Taking care of my bike...


New Member

just got a new bike about 3 weeks ago, mainly for commuting. I haven't cycled in 10 years, and I'm 26. Which means that my father used to do all the maintenance for the bikes and unfortunately he's not around anymore.

So where should I start? Can anyone tell me or point me to a guide of what to do and how frequently? I have no idea and plenty of questions. I was thinking of getting one of those bike care plans at halfords (where I got my new bike) but honestly its so much better to learn by myself.

I even have doubts about lubrication. I have bought a GT85 can of lubricant (one of those light lubricants with PTFE). How often and where should I apply it - just on the chain or somewhere else too?



Hi careta

Big subject but basically the bearings in the headset, bottom bracket and hubs should be kept clean and greased. Most manufacturers pack these with heavy duty grease which lasts for years and use good quality seals to prevent the ingress of water which could wash the grease away. So you won't need to bother with these hopefully.

The rest is just a matter of keeping things clean and lubricated. GT85 is a great lubricant for the chain if you use it right and are happy with its limitations - it washes off easily in rain and can attract dust. If you don't want the hassle of continually re-lubing I'd advise a Finish Line dry lube.



Threads on here about lubrication of the chain are akin to the threads on whether you should wear a helmet or not :smile:

But personally and for a lot of folks, GT85 is used to help clean the bike rather than lube it - especially on mountain bikes (it chases water away after washing). DON'T GET IT NEAR BRAKES though...

Search this forum for the 'mickle method' for one way to lube the chain. Another way, is to degrease the chain with organic degreaser and re-lube the whole thing from scratch.

I would avoid the Halfords package like the plague. Halfords mechanics can be a bit hit and miss and you'll never know which one you're going to get. If you want someone to do it for you, best bet is to take it into a local bike shop and have them service it annually. Then, you can take care of the regular stuff as needed. Head over to the 'how to' forum for specific details.

Also, as you have a new bike, you should get a free check up after a month or so, to sort out any niggles and to re-setup the gears and brakes after cable stretch and settling in.



Post of The Year 2009 winner
Bromley, Kent
+1 to what guitarpete says, and the others too, actually. Bikes are pretty robust if vaguely looked after, and an eternal joy if cared for. You have the right approach. Read up in the Know How subforum, ask if you have a specific question, google for others facing the same. Once you know the name of each part, you have a world of searchable knowledge to reference.
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