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Chief

Tech/Maintenance

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I was thinking it might be beneficial to some of us to have a technical and maintenance thread. Especially for those of us who wrench their own bikes and for those who might want to learn to do their own maintenance and repairs.

So let me kick this off with a little brake maintenance that I believe gets over looked but shouldn't be. This is something you may want to consider doing if you notice you have a brake pad dragging. A dragging brake pad may be an indication of dirty brake pistons sticking when trying to retract. 

To start I got on one of my bikes the other day and realized the brakes weren't as good as the brakes on my other bike. I was getting no stopping power when I would try to stop. The bike has been sitting unused for a bit so I figured the brakes may have gotten contaminated just sitting in my garage. I do a lot of house type stuff and vehicle maintenance in the garage. 

Step one was to remove the wheels and then remove the rotors. Once I had the rotors off I took some 180P grit sandpaper on a sanding block and sanded both sides of the rotors making sure I sanded of all of the old wear indication off both sides of the rotors. Once the rotors were sanded I used denatured alcohol (isopropyl works as well) in a spray bottle to remove any sanding dust making sure the rotors were clean. Don't touch your clean rotors with bare hands it'll transfer oil onto the surface you just cleaned causing the initial issue. I then remounted the rotors torquing them to spec for the rotor bolts.

From there I moved on to cleaning the brake pistons (this is the part I believe gets overlooked). When cleaning the brake pistons you'll need to remove the brake pads and using the lever expand the pistons as far as possible out of their bore without causing them to come completely out. Sounds scary but not really, it's kinda hard to get them to come completely out. Once I have the pistons out far enough I take mineral oil which is what my brakes use as fluid on a q-tip and start to clean the pistons. Taking the q-tip and going around the outside of the piston where it slides into the caliper you want to get as much black brake dust and dirt off as you possibly can this also lubricates the piston. You can do this a couple of times cleaning with alcohol in between each time. Once the pistons are clean you'll need to use a flat object that fits between the pistons on the inside of the caliper and push the pistons back into the caliper. You don't want to pry when doing this, you want to push the pistons back in straight and square, prying can damage your caliper or pistons. When done make sure to clean the caliper thoroughly with alcohol wipe with a clean shop rag and then blow them out (canned air works fine for this). You can now install NEW BRAKE PADS, you don't want to use the old pads due potential contamination which is how we got here to begin with. Once the new pads are installed reinstall the wheel and move on to the next wheel. Once you've finished it's time to bed the new pads in. Bedding in is the process of depositing brake pad material onto the rotor without over heating it causing what's known as glazing. When bedding brakes in you want to get up to a good speed not screaming fast but relatively fast and apply even pressure on the brakes slowing the bike down but not coming to a complete stop. You'll need to do this at least half a dozen times, as you're doing this you'll notice the brakes working better each time until there is no noticeable difference. Once satisfied with how your brakes are working you're done and can now move onto the next step. Going out and riding your bike while feeling like you did something positive and rewarding.

PS; if you notice that you still don't have good bite or soft lever with your brakes you'll need to do a brake bleed. Maybe next installment of this thread. Also if your brakes are working fine but you notice a pad dragging you can just go right to the piston cleaning procedure.

Below is a picture of what the q-tips look like after cleaning my brake pistons. Hope this helps some people.

IMG_3826.JPG

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Thanks. Makes a big difference.

 Tried to keep as simple as possible. Park Tools on YouTube has a great video on this. Hoping we can share information and methods on here for maintenance and maybe discuss tools also.

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Wheel building....just sayin

(of course I suggest this topic, because I would really like to build up a new set of wheels) 🙂

 

 

 

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I have built a LOT of wheel, even laced my '70s Elsinore wheels. Might have to try my hand at some carbon hoops for my Scalpel SI...with Lefty of course.

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36 minutes ago, Yosmithy said:

Wheel building....just sayin

(of course I suggest this topic, because I would really like to build up a new set of wheels) 🙂

 

 

 

That’s an easy one! Been building quite a few wheels lately.

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4 hours ago, Chief said:

That’s an easy one! Been building quite a few wheels lately.

Now I just need to figure out what to go with....

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I use the pointed end of bamboo skewers to guide spoke nipples into rims. O used to drop nipples into the all's of the rim frequently before that. Whatever you do, don't rely on your fingers.

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15 hours ago, Yosmithy said:

Wheel building....just sayin

(of course I suggest this topic, because I would really like to build up a new set of wheels) 🙂

 

 

 

You have DT XM 481's on your bike don't you? Those are bulletproof wheels IMO. What are you looking to move to?

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16 hours ago, Chief said:

Notice it wasn't a copy/paste thread.😂

Well now... I guess I'll just emulate you and once again get typing long, informative comments like I used to do in the past.

Thanks for providing the challenge, Chief.

👍

Edited by RidingAgain

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1 hour ago, Chief said:

You have DT XM 481's on your bike don't you? Those are bulletproof wheels IMO. What are you looking to move to?

yes, I do have the DTXM 481's, and it's actually the spokes that I keep breaking. Since they are 28 hole hoops, I'm not sure if I can go with a larger diameter spoke, or need to switch to a 32 hole instead?

I realize I'm a fat ass, but even after loosing close to 35 lbs, it still continues to happen.

Maybe I just need and ebike?

  • Haha 1

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14 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

I use the pointed end of bamboo skewers to guide spoke nipples into rims. O used to drop nipples into the all's of the rim frequently before that. Whatever you do, don't rely on your fingers.

I use an old spoke.  Works like a charm.

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1 hour ago, AntonioGG said:

I use an old spoke.  Works like a charm.

This sure beats the shit out of my plinko method, whereby I drop the nipple correctly 50% of the time, and the other 50% I lose it into the rim, along with about 20 minutes of my time shaking the rim while yelling like Steve Buscemi trying to get the TV to work

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7 hours ago, Yosmithy said:

yes, I do have the DTXM 481's, and it's actually the spokes that I keep breaking. Since they are 28 hole hoops, I'm not sure if I can go with a larger diameter spoke, or need to switch to a 32 hole instead?

I realize I'm a fat ass, but even after loosing close to 35 lbs, it still continues to happen.

Maybe I just need and ebike?

I've been running 28 hole XM481's on DT hubs and Hope hubs. The only time I've broken a spoke is when it gets snagged on a rock. Tension might be too low. 

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