Bike Maintenance 101

In Taiwan we are extremely lucky not to have to pay an arm and a leg for quick tune ups at the bike shop. I know for some people, half the fun is in maintaining their bike, for others, they think it’s a mechanic’s job.

I live on the 5th floor walk up, so despite the mechanic is only 2 min ride away, I try to figure things out on my own. My tool and maintenance collection has grown and those are things I cherish as much as my bike.

There’s some very interesting things on here that I wish I knew earlier on. I personally like the section labeled “Respect Your Mechanic”

No. 21 Don’t be a hero. Whether it’s due to lack of knowledge or experience, or not having the proper tools for the job, you are not capable­ of every repair. Sometimes you have to take your problem to a professional.

No. 22 Find out what your shop mechanic’s favorite afternoon munchie is, then bring it along the next time you stop in for a repair.

No. 23 It doesn’t matter how you broke it. Just don’t lie to your bike mechanic.

No. 24 Never roll your bike into the shop and expect an on-the-spot repair. You don’t know what your mechanic is up against on any given day.


My giant store owner always fixes my bike on the spot mostly minor things if major maintenance i will walk to the store while he works on it.
Nice guy that’s why i bought my bike from him.
i do bring him snacks at times…

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One of my mechanics became a close (cycling) friend and now, bubble tea is mandatory when I ask him to work on my bike when I get stuck. He doesn’t really ask for it, but when he doesn’t ask for any money in exchange for his knowledge and services, I feel the need to repay him somehow.

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I was adjusting my derailleurs, when I finished found this on the floor, cannot figure out what it is and am kind of worried.

Does someone know what part of 105 kit it is? It’s about 2 cm wide and was covered by grease.

Nevermind figured out, it is from the chain cleaner, not the bike itself.

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I’ve got an old vintage bicycle i’ve been failing to get running for the last two or three years.

Current issue is that a 26.4mm seatpost is too small, like a hotdog down a hallway. A 27.2mm is too big. The slit is fully closed when i tighten down on the nut with all my might. But still it slips, very easily. Got five seatposts, two 26.4 and three 27.2 and none of them fit.

I’ve tried virtually nothing and I’m all out of ideas. :yum:

How does bicycle?

Can you find a flexible piece of thick metal? Like those thin steel straps they used for wooden crates?

You can use this to make your seat post slightly bigger but without it being torn or crushed by the mechanism.

Or use an angle grinder or dremel cut off disc, and make the slit bigger.


Ah, like shimming it? Good idea, i’ll see what I can find.

Couple layers of aluminium from a coke can maybe?

Just make sure it’s of sufficient hardness that it does not get torn by the adjustment mechanism… that’s why I mentioned steel strips. But not razor blades, those are high carbon steel that will shatter if you try to bend it.

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Thanks. I’ll try to find some steel somewhere

You’ll need to find a piece of steel that is about 0.2mm thick though… it’s thinner than you think considering that your hair is about 0.1mm thick.

Otherwise find someone with a lathe to shave 0.2mm off of your other seat post…

Or easiest solution is find a way to widen the slit on the seat thingie and give you a bigger range of adjustment.

Just done this. Screwdriver and a whallop with a hammer, and the wider post now slips in.

The issue seems to be there’s odd tabs on the bottom of the nut fastener that severely reduces the travel of the tightener. Odd design but this bike is 50+ years old and made in the UK so probably a cock-up of some kind.

Thanks for your help.

I’d love a lathe by the way!

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Me too, but I don’t really have money for one. Plus it has limited use in my business… A good lathe, even used, should have about 100k budgeted for it. I got about 44k from the US tax refund (for the 2017 tax year) and so that went to a 26" bandsaw because the one I have now is kaput and breaks blades every other day. Bandsaws are much more integral to my work.

I don’t really want a toy lathe. Those things are heavy and it’s something you want to buy once and cry once. I can sorta use my milling machine as a lathe but it’s a crappy lathe, after all mills aren’t lathes and aren’t designed to be used as lathes. Lathes have complex system of gears and pulley to allow you to automatically feed in the X and Y direction, but also to cut threads. Plus machining about 0.4mm off of a piece of metal is iffy especially if it’s metal tubes. You can’t chuck metal tubes into a lathe because it will fly off as soon as you make a cut

100k 元?or American?

Depending on currency, that’s either amazingly low or amazingly high :joy:

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100k NTD. About 3000USD.

It’s not a lot of money but that buys you a nice Victor lathe in Taiwan, used of course, most likely made in the 1980s.

Reason for the really low price of machine tools like these is because of CNC…

But even though they are “cheap” it’s more money than I have…

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This old bike is doing my head in - I’m losing sleep now.

It’s got 27inch wheels on it. By that I mean, the tyres that are currently running on it are 27 inches by 32mm. I had to order them specially. Nightmare. They are fitted and fit fine (got a puncture now though!)

Anyway, looking at the wheelset, they aren’t looking that sharp and I need to consider alternatives in the not too distant future.

  1. Guide on Youtube suggests convert to 700c - sounds great, but the guide says that 700c wheels are SMALLER than 27 inch. Main problem is the brakes which guide says needs adjusting down for the supposedly smaller wheel)

  2. Internet seems to imply they are 650c

In reality they are smaller than a 700c wheel but bigger than a 26 inch wheel. Running 27 inch tyres… so what the sweet mother goose is going on? Are they 650c? It’s a touring bike from the early 70s if that helps?

Can you just replace the whole dang wheel?? It isn’t that expensive anyways. Or just re-spoke it. It isn’t hard to do. I managed to re-spoke a wheel myself just googling. Order several sizes of spokes just in case… Obviously get a wheel rim of a standard size.

I’m saying this because you don’t want to end up with flats or whatever and no inner tubes you find will fit and your bike is suddenly dead weight.

Trying to, but working out what size the wheel actually is to get a replacement that fits the bike with minimal modification is tricky.

Found this article which basically says the measurements are a load of lies and now my mind is blown.

Long story short, yes, a 27 inch wheel has a radius 4mm SHORTER than a 28 inch wheel. :brain:

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All you need to do is find a wheel rim then respoke your bike wheel with the new 26 inch tire. 26 inch is the most common size out there.

Or just get a set of pre built wheel that fits your frame.

The tires/wheels in question wouldn’t be 27 × 1⅛" would they? The tire should have the ertro designation 25/28/32-630 somewhere on it.

As you probably found reading the Sheldon Brown information, there are a couple of things to consider, namely the outer diameter of the inflated tire and the bead seat diameter of the rim.

If you replace the 27" wheels with 700c wheels you can probably make use of Tektro long reach calipers.

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