Off season maintenance?
So 2013 was my first year, and I'm a bit ashamed to admit that my riding ability progressed far quicker than my understanding of bike components and maintenance.
I rode my bike a ton, but I didn't do any maintenance on it other than diligent drivetrain cleaning and lubing. So now while it's the offseason, I want to get it ready for this new season.
So my question is, what are some must-do things as far as general bike maintenance and getting it ready for a new season of riding? I'm already planning on getting the fork serviced. What about the rear shock(Fox Float CTD), is that something that needs to be serviced as well? I'm curious about bearings and what may or may not need to be lubed. For example, hubs, bottom bracket, headset? Can someone give me an idea as to what the maintenance on them should be. I know my BB is relatively dirty. Do you normally take them apart to clean and lubricate?
I'm sorry for coming off as a complete idiot. I was ignorant to this my first year and that's not a trend I want to continue.
Thanks in advance for any help
Re: Off season maintenance?
Rear shocks follow much the same service guidelines as front shocks. As far as servicing them goes, a good guideline is when you start seeing black rings of oily gunk on the stanchions.
Bearings, assuming they're sealed, probably only need to be serviced once a riding season. If they are loose bearings or unsealed, re-grease when they are exposed to water.
There are plenty of guides out there on the proper way to service sealed bearings, if you are interested.
Other than that, adjust your derailleurs, check pre-loads, and other bolts for proper torque. That's about it.
Last edited by wschruba; 02-05-2014 at 08:53 PM.
I guess it depends how crazy you're about it. After a full season Id probably do a full strip however id be more inclined to do this closer to the season start.
Clean and re-grease everything, replace any bearings/bushing that need to be done.
Suspension give it a service. Replace cables just because and cheap and bleed brakes.Then the obvious basic service adjusting everything. Id do it a few weeks before the new season though, give everything a few weeks to settle in again before you start racing.
+1 above torque everything correctly and do a good inspection for any part and frame damage.
I guess it does depends how long the season was and how often and harder you were riding.
Cables and Housing man...........mandatory once a season change at least for crisp clean shifting.
Obviously there are a number of variables in play here, but everyone's advice is in order. My 'season' of riding might be different than yours. I ride about 4,500 miles a year on one bike so, I tend to be pretty heavy on preventative maintenance. Aside from the chain and normal lubrication items after a wash, wheels and bottom bracket bearings along with the freehub get the most attention. Confirming proper torques on a mountain bike should be an ongoing item.
All great suggestions, I don't advocate pulling apart sealed bearings though. they are sealed for a reason, and if they have that gritty feeling to them they can be relatively cheep to replace.
I will usually pull the crank off to get a good clean of the BB and area around there really good, and inspect for cracks at all the welds or junctions of the suspension. Check all your torques on all pivots, anchors, clamps ect.
Definitely have the fork and shock serviced, and if you are knew just send them in to a suspension specialist they may find problems that crept up on the parts over time and you didn't really notice it until you get it back and it feels like a completely different fork. I always service my fork though the year but at least every two years I send it back to the manufacturer to have it checked out.
check the brake pads see if they need to be replaced or if they will need to be replaced soon. then you can pick them up at the beginning of the season so when you get out in the wet spring and you do wear them out you will have a fresh set waiting for you at home and you have already taken them out and put them back together so it's easier when you go to do it during the season.
And another vote for changing cables and housing for superior shifting.
Doing all this at in the off season allows you to take you time and really get to know your bike and learn how to do some of the work without worrying about missing out on a great day of single track riding.
I unquestionably agree with jrastories statement that working on your own bike gives you the opportunity to get to know your bike. I suggest this for almost everyone. However, I donít fully agree with his statement regarding sealed bearings. Yes, they are sealed, but usually with an easily removable elastomeric or silicone seal. Yes, the seal is there for a reason. Itís not sealed necessarily to prevent maintenance, itís sealed to protect the bearings from grit and such and to facilitate keeping the lubricant where itís intended to be.
Originally Posted by jrastories
Done carefully and with consideration, maintaining sealed bearings (or non-sealed) can and will extend the life of the bearing. Not all sealed bearings are cheap. For me, dropping $40 to $70 on a set of bearings than can be easily and effectively maintained isnít in my budget.
Just before my riding season starts, I always do a full tear down and inspection on my bike. I replace cables/housing, bleed brakes, replace brake pads, service suspension, and replace any necessary parts (particularly drivetrain parts) that are worn. I also check all bearings and replace any that have roughness to them. Everything gets cleaned and fresh grease.
I'm also a bit meticulous with maintenance during the riding season and clean my bike after every couple of rides...or every ride if it's muddy out, because I keep my bike in my apartment and would rather not scatter mud all over my floors. Every few weeks during the riding season I give my bike a once over to check chain for wear, check cables and tires, etc...
Tear it down to a bare frame and put everything back together. I'd replace all of the consumable as well; chain, cables, housing, grips, bb30 bearings. Full suspension service is a must. Rebuild all bearings as well. It's definitely a big repair bill but it really helps minimize your in season down time.
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