Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

General maintenance and upgrading advice - help a newbie

Bongo TaylaBongo Tayla Posts: 4
edited August 2012 in Workshop
Hi all, completely new member here looking for a forum where I can get some educated advice on upgrading my bike and how to maintain my bike as it is, please excuse my poor technical knowledge :oops:.

Bit of history:

I bought the lowest spec specialized Sirrus back in 2010, used it for 1 year commuting to and from University most days for a couple of terms (~20-30 miles a week) changing the brake pads in that time.

At the start of this Summer a friend of mine had the frame on his Specialized Allez snap, so I bought the headset, forks, handlebars and brakes off of him. I then put the headset, forks, handlebars and front brakes (caliper replacing v-brakes) onto my Sirrus. The fork was a little shorter and I didn't quite have the correct spacers, but tightening the top bolt locked it in place. I also rethreaded the gear cables (poorly), but need to get this done properly again by a proper bike shop so that I have good shifting as it currently misses certain gears at the moment and doesn't shift particularly smoothly.

Now onto my questions:

- Could someone point me in the direction of a decent resource for bike maintenance? I'd ideally like to strip my bike down completely, clean each component thoroughly and then reassemble the bike, tightening everything as I go along to get rid of squeaks and ticks etc. however I worry about what needs to be lubricated and with what oil blah blah blah, is there somewhere which goes through this?

- As I said before I replaced my forks with shorter ones from the Allez (which then allowed the caliper brakes to fit) however I didn't have the required spacers to make the headset sit snugly, I just tightened it up well which has locked it in place so far, is this okay to do?

- I'm looking to replace the cheap plastic pedals with clip ons, as a relative newbie to the cycling scene, is there a website with reviews of budget clip on's and advice regarding this?

- (This is where I will seem most bike illiterate) I currently have far more gears than I'd like and need, 3 at the front, 8 at the back. I'd prefer something along the lines of 1-2 at the front and then 5-7 at the back...I've looked online but there's a massive variety of what I can buy and I have no real idea of what I'm looking for, could someone point me in the right direction of a guide or online resource that goes through this?

Apologies for anywhere I'm too vague (I'm sure there are many), if you need any further info please ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Cheers :D.

Posts

  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,588
    Maintenance guides:
    The Park Tools website has lots of guides on how to do things (using their tools of course). Sheldon Brown is also useful, especially if you want background technical information on stuff.

    Headset:
    If there isn't any gap between the stem and the headset you might be OK. Spacers are cheap to buy if you need any though.

    Pedals:
    There was an article recently on BikeRadar about clipless pedals. M520s are what I use, staple diet of no frills SPD users.

    Gears:
    Swapping from 3 to 2 on the front is quite common but you will need a new chainset and shifter if you want to do it properly. You can change rear cassettes within limits (Sheldon Brown might have an article explaining what you can and cannot do), but you'll also need a new shifter.

    If your gears are skipping at the moment, either the chain/chainrings/cassette is worn or you need to adjust the tension in the cable sightly.
  • Maintenance guides:
    The Park Tools website has lots of guides on how to do things (using their tools of course). Sheldon Brown is also useful, especially if you want background technical information on stuff.

    Headset:
    If there isn't any gap between the stem and the headset you might be OK. Spacers are cheap to buy if you need any though.

    Pedals:
    There was an article recently on BikeRadar about clipless pedals. M520s are what I use, staple diet of no frills SPD users.

    Gears:
    Swapping from 3 to 2 on the front is quite common but you will need a new chainset and shifter if you want to do it properly. You can change rear cassettes within limits (Sheldon Brown might have an article explaining what you can and cannot do), but you'll also need a new shifter.

    If your gears are skipping at the moment, either the chain/chainrings/cassette is worn or you need to adjust the tension in the cable sightly.

    That's fantastic, cheers for the response, I'll have a look at the park tools site.

    With regards to gears I'm pretty sure the fault is down to tension, I spent a few hours fiddling away to no avail so I think I'll need to hand it over to a professional for a proper appraisal.
  • russyhrussyh Posts: 1,375
    There are loads of useful videos on Youtube as well. But i found the easiest way was to buy a complete tool kit and give it a go myself. The secret as with most things in life is to have the correct tools and time to do the job correctly. Also take time stripping components so you can put them back together correctly. If your gears are skipping its almost certainly cable tension. I guess you dont have a bike maintanance stand, is there anyway you can raise the rear wheel so you can pedal the bike whilst playing with the cable tension?
  • Russyh wrote:
    There are loads of useful videos on Youtube as well. But i found the easiest way was to buy a complete tool kit and give it a go myself. The secret as with most things in life is to have the correct tools and time to do the job correctly. Also take time stripping components so you can put them back together correctly. If your gears are skipping its almost certainly cable tension. I guess you dont have a bike maintanance stand, is there anyway you can raise the rear wheel so you can pedal the bike whilst playing with the cable tension?

    I hung it up with a rope from the seat to adjust the cable tension, but still to no avail, I'm working over the summer so should hopefully have the money to take it in.
  • youtube is your friend to - a lot of the best bike maintenace advice seems to come from - eek - moutain bikers - dont know why, I guess its cos their bikes need a bit more upkeep.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
Sign In or Register to comment.