Main­te­nance

Swap out old parts at ex­actly the right time

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Nick Di Cristo­faro

When should I re­place it?

Many items on a bi­cy­cle will need to be re­placed, even­tu­ally. Cy­clists who are keen on keep­ing their rides in tip-top shape should know what the most com­mon wear items are and when it’s time to re­place them.

Brakes Brake pads are prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant wear item for ob­vi­ous safety rea­sons. Most car­tridge-type brake pads have wear in­di­ca­tors. Re­place the pad when there’s about 0.5 mm of ma­te­rial from the line. Look out for un­evenly worn brake pads or pads with ex­ces­sive glaz­ing. You can some­times res­cue glazed-over pads by lightly sand­ing or fil­ing the pad sur­face. Disc brake pads should be re­placed when less than 1 mm of fric­tion ma­te­rial is present.

Chain, cas­sette and driv­e­train Hav­ing a chain checker is nice to have for mon­i­tor­ing chain wear reg­u­larly. Re­place the chain when it’s ap­prox­i­mately 75 per cent worn to pro­long the life of the rest of the driv­e­train. As a gen­eral guide­line, re­place your cas­sette af­ter three chains. Re­place rear de­railleur jockey wheels and front chain­rings when teeth be­come pointed and/or hooked.

Tires First, look out for any gashes, cuts or holes on the tread or side­wall. You can re­move the tire and check the in­side to see if the cut goes com­pletely through. Some brands of tire have wear in­di­ca­tors to in­di­cate when the tread has be­come in­ef­fec­tive. Look for dry rot and crack­ing. Squeeze the re­moved tire with your hand to check. If the tire is re­ally far gone, you will see lit­tle cracks and cuts you wouldn’t nor­mally see with the tire in­flated.

Bear­ing sur­faces A rough run­ning bear­ing means it’s time to re­place or over­haul. Check bear­ing sur­faces are in the bot­tom bracket and wheels. With the chain off of the chain­rings, give the cranks a spin. If ev­ery­thing isn’t smooth and quiet, it’s time to pull it apart for fur­ther in­spec­tion. A wheel with cup-and-cone bear­ings that are run­ning rough af­ter ad­just­ment should be taken apart and in­spected. The cone threaded into the axle should be re­placed if it’s pit­ted. If the race in the hub is pit­ted, then it should be re­placed if pos­si­ble. Un­for­tu­nately, this part is some­times not re­place­able, which means it’s time to re­place the en­tire hub. Ca­bles You can dras­ti­cally im­prove your bike’s brak­ing and shift­ing by sim­ply re­plac­ing the ca­bles and hous­ing. Sticky shift­ing and slow brake lever re­turn in­di­cates that it’s pos­si­bly time for re­place­ment. Cor­ro­sion on in­ner ca­bles and mois­ture will cause ex­cess fric­tion re­sult­ing in re­duced per­for­mance. Al­ways re­place any hous­ing that is cracked or ca­bles that are frayed. Re­plac­ing ca­bles once a year is good preven­ta­tive main­te­nance. I rec­om­mend to al­ways use Shi­mano sp41 shift hous­ing and prefer­ably Shi­mano ca­bles. This is one area in which a more ex­pen­sive prod­uct is not bet­ter, so don’t be fooled by all the fancy ca­ble kits out there. Han­dle­bar tape Han­dle­bar tape is some­times sim­ply a cos­metic fea­ture. But, your hands rest on your han­dle­bars 99.9 per cent of your rid­ing time, so it makes sense to make this a com­fort­able place for them. For that fresh look, re­place the tape when it’s torn or dis­coloured. Rid­ing on the trainer can be re­ally sweaty and re­ally de­stroy bar tape. It’s a good idea to re­place the tape af­ter a win­ter on Zwift.

“This is one area in which a more ex­pen­sive prod­uct is not bet­ter.”

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