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advice for first strip down of a bike

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Considering totally stripping my bike down and rebuilding on friday (my day off) as it is starting to get loverly and dirty, and black thick oil everywhere (you get the general idea.)

Question is, can you give me any advice for doing a strip down on a bike? I know i olbviously need to keep track of what goes where etc but what is there i might do wrong and not notice until its too late, etc? Is there anything you would strongly suggest that i should "not" touch atall?
post #2 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Hi, my approach would be to clean the bike as best possible,(use degreaser on the oily and greasy things, then detergent on the whole bike, rinse and dry, give it a cut&wax all over with car polish), oil the chain, bearings, all moving parts, and make adjustments. This can take half a day in itself depending on how thorough you are, and your bike will LOOK like it's rebuilt. By doing these things you will find any problems that need further work.

Then do the big things one at a time starting with whatever is in most need, eg rear hub and gears; crank & bb etc until you have 'rebuilt' the bike. It is much easier working on those things when they are clean to start with. By breaking the tasks into smaller parts you can learn each part separately, what special tools are needed, and all the quirks and oddities related to each one.
All the best for Friday!
post #3 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by webbhost
Hi,

Considering totally stripping my bike down and rebuilding on friday (my day off) as it is starting to get loverly and dirty, and black thick oil everywhere (you get the general idea.)

Question is, can you give me any advice for doing a strip down on a bike? I know i olbviously need to keep track of what goes where etc but what is there i might do wrong and not notice until its too late, etc? Is there anything you would strongly suggest that i should "not" touch atall?
You need SOME bike specific tools ... those ~£30 (~$50US through mail order) comprehensive bike toolkits which come in a notebook-sized hard plastic case are an OKAY set of tools, for the most part ... the cost of the BB tool, the cassette tool, the chain break/riveter, chainwhip and the crank tool would probably come close to or exceed the cost of the toolkit (which has additional tools of varying quality).

If you have access to a digital camera, take pictures of parts that are on the bike in their current places ...

Have a lot of shoebox-sized boxes to put stuff in as you take them off the bike.

Take your time ...

GREASE-or-LUBE stuff (bearings & cables) ... consider buying/installing new cables & housing at some point in time ...

Paper towels are good to have handy ... working with relatively "clean" hands is easier than otherwise.

A warm work space is better than a cold garage ... put newspapers underneath your bike ...

Prop the bike on a workstand OR in your trainer OR _______.

DON'T take the fork off unless you know you want to regrease the headset bearings.

Take your time.

Beer is reserved for AFTER you are done putting the bike back together!
post #4 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
...Paper towels are good to have handy ... working with relatively "clean" hands is easier than otherwise...
If I don't want to get too greasy I use disposable gloves. The local supermarket has a box of heavy duty disposable gloves which are durable enough for most tasks. I also sometimes use workgloves except for when I need to do something fiddly. On the odd occassion I also use an apron; saves my t-shirts or shorts (gives me something to wipe my hands on).
As Alfeng said, you will need some specialised tools (BB tool, cassette remover etc). For other things you can probably find a reasonable alternative (for example I use an old oil filter remover (one which has a chain on it) as my chain whip. You could probably make one using a length of old chain attached to a narrow iron bar.
And, as Alfeng said, take your time.
Have fun with it; it's very rewarding.
post #5 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

You can probably do the job in a day if you like, but I suggest you take two. Savor the job. Take your time and pay attention to detail. Get a couple of maintenence books from the library for reference. There's lots of good advice already so there's no need for me to restate. You may find this link helpful.

http://www.bikewebsite.com/index.htm
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Hi,

2 days isn't exactly a real option for me. I have the day off tomorrow but the day after im back at work again, and need a good working bike (unless im gonna set out earlier on a mountain bike and kill myself on the way lol).


The biggest concern i have is just the sheer amount of dirt and crap on the bike. Looks horrible from underneath, and as for the chain... well.

I degreased it and regreased about 4-6 weeks ago (im not that much an enthusiast on bike maintinence - yet) but now it is absolutely thick black sludge lol. The chain feels as if it is hard to move about. This is my primary concern (with a easy fix) - as if the chain isn't moving as well as it should be, its going to make the job for me a hell of a lot harder too.

My other concern is the wheels. On the centre of the wheels, i see rust, and i dont like rust lol. Not quite sure how im gonna get around the problem of there being rust on the wheel yet, but i dont like it lol.

If i can help it i prefer "not" do disassemble the rear wheel entirely as im not 100% sure on getting those nuts back in the right place, at the right tension.

Bearing cage wont be a problem as there is none. Just bearings and grease.


Never occured to me to wax the bike to give it that brand new feeling. Shame it wont get rid of the scratches from my crashes too lol!

One confusing thing about that through, i asked my dad about using Tcut / Car wax on my bike to bring it back to life, but he said that stuff would scratch my bike? Whats all that about lol.
post #7 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by webbhost
Hi,

2 days isn't exactly a real option for me. I have the day off tomorrow but the day after im back at work again, and need a good working bike (unless im gonna set out earlier on a mountain bike and kill myself on the way lol).


The biggest concern i have is just the sheer amount of dirt and crap on the bike. Looks horrible from underneath, and as for the chain... well.

I degreased it and regreased about 4-6 weeks ago (im not that much an enthusiast on bike maintinence - yet) but now it is absolutely thick black sludge lol. The chain feels as if it is hard to move about. This is my primary concern (with a easy fix) - as if the chain isn't moving as well as it should be, its going to make the job for me a hell of a lot harder too.

My other concern is the wheels. On the centre of the wheels, i see rust, and i dont like rust lol. Not quite sure how im gonna get around the problem of there being rust on the wheel yet, but i dont like it lol.

If i can help it i prefer "not" do disassemble the rear wheel entirely as im not 100% sure on getting those nuts back in the right place, at the right tension.

Bearing cage wont be a problem as there is none. Just bearings and grease.


Never occured to me to wax the bike to give it that brand new feeling. Shame it wont get rid of the scratches from my crashes too lol!

One confusing thing about that through, i asked my dad about using Tcut / Car wax on my bike to bring it back to life, but he said that stuff would scratch my bike? Whats all that about lol.
YOUR BIKE NEEDS FENDERS!

You also need to spend ~5 minutes AFTER EACH RIDE to rinse & wipe the crud off the bike ...

Presuming that the outside temps are above 0ºC:

* Begin OUTSTIDE with a garden hose ... rinse off the bike with a low-pressure (thumb on the end of the hose) spray ...

* With a bucket of warm water (40ºC or warmer) and a brush, scrub the rest of the loose, road grime off the underside of the bike & chain with a long handle brush ...

If your garden hose isn't connected OR if you live someplace where an outside rinse isn't convenient (e.g., apartment), then stand at the curb or on a patch of grass and plan on using more than one bucket of warm water to rinse the bike off.

* WHEEL THE BIKE INSIDE onto some laid out newspapers into the forementioned heated space ...

* Wipe the bike DRY.

Now, if you are seeing rust on the center of the hubs, is that because it is a 3-speed with a Sturmey-Archer hub OR an older Raleigh-type 10-speed with steel hubs?

Since you are pressed for time, don't worry about it ... get some PAM cooking spray and spray the outside of the hubs (you can/will do this when you are done with everything else).

Spray some WD-40 on a rag ... wipe the chain off ... use an old toothbrush to clean off any crud you may have missed.

Lube the chain with the lube of your choice ... I recommend simple household-weight oil (e.g., 3-in-1). You will be doing this after every ride if the conditions are as bad as you suggest.

FENDERS! Buy some fenders for your bike ...
post #8 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Steel wool and WD40 will take care of light rust. Defineatly get fenders. Since you don't have two days, start early. Good luck.
post #9 of 9

Re: advice for first strip down of a bike

Hi Webhost, Your dad is right if you are talking about using cut&polish on a new bike or car because it does leave micro-scratches in the shine. If the car or bike is more than a few years old then it will be covered in those micro (and bigger) scratches already.
The cut&polish will remove scuff marks and rub off minor scratches in the paint, and remove the surface layer of old oxidised paint. If your bike is old, then the improvement in the finish is dramatic. It should not be used too often, and rub it in just enough to 'cut' off the defects in the paint.

How did Friday go?
Cheers
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