25. How to Tune Up Your Bike
No matter how often you ride you should give your bike a tune-up at least once a year.
Today we'll learn how to tune up your bike, which I'd recommend doing at least once a year, or even every few months if you ride every day. Since I can't demonstrate every step of the procedure while keeping this video short, I'll give a general overview and cover each step further in separate tutorials. You'll notice below that I've written out all of the steps and included links to related tutorials. I'll be adding new links as future videos are uploaded.
Depending how much work is needed you'll need a several tools for this job. Most importantly you'll need:
First disconnect your brakes and remove both wheels. This makes it easier to clean the bike frame and tune-up the wheels. Clean between the sprockets of your freewheel or cassette using a rag or a proper cleaning tool. Using a dry rag, wipe down the hubs, spokes, and rims on both wheels. If they are difficult to clean dip your rag in some mildly soapy water and try again. Never use harsh cleaners or a water hose to clean your bike. Check both hub adjustments to make sure they aren't loose and that they spin freely. Adjust or overhaul them as necessary.
If you have a truing stand, deflate the tires and check the alignment and spoke tension of both wheels and adjust them as needed. Inflate both tires to the recommended pressure and set them aside.
Now wipe down your entire bike frame and components. I usually start at the handlebar and work my way to the rear derailleur in order to keep my rag clean as long as possible. Again you can dampen your rag with soapy water if needed to loosen up any tough grime.
Once clean it's a good idea to carefully inspect the entire surface of your frame for any hairline cracks or damage. If you notice anything you should take it to your local shop right away for further assessment, as it can be dangerous to ride on a cracked frame. Inspect all of your components as well, paying particular attention to the brake and shift cables. If they are frayed or have damaged housings, now is the time to replace them.
Now apply a few drops of some light lubricant to the inside of your cable housings and all of the pivot points on your brake and shift components. Avoid getting any oil on your brake pads, and wipe off any excess so that it doesn't collect dirt. Here's a video that demonstrates cable lubrication.
Inspect all of your brake pad surfaces and carefully trim away any wear ridges with a razor blade. Resurface them with rough sandpaper to clean up road grime. You should replace the pads if they are worn past the indicator line, or if you can see metal poking through the surface. Watch the brake tutorials.
Now check all of the bolts on your bike to make sure they're tight, but be careful not to over-tighten. If they already feel tight enough don't force them any tighter. Important areas to check include your handlebars, levers, shifters, stem, seat, seatpost, brakes, derailleurs, cranks and pedals.
Here is a bicycle torque specification guide from Park Tools.
Now reinstall the wheels and reconnect your brakes. Adjust the brake pads and cable tension as needed. Clean the chain, check for chain wear, and then lubricate it with chain oil. Then adjust the rear derailleur first, and the front derailleur second. Now place the bike on the ground and adjust your handlebar and seat position if needed.
The last step is very important. Take your bike on a thorough test ride, running through all of the gears and testing the brakes. Most of the time you'll have a few minor re-adjustments to make before your bike is fully ready to ride.
Something got caught in my chain, I think near the rear derailleur. Anyways, the rear derailleur is broken and I need to replace it, the chain too. Its a Walmart bike so i'm not sure what I should do for finding the measurements, but I do know its this. Its generally a really cheap bike so I want to find some new parts, or part specifications that are compatible. I thinks the gears are a 9x3 with twist shifts. If there's anything that could help performance like changing the ... Read more >>
I made a post a long while back looking for info on replacing my derailleur and painkiller was wonderfully helpful in providing info about how serious the problem actually was with more than just the derailleur.
Now I've finally arrived at a point where I've got the time and money to bring my old bike out of the garage and back to the road. I originally received the bike from my uncle in rough condition several years ago. It hasn't changed much since aside from b... Read more >>
I have an old Cannonade Bad Boy. Frame was made in the US. The paint has bubbled all over the place and the alloy has oxidised underneath it. I want to strip it - check the frames integrity and then re-spray it if it's not compromised.
Before anyone starts - I'm aware how about intensive stripping frames by hand is. I've done this with a couple of steel bikes.
What's the best paint stripper for an alloy bike? Nitromors? Is there something better?
What's the best primer for alloy? Have read this is good:
<... Read more >>
Hello from NC! Have been away a while....
Update of the 2 bikes I overhauled 1.5 years ago...
Peugeot got damaged during move, and Mayflower didn't cover it, even with my appeal... So I dis-assembled derailleur, bent it back, and re-assembled it.. Rode it a few times..... Appears to be normal.... (I've had No issue with the ceramic bearings in Peugeot)
Gitane did not get damaged during move, but still throws chain on reverse pedaling (something that caused my mom to stop riding in 1980's). My overhaul, steel bearings made chain issues better, but not p... Read more >>
I have a Dawes Discovery 201eq gents from 2011 that I want to fix up after a couple of years without use. The goal is to get it into good enough shape that I can use it for commuting and some training. I know it's not ideal for training, but I can't afford a road bike at the moment. Also I need the Dawes bike for occasional family trips (with kid on the back) so that's why I want to fix it up rather than save up and buy a road bike right away.
Here are the original specs for the bike along with some status of them:
Frame type: 7005 al... Read more >>
I like the current frame of the V2100, its why I purchased it last June. Also, I am by no means a "serious" mtb'r and former dirt/vert rider, but being older now I generally ride in the city but dont care much for road bikes as sometimes I like to trail ride, so, that being said I do plan on upgrading everything on this frame, but not with any expensive components ofc.
My main question - Are there any decent BB/cranksets that will fit this frame...SRAM...anything other than the stock garbage, and yes I noticed that all hardware and components are junk.
I have seen other V210... Read more >>
About a year ago I bought a pair of Venzo road shoes on e-bay- most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. The rubber inserts on the underside have worn too low to keep the cleats from rubbing and squeaking, The inserts are removable and have a screw securing them. Does anyone know where I can buy replacement rubber inserts of this type?... Read more >>
I recently started having a clicking noise from the rear axle area of my bike. It is a Schwinn Link (City series).
It doesn't start until riding about 4 miles. It is like tak tak tak and I feel it in the pedals and frame. It has a frequency of about 2 clicks per second. It is like someone is lightly tapping on the rear axle with a piece of metal. It only happens when putting power to the pedals and gets more pronounced the harder I pedal. It comes and goes but after riding a long time stays. If I freewheel I can sometimes get it to go away. This bike has 7 gears on the rear wheel. it is ... Read more >>
As I start taking measurements of (What I believe is a Peugeot U09 from 1980) for the upcoming "thrift shop fork",
I came across something that I may have posted before, but thought, what the heck, see if any information on this has changed.....
Believe it or not, the original Paper Tag on the bottom of the frame by the crank, is still there and legible!!!
On the Paper tag is the following: 5286275 038157
It also has a number stamped of the flange for the rear axle.
On the metal frame is stamped: B0018618
... Read more >>
I have just acquired a Cervelo Soloist 2006, has the Ultegra 6600 groupset. It was making a clickity grinding sound whenever I'm on the larger 2 or 3 sprockets (doesn't matter which chainring) when I'm pedalling hard and fast.
Anyways, took my crank, chain rings, and bottom bracket off to clean, inspect, regrease and retorque. Greased my new pedals and torqued them on. Adjusted my front derailleur and rear derailleur (have adjusted the B screw as well to give plenty of slack). Still no good. I've even fully slackened the lower limit on the FD so there's plenty clearance left and r... Read more >>
We moved from Chicagoland to Mountains of NC in July....
My 1980 Peugeot U09 front Derailleur got bent way out of shape by the movers...
Knowing the availability of 1980 era French Simplex parts, I had a day while I awaited the remaining furniture, and I took the Front derailleur apart, carefully straightened the metalwork on a flat metal vise to the point where (I felt) it was back to "normal", and put it back together and adjusted it.... and in about 8 hours, it actually worked!! Tested it with 15min ride... Seems OK...
I eventually had to pu... Read more >>
It is with heavy heart I come to you today. I swapped some wheels from a bike my daughter and I bought. Cleand up the DAc50's to put on the bike. Decided to give her Spec Ruby a real good clean before I put the wheels on. It's a good thing I did. See she had a crash about 2 weeks ago and destroyed her front rim. I had a rag with a light degreaser on it and wiped over the top tube where it revealed a rather good sized crack at the head tube. Took it to the LBS I trust and they confirmed it is a crack.
Have done some checking around and found some repair options.... Read more >>
Can someone explain me what those holes are made for?
they are on the both sides, dimensions as shown in the pictures...
Thanks!!... Read more >>
Hi everyone. I am new here and to cycling in general. I got myself a Giant Cypress (2013, I believe) bike in Arizona. After two years, I needed to move to Atlanta, GA so I had my friendly local bike shop box up my bike and had it shipped away. Here in Atlanta, I don't have a car yet and the days are pretty hectic so I haven't had the time to hit up a local bike shop to have my bike re-assembled.
I'd like to do it myself if possible and I'd like to know what tools are needed to re-assemble the bike? I currently have an adjustable wrench, a hex wrench set, and all sorts of Ph... Read more >>
Recently received this bike from the parents since I moved into the city. I tried to take it to a local bike shop but they said it was better to just buy a new bike instead of trying to update.
Sorry to sound repetitive but I am new to bicycling and have no idea what I am doing. I am willing to learn and I have patience. Yes, I understand that I could more than likely get a bike on Craigslist in running order for the same price for what I'm going to put into this project. I want to be able to ride something that I have built up with my own hands. Anyways onto the bike.
Read more >>