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

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  • 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?

    I did a lot of reading online about those holes. The general view seems to be to leave them open, and to stand the bike on its rear wheel for 30 s after a wet ride to let any water drain out through the holes in the chainstays. Water is likely going to get into the frame via the seat post clamp anyway, so it's no harm to have a drainage point, especially with a steel bike.




  • if you pointed it at areas which contain bearings, yes, you could end up driving out grease.




  • Deedsie wrote: »
    Want to clean my bike... would it be a bad idea to use a power hose? This is a high end power washer for tractors. Could I damage the bike?

    Something with that much power I wouldn't take near a bike. It would be too hard to control and keep away from sensitive parts. A small domestic machine would probably be OK.

    I have one of these from when I live in an apartment without an outside hose. Perfect for the bike as there isn't enough pressure to do any serious damage.

    http://www.nomadwasher.com/




  • Deedsie wrote: »
    Which parts of the bike would be the most vulnerable? Was thinking of doing the wheels separately. Then wrapping the chain etc before washing the frame?

    Basically any part that has bearings/grease or has pivot-points/bushes/lubrication.
    This means that you should also exclude the headset, bottom bracket, pedals, brake calliper pivots, brake/gear cable ends, derailleur pivot-points and brake levers/gear shifters.

    What that means is that there are so few safe areas that you could safely spray with a jet washer, that you should avoid using one and instead wet the dirt with a hose (standard domestic tap-pressure) or a Muc-off trigger spray or similar, and then agitate the heavier dirt with a dishwashing brush or similar, and then rinse with the same low-pressure hose. You can then bump the excess water off the bike and lubricate all the areas/points mentioned above with light spray oil and do the chain with your favourite wet or dry lube, depending on the current weather conditions. Taking the wheels off will help reach tricky areas, You can also remove the right crank/chainwheel if required.




  • Deedsie wrote: »
    Want to clean my bike... would it be a bad idea to use a power hose? This is a high end power washer for tractors. Could I damage the bike?
    Deedsie wrote: »
    Which parts of the bike would be the most vulnerable? Was thinking of doing the wheels separately. Then wrapping the chain etc before washing the frame?

    It's only a bike 5 mins with a sponge and 30secs with a hose and it's clean. You'd be done before you got the power washer set up. Lubing the chain etc takes longer.


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  • usual 'mystery noise' question. i'm 80% sure it's somewhere in or around the crankset (only happens when pedalling, also happens with hands off the bars, and pedalling out of the saddle) - a tick which usually repeats twice per full pedal revolution. what can i do to check if it's the pedal(s)? i.e. if it was the pedals, what could i do to rectify it? SPDs...




  • If you have another set of pedals swap them onto the problem bike and see if the problem goes away.




  • Remove the pedals, clean the threads on pedals and cranks, grease and re-fit.

    (It may also be your cleats).




  • will have to get a pedal spanner. i did try cycling clipped in on only one side at a time, and there's definitely a click when pedalling with the right foot, and probably one when pedalling with the left foot, so it may be the BB.




  • Pedal with one foot clipped in. Then do the same with the other foot. It's not an entirely reliable test but if the noise persists in both cases then it might point at something "shared" like the bottom bracket, chain, etc. If the noise arises on one side only them it might be a pedal or crank (or one of those spiteful noises that only applies when pressure is applied in a very specific direction so theoretically should arise when putting pressure on either pedal but chooses to respond only to one side).

    Also worth checking the bolts holding your chainrings on, in case any of them is/are loose.


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  • will have to get a pedal spanner.

    Can you not take it off with an Allen key? I'd agree it's probably the threads have dried out.




  • doozerie wrote: »
    Also worth checking the bolts holding your chainrings on, in case any of them is/are loose.
    ah, must check this.




  • For the record, it's worth greasing all of the threads in the pedals/chainset/chainrings/bottom bracket, as well as the front derailleur and the bolts that hold the brake callipers to the frame/forks - spray from the wheels causes corrosion there, sometimes leading to clicking, but more importantly, leading to threads seizing, making it impossible to remove parts without damage - A few times, I have torn the threads out of crank-arms on customer's bikes because the steel pedal axle and aluminium crank had seized together so badly (new crank arm required, clean out pedal threads with a hacksaw blade).




  • will have to get a pedal spanner. i did try cycling clipped in on only one side at a time, and there's definitely a click when pedalling with the right foot, and probably one when pedalling with the left foot, so it may be the BB.

    I'd a similar noise on my Felt Z6. I To address this, I did the following:

    • Checked this website for info on how to locate and banish all unwanted bike noises.
    • Changed the saddle
    • Put carbon grease on the seatpost
    • Lubricated all contact points between the saddle and the seatpost
    • Lubricated the seat post clamp
    • Lubricated all points where cables and frame met
    • Changed the BB
    • Greased the dropouts
    • Checked the pedals carefully
    • Checked the wheels carefully
    • Checked the frame carefully
    • Greased the headset
    • Changed the headset
    • Upgraded the entire groupset from Tiagra to 105 (included a hollowtech II BB, all cables, etc)
    None of which worked :confused:


    Admittedly, some of this work I was planning on doing anyway (the groupset), but it was more than a little frustrating to hear the noise - mine was a "dry creak" that was linked to pedal rotation - without being able to do anything about it.

    And then I fixed it and all is now silent.

    The solution? I put carbon grease on the seatpost once again, but properly this time - used this stuff.

    Actually, I kinda miss the noise now ;)




  • You can also add to that list (for anyone trying to find a noise) :

    The collars on the valves
    The lockring on the cassette
    The rear qr skewer (just the right level of looseness can cause movement in the dropout when under pedal-load)
    Loose spoke rubbing another one under load




  • One more thing to check - do you wear earrings?





  • any tricks for holding the chainwheel steady when trying to remove the pedals? i just had a quick go and no joy removing them - tried a bit of light spray oil on them, will leave it overnight (not that i expect it to penetrate much)




  • When changing pedals I always wear a pair of heavy work gloves, so that when you put on pressure you're not as worried about banging your hand off chains cranks etc and can give it the full whack.

    That said I had a stuck pedal and the spray oil did the trick when left for a couple of days

    Seven Worlds will Collide





  • yeah, these look as if they're not going to give up without a fight. i dread to think what it'll be like on my old bike, i reckon the pedals haven't moved in about 13 years (maybe 7k on the bike). looks like they'll also allow a spanner to be used on them though.
    i will also try the heat gun method on them at some point.




  • Removing pedals:

    Make sure you're turning the wrench in the correct direction (allowing for reverse thread of left pedal).

    To get a start on stuck pedals, I usually put the crank arm down in a 6 O'Clock position (keep the chain on the big ring in case anything slips).
    Put the spanner/hex wrench in place so that it's horizontal.
    Keeping the bike on the ground, I then stomp on the wrench down (in the correct direction) to loosen the pedal. It's worked on a couple of friends bikes too. If you're still having trouble, ask a friend to stand on the opposite pedal while you stomp on the wrench.


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  • will have to get a pedal spanner. i did try cycling clipped in on only one side at a time, and there's definitely a click when pedalling with the right foot, and probably one when pedalling with the left foot, so it may be the BB.
    dropped the bike into humphries, derek had a look and said the bearing cups on one side had loosened slightly, fixed that, and the noise is gone.




  • just changed the brake cables on the old road bike for the first time - quite straightforward. however, i've a fair bit of cable housing left over. i know brake and gear cables aren't the same, but are the housings? rather than cutting into the housing provided with the gear cable kit, i may as well continue to use it from the brake cable set if it's the same stuff.




  • Not the same, and shouldn't be used in the 'other' application.

    Before indexing, you could use the spiral (brake) housing in both applications, but when you flex this housing (turn the handlebars) it lengthens ever so slightly, meaning it upsets the indexing, hence modern bikes' gear cable housing being the linear type.




  • Dropping dropper post as I am cycling any ideas??

    A little TLC is needed I know but a few pointers would be great.
    LBS are getting a bit strange with their pricing strategy.......




  • just finished my first attempt at putting new bar tape on the bike.
    for anyone who's not done it before, this is easily the best video i found on the topic:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MzIiv7pewE




  • How do people go about cleaning wheel rims after a day like today? I was just wiping them to get the worst off, and then using an alcohol wipe to get them a bit cleaner as i was read somewhere alcohol so long as it's not too harsh was good hence the wipes.




  • Signed up to the Mick Byrne. Bike I'll be using has 52/36 which usually is grand in the Wicklow hills but think a compact will be better for the day thats in it. I have a compact I can switch on, the question is will I need to adjust the front derailleur as well?

    Also when switching wheels should you have to reindex the gears. Have noticed that the indexing isn't quiet as smooth when switching wheels. Nothing major but a little tweak here and there is needed. Each wheel has it's own cassette with I think the same ratio block on it.




  • Crocked wrote: »
    Signed up to the Mick Byrne. Bike I'll be using has 52/36 which usually is grand in the Wicklow hills but think a compact will be better for the day thats in it. I have a compact I can switch on, the question is will I need to adjust the front derailleur as well?

    Also when switching wheels should you have to reindex the gears. Have noticed that the indexing isn't quiet as smooth when switching wheels. Nothing major but a little tweak here and there is needed. Each wheel has it's own cassette with I think the same ratio block on it.

    Would it not be a lot easier to just get a lower geared cassette? What are you riding at the minute? Switching 52/36 to 50/34 doesn't seem like its worth the hassle of changing for one ride?


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  • Need to change the middle chainring of the old hardtail - following on from changing chain and cassette, and having slippage issues on the middle chain ring only.

    Do I need Anti Seize Paste as per the GCN youtube video for changing chainrings, or will grease be adequate? What other applications would I use the anti seize paste, that I wouldn't use grease? Small enough money, but still trying to get the mtb back on the trail as cheap as possible for how often it'll be used!


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