Heyyah guys im new to this forum and new to the whole maintenance of bikes. It's something i'd love to get into as i am a sport fanatic. I currently have a mountain bike, in poor condition, and shall be getting a hybrid bike soon as i am doing a cycle event from Holbeach to Sussex for MS along side my dad. I would love to know about all the different components of bikes (MTB, road and hybrid) and how to clean, fix, take off/replace them.
For example, i have a severely rusty chain (ridable) and would like to clean it, how? Do i leave it to soak in coca cola? Also, my fork is rather rusty...?? How to clean?
Please help? Are there any courses on how to maintain bikes in/around Lincolnshire - spalding, Bourne, Boston/Kings Lynn.
Thank you Dayna Kingshott
Hi and welcome. Nice that you are planning a bicycle trip with your father. Hope you get good weather, but do pack rain gear.
AS per chain cleaning, depends what you have around , there are citrus based non toxic cleaners, check at your hardware store or bicycle shop. Than there are various lubricants after you clean it.
For forks hard to tell how much rust but I'd consider again a hardware or auto store rust remover and some gentle elbow grease.
For maintenance tips perhaps there are local clubs or do it yourself shops. The maintenance tutorials offered on this site are very good......Make sure everything is serviced and libricated such as wheel bearings, crank bearings and shifter mechanisms.
As per hybrid are you getting it new?
Never Give Up!!!
I agree with replacing the chain, with some amendments:
Chains and cogs wear together, more so if you ride the smaller cogs a lot or with a lot of pedal pressure, so it's likely the freewheel/cassette will need to be replaced as well.
Lubricating with something designed for bicycle chains/parts (Finish Line, Chain-L, many other options) is indeed a good idea, but frequency varies tremendously. I advocate lubing when the chain appears dry or becomes more noisy. Lubricate and then wipe with a rag. There is no need to lube again afterward - there will be more than enough left on the surface of the chain after wiping, let alone what tends to migrate from the inside. Unless the bike is ridden in winter/salt conditions fairly regular lubrication will prevent any significant rusting.
Since we are talking about chain lubrication etc. Here in USA our products may differ from what you have in Britain. I have a citrus based chain cleaner and a chain cleaning tool that bathes the chain as it cleans it. Since I ride on the beach bike path I stay away from oily lubricants or use them very sparingly as they attract sand and create a grinding compound. For my chain I use a Finish Line Ceramic lubricant sparingly, which is not oily, and wipe away excess.
For bearings I use Bel Rey waterproof grease , since I have it on hand for my motorcycle. I also use Tri Flow Teflon spray and sometimes Foaming Silicone spray which cleans and lubricates. Still have not decided which is better, although I lean towards Tri Flow.
That's the basic lubes I have.
Never Give Up!!!
Referring to the picture below:
The arrow is pointing to a bolt. Loosen it a little ways - 1 to 2mm, then tap it down as far as it will go with a hammer and block of wood to protect the bolt. Repeat until you can lift the handle bars off the bike, or the bolt comes out completely. (Hopefully the former).
Next there is a large hex nut, usually 30mm or so. Loosen and remove it. Next there is usually an anti rotation washer, this needs to be pulled straight up. Finally there is the top cone for the headset bearings. This should unscrew by hand. Now the fork will fall out. You will find (hopefully) very greasy balls top and bottom.