What kind of fettler are you?


Senior Member
Isle of Wight
Hi all,

Of course I know that having washed my bike after yesterday's ride, to a point where it is almost surgically clean, that I actually do not need to now clean the chain, but you know what? I'm going to clean it anyway. The gears work as crisply as I could possibly wish them too, but somewhere inside, a little voice is telling me "clean and lube those cables". I clean them and convince myself that the gears work just that 00.001% better than before.

I know the stem clamp bolts are at the right torque, as are the brake caliper mounting bolts, as are the bottle cage bolts, the front and rear mech bolts, the replaceable drop-out bolt etc etc, but what the hell.........might as well get the torque wrench out!

The good lady appears at the garage door demanding her can of furniture polish back, and then gives me a right royal bollocking for using half of it in the space of two weeks. Of course, it was purely by accident I discovered it's the best thing for keeping the matt finish on my Felt looking good. I'll reluctantly admit that it also brings stainless spokes up a treat.

It would obviously be totally unreasonable to actually remove the saddle from the seat post just so that I could clean the muck that has flicked off the back wheel and lodged itself in that painfully inaccessible area above the rails and just in line with where the seat post clamp sits...................but!!!

As the saying goes "The Devil will find work for idle hands" ! I guess I just like my bikes to look good though. Sure, I probably do go a bit overboard, but just then the gate opens and in walks my mate with his Specialized. It's a great bike, but I can't help thinking how much better it would look if you could only see the colour of the frame. Perhaps the chain used to be silver, like mine, instead of an oily greasy black, but I suppose at least it matches the chainrings and cassette.

We're always bouncing off each other with bike cleaning banter, to the point where he turned up last week with a pack of cotton wool, allegedly for me to wrap my pride and joy in.

Perhaps my daughter has got a point when she says "if you spent as much time riding it as you do cleaning it, you'd give Bradley Wiggins a run for his money"

Anyone else out there, in the absence of any actual mechanical issues to overcome, just find things to clean or fettle, or should I seek therapy???


Flouncing Nobber
I'm not as bad as I used to be, though I have previously suffered badly with the symptoms you describe.


I am not far off @bikeman66 tbh. Bike will be ridden today for the first time, without having been washed since the last time. I mickled the chain last night and feel terrible for it, as usually has a full clean and relube the following morning.

Hate riding a dirty bike. Even cleaned mine completely, last week, knowing I was riding the next morning and the roads would be wet. Was back as before within half a mile, but still felt good. :smile:

It's part of enjoying your pride and joy in my mind. If you like cleaning it, then carry on.


Legendary Member
On 3 Wheels
Sometimes I dismantle the bike completely, and I mean completely, just so I can build it back up again. Does that count as fettling?
I do that to one of my bikes every year to get it 'winter ready'. One of the 3 that have mudguards on will become my bike of choice for that winter unless it is snowing and then the Saracen Blitz always gets used (Disc brakes and very spiky nobbley tyres but too havy for day to day use)
Similar to this but mine has been modded a bit (well a lot really but I don't have a digital camera)
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young Ed

keeping it clean and in good working order is only good, even if you do obsess over it slightly

@ianrauk knows all about this one!

personally mine gets a wash after every couple of rides or so but a good decent thorough wipe down after every ride regardless of if it was wet or dry or if she still looks sparkling clean. chain lubed up properly every 2 or 3 rides but it depends on distance if i've just done 80 + miles that ride then it'll be done straight after that ride regardless of when i last did it

tune up of gears and brakes etc is just when it feels ever so slightly out

vehicles on the other hand is another matter! bikes i'm alright at and could rebuild one fairly easily but it's not the sort of thing i would do all day just because i'm bored, where as i quite happily start the day with a good fully working quadbike or tractor and by the end of the day i have the same vehicle but with a few rebuilt engine bits and some bits strewn over the bench and others soaking in degreaser over night. and it all started from just going down to fetch my jacket i left down the barn or going down to check that battery charger etc etc!

i have been known to rig up the air compressor and jack up the front of one vehicle and start taking off the front wheels with a pneumatic impact gun (like they use in formula 1 pit stops) to adjust the steering (which is messed up permanently anyway) and grease up the wheel bearings and adjust the front brakes just because i was bored :tongue:
Cheers Ed


Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Meanwood, Leeds
I change the oil in the hub gears once a year. I replace the tyres and brake blocks when they wear out. I never oil the chain because I have belt drive. I've adjusted its tension once in three years.

That's the beauty of a low maintenance touring bike.


As long as I breathe, I attack.
Pretty much anything i will do , headsets i draw the line at though atm as i read you can feck your frame if you dont have a head set press, mm next thing on the "things i need " list .
Depends on the bike, but for the most part the only thing I keep clean on any of my bikes is the chain. I'll let you know if this attitude extends to the Virk. If I ever get it dirty.
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