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How to look after a steel bike & cleats

bryanturbryantur Posts: 7
edited August 2010 in Road beginners
I ordered a Condor Fratello last week which is my first steel bike and am planning to cycle to work over the winter. Previously I cycled the same route for the last two years on my hybrid but only in the summer. I already asked for advice on winter riding (safely) in the commuter forum but wanted to get some advice on looking after the bike. i.e.

1. Can I store it outside under cover (we have a side return with a partially covered roof
2. What should I be doing on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to look after the bike other than replace things like brake pads.

Also, another non related question. Should I go straight for cleats? (I am a clumsy b****** at the best of times). I'm cycling right through the centre of London (Chiswick to Old Street) and there is lots of stopping and starting and I'm not one to run red lights.

Cheers for any help!
Condor Fratello

Posts

  • father_jackfather_jack Posts: 3,509
    1) I wouldn't
    2) Every week check the chain, every month check brakes, bowden cables shifting, check wheels and saddle. Brakes should last 6 months +

    As to cleats that depends on you, only you can answer that. I wouldn't go full SPD-SL but maybe SPD 520?
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I kept my old steel Raleigh outside for several years when I was a student. It lived in various back yards, chained to a cast iron downpipe, and protected ony by a heavy duty plastic sheet weighed down with a couple of bricks. Just keep the chain well lubed to stop it going rusty.

    Dry it off after any wet rides, and relube the drivechain. Keep the tyres properly inflated and check them for cuts / debris. Otherwise, just replace bits when they wear out.

    I'd probably just use flat pedals for that kind of commute.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    1) If the bike is covered properly and will stay dry then it should be OK but not the most ideal situation.

    2) I find the bike it self will start to complain when things need looking at. eg as gear cables get stretched and worn, the gears won't shift as nicely as they did. At this point give the gears a once over. With regards to the frame, you don't need to do any rust prevention or take super special care etc as long as you don't store it in a tub of salty water it'll be fine.

    3) Clipless pedals are a personal thing only you can decide. I personally like them and do recommend them but not all will. As Jack says try a cheap pair, the m520 are good budget pair.
  • jairaj wrote:
    give the gears a once over

    Just curious to know what that would entail.
    Condor Fratello
  • father_jackfather_jack Posts: 3,509
    lubing inner cables, jockey wheels, derailler pivot points/spring
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Get some JP Weigle frame saver and spray the inside of the frame tubes to prevent corrosion. Buy some 'helicopter' or frame-saver tape and apply to the frame tubes to protect it from the inevitable bumps and scrapes.
    Yes, cleats are way better than regular pedals - SPDs or Eggbeaters are ideal with MTB-type shoes that you can walk in easily.
    Keep the bike clean and the drivetrain lubed and it should survive outside OK. A nylon bike cover should keep off the worst of the weather. A major service every 6 months will also make sure things like seatposts and stems don't seize in the frame.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • DeegsDeegs Posts: 74
    I'm riding a Columbus SLX from ribble that I bought in '88 and its still fine as recently checked by my LBS. I strip the whole thing back to nothing every few years and deliberately put Kurust or similar inside every frame orifice possible.

    Check gears, brakes for sufficient free mvt every 3 months- you'll probably notice if things are slowly gumming up anyway- and every ?1 month over winter if using. No different to any other really.

    As for outside- does anything else down the driest end of the passage tend to get condensation on it as a rule? If not I suppose ok. If often the case then it's definitely not your bike's nesting-place of choice.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    bryantur wrote:
    jairaj wrote:
    give the gears a once over

    Just curious to know what that would entail.

    Usually its just adjusting the cable tension to account for any cable stretch that has happened or just a clean, quick fiddle and relube keeps them runing 100&

    But a guide to full gear set-up and service can be found here:
    http://parktool.com/repair/byregion.asp?catid=53
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    bryantur wrote:
    Also, another non related question. Should I go straight for cleats? (I am a clumsy b****** at the best of times). I'm cycling right through the centre of London (Chiswick to Old Street) and there is lots of stopping and starting and I'm not one to run red lights.

    I have been commuting in London for years and I use bicycle clips - the ones with straps - in preference to clipless - queue the SPD marketing board on here to start saying how wonderful clipless is.

    SPDs are great for long distance and I always use them for that, but they are just an unnecessary complication in London traffic.

    They are not efficient - watch cyclists at a London traffic lights all dithering about as they clip in. There are also plenty of times when you need to unclip instantly.

    Also, if you slip, you can go down flat on the road surface with clipless - I had a really heavy fall by myself at Chelsea Harbour banking over too far while peddling and hitting a protruding metal water inlet: I I went flat down on my side, hit my head and split my helmet in two.

    I use stiff plastic pedal cups and straps: not the light, flimsy plastic ones sold with some road bikes. Keep the straps quite loose and there is no risk of your foot getting caught.

    It does about 90% of the job of clipless at minimal expense, you can wear any flat soled shoes and jump on the bike to go to the shops without farting about for special shoes.

    Not having clipless in London is one less thing to think about. Now you can concentrate on the traffic and the Oxford St shoppers, who will always, always jump out in front of you.
  • bice wrote:
    bryantur wrote:
    Also, another non related question. Should I go straight for cleats? (I am a clumsy b****** at the best of times). I'm cycling right through the centre of London (Chiswick to Old Street) and there is lots of stopping and starting and I'm not one to run red lights.

    I have been commuting in London for years and I use bicycle clips - the ones with straps - in preference to clipless - queue the SPD marketing board on here to start saying how wonderful clipless is.

    SPDs are great for long distance and I always use them for that, but they are just an unnecessary complication in London traffic.

    They are not efficient - watch cyclists at a London traffic lights all dithering about as they clip in. There are also plenty of times when you need to unclip instantly.

    Also, if you slip, you can go down flat on the road surface with clipless - I had a really heavy fall by myself at Chelsea Harbour banking over too far while peddling and hitting a protruding metal water inlet: I I went flat down on my side, hit my head and split my helmet in two.

    I use stiff plastic pedal cups and straps: not the light, flimsy plastic ones sold with some road bikes. Keep the straps quite loose and there is no risk of your foot getting caught.

    It does about 90% of the job of clipless at minimal expense, you can wear any flat soled shoes and jump on the bike to go to the shops without farting about for special shoes.

    Not having clipless in London is one less thing to think about. Now you can concentrate on the traffic and the Oxford St shoppers, who will always, always jump out in front of you.

    I think that's great advice and thanks to everyone for taking the time.
    Condor Fratello
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