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Old 07-13-2011, 08:48 AM
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Dovestrobe Dovestrobe is offline
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Thumbs up Maintenance and Repair Thread

Tips, yes tips on keeping your bike in check--everyone has gleaned something regarding their bicycle's maintenance and repair they'd like to share.

Some of mine are:

A. Using wood glue on the cloth walls of my lighter, more expensive tires. The other day on the road I bumped into the outer edge of a lovely speed bump and when I came home noticed that some of the latex was missing off the clothe wall to my tire. Grabbed my Elmers, applied it with a paper towel. And voila, a more durable outer wall!

B. Using WD-40 as a degreaser on my chain. Spray this on chain, wipe with cloth while spinning crank backwards, apply some chain lubricant afterwords. This is the not the best method of degreasing a chain, but sometimes we have little time to make that baby shine DW-40 as a chain lubricant is not recommended because it looses its lubricating faculties quickly and you'll be back to squeakiness in no time. Recently I used white lithium grease in a spray bottle (purchased at an auto supply) to lube my chain. Nice thing about this is when the whiteness fades, I know it's time for a cleaning. And you get more product for your buck!

C. Mother's Mag wheel polish (purchased at auto parts store) makes all aluminum components and chrome components shine. You don't need to buy new shiny components to feel better, sometimes a shine will do.

D. Know the parts on your bike that are right to tight to loosen: pedals, spokes, bolt fastener for bar end shifters etc. Nothing worse than overtightening something you meant to loosen.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:22 AM
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Maintenance and repair thread category, is a good idea.

For awhile now, I've needed to get the tools together, and go through the steps of removing the gear cassette to adjust, or whatever they need...the bearings on the rear wheel of my blue bike. I'm generally averse to repair work, so I've been procrastinating on this.

My black classic bike basically needs it's rear rim replaced. Must have bonked a pothole or something kind of hard when I flatted some time back; at the top, outer edge of the rim for two-three inches running, the rim somehow got just slightly wider, meaning...that braking isn't smooth. Reading about wheel building has been kind of fun. Calculating spoke length is critical. There's spoke calculators that apparently get people close to the right length. Some people claim to be able to build a wheel just fitting the wheel during building, in and out of the drops to get proper dish and true-ness. Probably be a while yet before I decide to proceed in some direction on this.
Not sure what to think about the Elmer's Glue for tire sidewall protection or repair. The basic Elmers is just a water based adhesive, so that doesn't sound so useful. On the other hand, Shoe Goo ... .

Chain lube: based on discussions on the subject over at bikeforums, people seem to be wildly opinionated about which chain lube is best; everything from hot paraffin dipped, to newer wax based treatment products...wax, supposedly being less inclined to attract and hold dirt...Tri-Flo ...other treatments I can't recall off hand.

Some people seem to throw on the chain, whatever's around the house...motor oil, tranny oil, 3-in-1; Can't disagree that this latter is better than riding the chain rusty and squeaky. Gets gunky quick though, and nasty dirty on clothes, skin, whatever. I'm suspicious about white lithium grease being any less inclined to attract and hold dirt than some of these.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:24 AM
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Cables.. maintain your cables before riding in freezing temps. Nothing worse then a stuck brake or derailleur cables on your chilly commute. Attention to keeping the water out.

+1 on Shoe-Goo. I mount all kinds of fixtures to the bike w/ Shoe-Goo. Holds solid and much easier removal than Silicone based adhesives.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:43 PM
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Dovestrobe Dovestrobe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
+1 on Shoe-Goo. I mount all kinds of fixtures to the bike w/ Shoe-Goo. Holds solid and much easier removal than Silicone based adhesives.
Gotta get some!
Who carries shoe goo in town? Fred Myers?
Quote:
Originally posted by SW BOB
Chain lube: based on discussions on the subject over at bikeforums, people seem to be wildly opinionated about which chain lube is best; everything from hot paraffin dipped, to newer wax based treatment products...wax, supposedly being less inclined to attract and hold dirt...Tri-Flo ...other treatments I can't recall off hand. Some people seem to throw on the chain, whatever's around the house...motor oil, tranny oil, 3-in-1; Can't disagree that this latter is better than riding the chain rusty and squeaky. Gets gunky quick though, and nasty dirty on clothes, skin, whatever. I'm suspicious about white lithium grease being any less inclined to attract and hold dirt than some of these.
I used the hot wax treatment on my chain once and unfortunately when my bike was outside for a time the chain rusted. Funny thing is I just recently oiled the chain and it works fine!

Overall, one can't prevent muck from accumulating on one's chain when using lubricants other than wax. I have read this is why european commoner bikes will often have a full wrap chain guard, not only does it prevent grease marks from getting on one's trousers, keeps the chain nice and clean and in no need of an overhaul for miles.
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Last edited by Dovestrobe; 07-14-2011 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:18 PM
Alan Alan is offline
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Shoe-Goo is good stuff; a tiny dab of it is keeping a little nick in my otherwise nice cork bar tape from spreading. I like it best for its abrasion resistance, so for tire sidewalls it seems like a good choice. For sticking miscellaneous things together, especially things like rubber, fabric, leather or flexible plastics that epoxy or super glue won't adhere to, my fav is Barge Cement. I don't plan on removing things I stick together with Barge; acetone will soften it, if needed, but it will also take off paint, etc.

Left-hand threaded spokes...really? You mean I've just been lucky so far on various and sundry wheels? Jobst Brandt has this to say on sheldonbrown.com: On bicycles, left hand threads are used mainly in three places, on left pedals, right bottom bracket (BB) bearing cups, and freewheel cones, to prevent unscrewing under operating loads. Unscrewing occurs from precession, in which a round object rolling in a circular ring in one direction will itself turn in the opposite direction. (It goes on to an interesting discussion of why pedal designs should adopt a conical seat standard, which would also make left-hand threading unnecessary for them.)

Anyway, I'm easily confused by the "lefty loosey, righty tighty" mnemonic (left at the top or bottom? looking at it from which side? oh...you mean that left! ) so instead I like the Rule of Thumb (and fingers) method. Point your thumb the way you want the part to go--bolt, nut, spoke, spoke nipple, cones, whatever--and turn it the direction your fingers point. Use your right hand for right-hand threads, left hand for left-hand threads.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 PM
Alan Alan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dovestrobe View Post
Gotta get some!
Who carries shoe goo in town? Fred Myers?
Yup, or pretty much any hardware store, or some shoe/sports stores. Comes in a squeeze-tube inside a blister pack.

Quote:
Overall, one can't prevent muck from accumulating on one's chain when using lubricants other than wax. I have read this is why european commoner bikes will often have a full wrap chain guard, not only does it prevent grease marks from getting on one's trousers, keeps the chain nice and clean and in no need of an overhaul for miles.
There is undoubtedly some truth to that but what's also true, but not always mentioned, is that a typical Dutch city bike tends to be ridden hard, put away wet (often outside, maybe covered), and in need of maintenance. Rusty, grindy, squeaky chains are very common, chain guard or not. Not all bikes there are that way, of course, but it's way more than just a few, and more than I see around Portland in that condition. It didn't even seem like a bad thing, it's just how things are in a culture where bikes are utilitarian parts of daily life for the masses.

Last edited by Alan; 07-13-2011 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Yup, or pretty much any hardware store, or some shoe/sports stores. Comes in a squeeze-tube inside a blister pack.



There is undoubtedly some truth to that but what's also true, but not always mentioned, is that a typical Dutch city bike tends to be ridden hard, put away wet (often outside, maybe covered), and in need of maintenance. Rusty, grindy, squeaky chains are very common, chain guard or not. Not all bikes there are that way, of course, but it's way more than just a few, and more than I see around Portland in that condition. It didn't even seem like a bad thing, it's just how things are in a culture where bikes are utilitarian parts of daily life for the masses.
Chains get rusty when people leave their bikes outside in the rain, and never lube them. Chains need lube before they get rusty. When the rain has dried off, the chain shouldn't be completely dry...visibly, it should be just slightly oily on close inspection. Before it even begins squeaking, if it has that polished, dry look, it probably needs lube. Run thumb and forefinger along top and bottom of the chain. If very little or no lube comes off on your fingers, the chain may need lube.

I'm going to be getting some new lube soon. Not sure what I'll be getting. What I've been using, is a lube marketed for use in skateboard wheels. Nice to apply, because it comes in a little bottle with an applicator kind of similar to that used for eye drops. So each link, rivet combination got a drop, each time I lubed. I don't worry much about the side plates, figuring that a little surplus oil spreading out from the link rivet combinations will spread onto the side plates. Seems to work.

I should mention, that the bikes don't have to stay out in the garage where it can be cold and damp in the winter. So after a rainy ride, though I don't dry them off with rags and so forth, they've got a nice room temp space to naturally dry off in. Expecting any chain lube to keep a chain from being rusty when the bike sits out in the rain for a long time, if that means days, is asking a lot.

A caveat mentioned with the hot wax soak, is that it can be dangerous heating the paraffin because of the wax flame point. Some people do it outdoors on a cook stove or something like that. I've read that the process can be messy too.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:20 PM
canuck canuck is offline
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Rules of thumb for lubricating.

1. In dry conditions use a dry lube. This keeps dust etc from clinging to the chain and causing wear.

2. In wet conditions use a wet lube. This creates a barrier that stops water from penetrating the chain.
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