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  #1  
Old 09-16-2008, 08:19 PM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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Default Periodic Maintenance?

Are there any set increments at which one should preform drive train, brake, ect. maintenance? I just moved and bought a much nicer bicycle (that I want to take care of) and have extended my commute to 20+ miles 6 days a week. I even rode 60 on sunday. I'm already noticing some brake noise on my new toy and some noise from the derailer when I pedal hard. How often and what types of maint. should I be doing here?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2008, 08:33 PM
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djasonpenney djasonpenney is offline
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Default Your Mileage May Vary

Your drive train should be cleaned and lubed every 100 miles, more often in dirty or wet conditions. You should lube the pedals, cables, and derailleur assembly whenever you're lubing the chain.

Your bike should be cleaned whenever you are afraid to touch the wheels. In the winter I try to do it every week or two, but hey, I ride every day. Remember, unless you have disk brakes, whenever you apply the brakes you're abrading all that grit and crud into your rims.

Your chain should be replaced every two to three thousand miles, depending on how much force you typically pedal with. A worn chain wears away at your chain rings and cogs.

Replace your cog set every three chains.

Expect about 1500 to 2000 miles on a rear tire. Whenever you start getting a lot of flats (that's usually in the rear tire), you should ask yourself if the tire might be worn out. That's how long *I* wait before changing the tire! Whenever I replace the rear tire, I put the old front tire onto the rear and put the new tire on the front. This puts the spongy new rubber on your steering surface and puts the harder (longer lasting) rubber on your drive wheel. Don't put a used rear tire on the front wheel; it's flattened out so that it's less safe to steer with.

Every three years or so (assume you ride heavily) you should perform a major overhaul: pull the bottom bracket and clean and lube inside there; replace cables and housing, lube your wheel hubs if appropriate.

I dunno...what else is there?...
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ORS 811.065 (1)(a):

The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “safe distance” means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic....

LCI #2105 Lambchop Rides!
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:21 AM
fredlf fredlf is offline
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Default chain replacement is key

djasonpenny pretty much covers all of it. I would just emphasize the need to frequently check and replace your chain. Newer 9 and especially 10 speed chains have a shorter service life than the older 7 and 8 sp. I got barely 2k out of my last chain, an Ultegra 10sp. Park makes a chain checker tool that lets you keep the chain on the bike and so keep your hands clean while measuring the wear.

The issue is that if the chain wears excessively it will cause concomitant wear on the rest of the drivetrain. Then, when you do replace the chain, it will grrrrind, SKIP! over the worn cog and/or chainring teeth, which can be painful and even dangerous.

One great tip I read recently recommended using a bucket of warm water to wash your bike in winter when it's sloppy out. That way your hands warm up too and you're likelier to actually do it!

Oh, and lightly sanding the glaze off your brake shoes (if you have caliper brakes) will improve their performance, make them quieter and reduce wear on your rims.

Enjoy your new ride!
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:31 AM
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bonny790 bonny790 is offline
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What is everyone's preferred method of cleaning chains? I'm at 2K since May and just had the bike in for it's last free follow up check up, so now it's all on me. When I was mt biking years ago I would just make liberal use of WD40 after washing, but mostly just replaced often. On my motorcycle I would remove a couple times a year and soak in Kerosene, dry, lube/ride/lube. The past few years of commuting have been done on beater bikes and I just lubed once a week when dry and every one or two days when wet. Are you removing and soaking/brushing? Using those little enclosed chain cleaner deals?
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Last edited by bonny790; 09-17-2008 at 11:34 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:15 PM
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djasonpenney djasonpenney is offline
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Default Cute Little Tool because...

...many modern chains (esp. the Shimano 9- and 10- speed chains) do not have a master link. Removing the chain from the bike is a) a royal pain in the wazoo and b) involves a new pin (Shimano's advised approach) or crossing your finger and reusing the existing pin.

I find that the little chain cleaner tool is a great option. I use the citrus degreaser (I forget the brand) that uses a bit of water to activate. The chain cleaner tool has scads of brushes to get both the rollers and plates, so it's more like scrubbing the chain with a toothbrush than soaking it in solvent.

Typically speaking you put the bike into a middle gear (so that the chain tension is decent but not too tight), add the solvent into the machine's reservoir, mount the cleaner (often at the rear derailleur), and then spin the chain backwards, slowly, until the entire chain has gone through the machine 10 or 20 times.

Then you wipe the chain dry.

In terms of lubricant, I do *not* recommend WD-40. "WD" stands for "Water Dispersal" or something like that. It's intended to prevent water for encroaching on machine parts; the machine oil part of WD-40 is far too light to effectively lubricate.

There has been a lot of snake oil in the last several years involving different types of chain lubricant. A wax based lubricant was considered superior in dry weather because--the theory went--oil was more likely to attract and retain road grit.

However, more recent thinking seems to have just gone back to using a modest (20 weight) oil on the chain as well on the moving parts (esp. shifters, brakes, derailleurs). Drizzle it on the chain link by link slowly as you move the chain backwards. After you've hit every roller, rotate the a few more times to allow the oil to move around a bit, then gently wipe the chain again with a clean rag to remove that nasty excess oil that might attract road grit.

Finally, this discussion would not be complete without referring you to Sheldon Brown's discussion, may this ultimate bike guru rest in peace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonny790 View Post
What is everyone's preferred method of cleaning chains? I'm at 2K since May and just had the bike in for it's last free follow up check up, so now it's all on me. When I was mt biking years ago I would just make liberal use of WD40 after washing, but mostly just replaced often. On my motorcycle I would remove a couple times a year and soak in Kerosene, dry, lube/ride/lube. The past few years of commuting have been done on beater bikes and I just lubed once a week when dry and every one or two days when wet. Are you removing and soaking/brushing? Using those little enclosed chain cleaner deals?
__________________
ORS 811.065 (1)(a):

The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “safe distance” means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic....

LCI #2105 Lambchop Rides!
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:24 PM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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Default

I use Simple Green to clean my chains. Cheap That said, while I know I should clean them every 100 miles, it doesn't always happen...
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:33 PM
fredlf fredlf is offline
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Default chain clean

+1 on NEVER using WD-40. It will remove residual remaining lube and it quickly wears off. My approach on a road/commuter bike is to never use solvents or cleaners per se on the chain. Instead, I wipe and pick and rub with rags and toothbrushes until it looks nice and shiny and then I liberally apply White Lightning lube, wipe it down again (since the carrier in WL is a cleaner) and reapply. I like WL because it's less messy than Tenacious Oil or what-have-you machine oil. But everybody has their personal pref.

For an MTB, I will first sparingly use a cleaner like Simple Green to remove the most egregious gunk.

I don't find removing a chain to be that big a deal. If you have decent (i.e. not a Rivoli) chain tool it's a quick and easy procedure. I'll admit I've heard that Shmn recommends replacing a pin a that's been pulled, but in all honesty I've never had a problem re-using the old pin.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2008, 01:41 PM
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djasonpenney djasonpenney is offline
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Cool More frequently than you change your underwear...

I know a super-strong tandem couple who have a newer ten speed drive train. They complain that they hardly get 1300 miles out of a chain! Think about it: if a strong cyclist generates 300 pounds of force, two riders on one chain...

--jason "newer ain't always better" p.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredlf View Post
Newer 9 and especially 10 speed chains have a shorter service life than the older 7 and 8 sp.
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ORS 811.065 (1)(a):

The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “safe distance” means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic....

LCI #2105 Lambchop Rides!
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:13 PM
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bonny790 bonny790 is offline
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Default

Thanks. And for the record, I've only ever used WD40 after washing for it's "Water Dispersing" properties. The little cleaner cage things are cheap enough, I'll give it a go.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2008, 06:52 PM
vincentpaul vincentpaul is offline
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Default

I fall with the retro crowd on bicycle maintenance. I've got a couple of the chain wash gizmos in the shop but stopped using them when a buddy suggested that I perform a gizmo wash and then go ahead and soak my chain in mineral spirits like I used to before buying one. I filtered the mineral spirits with a coffee filter in order to reuse the solvent and I found almost as much gunk as I did before using the gizmo. After soaking and scrubbing w/ a toothbrush, I spritz it w/ 10w-30 thinned ed with mineral spirits at 1:5 ratio, followed by a good wipe down.

The best way that I've found to reduce maintenance is to forgo most newer technology that is really mis-marketed racing gear. If you're commuting 200 miles a week year round like me, you might want to consider going retro on your consumables (basically everything except the frame). Since I use my bikes only for commuting and weekend touring, and avoid anything that could remotely be called racing (which is not to say that I don't enjoy a good 20mph cadence on my rides), I avoid "modern" 9-10 speed rear cassettes and "downgrade" to steel chainrings. Many, if not most, consumers would be better served by older, more tolerant, longer-wearing technology. The "old" 5-6-7-8 speed goods give easily 2-3 times the wear that modern kit does, while costing 1/2 as much when its time to replace it.
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