Author Topic: How picky are you?  (Read 4009 times)

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Offline Pat Lamb

How picky are you?
« on: January 22, 2015, 05:44:27 pm »
How do you approach bicycle maintenance and adjustments, both when you're touring and when you're not?

For instance, if my shifting isn't crisp and quick, I'll adjust it when I'm commuting or riding around home.  On tour, I'll allow a bit more slop -- as long as I can downshift, it's OK if it takes a second to shift up.

Conversely, I can deal with a wheel a bit out of true near home (especially after a winter of commuting).  On tour, I know I risk high speed shimmy if the wheel's out, so that gets addressed immediately (or as soon as I get to the bottom of the hill).

How do you all deal with little imperfections?

Offline dayjack119

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Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2015, 01:26:42 pm »
I don't oil until it squeaks.

Offline Peny Chiweenie

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2015, 01:00:08 pm »
I bike commute to work 12 miles each way, almost every workday.

I clean and tweak the bike on weekends; chain comes off and gets a lighter fluid bath, then a good scrub with soap and water, then rinse and dry; wheels get checked for true and spokes tweaked as needed; while the wheels are off I will take a flat file to the brake pads and re-surface them.

Takes an hour or so of weekend time and the bike stays in top shape for the next week's rides. 

When touring, all that would be done as time and cleaning supplies allowed.

A clean bike is a happy bike!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 09:54:27 am by Peny Chiweenie »

Offline staehpj1

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2015, 02:08:44 pm »
I keep chains lubed, bearings packed, and things generally in adjustment, but don't get too carried away either on tour or at home.

My approach is pretty much the opposite of Peny's in that I try to clean chains as infrequently as possible.  I do apply lube frequently and wipe it off but that is the extent of it.  It seems to me that my chains last longer when I avoid cleaning with solvents or soap and water and only apply lube.

I keep an eye on wheel trueness and spoke tension, but only to the extent of spinning the wheel and looking for wobble or hop and plinking the spokes to see that they are fairly evenly tensioned.  I do that now and then when it crosses my mind.

Shifter cable tension adjustment gets tweaked, most often while riding.  Limit screws pretty much never get touched again once set up correctly.

Brake cable tension might get tweaked any time it needs it at any stop during the day, but it happens pretty rarely.  Brake pads only get attention beyond a glance when there are starting to squeak, grind, or not work.  That or if they are visibly close to worn out.

If going on a multi-month tour I am likely to give it a bit more of a preemptive going over, but even then don't get to carried away unless it has been a long time since I repacked bearings or something is close to end of life.

Truth be told, I do very little maintenance on tour.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 02:51:46 pm »


Truth be told, I do very little maintenance on tour.
[/quote]

Same here.  I also do very little maintenance while not on tour.  Boschield for the chain when it "feels/sounds" a little dry, minor adjustments for brakes and gearing only as needed, and change the chain (with a cheap, i.e. $25-$35 one) approx every 2000 miles.  the exception to this is when things get dirty in the winter.  I ride where there is sand and dirt put down for winter traction, so after a wet winter ride I hose things down with nonpressurized water and relube.  I also clean the rollers on the derailleur and soft brush all around after wet and dirty rides. I find minimum maintenance gets just as good results as my old style which was much more continuous and obsessive cleaning.   
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 04:43:35 pm »
Boschield for the chain when it "feels/sounds" a little dry, minor adjustments for brakes and gearing only as needed, and change the chain (with a cheap, i.e. $25-$35 one) approx every 2000 miles.

Does that change between touring and riding around home?  The only time I've had a squeaking chain around home was after a good downpour on the commute in to work, but I drove my (younger) companion nuts on tour -- she could hear the chain half a day before I could

Offline staehpj1

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 04:50:51 pm »
The only time I've had a squeaking chain around home was after a good downpour on the commute in to work, but I drove my (younger) companion nuts on tour -- she could hear the chain half a day before I could

That sounds familiar.  I have had the same issue with a variety of sounds that I never heard driving my daughter nuts.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 10:27:57 pm »
Rear brake and deraileur cables stretch. Use, stretch, and readjust before a long tour. I did that and not even cheap Wal Mart cables needed adjustment cross country. The only concern was punctures. Any reasonably good new rim should go the distance. Cheapy wheels and tires will be much more expensive over the long run. There should not be any major concerns about the mechanics if the bike is prepared for the intended journey.Do not make vast plans with half vast ideas. Skimping on tires and wheels is false economizing. Get equipment that will go the distance problem-free.

Offline RonK

How picky are you?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 11:13:47 pm »
I attend to maintenance matters before departure. Any component which I suspect may not last the distance is replaced and put aside for local use.

Once on tour I don't expect to have issues and carry minimal tools/parts.

I have fitted inline cable adjusters near the shifters so I can fine-tune shifting as I ride.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 11:16:41 pm by RonK »
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline staehpj1

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 07:25:39 am »
Any component which I suspect may not last the distance is replaced and put aside for local use.

I have done that to some extent, but have found a few problems with it at least for my personal situation.  First, on tours longer than some length you can't plan on everything lasting the whole way. And second, I found that for me stuff that came off when partially worn out never got used again and things like tires with a couple thousand miles of wear left in them would wind up going to waste, hanging in the shop for years until dry rotted.

It probably doesn't help that I don't ride all that much at home and generally do long tours.  So for me it seems to make more sense to just replace things as needed whether at home or on tour.

That said if something is really close to end of life I would probably replace it before a long tour.  For example, I wouldn't hesitate to start a coast to coast tour with tires that will make it half way but would probably replace them if they looked like they had less than a thousand miles left in them or were getting an excessive number of flats.

I have fitted inline cable adjusters near the shifters so I can fine-tune shifting as I ride.

I have bosses on the frame that have adjusters on some of my bikes and probably should add inline adjusters on the ones that don't.  I find the ones on the frame to be easier to adjust with one hand while riding, so I prefer those when available.

Offline zzzz

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 10:01:54 am »
I can fix the small stuff but I'm not much of a mechanic and since I have Campy stuff it's pretty unlikely a rural bike shop will have replacement parts for me. After having a couple of close calls where I had to kluge myself through, I now repack every bearing & replace every wear item on the bike a couple of weeks before I leave. That gives the cables time to stretch and if anything was defective or installed improperly time to show itself.

I'd call it cheap insurance but that would be a lie. It's expensive insurance. But the peace of mind is worth it to me.

pm

Offline johnsondasw

Re: How picky are you?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 03:05:15 pm »
I can fix the small stuff but I'm not much of a mechanic and since I have Campy stuff it's pretty unlikely a rural bike shop will have replacement parts for me.

pm
I had a bike with Campy and broke a shifter on the first day of a 3 week tour on the Pacific coast.  No one, and I mean no one on the whole coast had Campy parts.  Eventually, I had to get a rebuild kit sent ahead and my bike mechanic partner fixed it (broken spring deal) after 2/3 of the trip.  In the meantime, I had to often hold the shift lever in place while grinding hard uphills to keep it from jumping out of gear.  Every shop had Shimano. After that experience, I will never tour with Campy again! 
May the wind be at your back!