After having it left dormant during the winter, each bike needs a little service: Squeezing brakes, clogged chains or flat tyres? You can fix a lot of things yourself best on a sturdy bike workstand. The bike at chest height is easy on the back and allows the wheels to turn freely. A little warm water and washing-up liquid or bicycle cleaner won't hurt either. High-pressure cleaners are frowned upon because the water pressure flushes sealing grease out of the bearings and allows moisture to penetrate. This can lead to corrosion and the chain needs special treatment anyway. What to do in detail: Please find hereafter the best tips.
Check the drivetrain
When it comes to the drivetrain, it is the chain that requires most attention. “In operation it is exposed to high forces,” says Dirk Zedler of Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit in Ludwigsburg. Permanent friction inside lengthens each chain over time. “In particular, with derailleur gears it is highly prone to wearing down due to the additional oblique run,” states Zedler. Due to additional high torque values acting on the chain, this applies all the more to e-bikes with mid-mounted motors.
In the case of derailleur gears the chain should be checked from a mileage of approx. 1500 kilometres on, in the case of a gear hubs the measurement with a chain wear gauge makes sense from approx. 3000 kilometres on. A worn chain must be replaced before it affects the expensive sprockets. Keep in mind during care: “Remove the dirt from the chain prior to oiling. Otherwise, the lubrication will attract particles into the chain and thus exacerbate wear,” warns Zedler. “This works like abrasive paste.” If the chain is only lightly soiled, it will do to pull the chain through a slightly oily, lint-free cloth. You should keep using a new area until the cloth just stays clean.
Cleaning the belt
Belt drives wear much more slowly than chain drives, but also require a minimum of maintenance: Use a wooden pick to remove solid deposits from the inner, circumferential belt groove. Then clean the teeth of the belt and the belt sprockets with an old toothbrush, water and some washing-up liquid, rinse with clean water and dry off. While doing so check the belt and the teeth for cracks, deformation and removed material. Finish each maintenance with a test run and shift through all gears. Notchy gear shifting can be carefully readjusted by changing the cable tension on the rear derailleur and the shifters. To those who do not trust themselves to do this or do not succeed Zedler advises to have their gears properly adjusted in a workshop. In case of stiff, split or rusty Bowden cables and cable housings, also be sure to make a date at a workshop.
Read the entire German article here.
Author: Jochen Donner