Author Topic: bike maintenance on tour  (Read 3865 times)

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Offline wazzo

bike maintenance on tour
« on: January 18, 2012, 02:52:05 pm »
I was wondering what people do for basic bike maintenance while on an extended tour. We all know how messy a bike can get and it's bad enough cleaning them in the garage with a supply of rags and cleaners. I can't imagine carrying those things on the bike. I suppose you could just turn it over to a bike shop occasionally, but that doesn't seem like the best approach either. Any thoughts?

Joe B

  • Guest
Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 03:32:33 pm »
Giving great caution to NOT blast the headset, BB, cluster etc. I have been known to use a self serve car wash and a rag. The maintenance works out for me to be a constant "hobby" check the rear shift cable tonight , the front straddle wire tomorrow , just keep an eye on things really. I have found it to be not so bad..
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 03:37:51 pm by Joe B »

Offline John Nelson

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 03:57:18 pm »
On my TransAm, I did nothing except pump up the tires once every 10 days, lube the chain once every 5 days, and wipe it down with a damp rag after a rain.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 05:00:59 pm »
wipe it down with a damp rag after a rain.
What's the reason for that?

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 05:23:27 pm »
On my TransAm, I did nothing except pump up the tires once every 10 days, lube the chain once every 5 days, and wipe it down with a damp rag after a rain.
About the same here except for the wipe down which I don't bother with.  Oh, and I top off the tires more often. 

Offline John Nelson

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 05:30:36 pm »
What's the reason for that?
Mostly vanity. Plus I felt better about taking my bike inside churches and hostels if it wasn't too filthy. I only did it a few times. You could skip it if you spend all your time on pavement.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 05:42:50 pm »
Call me soft.  I like air conditioning every so often.  Every motelwhere I asked for some rags was happy to supply me with some -- they understand it'll keep their room (walls or bedspreads) clean.

Paper towels or napkins from an eatery can be used to clean up the bike in a pinch.

Pump up the tires every few days, check the tires before you pass a bike shop (so you can replace if worn), check the chain and brake pads every 3-4 weeks.  Have fun the rest of the time!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 10:12:54 pm »
In my summer long tour of Europe many years ago, I bought one of those chain cleaning devices from a bike shop I went into.  Along with a small bottle of the degreaser.  I used that every few weeks or so.  Other than that I relied on riding in the rain to clean the bike.  I also cleaned the bike with a bucket or hose while stopped at people's houses during the summer.  Couple times.

Offline DaveB

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 04:03:17 pm »
  Every motelwhere I asked for some rags was happy to supply me with some -- they understand it'll keep their room (walls or bedspreads) clean.
It also assures them you won't use their towels as cleaning rags.   

Offline CyclesafeSr

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2012, 01:29:28 pm »
There was so much cow poo on the GDMBR that I would regularly visit the do-it-yourself car wash, bounce the bike dry, and apply lube.  Took 10 minutes.

Offline misterflask

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2012, 10:55:57 pm »
I'm about where John Nelson is with his 5day chain lube sked.  Every few day's when I find a nice mechanic's grease rag on the shoulder, I wipe down the bike, lube the chain, and wipe the excess off the chain. 
Ride the bike in the week before you leave to make sure everything is tweaked.

Offline rvklassen

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2012, 03:07:04 pm »
I did in fact carry a small supply of rags, and a small supply of degreaser.  The main use for these was actually cleaning my hands after roadside work (tire change, esp. on the rear, means hands want cleaning).  But I did clean the chain twice in three months.  And replaced it once.  But this was on a tandem, which goes through chains twice as fast as a single will.

Also a bottle of lube, applied once a week or two in the absence of rain, after riding in the rain when it does, and before riding in the rain, if I know ahead.

Replaced a set of brake pads - had to contact several bike shops weeks in advance to get the nice Swissstop greens.  A brake cable and a shift cable, when they showed evidence of fraying.

And the usual tire monitoring.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 10:28:58 pm »
I'm glad you mentioned about the dirty hands. It reminded me about something I carry that might be helpful -- a pair of those blue plastic gloves. They are very light and take almost no space. Keeps the hands clean for those messy chain repairs.

Offline litespeed

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 03:07:51 pm »
  Every motelwhere I asked for some rags was happy to supply me with some -- they understand it'll keep their room (walls or bedspreads) clean.
It also assures them you won't use their towels as cleaning rags.

I couldn't agree more. One of my main peeves is to arrive at a motel and have the manager reluctant to give me a room because some  previous bicycle tourist has destroyed the towels or bedding with his greasy bicycle. I have always managed to reassure them and get the room but it's hard to imagine how anyone could be such an inconsiderate slob. It's easy enough to prop the bicycle so it doesn't mar or dirty anything. I also can't imagine cleaning a bicycle in a motel room. Too hard to do without getting something dirty or smelling of lubricant or cleaner.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 03:19:17 pm by litespeed »

Offline johnsondasw

Re: bike maintenance on tour
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 01:22:06 pm »
I carry a multi-tool, a leatherman (pliers are very useful, for more than just bike issues), zipties, a pedal wrench (I've had pedals come loose twice during tour), a miniature tube of grease, couple of plastic tire levers, tubes, spare tire on long tours, some duct tape (lots of uses), chain lube, etc.  I've used every one of these things on day rides and tours.
May the wind be at your back!