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.
My friend gave me an old bike with missing parts and a bent up back tire. I am in need of the seat post, a derailer (I think.), and the back tire. I wanted to see if I could replace these items for cheaper than I could buy a new bike. I have gone to mongoose.com with no success to finding these parts or even the size/type/kind that I need to buy. Can I purchase any derailer and install it or does it need to be the same brand? Are there many different KINDS? And the seat post comes in so many different sizes (so I've been told) that I need to know how to measure thi... Read more >>
I'm pretty handy, but it has been a LONG time since I took a bike apart. My son's bike is changing gears and the pedals turn, but it is not turning the wheel. What's my problem?... Read more >>
I was wondering if you could recommend anything you would change on this bike? I was thinking of maybe changing the forks and handle bars? I heard it was worth it converting it to thread less so I'll just leave it as it is and get replacements that fit, and because it;s a cheap full suspension the frame weighs a ton.thanks!
http://s39.photobucket.com/... Read more >>
am getting into mountain biking and don't know much and i want to know the basics like what are good brand and the ones to stay away from also what type of tires to run i have a gaint rincon... Read more >>
hey guys new here, wanted to get some opinions on this squeaking i have been experiencing.
It only happens when a certain amount is force is applied through the pedals and gets worse as more force is applied.
The bike is a giant TCR advanced full specs in this pdf::
The bottom bracket is a shimano pressfit and i dont ha... Read more >>
Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here it goes:
I'm trying to figure out how to ride my MTB(rigid city rider) with my BMX bike behind it or attached, so I don't have to take the car when I want to go BMXing(too much loading and unloading due to the bike rack and especially GAS). I know, I know... I could just ride the BMX bike there, but the BMX bikes of today have the seats real low(compact frame) and I would most likely be worn out by the time I got there(from standing the whole ride).
I have a one wheel trailer that I use often and I'm ... Read more >>
I was taking the dog out for a walk this morning and noticed a Shimano Hyper Havoc dumped on my lawn. Checked it out and see why it was abandoned there- it's in need of (hopefully easy) repair. I've attached a few pics of what is the problem area (rear wheel grinding against the frame). It looks like there might've been a cut to the frame too? Can someone confirm this?
I'm not at all familiar with bikes but I work on cars and am an engineer- I'd consider myself DIY savvy. Can you guys tell me if this is worth repairing and if it is, what parts I will need to replace? By the way, t... Read more >>
Heyyah guys im new to this forum and new to the whole maintenance of bikes. It's something i'd love to get into as i am a sport fanatic. I currently have a mountain bike, in poor condition, and shall be getting a hybrid bike soon as i am doing a cycle event from Holbeach to Sussex for MS along side my dad. I would love to know about all the different components of bikes (MTB, road and hybrid) and how to clean, fix, take off/replace them.
For example, i have a severely rusty chain (ridable) and would like to clean it, how? Do i leave it to soak in coca cola? Also, my fork is rather rusty... Read more >>
Hi I have two bikes that I've owned for several years now that have been sitting around collecting dust and i'm in a really tight spot for money right now. Looking to restore and sell the bikes.
Left is (i believe) a haro f1 HH BMX bike, I don't know the model or how much it's worth or anything.
Right is a Gary Fisher 'Kid Specific' design mountain bike, I also wasn't able to find a model or a value on the bike.
The haro F1 has been sitting out in the rain for several years and has accumulated a lot of rust. The gary fisher has been garaged, slight dust ... Read more >>
The back and front hub has Phillips war finish marking and a 6 number. Frame number is 3057 with a f on top. Does anybody know what year and type of bike ?... Read more >>
Hi all, New here but hope I can get some info.
I am trying to find where to get torque specs for my new Giant Adv Defy 0 with Di2
Giants web site is useless and there lack of willingness to communicate with the customer has me worried I bought the wrong bike.
My local Giant dealer is quick to sell you something not so much to give info.
Im looking for general specs for seatpost,headset.seat rails, handlebars,brake pads,chainring,
the genral whole kit and kaboodle.
Any help is appreciated.
And yes I did see on here about torque specs for components but ... Read more >>
Anybody have any experience with this water bottle cage bracket??
I'm trying to figure out where to put my water bottle at... Don't have any mounts on the downtube or seat tube... Saw this one and was wandering if it would work with my saddle bag setup??...
Any other suggestions??... Read more >>
I have an electric bike and the battery stopped charging.It's a Viking battery
The charger has been... Read more >>
For years I rode a Huffy mountain bike two miles to work and then home. Don't remember the model number but it was a solid frame, 21 speed, 26" bike that rode like a dream and never made me tired. Last month it was stolen.
Then a few weeks back someone gave me a Mongoose RX-75 26" bike, same 21 speeds (same sprocket teeth numbers in fact), fully suspended. It is in very nice shape, nevertheless, I took it into my garage and spent a day lubing it and doing all the proper adjustments I could think of (while I'm no bike scientist, I'm a pretty good mechanic). I set the saddle adjust... Read more >>
I'm undertaking a pretty important project for my college course on the use of specialised terminology - and I've decided to base it on (the parts and repair of) my beloved bike!
I must find very authoritative and established written resources that'll provide good information on the terms used when discussing bikes and their repair.
What do you guys consider these to be? I'd be interested in books, magazines, journals, websites, you name it. As the resources have to be as reliable as possible, books and respected journals would be preferred o... Read more >>