Posted by: Ian | April 28, 2011

Bike maintenance

Following my accident, my bashed front wheel has been sitting in my LBS for a couple of months while they await delivery of a standard Mavic rim that I could have picked up myself in two days. That’s the problem with local bike shops: they’re rubbish at sourcing anything that they don’t carry.

Now that I’m fully bike fit being down a wheel is getting irritating. At the same time my Mavic OpenPro rear wheel with inbuilt CycleOps PowerTap hub has re-developed a fault that the same LBS has already fixed twice and is also currently out of action. Naturally, I’ve been thinking of buying a new pair of hoops. In fact I ordered a set a few days ago – more about that another day. In preparation for getting them I’ve swapped my wheels and cassettes around and done some routine maintenance. Here’s exactly what, in case you have the quirk that makes this stuff interesting for you. I’ve put tool names in bold and product names in italics. It’s a real luxury to have all of these conveniently to hand in my bike room, which Paula had done out for me as my birthday present this year.

1. I took the Mavic Elite rear wheel off my Felt and removed the (Dura Ace) cassette. I use a Park Tools chain whip and a Lifeline cassette lock ring removal tool. Sometimes I clamp the removal tool in my vice for convenience.
2. I cleaned off the oil from the sprockets using Finish Line Citrus Degreaser in aerosol form, washing off the degreaser in a bucket of water afterwards. Then I set the cassette parts aside, pending delivery of my new wheels.
3. My PowerTap wheel (see above) has been on my Astraeus for a while. I took it off and removed the (Ultegra) cassette, which was harder as it had started to bite into the freehub body due to a fault (also see above). I cleaned it, as before, and then fitted it onto the Elite wheel.
4. I removed the chain from the Astraeus using chain link pliers then cleaned it using the same degreaser.
5. While the chain was off I did my best to clean the jockey wheels, first scraping the crud off with a screwdriver then using sprays and wipes. After doing this, I found that the lower wheel spun freely but the upper one had resistance. I’d be grateful if anyone knows why.
6. Putting the Astraeus on the workstand, I cleaned all the inaccessible parts (it was generally clean already) using Muc-off spray and Dirty Work wipes and sprayed all the pivot points and cables exits with GT 85. Then I put the wheels  on (Elite front and back) and re-strung the chain. Finally, I applied Finish Line Dry Teflon lube (Summer’s here!) to each link on the chain. The Astraeus was now done.
7. Next, I put the Felt, sans wheels, on the workstand. I degreased the chain and cleaned the jockey wheels with the chain in situ since there is no power link on its Dura Ace chain. Sometimes I use a chain cleaner but I was out of pouring degreaser and the spray is just as easy. Again, I found that the lower jockey wheel span freely while the upper one did not.
8. I replaced the brake pads with new green swissstops. The grub screws sometimes come right out with the right hex key. When they’re stiff I sometimes use pliers. One of the screws this time was exceptionally well embedded so I gripped the head in my vice and unscrewed the pad around it. Since I had a mallet to hand, I used it on all four new pads to tap them into place.
9. I lubed and cleaned the rest of the Felt and finished it off with some Muc-off Bike Spray. It’s now glistening, wheel-less, in the stand.
10. I cleaned my hands with Fast Orange.

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