Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by helloeveryone » Wed May 20, 2020 8:39 pm

I bought a Raleigh Hybrid bike in 2012 for $500 (to give an idea of quality.

Only maintenance was changing tire and tubes this year myself.

During the pandemic I started riding seriously. I’m up to 15 miles at a time. I now want to do good maintenance on it rather than upgrade because I do like the bike.

Do y’all recommend a bike overhaul versus a tune up? and how frequently now that i am biking more seriously

runner3081
Posts: 3112
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by runner3081 » Wed May 20, 2020 8:41 pm

Neither. If it shifts and brakes fine, leave it be. You can also use chain lube oil (on chain) and wipe it down to prevent dirt buildup on frame, etc. Also adjusting brakes and derailleurs is very simple.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 8046
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by whodidntante » Wed May 20, 2020 10:29 pm

My bike shop does it for free, so I let them adjust the cables now and then so they can tell me how busy they are. Clean the chain and chainrings when dirty (I wait until I can see a little sludge), and lightly lube the chain before every ride.

Eventually you'll need tires. I seem to wear mine out every 2-3 years. A thin tire punctures easily. The same is true for cars.

Going 15 miles, you'll want to carry everything you need to change a tube. That's not a long ride, but it's a terribly long walk. I carry a CO2 cartridge and the little inflator thingy, a tube, and a tire spoon. If your bike is so crappy you need tools to remove the wheel, spend some money to buy quick releases. Also, select a sweet tire changin' tune on your phone. If you need ideas, I recommend chicken dance. Don't forget to stop to bird at appropriate intervals. Or maybe maybe Mmmm bop! by Hanson if you'd like something a little more metal.

livesoft
Posts: 71459
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by livesoft » Wed May 20, 2020 10:30 pm

When I was younger I loved to take apart things and put them back together. Bikes were the easiest thing around, so I did that. I even built my own wheelsets from rims, spokes, and hubs. I even became the mechanic for a bike racing team.

But now that I am older, I never overhaul my bike. I don't even tune it up. I bought a used bike that was made in 2004 I think. I replaced a few rusty bolts with titanium bolts and squirted some oil here and there, but never overhauled it. I ride 15 to 80 miles a week. The darn thing just works.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Peter Foley
Posts: 5043
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:34 am
Location: Lake Wobegon

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by Peter Foley » Wed May 20, 2020 10:49 pm

I volunteer with a couple organizations that fix bikes to be given away. That amounts to 8 years experience as a bike mechanic working primarily on older bikes. The most basic things are making sure your shifting and braking work smoothly and the chain is kept relatively clean and lubed.

If all of that is okay you do not really need a tune up.

Next in line is what some call a "shake test." Shake the front wheel and back wheel back and forth. Is there play? If yes the cones may need tightening. Grab the handlebar and front wheel and shake it forward and back. Is their play in the headset? If so, tighten the headset. Then take the two crank arms and shake them in and out. If there is play you need to tighten the bottom bracket. Making sure everything is tight limits the wear on critical components and avoids expensive repairs.

For most bikes this is 15 minutes tops, once a year. Note that some special tools are very helpful (cone wrenches for example).

123
Posts: 5857
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by 123 » Wed May 20, 2020 11:26 pm

My current bike is similiar to what the OP likely has. I got it new 4 years ago and have probably ridden 50 - 100 miles weekly since then (year round). Other than lubricating the chain, replacing tires and brake pads (which I did myself) my only problem has been a broken shifter cable which I took into a local bike shop for repair a few months back. When I asked the shop about changing the chain and cassette as well they said if I did that I'd have to replacel the chain ring and derailleurs as well since they were shot (basically anything the chain touches wears with chain wear). So to do the replacements would be $300+ which ikely isn't worth it since it would be half the cost of a new similiar bike. So they proceeded to replace my broken cable for $20 and I was on my way with a perfect excuse to buy a new bike.

So I do ride a lot but it's all local miles tooling around the city. I understand that 12 - 15,000 miles is likely a lot of miles in 4 years. The shop basically told me that with my mileage I should change the chain every 6 to 12 months.

In my HCOL area a minimal tune up on a bike is $80 - %120 at most bike shops. To me that's a lot compared to the value of my bike. I plan to expand my skills to do my own bike maintenance. I still have my predecessor bike so I'll work on that first so I'll always have an operational spare bike. While the cost of a new bike is inconsequential to me, the idea of just junking one just rubs me the wrong way, it just seems against the spirit of simple mechanical freedom that a bike provides.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

User avatar
willardx
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:44 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by willardx » Wed May 20, 2020 11:58 pm

The price of the bike is irrelevant to the importance of making sure your bike is safe to ride. Namely, that your brakes work when you need them to and that your rims don’t explode from being worn too thin (assuming rim brakes), those are my main concerns. The other issues like shifting are more of inconvenience versus safety.

Regular maintenance is pretty easy to learn but it might be useful for you to spend the money on a light tuneup from a bike shop and have them walk you through the steps.

It’s great that you’re riding more, I think it’s the best way of traveling and you get exercise, too!

sixtyforty
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by sixtyforty » Thu May 21, 2020 8:23 am

If you are riding on the road probably not too much. I would get a tuneup then make sure you keep the chain oiled.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

dcabler
Posts: 1380
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by dcabler » Thu May 21, 2020 8:27 am

I do my own maintenance. Every couple of weeks, the bike gets a bath. Plenty of youtube videos on the proper way to do that - the bike will get lots of grit, especially in and around the front derailleur. This process includes a handy gadget that you can buy to clean the chain. Then I lubricate the chain and all of the cables, especially any exposed cables. I would suggest using a lube made especially for this purpose. Beyond that, little maintenance is required outside of what others have suggested regarding tire/tube replacement. I have a small pack mounted to my seat that contains a couple of extra tubes, a patch kit, hex-wrench set, the plastic wedges used to remove tires from the rim, and a couple of cartridges for airing up the tires after an on-the-road flat fix.

BTW, if you are an REI member, they frequently have workshops on bike maintenance. Oftentimes, the local university will also have low cost leisure classes on the subject. Of course this was all before Cov-19...

kabob
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:01 am
Location: Loudon, Tn

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by kabob » Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 am

Yep, Bikes only need periodic maintenance, brakes, fluids, chain...
Image
But a Honda (05 Shadow Spirit) - Ya Just ride em!
Ain't no HardlyEverStarts...
Last edited by kabob on Thu May 21, 2020 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by alfaspider » Thu May 21, 2020 8:36 am

Bikes really don't need too much work as they are pretty simple machines, but in order of importance:

1) Brake adjustment- make sure there is plenty of pad life left and the cable is properly adjusted. Replace pads if significantly worn.
2) Make sure tires aren't overly worn and have air
3) Clean and lube chain
4) Adjust derailleurs as needed
5) True wheels (may become more important if significantly out of true- may impact brake performance for rim brakes)

Chain should be replaced every few thousand miles, cassette every other chain replacement. The only one of those that is difficult to do at home is truing wheels. Mountain bikes with suspension that are ridden offroad will need fork rebuilds every so often, and bikes with hydraulic discs will need fluid replacement bleeding.

If you find yourself riding farther on a regular basis, you may find that the hybrid no longer cuts it. A real road bike will actually be more comfortable on longer rides due to more hand placement options and a riding position that more evenly distributes load between your seat, feet, and hands (most hybrids put most of your weight on the seat). The newer trend in road bikes is to go bigger and lower pressure on tires (28mm tires at 70psi instead of 23mm at 100psi), which makes them more comfortable without sacrificing efficiency or speed.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 11795
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 21, 2020 8:45 am

When I was competitively riding in college, I'd ride 44 miles on a typical day. I'd do a fairly extensive cleaning of bearings over the winter. Bottom bracket, headset, wheels. Besides that, lube the chain and cables, the end.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

alfaspider
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by alfaspider » Thu May 21, 2020 8:50 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:45 am
When I was competitively riding in college, I'd ride 44 miles on a typical day. I'd do a fairly extensive cleaning of bearings over the winter. Bottom bracket, headset, wheels. Besides that, lube the chain and cables, the end.
Bearings and headsets used to be a bigger deal in the days of threaded headsets and non-sealed bearings. These days, there's little reason to preemptively address these items if you are a non-competitive rider. Do check if your headset is loose from time to time (if the handlebars shift back and forth when you rock the bike back and forth with the brakes applied), as it could be a safety issue. Bottom brackets will make noise or creak if they need service.

EddyB
Posts: 1335
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by EddyB » Thu May 21, 2020 8:54 am

willardx wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 11:58 pm
The price of the bike is irrelevant to the importance of making sure your bike is safe to ride. Namely, that your brakes work when you need them to and that your rims don’t explode from being worn too thin (assuming rim brakes), those are my main concerns. The other issues like shifting are more of inconvenience versus safety.

Regular maintenance is pretty easy to learn but it might be useful for you to spend the money on a light tuneup from a bike shop and have them walk you through the steps.

It’s great that you’re riding more, I think it’s the best way of traveling and you get exercise, too!
I think you need to tell the OP not to worry about his or her rims exploding. Or at least that there may be a wear indicator.

furwut
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by furwut » Thu May 21, 2020 9:03 am

Peter Foley wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:49 pm
I volunteer with a couple organizations that fix bikes to be given away. That amounts to 8 years experience as a bike mechanic working primarily on older bikes. The most basic things are making sure your shifting and braking work smoothly and the chain is kept relatively clean and lubed.

If all of that is okay you do not really need a tune up.

Next in line is what some call a "shake test." Shake the front wheel and back wheel back and forth. Is there play? If yes the cones may need tightening. Grab the handlebar and front wheel and shake it forward and back. Is their play in the headset? If so, tighten the headset. Then take the two crank arms and shake them in and out. If there is play you need to tighten the bottom bracket. Making sure everything is tight limits the wear on critical components and avoids expensive repairs.

For most bikes this is 15 minutes tops, once a year. Note that some special tools are very helpful (cone wrenches for example).
+1
As in many retail operations revenue has become hard to generate in the age of online shopping. I’ve witnessed a recent trend in emphasizing maintenance service, often caged in automobile terms of ‘A’ level, ‘B’ level and so on, and recommending extensive bike fitting sessions for all riders.

User avatar
djpeteski
Posts: 961
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:07 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by djpeteski » Thu May 21, 2020 9:12 am

I would advise buying a bike chain gauge, for about $11. Clean and lube your chain every couple hundred miles and use the gauge. If you cannot make it fit, your chain is fine. If it fits on one side, the chain needs to be replaced. If it fits on both sides you need to replace the chain and rear cassette, which you are trying to avoid. Replacing the chain is a $20 fix, the rear cassette around $100.

Its about 50/50 that a bike shop will check this when you take your bike in for maintenance.

Here is the one I have:
https://amzn.to/3bSUc4c

Another thing i find on my bike is that the bolts holding the water bottle holders tend to come lose, Its a pain if the come undone during a ride. So i check those as part of my safety checks.

Inflate your tires before every ride.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 313
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by caffeperfavore » Thu May 21, 2020 9:48 am

You know how to change a tire and tube so you're half way there. Check your tires before each ride and keep them properly inflated. Assuming you have tubes (some tires nowadays do not), proper inflation will help you avoid pinch flats (you hit a hard bump, pinching the tube and creating a hole).

Learn how to keep your chain, cassette, and derailleurs clean and lubed. Do this once a month or if they get grimy.
Learn how to adjust or replace brakes as needed.
Learn how to adjust your derailleurs if the shifting gets wonky.

That's 95% of it. Everything else is gravy. There's lots of good You-Tube videos online for how to do everything. If you do these things, there's little need for the bike shop unless you have an issue, but if you do, there's not shame in that. It's better than not riding.

getthatmarshmallow
Posts: 561
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Thu May 21, 2020 10:12 am

A tune-up wouldn't hurt, but for a hybrid bike there's nothing they're going to do that you can't do yourself. From what you've said you're probably overdue to clean and lube the chain. Check the brakes and learn to adjust derailleurs (lots of YouTube videos.). That's most of it.

alfaspider
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by alfaspider » Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 am

djpeteski wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:12 am


Another thing i find on my bike is that the bolts holding the water bottle holders tend to come lose, Its a pain if the come undone during a ride. So i check those as part of my safety checks.
Use locktite- it's specifically designed to prevent fasteners from coming loose due to vibration.

onourway
Posts: 2472
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by onourway » Thu May 21, 2020 11:15 am

If you are a fair weather rider who rides only when it is dry and only on the roads, avoids potholes and other obstacles, etc. you could go years, a decade even without needing much of anything other than periodic air in the tires. If you ride in more varied conditions - wet, off-road, etc. you will need a lot more maintenance, from chain cleaning and lubrication, to more frequent brake pad (and even rim) replacement, to a more frequent need to change the chain and so on. If you ride on rough roads or trails, the bike will need more maintenance still.

For a hybrid bike ridden primarily in nice weather on the road - well, tune ups on those is how small bike shops stay in business. $60-80 for 10 minutes of (clean) work. :D

FeesR-BullNotBullish
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Thu May 21, 2020 1:06 pm

I don't understand the overhaul vs tuneup question. I take mine to a local bike shop and let them go to town. I've had two tune ups. The first time was about $160 and the second time was a bit over $100. Money well spent. Maybe I can diy, but these things are always tougher than people say. It's easier take it somewhere that can diagnose what my bike needs and get it right. Can't really say a frequency, but after you get it tuned up once you'll know when it needs tuned up again.

I will say it seems to be a challenge to find a bike shop that will make an appointment or even promise to have it back the same day if you pick a date to drop it off. Keep calling and hopefully you can find somebody to work on it that won't make you miss a ride.

BSBHead
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:45 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by BSBHead » Thu May 21, 2020 1:14 pm

This question is dependent on how much you ride and how much you value performance.

An overhaul can be expensive, but effectively they take apart your bike and clean each component part. This certainly prolongs the life of your bike. They degrease and grease hubs, clean drivetrain, etc.

A tune-up is really a cosmetic chain and drive train cleaning plus drivetrain adjustments (shifters, brakes, and derailers). This is included in the overhaul.

When I ride a lot in bad weather, my bike gets filthy and I’ll overhaul once per year. Otherwise, tune ups are fine.

Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by helloeveryone » Thu May 21, 2020 1:29 pm

Peter Foley wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:49 pm
I volunteer with a couple organizations that fix bikes to be given away. That amounts to 8 years experience as a bike mechanic working primarily on older bikes. The most basic things are making sure your shifting and braking work smoothly and the chain is kept relatively clean and lubed.

If all of that is okay you do not really need a tune up.

Next in line is what some call a "shake test." Shake the front wheel and back wheel back and forth. Is there play? If yes the cones may need tightening. Grab the handlebar and front wheel and shake it forward and back. Is their play in the headset? If so, tighten the headset. Then take the two crank arms and shake them in and out. If there is play you need to tighten the bottom bracket. Making sure everything is tight limits the wear on critical components and avoids expensive repairs.

For most bikes this is 15 minutes tops, once a year. Note that some special tools are very helpful (cone wrenches for example).
thanks this helps a lot - all things I can do on my own

Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by helloeveryone » Thu May 21, 2020 1:31 pm

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:06 pm
I don't understand the overhaul vs tuneup question. I take mine to a local bike shop and let them go to town. I've had two tune ups. The first time was about $160 and the second time was a bit over $100. Money well spent. Maybe I can diy, but these things are always tougher than people say. It's easier take it somewhere that can diagnose what my bike needs and get it right. Can't really say a frequency, but after you get it tuned up once you'll know when it needs tuned up again.

I will say it seems to be a challenge to find a bike shop that will make an appointment or even promise to have it back the same day if you pick a date to drop it off. Keep calling and hopefully you can find somebody to work on it that won't make you miss a ride.
A lot of the bike shops explain it well and a poster below explains it as well....

From a random google search - https://www.urbancycles.com/shop-servic ... overhauls/

Quick Clean and Lube - $30
This service gets your bike back up to speed quickly: we clean and lube your drivetrain, wipe down your frame, and make sure your braking surfaces (rims, discs, etc.) are nice and clean so you can stop when you need to.

Basic Tune Up - $80
With a basic tune up, you'll get everything included in the Quick Clean and Lube above, making adjustments to the brakes and gears, and minor truing of the wheels. Our mechanics will also check the adjustment and security of all bearing systems. This also includes a test ride to make sure everything is running smoothly. If your bike needs anything beyond a minor tune-up, we’ll let you know in the estimate we provide.

Advanced Tune Up - $100
The advanced tune up includes everything in the basic tune up, as well as a deep drivetrain clean/replacement or cables and housing replacement.

The Overhaul - $200
For a Major Tune we basically take the bike apart, clean it, and put it back together with all new cables and housing. A major tune up will ensure your bike’s brake and shifting systems feel as good as new. We true the wheels and grease/adjust all of the bearing systems(hubs, headset, bottom bracket) to keep things feeling smooth and prevent parts from unnecessarily wearing. The $200 labor fee also covers the installation of any parts that need replacing at that time(think wearable parts like brake pads, chains, cassettes,etc.). A major tune will guarantee your bike feels fantastic when you ride away!

Onlineid3089
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:47 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by Onlineid3089 » Thu May 21, 2020 1:32 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 am
djpeteski wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:12 am


Another thing i find on my bike is that the bolts holding the water bottle holders tend to come lose, Its a pain if the come undone during a ride. So i check those as part of my safety checks.
Use locktite- it's specifically designed to prevent fasteners from coming loose due to vibration.
This. Probably want to make sure you use Blue so you don't have to heat it to get it apart if you ever want to.

Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by helloeveryone » Thu May 21, 2020 1:33 pm

onourway wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:15 am
If you are a fair weather rider who rides only when it is dry and only on the roads, avoids potholes and other obstacles, etc. you could go years, a decade even without needing much of anything other than periodic air in the tires. If you ride in more varied conditions - wet, off-road, etc. you will need a lot more maintenance, from chain cleaning and lubrication, to more frequent brake pad (and even rim) replacement, to a more frequent need to change the chain and so on. If you ride on rough roads or trails, the bike will need more maintenance still.

For a hybrid bike ridden primarily in nice weather on the road - well, tune ups on those is how small bike shops stay in business. $60-80 for 10 minutes of (clean) work. :D
Thanks! That's me - only in perfect whether and 90% pavements 10% grass/dirt. No rocks. And not that many miles. no wonder it still such a good bike after 8 years of ownership and minimal use.

Thanks to everyone - it's convinced me to do nothing expect lube the chain and tighten things up appropriately (and in turn saving $$)

hudson
Posts: 2709
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by hudson » Thu May 21, 2020 5:21 pm

helloeveryone wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:33 pm
onourway wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:15 am
If you are a fair weather rider who rides only when it is dry and only on the roads, avoids potholes and other obstacles, etc. you could go years, a decade even without needing much of anything other than periodic air in the tires. If you ride in more varied conditions - wet, off-road, etc. you will need a lot more maintenance, from chain cleaning and lubrication, to more frequent brake pad (and even rim) replacement, to a more frequent need to change the chain and so on. If you ride on rough roads or trails, the bike will need more maintenance still.

For a hybrid bike ridden primarily in nice weather on the road - well, tune ups on those is how small bike shops stay in business. $60-80 for 10 minutes of (clean) work. :D
Thanks! That's me - only in perfect whether and 90% pavements 10% grass/dirt. No rocks. And not that many miles. no wonder it still such a good bike after 8 years of ownership and minimal use.

Thanks to everyone - it's convinced me to do nothing expect lube the chain and tighten things up appropriately (and in turn saving $$)
Road bikes don't need much. I wait until parts start squeaking; then I squirt water towards the noise until it stops. If I'm near my car, I'll pull out the dip stick and drip oil on the squeak. If not, I'll oil it later. YouTube and I can fix almost anything....on a road bike or mountain bike. Years ago Sheldon Brown and his website got me through some issues: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_B ... _mechanic). He passed away but his website is still active: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/
Last edited by hudson on Thu May 21, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

boomer_techie
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:47 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by boomer_techie » Thu May 21, 2020 6:11 pm

djpeteski wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:12 am
I would advise buying a bike chain gauge, for about $11. Clean and lube your chain every couple hundred miles and use the gauge. If you cannot make it fit, your chain is fine. If it fits on one side, the chain needs to be replaced. If it fits on both sides you need to replace the chain and rear cassette, which you are trying to avoid.
If you're cheap, there's no need to spend even the $11: Bicycle chain links are exactly 1/2 inch apart. A standard tape measure or ruler is enough to check for chain wear. Measure from any "feature" on the side of the chain to the same "feature" 12 inches away. (I measure from the center of a rivet.) The tick marks on the ruler should align to the "feature" exactly the same. Once they don't align, the chain has worn.

999
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:10 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by 999 » Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 pm

Park Tools has some good instructional videos.

chuppi
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:47 am

Re: Frequency of bike overhaul or tune up

Post by chuppi » Thu May 21, 2020 9:16 pm

boomer_techie wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:11 pm
djpeteski wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:12 am
I would advise buying a bike chain gauge, for about $11. Clean and lube your chain every couple hundred miles and use the gauge. If you cannot make it fit, your chain is fine. If it fits on one side, the chain needs to be replaced. If it fits on both sides you need to replace the chain and rear cassette, which you are trying to avoid.
If you're cheap, there's no need to spend even the $11: Bicycle chain links are exactly 1/2 inch apart. A standard tape measure or ruler is enough to check for chain wear. Measure from any "feature" on the side of the chain to the same "feature" 12 inches away. (I measure from the center of a rivet.) The tick marks on the ruler should align to the "feature" exactly the same. Once they don't align, the chain has worn.
Good point. It is better to go with the measurement method instead of the chain gauge. See the details in the link below
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chain-wear.html
I clean and lube the chain every once in a while. I check the chain for wear and replace the chain. Worn chain will grind the cassette. Worn out cassette will quickly grind the new chain. Better to measure and replace on time. Otherwise there is no maintenance requirement unless something gives you problem like shifting, braking etc...

Post Reply