what should be done and when?

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what should be done and when?

Postby sir_lozz » 15 Mar 2010, 2:21pm

Good afternoon all,

I am after your advice please - I have had my bike for about 18 months now and done about 2500 miles.

I know that I need to replace the tyres as they are seriously thin and bald in some places - however I was wondering what sort of maintenance/replacement should be done and when?

My current method of reactively replacing things when they are too warn to be of any use is asking to break down in the middle of no-where!

I religiously follow the Haynes guide and replace bits and bobs on the car but for some reason not the bike, has anyone got a handy rough guide?


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Re: what should be done and when?

Postby tatanab » 16 Mar 2010, 12:51pm

Since nobody has answered, I'll give it a go.

The answer is that there is no answer. Any maintenance schedule depends on how and where you ride. Firm road surfaces versus dusty or muddy tracks. City versus rural. All year round or only on a sunny day. All of these change the rate of wear.

In truth the modern pedal cycle is remarkably maintenance free having a sealed unit bottom bracket and often sealed bearings in the hubs and maybe the headset. Hence these are simply replaced when needed. Probably the only thing to do is to keep the transmission reasonably clean. I clean the chain and remove muck from sprockets, jockey wheels and chain rings about every 500 miles.

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Re: what should be done and when?

Postby gbnz » 16 Mar 2010, 1:58pm

sir_lozz wrote:, has anyone got a handy rough guide?

I've found reading through the forum, has been the best approach.

Other than that, treat the bike as a machine should be treated! Washing, cleaning, adjusting bits & pieces, replacing worn parts. And the most important element, is checking those parts which if they fail, could cause serious personal damage I.e. wheel rims/spokes/frame welds/cranks/tyres.

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Re: what should be done and when?

Postby byegad » 16 Mar 2010, 4:45pm

The main thing is to monitor rather than service. Measure the chain regularly, when 12 links measure 12 and 1/16th inches replace it. If it's dirty clean it. If the brake blocks look worn replace them. Check hub and bottom bracket bearings every so often and if there is slack replace or adjust. Your rims will wear so check for a wear mark disappearing or ridges on the rim. Replace if either is wrong. Check your spoke tension if one is slacker than the rest adjust it. I could go on, but it is all common sense.
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Re: what should be done and when?

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 18 Mar 2010, 12:22am

The old fashioned way was to strip the bike completely at the end of the season or in the spring if your ride the same bike over the winter (we used to have a "best bike" for the summer and a "scrapper" for the winter). This involves stripping examining and replacing or regreasing all the bearings i.e wheels BB Headset and pedals. Thoroughly cleaning and examining everything and replacing if worn: chain, chainset, cassette/freewheel, brakes blocks, tyres, tubes etc. re-taping the bars was the finishing touch. This is still a good and enjoyable process as you start the year with a nice clean bike which will see you through the next year without misadventure. Any part worn parts too good to throw away would be transferred to the scrapper to finish their life.

I am going to do this to my Dawes Audax before my first event in April. For an all year commuter bike, you might want to do this twice per year: Spring and Autumn. This leads to a much smoother cycling experience than the "fix it when it breaks" mentality.

BTW if you like Haynes they do a bike book too!
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Re: what should be done and when?

Postby andrew_s » 18 Mar 2010, 7:12pm

Don't forget that wheel rims, like tyres, are consumable items and will wear out due to the brakes. Indeed, the front rim may not last as long as the tyre.

Wear is harder to check.
You can get an appropriate measuring tool that will reach round the rim edge, use ordinary calipers with spacers of a known size, or pressure test the rim by inflating the tyre to something like 4-50% above the maximum pressure.

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Re: what should be done and when?

Postby PW » 18 Mar 2010, 7:19pm

Keep an old notebook in the shed. Whenever you change a component log the mileage, so you eventually learn how long things last, which makes give the most miles per £ spent, and you know to swap items X & Y before you go on that tour next July! :wink:
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