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



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,864 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Your friend is so immensely wrong it's actually shocking, I strongly suspect that it the most likely culprit as bleeding brakes is rarely needed unless you are descending mountains or have left it idle for years.

    Change the pads and come back before going to the bike shop.

  • Registered Users Posts: 321 ✭✭McHardcore

    Hello! The freehub on my commuter Giant bike has started bleeding a lovely rusty brown liquid after less than a year of use.

    So it looks like I have to replace it.

    Anyone have any idea on how I get the damn thing off? On previous bikes, I was able to put an allen key down the center and wrench it off. But this has a smooth bore.

    Ive tried putting the cassette back on, lightly tightening it, and lifting the cassette off with the freehub, but no bueno.

    The only option I can see is two cone type nuts on the non-drive side. Do I have to loosen these? If so, any idea what size cone spanners I have to buy for the two? They both look to be an 18mm but im not too sure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 841 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    Try gripping and pulling the spacer protruding from the freehub. It may be just a pushfit.

    If you can get it off, you may get away with servicing the freehub, depending on the condition of the internals

  • Registered Users Posts: 321 ✭✭McHardcore

    Cheers for the tips. I tried that but it was no go :-(

    I ended up grinding down two 15mm cone spanners to turn them into 17mm. I was able to use them to take off the two nuts on the non-drive side and then pull the tube through.

    This allowed me to knock out the rubber seal and bearing on the non-drive side. This exposed a 15mm allen inside the freehub that could be loosened clockwise from the non-drive side. This dropped out the freehub.

    I pulled out the bearing from the drive side of the freehub

    But, unfortunately, it doesnt look like the main freehub can be services. Its the bearings inside this that appear to be gone.

    So I will have to replace the freehub.

    Would anyone have any idea if these would be covered under warranty when the bike is less than a year old? Or are they servicable parts, like brake pads?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,422 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i had the bearings replaced in a freehub earlier in the year (€40 as compared to the €80-€90 for freehub replacement), so that's an option.

    but i'd be on to the shop, i've a bike which is still on its original freehub and bearings, and i've had it approx 8 years. i can't say they'll honour a warranty but maybe they could meet you halfway.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,864 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    They are wear and tear but they shouldn't wear and tear that easily. That looks like a freehub that went through a river and was left sitting for a few weeks

  • Registered Users Posts: 841 ✭✭✭nicksnikita


    Looks complex compared to most other manufacturers these days!

    Sometimes the internal bearing is held in by a circlip that can be hidden by grease/grime. Once the clip is removed, the bearing can be replaced.

    I know Mavic have exploded diagrams of their hubs online, you could search the Giant one to see if the bearing can be removed.

    Or alternatively, order a new freehub I guess. I doubt a shop would entertain the wheel coming in in ten pieces...

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,657 ✭✭✭cletus

    Stupid question to start the week.

    In general, are all 9 speed Shimano rd and shifters compatible?*

    Mate has a 2007 Specialized Rockhopper with 3x9 Deore derailleurs. Would they be compatible with these Sora R3000

    *I know there's some mid 90's Dura Ace stuff that's not.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,864 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I would be really surprised if they weren't, with rare exception, 9 speed Shimano was interchangable across the range. The gear spacing would be identical so hard to see how it couldn't be.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,657 ✭✭✭cletus

    Perfect, Cram. That's what I thought myself, but I'm always more cautious when recommending other people to buy parts.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭MangleBadger

    Ok so I have this theory in my head but I'm not sure on how to calculate the maths. I have an Orbea Orca with 105. 50/34 and 11-34 crankset/cassette. Bike weighs say 9.5kg.

    I like the large cassette for making my life easier on climbs. Recently on a trip to Lake Garda even the bottom gear is tough enough at 8+% inclines and my cadence ends up around 70rpm.

    I was looking at some of the rental options and all the higher end bikes with Ultegra/Dura-Ace always have a smaller gear ratio of say 52-36 and 11-30 but the bikes weigh maybe 2kg lighter.

    For the same amount of effort. Say 250 watts for arguments sake would the loss of 2kg negate the move from 34-34 to 36-30 smallest gear or would I end up grinding up the hills even more?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,993 ✭✭✭DaveyDave

    Nothing maintenance related, just airing frustration. I've posted previously about the freehub of my new MTB grinding. Dropped the wheel into the shop the other week as they're now requesting a full wheel replacement since they still haven't received a new freehub.

    Bike was bought at the end of February and this happened at the beginning of April. Wheel specs list it as Deore but it seems to be OEM so an off the shelf replacement won't work.

    Lucky I bought a new wheelset otherwise I'd have no use of the €1,600 bike for the last 5 months.

    This is my first non-Canyon in a decade and this is what I get, thanks Orbea!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,346 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    Assuming you yourself weigh 60-80kg, a reduction of 2kg on the bike is negligible. I'd rather have the extra gears - anything over 10% is going to be a grind unless you're on a MTB but I think I'd get up most hills on 34/34 whereas I wouldn't be as confident of that on 36/30.

  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭ARX

    I have Tiagra 9-speed road shifters from 2010 with new Sora FD & RD, it works fine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,058 ✭✭✭Mundo7976

    This cup should be removable while the hub is still on the wheel (righty to loosen) gives you access to upper & lower sets of bearings as well as the pawels by sliding the sleeve off the hub

  • Registered Users Posts: 321 ✭✭McHardcore

    Thanks for the information.

    I have the tool for removing it too (see top corner in the image below), but im debating if replacing individual bearings constitutes a serviceable part. It may be easier to just replace the whole freehub.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,422 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i recently had the bearings replaced in my zonda freehub - €40 supply and fit, vs. ~€80 to replace.

    the thing is for you, the bearings will be probably roughly similar in price (at a guess) but the freehub might be cheaper.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭JMcL

    There're a couple of online calculators you can play with. will show the speed you'll go at for a given cadence, so to use your example 34/34 @70RPM will have you motoring along at 8.95km/h. Flip to a 36/30 and to do the same speed, you'd be grinding at about.

    So you can do (let's call it 9km/h) at 70RPM, how big a mountain will that get up up. Go to, stick bike and self details, gradient, and speed in to the values and it'll show you the power needed (you can change power and it'll show you speed). You can also put the distance in and it'll tell you how long it'll take to climb so you can figure out it you're able to sustain that power that long.

  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭MangleBadger

    So I dropped my bike into Cycle Superstore for a service a couple of weeks ago. And while initially pretty happy as they sorted an issue with my rear wheel hub the shifting performance was worse than before the service.

    It wouldn't struggle to shift into the big gear under load, so I had to adjust one of the limit screws. Then on my last ride when in the small gear I dropped the chain and it got jammed into the bottom bracket.

    I was annoyed enough that I had ruined a chain but now when going to fix it I've noticed there is chip in the paintwork/carbon where the chain lodged.

    Do you think I have an argument to go back to CS for them to fix it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,583 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Honestly I would say no, if you’d dropped it into them once you noticed there was shifting issues the first time and they attempted to fix it then yeah or it dropped before you touched it, but since you adjusted the limit screws yourself which was more than likely the cause of the dropped chain, can’t really say it’s directly their fault.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭MangleBadger

    That is basically what I thought. Although I only adjusted the outer limit screw which shouldn’t have affected dropping from the small ring.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,686 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Not that I've been fettling with bikes for that long, but never seen a spring in a headset.

    It's a bike that confounds me..stamped with a Reynolds 525 sticker but everywhere and everything says it's 725, specifically this model of this brand.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,864 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Love to know the thinking behind it. All I can see is it helping your headset coming loose over time.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,422 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    did that come from a focus?

    or an out of focus?

    (i'm available for corporate parties, bar mitzvahs, you name it)

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,686 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Me too. I'll have to ask in Humphreys next time I'm there. It looks like a full carbon steerer, but it's not a regular expander . Its like a really cheap and not quie sure how good a way of compressing it

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,657 ✭✭✭cletus

    Folks, how would I know which barb and olive I need for Shimano GRX.

    From looking online, it seems the be BH-90, but I'd like to be sure before ordering

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,864 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

  • Registered Users Posts: 73 ✭✭Inforapenny

    Hi, I picked up a 2nd hand bike that came with some sort of bull horns I guess you would call them.

    Is there an wasy way to remove them so I just have a fully straight handlebar per se?


  • Registered Users Posts: 841 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    Try loosening that bolt with an Allen key. That should do the job

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭at1withmyself

    Not that bolt, it holds the grip in place.

    A little more to the left there should be a bolt on the bar end itself. Loosen and remove.

    Then you could move the grips and brake levers outward.