Author Topic: Ideas for cheap DIY bike maintenance and supplies?  (Read 2541 times)

bearman

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Ideas for cheap DIY bike maintenance and supplies?
« on: April 17, 2013, 12:18:06 PM »
Hi all - I've been commuting to work by bike for about a month now (10 miles each way). This past week, I noticed that the bike sounds a little squeaky when pedaling, likely due from all the rain riding. I researched DIY bike maintenance online, and it all seems simple enough. However, before I go to a bike store and get the supplies (bike cleaner, chain lube, brush for the gears, etc), I wanted to see if anyone had suggestions for cheap / common ways to tackle this? For example, do I need a special chain lube or would WD-40 work? Do I need a special gear brush or are there alternatives at Lowe's or Home Depot? Any ideas welcome! My main goal is to keep the bike humming along in very good operational order and do all my own maintenance. Thanks for any pointers!

kisserofsinners

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Re: Ideas for cheap DIY bike maintenance and supplies?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 12:52:03 PM »
I find the chain cleaner and lube to be pretty reasonable, I bought both for $20. It'll be cheaper online.

I'd stay away from WD-40 as it's stickier. It'll work like "wet-chain-lube" which requires more maintenance over all due to it's sticky nature, but lasts longer in the rain. I have to re-apply after each big, wet commute.

I use rags to clean and lube, no brush is needed. It should be noted I don't ride much in mud, that might require brushing off.

jradc

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Re: Ideas for cheap DIY bike maintenance and supplies?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 01:11:04 PM »
For chain cleaner, you don't need a special bike product. You can use simple green or other general purpose cleaner.

For chain lube, I think that the special bike lubes are worth it (triflow is my brand) but you can also use 3-in-1 oil in a pinch. Whatever you do, don't use WD-40 - that is the quickest way to a rusty chain. WD-40 is more of a solvent than a lubricant.

For cleaning tools, you don't need a special gear brush. You can use old rags/torn up t-shirts, etc.

If you don't have them already, I would recommend buying a pump, tire levers, and patch kit so you can fix holes in your tires yourself and keep the tires pumped up regularly.

Russ

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Re: Ideas for cheap DIY bike maintenance and supplies?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 01:36:39 PM »
no WD-40, ever.

You can make cheap as dirt chain lube by thinning motor oil with mineral spirits until it looks right.

When you get to working on your bearings, don't use white lithium grease. It breaks down when water inevitable gets past the seals. Marine wheel bearing grease is cheap and waterproof, use that instead. No need to buy the special bike-branded stuff.

I also don't use brushes. Use a rag (old t-shirts for me) like dental floss between your gears and you should be able to get everything.

bearman

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Re: Ideas for cheap DIY bike maintenance and supplies?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 03:53:24 PM »
Thanks, all! This will help me get started this weekend.