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All the gear, no idea...

Ok so its not quite as bad as it sounds... but since buying my bike about 6 months ago i have done nothing to it in terms of maintenance. i ride almost every weekend, and more regularly in the summer when i can get to Richmond Park in the evening, and have recently bought a turbo trainer that i will be using about twice a week.

what things should i be doing on a regular basis to help maintain my bike, and what cheap (ive spent so much on tri gear over the past 6 months that i cant face spending loads more on bike maintenance kit - its not as cool!) products do i need?



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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Hi Rookie. At this time of year, you need to wash it every time you ride it. Use a hose outside with your thumb over the end (cold! I know), or if you don't have an outside tap, you can get a sort of tank thing with a pump and spraying hose thing from places like B&Q; you pump it up and the water comes out at a high enough pressure to wash the muck off. Keeping your bike covered in muck and salt for months is really not a good thing. Use water! That's cheap.
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    and wipe it dry & get into the gears front & back to get out the crud & water & salt & lubricate with a non sticky oil thing that will not pull grit etc into & onto the chain/gearing.
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    Invest in a bike cleaning shed. What happens is the water main bursts in the night in the shed and power washes bike clean for you!! Easy. I did get wet and cold trying to stop the leak.

    But the salt and grit act as a grinding paste this time of year.

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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    You need a grease gun/syringe, grease, oil/WD40,a basin, a good scrubbing brush for stubborn dirt, a soft bike washing brush - try the Park Tools one - Washing up liquid (or any good quality detergent) and a large spray of Muc-Off

    Take the bikeand spray with the Muc-Off, leave to stand for 5 minutes (whilst you are filling the basin with HOT water and Fairy Liquid). Then take your Park bike wash brush start at the top and give every area of the bike a thorough brushing withe the hot water. Tip; turn it upsidedown and remove the wheels after you have done it the normal way. Put extra Muc-Off on greasy areas and scrub any stubborn dirt with the scrubbing brush. Don't forget to do the wheels!

    Then wipe down with an old towel and finally spray THE WHOLE BIKE liberally with WD40 particularly the drive train & gears, brake calipers, head area, levers and any opening (seatpost, bottom bracket area dropouts). Use a light layer of grease to protect any vunerable areas (try Lithium grease). Also get your bike serviced every 10 months or sooner. Oh and a new chai every 3 months as this maintains your drive train

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    I did 6,000 miles on a chain........hence the reason i had to buy new everything [:(]

    Lesson learnt. I did repairs myself and now have tools and know how for next time
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    agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    Best investment is probably a chain bath (parks one is really good) and use it after every ride to clean the drive chain, and get a spray can of degreaser to clean the cassette and this will keep the drivetrain in good working order for much longer. Then wash off with water and then as above, muc-off, wash off, lube wipe
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Most frequently

    1. Clean it. Primary purpose to get all the grit and dirt out of the bits that move. But looks are important too!

    2. Lubricate it. Put lubricant - many to choose from - on the bits that move - gears, chain, bearings. Avoid the rims and brakes!

    On a slightly less frequent basis. Acquire a basic tool kit - various spanners, allen keys, third hands etc. would be needed.

    3. Check the bits that get the most wear and tear: Brakes, gears. Pay attention to squeaks, judders etc. when you ride (everything will wear and loosen as it is used). Replace brake pads or whatever when they start to wear.

    4. Check tyres for wear. Check for wheel alignment (is it buckled etc).

    5. Check the headset for tightness.

    Fully regular service: Strip everything down, clean it, grease it, put it back together! (you've got to be quite comfortable with mechanics to do this - if you don't enjoy it, get a specialist shop to do it. You might get this done at the end of a season, or less/more frequently depending on the miles that you do. You would need more equipment to do this sort of thing - especially if you get into building your own wheels: lots of fun to be had with dishing and balance etc.

    You'll probably be upgrading components by this time....

    The better it's looked after, the better the peformance! And the safer it is..
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    RookieRookie Posts: 11
    thanks for all the advice - i have invested in some muc off, some gt85 and some chain lubricant from my favourite website wiggle. guess theres no excuses now, i just have to actually get off the sofa and clean the bike after rides i guess!
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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    It's probably a good habit to get off the bike, make a cuppa and then clean the bike while you're drinking it I reckon.....that way by the time you do hit the sofa you'll feel really virtuous and not have to worry about getting off it to clean your mucky bike!
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    My dad was an airframes and engines fitter in the Royal Navy... used to service lots of jets and helicopters on aircraft carriers. As a result I have a had a rather 'military' approach to maintenance drummed into me from an early age. [:D]

    Basically, it would be daft to DNF, fall off, hurt yourself or hurt someone else just because something avoidable happened to your bike. So, as others have recommended cleaning your bike, I'll give that the 'Dad Approved' thumbs-up as the first line of defence.

    Some nice cleaning products, rags, sponges and (importantly) a toothbrush, and make sure you clean everything. As you do it, you start to notice the odd loose screw, ragged brake pads, loose spokes etc etc.

    Jack is right about the full strip-down, too. I did my old bike a few months ago and found it strangely enjoyable to clean all the muck out of the bearings, pull the derailleur to bits etc. Even my cassette was gleaming. [:D]

    Of course, there's always the treefrog approach to dirty bikes.... buy a new one! [:D]
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