before we go out.

I ride every day. There is a sound and feel to the bike when everything is right. If not I work on it.
Clean & lube chain once or twice a week. Wipe down once a week. Clean drive train once a week. Check wheel trueness and fine tune if needed once a week. Pump up tires every couple of days.

My wife says I am obsessive. I guess I am. Love that feel when everything is right on the bike and when I am the bike.
perfection at all timesDougSloan
Sep 4, 2003 12:54 PM
I just can't stand to have a bike that has anything wrong, or even potentially wrong with it. I pretty much try to keep them perfect at all times. With several bikes to split up the duty, they don't wear as fast, too. I know this sounds anal, but it's really just a desire not to waste any riding time. Since riding time is precious, I don't want a single ride spoiled in the slightest from a preventable mechanical problem, not even an irritation.

Dittoterry b
Sep 4, 2003 12:57 PM
I fill my tires before every ride, fix things when they get out of adjustment, but beyond that, it's the occasional chain cleaning (as in when it gets noisy.)

A bath - forget it unless things get muddy.

I don't honestly think "routine maintenance" buys you anything as long as you're in tune with how your bike is working (and thus avoiding any safety related problems.)
Maintain isn't a good word for what I do. Destruct would be more accurate. nmKristin
Sep 4, 2003 1:07 PM
I'm going to give it one more attempt and then hang up my (nearly new) wrenches.
re: Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?mapei boy
Sep 4, 2003 2:10 PM
I pump up and check the tires before every ride. I lube the chain when it looks dry, and I give the bike a cleaning when it looks dirty. I adjust things when they go out of adjustment...which is very, very seldom. (Hooray for Campy Chorus!) Once a year I take the bicycle to the shop for an overhaul.
re: Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?MShaw
Sep 4, 2003 2:34 PM
I've got a 'cross bike and a mtn bike that both get wiped down and checked over pre-ride every time 'cause they both need it every time. The dust here in San Diego is just NASTY. There's not really anything resembling mud, but the bike gets dustier here than anywhwere else I've ever ridden.

The 2 road bikes get cleaned about every other week. When they're on the stand, I look over the wheels/tires, check things for looseness, etc.

The track bike gets wiped down when it needs it, but there's nothing more that really needs doing.

I have 1-2 pair of wheels per bike for the road bikes, so if I know I'm racing or doing a fast workout I'll switch out to a different set of wheels depending on the ride.

Doesn't sound like you're abnormal in your maintenence regime. I figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it works fairly well as an outlook on life. Keep an eye on things, fix little things before they become big problems, keep it clean, and keep riding it.

Both Road bikes are loved...Atombomber
Sep 4, 2003 4:10 PM
The mountain bikes are liked.

Since all the bearings are cartridge type for the road bikes, there is nothing much which can be done until they finally fail, other than my one Mavic wheelset which has bearing play adjustment. I keep them both looking purdy and clean, and make sure everything is tight where needed, loose where needed, oiled and lubed where needed, degreased where needed and adjusted when needed. If something gets damaged, I repair or replace as required.

The mountain bikes don't get the same love, They pretty much stay dirty, with a wash when it gets too bad. Again, oil/lube, tight or loose, damaged and adjusting applies here too, with frequency dependant on abuse and need. Both MTBs have loose ball bearing rear hubs, so I check those when I inflate the tires.

Bikes should be ridden, but they ride better when everything is in perfect working order. Spending 1/2 hour checking over the bikes is better than watching some lousy sitcom, and its a great way to get away from the other half. Grab a brew and head to the workshop/garage, crank the tunes and tinker away.
Depends on if its a Fair Weather Bike or a Daily RiderFez
Sep 4, 2003 5:18 PM
1) Fair Weather Bike - Once everything is perfectly dialed in, not much to do. All there is to do is pump air in tires and clean drivetrain as needed. Inspect tires for cuts and scrapes and wheels for trueness. Clean off dust and dirt as necessary.

2) Daily Rider - Same as above, but more frequently. If I get caught in the rain, I use that as a reason to clean off the grit and dry the bike off. My daily rider is Titanium, so frame rust is not a huge concern, but I find that wet crud is easier to wipe off than dried on crud. Besides, components and grease still benefit from staying dry.

Depending on how frequently it rains, my daily rider may be cleaner than my fair weather bike.

Other than the above, the only other things I do on an as needed basis is wheel truing, cable replacement, and drivetrain/brake adjustments. I haven't broken or worn out much, so I consider myself lucky. As the miles pile on, I suppose drivetrain (chain, rings, cogs) may need replacement. The others like brake pads, hubs, headsets and bottom brackets are probably less frequent items.
re: Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?TNRyder
Sep 4, 2003 6:13 PM
I do most everthing short of suspension work and changing out BB's and such on the Mountain bikes. Same on the road bikes as well. I do not true wheels as that just takes me too long and my time is worth something to me. I would do more, but I just can't justify spending the $$ on tools that I may only use once every few years. The wifes and kids bikes are on the "Hey, this is broke" schedule. Maybe that will change as the kids get older and start to ride more (I hope).
re: Pre-Friday topic: What do you maintain REALLY (no BS)?russw19
Sep 4, 2003 6:33 PM
I have 7 bikes currently, but I really only ride 3 of them. 1, my road bike, gets overhauled every 4 to 6 months. I work in a shop and have a key, so this is not a problem. Every year it gets new cables, housing, and bar tape. Tires about once every 2.5 to 3 months, and a chain and new cassette every overhaul. It also gets cleaned thoroughly after every wet ride and about once a month regardless of how dirty it is.

My mountain bike gets about the same overhaul schedule, but gets a chain and cassette every year. It gets wiped down after dirty rides before it gets put away, and gets cleaned every 2 months (drivetrain and everything else...)

My commuter bike gets a chain cleaning every month, overhauled once a year, and I have yet to change the cables or chain and cassette (it's 2 years old) and I don't commute as much as I should on it. It doesn't get cleaned much because if dirty, it's not so shiny and screaming "steal me!" so I let it be dirty even though it drives me nuts.

Clean and lube. No adjustments requ'd: Campagnolo. ;-) nmSpunout
Sep 5, 2003 3:24 AM