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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all, just curious to what extent people go in maintaining/cleaning their bikes during the off season or whatever. I have a Trek Fuel EX ready for a fork upgrade. One thing led to another and the bike is almost fully stripped and up on a stand. I'm wondering whether at this point I might as well also remove the shock and rear triangle? Is there anything there to grease or maintain? Or am I wasting my time?

Pics for posterity :-D


 

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Single Track Mind
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Personally, I tear my bike down once a year. I like to get it all cleaned up, replace cables and housings, change seals and oil in the fork and shock, clean and lube the bottom bracket and headset bearings, inspect, clean and service the pivot bearings. I usually replace the chain as well. Every 2 years, I swap out all pivot bearings whether they need it or not. Then, I go back together with everything lubed and torqued just right.

Is this overkill? Probably, but I do all of my own work, so it's not expensive. Plus, my bike rides sooooo well, and outside of a crash or other heavy impact, I rarely break down during the heart of the season.
 

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Shock and rear triangle have lots of pivot points. May as well take them off and get those pivots greased and torqued to spec if you're tearing everything else apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I knew some smarmy southerner was gonna chime in with a smart remark. Shove that sunshine and warm weather up yeeerrrrrr :)

Thanks guys. I guess I'm gonna look into replacement bearings and a press tool!
 

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I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I think with 1X drivetrains, sealed bearings, advances in materials etc., bikes don't need as much attention as they used to.

I do keep my bike clean and give it a visual when washing/lubing. I check my chain for wear and replace when needed. I have my bike at the LBS now getting the fork and shock maintenanced - for the first time in 3 years. Other than that I just replace cables, brake pads, bleed brakes, swap BBs etc. when I notice them working poorly.

Even with my slacker approach, I can't remember breaking down on trail in the past 10 years other than the time a stick ripped off my rear derailleur and the other time when my freehub blew up. In fact, in 30 years of riding MTBs the only things that made me walk out of the woods were freak things that wouldn't have been avoided through more rigorous maintenance (i.e. snapping a BB spindle on an old square taper crank, taco-ing a rim).
 

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Since I switched to fair weather rails to trails riding about once every 3 years sounds about right.

Since you got it that torn down might as well go all the way and check/lube those pivot bearings.


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I rebuild and service almost everything every winter, Have for 20 years. It is fun for me and every spring my bike feels brand new. Do it!
 

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Hey all, just curious to what extent people go in maintaining/cleaning their bikes during the off season or whatever. I have a Trek Fuel EX ready for a fork upgrade. One thing led to another and the bike is almost fully stripped and up on a stand. I'm wondering whether at this point I might as well also remove the shock and rear triangle? Is there anything there to grease or maintain? Or am I wasting my time?


If you ride much at all think it's a great idea to do a tear down/ overhaul at least once a year and I would pull the shock off and do an oil & seal service while you're at it. Also check pivot bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Love the stand. What are you using for the jaws in the clamps?
Thanks, I'm glad I went this route instead of a traditional stand. Allows clear access to the bike 360 degrees and doesnt take up floor space.

The jaws are just hardwood blocks wrapped in a bit of cushioning and some rubber tape.

 

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Evolutionsverlierer
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Thanks, I'm glad I went this route instead of a traditional stand. Allows clear access to the bike 360 degrees and doesnt take up floor space.

The jaws are just hardwood blocks wrapped in a bit of cushioning and some rubber tape.

Did not pay any attention to your “stand” in your first post.
Very cool indeed!
I would have to make it removable or make it so it folds it up otherwise I would hurt myself in no time.
Nice touch also with keeping the orange of the clamp heads.

I am pretty lazy when comes to maintenance so I normally wait until I can not have a conversation over the noises the bike makes while riding but fortunately bike stuff got pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did not pay any attention to your “stand” in your first post.
Very cool indeed!
I would have to make it removable or make it so it folds it up otherwise I would hurt myself in no time.
Nice touch also with keeping the orange of the clamp heads.

I am pretty lazy when comes to maintenance so I normally wait until I can not have a conversation over the noises the bike makes while riding but fortunately bike stuff got pretty good.
It actually pivots at the ceiling mount, i fold it up and hook it to the shelf above my workbench :)
 

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I'm a tinkerer so I tend look for something on my bikes to work. So 1-2 hours a week checking and maintaining one of 3 different bikes so they are never in need of a full break down.
 

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There's no reason to breakdown a bike other than to check for stress cracks in places you can't see otherwise. If you wait until winter to inspect bearings you'll end up having to replace rather than repack. Forget about an offseason comprehensive breakdown. Keep an eye on bearings depending on how much you're riding and the conditions they see. Service dampers according to use not time. Brakes do not need to be bleed yearly if there's no air in them. I end up doing the lion's share of service in the spring/summer. I usually try to service both dampers, not just air can and lowers, in the fall so I don't' have to deal with it in a freezing garage.
 

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There's no reason to breakdown a bike other than to check for stress cracks in places you can't see otherwise. If you wait until winter to inspect bearings you'll end up having to replace rather than repack. Forget about an offseason comprehensive breakdown. Keep an eye on bearings depending on how much you're riding and the conditions they see. Service dampers according to use not time. Brakes do not need to be bleed yearly if there's no air in them. I end up doing the lion's share of service in the spring/summer. I usually try to service both dampers, not just air can and lowers, in the fall so I don't' have to deal with it in a freezing garage.
I would argue that the most useful reason to do a complete teardown of a bike would be to clean out all the random little nooks & crannies. I don't necessarily do such things on a precise annual schedule. But if I need to do something else that requires a partial teardown, then why not do the whole bike if you've got the time and aren't riding it?

I have my fork in the shop right now for service and I'll be doing a thorough cleaning and a cable/housing change once I get it back. I don't NEED the cable/housing change, but I'm doing it, anyway.

After that, my gravel bike is getting a crank swap (from a compact double 50/34 to a GRX 46/30) and it's going to get a cable/housing swap in the process, too, because I'm going to have to move the FD anyway, and I might as well.

Some things I tend to do in-season, too. Last year I had a particularly wet ride in a tropical storm deluge. I did a teardown for a cleaning, bearing check, and fresh grease after I got home.
 

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I would argue that the most useful reason to do a complete teardown of a bike would be to clean out all the random little nooks & crannies.


No doubt, pulling the crankset and fork takes hardly any time and there's always plenty of grit, grime & corrosion in there that needs dealt with. Also a good time to give the bearings a feel and replace if necessary.

I guess it depends how you like your bike to run and how long you want it to last but personally I always notice a positive difference after a good service on mine or anyone else's bike. I got nothing against people who don't mind riding dirty, just not for me.
 

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Evolutionsverlierer
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It actually pivots at the ceiling mount, i fold it up and hook it to the shelf above my workbench :)
Nice, can you post a pic?

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nice, can you post a pic?

Thank you.
See below. The whole thing is built with 3/4 black pipe and various threaded elbows and T-connectors. It's secured to the ceiling with 3/4 conduit straps, as pictured below. It swivels inside these straps.

3/4 pipe clamps (common wood shop style clamp) takes care of the jaw mechanism.





 

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I would argue that the most useful reason to do a complete teardown of a bike would be to clean out all the random little nooks & crannies. I don't necessarily do such things on a precise annual schedule. But if I need to do something else that requires a partial teardown, then why not do the whole bike if you've got the time and aren't riding it?

I have my fork in the shop right now for service and I'll be doing a thorough cleaning and a cable/housing change once I get it back. I don't NEED the cable/housing change, but I'm doing it, anyway.

After that, my gravel bike is getting a crank swap (from a compact double 50/34 to a GRX 46/30) and it's going to get a cable/housing swap in the process, too, because I'm going to have to move the FD anyway, and I might as well.

Some things I tend to do in-season, too. Last year I had a particularly wet ride in a tropical storm deluge. I did a teardown for a cleaning, bearing check, and fresh grease after I got home.
I'm just saying for those that maintain or replace components as needed, a teardown is unnecessary. Maintenance will be out of sync so there's no way to avoid piecemeal maintenance throughout the riding season that will address crud build up in all the nooks and crannies. I check pivots when I service the shock. Check the headset when I pull the fork for a damper service. I check and clean the bb when I replace the chainring. The only other place that gets build up is behind the cassette. I'll pull that periodically because they last so long I can't wait until it's worn out. Cables and housing replaced when needed. Nasty weather dictates anything outside that regime. Because components have out of sync maintenance needs, everything a teardown accomplishes will be address it's just piecemeal instead of all at once.
 
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