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Bike maintenance and tools Empty Bike maintenance and tools

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:23 am

These guys said it quite well.
Here is what they said word for word:

There are certain tools and accessories that you should have on hand to make sure your bike is in safe working order before going off for a ride and for performing basic maintenance on your bike.

Tire Pumps

Tires should be pumped to their recommended pounds per square inch (psi) for safe riding. The easiest and most reliable tool to use is a floor pump. A good floor pump with a pressure gauge can be had for between $30 and $60.

While riding, you'll want to have a more portable way of pumping up a tire in the event of a flat. There are several types of hand pumps to choose from. Whichever one you decide to get, be sure that it is capable of pumping your tires to their recommended pressure, especially if you own a road bike. (The recommended pressure can be found on the sidewall of the tire.)

• Frame pump: Long hand pumps that clip onto the frame of a road bike. A few models have gauges. Some are capable of pumping to a maximum of 160 psi. Because of the length of the pump barrel, frame pumps require fewer strokes to inflate a tire to capacity than the smaller hand pumps.

• Hand pump: Smaller hand-held pump. You'll find two versions, one for wider ATB (mountain bike) tires and one for skinny, higher-pressure road tires. Be sure to get the one that's right for your tires -one that is capable of pumping your tires to their recommended psi.

• C02 pump: Pocket-size pumping device that utilizes small C02-filled cartridges. These provide the fastest way of inflating a tire while on the road (very nice when the weather is cold).

NOTE: Keep in mind that, if you use C02 to fill a tire, you should re-inflate the tire within 24 hours with a regular pump. C02 tends to leak through the pores of the tire tube, causing the tire pressure to go down.

Presta vs. Schrader Valves

Your bicycle's tire tube will come with one of two kinds of valves. Most pumps can adapt to accommodate either type.

Presta valve: A specialized valve found on some bicycle tubes. A presta valve has a small knurled end which must be unscrewed in order to inflate the tube. Most road bike tires use Presta valves.

Schrader valve: The valve of a bicycle tube similar to the valve found on a car tire. Schrader valves are more common on mountain bike tires.

Saddle Bag Tool Kit

There are certain tools that you should carry with you on the bike at all times, so that you are equipped to do emergency repairs on your bike while on the road. Carry the tools in a saddle bag that attaches to the rear underside of your saddle. The following should be with you on all rides:

* Spare tube (at least one, but you might want to bring two on colder rides - using a new tube is much faster than patching one with a hole in it)
* Patch kit (either self‑adhesive or one that comes with a tube of glue)
* Tire "boot" (This is a 2- to 3-inch piece of a Tyvek®️ envelope, a dollar bill, or a PowerBar®️ wrapper that can be inserted between the tube and tire in the event you cut your tire all the way through. The boot prevents the tube from pushing out through the hole and causing more flats.
* Tire levers (This tool removes the tire from the rim. Usually comes in a set of 2 or 3 levers.)
* Multi-tool (a neat gadget that is a combination of several tools, such as Allen wrenches, screw drivers, etc.)
* Money (for snacks or water along the way)
* Identification (name, address, emergency contact)
* Handi-wipes or latex gloves (not required, but nice for when your hands get dirty while doing a repair)

TIP: Keep your tools in an old sock to prevent them from accidentally puncturing your spare tube. Take the spare tube out of its box and insert it into a small Ziploc bag with a light sprinkle of talcum powder. The powder will help reduce the possibility of friction damage and will make installation of the tube easier.

Routine Bicycle Maintenance

"Cleaning a bike is like cleaning a toilet. If you do it regularly, it's fine and easy. If you wait, it's a truly disgusting experience." ‑ Steve Gravenites

Unless you're mechanically inclined, we recommend that you leave the major mechanical repairs to your bike mechanic. However, there are things that you can do to keep your bike in top shape. In addition to the things listed on the Maintenance Checklist, you should keep your bike's drive train clean and lubricated.

A good rule of thumb is to clean your bike after every 3 to 5 rides, after riding it in wet weather, or whenever there is grit visible on the chain. If your bike is shifting poorly, sometimes a good cleaning is all that's needed to get it shifting smoothly again. The grime that accumulates on your chain, derailleurs, chainrings and cassette will interfere with function and will wear down the components faster if not cleaned off regularly.

Cleaning Your Bicycle

What You'll Need:

· Bucket

· Mild dish detergent or bicycle cleaning solution

· Biodegradable degreaser (put it in a spray bottle for easy application)

· Large sponge (the kind used for washing a car works well)

· A good-sized soft brush and a smaller brush (an old toothbrush works great)

· Soft cloth for drying

What to Do

WARNING: Never use a high‑pressure hose on your bike. The high pressure will force water into internal components (hubs, bottom bracket) causing damage.

1. Bring your bike outside. Lean the bike against a smooth wall or mount it on a bicycle work stand. Put a small squirt of dish detergent in the bucket (or the quantity of cleaning solution recommended by the solution manufacturer). Fill the bucket with very warm water.

2. While turning the pedals backward (counter‑clockwise) liberally spray the chain, cassette, and chainrings with degreaser. Be sure to soak all links on the chain. Continue to backpedal for about a minute to help the degreaser penetrate the chain. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.

3. Dip the large brush in the soapy water and, while backpedaling, gently hold the brush against the cassette, allowing the chain to pass through. Repeat a few times until the chain is clean.

4. Brush the chainrings and front derailleur with soapy water until clean.

5. Use the toothbrush to clean any grit off of the front derailleur and the pulleys on the rear derailleur.

6. Using the large brush, clean the rims and tires with soapy water.

7. Wet down the frame by squeezing water from the sponge onto the frame. Use the sponge to carefully clean the frame of any grit or road salt.

8. Refill the bucket with clear water to rinse the bike. (Use a plastic cup to scoop water onto the bike.) Backpedal and pour rinse water on the chainrings, front derailleur, chain, rear derailleur, and cassette to remove all the soap.

9. Once all soap has been removed, dry the frame with the cloth.

10. Backpedal for about a minute or so to remove excess water from the drivetrain. Allow the drivetrain to dry thoroughly (be especially certain that the chain is dry), then apply the lubricant of your choice to the chain and pivot points (see instructions below).

11. To protect the frame from road salt and grime, you can add a coat of automotive wax or a polish specifically designed for bicycle frames, such as Pedro's BikeLust®️.

Lubricating the Chain and Derailleur Pivots

What You'll Need

• A dry or wet lube (examples of dry lubes: Ice Wax®️, White Lightning®️; examples of wet lubes: TriFlow®️, SynLube®️, Finish Line Teflon Lube)

• A Teflon‑based spray lube for derailleur pivots (most wet lube sprays listed above will work)

What to Do

The chain must be lubricated for smooth operation and to prevent rusting. There are two basic kinds of lubrications: wet and wax‑based dry. Wet lubes are best for road bikes and in sub-freezing temperatures or wet conditions. Wax-based dry lubes will maintain a cleaner chain because they don't attract grit as readily as wet lubes, however, they don't work well in colder temperatures or wet conditions. Most aerosol spray lubes (both wet and dry) come with a small tube to insert into the spray head to concentrate the spray in a small spot. Be sure to use the tube to control the spray. For either type of lube, the application process is the same.

When using a liquid lubricant, you want to get the lube onto the pins inside the rollers on the chains, not on the outside where it does little good.

· Shift the rear shifter to put the chain in the middle of the cassette.

· While slowly backpedaling, drizzle or spray a small amount of lube on the rollers in the center of the chain. You want to get the lube onto the pins inside the rollers on the chains, not on the outside where it does little good. Do not over-saturate the chain - only a moderate amount of lube is needed. Too much lube, wet or dry, will attract grit quickly.

· Once lube has been applied, continue slowly backpedaling for about a minute to help the lube penetrate the pins on the rollers.

· Gently hold a clean rag or handful of paper towels around the chain to blot excess lube off of the chain while continuing to backpedal.

· Using the spray lube, lubricate the front and rear derailleur pivots.

· Allow lube to set about 30 minutes before riding the bike.

Rear derailleur Front derailleur

Other Parts to Lubricate


The spindles on your pedals should be kept lubricated so that they don't corrode and seize in the cranks.

1. To remove the pedals, use a pedal wrench or the correct size Allen wrench. Turn the wrench toward the front of the bike to loosen the pedals.

TIP: To protect your knuckles from the teeth on the chain rings while loosening the pedals, shift the front derailleur so the chain is on the big chain ring.

2. Clean any grit off the spindle with a paper towel. Apply a small amount of paste grease or Teflon‑based lube to the pedal spindle (the threaded part), using your fingers to work it into the threads.

3. Reinstall the pedal onto the crank, making sure you tighten the pedal securely.

Seat Post

The part of the seat post that goes down into the frame's seat tube should be greased to prevent it from seizing in the frame. Check the seat post periodically to see if it needs to be greased. Use paste grease rather than an oil-based lubricant.

NOTE: Before loosening the seat post bolt to remove the seat post, mark its position with a Sharpie marker or a piece of masking tape so you can return it to its exact position when you reinstall the seat post.

1. Loosen the seat post bolt until the seat post slides out of the seat tube.

2. Apply a very thin coating of paste grease to the seat post below the spot you marked.

3. Replace the seat post, aligning the spot you marked with the top of the frame's seat tube.

4. Partially tighten the seat post bolt. Turn the saddle so it is straight (watch that mark on the seat post to make sure it's at the right height) ‑ align it by lining up the nose of the saddle with the top tube. Once the saddle is aligned as it should be, tighten the seat bolt securely.

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