5 Road Bike Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid

5 Road Bike Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid


– It’s maintenance Monday, and here are five maintenance mistakes that you should avoid. (deep percussive air whooshing) You see, riding a bike is great fun and it brings loads of
satisfaction, loads of enjoyment, and a whole heap more superlatives. But, along with cycling comes maintenance, and many of us have definitely made a few mistakes over the years. Here are some that you need to avoid. (low tempo music) Torque settings have never
been as critical as now. Too little and it’s dangerous. Too much and it’s also dangerous. Many parts have a torque rating that you need to take great care of, as over time it can lead to either failure through crushing of the component or possibly generating a hairline crack, which will also fail over time. And, on the opposite end of the scale, if something’s too loose, it
could equally be as dangerous, as something could just
fall from your bike as it rattles loose
and works it’s way off. (upbeat music) Cross-threading bolts is something that many people have fallen victim to. Because it could seem normal that when you start
trying to tighten a bolt, that it’s going to be
that little bit difficult to get it going. But, if it does continue
to be difficult to turn, then you should stop immediately. It could be, firstly, that
you’re cross-threading the bolt, or the bolt has a poor starting thread and may need a little bit of cleanup. Or, maybe the female thread
is already stripped out. It’s always worth inspecting all of these before you even start trying
to attach two items together. Another thing, which may
sometimes make you think you are cross-threading a bolt is nylon inserts on
nuts or female threads. I mean, it’s quite rare
that you’re going to confuse that with cross-threading. What’s more likely is also
that it’s thread locker, you know, like the blue Loctite
stuff that you put on a bolt to stop it working loose. That can kind of give the impression of a really tight, stripped thread as you’re starting to tighten it up, because it’s actually just
cutting into that compound, which is going to help hold it in place. (upbeat electronic music) Rounding off of bolts. This is something that often happens, and for a few reasons: too
much torque, poor tools, poor bolts, lack of grease,
and generally the wrong tools. When initially fitting your bolts, you should ensure that
you use the correct method and adhere to the
correct ways of doing it. This will help make the
removal of those bolts just that little bit easier. But, if you do have a bolt that is, for whatever
reason, stuck in place, then first thing you should try and do is spray something like
a WD-40 penetrating fluid in there to try and break up that seal, and then use a decent tool. Don’t simply chance it
by using cheap tools. They won’t be manufactured
to such fine tolerances, and the chances are the metals will be that little bit softer, meaning you’re more likely
to round off a bolt, or, just as bad, is the tool you’re using. If you are using a torque wrench, it’s very unlikely that you’re
going to round off a bolt, and that’s because you’ll be applying the correct torque to
it in the first place. And if there are bolts on your bike that you’re planning on removing
and refitting frequently, then I would probably
aim to switch them out for something that’s a
little bit harder wearing, something like stainless
steel instead of aluminum, as they do tend to be a
little bit more hard wearing from my personal experience. (upbeat electronic music) One big maintenance mistake
that you should avoid is ignoring problems that already exist. For example, that tire
that is full of cuts, or that inner tube that’s
got that slow puncture. How about the loose headset? It’s only going to get worse. The squeaky chain, the skipping gears. Does any of that sound familiar to you? Well, all of these problems are
not going to fix themselves. So when you have a problem, you should aim to get it
sorted as soon as possible, because failing to do
so will more than likely give you more issues,
literally, down the road. The skipping gears could quite easily skip at the moment you’re
just out of the saddle and land you awkwardly on
the top tube or the stem, and that’s not going
to be very nice, is it? Punctures, say no more. It’s going to leave you sat
on the side of the road, cursing the fact that you should have patched it up long ago. (intense electronic music) Maybe you have adhered to the advice about using the correct
torque, not cross-threading and not ignoring problems. But what then, if the parts
were fitted incorrectly in the first place? I once remember looking at someone’s bike who had not fitted the cassette sprockets in their intended order. Switching around the 13 and the 14 tooth. So, 15, 13, 14. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Then, there was also a front
plate of a four bolt stem that I saw where the
user had fully tightened the upper bolts up and the metal plates were touching each other, whilst the lower threads
were barely even clinging on. That’s just a recipe for disaster and your bars falling out of the stem. What do we recommend doing? Following manufacturer’s
guidelines at all times. Making sure that your bike
is up to operating standards as it was intended to leave the factory. This will keep you safe on the road, regularly checking your bike, meaning you won’t be
spending too much time sat along side the road with any problems. Do let us know what maintenance mistakes you’ve been guilty of making down in the comments below. If you enjoyed this
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