Used Bike - Baseline Maintenance
I just got my first mountain bike. A 2011 Trek Paragon.
I know zilch about mountain bike maintenance...
It was sold to me on ebay as a nearly new ride that only had a dozen or so outings. The frame is perfect, but the chain was a total mess, the brakes felt spongy and the pads rubbed. So the first thing I did was clean/lube the chain, bled the brakes and installed new pads for good measure. No more rubbing, the pads grab the discs symmetrically, and the brake levers are rock solid.
i went on a short ride this afternoon and it shifted accurately, and felt great (in my completely limited opinion, it was smooth and it stopped well at least.)
when I got home I rinsed the mud off the tires, wiped the gears off, and checked the torque on all the bolts...
But I noticed some play in the headset... I didn't hear any rattles on the ride but if I hold the saddle in one hand and the stem in the other and jerk apart I can feel a little play. I doubt this is normal/correct. But I'm not sure how to resolve it.
are there any other things I should be looking at. This is my first bike with a shock, and I have no clue how to assess the fork.
Should I lubricate or grease anything?
Thanks for your insight.
The best way to check headset is to hold front brake and rock front/back. If you feel or hear movement it's too loose. If it doesn't spin freely or have a tight spot it's too tight. I could try and explain it but it'd be much better to watch a vid to see how to adjust. Park tools and youtube has a bunch.
I wouldn't put a hose to the bike too often and usually wait till the next ride when it's nice and dry and use a soft paint brush or something to brush off the sanctions and maybe more.
Zinn & the art of mtbing is a popular book with lotsa good info, and of coarse there's always someone here willing to tell you what they think.
I usually lube my chain and maybe some other pivot point every few rides, and go over the bike for fine tuning and lube everything a few times a year, or when something breaks. It's a good idea to keep wear on the chain to a minimum if you want the rest of the drivetrain to last.
Dialing in the fork to your weight/sag and riding style is a good idea, as well as getting a bike fit or doing one yourself with online info.
I'm pretty sure that's an open oil bath fork so changing the oil once a year or so is in order. Have also changed the dampening by changing weight thinner/less, heavier/more, but wouldn't go to far from what's recommended.
Don't buy any fancy bike lube, it's a waste. The advantages of synthetic oil/lube are just not realized on a bike, but it's much kinder to any rubber or plastic bits so that's not a bad idea.
I could go on.......I'll leave you with nice bike, good luck
Last edited by theMeat; 06-04-2013 at 10:22 PM.
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