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Don’t be lazy and neglect items that need to be replaced. We want to be ready for next year and that means having your bike prepped. Nobody wants a maintenance issue training, or during a race obviously. I just had a cleat fail on our last recruitment ride and was reminded about scheduled maintenance.

Each season at a minimum you should be replacing the chain, cassette, cables and housings and bar tape.
Of course distance, riding style, weather, and regular cleaning will change your personal schedule.

Here’s my experience with maintenance basics over the last 5 years:

Every 4,000 miles
Chain
Cables & Housings
Power meter battery
Every 8,000 or each season
+ Cassette, Bar Tape, cleats

Every 2 years
+ Chain rings & re-grease

What do you you guys do? Any thoughts or questions?

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3 Comments

  1. Whiskers

    Great post Jeff. I probably need to redo my cables and housing soon.

    The night before each ride I check brakes, shifting, listen for creaks, inspect tires and check my Di2 battery and wipe my bike down.

    Every 2-3 weeks I wash the bike down completely, degrease and oil the chain and cassette.

    For my 4000 mile check I take off the cranks and bottom bracket and clean it out, decrease and put it back together. I have the wheels checked for true.

    Once a year the BB bearings have to be serviced by a tech.

  2. Whiskers

    Wash your bike thoroughly and check the frame for cracks, especially at the BB area and the downtube / headtube junction.

    Grab the front brake and rock the bike to check for headset looseness. Ask Omir about that!
    Give the wheels a very close look where the spoke nipples enter the rim. I have had many wheels fail at that point over the years. With the newer high-tension wheels, the problem is more pronounced. I have had wheels with cracks forming around multiple spokes.

    Seems like a small thing, but check bolts at your seat, seatpost, stem, bars, and don’t forget where your levers are tightened to the bars! All of these should be tight, but have enough “give” that things move if you crash.
    Also, if you ride rough roads (Snelling, Copperopolis) pull the fork out and inspect the steerer tube carefully. Or, bring Rex a six-pack and have him do it.

    — Reese Gary

  3. Rex

    Shifter cables and housing every year. Brake cables last forever and will not break like the shifter cables (because they have very tight bends inside the shifter).

    Check wheels for cracks. Squeeze each spoke checking for equal tension.

    Replace chain based on wear gauge reading (the cheap one from Park tools), but 4000 miles will typically be the time.

    New plastic cleats (Look or Shimano style) when wear is obvious. They are cheap and are the only most important item attaching you to the bike.

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