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Eric's tips

Eric's tips

Eric\'s tips

Page Type: Article

Activities: Cross Country, Downhill, Mountain, Cyclocross, BMX/Stunt, Trials, Paved


Page By: Visentin

Created/Edited: Feb 24, 2009 / May 16, 2011

Object ID: 269635

Hits: 5051 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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After reading the amusing and interesting article of Andy "Top Ten Tips for MTBers" it came to my mind to make my own page of this kind, to make a sort of continuation of it.
My experience in bike maintaining is not very big and quite recent, more exactly since I started to cycle to work. Cycling daily increase significantly the bike usure and oblige one to have some basic knowledge, to avoid spending time taking it every time to the shop...
I hope you will find some of these tips useful !

Note: I had to use a lot the french-english Google translations for some technical terms, so if you see any word to correct, don't hesitate !

1 - The 6mm Allen key

A compulsory item in your bag when planning rough descents !
6mm allen-key for the saddle

Always have this item in your rucksack ! If your saddle betrays you half way during the ride, for example after a bumpy descent, it's quite annoying to have to pedal out of the saddle the rest of the way ! It once happened to me and I had to ask the driver of some autobus parked on the side of the road to open his toolbox, which he kindly accepted...

2 - Anti-rust spray

Anti-rust spray
Anti-rust spray
Anti-rust spray
Anti-rust spray

Rust accelerates the usure of your chain. After a wet cycling day, when your bike is in a dry place, apply anti-rust to the chain. Wait for the bike to be dry but early enough before rust starts to form (ideally some 2-3 hours after)

3 - Two thin screwdrivers

Soften hard segments after repairing your chain
2 thin screwdrivers

If the chain-splitter is a compulsory item in your bag, always mind to have 2 thin screwdrivers nearby too. A chain splitter always repairs the chain, but sometimes hardly helps when a hard segment results from the repair. When the chainrings or sprockets are not brand new, a hard segment can cause peridic chain-jumping when you force, especially with gears which combine a small chainring with a small sprocket.
And, as a disease never appears alone, if you leave it like this, the usure of all chainrings and sprockets increases dramatically...
With the 2 shafts of the thin screwdrivers, twist very delicately the chain until it bends normally. The chain will work as smooth as before.

4 - The spoke-key

repairing spokes
Spoke repairing

This is not a mandatory item in your bag, but the spoke-key is definitely something must have in the boot of the car if you go several days. Spoke-breaking is something which rarely occurs, but sometimes do, on rough trails. Generally you can finish the ride but better fix it as soon as you can.
When you destroy for good a wheel (for example torn rim, or axis out of order), always keep the rest, especialy a little collection of spokes and their nuts.
Building/repairing a wheel is not very hard if you respect the sprocket-scheme with another wheel as example (ex: your bike's other wheel).
The longest is to set the tightness of every spoke to make the wheel turn circularly and in the same plan. Each spoke pulls both the rim towards the center, but also towards the side of the rim where it is attached.

So :
- To correct the roundness of the rotation, always screw equally pairs of spokes next to each other (one for the left one for the right)
- To correct the flatness of the rotation, always unscrew equally the associated spoke in the same pair as you screw the other, to conserve the roundness as you correct the flatness
- Never screw or unscrew pairs alone, if you want to give a general tendency to one part of the rim you should always consider modifying the 2 or 3 pairs together linked to the side to correct.

5 - The sprockets tools

sprockets-dismounter and sprockets-key
Sprockets dismounting

The sprockets-dismounter is also a useful item you should have in your toolbox, if you often use your bike and want to avoid the cost of the sprockets-changing, additioned to the sprockets-set itself.
Furthermore, it is not true, contrary to what is often said, that you should throw used sprockets when you change the chain. Chains generally get old quicker than sprockets, and having few spare sets can always come useful when one or several speeds turns out to be too new or too old for a certain chain.
Since the sprockets blocker is to be screwn clockwise, it is always easy to block them, even by hand only. But unblocking is something else, and considering the anti return system of the axis (holding the rest of the wheel is helpless), you'll probably not want to seize the greasy sprockets-set in your hand.
That's why another item is almost as useful : the sprockets-key, made of a shaft and piece of chain, to block the sprockets like if a real chain was around it.

6 - Map carrier

Map carrier

Nothing is more annoying than riding a new area and a new trail having to unfold the map at every doubtful junction.
Yes, it looks less sexy, but map-carriers can be so useful sometimes ! When used to it you'll manage to read the map even without stopping cycling :)
Thank God for Lat 40 maps
The frustrating kind of situation :)
Dike Trail
The frustrating kind of situation :)

7 - Camera-case

Camera pocket

At least as annoying is when you feel like taking a picture every time a new fine panorama appears at each turn of some new trail. Having a camera-case under the neck is so practical ! Your bag must have a strap at the level of breasts in order to attach it in a convenient position, make sure it doesn't disturb your cycling movement.

8 - Pedals spanner

Especially after cycling in sandy areas, it can happen that the bearings of your pedals catch some dirt, and stop turning round. If you clean them in time, you can save them, but otherwise this is the beginning of the end. Both for pedal-cleaning or pedal-chainging, a pedal-key is quite useful. You can manage sometimes with a standard spanner, but it can also turn out to be too large. Then, You'd better have a pedal-specific spanner, 13mm, narrow enough but with a long shaft, to ease the unscrewing.
Note: the thread of the left pedal is anti-clockwise, to avoid unscrewing it
while cycling !

9 - Bike-support

Bike support
Bike support

Difficult bike-mainaining makes one sometimes even more nervous when the bike doesn't want to stand in place ! That's why this kind of bike-support can come useful...

10 - Bike-loader

Bike hanger
Fix it first
Bike hanger
Step 1
Bike hanger
Step 2
Bike hanger
Step 3
Bike hanger
Step 4
Bike hanger
Here we are

Save space ! These bike-loaders can be installed in the standard way, to lift the bike horizontally, but also more narrow, to lift it vertically. Ideal for a balcony. No need to stand on a chair, list/unlift them with the rope !
Find the instructions and brand informations here : Kompernass



[ Post a Comment ]
Viewing: 1-5 of 5

RayMondoCrank Bolt Spanner


Voted 10/10

Could add that too. I've had a crank bolt come loose way out there. (It wasn't me who installed the crank)
This Album is a great idea.
Posted Nov 17, 2009 4:56 am

VisentinRe: Crank Spanner


Hasn't voted

I need to update it !
Posted Nov 17, 2009 5:47 am

VisentinRe: Crank Spanner


Hasn't voted

Now that I mounted the new bike I realize what did you mean. Yes, for sure a mandatory tool...
Posted Apr 11, 2011 4:13 pm

BaarbRe: Crank Bolt Spanner


Hasn't voted

Is that the same as a cone wrench/spanner? Had that happen to me too recently, first time I'd taken the whole back wheel apart and put it together again. Lost one of the bearings in the process so then went and replaced the whole lot given they were a little pitted anyway. Gonna have to wear gloves next time, what a mess.
Posted Dec 2, 2011 9:38 pm

VisentinRe: Crank Bolt Spanner


Hasn't voted

Never had problems like this. I'm using these tools only to unscrew the top that maintains the sprockets set into position. I happened me to change it alone already several times, mainly for my old commuting bike.
Posted Dec 3, 2011 7:23 am

Viewing: 1-5 of 5