Le Col

4. Drivetrain wear

General component wear is  a common issue and if it is high performance such as Dura Ace or Super Record, they will wear more quickly. We tend to advise downgrading the high wear components and retaining the controls and the deraileurs, alternatively keep your very best kit for better conditions.

Another solution is to replace chain and maybe cassette more often and thereby extending the life of chainrings, as long as the wear isn't excessive. 

We are asked on a weekly basis how long a component will last.  The life of a drive train component will vary dependent on gear selection, riding style, mileage and maintenance.

Cross-chaining is a big factor, many people riding around in big rings and wearing out chainrings, stretching the chain and even the rear derailleur, this can be more common with stronger riders using compact cranksets – most people just ride around in the big ring, riding it as a 1x. In addition - jockey wheels wear on a regular basis.

5. Seized/snapped components

Seized seatposts are something we discover regurlarly. It might not seem a big issue if it’s in the right place, however, the solution is to make sure that components are regularly greased with the correct agent for the component.  

The first thing we do, before assesing a bike is to check the seat post height before installing a workshop seat post and saddle; this prevents expensive seat posts being scratched during any maintenance work and test rides.

Cable snapping is common. Often when the entries to cable routing ports aren’t sealed properly or cables aren’t greased, excess wear can occur.  Cyclists perservere with cables that aren’t working properly and frayed at a bend in the routing, eventually they snap and are more difficult to remove.

6. Power meters

This is often a case of a lack of understanding in how they work and care in maintaining them; not keeping firmware updated on the power meters or not updating the software on their head units or installing batteries the wrong way round and not replacing rubber seals.

Often faults in this area can be resolved by reading the instructions on these expensive hi-tech pieces of kit.  We are constantly keeping ourselves updated and informed as should the user.

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1. Lack of general maintenance

bicycle rust

Stay on top of keeping your bike clean and in good condition.

Keeping on top of the maintenance of your bike is the best single piece of advice any mechanic can give.  This means regularly cleaning and lubricating it to save component wear in

When a bike is sold, the buyer often doesn't know what needs to be done to keep the bike in good condition, from cleaning to storage. However, you need to learn the craft first.  If you are going to do it yourself - read any instructions or follow 'youtube' videos.  There is a wealth of information out there.  Otherwise, It can mean that even cartridge style brake pads can be fitted backwards. You should have a go, if you are confident enough but if you are unsure and it is safety related, have it checked by John or Perry.

2. Creaking bottom brackets

bottom bracket 

One of the most common problems we have come across overr the last 12 years isdreaded bottom bracket creak. 

Given the amount of specifications of bottom brackets, and their complexity, it is unsurprising

Specific tools such as a bottom bracket press to instal and a different tool is necessary to remove.  Occasionally when we complete a pre-delivery assembly, we find that the factory has not installed the component correctly.

Given the varying standards and complexity of bottom brackets, the best piece of advice is to constantly maintain the bottom bracket with every service. If you own the tools and have the time, then ensure bearings are cleaned and greased, especially after extended periods of poor weather where dirt and water ingress can be a bottom bracket’s worst enemy.  Often there’s not a huge amount you can do for them even if you do have the tools – it’s wear and tear.

Make sure bottom bracket servicing is near the top of the to do list for addressing any creaks or grinding as soon as they arise – don’t delay.

3. Disc brake maintenance

hydraulic brake

Cable rim brakes were one of the simple jobs a home mechanic could try with relative ease, hydraulic disc brakes are another story.

There’s a lack of knowledge around how disc brakes are operated and serviced, we find that mountain bikers understand it better because they’ve been using them for about 20 years.  Even to the extent of getting them to operate properly when new and the initial bedding in process.

The most common issue is from rotor and contamination on the disc followed by cross contamination onto the pad - care are needs to be taken when lubing other areas of the bike.

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How to clean your bike chain and drivetrain, in just five minutes

muc off chain cleaner

Fill the chain cleaning device with the indicated amount of degreaser and attach it to the lower part of the chain.

FIll the chain cleaning device with the indicated amount of degreaser and attach it to the lower part of the chain.Once attached hold it in place and rotate the cranks backwards to start the chain running through the device. Count around 30-40 pedal revolutions. Check the chain to see how it is looking.  Continue with further pedal rotations if the chain is really grimey and needs more cleaning. 

Use degreaser and a stiff brush to scrub and agitate the grime throughout the drivetrain, paying particular attention to all the cassette sprockets, rear mech, jockey wheels and chain ring teeth..
Once everything is scrubbed thoroughly, it will look a complete mess.

Flush it all away using hot soapy water and the sponge, to help disperse the grime, thoroughly wipe and flush the chain and all other components. One final rinse with clean water is the best way to end, again to make certain all the degreaser is flushed away – bear in mind if there is degreaser still left behind, it will start to act upon any new chain lube you apply and immediately turn it to a black mess.

Dry the chain thoroughly – a good starting point is to spin the cranks fast to effectively ‘fling’ water out of the links. A good microfiber cloth is the most effective or an old t-shirt will do the job.

Only once you’re happy everything is sparkling clean and dry should you apply new chain lube. Don’t over apply.

Cleaning your chain frequently and keeping it topped up with fresh lube will ensure a long life.

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