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the 'there's no such thing as a stupid question' bike maintenance thread

  • 08-01-2017 7:47pm
    #1
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    is there a simple list of chemicals which you should not get near disc brake pads? i.e. would even something like a detergent cause issues with contamination; i was wondering as i was cleaning the bike earlier if i can be overcautious in cleaning the bike near the brakes.

    any tips on looking after a steel frame? my latest purchase has mountings for racks and also a couple of unthreaded holes - should i tape those up to keep water out, or leave them uncovered to let the water out should it get in?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,662 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash


    .. and also a couple of unthreaded holes - should i tape those up to keep water out, or leave them uncovered to let the water out should it get in?
    There should be a small hole somewhere near the base of the frame to allow water out. Check the end of the chain stays - near the rear wheel dropouts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭ saccades


    There should be a small hole somewhere near the base of the frame to allow water out. Check the end of the chain stays - near the rear wheel dropouts.

    Aren't those welding gas vents?


    Chemicals not get get near disc brakes - all of them... slightly tongue in cheek tbf.

    No wd40, no chain oil and no car disc brake cleaner (bike brakes don't get hot enough to clean the residue off). IPA/Acetone are acceptable (cheapo nail varnish with no moisturisers), but shouldn't be needed.

    They shouldn't need cleaning, just clean the bike as normal but don't add any of the above to them.

    As for the steel frame - if it's put away out of the rain I reckon it'll last >20 years. There are products out there for addition to a frame internals, waxoyl probably being the worst as it's a bugger to remove and will kill any respray job down the line.

    My '89 Mustang is still ridden by my dad in all weathers on a regular basis to his allotment and left outside a lot. My abused mtb which is never cleaned was waxolyed and just has surface rust on the chrome where it has been crashed. My '89 Kona has surface rust on the P2 forks where scratched. Fit bolts to the threaded holes, unless you are cycling through a river that should be enough - if you hear water sloshing about then an old school fix was drilling a hole in the lowest part of the BB to allow it to drain - not great for the BB though.

    Even


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭ g0g


    Is it ok to power wash a road bike if you don't blast the BB and derailleur area?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,329 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    Enjoyed a spin on the trails with the kids yesterday, on the old road bike. Got a hankering for CX/ Gravel bike after that, but thought I'd best have a look at the hard tail mtb first.... I knew it needed a new cassette and chain, but the front suspension was seized. It had been in a shed most of the time.

    So where do I start with unseizing/ servicing the front suspension? So far I've just tried silicon oil at the top and I managed to get it to depress, but then it didn't bounce back. It's a former biking.ie Trek 5400. They're just down the road from me, so I could leave it with them, if it wasn't going to be ridiculous, but am I ultimately looking at a new fork? What type of damage would I be talking for an equivalent fork? The answer does appear to be CX bike to me! :)


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    saccades wrote: »
    Chemicals not get get near disc brakes - all of them... slightly tongue in cheek tbf.

    No wd40, no chain oil and no car disc brake cleaner (bike brakes don't get hot enough to clean the residue off). IPA/Acetone are acceptable (cheapo nail varnish with no moisturisers), but shouldn't be needed.
    cheers, i was wondering if i should be careful with the bike cleaner (specifically this stuff at the moment: http://fenwicks.info/bike/index.php/bike-cleaning/fs-10-bike-cleaner), in case that could cause contamination if washed in when rinsing the bike after cleaning.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,520 ✭✭✭ Alek


    Muc Off bike cleaner says its safe for cleaning rotors and calipers.... Never had problems with braking after washing with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,541 ✭✭✭ cython


    g0g wrote: »
    Is it ok to power wash a road bike if you don't blast the BB and derailleur area?

    Probably, though I'd add wheel hubs (unless of course you have removed the wheels :)) and headset to the list of areas to avoid. Basically avoid anywhere that's apt to be greased and where said grease needs to remain in place!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭ saccades


    cython wrote: »
    Probably, though I'd add wheel hubs (unless of course you have removed the wheels :)) and headset to the list of areas to avoid. Basically avoid anywhere that's apt to be greased and where said grease needs to remain in place!


    Wot Cython said. You don't want to jet wash the grease out from bearings in the hubs,headset,BB (derailurer isn't something I've ever thought about tbh), unless you are happy enough to re-pack it. Or to force ****e past the seals on a fork.

    A simple effective wash is:

    Remove chain (powerlink), wash mud and crap from it. You can use WD40 to force the water off it, allow to dry and then relube (removing the excess). This is #1 reason to allow WD40 near your bike, there are only 2 reasons it ever goes near to a bike.

    Remove wheels as it's easier to clean the difficult bits.

    A hand pumped water sprayer using bike cleaner solution (propriatory or some washing up liquid) and a brush to remove all the other muck on the frame. Use one brush for the drivechain parts and another for all the other bits.

    Put the bits bits back together and use some silicon oil on the fork stanctions. Then you can take your WD40 rag and wipe over paintwork only to give it a "new" appearance and allededgly make it easier to clean the next time, this is #2 reason it goes near your bike.

    It's a fairly involved process and takes quite a while.


    Or do what I do - leave it all to dry, brush the mud off and re-lube the chain and every couple* of years pay a small fortune to a bike shop to fix your laziness.

    * = 7 years if you use a IGH and want to destroy the fork.

    @magicbastarder - I suspect that fork will take more money to repair than it is worth, but certainly pop into biking.ie and ask them to take a look at it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 470 ✭✭ JBokeh


    I would be following the advise above RE power washing the bike, however I do power wash my bikes, I hit them with mud off, and give them a blast with the washer from quite a distance away, so it isn't blasting water into the bearings. It isn't a proper wash, but it stops the bikes looking like i don't look after them.

    For the busted fork, i'd nearly go on eBay and get a NOS air sprung rockshox, there is a lot of them there, especially if you've a 26 inch wheel, get one with the correct steerer length, and diameter and you'll have done a serious upgrade to your bike


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,815 ✭✭✭ doozerie


    Re power washing, I'd go so far as to say avoid using it near anything with bearings in it. That includes freehubs, the jockey wheels on some derailleurs (e.g. SRAM), some shifters (even ones without bearings actually), pedals (Speedplays in particular will just invite the water in and dance the bearings around in it and will laugh at you later when you discover the resulting grinding), some calipers (Campag Record spring to mind). Plus electronic components too.

    In short, unless you plan to dry out and re-pack moving parts with grease, better to keep powerful water jets away from them.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,943 ✭✭✭ Danbo!


    g0g wrote: »
    Is it ok to power wash a road bike if you don't blast the BB and derailleur area?

    Yes it is. Power washers have very high pressure nearer the spout, but the pressure dissipates about 8-12 inches away. This actually makes it easier to accurately apply pressure to frame, rims, etc and lowers risk of hitting hubs/BB/etc.

    Someone posted this video a while back. I used to have no problem cleaning my bike but didnt like to go near drive train at all, but after watching this I tackled it and it was quite easy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ak4AzlUz5Q

    Next step for me is to learn how to properly dial in gears. I've always just dicked around with the screws and cable adjusters blindly and made a complete balls of it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ Chuchote


    I have my first disc brakes having ridden for 60 years with rim brakes. What checks do I need to do on the brakes and how regularly, compared with rim brakes? I've read scary warnings that discs can fail suddenly without warning, and it's no ambition of mine to experience this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,246 Hungrycol


    I haven't cleaned my (road) bikes with water & soap for years and years. Dry baby vests are ideal (without the baby inside) and a squirt or WD40 for the stubborn bits... of the bike. I use petrol in the chain cleaning machine, just make sure you don't get any on your clothes, and WD40 for degreasing the cassette, pullies & chainset. I understand water and soap washing a mountain bike after a trails run but I really don't think it's necessary for a road bike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,293 ✭✭✭ Pigeon Reaper


    Chuchote wrote: »
    I have my first disc brakes having ridden for 60 years with rim brakes. What checks do I need to do on the brakes and how regularly, compared with rim brakes? I've read scary warnings that discs can fail suddenly without warning, and it's no ambition of mine to experience this.

    They're no more likely to fail than rim brakes. The main reason for brake fade is overheating due to constant use like an Alpine descent. Rim brakes would also have issues with the same type of use. Hydraulic brakes can fail if there's a leak in the system but this is similar to having a brake cable snap. Every once in a while check for damage and pad wear. Keep anything you wouldn't like on the old rim brakes away from the discs.

    Enjoy the extra performance in the wet!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭ saccades


    They're no more likely to fail than rim brakes. The main reason for brake fade is overheating due to constant use like an Alpine descent. Rim brakes would also have issues with the same type of use. Hydraulic brakes can fail if there's a leak in the system but this is similar to having a brake cable snap. Every once in a while check for damage and pad wear. Keep anything you wouldn't like on the old rim brakes away from the discs.

    Enjoy the extra performance in the wet!

    Disc brakes prefer shorter, sharper braking compared to rim brakes - try not to drag/feather the brakes on a long descent. Use more smaller amounts of more aggressive braking (but not savage braking unless bedding in).

    Don't touch the rotors with fingers (especially when moving), keep an eye on the pads (organic brake better but wear out quicker than sintered), if they get low swap them out before it's the metal pad backing in direct contact with the rotor as it'll score the rotor and knacker them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ Chuchote


    saccades wrote: »
    Disc brakes prefer shorter, sharper braking compared to rim brakes - try not to drag/feather the brakes on a long descent. Use more smaller amounts of more aggressive braking (but not savage braking unless bedding in).

    Don't touch the rotors with fingers (especially when moving), keep an eye on the pads (organic brake better but wear out quicker than sintered), if they get low swap them out before it's the metal pad backing in direct contact with the rotor as it'll score the rotor and knacker them.

    Difficult to do this when you're not used to them without sending yourself sailing over the handlebars. I'm sure there's a trick to it…


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,815 ✭✭✭ doozerie


    If you are using mechanical disc brakes, if mine are anything to go by then the braking will be on a par with v-brakes - rarely better, even in the wet, and sometimes worse.

    I have Hayes CX-Expert calipers paired with SRAM Apex levers, 160mm rotors, and reasonable quality cables. I've used them with Swissstop organic pads and Hayes and Nukeproof sintered pads. The organic pads had more bite but predictably shorter lifespan.

    A bit of a pain with my combination is that the only cable tension fittings are at the caliper, and I run out of tensioning capacity before the pads wear out. At that stage I have to either throw away pads with life left in them or get out an allen key and pull the inner cable shorter - it's a small thing, no more than a couple of minutes work, but it's annoying.

    I maintain another bike with Ultrega 6800 levers and Avid BB7 calipers, it's not mine so I've only ridden it for a matter of minutes but I'm left with the impression that that's a better combination. Basically though, mechanical disc brakes are not as different from rim brakes as some of the hype would have you believe.

    Hydraulic brakes are better in terms of feel - the levers are "lighter" to use and therefore easier to modulate, but use unsuitable pads (or contaminated pads which I suspect is the particular issue in my case) and the braking quality is still in the realm of rim brakes from my limited experience of them recently. To make hydraulic brakes live up to their promise you need a well bled system with decent pads and suitably sized rotors.

    The maintenance required will vary depending on whether you are using mechanical discs, which tend to have one fixed pad and one moving pad, or hydraulic discs, which tend to have two moving pads.

    With mechanical you have to adjust that fixed pad over time so that the rotor always hits the pad rather than the body of the caliper. And beware of the cable tension, if you let the pads wear down too far without keeping the cable tension in check then you'll bottom out when you pull the lever fully and you'll have no brake. Easy enough to avoid by checking the state of your pads and cable routinely though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,329 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    Ok, I think this might be a stupid question... The front sus appeared to be seized at the top rather than a loss of grease internally, so cassette and chain ordered.

    One issue it was having before it's hibernation was the front quick release working loose. Tried cleaning them etc, so before looking at possible bigger issues the internet tells me it could be, I want to try and new quick release...

    So sizing of/ buying quick releases - is it the width/ distance between the drop outs, or the length of the skewer? It's a 100mm distance between the drop outs, so it's a "100mm" length skewer I need is it?

    Ok, found the answer on Chain Reactions website - not just my bike maintenance skills that are a bit rubbish as it turns out...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,632 ✭✭✭ ec18


    Quick one what sort of things should you look at if you were doing a basic service at home?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,354 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    ec18 wrote: »
    Quick one what sort of things should you look at if you were doing a basic service at home?

    Clean chain and clean and lube moving parts.
    Check brake pads and cables. Where pads are worn you often need to tighten cables slightly. Any wear on pads and replace them. Check rims for wear.
    Check gear cables and indexing, making sure all cables run smoothly.
    Any interference on brake or gear cables, i tend to replace innners an outers.
    Check tyres for wear and any embedded crap that may lead to a puncture. Check pressure.
    I usually also remove wheels and grease dropouts which can be a source of noise otherwise.
    Give the bike a test run, checking brakes and all gears.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,246 Hungrycol


    Will this < BB on CRC >(English Thread 68mm) fit my canyon Roadlite in the pics below:

    406641.jpg
    406642.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,557 ✭✭✭ The tax man


    ^^^ Yes.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,354 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    smacl wrote: »
    Clean chain and clean and lube moving parts

    And what a bítch karma truly is. Hadn't cleaned my chain after my last spin and the fecker broke going up Cruagh road at lunch today. To be fair it was actually the split link that broke, and I noticed the chain was feeling a bit clunky to be fair. New enough chain, but on inspection it is already in crap condition thanks to not being looked after properly. Out of interest, do people use a different chain lube in winter? I usually degrease, rinse, dry thoroughly and use a spray on lube, but it is so much lighter than the sticky lube the chain comes with. The father said at one point he used to boil the chain in wax which sounds like it might work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,815 ✭✭✭ doozerie


    smacl wrote: »
    And what a bítch karma truly is. Hadn't cleaned my chain after my last spin and the fecker broke going up Cruagh road at lunch today. To be fair it was actually the split link that broke, and I noticed the chain was feeling a bit clunky to be fair. New enough chain, but on inspection it is already in crap condition thanks to not being looked after properly. Out of interest, do people use a different chain lube in winter? I usually degrease, rinse, dry thoroughly and use a spray on lube, but it is so much lighter than the sticky lube the chain comes with. The father said at one point he used to boil the chain in wax which sounds like it might work.

    For my "good" bikes I use the same lube all year round. It's a light one (ProGold ProLink) which is meant to clean as well as lube. I like it largely because, in addition to working reasonably well as a lube, you just need to wipe the chain down and re-apply it (and wipe off the excess) and you are done. It does wash off in sustained heavy rain though, so fine for rides of a few hours but arguably not great for the likes of audax riding.

    There is a ProLink Extreme version which is more water resistant, but I've yet to try it. The more water resistant/heavier a lube is, the harder it is to clean off the chain before re-applying new lube, generally = more headache.

    For my commute bike I flit between a relatively light oil (which doesn't last as long but requires less effort to clean off) and a heavier oil (which lasts longer but is a pain to clean off) - I tend to prefer the former, but then again I'm not very kind to my commute bike generally.

    Using wax for chains is a method I've read about but never tried. There was a test of various lubes and lubing methods a few years back where the wax was found to be the most effective in terms of performance. It's a lot of effort though, it seems like it'd only be worth the effort if you wanted to eek that last fraction of wattage of performance out of your chain, and you'd probably want to reserve it for your "good days" bike rather than a bike you use regularly. You'd also want to have a lot of faith in the re-usable split links you'd need for such a chain, or just change them regularly.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    disc brakes - i've a slight suspicion that brakes on my bike may not be contaminated, but slightly misaligned (as i'm getting a bit of juddering under braking); does anyone know if the doohickey mentioned about 1:05s into this video is needed? i.e. what would happen if you pulled the brake with the mounts slightly loosened, without that doohickey?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T2RLgQoyvs

    obviously i don't want to replace the pads and then find that it was a misalignment to begin with.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    and assuming they are contaminated, if you don't have isopropyl alcohol to clean the disc, will acetone (i.e. nail varnish remover) do?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,246 Hungrycol


    Can you take off a shimano or mavic freehub withough taking out the axel?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,700 ✭✭✭ Type 17


    Hungrycol wrote: »
    Can you take off a shimano or mavic freehub withough taking out the axel?

    No, the bolt that holds the freehub to the main hub body has the axle going through it, so you need to remove the axle to get the removal tool in there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,246 Hungrycol


    Type 17 wrote: »
    No, the bolt that holds the freehub to the main hub body has the axle going through it, so you need to remove the axle to get the removal tool in there.

    I was hoping for some magic way of removing the freewheel by just loosing the doo-haa, unscrewing the thingy and pulling the whatsit. Such a crappy system that needs redesigning so the freewheel can be removed from the hub without removing the axel. Bring back the old days where the freewheel was attached to the cassette which was screwed on to the hub.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,700 ✭✭✭ Type 17


    Hungrycol wrote: »
    I was hoping for some magic way of removing the freewheel by just loosing the doo-haa, unscrewing the thingy and pulling the whatsit. Such a crappy system that needs redesigning so the freewheel can be removed from the hub without removing the axel. Bring back the old days where the freewheel was attached to the cassette which was screwed on to the hub.
    It would be easier, but the freehub/cassette design had to be introduced because wheels with 7 and more sprockets put too much load on the axle of a screw on freewheel hub. 6 & 7-speed screw-on freewheels are still common on older, low-spec bikes, and axle breakages are common.


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