View Full Version : QUICK bike tune up advice needed!

06-04-2006, 02:56 PM
Hi, I REAALLY screwed up yesterday, and messed up the rear tire on my bike. I have a second bike that is actually a better model (At least the frame is a better alloy) but I haven't ridden it in years.

Can anyone recommend a website with a quick, but adequate check list for a tuneup? I need to ride 7 miles tomorrow. My return trip will be at night, and it is not near any public transit.

I could repair the back tire on my other bike, but the smaller rear cogs are skipping due to excessive chain wear.


Can you tell I am frantic?

06-04-2006, 03:41 PM

Hi Plantluvver,

Found this website listed on the forum last week.

Good luck!

06-04-2006, 04:25 PM
Thanks for the post. I was looking more for a checklist of the necessary things to check for safe riding.


06-04-2006, 04:51 PM
Welp, the League of Illinois Biking has as a daily check the "A B C CHECK" -

(yea the directory says "safekids" but this is their "adult cycling" pamphlet)

You might have to zoom in a litlte

Oh, and could you put the wheel from one bike onto the other bike? (I did that when I messed up my front wheel earlier this week.) Prob'ly not with the wear issues.

06-04-2006, 07:32 PM
There are two wear issues. The failure of my tire was due to my backpack buckle dragging against the sidewalll of the tire.

I feel so STUPID, because I read a post on this forum about women riding when they thought something was wrong with their bike and how embarassed they were later, and I even thought about this post at the time, but dismissed it, thinking, "I know EXACTLY what's happening, and how could a plastic buckle damage my tire. Well I found out!!

The other issue is the excessive chain wear on the bike. I don't want to transfer wheels, (unlees of course the other chain is just as badly worn. I will check that first.

This is my rear wheel. In general, is it okay to switch rear wheels between bikes? (Assuming they are the same width of course.)

I read Sheldon Brown's article on tire sizes, and it made my head ache!


06-04-2006, 09:00 PM
Yea, that (at least once) was me! And I learned it *again* last week when my HOkeySpoke made a little clicking noise, and I thought, "oh, I'll look at it when I'm done [unless I forget which I will]..." until it was making those big "clicking" noises of banging on everything, and I had to stop with its spoke broken.
Clicking noises, things rubbing... STOP. I promise. Really. (Except last Tuesday Rich had to inform me that yes, my Xtracycle strap was wedged between chain and derailleur parts and that was probably why it was jumping around, and I should really stop...) I suppose I'm really lucky the terrain is flat around here.
I switched front wheels; rear wheels would have to have compatible gear thingies.
My friend Clyde despairs at the inconsistent numbering of tire sizes. I figure it's like dress sizes - the more it costs, the smaller size you wear, only with whatever factors count for bikers.

06-04-2006, 09:46 PM
I KNOW that I had two wheels in my garage, from a spare bike that my ex boyfreind insisted I get rid of. Those were the wheels that I intended for this bike, because even before my tire went Blooey!, the sidewalls were very cracked. But I never got around to changing the tires. (I have a hard time doing things before I NEED to.)

The tires aren't there. All I can figure is he took them. He seemed to think he had partial ownership of many things, and it was usually too aggravating to deal with him, it was easier to let him take stuff. So, now when I need them....

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the two bikes I have have the same tire size. I will check shortly. But I needed to vent.


06-05-2006, 06:11 AM
To switch rear wheels, you not only need the same rim size, but the same hub width. If all parts are from the last 10-15 years you are probably OK, but be aware that rear dropout spacing went from 120 mm (5 speed freewheels) to 126 mm (6 and 7 speed freewheels) to 130 mm (8, 9, 10 speed road cassettes) or 135 mm (7- 8- and 9-speed MTB). It's best to keep together a chain and gear cluster that are worn together, but these days chains seem to wear quickly, and you can often replace a chain without replacing the gear cluster. You can always try it and see. If the chain skips or the system makes excess noise, then you need to replace both together.

06-06-2006, 12:23 PM
Took my 12 speed, allong with the tire from my ten speed to the lbs (Bikeworks on Mississippi). They suggested that I repace the gear cable, the rear brake cable, and said the headset was a little loose, but the drive train was in good shape.

Brought her home on the bus, and when I got to my corner, I thought I would save some time, there is a slight grade down to my house, so I was going to coast down to my house. I applied the brake to slow down, and found myself sitting on the sidewalk. Perfect three-point landing, with my butt taking the brunt of the fall. My worst injury is a 4 by 2 bruise on my thigh, where it hit the handlebars going over. The bike? It has a twisted headset, I don't know if there was any real damage done. I was not in the mood to deal with it anymore.
I weaseled a ride to the moorage from my boyfreind, and a ride to a train station to come home.

Muscles are sore, don't know how much from sailing versus flying. Today is school, I have lots to do before the term ends next week , so probably won't look at the bike for a few days at least. I guess the quickest repair is to swap tires from the twelve speed to the ten speed.

I didn't want to spend the money for a tire and tube for the ten speed, if the twelve speed was in better shape. But now I don't know if that's the case anymore. Maybe I'll visit Citybike while I'm downtown, they sell lots of used parts.

Wier's wanted tweny bucks for a tire, and I could probably replace my ten speed for that price (with some shopping around.)


06-07-2006, 07:52 AM
Not sure what you mean by "twisted headset", but the most likely thing is that the handlebar stem got skewed relative to the headset. If so, just loosen the stem bolt, align the handlebars, and retighten. To test the headset adjustment, (1) make sure the fork turns freely, and (2) bounce the bike on the front wheel - if you hear jiggling then the headset it too loose. A bent fork is a slight possibility, and if this is the case then the bike won't want to ride straight and it will be obvious.

06-07-2006, 02:02 PM
Like I said, I wasn't in the mood to deal with it. My BF wanted me to get back on to see if the brakes were working, he said they were, I say they weren't. And it really didn't matter, I already bought the cable to replace, and was told to replace it. .Couldn't steer straight, because it is probably a 30 to 45 degree angle.

Hw wanted to loan me his bike, which I don't want. I want MY bike to work. :( He is 6'3" and I am 5"7'. I wasn't about to take off and ride seven miles on an unknown bike. Besides he doesn't live nearby. So I don't know how I'd get the bike.:confused:

But I did go sailing. It was fun, only my second time out this year, but school is over next week. :cool: This is a practice series for the women's race later this summer.


06-09-2006, 03:47 AM
Not sure what you mean by "twisted headset", but the most likely thing is that the handlebar stem got skewed relative to the headset. If so, just loosen the stem bolt, align the handlebars, and retighten.

I should add that if you go to realign the handlebars and loosen the stem bolt, you may find that the stem doesn't loosen but the bolt sticks up above the stem. If this is the case, take a hammer or mallet and tap the bolt so that if fall down flush into the stem. Now the stem will be loose and you can realign it. The lug at the bottom of the stem will often stick in place without a little persuasion.