Main­te­nance

If you’re pre­pared, you won’t miss a ride

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Nick Di Cristo­faro

Parts ev­ery home me­chanic should have

Chang­ing tires, and clean­ing and lub­ing com­po­nents are stan­dard chores that you should per­form reg­u­larly to keep your ride in top con­di­tion. To do so, you need to have the right parts and prod­ucts on hand. Even for jobs that you might need your lo­cal me­chanic to do, it’s a good idea to have the part your­self. Yes, most shops are well stocked. But, let’s say you’ve bro­ken a spoke the day be­fore a big event and aren’t com­fort­able re­plac­ing it. If you have the right type and length of spoke for your deep-sec­tion car­bon wheel, you can at least take ev­ery­thing to a qual­i­fied me­chanic for the fix. You avoid the panic of try­ing to source a po­ten­tially hard-to-find part the day be­fore your event. To keep your most prized pos­ses­sion run­ning smoothly and to keep mo­ments of panic at bay, make sure you stock your home workspace with the fol­low­ing items.

Tubes and tires Flats are a com­mon prob­lem. If you are run­ning clinch­ers, have spare tubes. If you have a tube­less setup, you need sealant and rim tape. With a tubu­lar tire, you’ll need to re­place it if you get a slash. Get out the glue and a spare tubu­lar that is pre-stretched with a valve ex­ten­sion in­stalled. Ac­tu­ally, you should have ex­tra valve ex­ten­sions for your deep wheels, no mat­ter the tire type. Also, with tubu­lars, some­times a pesky leak is from a loose or dam­aged valve core, so have some back­ups.

Rear de­railleur OK, maybe hav­ing a new rear mech on hand might be ex­ces­sive for a home me­chanic. If the rear de­railleur gets dam­aged, how­ever, you’ll need it. If you want to save money, your spare could be a lower-cost model. For ex­am­ple, if you’re run­ning a Shi­mano Dura-ace mech, have a spare 105 part. It will get you on the road. You can al­ways up­grade later.

Rear de­railleur hanger I can’t stress hav­ing a spare de­railleur hanger enough. De­railleur hang­ers come in myr­iad shapes and sizes for all the dif­fer­ent types of frames out there. Have at least one spare that you know will work on your bike.

Spokes Have the right type and length of spoke for your race wheels. Some high-end wheels will have pro­pri­etary spokes. If your hoops have a low spoke count, one bro­ken spoke will make a wheel un­ride­able. It is also a good idea to have an­other set of wheels to get you rolling.

Brake and shift ca­bles, and hous­ing Re­plac­ing ca­bles will re­store smooth brake and shift­ing ac­tion if they’ve started to fray. They can also break or be­come dam­aged in a crash. Don’t for­get to have some ca­ble end caps and fer­rules as well. Shi­mano and sram ca­bles are in­ter­change­able. Cam­pag­nolo is not in­ter­change­able with the two S brands.

If you are run­ning Shi­mano Di2, have a few spare wires of cor­rect length. The most im­por­tant are the wires for the rear de­railleur and from the shifters to the junc­tion. These are ex­posed and can get dam­aged in a crash. Hav­ing a spare bat­tery charged and ready to go is a nice-to-have if you have sram etap. You can swap these out eas­ily in an emer­gency.

Chain With­out a chain, you’re go­ing nowhere fast. If it snaps or be­comes dam­aged, it will need to be re­placed. At the very least, have a quick link or spare con­nect­ing pin. If a cou­ple links are dam­aged, you can re­move them and re­con­nect if the chain length is suf­fi­cient.

Brake pads Make sure to have the cor­rect pads for your car­bon rims. If you swap in your alu­minum wheels, change the pads, too. Each wheelset should have its own ded­i­cated pads. If you have disc brakes, have one set of pads rec­om­mended by the man­u­fac­turer for your calipers and ro­tors. You should have a spare ro­tor as well. You’ll need two if your bike has dif­fer­ent sizes of ro­tor at the front and rear.

Other items that are good to have You can ride your road bike with­out han­dle­bar tape or bar-end plugs or your moun­tain bike with­out grips if they get dam­aged, but why would you want to? Bar-end plugs al­ways seem to go miss­ing. If you can, have an­other pair of shoes and cleats. Keep bolts handly. The most com­mon are M5 Allen head bolts for stems and wa­ter-bot­tle cages. Skewer springs al­ways tend to go fly­ing away. Have a few of those.

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