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Basic Maintenance for a newbie

beduffrichbeduffrich Posts: 61
edited October 2011 in The workshop
Hi all I recently got a Boardman Hybrid team for my commute. I'm moving office so it's going to be 13 miles each way. Over the winter period i'll probably only do this once a week if I'm lucky as it's all country lanes. Anyway, can anyone please give me a comprehensive list of items that need maintaining weekly/monthly. Please don't use technical terms like derailuer or whatever it is as I have no idea what this means. Thanks all.
Commuter: Boardman Hybrid Team 2011

Posts

  • BigLee1BigLee1 Posts: 449
    If you`ve no idea what a derailleur is I wouldn`t advise you to start spannering on your bike before you`ve found out a little bit!

    Here`s some youtube vids that might help

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... nance&aq=f
  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    As a start, fit full mudguards to reduce maintenance if you haven't already - they will reduce the amount of grit and salt that gets sprayed up into the components through winter, and also keep your bum dry!

    Very basic maintenance:

    Degrease/clean chain and fully re-grease at least once every 2 months or so - chain cleaning tool + citrus degreaser is a good combination. Lube with oil when needed - Finish Line wet lube will be good throughout winter, alternatively 3in1 will be adequate. This will keep things running smoothly and significantly extent the life of your drivetrain.

    Pump tires to optimal pressure once a week - the PSI rating of the tyre will be printed on the sidewall, and get a pump with a pressure gage on it if you haven't got one already. This will reduce the effort that you have to put in to ride at a decent pace.

    Cleaning the bike will also help reduce maintenance/extend component life - up to you when you can be bothered but once a month would be good.

    That is the most basic maintenance I can think of. If things start to go wrong then ask questions on here and watch youtube videos to help you index your gears (for example) and replace broken/worn out parts. Buy the tools as and when you need them and do it yourself - you'll pick things up quick if you are in any way mechanically minded.
    FCN 2 to 8
  • thanks guys this gives me a good idea where to start.

    I've got full mudguards so that one's checked off.
    I need to get the citrus cleaner and chain cleaner tool (is Halfords ok or would you recommend an independant?)
    I have a track pump with pressure guage so we are ok there.
    And I've got a bucket, fairy liquid and some old socks so I can keep a clean machine.

    Thanks for the wiki link. I've added it to my favourites. I'm looking forward to entering the Cycle commuting world in the weeks to come.
    Commuter: Boardman Hybrid Team 2011
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Degreaser is really good for removing grease. Your hubs, pedally turny thing (bottom bracket) and steery-turny thing (headset) are all packed with grease for good reason.
    Dont get degreaser inside any of these bearing components.
  • Thanks Mate, I'm mechanically minded so I know the bearings need to stay greased. I'm more into car mechanics than bikes though, hence why I don't know the technical terms.
    Commuter: Boardman Hybrid Team 2011
  • Mr Plum wrote:
    Degrease/clean chain and fully re-grease at least once every 2 months or so - chain cleaning tool + citrus degreaser is a good combination. Lube with oil when needed - Finish Line wet lube will be good throughout winter, alternatively 3in1 will be adequate. This will keep things running smoothly and significantly extent the life of your drivetrain.

    Many people, and at least one leading chain manufacturer, believe that a wipe and a reapplication of oil works as well/better than a full degrease.

    In general, bikes need much less maintenance than they used to, as key parts (hubs, bottom bracket) are sealed units which are meant to be replaced when they wear out, not regularly stripped down and re-greased.
  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    ooermissus wrote:
    Mr Plum wrote:
    Degrease/clean chain and fully re-grease at least once every 2 months or so - chain cleaning tool + citrus degreaser is a good combination. Lube with oil when needed - Finish Line wet lube will be good throughout winter, alternatively 3in1 will be adequate. This will keep things running smoothly and significantly extent the life of your drivetrain.

    Many people, and at least one leading chain manufacturer, believe that a wipe and a reapplication of oil works as well/better than a full degrease.

    Each to their own then I guess. There will always be different opinions on things like this. I can only speak from personal experience but I know that my chain gets covered in all kinds of dirt through winter and the chain tool degrease method works well for me - takes about 5 mins to degrease, wipe down and lube up; the chain looks brand new and is super smooth. A lot of grit and tiny flakes of dirt are collected in the bottom of the chain tool - not sure that it would be removed by just wiping it clean?
    FCN 2 to 8
  • ooermissus wrote:
    Many people, and at least one leading chain manufacturer, believe that a wipe and a reapplication of oil works as well/better than a full degrease.

    Yes, KMC warn against degreasing the chain and, after experimenting with different regimes, I've come to the conclusion that degreasing the chain does nothing to increase its lifespan and may well reduce it. To my mind, what causes a chain to wear is dirt getting inside the chain and, once it is there, I'm not convinced that there is much you can do to remove it.

    Degreasing may make the chain superficially clean but, inside the chain, I doubt it makes it any cleaner and may even remove some of the heavy lubricants put there during manufacture. While you can get chain lube into the interior of the chain, I suspect that these may be lighter and a bit less effective than the lube put in during manufacture.

    In short, I suspect that the best way to extend chain life is to stop the dirt from getting into the chain in the first place, which is why I am intending to make wider use of dry lubes and rely on a squirt GT-85 to displace any water after a wet ride...

    _
  • BigLee1BigLee1 Posts: 449
    Don`t use washing up liquid to clean your bike, pop into halfrauds and get some car shampoo, I use a 5 ltre bottle of turtle wax, as it`s far better, lasts years and you can wash the car with it

    why not to use it :D
    http://www.carcareadvice.co.uk/faq/exte ... my-car.htm
  • So where does this leave me then? Get a chain cleaning tool but do not use Citrus degreaser?

    thanks for tip r.e. Washing up liquid. I shall be sure to get proper car shampoo.
    Commuter: Boardman Hybrid Team 2011
  • BigLee1BigLee1 Posts: 449
    I wouldn`t worry about it, just keep your chain cleaned and lubed, don`t let it get a big claggy mess with oil, and it`ll be ok. I found that I prefer having a clean lubed chain than not :D Cleanliness is your friend :D I use the degeaser, a chain cleaner then wash with water, WD40 and a good wipe down then later on give it an oil, remember to wipe off the excess. You don`t want a grinding paste with all the grit it`ll pick up!
  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    I guess running the chain through a chain cleaner with water would help to remove dirt and grit from within the chain. I'll probably still run it through with degreaser every couple of months or so though.
    FCN 2 to 8
  • beduffrich wrote:
    So where does this leave me then? Get a chain cleaning tool but do not use Citrus degreaser?

    Unless you're eco-friendly the best (and cheapest) de-greaser is white spirit. That's what I use in the chain cleaner.

    Regarding KMC's advice about not cleaning chains: I'm pretty suspicious of this! I clean my chain every time it starts to lose it's spangly silver look and I've put over 5000miles on it this summer, so degreasing doesn't seem to hurt! I wipe it down before it run it through the cleaning machine but a wipe doesn't get it looking clean at all.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,505
    beduffrich wrote:
    So where does this leave me then? Get a chain cleaning tool but do not use Citrus degreaser?

    Unless you're eco-friendly the best (and cheapest) de-greaser is white spirit. That's what I use in the chain cleaner.

    It's still a good bet if you are eco-friendly - just pour the used liquid through a coffee filter and it'll come out clean for next time. It lasts for ever, apparently (Note: have not done this myself because I got a bulk load of citrus years ago).
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
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