Bike maintenance



botz32

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Feb 18, 2016
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I have a Schwin Discover City Series bike. It's a road/mountain bike hybrid. I've had it for about a year and a half. I ride it on the boardwalk in my city about 3-5 times a week, for about 5-10 miles per day between April and October.

The bike is beginning to show a bit of wear and tear. I keep the tires regularly inflated at the proper pressure, but I'm curious as to what other routine maintenance I should be making?

Also, I'm assuming a bike shop is likely to rip me off on some maintenance that I can probably handle myself. Are there maintenance kits out there for people who are handy enough to do the maintenance themselves?
 

Gnufrau

Active Member
Nov 21, 2015
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Regularly, I would say to clean the drivetrain (the cassette, chain, and crankset/chainset, along with the deraileurs) and then clean up the rest of the bike after. That is fairly easy to do. If you are more techmicaly inclined, adjusting the brakes and deraileurs should also be looked at. More technical than that you get into truimg the wheels, cleaning, repacking and adjusting the berrings, and installing new cables. Not knowing your level of expertise, I cannot tell you what level you can do yourself, and what to leave to a shop. Looking at the list, what operations sound easy? Start with those. There are also many good websites devoted to bicycle maintainance. Look them up, and see what sounds doable.
 

botz32

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Feb 18, 2016
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Cleaning, adjusting bearings and installing cables is within my ability.

What do you recommend to use for cleaning the bike?
 

Gnufrau

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Nov 21, 2015
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I use a rag and a brush. For a cleaning solution, you can use anything from soapy water to Simple Green to the specialised cleaners they sell at your local bike shop. One big advantage to the ones at the bike shop is that they leave a protective barrier so the next time is a bit easier.
 
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botz32

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Feb 18, 2016
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Excellent - that's quite helpful.

As far as mechanical work, what kind of tools/kits are necessary? What would you say are the bare necessities?
 

Gnufrau

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Nov 21, 2015
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what is needed will vary according to the equipment on your bike, but a chain cleaning kit, perhaps a gear brush, a set of metric allen keys, an adjustable wrench, and a screwdriver should get you started. Add more as you tackle bigger jobs as needed.
 
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Gnufrau

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Nov 21, 2015
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No worries. You will likely find that as you start doing your own maintianance, you will understand better how the bike works and your confidence in the bike and your ability to repair it will improve greatly. This will, in turn, increase your enjoyment of the bike.
 

Corzhens

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May 26, 2015
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Also, I'm assuming a bike shop is likely to rip me off on some maintenance that I can probably handle myself. Are there maintenance kits out there for people who are handy enough to do the maintenance themselves?

Why assume that the bike shop will take advantage of you? Are you residing in the Philippines? But anyway, my suggestion is to get into an agreement with the bike shop. Canvass the costing of 2 or 3 bike shops and compare not only their prices but also their facilities and the size of their shops. The bigger, the better.
 

botz32

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Feb 18, 2016
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Yeh why assume LBS will rip you off? If you are worried then just shop around like Corz says get a few quotes.
Most bikes can be worked on with standard tools, sometimes there are special tools you need.
Yes there are so many diff kits check this one out
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ca/en/x-tools-bike-tool-kit-37-piece/rp-prod55963
Thank you for providing this link. I will look into this site.

Also, I guess, it's not so much I think I will get ripped off. Simply, I view as some tasks I can handle myself instead of paying someone else to do it.
 

oportosanto

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2015
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Pretty much, we are better off buying quality tools and getting our hands in the bike than giving money to service to do something we can learn to do.
 

mpre53

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Feb 20, 2013
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Cape Cod, MA, USA
Figure 200 miles a month over 6 months? Probably time to check how much your chain has worn. If your shifting is a little wonky, watch a YouTube clip on how to adjust your rear mech. Other than that, your bike is still being "broken in". ;)
 

BikeBikeBikeBike

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2015
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Thank you for providing this link. I will look into this site.

Also, I guess, it's not so much I think I will get ripped off. Simply, I view as some tasks I can handle myself instead of paying someone else to do it.

Yes I agree too, and with bikes it's pretty much always cheaper to get the right tools and supplies and DIY.
ChainReactionCycles is my go-to online store. They have basically everything and the price is reasonable, for some reason it's cheaper and quicker for them to ship from UK to me in Canada then anyplace I have ordered from in USA (I always get nailed with taxes and broker fee's when buying from USA.)

Bob's right, Parktools is THE bike tool company, if I am not mistaken they grantee most of their products for life.
It's very rare that I have observed their stuff on sale though.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Also, I'm assuming a bike shop is likely to rip me off on some maintenance that I can probably handle myself. Are there maintenance kits out there for people who are handy enough to do the maintenance themselves?
Bike shops, at least the good ones, are not in the business of ripping you off. Shop mechanics are in the habit, however, of inspecting your bike a lot more thoroughly than most riders ever will, and they will tend to recommend fixing or replacing anything that is worn out or broken. We tend to assume customers want the best performance and reliability they can get from their bikes.And those replacement parts and that labor and that overhead cost money.

I'm glad that you're taking the initiative to learn to do your own maintenance. Don't hesitate, though, to take your bike to a mechanic when you get to a problem you don't understand or a job you don't have tools for. And don't make assumptions on the quality of a shop's work based on size. Look for a professional attitude up front and a willingness to work on whatever you brought.