Maintenance Tips

  • bike noises driving you nuts?

Everybody has their own squeak, rub, or creak story. Here's a link to a website by Jim Langley. It's a great resource that gives you ideas on where to look for that bloody irritating sound.  Website

  • Disk Brake Noises?

This is an excellent video showing you how to diagnose and fix that annoying tick tick tick on your disk brakes. Link

  • Tires and Tubes

    Always carry at least one spare tube when riding - consider carrying two if riding alone.  You'll also need a repair kit including tire irons and patches. All the local bike shops have these inexpensive accessories.  You may want to carry a spare tire on multi day tours. It goes without saying that you'll need an inflation device. While CO2 inflators work well, they're one shot devices, so always carry a small pump. 

    • Considering moving to tubeless tires? Check this Video out first.
    • THE BEST video on installing tires we've found. Video  New
    • Good video on replacing tires and tubes from Park Tool Company. Video
    • Low key tube replacement instructions from GCN. Video
    • Tires difficult to mount on rim? See this GCN video. Video
    • How to change a tube --- Fast! GCN again. Video
    • If all else fails and you don't have a spare tube -- GCN to the rescue. Video
  • How To Wash Your Bike - The quick answer is often!

    Washing your prized possession frequently is the best way to keep it in prime running condition. A dirty chain and cassette cause premature wear on these parts, which can be costly to replace. Clean often and ride smoother to ensure a longer life for all your bikes components. 

    • Why you need to clean your chain, and how to know when your chain and or cassette/chainrings need replacing. This video from OZ Cycle explains everything. Video
    • Park Tool Company - When to replace your chain. Video 
    • Park Tool Company and Calvin Jones. Video
    • The GCN 5 minute wash. (My favourite) Video
    • If you have more time, the GCN 30 minute wash. Video
    • If you don't like videos, MEC has some answers for you. Website
    • Use WD-40 as a cleaner / lubricant? Video
  • Indexing Your Gears - Not For The Faint Of Heart

    If you're not comfortable with messing around with your shifting, by all means take it to one of our local bike shops. A simple indexing only takes minutes. MEC and Bushtukah frequently offer free bike maintenance workshops where you can get professional instruction on how to index. If you continue to experience bad shifting performance, check your chain length. A "stretched" chain often shows up in poor shifting. 

    • New Shimano Front derailleurs (FD-5801, FD-R7000, FD-8000, FD-R9100) - totally different procedure. Video
    • Front derailleur from Park Tool Company. Video
    • Rear derailleur from Park Tool Company (This is by far the best method). Video
    • Indexing from British Cycling. Video
    • Indexing from BikeRadar. Video
    • GCN guide for rear derailleur. Video
    • Checking & replacing chain from GCN. Video
  • Wrapping Your Handlebars

    Having a good wrap on your bars not only looks good, but can feel good too. The extra padding and grip of a fresh wrap is well worth the effort. Regardless of colour or type, there is really only one wrapping video to watch. 

    • Calvin Jones from Park Tool Company. Video
    • Calvin highlighting wrapping around the levers. Video
  • Check your chain - replace if worn out

This is one of the simplest maintenance techniques every rider can perform, regardless of ability. Test your chain for "stretch" frequently. The rule of thumb for 11 and 12 speed chains is replace at .5%. 10 speed and less can be replaced at .75%. Chain checkers are cheap at any local bike shop.

Riding with a chain that has stretched too far results in poor shifting and gradually wears away the teeth on your chainrings and cassette ... which are more expensive to replace. If your chain is worn out, get your chain replaced as soon as you can.

If you take your bike into a local shop for regular service, ask them to check your chain. As simple a test as this is, most bike shops won't check unless asked, I say this from experience. If you're wondering how a steel chain can "stretch" and what it does to your drivetrain, watch this quick video.