Bike Maintenance

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Allegra, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. I’m pretty comfortable washing my bike and cleaning/lubing the chain, but that’s all I’m doing for bike maintenance so far. I’ve had my bike for almost 2 years (first bike; ‘15 Niner Rip 9 RDO), ride about twice per week (more when the days are longer), and put in new brake rotors and pads (with help) in April ‘17. I had my bottom bracket serviced in August ‘17 at a local bike shop. Is there some sort or maintenance schedule I should follow? I realize there are a lot of variables here, and I’m both willing to learn basic maintenance myself and willing to pay LBS to handle more complex maintenance.
    jeniwages and Rampaige like this.
  2. Great question! I think it is dependent on how much you ride. However I have no idea! I am going to see if I can find an answer!
  4. MTB Podcast discussed this topic on one of their episodes a while back. Here's the notes I took while listening (yes, I took notes, lol):
    • Every ride:
      • Wash the bike. You can use car wash soap and a microfiber wash mitt. Clean around stanchions, dust seals, tight pivot points, chain, and cassette.
      • Dry with air compressor towel
      • Spray with Pedro's bike lust or use non-alcohol Armorall - don't get it on the brake pads or rotors
      • Lube chain
    • Every month, inspect the following:
      • Dust seals on shocks. You can get dust out with the tip of a zip tie.
      • Tires. Also, for tubeless, shake wheel to make sure you can hear sealant sloshing around
      • Grips
      • Pedal bearings, check for play
      • Brakes, check rotors and pads
    • Every season:
      • Send in dropper for service or change seals and oil yourself
      • Rebuild suspension
      • Bleed brakes. Check pads.
      • Inspect drive train
      • Replace chain (maybe every other season) when you see it starting to stretch to spare your cassette and chainring
      • Change out cables and housing
      • Replace tires
    From what I've seem on other forums, not everyone follows a maintenance plan like the one above to a tee. Some people think it's overkill, so I imagine it's not gospel. Just like most things in life, it's up to you.

    Also, the owner's manual for my bike includes a recommended maintenance and inspection schedule. You could search your manufacturer's website for that.

    For suspension, the manufacturer should have a recommended maintenance schedule. For example, my Fox forks have a sticker with a 4-digit code on them (C35K). I can search for my forks on the Fox website, then follow the links to see that they recommend the following:

    Allegra likes this.
  5. If you have not had your fork serviced it is time! I think the biggest thing most riders neglect is suspension servicing. Usually the dust wipers should be done about every 25 hours of riding. If you do this you'll make it to the given 200 hrs to change the oil, or at least annually. However, most of us don't do that. Biggest problem when you run out of oil you can damage your fork beyond repair. Rear shocks also need a re-build once a year or year and a half.
    Chain and drive train. If you keep up on changing your chain a few times a year, you won't have excessive wear in the drivetrain and when you do need to switch out rings you may not need to replace everything, only the chain.
    If you have a FS bike have the shop check it out if you feel play. The cups get worn, creat play and then cause damage.
    Most important would be just checking your bike before every ride. Crank is tight, head set, no twisting or scoring of carbon parts. But really, most people neglect their suspension the most.
    Allegra likes this.
  6. Do you mean the dust wipers should be replaced or cleaned/repaired?
  7. They should be replaced. I do a full service on my fork at least every other month. On my DH bike once a month in riding season.
  8. The lists above are great!

    That being said, I clean the hell out of my chain, derailleur (toothbrush on the jockey wheels), suspension parts etc. The bike always looks very clean. However, I'm not a suspension guru and I find the process of servicing them intimidating. Sooooo I only do my fork once a year and have yet to do a shock. When we serviced my Pike fork after about 9mo of riding gnarly and dusty trails the dust wipers were nearly black! The seals looked pretty good but it was time. :)

    And I'm still laughing at Kim taking notes. She's a total bike nerd like me. LOL
    kreme.brulee likes this.
  9. Thank you! It looks like I’ll be visiting the LBS for suspension rebuild and brake bleeding. I had my front sprocket changed out and got a new chain a in September or October, so I’m feeling pretty good about the drive train. Had the dropper serviced in August as well. I sent the dropper to KS because it was you recommend I send it back to KS periodically, for preventative service? Or to LBS?

    In terms of checking grips and pedal bearings, what am I looking for?

    What cables need to be replaced and what are housings?

    In terms of crank and headset, how do I know they are as they should be in terms of tightness? Where do I look for twisting/scoring on carbon parts? FS bike, carbon frame.
  10. Replace cables when you see fraying and if you replace housing every couple of years it will keep shifting nice. You LBS should be able to tell you if you need to send your suspension (dropper post included) back to the factory or if they can manage the job. Usually your shop can handle it unless it is too far gone. Some can't do a rear shock. Plan for those things in the off season so you don't miss much ride time!
    kreme.brulee likes this.
  11. #11 kreme.brulee, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    For grips, just change em out when they're worn down or no longer grippy. Pedal bearings, check for play. I think I've heard @JustinCase talk about rebuilding pedals, so maybe he has more insight to share here.

    Most bike shops offer annual maintenance or tuneups that include checking most of the things we've been talking about in this thread. For example, When in doubt, LBS should be able to help out :)
    Allegra likes this.
  12. Along the lines of shock/fork service. There are shops that can do forks but I advise checking out their reviews first. I've heard horror stories about rebuilds and service gone bad. eek

    You generally have 3 options:
    1. Send the fork or shock to the manufacturer (Fox but not Rockshox)
    2. Send the fork or shock to a specialist company like Push, Avalanche, Brennan Autosports, Full Flow etc.
    3. Local Bike Shop does the work
    The pros and cons:
    1. Manufacturer is often fast but they don't do anything special like revalve to make the suspension work better for lightweight riders and they don't do upgrades that make the suspension better. Sometimes the the item comes back working just as funky as when you sent it in. I read about that a lot. For Rockshox you have to send your part through your supporting dealer.
    2. The specialty companies may take longer unless you schedule a service with them well ahead of time. Because they are specialists they can upgrade your suspension to work much better than it did before and they can perform upgrades and fully tune the suspension to your weight, riding style and terrain etc. It's full custom!
    3. Local Bike Shop can often do the work very quickly and you are supporting local economy. Just beware...
    Here are some good service shops that so far have a good reputation. (mostly Fox suspension) (new so the website is not quite up)
    Allegra likes this.
  13. Replaced
  14. Pedals wear out eventually but much slower than the bearings/bushings. If you ride a lot and/or in really rough terrain your pedal bearings and/or bushings will wear out and need to be replaced annually or every 2 years. It really depends on the specific pedal design. Some pedals, like the HT Components AE03 wear out extremely fast AND they are a pain in the butt to try and get rebuilt. Despite the fact they are super grippy, very light, thin and look nice we quit using them because rebuilding them was near impossible without special tools, a complicated procedure and hard to find parts. In contrast, the OneUp Components pedals are very easy to service with common bike tools and easy to purchase parts. Race Face and Spank also makes easy to service high quality pedals.

    I don't know much about clipless pedals but I believe they last even longer and are often easy to service.
    Allegra likes this.

Share This Page