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How To Not Maintain Your Bike – Road Bike Maintenance

How To Not Maintain Your Bike – Road Bike Maintenance

– We spend a lot of time here on GCN advising you about what you
should do to maintain your bike. But very rarely do we say
what you shouldn’t do. We’ve probably all been there, applying more and more
pressure to a fragile, yet seemingly immovable bolt, only to find that instead of loosening it, we either round off the
head or strip the threads, then requiring us to drill out said bolt. Now, to avoid doing
that in the first place, only use tools that are in good condition. So stop using them as soon
as they get rounded off, particularly Allen or hex keys. Now, this is not at tool anymore, this is a blunt instrument. And then, when it comes
to the bolts themselves, always prep them as per the
manufacturer’s instructions. So that may be applying
grease to the threads, or, indeed, some kind of locking compound. Common contributing factor
to that previous point could very well be
over-tightening the bolt in the first place. And it is very easy to get
into the habit of that. You may well think, well, that’s the bolt that’s stopping my face
from hitting the tarmac, so I better make sure
it doesn’t come loose. But that is the wrong attitude. Over time, bolts can,
indeed, break entirely, or simply damage expensive other parts of your bike
that are next to it. So the simple solution is
to buy a torque wrench. Now, overtime you may end
up being able to judge exactly what five
newton-meters feels like. But the fact is, it’s
probably an awful lot less than you might think. Removing your pedals needn’t be a job that is fraught with danger. But yet, for some reason, I’m sure we’ve all got
a story about that time when we casually sliced open
our hands on our chainrings. The trick, simply to get round it, is to just to take a little bit more time over the procedure and don’t rush it. So, for example, you
start loosening the pedals in a position where you
wrench or your allen key is not then gonna put
your hand at any risk, either skinning your
knuckles on the ground or going anywhere near your chainring. And then, of course, also making sure that your chain is in your big chainring, or sort out any form of chainring danger. If you are using through axles, you can look away now. But for the rest of us
using quick releases, make sure that your wheel is in straight before you start trying to adjust your breaks or your gears. Ha, you think, that you’d
never made this mistake, but believe you, me,
it’s very easy to do it, especially if your bike’s in a work stand and your putting your
wheels in only to find that having then spent 15 minutes adjusting your gears and
fastening your breaks, they’ve actually, when you put
the bike back on the ground, the wheel is not in straight. Speaking of work stands,
as a general rule, lightweight bikes do
not like being clamped. In fact, there’s pretty
much only one place you can be almost sure that you’ll be okay clamping your bike in a work stand, and that is your seat post here. They are, by and large,
built to be clamped. But there are still
exceptions, unfortunately. Integrated seat posts
don’t like being clamped, and some arrow seat posts do
not like being clamped either. So, in those cases, you will
need a different work stand, one, generally, that will
clamp your front quick release, your forks, and, indeed, will then rest on your bottom bracket. Hold on a minute. Surely no one is gonna get this one wrong. Well, hang around a bike
event for long enough and you will definitely hear
that tell-tale gunshot sound as a tyre blows off the rim. You can only hope that
yours isn’t the head that’s right next to it. And it is, let’s face it, all too easy to fit a new tyre, pump
it up, only to find the bead isn’t seated quite
correctly in one part. And then as the pressure builds, it suddenly blows off the rim. So, to get round this, make a point of spending 10 seconds just checking that the bead of the tyre is seated correctly. Perhaps after you’ve got
maybe just 30 PSI in there, so that it will not blow
off the rim at that stage. It’s definitely 10 seconds well spent. Well, yes, and also no. Some stuff might not be broken as such, but without maintenance,
it might well be soon. So don’t assume that
you can leave anything on your bike and still expect it to work. Common areas for neglect are leaving your seat post in place and only then finding that
when you do need to move it, it has completely seized. Or, indeed, your chain, which will probably work brilliantly until the moment that it doesn’t. And then when you replace it, you realise that it’s also prematurely worn out your cassette
and also your chain rings. And then tripling the bill
at your local bike shop. Well, that is probably
the tip of the iceberg on how not to look after your bike. There are, undoubtedly, many, many more. I mean, we haven’t even got started on the fact that you
probably shouldn’t try any maintenance procedure
completely naked. But we’ll leave that for another day. In the meantime, do make sure that you have subscribed to GCN. To do that, it’s completely free, and every Monday without fail we will give you a maintenance video. So in that case, you’ll
be in the right place. For another simple maintenance video, why not click just up
there and you get through to five essential road
side maintenance skills you will need to know. And if it is a bit of
nakedness you’re after, you can always try watching
that one over there, which is what not to wear when cycling.

100 comments on “How To Not Maintain Your Bike – Road Bike Maintenance

  1. 4:50

    Yup, unfortunately that just happened to me not too long ago. Had to pay $120 for a new cassette, back wheel, and chain πŸ™

  2. If you don't happen to have the correct torque wrench, tightening bolts by holding the SHORT end of the allen key goes a long way to avoiding over torquing. 5Nm really isn't that much…

  3. After you spin the cranks to check that everything's working, be careful what you slow the back wheel down with. It turns out the grip compounds in the tyre can be more effective than the grip compounds in your hand. :/

  4. I've seen people rip off the presta valve on a tube when removing a frame pump from it. I've also seen people pull their rear wheel into a chain stay at the beginning of a race because their QR wasn't tight enough.

  5. Pro-tip: If you feel you have to use a 3/4lb "suggestion tool", someone, somewhere didn't do something correctly.
    Horrendous flash-backs to trying to remove a cross-threaded, over-tightened bottom bracket shudders

  6. i had a trire blow of my rim mid race, one i had to driver to for 3 hours and i was feeling pretty good that day. left pretty sad

  7. Can't wait to see the video on why not maintaining my bike completely naked. Until you advise otherwise it's my favorite way to do it….mouahahaha

  8. I would have thought this video would have shown me what mistakes I shouldn't make while fixing my bike such as don't try to loosen your rear derailleur cable if your chain is not in the small cog.. or stuff like that

  9. I really love GCN. I watch your videos every day. I enjoy your personalities and how the subject matter is presented….GOOD JOB!

    Sunday night, "60 Minutes" here in the States had a story on hidden motors that cyclists can put in their bike frame.


    Care to comment on this?

  10. I'm building a Giant TCR Advsnced SL1 disc from the ground up. It has an ISP. I have a Park Took work stand (PC-9), but it's a seat tube style clamp. Any recommendations on a new workstand so I don't damage my freshly built $8k bike?

  11. i think the title should be "how NOT to maintain your bike"

    i thought i was gonna get tips on how I won't have to do maintenance on my bike as often

  12. Never remove parts that you don't need to: the cassette can be cleaned well enough in place.

    I believe degreasing chains with solvent is unnecessary. Rags do a good enough job.

  13. I find the best way to remove pedals is with the bike on the ground. With the crank arm at 3:00 put your allen wrench on the inside and your inside foot on the pedal. It's also good to squeeze your rear brake. Pull up and the pedal comes off without any issues. Repeat for each side.

  14. One point you might make in the future — the hex wrenches or "Allen head" wrenches with the balls on the ends are meant to do torquing from an angle, not straight on, to utilize more surface working areas of the wrench. If you use the ball with the wrench straight the wrench is only biting from the raised middle edge of the ball … and more likely to strip the bolt. (Those balls are only for the bolts that you have to get to from an angle). If going after a tight bolt that you want to loosen, make sure your viewers use a straight cut allen wrench. You'll be less likely to encounter a mishap. (This is the voice of experience, [I'm an old mechanic]). :^P
    Stay well, guys. Great job with all your videos. I love watching.

  15. I sliced open a knuckle taking off a pedal from a bike I had just sold. I had to stand there in a hotel parking lot, counting out $1200 worth of $20 bills whilst bleeding on the ground. The person I sold the bike to was kind enough to drive me home, and I was scared I was going to bleed on his car's seats.

  16. How about a video on the best way to clean the brushes and other tools that we've used to clean the bike? Simple, but I've yet to see you cover it!

  17. Great video! Especially the clamping of light weight frames is a difficult issue as many bike racks and carriers also clamp the frame. How about a video on safe ways to transport your most precious carbon bike by car?

  18. Currently wondering if the warning against bike maintenance in the nude comes from a personal experience of one of the GCN presenters?

  19. Sound advice. I'm in Australia and watched iboy on netflx and Simon and the main character tom look very familiar

  20. As a cyclist who has recently flown over my handle bars due to a loose stem bolt causing the front wheel to turn 90 degrees, I disagree with not over tightening those bolts. How much is the bike or the repair worth? How much is your elbow, shoulder or head worth? When i'm hurtling down a hill at my top speed of 20mph (that i dare to do) I don't want to be distracted by potential life threatening mechanicals.

    Saying all that, I don't have a torque wrench so it could just be I needed to get one of those.

  21. An awfull error I did several times when starting to ride: letting the bike after wet or rainy rides.
    I recommend at least to dry chain, sprockets and chainrings not to see them turn bad, particularly if you got a steel cassette.

  22. How about: when bleeding hydraulic discs, make sure you open the bleed port at the correct lever for the calliper to which you have attached the syringe. Easy to get wrong if you're following an instructional video filmed in America!

  23. 1) Allen keys are designed to be ground down, carefully, so that they are hexagonal and sharp again. Don't know how? Ask a competent mechanic. 2) Buying a wall-full of Park Tool tools, when Park get many of their generic tools made by Taiwanese, US or European suppliers, which are good, but half the price when you buy them from your local competent tool shop. e.g. Bondhus Allen and Torx key sets, badge-engineered with Park Tool on them,

  24. I noticed that you turn the torque wrench from the very tip at the end. I never gave this step much thought. Does that make much difference in terms of torque accuracy?

  25. I've seen a video were gcn says, it is better to let your chain wear out and change everything together. and before that , they gave the advice to change at 0.7mm . they are flip flipping around like crazy

  26. my work stand has a large clamp,so should I just extend the seatpost before doing any work? I've been clamping the to tube 😳 (I do have an aluminum frame tho).

  27. Even with through axles you need to take care with alignment. I just bought a new road bike with a bolt through front axle and the very first time I put it back on the bike the disc brake rubbed. Loosened off and then re-tightened & that did the trick.

  28. #askgcn are you going to make a video how to look after your road bike with disc brakes ? Would love to know how to do as I'm just wiping bike down and adding wet lube I don't no how to take care of my disc braks

  29. Mate, you've shot a dozen videos on cleaning your bike, and then you film this with your pedals looking like that?

  30. I got a permanent nubby mark from my Chain rings. Rather than just getting a greasy mark I actually cut my leg on it. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    I wore really high socks until it healed πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  31. My seatpost is too low to be able to clamp in that position so I have no other option than to clamp it onto the frame. Is this really such a bad thing? Now I'm a little worried that I've been doing more harm than good when trying to take good care of my bike.

  32. i once rounded a bolt on microshift barend shifter, because i dont know it should turn to opposite direction

  33. learn how to use a torque wrench. hold it at the grip, not at the very end. you are defeating the purpose of it just by holding it wrong.

  34. Overtightening bolts is ridiculous. That's exactly what thread lock is for. A couple drops will do you.

  35. I once rammed my knuckles into the chainring when I used a chain tool and had to pull the chain because I didn't want to push the pin all the way out of the male end. It only made a small cut though. My next story happened a few years ago when I had no idea of bike maintenance and tried to inflate a tube myself for the first time. I blew up the dunlop valve. I just had to look for the parts that were splattered across the entire terrace and screw it all together again.

  36. get some kind of torquewrench. either the ones that only have one setting like 5NM or if you have the money a adjustable one. it really saved me a few times with a carbon handlebar and a very fragile looking stem. also my seatpost would have been cracked as well if i did it "with feel"

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