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Bicycling Magazine January/February 2011


  • Spokes and valve stem
    • TEST Check for loose spokes and valves stems. Otherwise, spokes may be rubbing the nipples.
    • FIX True your wheel. Grease the nipples and spots where spokes cross. Matte-black spokes are apt to creak. If the valve stem witgles, wrap it with electrical tape.
  • Wheel skewers
    • TEST Open, then retighten both skewers
    • FIX Lightly grease the frame dropouts and tighten your quick-release. And not just to kill the noise: A wheel could pop out while you're riding.
  • Pedal bearing and cleats
    • TEST Ride with another set of pedals.
    • FIX Grease your cleat. If the noise persists, retighten the pedals. If the sound is more of a pop, try cleaning and replacing worn bearings.
  • Seatpost and saddle rails
    • TEST Pedal out of the saddle to see if the noise stops.
    • FIX Grease your rails and post. Use carbon paste instead of standard grease for carbon-fiber parts.
  • Bottom bracket
    • TEST Listen for a creak from below while riding. If chainring bolts aren't tight, they will click.
    • FIX Remove your cranks and feel the bearings. If they turn smothly, remove the bottom bracket to clean snd regrease the threads. If the frame's bottom-bracket opening edge is rough, take the bike to your shop.
  • Handlebar and stem
    • TEST Lube all the bolts and contact surfaces.
    • FIX Clean, then grease contact surfaces and the steerer tube (use carbon assembly paste for carbon parts).
  • Hubs
    • TEST Wiggle your wheels to feel for side-to-side play. Hold the hubs and spin the wheels to ensure the bearings roll smothly. If you suspect the rear wheel is the culprit, also check that the cassette is tight and the freehub bearings are in good shape.
    • FIX Most hub bearings aren't easily tightened or cleaned. Take the wheel to your shop.
  • Headset
    • TEST To identify continuous clicking, ride with no hands. To check for occasional creaking, stand over your top tube and keep the front wheel planted. Then grab the drops and pull up on one whle pushing down on the other.
    • FIX Clean and grease the bearings. If the head-tube surface is uneven, take the bike to your shop. For clicking, grease the cable-houseing mount.

12 Simple But Vital Repairs You Can Master

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repair03_0b.jpgrepair03_0c.jpgA pro-team mechanic showed us a cheap and easy quick-clean method we love: Soak the center of a sponge with dish soap [or a commercial degreaser or cleanser]. With one hand, wrap the sponge around the chain, under the chainstay, then with the other hand backpedal 10 revolutions. Rinse the spong, squeeze out excess water, reload the cleaner and repeat. Continue until the sponge no longer gets dirty. Dry the chain by letting it sit for 10 minutes or by backpedaling through a clean rag. Apply one drop of lube to each of the chain's pins, then backpedal 10 revolutions. allow five minutes for the lube to penetrate, then wipe the chain with a clean rag by backpedaling. [Any lube removed this way is excess that doesn't help the links move, and attracts grime.]
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Bonus Quick-Fix Guide

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