Author Topic: Mountain bike maintanance  (Read 2025 times)

Bettis

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Mountain bike maintanance
« on: April 20, 2015, 07:22:17 AM »
Christmas of 2013, I got a mountain bike from my wife(was hoping for a racing style bike but I can't complain, it gets me from A to B)  I don't ride often, probably 50 miles total and it's all been on normal roads but I want to make sure this bike lasts.  I figure the biggest concern for wear and tear is the chain and all the gear mechanisms.  I've tried searching youtube but it seems like the people in the videos are hocking specific products and I'm much too cynical and not knowledgeable enough in this area to trust them without at least giving the forum a go.

What is an effective but inexpensive way to keep my bike in good shape (especially the chain stuff)?  I don't know of any bike shops near me (I'm in Southern Mass.) so I'd either have to get the stuff from amazon or if a place like Ace Hardware sells it.  Also, are there good videos out there so I can learn overall maintenance?  I'm not very handy at all but I'm willing to learn as long as I can see what the person is talking about.  I have issues trying to read directions without visual aid.  My biggest problem seems to be not having the right tools, and the fear of messing it up.  I can get over the fear by actually doing it so I need help with the tools.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Mountain bike maintanance
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 07:31:29 AM »
Life long cyclist here.

- Find the cheapest SRAM chain that will work with your bike
- Buy them in bulk for even lower cost
- Lube chain and wipe down once per week
- get a chain wear tool [$20]
- check the chain once a month
- as soon as there is any sign of wear [usually the tool will have an early wear indicator and a replace chain indicator] put a new chain on throw old one out
- repeat

If you do this diligently you won't wear the chain rings or cassette much and you'll get years from them. If you let the chain wear too far it wears the chain rings and cassette out fast and you'll be replacing them [$$] frequently.

Don't waste money on fancy chains. They won't last any longer.

-- Vik
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 09:48:05 AM by Vikb »

HenryDavid

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Re: Mountain bike maintanance
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 08:18:36 AM »
This is a very helpful resource:

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

thelongrun

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Re: Mountain bike maintanance
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 08:24:02 AM »
Life long cyclist here.

- Find the cheapest SRAM chain that will work with your bike
- Buy them in bulk for even lower cost
- Lube chain and wipe down once per week
- get a chain wear tool [$20]
- check the chain once a month
- as soon as there is any sign of wear [usually the tool will have a early wear indicator and a replace chain indicator] put a new chain on throw old one out
- repeat

If you do this diligently you won't wear the chain rings or cassette much and you'll get years from them. If you let the chain wear too far it wears the chain rings and cassette out fast and you'll be replacing them [$$] frequently.

Don't waste money on fancy chains. They won't last any longer.

-- Vik

Do this! Order some bicycle chain lube now. There are different weights of lube for different riding conditions, but it probably won't matter to you.= unless you ride in especially wet or dirty conditions.

You probably can't go wrong with Park Tool chain lube (http://smile.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Synthetic-Blend-Bottle/dp/B000AOA290/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1429539224&sr=8-12&keywords=chain+lube), but there are also good options from Rock-N-Roll (http://smile.amazon.com/Rock-N-Roll-Gold-Chain-Lube-4oz/dp/B000QU8CGI/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1429539224&sr=8-11&keywords=chain+lube) and White Lightning (http://smile.amazon.com/White-Lightning-Conditions-Bicycle-8-Ounce/dp/B002L6B0VO/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1429539224&sr=8-9&keywords=chain+lube).

Follow Vik's maintenance recommendations. They are on point!

BikeFanatic

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Re: Mountain bike maintanance
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 09:03:41 AM »
+ 1 on VIK advice,  replacing chain it will save you alot of money. PS count the number of cogs in the rear cassette. If there are 9 then you will need a special skinny chain for that bike. Chains are marked 6 speed 8 speed  9 speed. Also SRAM chains system  is  an easy SRAM Link that helps you pop them on/off without tools. You may need to order that separately. One bike mechanic tod me to chang the cahin every six months. That is probably excessive but some people ride 10000-3000 miles a year. 50 miles is too soon to change the chain IMHO.

mschaus

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Re: Mountain bike maintanance
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 09:06:44 AM »
If in all of the 2014 riding season you had 50 miles, you don't need to worry about chain/sprocket replacement for another 10 years. Wipe clean and lubricate (then wipe away excess) regularly and the parts will last for years. I agree that replacing the chain early can help prevent replacing more expensive parts, but this is still a long way off.

The Park Tool link above is an excellent resource, as is anything from the Sheldon Brown site:
http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

As for measuring chain wear, I use a ruler. Process is described in the "Measuring Chain Wear" section on Sheldon's site. No need to buy a specialized tool unless you are tuning up lots of bikes.

If you want to learn about maintenance a little more systematically, this book is my favorite:
http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Complete-Bicycle-Maintenance-Repair/dp/160529487X/

I love maintaining my bikes and that book was a huge help. You will too!
Mike

fodder69

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Re: Mountain bike maintanance
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 09:10:12 AM »
The biggest thing is to keep the chain lubed and it will last quite a while. Use a bike specific lube, not wd40. Any decent bike lube would be fine, stay away from dry or wax based, since you have to apply them more often. You should be able to get several thousand miles on a chain in moderate conditions. A chain wear tool is useful and you can get one for $6 from amazon.

Other than that, you shouldn't need to do much. Learn how to adjust your shifting when the cables start to wear and you may need to learn how to lube those if you ride in the rain.