Maintenance Questions...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by EvilGoodGuy, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. EvilGoodGuy

    EvilGoodGuy New Member

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    I have a few problems with my bike. While riding, my bike seems to have almost "no brakes." If I put my bike on a stand, the brakes are able to stop the wheels almost instantly. However, once I'm riding the bike down a hill, I can hold the rear brake down full without slowing the bike at all. The front seems to work alright (but not nearly as well as when the bike was new). When I put the bike on the stand, it appears that the rear and front wheels are somewhat out of true (very slightly). The brake pads on the front are almost new and the rear brake pads have some wear but well within limits. Why have I lost almost all of my braking power?

    Second, a "liquid", I assume lubricant, is bubbling out of where the stem inserts into the fork? (correct terminology? I am a newbie when it comes to maintenance). What's going on here?

    I have measured the chain and that needs to be replaced (I have about 7000km on it). Very dusty conditions in my area. Last time I talked to the LBS, he said 5000km was normal in this area.

    I have made an appointment to take my bike into the LBS. I assume they'll be able to sort it out. However, my appointment isn't until Wednesday, I would like to ride Monday and Tuesday. Do you think I may further damage the bike with those two rides? Each will only be an hour or so (2 hours total).
     
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  2. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    do you have a mountain bike with hydraulics?
     
  3. EvilGoodGuy

    EvilGoodGuy New Member

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  4. Alpha

    Alpha New Member

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    The lubricant "bubbling" out of the stem is probably grease being squeezed out of the headset.

    The breaking problem sounds like you have some lubricant on the rims. Wash the rims and brake pads with a grease remover. This should take care of the problem.
     
  5. xxamr_corpxx

    xxamr_corpxx New Member

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    Have you tried tightening the brakes?
     
  6. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    For future reference, brakes that can stop a wheel while on the stand means that the brakes are hitting the rim, it doesn't tell you whether they have enough force/friction to stop a bike.

    On the stand they just have to stop the rotation of the light wheel, on the road then need to stop the ful weight of the bike and rider.

    I don't get on my bike unless a gentle squeeze of the front brake lever while I am pushing the bike forward lifts the rear wheel. I also try rolling the bike backwards and gently hit the rear brake... if the front wheel doesn't lift, then something needs to be done.
     
  7. EvilGoodGuy

    EvilGoodGuy New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice!

    I noticed the lubricant hasn't come out of the headset recently. So I have reason to believe the only time it does come out is when I go over alot of really bumpy sections.

    I tried cleaning the rims and adjusting the brakes and everything is ok. The brake pads grip the rim firmly. I took the bike outside and pushed the bike along and the brakes work perfectly (both rear and front). Another clue that might help, if I ride the flats the brakes work reasonably well, once I hit the hills the brakes fade extremely quick. After one steep downhill section (.5km), the brakes are nearly gone completely. It is a very mysterous problem.

    A distant far off possibility, I recently changed my tire (only the rear tire), when pushing the bike along and applying the brakes the tire doesn't lift up but instead slides along the ground. Is it possible the tire is sliding? The tire is the only recent change I have made to the bike so perhaps somehow it is linked to the braking issue.

    I'm taking my bike in today, so I should know soon enough.
     
  8. EvilGoodGuy

    EvilGoodGuy New Member

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    I thought I would update now that everything has been fixed. The brake pads were resurfaced, the rims were cleaned really well (better than my half hearted effort), and the wheels were trued. Good call Alpha, it seems the dirty rims were part of the problem. Everything works well again as far as the brakes are concerned.

    The chain had to be replaced along with the cassette. The new chain skipped on the old cassette. (7000km on the old chain/cassette).

    The headset was nothing to be worried about and has since stopped "leaking."
     
  9. motorhommer

    motorhommer New Member

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    Change your chain earlier using a chain measurement gauge. I only get 2k km per chain during Winter here and only a bit more in Summer. But that is based on commuting all weather every day. I am on my 4th chain to one cassette and gear change is still sweet.
     
  10. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    I had a similar issue with my brakes. When I replaced he pads, I neglected to "toe" them in. I loosened the hardware, and angled the front of the shoes in a bit (a mm or 2). They work much better.
     
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