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Old 25.06.2007, 09:22
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Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

I have done quiet a few miles on my 3 year old mountain bike and yesterday I managed to improve my personal best by doing 100kms in one go.

On the way back my bike started making squeaky noises (only when I pedalled). Could be just lack of oil in the gear assembly/chain/pedal area or something much worse.

I would like to take the bike to the shop and tell them to do a general maintenance check. Any idea the kind of $ I would get charged in Zurich?

Maybe I will give it a once over myself to see if I can fix the noise. What kind of oil would you recommended? I went to Migros and they have too many to choose form. I don't want to use some greasy kind of lubricant that would end up attracting all kinds of cr@p. Should I use the Migros lime de-greaser first? Is it any good? I remember using it last year and it dried out my chain but at the same time made it sticky as hell!

Any general advice would be appreciated.

EDIT- Maintenance LINK

Last edited by pea; 25.06.2007 at 09:34.
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Old 25.06.2007, 09:45
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

I would not degrease a chain; the o-rings will start to perish. I actually use motorbike chain lube on my chains (I no longer have a chain on my motorbike).

I would say the squeak is coming from the crank and not the chain.
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Old 25.06.2007, 10:25
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

Is it a squeak or a clicking noise? When you flip the bike upside-down and turn the pedals, does it continue? Try to identify where it's coming from. Depending on your brake system, it could be the shoe block is mis-aligned and rubbing the rim. If it's the crank, you may need new parts.

Servicing is pretty expensive for what they do, in my experience. Consider between CHF 50 and 100 for basic chin-rubbing and tyre-squeezing.
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Old 25.06.2007, 10:51
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

Congratulations on the 100km ride ("the metric century" as it is known) . I would certainly assume that a bit of oil is probably all that is needed to fix a squeaky drivetrain (i.e., chain and gears), if that doesn't fix the problem then go to someone knowledgeable.

As to whether it needs to be de-greased first, then I would normally say no unless it is looking pretty gunky and dirty. In that case, using the de-greaser and a chain cleaning tool is the only good way to get it clean. After using the degreaser, wait 24 hours to make sure that the degreaser has completely dried off before applying new oil (otherwise, the degreaser will immediately break down the new oil).

However, if the chain is just looking dried out and lacking in oil, which is the most likely thing, then giving it a fresh lube will be all that it needs. As to what kind of lube to use, my favorite is called "White Lightning", see the attached image. However, it is hard to get in Switzerland, although easy to get in N. America and the UK. The closest that I've found here is called "Bike Line: Dry Lube" by Motorex, again see the attached image. I'm pretty certain that I got this at either Migros Sport XX or Athleticum, but I can't remember which, sorry. The advantage of these kinds is that it protects your chain and makes everything run smooth without making everything that touches the chain become incredibly dirty. I would never use motorbike chain lube (as Lob suggested) as the only time that I did it made the chain incredibly oily and messy - basically they are not made for this purpose and so therefore they do not perform very well.

To apply the oil, stand the bike somewhere so that you can freely rotate the pedals backwards without needing to support the bike yourself. Place an old rag on the ground underneath the chain. Turn the pedals backwards at a moderate speed with your right hand, while squirting the oil onto the chain near the gears at the back with your left hand. It may be easiest to direct the oil if you can steady your left hand by resting it against the frame or rear rack if you have one. Squirt the oil for about 10 seconds, continuing to turn the pedals at a moderate speed throughout. Once you have finished squirting the oil, continue to turn the pedals backwards, now more quickly if you wish, for up to about 60 seconds to get the oil to work its way inside the moving parts. Now use the rag that you put underneath the chain to clean off any oil that got onto the wheel rim, frame, or anywhere else that it should not be. You actually only want oil inside the chain, where the moving parts are; there is little advantage to having it on the outside of the chain where it can only help to collect dirt from the road/trail. Therefore, to remove the excess oil, cover your hand with the rag and gently cup your hand around the chain, turn the pedals backwards again for about 5 seconds and this will remove the worst of the oil that is still on the surface of the chain.

The final step is to go have another great ride in which hopefully you hear no noise from the drivetrain. How often you should re-oil the chain is very variable depending on the surfaces on which you ride (trail, gravel, sealed road), the weather conditions in which you ride (wet, dry), the kind of oil you use, etc. In general, noise from the drivetrain is the best indicator that you need to put more oil on, but it is better if you don't wait that long next time (i.e., do it before it starts making noise).
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bicycle-repair-general-maintenance-question-motorex_dry-lube.jpg   bicycle-repair-general-maintenance-question-white-lightning_clean-ride.jpg  
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Last edited by ChrisW; 29.11.2007 at 10:14.
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Old 25.06.2007, 10:58
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

Will report back soon. Thanks everyone for the advice (specially ChrisW).
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Old 25.06.2007, 11:00
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

A 3 year old bike that squeaks?

Full maintenance?

I had a cheap-o, $200 bike that lasted me 10 years and 8,633 kms and died only when I made it trek through some mud and pulverized quartz in the mountainous cities of Romania.

Maintenance regimen was just a little oil on the chain every once in a while (I just used your generic 3-in-1 oil you can buy at the supermarket, not sure what the equivalent is here).

So....probably just need some oil on the crank or pedals or chain, most likely.

Don't have the shop do a whole checkup. Seems expensive to me (considering how high labor costs are in Switz anyway). In the end they'll just probably add a little oil and that's it and charge you huge amounts for nothing.

Of course, if you have a $2000 bike, then forget what I said. But then again, why buy a $2000 bike you can't service yourself? What are you gaining for the price? Why not have fun and be a real bike fanatic and do some of your own maintenance? The web is a good place to start:http://www.bitrot.de/bbook_intro.html

Have fun mechanic-ing!
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Old 25.06.2007, 11:18
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

If you've got disk brakes be very careful when you're spraying lubricant around! It's a good idea just to place a little cloth over them.

Just a little heads up...
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Old 25.06.2007, 13:56
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

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If you've got disk brakes be very careful when you're spraying lubricant around! It's a good idea just to place a little cloth over them.

Just a little heads up...
Yeah, I managed to stumble across this little problem! Nearly killed myself discovering the brakes no longer worked!
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Old 25.06.2007, 18:39
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

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If you've got disk brakes be very careful when you're spraying lubricant around! It's a good idea just to place a little cloth over them.

Just a little heads up...
This is the main reason why I wouldn't recommend using a spray-on lubricant, instead try to get one that you squirt on (like in the photo I attached to my previous post). If you do get some oil on a braking surface (wheel rim or brake disc) then its best to use some degreaser to clean it off properly rather than just wiping it with a rag, otherwise you may end up like DanielL .
I once even heard of someone who decided that while oiling his bike, it would be a good idea to oil all of the important parts - including deliberately oiling the discs for the brakes! Next time, he avoided that area.
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Last edited by ChrisW; 25.06.2007 at 18:46. Reason: added anecdote
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Old 25.06.2007, 19:14
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

I have the normal U brakes so no worries plus I would never lub brake contact area. Btw I found a brand new chain lub spray can in my basement (from last year). It's from coop and it's called "Leopard Chain Lube" . Says that it's bio-degradable. Not sure if that is a good thing from lub point of view.

Text on the can-

Kettenspray für die optimale schmierung und pflege aller fahrradketten. Hervorragende und dauerhafte schmiereigenshaften. Scmutz- und wasserabweisend, verklebt weder kette noch andere kamponenten, schütz nachhaltig vor korrosion.

Anwendung: Sorgfältig auf gereiningte kette aufsprühen und kurz einwirken lassen.

Zusammensetzung: Vollsynthetische, biologish, abbaubare basisoele, verschleiss- und reibungsmindernde zusätze, Korrosionsinhibitoren, haftzusätze.
Achtung: nich auf bremsteile sprühen


ChrisW I will try to buy the one you recommended tomorrow.

I bought my bike new for CHF 1400-1500. I will definitely clean it tomorrow. I am pretty sure it is just a lub issue as I have not been lubricating it regularly.


Just reading the link that Blueshrimp posted. The accident tips page was scary!
http://www.bitrot.de/bbook_accident.html#trial

Last edited by pea; 25.06.2007 at 19:30.
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Old 25.06.2007, 19:46
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

Found this cool repair website-

http://www.parktool.com/repair/

This applies to me I think-
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=123

Quote:
If during a ride you hear a creak or squeak once per revolution, it is probably located in the crankset and pedal area. If the noise is once every 2 - 3 revolutions, it may be in the chain.
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Old 25.06.2007, 22:03
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

The park tool website is certainly useful, and every tool they make is top quality, too. As they say, a regular noise every two or three crank revolutions is almost certainly the chain, and is normally caused by a "stiff link"; that is, a pair of chain links that are not rotating as they should as they pass around the gears and derailleur. If greasing the chain doesn't loosen it up, and you still hear the noise, then find the offending stiff joint, grab either side with two pairs of pliers (if available) and wiggle it to loosen it.

EDIT: If you do get more into bike maintenance, another great web-site is Sheldon Brown's. Plus, there are several web forums devoted to these issues, including BikeFoums.net. A few more trouble shooting sessions, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can pick it all up. However, a proper book on basic bike maintenance might help you to get the simple stuff straight pretty fast.
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Last edited by ChrisW; 25.06.2007 at 22:07. Reason: Added info and links
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Old 25.06.2007, 22:21
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

I'm no expert on bikes, but I do know who to call upon when I have trouble with my bike....

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Old 05.03.2008, 22:26
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

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If you do get more into bike maintenance, another great web-site is Sheldon Brown's.
Thought it was worth noting the recent passing of the great Sheldon Brown. He taught me a lot for a person on the other side of the world.

Times Obituary here.
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Old 06.03.2008, 08:54
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Re: Bicycle repair and general maintenance question

Thanks for the link to the obituary. The loss of Sheldon is certainly bigger than most people outside the cycling community probably realize, and the obituary does a pretty good job of documenting what he's done for the world of cycling. We'll miss him, but hopefully his contribution will continue via sheldonbrown.com.
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