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Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

11 April, 2013 11:07PM
Hi Chris,

There are a few simple things you can do yourself to help keep the bike in good shape, or at least spot when something is starting to go wrong. These should take less than 10 minutes once a week. Initially you may need to find someone who can show you how to do some of these checks, but the actual checks don't need any tools, though fixing things may. Basic tools for a modern bike are a pump, a set of Allen keys, possibly a screwdriver, possibly an adjustable spanner (consult your bike shop to see what your bike needs). The suggested checking frequency depends on how much you use the bike, and under what conditions.

Weekly:
A. Keep the tyres well inflated (quite hard); there should be a number on the side of each tyre showing the maximum tyre pressure. As a rough guide, if you can squeeze the tyre between finger and thumb then the type may not be inflated hard enough.

B. Shake the bike and listen for any rattles, or listen when you go over a bump. Rattles most commonly indicate that a nut or bolt is loose, so once you find it tighten things up.

C. Check the brakes. The brake blocks typically need replacing every few thousand miles (depends on usage). Over this period the brake blocks gradually wear, but most bikes have an adjuster near each brake lever which allows you to keep the brakes feeling nice and tight.

Monthly:

D. Check the bearings - basically you are looking for any slack or wobble. There are bearings in each wheel hub, in the bottom bracket (the shaft between the pedals), and in the steering column. Tightening up or replacing bearings is best left to a bike shop. This is an area where cheap components may have been used, since they are more or less out of sight.

E. Lubrication. Check with your bike shop as to what lubricants to use, and when and where to use them. Use sparingly, perhaps every few hundred miles or after exposure to wet weather.

F. Are the gears changing correctly. There are adjusters to cope with minor cable stretch, but adjustment takes some practice and your bike shop should be able to do it quite quickly.

Less often:

G. Look for frayed cables. Are the brake cables and/or gear cables fraying? Such cables should last for tens of thousands of miles.

H. How worn is the chain. Bike shops have special gauges to measure how stretched the chain is (you can buy such a gauge yourself if you wish). With the gears you have (2 at the front, 7 at the back), depending on usage you might need to have the chain replaced every two to three thousand miles.

Hope this helps.

- Murray
Subject Author Posted

Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

Pegasusl 09 April, 2013 07:40PM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

Murray R Langton 10 April, 2013 08:44AM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

Pegasusl 11 April, 2013 06:45PM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

DocB 11 April, 2013 07:46PM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

Pegasusl 11 April, 2013 08:22PM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

Murray R Langton 11 April, 2013 11:07PM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

Pegasusl 12 April, 2013 07:52PM

Re: Bought what you guys would probably call a BSO but even so...

cyclepop 21 May, 2013 08:58AM



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