Maintenance Guide - for beginners...

dfriel2 Posts: 47
edited May 2013 in Road beginners
I've had my road bike for a few months and its now clocked up over 1200km. Apart from pumping up the tyres, adjusting the gears and lubing the chain I've done nothing else to it. Hopefully this is normal, but is there a decent idiots guide to what needs to be checked and at what sort of intervals?


  • I'm sure lots of people on here can go into a lot of detail on bike care, but I use a simple rule to look after mine.

    If it moves, oil it, if it's dirty, clean it, if it squeaks, grease it and if it rattles, adjust it.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    Get a chain wear gauge (or look up Sheldon Brown on how to measure chain wear).
    It's quite important as a worn chain can break and (worse) prematurely wear your cassette and chainrings. I found this out to my cost albeit at higher mileage than you say there.
    Look for fraying of brake and gear cables and replace as necessary.
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    oxoman wrote:
    If in doubt on how to do something use youtube clips, Park tools do some good ones as well.

    ^-^ +1 for the park tools clips, I'm not the most technically minded person but I managed to follow these quite easily.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Mindermast
    Mindermast Posts: 124
    It is a good moment to have your wheels trued for the first time. If they still are perfectly straight, don't worry. If they are a bit untrue, it is probably due to the spokes that have found their final positions by now. Then, if trued again soon by someone who knows his job, the wheels will run straight for a very long time.

    All bearings should be checked once a year or whenever they seem to have an issue. At this oocasion, you can remove the old grease, clean everything thoroughly, replace damaged balls, add new grease etc. If done well, the bearings will last much longer. If done badly, the bearings can be damaged beyond repair after a few rides. It is not rocket science, but if you are unsure about your mechanical skills, leave it to a workshop.

    After having a horrible winter with many flats, I am now checking my tires often and remove anything that is not supposed to be on or in them. This routine doesn't replace puncture protection but it might save the day eventually, even if you have tires with puncture protection.

    Other things to look at: Breakpads worn or old (very hard)? Cable housings damaged or too soft (breaks less efficient, gears shift unwillingly or not at all)? Any new noise should be checkded. Very often it is just dirt, but somtimes, it is something serious. The sides of the rims are subject to wear. It can take years but it really depends on your riding style.

    Chain and cables have been mentioned already. I only disagree that wearing the sprockets is worse than a breaking chain. People have bad accidents due to breaking chains, while sprockes only cost money.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I use an ipad app called bikerepair... Cost a few pennies but quite useful and sets out all aspects of maintenance and repair in an easily digestible way
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Park Tools website is great.

    As for books, the Park Tools Blue Book is excellent, as is Leonard Zinn's Zinn and The Art of Road Bike Maintenance. I have both, both are excellent, but my preference is for Zinn.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    Mindermast wrote:
    I only disagree that wearing the sprockets is worse than a breaking chain. People have bad accidents due to breaking chains, while sprockes only cost money.

    Good point and I agree and wish I'd made it. I was just thinking of the wallet.
  • dfriel2
    dfriel2 Posts: 47
    Thanks for all the responses, exactly the sort of info that I need.
  • kampernaut
    kampernaut Posts: 27
    Hoopdriver wrote:
    ... but my preference is for Zinn.
    I agree, well worth the money.