Monday, March 21, 2011

KBK's Spring Checklist for Bikes


I realized that I didn't ever get around to giving folks my checklist for bike maintenance yesterday at the Knife Sharpening, so I thought I would pass it out here so everyone can enjoy! This is supposed to be a checklist for major tuneup Feel free to comment on things I forgot to include.

1) Start with cleaning
- Degrease all greasiness (clean chain, cassette, chainrings, derailleur pulleys etc)
- Clean your dirty dirty bike (really scrub everything else down with some good soap (not degreaser).
- Pay close attention to underside of bike, moving parts, and between the seat and chainstays
- Note anything funky/wrong/busted/dinged/dented

2) Inspection (check and note each - fix later)
- Check tires for wear (tread, sidewalls, weird bumps)
- Check chain for wear (use chain checker tool if you can)
- Check cassette and chainrings for wear (look for something like this only probably not as bad: this picture is of a ring about 2 years too far gone)
- Check brake cables/hoses/housings (looking for fraying, wear, holes)
- Check shifter cables/housing
- Check to make sure nothing is loose (handlebar, stem, seatpost, saddle, various levers and shifters)
- Wiggle wheels from side to side - you shouldn't get more than 1/8 inch of play with a light touch of your hand
- Check for clunking in cranks (bad bottom braket?)
- Check for trueness of wheel (spin the wheel while holding up the bike. Hold your finger tip near the side of the rim as close as possible without touching it. If you see the wheel getting closer then farther then closer, it's out of true - this can screw up braking a lot (unless you have disc brakes).
- Check rims for pitting, dents or other damage
- Check frame for cracks or dings.
- Check hand grips/bar tape (worn? tight? bar ends still on?)
- Check your fork/shocks for wear, scratches, dings, oil seeping, evil monsters
- If you have a drop seatpost do the same inspection as above and make sure it's actuating properly.

3) Fix problems
- Anything identified above.

4) Put on any new, fancy parts
- If you have any new stuff you're putting on for this season, now's a great time to do it!
- Also good time to put on new chains, brake pads, tires, etc that aren't quite so exciting

5) Adjustment and tune
- once chain is clean and dry (make sure degreaser has been removed before adding lube), lube up the chain carefully
- Adjust front and rear derailleur to shift properly through entire range
- Adjust seat height and angle
- Adjust brakes
- True you wheels
- Air up your tires
- Air up your shocks and set all the deelie bobs to the right place
- If you run tubeless, clean out the old sealant and put in fresh stuff

6) Ride test
- Ride your bike around the block
- Clunks, noises, funny feelings?
- Suspension feel good?

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