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  1. #1
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    What is your maintenance routine?

    I know probably "it depends" but what do you do at a reasonably scheduled mileage/time interval?

    Do any of you tear down the bike for a thorough cleaning once a year? New cables once a year regardless of mileage? Stuff like that.

    My road bike just hit 2,000 miles and everything is perfect (since I just replaced the chain and rear tire) but I'm wondering if I should tear it down for a thorough cleaning or replace the shifter cable/housing, even though shifting is perfect.

  2. #2
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    a yearly tear-down...? nope, and that would be ~6-8K miles for me...but, those are all in dry conditions. guys that ride in gritty slop probably have entirely different regimens.

    just replace the chain when it fails the steel ruler test, tires/brake pads when needed, cables when they break or shifting becomes ragged.

    I do detail the bike fairly often tho...hate a dirty ride.
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    The only routine maintenance I would do is replace Shimano shift cables about every 2500mi because they're notorious for breaking at the worst time with no advance notice.
    But I don't have any more bikes with Shimano mechanical shifting.

    I lube the chain when it needs it. And I replace things when they wear out or break. I like it simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    The only routine maintenance I would do is replace Shimano shift cables about every 2500mi because they're notorious for breaking at the worst time with no advance notice.
    But I don't have any more bikes with Shimano mechanical shifting.

    I lube the chain when it needs it. And I replace things when they wear out or break. I like it simple.
    ditto.

    Time has nothing to do with anything. Miles don't either unless all your rides are the same in the same weather.

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    Lube the chain and rear hub (noisy DT240) every 500 miles or so, replace the chain when it needs it, cassette every other chain - Shimano rear DR cable when shifting get's laggy going into higher gears which is about 8000 miles for me guessing. Probably need to check my brake cables one of these days.
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  6. #6
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    i have four road bikes that never see rain, so i do a full overhaul on each every 2-3 years.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    The only routine maintenance I would do is replace Shimano shift cables about every 2500mi because they're notorious for breaking at the worst time with no advance notice.
    My last one frayed at 1500 miles. The one before that 2000 miles. Laggy shifting was first warning sign. Peeled back hood cover and saw broken strands. Replaced.

    Maintenance schedule? Examine stuff periodically, replace when necessary. Generally;

    I replace rear tire when it gets very squared off (around 3000 miles rear use), move front tire to rear, put brand new tire on front.

    Lube chain every 500 miles or so.

    Examine brake pad wear periodically.
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  8. #8
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    Every couple weeks, I put the bike in the stand, pull the wheels and give it a bath. This has a couple functions - the obvious, and I sort of inspect the bike by default.

    While the wheels are off, I inspect the brake pads (rim) - looking for little bits of debris. Then, I take a rough rat-tail file and scuff the pads - at about a 45 degree angle to the path of the rim. This is just to take any "glazing" off the pads.

    I do re-cable the bikes every year - brake and shifter, housing and cables. And, I never reuse bar tape. This keeps the old bikes looking, feeling and riding like new.

    The chain is inspected - with a ruler, not a gauge - randomly. Same with the cassette. Chains are cheap and easy - catch them early, and you get a few cassettes out of each chain.

  9. #9
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    I don't wash bikes anymore. I just wipe down after each use.

    I have one rag I use for the drivetrain, it lasts a long time keeping the chain and stuff clean. I use another new rag each day to wipe the bike down with windex like stuff. Rubbing alcohol on the contact points and brake tracks.

    The heavy use bike gets bearings degreased and repacked yearly, total bike teardown and re-grease.


    I use a wax lube (Squirt) so I just clean my cassette in the sink with dish soap and wash my drivetrain rags in the washer every so often.

    I replace chains every 3500 miles. I replace cassettes/chainrings when needed, which is about never, certainly not less than 10k/40k. My sweat will eat off the cassette coating before the cogs wear.

    My maintenance life is very easy.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I
    I use a wax lube (Squirt) so I just clean my cassette in the sink with dish soap and wash my drivetrain rags in the washer every so often.
    I suggest not using Squirt or any waxed based lubes...

    If you used not-Squirt or not-a-wax-lube, you honestly would never need to clean your cassette like that ever. With light road bike lubes like RnR Gold or Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite, wiping them down with a rag while still mounted is easy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    I suggest not using Squirt or any waxed based lubes...

    If you used not-Squirt or not-a-wax-lube, you honestly would never need to clean your cassette like that ever. With light road bike lubes like RnR Gold or Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite, wiping them down with a rag while still mounted is easy.
    At this point, Rock n Roll is the only wax lube I would even think about using. That's if you are hell bent on using a wax lube. I am so over wax lubes.
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  12. #12
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    Maintenance 'routine' is pretty simple. Every two or three weeks (~500 miles) I wipe down the bike and lube the chain. It usually takes about twenty minutes. Besides that, just replace stuff as it wears. Brake pads usually last around 3000 miles. Rear tire is about the same. Front tires last around twice that or a little more. My current chain and cassette have over 16,000 miles. I use Rock N Roll Gold chain lube.

  13. #13
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    About every two weeks a complete wash, clean the chain and cassette, lube the chain, clean the brake pads and tracks, quick once over the tires, quick adjust the derailleurs if needed and back on the road. A new chain, cables and tires about every year to 18 months.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    I suggest not using Squirt or any waxed based lubes...

    If you used not-Squirt or not-a-wax-lube, you honestly would never need to clean your cassette like that ever. With light road bike lubes like RnR Gold or Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite, wiping them down with a rag while still mounted is easy.
    I suggest you keep your opinions about chain lube to yourself if you know what's good for you.

    I honestly don't ever need to clean my cassette as it is now, I do it because I like to and I can do it in 5 minutes in my kitchen sink. I could just wipe it down like I do my chain but I don't need to.

    You couldn't pay me to use anything but Squirt.
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    I'm responsible for the maintenance on our fleet of 10 bikes, a 91 VW Westfalia, 94 Nissan Pathfinder, and whatever else homeownership throws my way. So...

    - Chains get lubed when they squeak.

    - Anything else gets fixed when it breaks or wears out.

    - Bikes get cleaned whenever my wife is nice enough to do so (that said, we don't see much mud around here).

    - I use whatever dry lube happens to be in stock at the store I'm at when I need to buy it. The commuter gets the same "type" of wet lube in the winter, or else motor oil.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I suggest you keep your opinions about chain lube to yourself if you know what's good for you.

    I honestly don't ever need to clean my cassette as it is now, I do it because I like to and I can do it in 5 minutes in my kitchen sink. I could just wipe it down like I do my chain but I don't need to.

    You couldn't pay me to use anything but Squirt.
    Why the threat? A bunch of my friends and I all tried Squirt at the same time and we all had the same experience. Despite following instructions to the letter, our drivetrains would become noisy after just 40mi. We asked Ned Overend (who was manning the Squirt tent at Sea Otter) about it. He said if you're doing something like a century or a sportive, you should bring a small bottle of Squirt with you and relube mid-ride. He tried to explain how it wasn't a big deal since you're probably going to stop for food anyway.

    I'm honestly curious at how it works for you. I tried my hardest to make it work since wax lubes test well. It left gray "candlewax" all over my drivetrain--in both derailleur cages, in between cogs, on the back of the largest cog, on the edge of my chainrings, etc. This build-up was fairly resistant to degreaser (and the wax lube specific solvents) and I had to use a brush to get in between the cogs on a one-piece Red cassette.

    So yeah, I'm shocked that any roadie would use Wend, Smoove, Squirt, etc.
    Last edited by ceugene; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:39 AM.

  17. #17
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    I get mine and my wife's bikes down, Put one in the work stand, open an IPA and then neighbors start coming by and I offer them a beer, we talk and drink and then I put the bikes back up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I suggest you keep your opinions about chain lube to yourself if you know what's good for you.
    What a wonderful attitude to bring to a discussion forum.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I suggest you keep your opinions about chain lube to yourself if you know what's good for you.

    I honestly don't ever need to clean my cassette as it is now, I do it because I like to and I can do it in 5 minutes in my kitchen sink. I could just wipe it down like I do my chain but I don't need to.

    You couldn't pay me to use anything but Squirt.
    Perhaps the highest unintentional humor score of any post I've ever seen here.

  20. #20
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    After every ride I wipe down and inspect the tires, looking for any cuts that may need attention (Shoo-Goo FTW). I eyeball the drivetrain, if it's looking a bit gunky I'll give it a wipe along with a flossing of the cassette and jockey wheels, lubricate as necessary. Then I make sure everything seems as tight as it was pre-ride. Lastly, wipe down the frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmDawg View Post
    I get mine and my wife's bikes down, Put one in the work stand, open an IPA and then neighbors start coming by and I offer them a beer, we talk and drink and then I put the bikes back up...
    You sir have the winning routine.

  22. #22
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    i ride about 6500 miles a year. i replace tires and rear derailleur cable after 2000-2500 miles, replace my chain and rear cassette when they look worn or pedaling no longer feels smoothe and do a basic maintenance cleaning the cassette and chain roughly three times a year

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    Why the threat? A bunch of my friends and I all tried Squirt at the same time and we all had the same experience. Despite following instructions to the letter, our drivetrains would become noisy after just 40mi. We asked Ned Overend (who was manning the Squirt tent at Sea Otter) about it. He said if you're doing something like a century or a sportive, you should bring a small bottle of Squirt with you and relube mid-ride. He tried to explain how it wasn't a big deal since you're probably going to stop for food anyway.

    I'm honestly curious at how it works for you. I tried my hardest to make it work since wax lubes test well. It left gray "candlewax" all over my drivetrain--in both derailleur cages, in between cogs, on the back of the largest cog, on the edge of my chainrings, etc. This build-up was fairly resistant to degreaser (and the wax lube specific solvents) and I had to use a brush to get in between the cogs on a one-piece Red cassette.

    So yeah, I'm shocked that any roadie would use Wend, Smoove, Squirt, etc.
    If you were being threatened, you'd know it.

    You must be new to bike forums and their "discussion" on chain lubes. Let's just say there's no winners whenever the topic is brought up.

    Sounds to me like you didn't follow the setup instructions properly. The chain has to start fully degreased. As in soaked in mineral spirits overnight, rinsed and dried. After that and after it's mounted, a full application is applied. A key is that after an hour or whatever a second application is applied. The first one soaks into the rollers and starts to fill them up. The second one finishes the job and coats the rest of the rollers. If you don't do that right you get the result you got, it always sounds dry on the outside.

    As for having to lube every 40 miles or halfway through a century, that's bullshit. Maybe if it never gets applied fully to start with and is always under-lubed.

    It works amazing for me. I love it. There's zero greasy residue on anything ever. I can cover my hands in the grey residue and it just comes right off. Since switching to Squirt I haven't degreased any drivetrain once and I never will again. It's freed me from having to degrease anything. As I said above, if you want a part clean, you can do it in the sink or the shower or anywhere, there's no grease. I know a guy that just brings his rear wheel in the shower to clean it and the cassette when he wants. It's also freed me from washing bikes. Seeing how there's no grease ever on anything, I don't ever have to degrease and therefore I don't need to wash. The drivetrain was the only thing that prompted me to wash my bikes before. I can clean them fine without washing if no grease is involved.

    Yes, grey waxy stuff gets on things. I deal with it. As I said, if I feel like it, I just either wipe it off or bring a part to the sink if it's too complicated to wipe off. Chain outer gets wiped before relube. Rag gets washed in machine with zero problems, no grease mind you. I wipe the chainrings down, big one every relube and little one rarely. Rarely wipe down the mech cages. Rarely clean the cassette. The slight buildup of grey waxy stuff doesn't bother me and doesn't slow me down. It's very easy to clean, has no grease in it, washes easily, it's not a problem. And besides, Squirt is the most efficient drip lube on the market next to that ridiculous UFO stuff, so I'm giving up exactly nothing in efficiency, I'm actually ahead of most.

    A tip for application is to put a drop on top of every lower roller, then work it in with your fingers by moving them back and forth along the rollers before advancing the chain and repeating all the way around. If you just leave the drops sitting on the rollers and spin the cranks, a lot of it just rolls off onto the chainrings or cassette or jockey wheels or whatever before it can get into the roller where it belongs. So get it into the rollers before advancing the chain. As for life, I usually do 120-140 miles on each lube, I never degrease a chain unless it's new if that matters. I'm still on the first bottle I ever bought so I don't know how long a bottle lasts me yet in miles.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    If you were being threatened, you'd know it.

    You must be new to bike forums and their "discussion" on chain lubes. Let's just say there's no winners whenever the topic is brought up.

    Sounds to me like you didn't follow the setup instructions properly. The chain has to start fully degreased. As in soaked in mineral spirits overnight, rinsed and dried. After that and after it's mounted, a full application is applied. A key is that after an hour or whatever a second application is applied. The first one soaks into the rollers and starts to fill them up. The second one finishes the job and coats the rest of the rollers. If you don't do that right you get the result you got, it always sounds dry on the outside.

    As for having to lube every 40 miles or halfway through a century, that's bullshit. Maybe if it never gets applied fully to start with and is always under-lubed.

    It works amazing for me. I love it. There's zero greasy residue on anything ever. I can cover my hands in the grey residue and it just comes right off. Since switching to Squirt I haven't degreased any drivetrain once and I never will again. It's freed me from having to degrease anything. As I said above, if you want a part clean, you can do it in the sink or the shower or anywhere, there's no grease. I know a guy that just brings his rear wheel in the shower to clean it and the cassette when he wants. It's also freed me from washing bikes. Seeing how there's no grease ever on anything, I don't ever have to degrease and therefore I don't need to wash. The drivetrain was the only thing that prompted me to wash my bikes before. I can clean them fine without washing if no grease is involved.

    Yes, grey waxy stuff gets on things. I deal with it. As I said, if I feel like it, I just either wipe it off or bring a part to the sink if it's too complicated to wipe off. Chain outer gets wiped before relube. Rag gets washed in machine with zero problems, no grease mind you. I wipe the chainrings down, big one every relube and little one rarely. Rarely wipe down the mech cages. Rarely clean the cassette. The slight buildup of grey waxy stuff doesn't bother me and doesn't slow me down. It's very easy to clean, has no grease in it, washes easily, it's not a problem. And besides, Squirt is the most efficient drip lube on the market next to that ridiculous UFO stuff, so I'm giving up exactly nothing in efficiency, I'm actually ahead of most.

    A tip for application is to put a drop on top of every lower roller, then work it in with your fingers by moving them back and forth along the rollers before advancing the chain and repeating all the way around. If you just leave the drops sitting on the rollers and spin the cranks, a lot of it just rolls off onto the chainrings or cassette or jockey wheels or whatever before it can get into the roller where it belongs. So get it into the rollers before advancing the chain. As for life, I usually do 120-140 miles on each lube, I never degrease a chain unless it's new if that matters. I'm still on the first bottle I ever bought so I don't know how long a bottle lasts me yet in miles.
    The chain was fully degreased in an ultrasonic cleaner filled with Simple Green's aircraft cleaning formula (to prevent embrittlement.) It was then rinsed in distilled water to remove excess degreaser, patted down with rags, then left to dry overnight. Then I applied one drop per roller and allowed it to dry for a few hours. Then I applied the second 'coat.' You don't have to tell me what the keys are...this is all detailed on the Squirt website, bottles etc. I call it a coating since it leaves a thick film inside the links, on top of the rollers, everywhere. It makes the chain so stiff, it can skip while backpedaling before it breaks up.

    You can call my mileage claims bullshit all you like, but every time Squirt gets discussed, there's plenty of people who have shared my experience. You can go to Amazon and read the reviews. You can go to /r/bicycling and search for "Squirt." You can go to MTBR and read the dozens of accounts by MTBers where they say Squirt only lasts them 12-15mi before things get noisy.

    You also can't ignore the fact that I talked to Squirt shill #1--Ned Overend--and asked him about its longevity for road rides. No joke, he said if I'm going to do a century I should carry their tiny 15mL bottle in my jersey pocket or saddle bag. I don't even think I live in a harsh climate for a wax lube...I tried it last spring after the crazy California winter, so it wasn't overly dusty, and it wasn't wet either.

    As for the Friction Facts test, that's why I tried it in the first place. I desperately wanted the claims to be true. I'm always willing to try new stuff. I just haven't found a lube that is overall better for roadie use than Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite, with Rock n Roll Gold being a very close second. There no real mess with either of those lubes. I apply immediately after the ride where it starts getting noisy, wipe down the excess, and let it dry overnight. The first ride evacuates the remaining excess, which gets wiped down with a single pass. I get 200-300mi per application depending on conditions, which is certainly better than 40mi. A fraction of a watt isn't worth a midride relube or even reapplying every 120-140mi--roughly half the distance I get on other "light" road lubes.

    As for degreasing chains, Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite explicitly says never to degrease your chain after the initial application. Not an issue. The chain doesn't ever get gunky.

    As for the great, ongoing lube debate, I have no strong opinions on most other lubes. It's really just the wax lubes in general that gave me a truly awful experience. Also any time I talk shop with the various LBS mechanics, they ALL hate working on bikes that use the stuff.
    Last edited by ceugene; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:19 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    A tip for application is to put a drop on top of every lower roller, then work it in with your fingers by moving them back and forth along the rollers before advancing the chain and repeating all the way around. If you just leave the drops sitting on the rollers and spin the cranks, a lot of it just rolls off onto the chainrings or cassette or jockey wheels or whatever before it can get into the roller where it belongs. So get it into the rollers before advancing the chain. As for life, I usually do 120-140 miles on each lube, I never degrease a chain unless it's new if that matters. I'm still on the first bottle I ever bought so I don't know how long a bottle lasts me yet in miles.
    Sounds like a very convoluted way of getting your chain lubed when there are plenty of other products that work by simply putting a drop on each roller, running your chain backwards a few times, then wiping excess off with a rag. Also, you are saying your lube only lasts 120-140 miles? That is pathetic.
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