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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to road biking. Got a shiny bike and we're getting along just dandy.

Wondering what, if anything, you do after each ride. Let's say it's a quick 25km around the city on pretty crappy winter-salt roads.

Are you guys cleaning/lubing the chain after each? Tire pressure? New handlebar tape? :)

tanks. :D
 

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Shower, beer, burritos...

...in that order. Just kidding! Here's what I normally do:

- If Nothing Bad happened, all I do is take some pressure off the tires (20 or 30 pounds, saves the casings).

- If the bike is starting to get dirty, wash it off with something mild like car detergent, then hose it down and let it dry in the sun. Yeah, I know...lots of people will tell you using a hose is a bad idea because a high pressure water stream can force water and doo doo into the bearings but guess what? (a) I don't use high pressure and (b) this is what a lot of the pro team mechanics do. Imagine you've got a stable of bikes that just survived Paris Roubaix. Are they muddy? You bet. Are you going to sit there with Q tips and water all day long cleaning each bike? No way...

- In between the bike getting dirty, I'll lube the chain (Prolink Gold), brake and derailleur pivot points, and so forth.

- If Something Bad happened during the ride, maybe I fixed it out on the road, maybe I decided to deal with it later. For example, I'm getting some cable stretch and my brake levers have too much travel. If it ain't no big deal during the ride, I'll make a mental note, and put it up on the bike stand after the ride and deal with it then.

- Back to the Bike Wash...after the bike wash, I always put the bike up on the stand, and do the following:

- Relube the chain, brake and derailleur pivot points.

- Check all the bolts and stuff to max sure they're tight but not overtight, make sure the parts are all aligned (i. e., saddle and stem still straight, and so forth).

- Check the wheels for loose or tight spokes, make sure the wheels are still true, fix if necessary.

- Make sure the tires still have plenty of rubber, check for any stone cuts, sidewall blowouts, etc.

- Check the alignment/rubber left on the brake pads, fix if necessary.

- Make sure the high and low limit screws on both derailleurs are still in the right place; shift up and down on FD and RD, make sure everything is shifting smoothly, otherwise, fix.


- Make sure all bearings are turning smoothly, fix if necessary.

- Make sure I still have a viable replacement tube, CO2 cartridge, emergency tool, ID card, and at least $10 in my seat bag.


- Make sure the bar tape is still wrapped tightly (unlike the pilot...joke, ha ha...) and the bar plugs are in place.

Sound good?
 

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Especially in those conditions...

I would do all of those things, plus inspect the tires for cuts/debris, check the bearings to be sure the grease hasn't washed out of them and check brake pads/sidewalls for debris. The stuff they put down on roads is often a mixture of an ice melting compound with something for traction like cinders. That usually means danger to your tires and brake pads/rims. What I'm talking about with the bearings is a quick check of these things, not dis-assembly. The bearings should have a smooth, "fluid" resistance to them, not a super free spinning "dry" or worse a "grindy" feel. If you put a finger on a stationary part very near the bearing you should be able to feel what I mean.

This is why so many of us have bikes to be ridden in those bad conditions - the venerable rain bike.

Bob
 

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If I did that after every ride I would never have time to ride.

Removing the air is an exercise in stupidity. The rest is just overkill.


If the roads are still salt covered clean and lube your chain and check the air weekly. Once the spring rains wash away the salt give the bike a thorough cleaning and then resume with the weekly air and lube. Until it breaks or wears out leave it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ahh many thanks to you good sirs! Exactly what I was looking for.

Was just thinking about a bike stand. Kinda tough in an apartment, but I guess necessity shall prevail in this instance.
 

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overkill

I'm with ewitz. No way would I think of doing all that other stuff after every ride. And the things on that list that get done pretty regularly (check tire pressure and wheel trueness and spoke condition, tire inspection, brake inspection, etc) get done BEFORE a ride, not after. If you check things after a ride, it's mostly a waste of time, since something can get bumped during storage/transport, so you have to check before the next ride anyway.
 

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in winter weather I spray it off with a garden pump sprayer filled with hot water (and a few drops of dish washing soap) to remove salt and slush bounce it on the deck a few times to knock off the water and bring it into the living room to dry by the fire.

If i was to just hang it in the garage covered with slush, there is a chance that nothing would move the text time I wanted to use it. (ice buildup)

Besides...I like having it in my living room.
 

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to call that "overkill" is to be very kind and generous. NFW I'm wasting that amount of time doing unecessary tasks. I also don't change the oil in my car and give it a tuneup every 100 miles. Go figure.

Ewitz and JCav know of which they speak. REALLY.
 

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Regarding the workstand: it's nice, but for years I got by with a couple of old tubes looped over rafters in your garage/basement; then hang your bike from the tubes to work on it.
 

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Just for the record...

I actually was posting at the same time as Skiracer. My list should cover most of what's necessary. Skiracer's list might be a little long even for me. Of course if there's a problem it creates a whole new list of things to do.

Also, I'm not big on creating work for myself, so I don't ride outside when the conditions are nasty. Sure, I'm not "hardcore", but that doesn't bother me. Besides, I don't have that much extra cash to replace parts as often as I would if I did ride the bad weather. The bikes from the "all weather" riders I see in my stand at work need a lot of parts (not just a chain, cassette, tube or tire) quite regularly. If I were back in the desert SW I could be "hardcore" with ease....

Bob
 

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Yeah, that was definitely the long list...

Indyfan said:
I actually was posting at the same time as Skiracer. My list should cover most of what's necessary. Skiracer's list might be a little long even for me. Of course if there's a problem it creates a whole new list of things to do.

Also, I'm not big on creating work for myself, so I don't ride outside when the conditions are nasty. Sure, I'm not "hardcore", but that doesn't bother me. Besides, I don't have that much extra cash to replace parts as often as I would if I did ride the bad weather. The bikes from the "all weather" riders I see in my stand at work need a lot of parts (not just a chain, cassette, tube or tire) quite regularly. If I were back in the desert SW I could be "hardcore" with ease....

Bob
...but I only do the long list (or a subset thereof) after the bi-weekly (or so) bike wash. If, for example, I don't hear the rims ticking the brake pads when I'm riding (I like brake pads real close to the rims), I don't even look at the wheels. Similarly, if I didn't hit any stone chips or glass, I probably won't even look at the tires.

The "long list" is more for instances where you're going on a long ride and don't really want the little things to slow you down. I can pretty much fix anything on the road, but I'd rather not. For example, I'm doing Ride the Rockies in June, so you can bet I'll check my ride over thoroughly before Day 1, and spend a little more time on it nightly. I know...it's a supported ride, but I'd rather ride than be supported...
 

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I'll wash and lube my road bikes about every other Friday. Good chance to go over things with a finer tooth comb to see what's loose, etc.

Mtn bikes get cleaned every ride. Dirt/mud, etc. are hell on cycling parts.

M
 

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I got me some of that Pedro's Bike Lust, it's good stuff. Initially I washed my bike with the same detergent I use on my car, dried it, sprayed some Pedro's on a microfiber towel, and used it to polish the frame and components. After you use it all of the dirt and grit will hose right off. I went out on a ride today and hit some slushy and salty sections, my bike was filthy when I got home. I put the hose on the "Shower" setting and lightly sprayed everything down, dried it off with an old t-shirt, and it was sparkly clean again. I initially started using Bike Lust on my mountain bike, and it will clean right off after a muddy ride.

After every ride I spin my tires and run my hand over them to clear any debris. Every time it gets washed the chain gets lubed with Pedro's Syn Lube. Every week or so I'll clean my cleats and lubricate them with a dry wax lubricant, I have Speedplays. If nothing is wrong I don't do anything else. Problems get fixed as they arise.
 

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After a "quick 25 km ride" around the city I always do the following:

1. dismount
2. spin both wheels to see if anything rubs, and wipe the tires with my gloved hand.
3. lean the bike against the wall until the next ride.

It doesn't really take as long as it seems like it would.

Because you're a newb - we all were, y'know - I only perform maintenance on my bike about every 100 - 150 miles or so. The exception is if it gets rained on. Then I clean & lube it immediately. Unless something unusual happens, you bike shouldn't need touching for at LEAST 100 miles. That includes pumping up the tires. I know guys that do this a couple of times per day. On my commuter, which gets ridden about 180 miles per week, I only fill the tires up once per week. When I first started riding in the late 50s early 60s I was really anal about stuff like the questions you're asking. It's good that you asked, BTW. I'm still anal about maintenance, cleanliness, and neatness, almost to the point of being borderline OCD. My bikes, and especially the drive trains are immaculate. Over time, I've just learned what's needed, and what really doesn't make a difference. Keep on riding and coming back.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
After a "quick 25 km ride" around the city I always do the following:

1. dismount
2. spin both wheels to see if anything rubs, and wipe the tires with my gloved hand.
3. lean the bike against the wall until the next ride.

yeah, but you are old and .......well old...LOL

my bike that I rode today is relaxing in the dining room.....she likes that room too..... psssst incoming e-mail.....in a minute
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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ewitz said:
If I did that after every ride I would never have time to ride.

Removing the air is an exercise in stupidity. The rest is just overkill.


If the roads are still salt covered clean and lube your chain and check the air weekly. Once the spring rains wash away the salt give the bike a thorough cleaning and then resume with the weekly air and lube. Until it breaks or wears out leave it alone.
i would agree on the tires, but everything else is good advice for salted roads. if you leave the bike alone 'til spring, you never know what you could be missing...corrosion, cracks, worn tires, worn pads. ignoring the thing is stupid. doing that whole clean/inspect thing only takes 10mins. believe me...i've cleaned more bikes in that last 5 years than you'll clean in your life.
 

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I check the Tires and Brake Pads (wipe the brake crud with Gumout)
Wipe the Frame with Pledge.
Wipe and Lube chain with Home Brew.
Takes 5-10 minutes unless it got really dirty.
 

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JustTooBig said:
to call that "overkill" is to be very kind and generous. NFW I'm wasting that amount of time doing unecessary tasks. I also don't change the oil in my car and give it a tuneup every 100 miles. Go figure.

Ewitz and JCav know of which they speak. REALLY.
really? my experience comes from being a pro team mechanic. i don't like dirty bikes. i don't think it's a good idea to ride a bike on snowy/salted roads and not clean it regularly because of corrosion issues. that's a safety issue, not to mention a performance issue. if you're not into doing that, that's fine, i'm sure you've got something hugely important to do w/ that 10mins. but i don't think it's a good idea to to advise someone that's less experienced and in need of help...on a public forum...that's it's a waste of time to clean and inspect his bike on a regular basis.
i see bikes all the time at the shop that come in not working correctly, w/ trashed drivetrain parts covered in dirt and grime. drivetrains will work better and last longer when kept clean and properly lubricated. for what it's worth, i think it's lame to show up at a the bike shop for a tune up w/ a bike covered in dirt/mud/crap. it's just like going to the dentist w/ half a burger still stuck in your teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Many thanks

Great info everyone.

Obliged.

I get the impression I'll be able to do most maintenance tasks in a few months time.

With regards to riding crappy roads. I'd love to avoid it too, but I have a new bike sitting in my living room. If the sun is out and the roads are dry I have to get out there :)

Thanks again.

PS what do you guys use for general lubricant (derailleur, BB, etc) Different for different parts?
 

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cxwrench said:
really? my experience comes from being a pro team mechanic. i don't like dirty bikes. i don't think it's a good idea to ride a bike on snowy/salted roads and not clean it regularly because of corrosion issues. that's a safety issue, not to mention a performance issue. if you're not into doing that, that's fine, i'm sure you've got something hugely important to do w/ that 10mins. but i don't think it's a good idea to to advise someone that's less experienced and in need of help...on a public forum...that's it's a waste of time to clean and inspect his bike on a regular basis.
i see bikes all the time at the shop that come in not working correctly, w/ trashed drivetrain parts covered in dirt and grime. drivetrains will work better and last longer when kept clean and properly lubricated. for what it's worth, i think it's lame to show up at a the bike shop for a tune up w/ a bike covered in dirt/mud/crap. it's just like going to the dentist w/ half a burger still stuck in your teeth.
Thanks for being here.:D

Part of the sport is maintenance. That never ends.

Nor the road.

Cool.



From this past Monday.
 
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