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Tips and Tricks

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,672
5,380
Sleazattle
Thought folks could post their little tips and tricks for working on bikes they have learned over time.

Here are a few of mine

-Put the bike in the big ring when wrenching so if you bump the chainring you don't tear yourself up.

-Those marinating syringes that can be found at the grocery store are great for measuring and filling forks with oil during rebuilds.

-Superglue can be used to fix small punctures in tubeless tires that sealant might not be able to seal without taking the tire off. Find the hole an pinch the tire so it opens up the puncture, clean it off the best you can and put a drop of SG in the hole. Give it a few seconds to dry and filler up.

-Trying to get tubeless or NoTubes tires to seat on the rim can sometimes be a bitch. Pinch the sidewalls and get the bead to rest on the larger diameter of the rim before inflating. Go all around the tire and do both sides. While inflating smack the tire to get the bead to seat.
 

Quo Fan

don't make me kick your ass
To get some tires to seat with Stans, I stretch a tube around the outside of the tire. This pushes the bead to the rim and forms a seal so the air can inflate the tire.

I grease each and every screw, bolt and nut I put on any of my bikes.

When bleeding hydraulic brakes, I wear rubber gloves. Protects my hands way better than my mechanics gloves and my mechanics gloves don't get soaked in hydraulic fluid.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,672
5,380
Sleazattle
Using moisturizer on your hands before you work on something greasy will make it easier to wash them later. Dry skin will absorb grime better.
 

giantrider89

Monkey
Oct 16, 2006
423
0
P-town, MN
Don't throw away a couple old spokes, sharpen one end with a grinding wheel or something and you've got yourself a poker! Sounds stupid, but it actually turns out to be really useful...especially for opening up the ends of cable housings after cutting....
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
Also you can make a spoke nipple holder/starter for building single eyleted rims. Thread a short nipple all the way onto a spoke so the threads poke out far enough to engage another nipple from the top. Cut the spoke down to a managable size, and bend it however you want. No more nipples dropped into the rim's inner cavity!
 

loco-gringo

Crusading Clamp Monkey
Sep 27, 2006
8,884
6
Deep in the heart of TEXAS
I powdered the inside of the rim ever so slightly when installing Stan's strips on some Rolf Satellites today. Not enough to let things really move, but just enough to let them move a little. I don't know if this is recommended, but it made things super simple. I used a light rubbing of citrus spray to lube the bead. It went flawlessly. These strips are way better than the originals, IMO.
 

Dirtbike

Monkey
Mar 21, 2005
594
2
eastbay


Bend a spoke into this shape, making a loop in the middle for a handle. You can use it to hold a chain under tension while you grab the chain tool off your workbench, or grab the powerlinks.

The image is just a little bit bigger than life size.
 

Dh_Addict44

Chimp
Feb 15, 2005
29
0


Bend a spoke into this shape, making a loop in the middle for a handle. You can use it to hold a chain under tension while you grab the chain tool off your workbench, or grab the powerlinks.

The image is just a little bit bigger than life size.
That is actually a good idea, i hate it when im at the shop and the chain flys off when im reaching for the breaker. I will have to make one of those.
 

Sorgie

Monkey
May 20, 2005
229
36
Rochester
-Go to the pharmacy and ask for a plastic syringe with a curved tip (10 or 20cc I believe). They usually just give them to you. The ones with a curved tip are great for getting into hard to reach areas like rear der. pivots.

-I find that the knurled Torx wrench for the Avid rotors is a pain to work with. I slide a small diameter deep well socket over the long arm to give myself more to hang onto.

-When you remove your rear wheel, instead of going to the smallest cog, move the chain up to the third smallest (7 for those w/ 9 spd.). It gets the der. out of the way and makes it much easier.
 

spincrazy

I love to climb
Jul 19, 2001
1,529
0
Brooklyn
Sometimes I will wear latex gloves to ease the clean up when wrenching.

Pledge does wonders to clean the bike up when you can't get everything wet. Some say it keeps it cleaner in the long run. Been awhile since I've used it.
 
I will make a tube repair/chain kit and stuff it to fit in my bars behind the lock on grips. wrap it with rag material so it doesnt move around and tie a string around it so you can pull it out when in need.

I put small clear adhesive dots on my frame to prevent rubbing cables from rubbing off the paint (or stickers)

i as well use pledge for bike clean up, it seems to make a wax like effect to mud as well. it beads up and fall off when dry.
 

Dartman

Old Bastard Mike
Feb 26, 2003
3,916
0
Richmond, VA
-Go to the pharmacy and ask for a plastic syringe with a curved tip (10 or 20cc I believe). They usually just give them to you. The ones with a curved tip are great for getting into hard to reach areas like rear der. pivots.
They're also good for squirting water or alcohol under a stubborn grip to help it slide off easier.

I got mine after getting my wisdom teeth yanked.

Mike
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
take 'before' pictures when working w/ lots of non-intuitively interactive* parts. have wife on-hand to navigate the computer (your hands are filthy).


*alternatively, botch the job a few times & it becomes intuitive, but for the wrong reasons
 

urbaindk

The Real Dr. Science
Jul 12, 2004
4,821
0
Sleepy Hollar
We just had a baby and I subsequently discovered that Pampers brand moisturizing wipes kick ass for cleaning small parts and wiping down your frame. There's a little silicone oil in them. Makes stuff nice and shiny and they really pick up grease. They are pretty durable, much more so than a paper towel, strong enough to wipe a chain with out disintegrating. One or two will do a whole frame if it's not to dirty.

Wipe warmer optional, but a nice bonus. Who likes clammy cold wipes anyway?

Also for you that don't like dirty hands, I highly recommend Mechanics GOOP. It's available at any car parts store. If you haven't tried it, it's amazing. Just keep the tub near by. Dip some on your fingers, rub and wipe off on a rag, hands are clean and good to go. Great if you are doing something greasy but might need clean hands in the middle of the task. Saves you from running back and forth to the sink in the middle of a job. Does a hell of a lot better job than soap, and is less hard on your hands than laundry detergent or gasoline.
 

Sorgie

Monkey
May 20, 2005
229
36
Rochester
I just discovered a new one last night for all those scuffs and fine scratches on your frame. Go to the hobby store and get some Testors enamel for model cars (it was easy for me because my bike is flat black, so your mileage may vary).
Take an old T-shirt or something similar with no lint. Put it over your finger and dab a little bit on the rag. Then "buff" it over the scratched area. The scratches fill in, no brush marks, no globs. I can't even tell anything was there. If you can't find paint that matches maybe rubbing some thinner over it after it dries would help blend it.
 

chinkerjuarez

Monkey
Oct 18, 2006
142
0
Englewood, CO
The hayes bleed kit is horrible make your own. Instead of using the bottle to force the fluid use a syringe to force the fluid through the lines and up to the master cylinder. The hose fits the syringe better and the fit is tight enough to where it doesn't pop off like it does sometimes with the bottle.

Syringes are also good to recycle stans. They serve many purposes
 

trailblazer

Monkey
May 2, 2005
465
4
Jamaica
tubeless myths......1-crazy glue seals...wrong. it falls off after it gets hard and the tyre moves around.
............................2-use soapy bubbles to help seat/seal-the soap negates Stan's sealant and converts it into useless milk.
............................3-you have to overinflate the tyre to seat/seal-wrong-this hamfist technique streaches the bead and makes it into a cincher that requires a tube by ruining the UST bead. Use sense here and just inflate the tyre with no more than 50psi and a compressor in never needed and should be avoided.
tubeless solutions:
...1-a small hole will seal itself using Stan's properly
....2-a bigger hole, say, the size of a presta pin- I carry Q-tips in my fix it case. Use the fluff from one with some Stan's and jam it into the hole.
....3-big holes-1/4" and bigger- Use a tube patch kit and address the hole like you do a car tyre. Clean it out and push a piece of rubber drenched in rubber glue into the hole 1/2 way and let it dry. I don't even cut off the extra it just gets rubbed off. This is just to get you home. A huge as* hole ruins tyres and it's time for new rubber.


tip # 2- if you lost a bolt from your shoe[cleat] then use one of your rotor bolts. They fit.
 

nutter

Chimp
May 6, 2007
10
0
Glasgow, Scotland
if you want to get grips on or off easily, without cutting them or using anything messy, use compressed air to slide them on. takes a bit of practice, but makes it a lot easier, and takes a fraction of the time
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
Ooohh. With compressed air you can also shoot grips really far. I managed to send one about 35 feet (which placed it squarely in the front of the shop) and I wasn't even trying. It's also possible to make a grip launcher by cutting a piece off an old handlebar, if one were ever so inclined.

If you don't have compressed air available, a needle (blunted) and syringe with isopropyl alcohol in it can help loosen up grips.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
Lubricating "sealed bearings"

We know they're not reallllllly sealed, but what the hey, they stay cleaner longer than unsealed. I attach the bearing to a shop vac and suck lube directly into the bearings. Optional coaxing can be performed by using a needle to gently lift the seal away from the bearing shaft or bearing race, allowing more lube to get in. Wet lube or a high viscosity grease works great.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
Thought folks could post their little tips and tricks for working on bikes they have learned over time.

Here are a few of mine

-Put the bike in the big ring when wrenching so if you bump the chainring you don't tear yourself up.
first post of the thread.
first tip of the post.

it's like a friggin' cocktail party where you forget the first chick's name you meet:

and after all this to replace what i thought were SPDs turned out to be ritchies....and i can't find the cleats.


** pre-emptive edit: "attached thumbnail" - heh.
it's like rain on a slippery rock
 

Attachments

MtnbikeMike

Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2004
2,639
1
The 909
Lubricating "sealed bearings"

We know they're not reallllllly sealed, but what the hey, they stay cleaner longer than unsealed. I attach the bearing to a shop vac and suck lube directly into the bearings. Optional coaxing can be performed by using a needle to gently lift the seal away from the bearing shaft or bearing race, allowing more lube to get in. Wet lube or a high viscosity grease works great.
I find it easier to use a hobby knife to remove both seals, clean the crud out with something like Clean Streak, allow to dry, then re-grease and replace the seals.
 

Rob Munro

Monkey
Jul 22, 2005
205
0
pros will think this is stupid, but guys like me that only change pedals once, maybe twice per year may find it handy. to remember which pedal is reverse threaded, I remember "back tire backs out". meaning, of course, that you spin the wrench toward the back tire to loosen the pedals. sounds dumb, but it saved me many stripped threads and busted knuckles, not to mention, you don't want to look like a dork when everyone is watching.
 

Green Flame

Chimp
Oct 12, 2007
11
0
Virginia
Heres a good one. Instead of using a normal derailuer housing end at the rear derailuer. A v-brake noodle works great instead. They fit perfectly inside the barrel adjusters.
 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,163
154
Six Shooter Junction
From Car!os on Bikemojo...

so here's the deal.....


you'll want to find two short spokes.....less that 200 mm is ideal so that they don't come too close to each other on a mountain rim. the safe bet is any straight 14g spoke.







drop one into the rim you need the ERD of......you'll need opposite holes so remember: to the right of the valve hole, to the left of the seam (or vice versa).

one of museum pieces i found in the back....







thread the spoke into the nipple as far as you care to since it won't make a difference. i thread to the bottom of the head's slot.






use the rubber band to pull them tight....loop it twice if you have to......

 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,163
154
Six Shooter Junction
ERD part 2

at this point you'll need a fairly straight meter stick.......measure from the end of one nipple to the other......






in this case it's 518 mm....





add the length of the nipple X 2....





ERD = 542mm

you're done here unless......


at final tensioning...or when you reach target tension.....if you want the spoke to thread to the end of the nipple's head....then change nothing of the ERD......






but if you prefer the spoke not to thread as far......subtract 2mm from the erd and each spoke will end up 1mm short of the end of the head.....subtract 4mm and each spoke will end 2 mm short of the end of the head.....and so on....



if you want to be sure of the hub dimensions from anything older than 2 years......especially anything not current......make a chart like this.....





you can figure out what's what by looking at it....the numbers with the asterisks above them need to have half the flange _width_ added to them. in this case 1.5mm




you get locknut to flange first (a straight edge helps)..........then subtract that from the the hub's centerline length.....that gives you center to flange.




check the numbers at least twice to make sure they are as accurate as possible.



plug that into spocalc and you're done.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
if nothing else, this thread has made my decision to give my bike to someone barnett's certified easy
 

46chief

Monkey
Jun 12, 2007
296
0
Have a rusty bolt that wont budge? A bottom bracket that wont come out?

Use soda (I prefer coke) and poor it on or around the rusty or corroded area. Ive poored coke down seat tubes before to get bottom brackets out. It is magic.
coke/pepsi etc. is a bicarbonate, you can use it to clean your battery terminals on your car as well. You can also mix baking soda and water to get the same result with less stickiness.
 
Jan 30, 2008
9
0
simple yet effective...


if a crank bolt wont come off, try just placing the ratchet on the bolt get a metal pipe to go over the handle of the ratchet this way you get ALOT more leverage and it is waaayy easier.
 

Arkayne

I come bearing GIFs
May 10, 2005
3,745
13
SoCal
I keep a portable air tank in my trunk if I'm going to do a muddy trail ride. When I get back to the car, I do a quick scrub and rinse from water bottles and brush and then blow off the water with the BlowGun attachment. It beats having the mud dry into cement just in case you get lazy when you get home and don't want to clean.

 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
i take it you're rather skilled at upgrading/replacing bearings & seals, then?