Bike maintenance, repair and other tips



Hi Guys

I thought it might be productive to share some ways of servicing and repairing my bikes

Use your car carrier with a self made stand to support your bike while working on it. If you use the rearmost clamp and let the bike rest in it you should be able to do almost anything on the bike.

Use a large syringe as a grease gun. Cheap and not messy. Use a syringe with a thick needle as an oil can. Remove the sharp point by grinding away on sandpaper. The oil hardens the rubber of the syringe and you need to replace it every 6 months or so.

Cut an old innertube for use as rubber bands. You will be surprised to find out all the uses you can get for this one. My famous one is to mark the spot where I start lubing my chain. I then lovingly add the White Lightning drop by drop on each chain link. With the price of the stuff one has to do this!!!!!

I use Sunlight Liquid (or any other grease cutting dishwasher) to wash my chain. Small service I take a liberal squirt of the stuff on a rag or sponge and fold it around the chain. I then revolve the chain, wash the gunge off with water (do not use high pressure for that matter NEVER use high water pressure on a bike) and keep on repeating untill the gunge is clear. Wait half an hour or untill the chain is dry and relubricate. Large chain service I remove the chain, wash with parrafin dry and then wash once or twice with dishwasher and HOT water. Leave to dry and lubricate.

When washing my bike I use a car shampoo and hot water. I then rinse the bike with gentle pressure. High pressure ensures that water gets into your whellbearings, BB and heaset bearings. They will rust eventually. I then dry the bike with the blower function on my vaccuum cleaner. I then use Mr Min (a furniture polish with I think a silicon base) to shine the bike. Spray it on and rub it off. This also helps in cleaning the bug strikes when you next wash your bike.

I use Brasso or Silvo as a rubbing compound to touch up scuff marks caused by cables rubbing against the paintwork or normal run of the mill bumps and small scratches. Work very carefully with this one as too juducious rubbing can remove a lot of paint.

That is enough for now and keep those bikes clean and the wheels spinning!!!

Big H
Nice post, big_h!
Dishwashing liquid is fine, but I find that if you don't rinse it off quick enough it leaves those white "water marks" [I have a dark coloured bike].
Nice post, big_h!
Dishwashing liquid is fine, but I find that if you don't rinse it off quick enough it leaves those white "water marks" [I have a dark coloured bike].

doesnt Dishwashing liquid contain salt or some other rust causing chemical?? its not a good idea to use it on cars, but unless you bike has a steel frame it should be OK i guess.
Hi Guys

It seems I was misunderstood, the dishwashing detregent I talked about is not the powder used in automatic dishwasher, that stuff must never be used, it contains salt and I think caustic soda!!!!!!!!

The dishwashing liquid I talk about is liquid dishwashing detergent or soap that you use when washing dishes by hand!!!!! and must only be used to wash the chain, together with liberal amounts of water. I will repeat the process below for clarity

1. Wet your chain with low pressure water.
2. Take a rag with a liberal amount of dishwasher squirted onto it.(Sunlight liquid etc etc etc)
3. Fold the rag around the chain.
4. Reverse the chain through the rag with the dishwashing liquid on it wetting and impregnating the chain with the liquid soap.
5. Now rinse the chain with low pressure water.
6. Repeat the process in 4 above untill the chain is clean ie no black deposits and grime on the rag or in the foam.
7. Leave the chain to dry and lubicate with your favourite chain lube. (I use White Lightning)
8. When washing the chain with paraffin I also wash it afterwards with liquid soap because this removes the fatty deposit that paraffin leaves behind when it evaporates.

On the white marks left behind by the soap, it is most likely caused by the lime in your water. That is why I dry my bike immediately with the vaccuum cleaner blower and spray it with Mr Min.

I also only use car wash shampoo with a liquid polish in it to wash my bikes frame and normally after I washed or cleaned my chain.

Keep those wheels spinning!!!!! and those bikes clean!!!

Big H
Hi Guys.. Don't kill me, but I wash my bike with plain DIESEL. Then uses a damp cloth to wipe of the frame and paint work, but leave the gears, chain, cluster. Dont need to oil anything.
[quote author=pothole link=board=20;threadid=1067;start=0#21054 date=1032525471]<br />Hi Guys.. Don't kill me, but I wash my bike with plain DIESEL. Then uses a damp cloth to wipe of the frame and paint work, but leave the gears, chain, cluster. Dont need to oil anything.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Do you do this cause it works well.....or cause diesel is cheap over there? <br /><br />Mind you i don't doubt that it works, just wondering what motivates you to do it, thats all ;)<br /><br />cheers!
Steve, No nothing is cheap in south africa. I just thought they the oily substance in diesel will serve as lubrication. And it really work well. Anothor thing I picked up is that is remove the oil stains from the chain.
Hi guys. I usually clean the chain this way, I spray oil, but very thin oil and then wipe it off with a cloth.<br />That takes a lot of dirt.<br /><br />After 3 times the chain is visible clean and dry, and then I drop chain oil to all the links and ready to go.<br /><br />At the end of the season I take the chain out. ( I remember that this can't be done many times)<br /><br />I meassure the chain, if it is still in good shape then I and clean it very well with diesel, let it dry and....<br /><br />Boil it with the best grease I can find, and ready for the next season...<br /><br />Boiling must be done with a lot of care (*fire might start*), that garantees me that proper grease goes inside the links.<br /><br />&quot;&quot;In my opinion inside the joints should be grease, and outside oil.&quot;&quot;<br /><br />After boiling I let the grease cool down to the point that looks like very thick oil and hang the chain to drip all the excess.<br /><br />My chains last very long using this way.<br /><br />I do not use any detergent in the drivetrain, I always clean the drivetrain with thin oil.
I use one of those chain-cleaner things to give the chain a first go-over with turps, and then use a toothbrush dipped in turps to clean gunk off the cassette and chainrings.<br /><br />Then I give it a quick little squirt with water, to wash off the really dirty turps from the cassette/rings, and immediately give it a second (and third if necessary after 5 minutes) going-over with the chain cleaner &amp; turps. I know the water step probably isn't the greatest, but it makes everything looks so shiny when you wash off that first hunk of **** from the cogs! :)<br /><br />Then I use the chain-cleaner again with metho (guy at the LBS recommended this, maybe to remove the oily film left by the turps? I never bothered to ask why :) ), wait an hour or two for the drivetrain to completely dry, and then apply your average Valvoline &quot;chain and cutterbar lube&quot; from K-mart etc.<br /><br />I do this every 200-250km or so of riding (or when I ride the MTB, after a long and dusty ride.)<br /><br />Joe: from what I understand, WD40 is not a good lube for your chain because it evaporates far too quickly, and doesn't give lasting protection. I guess if you did the WD40 lube before each ride it'd be okay?
Hi Rek<br /><br />Are you using turpentine of paraffin to clean your chain??? Turpentine is the one you use to clean paintbrushes......... Paraffin has a oily base. It evaporates and leaves an oily residu. If you then apply any chain lubricant this oily base will diminish the effectiveness of the lubricant. The Meths or Methelated spirits the guy in the LBS recommended will dillute the oily base and remove it. Meths contain alcahol. Use a lemon based dishwashing liquid to remove the oily residu. This is a much cleaner alternative. Take great care not to wash the paraffing or any other solvent down the drain. This could cause a builup of fumes and I promise you a sewer that expodes is not a nice thing to experience.!!!!!I normally wash my chain with dishwashing liquid squired on a sponge. I then run foldthis around the chain and run the chain through this. I keep at this untill the foam is clean and then wash the chain with low pressure water. NEVER EVER use high pressure water on your bike. Leave the chain to dry and tehen apply my White Lightning l&quot;ovingly&quot; drop by drop on every link . Leave to dry and wipe the excess with a rag.<br /><br />Keep those wheels spinning<br /><br />Big H