Bike maintenance

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by botz32, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. botz32

    botz32 New Member

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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?
     


  2. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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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.
     
  3. botz32

    botz32 New Member

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

    What do you recommend to use for cleaning the bike?
     
  4. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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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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  5. botz32

    botz32 New Member

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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?
     
  6. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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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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  7. botz32

    botz32 New Member

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    Perfect - thank you for your contribution.
     
  8. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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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.
     
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  10. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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  11. botz32

    botz32 New Member

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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.
     
  12. oportosanto

    oportosanto Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Tools are what get us through life. Knowing how to use them makes the journey easier and more enjoyable.

    There are decent tools and plenty of good advice here:
    http://www.parktool.com/
     
  14. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    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". ;)
     
  15. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  16. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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