12 Common Bike Maintenance Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

12 Common Bike Maintenance Mistakes And How To Avoid Them


– Whilst maintaining your mountain bike is actually fairly straightforward, it could be really easy
to get a few things wrong. Especially if you rush something, if you don’t quite know what you’re doing, or if you just take a chance on something and don’t do your research. So here are some classic
mountain bike workshop mistakes and what you need to do to avoid them. (metal crunching) Working in inappropriate footwear. OK, we’ve all done this and really, it doesn’t need spelling out to show you just how bad this can be. If you’re in a workshop
and you’re in bare feet, flip flops, even just in your socks, you’re asking for trouble really. Bikes have heavy components on them, they’ve got heavy tools
that you start using, things like hammers. All it’s gonna take is
to accidentally slip and you’re gonna be in a realm of pain. (intense music) (painful howl) Fiddling with your bike
naturally means that from time to time, you’re
gonna drop a few things. That could be the Allen key
set you’re working with, it could be a few annoying washers, or it could be something
heavy like a hammer. And I can tell you firsthand, dropping a hammer on the top of your foot is one of the most painful
things you’ll ever do. It’s right up there with
treading barefooted on Lego or even worse, on a plug,
in the middle of the night when you’re on your way to the loo. And I can tell you, it is exactly 13 times more painful than falling off your bike. But on a more serious note,
you are working with bikes, you’re working with tools,
there are sharp things floating around in the
workshop so do take care. White t-shirts and light clothing. Bikes are dirty. Drive trains, they’re even more dirty. Now despite what those
52 home boys are doing, and what all the cool kids are doing, white t-shirts are a terrible
idea for mountain bikers, especially in the workshop. (whistling) – [Man] You’re so dirty, look at you. – What? What are you talking about? (angry growl) – [Man] You state. Now wearing dark clothes
obviously is a much better idea. When you do get dirty at
least you can’t see it and it means it’s easier to wash out, but a better idea is actually just to get yourself a workshop apron. Make a lot of sense, you can stick your tools in ’em, you’re done. Gimme that. (sighs) Blunt cable cutters. Now this is a classic workshop error. I see this a lot with people
that skimp on cable cutters and get themselves a nice value set that never really cut through the cable, and I see these people hacking at cables trying to get through. But, what you need is a
quality set of cable cutters. These will cut through your cable precisely every single time. You won’t get any of those frayed cables which cut the ends of your fingers, which is excruciatingly painful. One note though; get yourself
a pair of cable cutters, buy once, do it right,
and they will last you. But make sure you do not use them for anything except
cutting through cables. Now I’ve got a really, really old set, you can see how old and
faded they are by comparison to these brand new workshop spare ones. These ones are now retired
from use as cable cutters and I use these as generic
cutters for cutting cable ties, cutting through spokes,
anything like that. And I’ve marked them up with
some silver tape so I know that these are no good
for using on the bike. I’d definitely recommend doing the same if you’ve got a knackered pair, cause you can still get use out of them, just don’t go hacking at your cables. Get yourself a nice fresh, sharp pair, and only use them for that. Rounding off bolt heads. Now possibly one of the quickest ways to round off a bolt head is getting imperial and metric Allen keys confused. Now thankfully, in a mountain bike world and the same in a road
world you don’t really see a mix of imperial and metric these days, really you do see some
of that in the bmx world and of course you’ll see
it from other sports, so if you’ve got a tool
kit that has varying Allen keys in it make sure
you keep them separate because it can be really
easy to find one that looks like a five, or looks like a four, jam it in the bolt and round the head off. That is not good. Just need to sort this jockey wheel bolt, ah, three mil.
(snaps) Thank you. Here we go. (gasps) Oh, shiiiii– Mono and shroud rear derailleurs
both have tiny little counter-sunk bolts that hold
the jockey wheels in place. Now, these are super easy to round off, so make sure that A,
the bolt is in vaguely good condition before
you even start using it, B, make sure that your Allen
key is in fine condition, it’s got a nice sharp
chiseled edges on it. Don’t go using an old one
that’s slightly rounded, your asking for trouble, and it’s gonna be a big pain in the ass. And ultimately this is
why we tell people to buy quality tools, because
they last a lot longer. Remember the motto, only a
rich man buys cheap tools. Slipping sockets. Now, the top cap on most suspension forks, you will need to access
this in order to put air-volume spaces in. Now, you’d think a normal
socket is the ideal thing for this, but most
typical sockets you’ll get in tool kits will have slightly shaved edges like this one
here, that’s to aid them to get them to slide
onto a bolthead nicely, but in the case of a real
shallow-headed bolthead like you see on atop of suspension-fork, this is a really, really bad idea. They’re made of soft
aluminum and it does mean that you’d actually round
those edges off really fast, so don’t use one that’s
got edges like this. What you really wanna be
doing is either get yourself one that’s already got
a flat surface to it, get an old socket and grind it down, or get yourself a purpose
built one like this one, for example from Fox,
designed for the fork and you can get purpose made
spanners exactly for the job. And if something like
this is the sort of tool that you’re not gonna use that often, chip in with your mates
and get a set between you of those less commonly used tools. Well worth it. Using the wrong tool for the job. Now, I think we all know
where I stand on this, I think that you should have
the correct tools for any job, it doesn’t always happen
like that and it does mean that a lot of the time
you see people budging. Yeah, you, I’ve seen you doin it. I’ve done it from time
to time, I’ve got to say, it is quite useful to be
able to budge here and there. What I’m talking about is
if you do find yourself in a situation where you
round off the head of a bolt. Say it’s a four millimeter
one on the front of a stem, you can actually sometimes
get a T25 Torx Key into that it will find some traction. So, sometimes it can be useful
to get you out of danger. And likewise, if your
at the side of the trail and say the eight mil bolt
on your crank has come loose, you can wedge a six and a two in there and it will just about
nip it up tight enough, certainly, to hopefully
get you to the next spot or until you find another
rider that will have an eight millimeter and
we’ll we’ve all done it, we’ve all hit a headset with
a block of wood and a mallet, but that’s for another
video on GMBN Tech soon. Keep an eye out for that one. Being Hamfisted. We’ve all seen this one,
there is no excuse for it. Being hamfisted around a bike
isn’t gonna get you anywhere. If anything, it’s just
gonna cost you money. Working on bikes isn’t hard as
long as you follow procedure, it’s pretty logical to be
honest so just take your time. If there’s a job that frustrating
you, walk away from it. Get a bit of fresh air. Never work on a bike when
your in a bit of a mood, your stress level’s pretty high, it’s never gonna work out that well. All you’re gonna end up
doin is snapping a bolt, rounding a bolt off or
doing something you’re really gonna regret, especially
in the wallet department. (snap) (bleep) Misplacing Tools. The main answer to misplaced
tools are lending them out. Do not ever lend your tools to anyone, cause you won’t see them again. Every tool needs to have a home. You don’t have to have a workshop quite as well organized as this place, or even as retentative as my own workshop which is pretty retentative to be fair, but it is important that you do have somewhere to store your tools. You do that and your
gonna be able to avoid the rare phenomenon
known as workshop rage. This happens when your
working on your bike, your just about to go out riding and there’s one crucial
tool missing that you need. It’s always something like
a five millimeter Allen key, the most common thing
there is, where is it? Oh, yeah, you lent it
to a mate, didn’t you? Cool and the last thing
I need is just a mallet. Seriously? It’s got one place. I bet those guys next door
at GCN, I bet they’ve got it. Ugh, there it is. What do these flippin
roadies need it for anyways? Probably can’t even pick the thing up. Misplacing Small Parts. We’ve all done this before when
we’ve been working on bikes. We’ve dropped stuff and
it’s flown under the fridge or wherever it’s gone,
it can be so annoying and it can be right in front
of your eyes half the time. You waste time trying to find this stuff. It will always happen
either the night before, when you’re preparing to go for a ride, you need to get a early
night’s sleep in order to get up and ride all day
or just before you go riding. In which case, you’re
wasting valuable riding time. Having some sort of magnetic parts tray, that’s a great idea cause
you can, just for example, lock on grip, bolts, stuff like that, you can pop them straight in there, they’re gonna stick in there,
they’re not gonna go anywhere, you’re not gonna lose them. You can even drop these things, and they’re so magnetic the
stuff doesn’t really fall out. If you work with a few more parts, it’s worth having a rubber
mat on top of your workbench. They have little compartments
on the top of them and they’re really, really
good for just making sure your parts don’t go missing. Forgetting the order in which you need to reassemble parts of your bike. Now this is an absolute classic and it does directly
go on from losing parts or misplacing parts. Whenever you’re working
on parts of your bike that have multiple
components and parts to them, always lay them out on your workbench. It’s a good idea to put
them on a rubber mat or some shop towels so they
can’t roll off and go anywhere and put them in the
reverse order so you know when you have to put
it back together again, the order in which they
go back on the bike and also you can’t have any
parts left over afterwards. I’ve seen some people trying
to reassemble headsets and forks and all sorts
of stuff in the past where they have just
chucked the stuff down on their work surface, they’re always left with
something afterwords. You never want to be in that position because you might get it together okay, but you’ll be left with
something that’s actually quite crucial to the way your bike works. Overtightening Spokes. Now, this is another
classic so you’ve got the loose spokes or your back
wheel is a little bit buckled from that downhill run you’ve just done, so you start attacking
it with the spoke key. The idea is if you do have a loose spoke, you just want to nip it up tight and then start working
on it quarter turns, maximum half turns at a time. If you just start cranking
away on it until it gets tight, A, you’re gonna ruin your wheel. That’s a good way to make
your wheel egg shaped instead of round. And of course, if they’re that tight and you’re struggling
to tighten them, stop. You need to relieve some of that pressure elsewhere on the wheel, if
you just keep tightening them you’re gonna round off that
nipple and then the only way to get it out is
by cutting spokes out. And of course if you’re not
thinking straight you’re gonna use your nice
cable cutters to do that. Which is why I always tell you
to never overtighten spokes and always keep a set of
old cable cutters handy in case you do overtighten your spokes and you need to cut one. Overspraying Lubricant. This is something a lot
of people are guilty of. When your lubing your chain
you need to be really careful not to get any lubricant
near your braking surfaces. If you do, you’re almost
certainly gonna need to replace the brake pads and more
than likely the disk rotors as well, which can
obviously work out to be quite pricey and a massive pain. Now, spray lube is really
quite cost effective and it’s good for using on
multiple areas of the bike, but we try to recommend people
to avoid using it around the chain because of the
fact the mist can go all over your disk rotors, so really
try and avoid that if you can. The best solution for
just using on your chain is a dedicated chain oil droppers. You can literally drop it
drop by drop onto each link. It’s much more cost effective cause you’re not wasting
any by spraying it and of course it’s not gonna
go near your braking surfaces. So we got us some classic
workshop mistakes for everyone to avoid including myself, I’m guilty of these from time to time. For some more mistakes that you do when you’re traveling on
your bike, click down there. And for something a bit more useful, check out the brand new
Canyon Strive, up here. As always, if you love what
we do here at GMBN Tech give us a huge thumbs up
and don’t forget to share and subscribe.