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C&V Maintenance Schedule - not repairs

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C&V Maintenance Schedule - not repairs

Old 04-29-20, 08:30 AM
  #1  
Salamandrine 
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C&V Maintenance Schedule - not repairs

Modern bikes don't really need maintenance. IMO this has led to a modern mindset that you only need to work on a bike when something is broken. Vintage bikes, because they didn't have sealed bearings, needed regular maintenance. I've noticed maintenance and restoration or repair tend to get conflated nowadays. They have different requirements. This leads to needless disagreements about such things as whether fixed cups should be removed, or freewheels greased.

Let's maybe not get too into that now, but it seems that we could use a thread for what correct maintenance was for C&V bicycles. So from memory here are some of the old general guidelines. This is all stuff that was drilled into my mind BITD. Clearly some folks were more fastidious about maintenance than others, but if you wanted your expensive fancy 10 speed to last, it was wise to follow the old rules.

There were several rules of thumb. First, all bearings were overhauled about once a year, plus again after any time you were caught in serious rain, plus whenever they got dirty. That's why we used white lithium grease, Campagnolo or generic. When it starts to go gray, you know dirt has gotten in the bearings and it's time to repack. Another ritual was carefully listening to bearings spin. If you heard the subtle telltale sound of a tiny piece of grit, it was time to repack. On average this might have added up to two or three times a year. Usually the hubs and BB needed more repacking than the pedals or headset, but all of these were done once a year. At least that was what you were supposed to do.

Chains and freewheels got a monthly cleaning bath. Chains were replaced when they started to 'stretch' -- same as now, and freewheels were replaced when the chain started to skip off the teeth. This was on average after about two chains. Freewheel life also could be and often was prolonged by replacing individual cogs.

Cables got pulled and greased maybe once a year, and were replaced if necessary. No linings in housing then. Brake pads didn't need replacement as often as now, because they were thicker than modern pads, a result of side pull brakes having less alignment error as the pads wear in.

Wheels had to be trued regularly to stay straight. They would get rebuilt with new rims and spokes when the spokes started to break or notch at the crossings, or the rim cracked, or tension had gotten excessively uneven from continued truing. Spokes weren't generally reused unless the wheel died an early death.

Obviously I'm talking about racers and enthusiastic club/century riders who had expensive bikes. I'm also assuming the bike is ridden nearly every day. BITD most people had just one good bike, because they were expensive, and therefore they got a lot more miles than is common nowadays.

Your average joe who bought a mid level bike shop bike and left it in the garage most of the time rarely did anything.
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Old 04-29-20, 09:10 AM
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Worthwhile considerations. Thanks for sharing. I guess it's time to repack some bearings! I appreciate the suggestion of using white lithium grease. One thing I'm wondering is how one would be able to tell the white grease is no longer white unless they opened up the bb/hs/etc?
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Old 04-29-20, 10:47 AM
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Modern bikes don't need maintenance? Can you clarify? Chains, brake pads, cassettes, chain rings and tires made in 2020 still get dirt and wear out same as they always have.
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Old 04-29-20, 12:03 PM
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My fat tire "Country Bike" got a flat in the drive way the other night after a 25 mile ride, So this morning I changed the tube out and put the punctured one in the to be patched collection, now up to 2. While I had the bike in the stand it was cleaned, wd-40ed and some sort of as seen on TV wax was applied. The drive train was cleaned and the chain lubed. The brake pads and rims where cleaned and de-greased. Basic function was checked and items needing attention noted.

If I didn't get a flat, I might have put another 300 miles on the bike with out thinking about it.

It would be nice to have a mileage log and a recommended maintenance scheduled chart on the wall to keep me honest.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Modern bikes don't need maintenance? Can you clarify? Chains, brake pads, cassettes, chain rings and tires made in 2020 still get dirt and wear out same as they always have.
True, modern bikes still need their chains and cassettes cleaned, same as always. That however is a relatively tiny amount of time and labor compared to overhauling headsets, hubs, bottom brackets and pedals regularly.

And yeah, tires still wear out and get flats. Not to mention handlebar tape wears out, brake hoods get old and cracked, and more. I'm simply talking about the main mechanical elements.
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Old 04-29-20, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by romperrr View Post
Worthwhile considerations. Thanks for sharing. I guess it's time to repack some bearings! I appreciate the suggestion of using white lithium grease. One thing I'm wondering is how one would be able to tell the white grease is no longer white unless they opened up the bb/hs/etc?
Sure thing. Hope it's useful info to someone.

You can't really tell if the grease has gotten dirty until you open up the hubs/BB/HS or whatever. Mostly what it told you is if you waited too long. That's why the first test was the spin and listen, at least for hubs and BB. You could hear that tiny crunch if there was grit. Clean Campagnolo bearings especially were so glass smooth that it was pretty obvious if there was grit in there.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:02 PM
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That all sounds about right to me. However, BITD when I was a teenage racer, my maintenance schedule was far more intense. I enjoyed working on my bikes and took care to maintain a super clean, low drag drivetrain. I would take everything apart, including BB and thorough chain cleaning, about once a month, maybe more during race season. Hubs got repacked maybe every couple months, except my sealed bearing Mavic 500/501 hubs which I never touched. Bike would get a through cleaning and maintenance just about every Sunday evening after club rides or races.

Fast-forward to now, I have a lot more bikes, so my riding is spread out over more. The ones that I do ride more frequently (LOOK, Cilo, De Rosa, Merlin, and to a lesser extent Parkpre road & mtb) do get a complete overhaul about once a year, usually during the cold, wet winter months. Two things I do more often: rust abatement and truing wheels. I used to train on sturdy MA40s and race on tubulars. Now, even though I'm nearly 50 pounds heavier than I was in high school, most of my riding is on what I would have considered "race wheels," so they tend to go out of true a little more often.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:40 PM
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This is how we derive BFCVs Law Of Minimum N:

The minimum n shall be such that each bike shall require maintenance no more than once per year.
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Old 04-29-20, 04:19 PM
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I was the main wrench for one of the first group of riders in the Race Across America, back when your professional number was less than 25. So I'm kind of old school on this subject.
We always had at least two bikes for the helpers and support riders who trained with our professional so the maintenance schedule was dictated by the training regimen. Our professional had at least seven bikes so they were serviced by myself in rotation. On average I would get a bike after 1800 to 2500 miles. Every bike was higher end components and I used Campy grease on those exclusively. The daily rides for him was 40-60 miles morning and evening as a ride to work, and then week end centuries about once every six weeks as they came up in our region. Qualifying at first required being able to complete a triple century in 24 hours. So we really pounded on the miles for those bikes. Race bikes were the trainers as well so nothing special about the bikes other than the mileage put on them. But the reality was I had a bike in from the rotation about once every six weeks.
If we think about the everyman rider it would likely be about 1000 miles or at least once every year. If the rider is a better rider, she should know when it would be time for looking at the bike's moving parts. Riding in the rain will accelerate the need for service, but even then you should get about 1000 miles between services.
HTH, Smiles, MH

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Old 04-29-20, 06:21 PM
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Current stable is five bikes, which all get ridden about the same. Three of these have been added/substituted since late 2018. They're fully overhauled upon acquisition. They're maintained regularly. And I never ride in the rain. So I can possibly see a full overhaul for one or more of these by 2030.
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Old 04-30-20, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
That all sounds about right to me. However, BITD when I was a teenage racer, my maintenance schedule was far more intense. I enjoyed working on my bikes and took care to maintain a super clean, low drag drivetrain. I would take everything apart, including BB and thorough chain cleaning, about once a month, maybe more during race season. Hubs got repacked maybe every couple months, except my sealed bearing Mavic 500/501 hubs which I never touched. Bike would get a through cleaning and maintenance just about every Sunday evening after club rides or races.

Fast-forward to now, I have a lot more bikes, so my riding is spread out over more. The ones that I do ride more frequently (LOOK, Cilo, De Rosa, Merlin, and to a lesser extent Parkpre road & mtb) do get a complete overhaul about once a year, usually during the cold, wet winter months. Two things I do more often: rust abatement and truing wheels. I used to train on sturdy MA40s and race on tubulars. Now, even though I'm nearly 50 pounds heavier than I was in high school, most of my riding is on what I would have considered "race wheels," so they tend to go out of true a little more often.
You were more fastidious than me... I raced as a teenager too, but I also worked after school and Saturdays at the LBS from the time I was 15, and therefore working on bikes for fun had lost some of its appeal. I probably overhauled my training wheel hubs maybe 3 times a year on average. The other stuff around twice. For perspective, I was riding around 15,000 miles/year then. (small boring town....) That gives some indication of service intervals in relation to mileage.

I think most of us on this forum are in the same boat now, with a few bikes instead of just one, and a lot less time to ride them. Therefore the service intervals can be much greater.
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Old 04-30-20, 12:37 PM
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Whenever I bring a bike home, I go through and clean and grease everything, so I know where I am starting from. With the number of bikes I have and the limited time I have to ride them, it will take several years for an individual bike to accumulate 1000 miles.
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Old 04-30-20, 04:16 PM
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BITD I'd do a fully stripdown and rebuild, new bearings and grease all around, wax the frame, new cables and housing and bar tape. When I could get SEDISPORT chains at $3 apiece wholesale I'd buy a pack of 10 for the season. Just about every 1k miles I'd just replace the chain, and give the old ones to friends. Tires I'd rotate, but run till they were worn out.

Nowadays I don't really do any regular maintenance outside of oiling the chain. BITD I had one bike, now I have several, so consumables don't get worn out very quickly.
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Old 04-30-20, 05:48 PM
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P on a B,
Sram chains are going for $7 these days, they haven't really inflated too much. I'm still buying cable inner wire for $1 each. Free bearings are up to 3 cents each but still reasonable. I had an old tube of Phil out today for a repair to a hub and back then it cost $4.25 retail. Maintenance costs are still reasonable. Labor is sky high though. Smiles, MH
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