Maintenance Intervals

JRod0802

New Member
Bicycles have a lot of different maintenance needs. Only ever owning essentially a Walmart bike, I having never really cared for a bike, and so I have some questions that I was hoping you guys could chime in on.
Chain Maintenance

How often do you guys clean off the chain and then re-oil it? Do you do this more often when riding off road?

How does this Boeshield T-9 product look for buying chain oil? Do you have any other recommendations?

For reference, here’s a good video on chain maintenance:


Front and Rear Shock Maintenance

How often do you guys clean off the front and rear shocks and then re-oil them? Do you do this more often when riding off road?

I found a few shock oil products on Amazon including Finish Line and Maxima. How do I know which one is right for a particular bike? Do you have any other recommendations?

For reference, here’s a good video on front and rear shock maintenance (borrowed from the All about suspension fork maintenance thread):


Wheel truing

How often do you guys find that you have to true the wheels? Do you do this more often when riding off road?

For reference, here’s what looks like a good spoke wrench from Avenir to use when truing a bike. Is this what most of you guys use?

And here's a good link and some videos about how to true a tire:


Tire air pressure

How often do you guys find that you have to put more air in the tires? Do tires tend to go down in psi more quickly when riding off road?

How does this electric powered air pump look? Do you have any other recommendations?

For reference, here’s a good video on how to put air in a tire:


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Is there anything else I’m missing with regard to maintenance? Any tips / ticks anyone would like to share?
 

James

Well-Known Member
Hey JRod,

Chain: It's going to depend on how much you ride and in what conditions? Rainy? Dry? Full on Muddy mountain adventures? I use my bike for commuting and have to clean and re-lube my chain twice a week. More if I've ridden in rainy conditions.

Suspension: I have a carbon fork and hard-tail bike, so this doesn't apply to me. I'd check with your suspension manufacturer (Fox, Bomber) and see what their recommendation is.

Wheel True: I've never done it. Not to say that maybe I'm missing something or being neglectful in some way, but honestly it's never come up. Unless your really hard on your wheels (full out downhill?, Huge hits?) then making sure the tension in your spokes is more important in my opinion.

Tire Pressure: I check it every time I ride. That may sound excessive but with the changes in temperature, riding styles etc you'd be surprised at how much the pressure is off.

Cheers and have fun with your new bike!

James
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with James on the tire pressure check, it's especially important to fill it regularly if you have narrower road tires to avoid pinch flats. Whenever I ride in rain or get the bike dirty I use some spray solution to clean it using some paper towels or a rag. I also use chain lube every once in a while, just drip some on and turn the crank through all of the gears then use a dry rag to remove excess liquid. I flip my bike upside down but a lot of these guys have Park Tool stands and some of them use their hitch mounted bike carriers to make doing maintenance easier ;)

Most places I've lived or visited have bicycle shops that can do heavier or refined maintenance like the shocks and wheel truing. A lot of times if you bought your bike there they will throw in some free tuneups. Even if it's not free I tend to pay them to do heavy maintenance but it tends to be more about adjusting the derailleur than messing with suspension. My wheels have never felt that far out of true but my disc brakes have squeaked before and they've helped with that.
 

Aushiker

Active Member
My bicycle service regime is document here. My approach is to service my bikes every 500 km in the wet riding season and 1,000 km in the dry riding season. I check my tyre pressure about once a week and in winter run the tyres around 15 PSI less than in summer to improve wet weather handling on the road: going down in roundabouts hurts :)

Andrew
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Everyone rides differently, so you need to adjust your maintenance based on what you find needs attention:

Wash and Wax the bike every two weeks... Yes i am a little crazy but it forces me to inspect my bike..Plus it looks awesome in person.

Tire pressure drops at different rates... I've found checking once a week and pumping it to maximm allowable pressure works for me. I have a craftsman battery powered compressor that works great.

I've been using Boeshield T-9 on my Stromer and my single speed racer for about a month... No grime buildup no grease splatter.. So far so good.. Rainy season will tell the tale on the chain.. I used to clean every 6 months, lithium lube every couple of weeks. I do clean the freewheel gears whenever they need it.

Check brake pads every 3 months, and clean and sand the pads and rotors if they squeal. Using 200 grit emery paper and scotchbrite and brake cleaner.

Check the air pressure in my Suntour Raidon every month.. pump it up 130 psig, and clean the posts.

Tighten every screw and bolt once a month... Keeps the squeaking to a minimum.

I never trued my wheels on my A2B Metro in 5 years, except when I was hit by a car.... You should check it once a month though.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
After last weeks organised MTB event, I thought that I'd get the bike into the guys that now service/prep the bike for me, so that they could give it a quick once over, in readiness for the next event in two weeks time.
Sure enough when I went to pick it up the first thing that they said was "have you had an off"
It turned out that the front wheel had a double buckle, which possibly doesn't surprise me given that it had an absolutely massive hit two weeks ago when it dived into a very large sandstone hole at approx 30mph. I knew that the wheel had been buckled, but was in kind of denial about it. :(

I maintain the bike pretty thoroughly myself, but having a second set of eyes go over the bike, somehow seems a prudent thing to do. It amazes me just how different that it feels when I get it back after it has gone through the workshop.
You kind of get used to how things feel, and don't notice when they could possibly be improved. On this occasion it was my brakes. I hadn't noticed just how spongy that they had become, but getting the bike back today was a real WOW in comparison to how it had gone in. I'm back to having going over the handle bar stopping power again, which was sadly lacking last week, but I had just put it down to the severe conditions of the day. It's hard to believe what a difference that's achieved by just changing the fluid and bleeding them again.
The lads have done a good job of truing the wheel back up again, but I'm already wondering if I might be able to save a few grams of weight and also added strength by looking at others brands. In reality I probably won't though, but it's a nice thought.

One part of my after ride maintenance programme that did surprise me this week, was just how dirty that the chain remains even after I have cleaned it. After a muddy or dusty ride, I always degrease and wash down the chain, then use an airline to dry it off, and then re lube it. Even though I did this routine this week, I decided that I'd give a clamp on chain bath a try. I was shocked by the level of fine sandy grime that came out. The chain bath will now form part of my regular maintenance programme.

When I first got the bike, I would check the tyre pressures with a gauge every day. Now I just feel them by hand and perhaps check them once a week, or on the day if doing an extended ride. I also periodically remove the tyres, turn them inside out, just to check that there is nothing poking through that shouldn't be.

I'm pretty thorough about checking nuts and bolts after each hard ride, although I don't recall anything ever coming loose. The same applies for electrical connectors.

I leave gear indexing to the shop to check.

I guess that my thorough cleaning takes care of most things that might crop up beyond the above. :)

edit... Lights are also something that I check prior to going for an evening ride.