Bicycle Repair Manual

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Bicycle Repair Manual

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Content

Y ND
LL A D
FU SED TE
V I DA
RE UP

B CYCLE

REPAIR

MANUAL
CHRIS SIDWELLS

CHRIS

SIDWELLS

LONDON, NEW YORK, MUNICH,
MELBOURNE, AND DELHI
Senior Editor Richard Gilbert
Senior Art Editor Susan St. Louis
Managing Editor Stephanie Farrow
Managing Art Editor Lee Griffiths
Jacket Designer Lee Ellwood
Senior Production Editor Vânia Cunha
Production Controller Louise Daly
Produced for Dorling Kindersley by
Editor Pip Morgan
Designer Peter Laws
Original edition designed by
Edward Kinsey
Photographer Gerard Brown
Technical Consultant Guy Andrews
First American Edition 2004. Published with minor
revisions in 2005, this edition fully revised and
updated in 2008 in the United States by
DK Publishing, 375 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014
08 09 10 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
BD588—06/08
Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2008
Dorling Kindersley Limited
Text copyright © 2004, 2005,
2008 Chris Sidwells
All rights reserved
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved
above, no part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval
system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means
(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or otherwise), without the prior written permission
of both the copyright owner and the above
publisher of this book.
Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley
Limited.
A catalog record for this book is available from the
Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-75663-394-3
DK books are available at special discounts when
purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums,
fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact:
DK Publishing Special Markets, 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014 or [email protected]

Intr
trrod
trod
o uc
ction
tiio
on
n

7

G TT
GE
T ING TO KNO
KNOW
W YOU
UR BIK
BIK
KE 8
The
eb
ba
asic bike
e

10
0

Anatom
An
omy of tthe
he
eb
bik
ke

12
12

Bik
ke forr ge
kes
enera
al use

14
4

Spe
Sp
ecia
alt
ltyy bike
es

16

Settin
in
ng up an ad
a ult’
ult’
ul
t s bike
e

18
8

Sett
tttin
ing
g up
p a ch
hiild’s
ld bike

20

CARI
CA
RIING FOR
OR YOUR
R BIKE
KE
KE

22

T olss
To

24

W rk
Wo
kshop priinc
nciple
es

26

Clea
Cl
eaning you
ea
ourr bike
ke
e

28
8

Lu
Lubr
ub
brric
ric
icat
ating
g yo
your bik
ke

30

Ma
M
aki
king
ng rou
outtiine
ne ssaf
afet
af
ety checks
et

32

M in
Ma
i te
tena
na
anc
nce
e

34

T oublesh
Tr
hootin
hoot
i g

36

Sp
pot
otti
ting
ng
gd
dan
an
nge
ger si
sign
sign
gns

38
38

Prep
Pr
ep
par
arin
in
ng ffo
or w
we
et w
et
we
ea
eat
atthe
her
er

40
40

MAIN
NTAININ
NG
YO
OUR DRIVE
RIIVE
R
V TR
TRA
AIIN
IN

42
42

Ca
abl
be
es
s and
nd shiftters

H w they wor
Ho
ok

44

Drrop handleb
eb
bar gear cabl
ablles

46
46

Stra
St
raight handleb
eb
bar gea
ar ca
ables

48

Fron
Fro
ont and rear deraille
eurs
eu

Color reproduction by Colourscan in Singapore
Printed and bound by Star Standard
in Singapore

How
Ho
w th
they
ey work
ey

50

Fron
nt de
d ra
ailille
l ur

52

Discover more at

Rear der
erai
a lllleu
ai
eurr
eu

54

www.dk.com

Hu
H
ub ge
ub
ear
ars

H w th
Ho
they
ey wor
ork

56

Hub
Hu
b ge
gear
ar I

58
8

Hub gear II

60

Chaiin,
n, ca
c ss
s ette
e, and cra
rank
n set

ADJU
AD
ADJ
JUST
STING YOUR BRAKES 10
08
Riim b
R
brrak
a es

How
Ho
w they
th
hey
ey wor
ok

110

Drrop
p han
nd
dllebar
eb
e
ba
arr brake cable

112

How the
Ho
ey wor
ork
k

62

Stra
St
aight
htt han
h
ndl
dle
eb
bar
ar b
bra
r ke cable 114

Chai
aiins

64
4

Caliper br
brak
ak
ke

116

Cassette and freewheel

66
66

V-brake

118

Crran
anks
kset
etss

68

C nt
Ca
ntililev
ever brake
ra
ake
k

120

Alternativ
ive
e brake de
essiign
ns

122

Bott
tttom
om brack
cketts

H w th
Ho
hey
y work

70

H bHu
b mo
mounte
te
ed brakes
s

Ca
artridge
rtt
bo
b
bott
ottom
ttom bracket
tt
ett

7
72

Ho
ow th
hey work
k

12
24
4

Hollow-ax
xle
e bo
bottom bra
ra
ack
ket
et

74
74

Replac
ac
cin
i g di
d sc
s bra
rake padss

126
26

B X bo
BM
ott
t om
om brackett

76

D sc bra
Di
ake
k carre

128
28

Hyydr
d aulic d
diissc
c bra
r ke
eI

130
13

Peda
Pe
da
d
als

How
Ho
w th
t ey work
k

78

Hyydrau
Hydr
drra lic diisc brra
ake
ke II

13
32
2

Peda
Pe
dal axle
da

80
80

Ro r--b
Roller
brake ca
ab
ble

13
34

Clip
ple
ess ped
edalls

82

Peda
Pe
dal cl
cleats
ts

8
84

TUN
TU
NING
ING
G YOU
UR SU
SUS
SP
PENSION 1
13
36

STEE
ST
EERI
RIN
NG
G AND WHE
HEEL
ELS
ELS
EL

86

Sus
Su
spen
sp
e siion
n forrk
ks
s

How tth
Ho
hey
y work
k

138
13

He
H
ead
adse
etts
s

Fron
Fr
ontt su
ussp
pen
ensi
s on

14
40

How th
Ho
they
e work

88

Co
oil/o
/o
oil fo
orrk

142
42

Thre
Th
read
dle
ess headset

90
0

Aiir//o
A
oiil fo
ork
rk

144
14

92

Looking
g af
a te
t r su
susp
sp
pe
en
n n forks
nsion

146
14

Thre
Th
re
eaded headset

Rear sus
u pe
p ns
sio
on

Handle
Ha
nd
dle
eba
bars
r

Sttra
r ig
gh
htt han
ndl
d eb
e ar
Drop
op
p han
ndl
dleb
ebarr

94
4

How
w it works
orks
k

148
14

96
6

Rear
Re
ar suspe
ens
nsio
on

150
50

G os
Gl
ossa
ssary
sa
s
ary
ry

152
15
52

In
nde
dex

15
54
4

Ackn
kn
now
owledg
le
edg
dg
gme
ment
ntts

160

Hubs
s

How th
hey w
work
k
Open-be
ea
earing
hu
ub
ub

98
100

Wh
W
heels

Quickk re
ele
easse wh
whee
e ls
ls

10
1
02

Puncture rep
pai
air

104
04

Spok
okes
ess and rims
im
ms

106
106
6

A cl
clea
eaan, wel
e ll-ma
main
ma
inta
in
tain
ta
ined
ed b
bike wi
willll
w rkk eff
wo
ffic
icie
ic
ient
ie
ntly
nt
ly aand
nd
d saf
afely, and add
to you
ur en
e jo
oym
ymen
entt o
en
off cyccling by giving
yo
ou peeac
acee off min
nd.
Safe
Sa
f tyy and
fe
nd eeff
fffic
iciency are closely
linked
e . IIff your
ed
ou
u ge
gears arre no
ot sh
hif
i ti
ting
ng
co
orrectl
t y, for
o iinstancce, they will not
onlyy aff
ffec
e t yo
yourr rid
idiing efficiency, bu
b t
a so
al
o temptt you
o tto
o look down at them
wh
hililee ri
ridi
d ng tto see wh
w at iiss ca
caus
usin
ing
g
t e pr
th
pro
oblem.
m As a resu
sultt, yo
y u mi
m gh
ght
taakee yyou
our ey
e es off what is happening
n
on the rroad
on
d ahead
d and expose yourself
to
o thee posssibi
siib lity
t of a collision. The
ty
Bicy
Bi
cycl
cy
clee Re
cl
Repa
p ir Man
pa
a ual will help you
avoiid su
av
such
h pro
r blems by demonstratting
how
ho
w to
t mai
aint
ntain your bike regularly
and
an
d co
c rrrecctl
tly.
y.

Unders
rstaand
ndin
i g te
tech
chnology
Modeern
Mo
r bik
ikes
es may see
eem complicated,
an
nd the teech
c nolo
logyy tha
h t manufacturers
usse mayy be
b mor
oree so
s ph
his
isti
tica
cate
ted
d th
than
an
everr. Ho
ev
owe
w veer, cycle
l components work
rk,
as they allwa
as
ways
y hav
ave, according to
lo
ogicaal pr
p in
nci
c pl
ples
es, so
s there is no reason
for yo
fo
ou to be daaunted.
Befo
Be
f re
r you
o beg
e in to service a
particcul
ular
ar com
mponent of yo
y ur bike,
f rs
fi
rstt beeco
come
me fam
a iliar with the part
by tur
u niin
ng
g to thee relevant seccti
tion
o .
Know
Kn
ow
win
ing
g ho
how
w a pa
partt w
works makkes it
easi
ea
sier
si
er to ma
main
inta
in
tain
in.
Ab
bov
ovee al
all,l be confident and patient
with
wi
hw
wha
hatt yo
ha
ou are doing. Even if you
do not thi
h nkk of yourself as mech
hanically
ly
minded
d, you
u ma
may come
me tto
o en
enjo
joyy bi
bike
ke
m in
ma
ntenaanc
n e afteer a while and will
cert
ce
rtai
ainl
nlyy en
nl
e jo
j y th
the trouble-free
cyycl
c in
ing
g th
that
at rew
wards your efforts.

Collec
Coll
ecti
ting
ng iinf
nfor
orma
mati
t on
If you buy
u a new bike,
e make sure that
you ke
k ep the accompanyin
i g owner’s
manuall, so that you can refer to it
alongside this book. Do the same with
anyy new eq
an
equipm
pmentt th
that
at you
ub
buyy.
If your bike is not new, obtain a
manual fro
ma
r m a bike sho
h p or the
m nufacturer’s Web site. Manuals will
ma
help
he
lp yyou
ou tto
o be aawa
ware
re o
off th
thee pa
part
rtic
icul
ular
ar
main
ma
i tena
nanc
na
n e requirem
men
e ts of all the
components on your bike.
If you want to learn more about
bike mechanics, there are many
magazines available that contain
tips on specific components. However,
the large ma
majority of people who are
simp
si
ply iint
nter
eres
este
ted
d in lleaarn
rnin
ing ho
how
w to
maintain their bike will find
d everything
they need to know in the pages of the
Bicycle Repair Manual.
Using
Usin
g th
t is b
boo
ook
k
Th
he different main
ntenance requirements
of the mosst common
n types of bike
kes are
listed at the beginning of the book.
These requirements are covered in the
step-by-step pages that are specific
to the components fitted to each type
of bike—for example, suspension forks
for mo
moun
untain
in bikes..
You will also find a timettab
a le for
servicing the parts of your bike and
a troubleshooting chart to help you
identify and solve problems. The book
helps yo
ou to spot danger signs and to
carr
ca
rryy ou
ut ro
rout
utin
inee sa
safe
fety
ty cche
heck
cks.
s. TThe
hese
se
features detail what you need to do
and refer you to the relevant step-bystep sequences to explain how
w to do it.

Understanding your bike
will make it easier to
maintain. Identify all the
different parts and
components to help you
see how they work
together as a whole.

10

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BIKE

The basic bike
Modern bikes, such as the hybrid bike (below),
w
are designed to be light and user-friendly.
Each part performs a key function in the
overall operation of the bike.
The frame is the skeleton on to which
all components are fitted. The fork holds the
front wheel, and connects to the handlebars
so the bike can be steered. Suspension forks
improve comfort and control over rough
surfaces. The drivetrain is the system that

transfers the rider’s energy, via the pedals and
cranks, to the rear wheel. It also contains a
number of cogs, known as chainrings and
cogs, which carry the chain.
The derailleurs change the bike’s gears by
moving the chain onto different chainrings
and cogs. Derailleurs are controlled by the
gear-shift levers, which are mounted on the
handlebar to allow quick and easy use by the
rider. The brakes are controlled by brake

Hybrid bike 
Advances in technology have
refined the design and improved
the performance of each category
of bike part, producing a machine
that is easy to ride and maintain.
Wheel (see pp.98–9, 102–7)
7
The rim’s shape and high-tech
aluminum increase the wheel’s
strength. Wheels with disc brakes,
shown here, can have lighter
rims than bikes with rim brakes.
brake

Frame
me (see pp.12–13)

Derailleur (see pp.500–5)
5
Derailleurs are designed to
cope with the wide rangee
of sprocket sizes required
to climb and descend
de
the
steepest hills.

Impr
mproved welding techniques allow
thin-walled aluminum tubes to
provide a relatively cheap, light and
responsive frame. The thickness of
the tube walls varies to cope with
areas of increased stress.

Pedal (see pp.78–85)
5
Clipless pedals allow more
power to be transferred to
the wheels because the feet
are fixed to the pedals. Flat
pedals, and toe clips and
straps, are simpler,
but easier to use.

Drivetrain
n (see pp.56–77)
pp 5
Stiff materials maximize the
amount of power the drivetrain
transfers to the rear wheel. A
triple crankset increases gear
range and a flexible chain allows
quick, easy gear-shifts.

11

levers that are also mounted on the handlebar, and use brake pads to press against the
wheel’s rim, or discs attached to the hub, to
stop the bike.
High-tech machine 
Many years of design refinement have produced
an adaptable hybrid bike, which combines
technology from road and mountain bikes
for use in an urban environment.

Gear-shift levers
(see pp.44–9)
9
Ergonomically designed
d
gear-shift levers were
developed from
mountain bikes, and give
vee
easy, precise gear-shifts.

Fork (se
For
see
eee pp
ppp.13
.138–4
138–4
47)
Forks are designed with varying
thickness in the tube wall. Tubes
are thin in the middle and thick
at both ends. This reduces weight
and absorbs road shock. Some
forks also act as suspension
systems, further reducing shock
and improving control.
Brake (see pp.108–35)
5
Disc brakes offer sensitive,
powerful braking that is not
affected by weather conditions.
Other bikes have rim brakes,
O
which are still very good,
w
aalthough they require earlier
braking to slow in the wet.
b

Tire (see pp.104–5)
5
Modern tires are made from
rubber compounds that roll well
on the road, while adhering to
it when cornering. They often
have puncture-resistant bands
of material, such as Kevlar,
beneath the tread.

12

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BIKE

Anatomy
of the bike
Understanding how the parts on your bike fit
together will help you perform maintenance
tasks successfully. Although your bike may
differ from the modern mountain bike (right),
t
all bikes fit together in a similar way. For
example, the quick-release levers on the
wheels below perform the same function
as axle nuts on a bike with hub gears.
The main parts and their components,
and where each part is attached to the bike,
are shown on the mountain bike. Take the
time to study the illustration, since it will
act as a useful reference to help you follow
the steps later in the book.
Mountain bike 
The mountain bike is a good example of
how parts fit together—its frame, wheels,
drivetrain, pedals, derailleurs, brakes, and
gear-shift levers are similar to those of
road and hybrid bikes.

Saddle
Saddle cover
Saddle rails

Seat post
Saddle clamp

Rear brake
Cable-guide tube
Braking surface
Brake pad
Brake arm

Frame
Seat tube
Seat stay
Chainstay
Down tube

Rear hub
Rear dropout
Hub
Quick-release

Bottom bracket

Cassette

Rear derailleur

Cassette body

Jockey pulley

Cog

Derailleur plate

Lockring

Barrel adjuster

Anatomy of the bike

THE ASSEMBLED BIKE

Bike controls
Gear-shift lever

Grip

Handlebar

Brake lever

Steering
Handlebar stem

Bike parts are designed to bolt together
in the same way to allow straightforward
maintenance by following a few key
workshop principles (see pp.26–7).
7 Most
parts use Allen bolts, so for many tasks an
Allen key multi-tool is all that is required.

Top cup and bearing
Spacer
Stem cap
Head tube
Top tube
Steerer tube
Bottom cup and bearing

Front wheel
Hub
Spoke
Rim

Fork crown
Fork blade
Slider

Quickrelease

Tires
Tire bead
Valve
Tire

Drivetrain

Inner tube

Right-hand crankarm

Pedal

Chainring

Pedal body

Front derailleur

Foot retention mechanism

Chain

Pedal axle

13

14

GE
GET
G
ET
E
T TIN
TING TO KN
NOW
NO
O
OW
W YO
YO UR
U R BIK
IK
KE

Bikes for
general use
You
Yo
ou ca
can
a buy a bike for almost any purpose,
butt ev
bu
e en a simple utility, hybrid, or folding
bikke will still increase your fitness, save you
bi
moneyy on train or bus tickets, and have no
nega
gattive impact on your environment.
As long as the bike is of good quality,
you willl o
only need to keep it clean and
checkk it rregularly for signs of wear. Hybrid
bikes, utililitty b
bikes, and folding bikes are all
dependab
blee machines that are suitable for
commuting to work or school, day-to-day
transportation, or simply a relaxing ride on a
b ke trail or country road.
bi
TTh
he hybrid bike
Ligh
igh
ghtw
twei
tw
eigh
ght materials combined with roadbiike
b
ike p
peerform
mance and hardy mountain bike
tech
tech
te
chnolo
nolo
l gyy m
make hybrid bikes perfect for
bumpy urba
bu
b n roads. They are ideal for
comm
co
mmut
mut
u in
ing,
g, familyy ri
ride
d s, fitness riding,
tto
tour
ou
urrrin
i g,
in
g, aan
nd car
arrryin
rying lugg
gage.
Thee ut
Th
util
ilitty bik
bike
ke
Util
Ut
tillit
ity bi
ity
b kees arre ideal fo
for loccal commuting
and sho
an
sh
hortt rid
des.
e They aree equ
uipped with fat
t res th
ti
hat
at ab
bsorb road bum
bs
ump
ps but will drag
on lon
on
ng jou
urneys, making the
hem tiring and
uncomf
mfforta
or able to ride.
TTh
he folding
g bike
Id
deall fo
forr co
com
mm
mmuters,
and for people with
lilittttlee sspa
p ce
c in which
h to sto
tore
re a standard bike,
folding
g bi
bikess ca
ca go anyywhere, esp
can
pecially
on pub
blilicc trransp
sp
por
orta
t ti
tio
on. The fo
old
lded
ed bike can
be easiilyy reas
assem
mbled
mble
ed into a serviceable
machin
ne with
houtt th
thee us
usee of tools.

U an commuting
Urb
W h its head-up, traffic-friendly riding position
Wit
and easy-to-operate gears, the lightweight hybrid
is ideal for urban commuting.

Bikes for general use

ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
HYBRID BIKE

• Regularly maintain
and lubricate the
derailleur gears (see
pp.52–3, 54–5).
5
blees
• Check the gear cab
for signs of wear
(see p.39, pp.48–9).
9
• Check the brake
cables or hoses, and
pads for signs of wear
(see p.39, pp.114–15).
5
• Check the tires for
signs of wear (see p.39
39).
39
9)
he
• Regularly change the
chain (see pp.64–5).
5

Ti
Tire

Gear cable

Rea
Rear
Re
deraille
dera
illeur
ille
ur

Brake cable
Front
derailleur

C n
Chai

UTILITY BIKE

icat
ate
• Regularly lubrric
the hub gears (se
seee
pp.58–9, 60–
–1).
t e
• Regularlyy checkk th
gear cablees for sign
gns of
gn
wear
we
ar ((ssee
see p.
p.39
39).
39
ularl
rlyy ch
rl
cheeck
eck the
the
• Regu
brake conttro
ol ca
cabl
bles
bl
e
es
forr si
fo
sign
gn
ns off w
wea
eaar
(pp.1
114
4–1
–15
5).
)
g larlyy ch
heck th
t e
• Regu
brakke pa
pads
ds ffor
or ssig
ig
gns
n
of wear (see p.38)
8).
g larly clean
n an
and
d
• Regu
grease tthee ccha
hain
in ((se
seee
pp.28–
28–9,
9, 30–
0 1).
).

Handlebar basket
Sp ung
Spru
ng sad
addle

Brak
ake
e lever

Hu
Hub
u gears

Chaingua
uard
r

FOLDING BIKE

• Regularly check and
lubricate the pivots and
the locks that allow the
bike to fold and unfold.
• Regularly check hub
gears, even thou
o gh
ou
h they
are shielded fro
ro
om th
he
elements and so need
very little maintenance
(see pp.58–9, 60–1)
• Pay extra attention to
t e outer control cables
th
(sseee p.39, pp.48–9).
9

Rear suspens
pe ion
pens
o
on
Hub
ub and
derailleur
ur gear
gear
syst
stem
st
em

Folded bike

Frame
hinge
Large chainrings

Unfolded
bike

15

16

GET
G
ET
T TIN
T IN G T O K NOW
TING
NO
N
OW
WY
YO U
UR
R BIK
B KE

Specialty bikes
If you
If
u waan
nt to
t ttakke up cycling as a ssport
or ho
ob
bbyy, rather th
han simply as a meeans of
transportaati
tr
t on,, look
look for a more speccialized
bikkee, ssu
bi
uch as a ra
racee-level road bike, a
mou
mo
untain bikke,, or a BMX bike.
un
As bikkes
As
es beeccom
ome more sophisticated, they
ome
neeed
ne
d more caare
r . Fo
or example, lightw
weight
paart
par
rts wearr quickklyy, so they must be kept
scru
sc
rupulo
pu ousslyy cleean. Carbon wheel rim
pu
ms
requirre ssp
re
pecia
eciaal br
brakke pads that do no
ot work
weell
w
elll on me
meta
tal. Hydraulic disc brakes and
sussp
sus
pension
on systtem
tems
te
ms need regular attention.
Do not
ot leett tth
hiss stop you from buyying your
drea
eam bikkee. Justt ass riding it will be a joy,
maintaain
ma
nin
ng it to exacting standardss will
be paarrt
be
rt off th
he who
he
ole cycling experieence.
TThe
he roaad
d biikke
Lig
Li
gh
htweig
ght m
maateri
r als and narrow tires make
ro
oad
ad bik
ikees
es goo
od fo
or fitness riding, dayy touring,
and comp
an
mpet
etittio
ions. Th
T e aerodynamic position
affo
af
ford
rded
db
byy a dr
drop handlebar offers great
drop
spee
sp
eed.
d Road bikes are so light and haave such
a range of gears that almost anyonee, with a
liittle training, can tackle the great m
mountain
passes made famous by the Tour de France.
The mountain bike
The
Fulll-suspension mountain bikes allow
w you
to break new ground and ride acrosss rugged
terrai
ain that was previously unthinkaable and
at spe
peed
e s that were once unattainab
ble.
The BM
BMX bike
Thesee bikes are built for acceleration
n and
agilee bike handling. Like some of thee very
firsst bikes, BMXs are made almost en
ntirely
from
m steel because it transfers poweer in a
way th
hat no other material can.

Road ridiing
R
Ro
TThi
h s road
road
d bi
bike
k represents the ultimate in road-bike
d ign
des
g , and
gn
nd iss the type of bike that proffessionals
use
u
se
s in
in th
the Tour
ou
u d
de FFrance.

Specialty bikes

ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
ROAD BIKE

d
• Regularlyy cleaan and
lubr
lu
bric
icate th
thee bi
bike
ke (see
Caliper brake
pp.28–9, 30–
–1).
20-speed
d gear• Make routine safety
shiftt ssystem
shif
m
c ecks ((seee pp.3
ch
32–3
3).
Chec
eck th
he braakes
• Ch
(see pp.1
116
16–1
17).
• Make suree gears are
working perfectl
wo
tlly (see
pp.52–
2 3, 54–
–5).
me protector
• Check fram
paads
d for wea
earr in
n th
hee
locati
lo
tio
onss wh
wher
eree cable
er
oute
ou
ters to
ouch carbo
onfiiber fr
frames (seee p.33
33).
).

Carb
ar on-f
arb
-fiber
be
fram
me

Aluminum
Aluminum
drop
handlebar
Road race
tire

Clipless
Clip
l
less
pedall
peda
ped

Deep secttion
De
carbon fibe
car
ca
ber rim
ms

MOUNTAIN BIKE

up thee susspensi
pe ion
pe
• Set up
system
m (see pp.1
140-1
1,
150–
–1).
)
gu
ula
larrly cleaan and
• Regu
lubr
lu
b iccat
a e th
he su
uspension
sp
n
(see pp
pp.1
.1
142–3,
42
144–5).
14
5
pec
ectt al
alll pivo
vots and
vo
• Insp
seals re
reg
gula
gula
larl
rly.
rl
y.
es or
• Check brake cables
hoses, and pads regu
ularlly
(see pp.38–9, pp.114
4–15
5).).
• Replace the casssette
every six months (see
pp.66–7).
7
rvic
i e the he
ic
heaadseet
• Seerv
regu
gu
ula
larly (see pp.90
0–1,
92–3).
92

Straight handlebar

Rear
arr sho
h ck
ho
Rear deraill
aill
illeur
eur

Carb
bon-f
on-fiber
iber
e
frame
fram
e

Cross-country
tire
re

Su
Susp
uspensi
ens on fork
Disc
brake

BMX BIKE

cheeckk th
he
• Regularly ch
bottom brackket to
o se
seee
that
a it is runni
at
n ng
g ffre
reee,
butt not loosse (se
seee
pp
p.7
.76–7).
7
Repl
p ace the pe
peda
dals
lss
• Re
iff tthe
heir axles are
he
re ben
nt
(se
seee pp.80–1).
).
djust the
h b
bra
raake
kess fo
or
• Ad
mini
nima
m l travel before
ef
the br
b akes
es com
o e on
on,
since th
he sttee
eell ri
rim
ms
ms,
thou
ugh
g vver
e y st
er
stro
rong
ro
ng,
ng
do not make go
good
od
brakkin
i g surf
su facces ((seee
pp.122
22–3
22
–3)).
–3

Sing
S
n le geari
ea ng

Gy
Gyro
headset
head
Stunt peg

Opposite
site
t
transmis
smis
m sion
sio

17

18

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BIKE

Setting up an
adult’s bike

Adjusting your riding
position

If the saddle’s height and angle are adjusted
and the position of the brake levers on the
handlebar is set so that they are within easy
reach, then riding will be more efficient and
comfortable. A novice cyclist should try
setting the saddle height a little lower at
first, and work toward the ideal once he
or she is used to riding.
STEP LOCATOR

2

6

5

7

3

1

1

4

• Set your crankarms so that the pedal farthest

Remove your shoes and sit on your bike,
supporting yourself against a wall.

from the wall is at the low point of its revolution.

• Put the heel of your foot on the pedal. Your leg
Toolbox

 Allen key multi-tool  Wrenches
 Screwdriver

should be straight when you do this. Ask someone
to help you check.

The kn
nee aligns
ns
w h the
wit
h ax
axl
xle

Place the widest part of your foot over the
pedal axle. If your shoes have cleats, set
them up so that your foot can easily adopt this
position (see pp.84–5 ).

4

• Set your crankarms parallel to the floor. The
depression on the side of your leading leg, just
behind the kneecap, should be directly over the
axle of the pedal. Ask your helper to check.

Move your saddle back if the depression
M
on your leg is in front of the axle. If it is
behind, move it forward.

5

• Undo the saddle clamp under the saddle. On
modern bikes, you will need an Allen key; on
older bikes, use a wrench.

• Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you are sure you
have the position right.

Setting up an adult’s bike

Raise the saddle if your leg is not straight
when your heel is on the pedal. Lower the
saddle if your heel does not reach the pedal.

2

• Undo the seat pin clamp bolt. Raise or lower
the saddle, tighten up the bolt, and try again. Ask
your helper to see if your leg is straight. Do not
lean on the foot that you are testing.

Make sure that the brake reach allows
you to apply the brakes using the first
joints of your first two fingers, while holding
the handlebar securely with your thumb and
remaining fingers. You should be able to hook
your fingers over the brake levers. If you have
to stretch too far, you will be unable to apply
enough power.

6

To make absolutely sure the saddle height
is right for you, go for a ride with your
cycling shoes on and your feet in their normal
position on the pedals.

3

• Ask your helper to ride behind you and make
sure your hips are not rocking from side to side
as you ride. If they are, the saddle is set too high
and you need to repeat Steps 1 and 2.

7

Adjust the reach of the brake levers if you
have to stretch too far.

9 and
• Undo the brake cable (see pp.118–19)
screw in the adjuster on the lever until you can
reach it easily. Then reclamp the brake cables.

• Set the brake levers at an angle to the handlebar
so that you can pull them in line with your arm.

19

20

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BIKE

Setting up a
child’s bike

Adjusting the position of
the saddle

Before a child starts riding a bike, adjust the
saddle and handlebar to suit his or her body.
Set the saddle at its lowest point, as in Step 1.
Buy the biggest bike possible at first, then
keep adjusting it as the child grows taller.
Children’s bikes are usually measured by wheel
size—from 12in (30cm) up to 24in (60cm).
STEP LOCATOR

1

1

2

2

3

3

Set the saddle on your child’s bike at a
height that allows him or her to sit on it
and simultaneously to touch the ground with the
front part of each foot. This is the ideal setup.

1

Toolbox

 Allen key multi-tool  Wrenches
 Plastic mallet

Adjusting the height of
the handlebar

Raise or lower the bike’s handlebar by
loosening the expander bolt that holds the
stem into the bike. This bolt is secured by either
an Allen bolt or a hexagonal bolt, so use an Allen
key or a wrench to loosen it.

1

• Knock the bolt down with a plastic mallet to
free it up if you need to.

Grip the front wheel betweeen your legs to
steady it and then pull the handlebar up or
push it down. Do not pull the hand
dlebar higher
than the safety limit that is marked on the stem.
Once the handlebar is at the right height, and the
stem is lined up with the front wheeel, tighten the
expander bolt.

2

Setting up a child’s bike

Loosen the seat pin clamp—it has either a
quick-release lever or a nut-and-bolt fixing
that requires a wrench. Either pull the saddle up
or push it down to the required height.

2

Adjust the
e sad
add
dd
d
dle
e
and han
ndlleba
ebarr stil
eb
tiill
further if you
ou nee
nee
eed
d tto
o, so
o,
so
that your
ur ch
hild
i d ccaan ssiit
it in
n
the id
deal
e ri
ridin
ing
in
ng pos
ossitio
osi
ositi
tio
ion—
neith
the
herr too
o upr
up
u
prig
pr
ig
igh
gh
ht
ht,
t, no
nor
or
or
too
to
oo
o sttret
rettch
ch
che
heed.
d.

3

Move the saddle forward or backward
by loosening the nut that secures the seat
clamp. Tighten the nut again, but be sure that the
saddle is horizontal to the ground.

3

21

Your bike needs to be
kept clean and well
lubricated to avoid
mechanical problems.
Learning to make
cleaning, lubricating, and
checking a regular part
of your bike routine will
lengthen the life of your
bike and its components.

24

C ARING
CAR
CA
A
AR
R IN
IING
NG
N
GF
FO
O R YOU
OUR
UR
U
RB
BII KE
KE

Toolss
Iff you are goi
oing to regularly maintaain and
repa
repa
re
pair
air
i you
ur bike, you will need to bu
uy a
t ol
to
o kkit
it or as
it
assemble your own. The to
ools
sh
sho
how
own oppo
osite will enable you to caarry out
aalll th
the es
e se
sent
n ial repairs and to maintaain your
bikkee at pe
bike
p ak
ak performance. Add other tools
aass req
e uired
d when specific parts of you
ur bike
neeed
n
ed maintenance or replacement. Ho
owever,
try to fol
tr
ollo
ow a few general principles w
when
usin
ng th
t e to
tools.
When
e usi
s ng tools on a bike, especiaally
light
gh
htwei
e gh
ghtt bikes, you need a delicate ttouch.
If you
If
ou are use
sed
d to w
working on cars, then use
less
less
le
ss for
orce
ce whe
h n de
dealing with your bike. Nuts
an
nd bo
bollts
t only
ly n
nee
e d to be tight; if you overee
o
tigh
tigh
ghte
teen th
them
m, th
they
eyy w
will shear. If in doub
bt, buy
to
orq
r u
uee gau
uge
g s th
hat
a accurately measure tthe
correc
co
ect le
ec
ect
leve
vel off tig
ve
ig
ghtness on a bike’s nuts
ts
and
d bo
b lt
lts.
s.. See
ee thee component manufactu
urers’
in
nst
s ru
ucttio
onss ffor rec
eco
ommended torque
s tttin
se
ingss. In
I fac
act,
ct it is essential to keep all
the in
th
nsttru
ructtio
i ns tha
h t come with your bikee,
tto
ool
o s,, and
d anyy ccom
omp
po
ponents
you buy.
Bu
uy th
thee be
b st
st-q
-quaalility, precision-made
-q
tool
to
ols.
s TThe
h y wi
he
w ll last for many years if you
ttaakkee care
are off the
ar
hem.
m. Cheap tools will bend and
a
beecome
b
com
co
mee cchi
h pp
hi
p ed
ed,, ma
maki
king
ng it impossible to
caarrrry out
out so
ou
some
m mai
aint
nten
e ance jobs properly.
They
Th
hey
ey cou
uld
ld even da
dam
magee the components
th
hat
at yyou
ou wor
ou
oko
on
n.

Wor
W
o kin
ing
g witth tools
to
Whe
W
h
hen usin
using your tools to
o
mainta
ma
tain
ta
in or re
rep
ep
pai
air your biike,
give your
giv
oursel
s f plenty
en of roo
room
m
and
aan
nd allwayys wo
ork in a neatt,
weell-l
wel
we
l- it
it env
en iro
ronme
nment.
n
nt.
nt

Tools

Essential tools
Start your toolbox with the two
multi-tools, the wrenches to fit
the cones, needle-nose pliers,
cable cutters, a pump, and a
workstand.

Wrenches and Allen Keys

Drivetrain Tools

Wrenches
13—18mm

Crankar
m bolt
wrench
Chain
whip
Crank
puller

Pumps and Workstand
Chain
tool
Workstand

Cassette remover
Allen keys
2—10mm

Bottom Bracket Tools
Peg
spanner

Wrench multi-tool
Frame-mounted
pump

Allen key
multi-tool

Hollow
ow-axle
cup ttool

Mallet

Wrench
Shock pump

Plastic mallet

Hollow-axle crank cap tool
Bottom-bracket remover

Pliers and Cable Cutters

SPECIA
SPE
CIALTY
LTY TO
TOOLS
OLS

Needlenose
pliers
(narrow)

Some
S
omee maintenan
nce and rep
epla
laceme
m nt tasks
requ
q ire specia
ialtty to
tool
o s that
a you
o w
will not
usee verry oft
ften
e . Oth
her tools, suc
uch
h as the
cab
blee puller
e , arre no
not essentiaal bu
ut wi
w ll
makke
ma
ke som
me jobs easier.

Cable
cutters

Cable
Cabl
ep
puller

Chain
n
measuringg
m
device

Needle
-nose
pliers
(wide)
Ben
nch
h vise

Track
pump

Spok
p e keys
and spoke
rule
er

25

26

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Workshop principles
Four key principles govern the work you do
on your bike. The first is neatness—find a
place for each tool and return it there when
you are finished with it. Second, do not use
too much force to tighten components—the
nuts and bolts of lightweight parts can easily

shear. Third, remember the order in which
you take components apart. Finally, keep
all of your tools clean and dry.
The guidelines below provide you with
general principles for some of the most
common tools or operations in bike repair.

Using Allen keys

Using pliers

Put the long axis of
an Allen key in the
Allen bolt to make the
key easier to use, both
for repeated turns and
in places where space
is tight or restricted,
such as putting a
bottle cage on the
down tube.

Use the short axis
of an Allen key to
make the final turn
when tightening an
Allen bolt—for
example, on a
chainring. You can
also use this technique
to start undoing an
Allen bolt.

Use needle-nose
pliers to hold cables
and keep them under
tension. Buy a small
pair with pointed jaws
for tight areas. Keep
the jaws clean and
grease-free. Lubricate
the pivot with light oil
occasionally.

Fix a cable crimp
onto a brake cable to
stop the ends from
fraying. Push the cable
crimp onto the end of
the cable and squeeze
it flat with your pliers.
If you are gentle, you
can use the inside jaws
of your cable cutters.

Using a wrench

Cutting cable housings

Always use the correct size of wrench for the
nut you are tightening or loosening. Hold the
wrench firmly at the end to maximize leverage.
Make sure that the jaws fully enclose the nut to
prevent it from slipping.

Cut a brake cable
housing between the
spirals of the metal
tube under the sheath.
If the spirals become
compressed, squeeze
them with the inside
of your cutter jaws
until they are round.

Cut a gear cable
housing through the
wire under the sheath.
If you need to, squeeze
the wire with the
inside of your cutter
jaws until its crosssection is round again.

Org
Or
Org
gan
ani
a
n
niizin
zin
zi
ing a bi
bik
ke
e wo
wor
w
orrk
o
ksh
ssh
hop
op
Reg
R
gula
ulllaarly
u
rly m
maaiint
nttai
n
aain
inin
ing
ng yo
yourr b
biik
ike and
nd cca
car
arry
ar
ryyiin
ryi
ng
g
ou
out
o
u
utt es
esssen
seeen
nti
tiaal repa
tia
paairs
rss me
meaan
ans
nss tth
n
hat
at yyo
you
ou
u ccaan
an keeep
eee
yo
yyou
ou
o
ur bike
ike
ik
ke at
at pe
peaakk p
per
errfo
fo
for
orrman
maan
m
ance
cce.
e Iff yyo
ou haave
avve
ve th
thee
sspa
sp
paace
p
ce tth
ce,
he bees
est
sstt p
pllaac
ace
ccee to
to do
do th
this
is is
is in
in a wo
worksho
orrksho
ork
op
tha
that
th
hat is well
ha
weel
ell
ll o
orrrg
gaan
g
gan
aniize
zeed an
nd
d eequ
eq
qu
q
uip
ipp
ipp
pped
ed w
wit
wi
iith all
ll the
he
too
oolss you
oo
yo
ou
o
u ne
neeed
d ffo
for
o
orr yyo
our
ur p
paaarrttic
par
iiccu
ulllaar bikkkeee.. Crea
ula
re te
te a
wor
wo
orksh
k hop
op ttha
h
haat is drryy wit
wi h pllen
leentyy o
off lig
li ht
h —and
a
an
fo
fol
o llow
w tth
hee fo
ou
our
u
urr kkey
key work
rkksho
s p princip
rin
ri
rin
i cip
ciplless.

28

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Cleaning your bike
Although a bike is a very efficient and
durable machine, some of its more delicate
parts are at the mercy of the elements. Grit
and dirt, for example, stick to lubricants
and act as a grinding agent. Clean the parts
regularly to keep them running smoothly
and prevent them from wearing out.
While cleaning your bike, check all the
parts and components for damage. With the
wheels taken out, you can look at parts of
the bike’s frame that are usually hidden
and examine each component for signs of
dangerous wear (see pp.32–3 and pp.38–9).
9
The process of cleaning is straightforward.
First, remove old lubricants by applying a
degreaser. Then wash the dirt off with
water and detergent. Finally, rinse, dry,
and lubricate the exposed moving parts.
Cleaning equipment

 Plastic bucket  Sponges  Degreaser  Cloth
 Hard-bristled brushes  Cassette scraper

4

Clean the rest of the wheel, including the
tires, with a bigger brush and soapy water.

• Work the bristles in between the spokes and
around the hub. Rinse with clean water and dry
everything with a cloth.

Removing dirt and oil

1

Remove both wheels from the bike and put
the frame in a workstand or hang it up.

• Place a chain holder in the rear dropout to
keep the chain tight while the rear wheel is out
of the bike. This allows the chain to run freely so
that it can be cleaned thoroughly.

• Apply a degreaser to remove any old oil and
grit. Spray onto the crankset, the front and rear
derailleurs, and the chain, covering each link.

Spray the chainrings, crankset, and front
derailleur with more degreaser if there is
still stubborn oil and dirt (inset).
t

5

• Dip the sponge in hot, soapy water and wrap it
around the chain. Turn the pedals so the chain
runs through the sponge.

• Use the same sponge to wash the rear
derailleur, the front derailleur, and the chainrings.

Cleaning your bike

Use
se a cas
asse
as
sette
e scrrap
aper to gouge
ape
gee out
g
outt aan
anyy
dirt and
di
nd
d deb
bris th
that
at has ac
accum
cum
mulated
ulaated
betwee
ween the
he cog
gs.

2

Apply ple
A
pl nty of soapyy water
ter
er
to the restt of
o the bike
bik wit
iha
differentt sponge. Staart at the top
and work down.

6

fferent-sized, harrd• Use diff
bristled bru
ushes to work
o tthe
water intto the placess th
that
at
are hard to reach.
se with clea
ean
n water
• Rinse
and drry the bikke with
ha
clean cloth..
sponge
g to w
ge
wo
ork
r
rk
• Use a sp
soaap into
o intr
tricatee part
tri
rts,
s,
su
uch ass betw
ettween
n thee brak
rakke
arms and
nd the p
pads.
ds.
lacce th
he wh
whe
heels an
nd
• Repplac
sp
parin
ng
glyy ap
gl
pplyy a lightt oi
oil
to
o the
hee ch
hain
n and
an the
moviing part
rtss of thee
frrontt and
d rear deerai
ail
illeu
eu
urs.
rs.

Use a har
hard-b
d-b
-bris
-b
bris
ristle
tled brush
tled
rush on th
thee ccasse
ssette
tt
tte
s tha
so
th t the
h deg
egrea
egrea
reasser
se reeach
a es into the
spaces
spa
ces b
betwe
betwe
tween
en
n the
the co
ogs. Allow a few
ew
min
inute
utess forr the de
degre
grease
gre
aserr tto
ase
o workk, and
a d
w h iitt off
wa
was
off with
wit
ith soap
apyy wate
ap
ater.
r.

3

29

30

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Lubricating
your bike

Applying oil and
grease

Regular lubrication helps a bike to run
smoothly and prevents excessive wear and
tear. Each time a part of the bike is lubricated,
remember to remove the old oil and grease
with degreaser first (see pp.28–9).
9 Applying
new lubrication on top of old does not work
because lubricants attract grit and dirt to
the bike and form a grinding paste that
can cause damage.
The lubricants needed vary from light
spray oil (dry lube) and heavier oil (wet lube)
to light grease manufactured specifically for
bikes and anti-seize compounds.
Dribble some light oil inside the cable
housings before you fit a new cable. This
makes sure that the cable runs smoothly inside.
Poor gear-shifts are often due to cables running
dry inside their housings. The same is true of
brakes that are hard to apply and slow to return
to the ready-to-use position.

1

STEP LOCATOR

6

1
2

3

5

4

Dribble light oil on to the
pivots in the front and
rear derailleurs once a week.
The jockey pulleys on the rear
derailleur also need some light
oil where they rotate around
the jockey pulley bolts.

Oil the chain after riding
in wet weather, and clean,
dry, and lubricate when cleaning
your bike (see pp.28–9).
9 Except
in winter, or in bad conditions,
use light oil from a spray can
or bottle.

• Make sure you flush out any

• Hold a cloth underneath the

old oil with degreaser first.

chain to catch any excess oil.

3

4

Grease open bearings
after regular cleaning
with a light grease specifically
made for bikes. Bottom brackets
and hubs need most attention,
but headsets need regreasing
less often. Riding regularly in
the rain shortens the interval
between lubrications.

5

Lubricating your bike

2

Smear grease on all new cablles an
nd,
occasionally, on old on
ones.

• Place a blob of grease on the nipple ennd of the
cable, then pull the cable
le throu
ugh your
our thum
mb
and index finger beforee fitting
g it. Weear
mechanic’s disposablee glovees.

Sprea
S
ead an
nti
ti-sei
eizze com
mpound
nd
on the seaat pi
pin
in and
d st
stem to
preven
nt the tw
two
wo co
compo
pon
nents
ts fro
from
m
bin
ndi
ding with tth
the sea
eatt ttu
ube
b or
be
o st
ste
teerer
ere
rer
tube.. Alt
tub
Altho
hough you
hou
you ccaan us
use gre
grease
in
n pla
place
ce off an
a i-s
ant
i-s
-seeize
eize, alw
lways
ays us
ay
usee a
cop
cop
opper
er-b
-ba
-bas
b sed
sed anti
aantiti-sei
se ze ccom
ompo
pound
pou
n
nd
for
fo
orr lu
ubr
bricating
bricat
bri
ting
g co
comp
mpo
onents mad
de
with
wit
h carb
bon
n fib
fiber.
err

6

31

32

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Making routine
safety checks

Making frame checks

Every week or so, check the bike frame for
signs of wear. Before going for a ride, run
through a few checks to reduce the chances
of a mechanical failure: brakes that cease to
work, a loose handlebar, a tire blowout, or
slipping gears. The checks will help to avoid
many of the accidents caused by equipment
failures. Safety checks help the management
of a bike, allowing the timely replacement
of parts or the completion of non-urgent
maintenance work.
STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

Inspect the frame every week or so and
look for metal fatigue. Run a finger under
the down tube where it joins the head tube. A
ripple in the tube’s surface could lead to a break.

1

1 2
1 2
3

3

• Check around the area where the chainstay
bridge is brazed to the chainstays, particularly on
a steel frame. Cracks may form in the metal here
because of the heat of the brazing process.

5
4

Making pre-ride checks

Hold the front wheel
firmly between your legs
and try to turn the handlebar
from one side to the other. If
there is any movement, check
the stem and steerer bolts and
tighten them if necessary.

Apply each brake fully
and push the bike forward.
If the lever pulls to the bar
before the brake stops a wheel
from rotating, adjust the travel
or replace the pads.

Lift the bike, slowly spin
the wheels, and check the
tires for cuts, splits, or bulges.
If you find a bulge, or are in
any doubt, replace the tire.
Check the tire pressure.

• Apply the front brake. Tighten

• Remove anything stuck in

• Try twisting the bar upward

the headset if you feel any play
in the steerer assembly.

the tire, as it may cause the tire
to deflate (see pp.104–5).
5

1

to look for rotational movement.

2

3

Making routine safety checks

Monitor all the parts that are riveted to
an aluminum frame, especially the cable
guides or the front derailleur hangers. The rivets
form potentially
ntially weak areas where stresses in the
metal may develop into cracks.

2

Checck that all
quick-release
levers are in the
locked posiition, and
wheel nutss are tight.
Look for th
he words
“lock” and “unlock”
on the leveers— “lock”
is outermosst when
the wheel is secure
(see pp.102
2–3).

4

Run through the gears
and make sure that they
are properly adjusted. Gears that
will not mesh properly after you
change them can be distracting
and, if you look down to see what
is wrong, potentially dangerous. If
the gears are correctly adjusted
and the chain is still jumping,
check for a stiff link.

5

Protect carbon-fiber frames in areas
where the cable outers touch them. Buy a
self-adhesive protective patch and peel off the
back Place it on the frame,
back.
frame sticky side down,
down
under the cable outer—it is very important to
prevent the cable from wearing down the carbon
frame. Check the patches regularly and replace
them when worn.

3

33

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Maintenance

LUBRICATE

Chain for wear (see pp.6
64––55)
Gear-shift performance (seee pp.46–9, 52–5)
5)
Inner cables for fraying and
d outer
o
cables for wear
(see pp.46–9)
9
Crankarms and chainring
g boltss for tightness
(see pp.68–9)
9

Oil chain (see pp.3
pp 30–1)
Oil jockey pulleyys (see pp.54
.54--55)

CHECK
REPLACE

LUBRICATE

Headset forr loo
osen
nesss and
d eaase of steering
(see pp
p.90–3
3)
Action
n of qu
uick--releasee levvers (ssee pp.102–3)
Wheelss for broken
en spo
po
okes and tru
ueness (see pp
p.10
106–7
6–7
7)
Handllebar and stem for craackks (see pp.94–7
–7
7)

Inner cab
bless ffor fray
ayying and
an and outer cab
cablles for weear
(see pp
p.1112–15)
5
Padss for wear and
nd aliignmen
nt (see pp.116–
6–3, 128–
28–9)
9
Hyd
ydraaulic hose
ses
es forr wear, kinks, or leaks (se
see pp.130–1
0 1)
Brake leverss, arms,, discs, and
n ca
calipers ffor cracks
(see pp.11
1122–23,
2– ppp.128–3
–33)
Disc and
d ca
caliperr bolts for
or tig
ghtn
h ess (see pp.130–11)
Oil expossed cab
bles byy wipin
wip g with wet lu
ube on a rag

R
REPL
ACE

LUBRICATE

CHECK

REPLACE

BRAKES

CHECK

STEERING AND WHEELS

REPLACE

DRIVETRAIN

CHECK

EVERY WEEK

LUBRICATE

Schedule the work you need to carry out
on your bike by developing a maintenance
timetable. The timetable on the right
provides a good template, since it shows
the tasks you should perform on your bike
and suggests when you should do them.
Your schedule depends on how much and
where your bike is ridden. A heavily used
off-road bike requires attention at much
shorter intervals, while a bike used for
infrequent, short road journeys will need
less regular attention.
However, work carried out as part of
a maintenance schedule does not replace the
safety checks that must be carried out
before every ride (see pp.32–3), or regularly
looking for danger signs (see pp.38–9).
9 You
should also check your bike and lubricate
the drivetrain every time you clean it.

MAINTENANCE TIMETABLE

SUSPENSION

34

Fork and shock exterior surrfac
faces
es for
f cracks
(ssee pp
p.142–4
142–4
45, 1500–51
551)
Sttanchions un
nder shoc
shock bo
oots,
s, if fitted
t d, ffor
or cracks
(ssee pp
p.14
1 0–1
1)
To
op caps
p crow
ps,
wn bollts, and sha
haft
ft bol
olts
ts for
tig
ghtnes
esss (see pp.13
388–9
– , 142–3,, 144–5)
5

Teflo
on oil
oi on fork
rkk stanc
nchions and sh
shock
o body,
ock
and on alll seals (see pp
p.140–4
–47,
7, 150
1 –1)

Maintenance

EVERY MONTH

EVERY SIX MONTHS

Bottom bracket for sm
moot
ooth
h running, play, and bent axle (see
pp.72–7)
7
Pedals for play, and clipless ped
dals for play and release action
(see pp.80–3)
Rearr dera
Rea
der illeur pivots for play (see pp.54
54–5)
5
Co and chai
Cog
hainring teeth for wear (see pp.66
66–9)
9

Freehub body and freew
wheel for play (see pp.66–7)
7
Rear derailleur frame fi
fixxing bolt for play (see pp.54–5)
5
Cleats for wear (see pp
pp.84–5)
5
Jockey pulleys for weaar (see pp.54–5)
5

Oil deraiilleeurr pivots (see pp.30–1)
Oil and
d grea
reasse inner and outer cable
bles
es (see
(see pp.30
30–1)
1)
Oil clipl
pless
pl
ess pedal releaase mechanisms (see pp.40–1)

Oil in hub gear, if equi
quipped with oil port (see pp.58–9)
9
G ase bearings
Gre
be
in ped
dals (see pp.80–1)

Chaain on
n a heav
avily
ily used
d bike (seee pp
pp.40
.40––1, 64–5)
5

Chain (see pp.64
Chain
pp 4–5
–5)
5)
Inner
Inn
er and ou
outer
ter ca
cable
b s (see pp
p .46–9)
9
Cogs on a he
heavi
avily
ly use
u d bike
bike ((see
ee pp
pp.66
6–7)
–7

H s for play on axles, roughness, or tight spots
Hub
(see pp.100–3)
Rubber seals on hubs for splits (seee pp
pp.100–3)
Covers, iff fitted,
Cov
f
on headsets (se
see pp
pp.40
. –1)

B ringss in open-beearing hubs
Bea
hub forr wear (see pp
pp.10
p.10
.1000–1)
Bea ngs and bearin
Bearin
ng surfac
fa es in headsets for weear
(see
see pp.9
.90–3)

Oil th
t e seals on hubs (see pp.100–3
–3))

Grease op
Gr
pene bea
bearin
r g hubs (see pp.100–1)
Greaase headsets (see pp.90–3)
Gr

Handlebar tape and grips (see pp.94–7
–7)
7)

Discs for we
w ar and caalipers
ers for
f allignme
nm nt (see pp.130–11)

Grease inner cablees and oil iinside o
oute
uterr ccabl
abl
b es (see pp
p .30
30–1,

114–17)
7

Grease
Gre
ase br
brake
ake bosses (see pp.120–1)

Brake pads of heavily us
used
ed m
mou
unta
nt in bikes
es (see pp.120–2
pp
–223)

Inn
Inner
ne and outer cables (see pp.112–1
2–155)

Fork and shock
ck for playy (see
see pp
pp.14
.14
140–5
0–5,, 150–
0 1)
Fo
ork stanchions to
o se
seee if
if oil
oil lin
l e visi
is ble ((see
see pp
p..14
140–5
0 5)
Fo
ork and sho
hock sealss for crrack
ac s and
d sla
slackn
ck es
ckn
ess (see
seee pp
p .14
.140–5
0–5,
–5,
150–1).
15
(Play,
y absen
nce of oil liines
n , and
d cracke
cked
d seal
seal
ealss are
are all ev
evide
ide
dence
ncce off
worrn seals, whi
which shou
uld be replaced
re
ed by a traine
tra
rained
n d teech
hnician
nic
i ian.))
Fork and shock sag (see
ee pp.14
140–11, 15
150–1)

For
orkk stee
steerer
rer fo
forr crac
cracks,
ks, b
by removing thee head
headset
set
(se
see pp.90–3)

Turn bike upside down an
and
d store ove
vernight so oilil caan
redistribute in fork

Fork oil (see pp
pp.142–5)
5
Seals on forks and
a shocks, as
a parrt of biannual service
by trained technician

35

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Troubleshooting

PROBLEM

DRIVETRAIN

The chain will not shift onto a smaller cog
or chainring.

The chain will not shift onto a larger cog or it sh
shift
hift
iftss butt
does not run smoothly on it.
The chain shifts cleanly, but jumps on the cogs when
pressure is applied to the pedals.

STEERING AND WHEELS

The chain rubs on the inner then the outer side of the
front derailleur cage. On a bike with a single chainring,
the chain persistently falls off.

When you apply the front brake and push the bike
forward, the headset moves forwar
ard
d rela
rela
elativ
tivee to
tiv
to the
head tube.
You hear a sudden snappi
ppi
p ng noi
noise com
no
co e from
m a wheeel
el
while riding and/or the
he whe
h el goes out of tru
ue.
There is side-to-side
de pl
p ay
a off a hub on its
ts axle,
e o
or wh
hen
en
turning the axle in the
thee hub you
you feel eithe
th r a rrough
ghnes
gh
neess
or tight and loose
see sp
spo
ots.
When pedalling
ng
g for
forw
ward, thee casse
ssette spins
inss, but
but theere is no
drive to the biike.
kee Alternatively, th
he cassset
ett
t e spins befo
e ree
the drive is en
ngag
gaged
ed or there iss muc
much side
de-to
-to-side
de playy in
n
the cassette.
The brakes aree haard to apply,, an
nd/or
nd/o
/o sl
slugg
uggish
ish
s to
o relea
relea
eaase
se.

BRAKES

The symptoms of some of the things that
can go wrong with your bike are listed in
this troubleshooting chart. It explains why
a bike may be showing these symptoms and
then suggests a solution, referring you to
the pages where you will find a detailed
sequence of steps to guide you.
If you still find the problem difficult to
solve, consult the How They Work pages
for the specific part you are working on, so
th
hat you can understand it better. However,
so
ometi
metime
mes the symptoms confronting you
c n be
ca
be d
due
ue to a malfunction other than
the one
th
one su
sug
ggested in this charrt. If, aft
f er
cco
ons
nsul
ulti
t ng the relevant pagees in tthe
he b
book,
you st
yo
stiliilll cann
caan
nn
not
o solve
ve tthe problem
em,, ask th
he
expe
ex
perrtts att a goo
ood bike
ke sho
hop
p fo
forr he
help
p.

SOLVING COMMON PROBLEMS

You have to pu
p l thee bra
pul
b kee lev
lever
er a long wa
way befo
e re
r the
he
brakes engag
ge.
e.

The two brake pads do not cont
ontact
act th
the brak
aking
ing surf
rface
ce at
the same time.
The brake pads con
ontac
on
tacct the
h brakin
king
g sur
surf
urface
ac wi
ace
witho
t ut pul
p ling
pu
the lever too far, bu
b t are
are ineffe
fecti
tive att slo
s win
wing
g th
hee bik
bike.
e.

The fork regularly reachess the
t lil mit
m of its travell (botto
tt ms out
ut).).)

SUSPENSION

36

On steep, smooth descents, the reear
a whe
h ell lif
lifts
ts und
nder
er
braking.
The front wheel judders up and down when cornering.

A rear air/oil shock regularly reaches the limit of its travel
(bottoms out).

Troubleshooting

CAUSE

SOLUTION

Either grit has become lodged inside the cable
housing or the cable lub
ubric
ricati
ric
ation
ati
on has
h dried up.

Strip down the cables, flush the housings with degreaser,
clean the inners with degreaser, lubricate, and reassemble.
(See pp.30–1, 46–9)
9

The cable has stretched or the relev
evant
antt derailleur is
poorly adjustted.
ted

Unc
U
nclam
lamp
lam
p the
the
h cab
able
le at the derailleur, pull through any sla
slack,
ck, and
re igh
ret
g ten
gh
t . Then
h sseet up
up the
the der
derail
aililleu
le r.r. (See
leu
ee pp
pp.52
52–5)
5

Either thee chain has a stiff link; or the cha
hain
in
n orr
cogs, or bo
oth,
h, are wo
worn; or a chainring may
may
be bent

Che
h ck the ch
chain for a stiff link and remove it
it iiff found.
d.. If no stiff link
iss fou
o nd
ou
nd, reeplace the chain. If the problem perssist
istss,
s, rep
e lacee the
he cogs.
Iff the
t ch
th
chain
ai ring is bent, replace it. (See pp.62–9
ai
9)

The bottom
m brac
brac
acket
ket is wo
worn or itss ax
axle
le may b
be
bent.

Iff tthe
h bottom
b
bo
o
bracket is a cartriidge ty
typ
pe, replace it.
t IIf it is a hol
hollow
l axl
axle
x e bo
otttom bracket, replace thee cup and bea
ott
earing
ing u
unitts. If it iiss a BMX
bottom
bot
to bracket, it may be possiblee to replace
acce th
he bearings if they
th are
worn,
wor
n or to replace the axle if it is bent
nt.. (See
S pp.72–7
7 7)

The he
h adset
d is loosee or wor
orn
n.

Strip and inspect the headset. Repla
St
place
ce bea
be rings if worn, regrease, and
reasse
rea
sssembl
m e.
e. Ins
Inspec
In
pect the cups and races; if they are worn you should
let a goo
od bik
bik
ike sh
shop
hop rep
replac
lac
acee the
the whole headset. (See pp.90–3)

A spoke may have brok
okken.
en

Re ace the
Replac
he spokke and
d tr
true
u the
ue
he wh
wheel
eel
ee
e . (See
S pp.106–7)
7

The hub bearings are wor
worn or,r,r in the
he caase off tig
tigh
ht
and loose spots, the axle is be
bent.

Replac
Rep
acce thee bearing
gs or thee ax
a le. (Seee ppp.10
.100–1
0–1))
0–

T freehub body is wo
The
orn
rn.

Re llac
Rep
ace the freehub
b body
body.. (See
(See pp
p .10
.100–1
0–1
1)

Gri
Gr
ritt and
and dir
dirtt is insi
nside
de th
t cablee ho
the
h usi
using or the
lub
bricati
tio
on on the in
on
inner cablees hass dried up.

Strip
i dow
down
n the ca
cables,, flus
flush the housings,
g an
and
d clea
c ean
n the
the inn
nner
er cables
with
h degr
eg eas
aser, lub
bricat
atte both, and reassemble.
e. (See pp.30
30––1,
30
–11, 11112–15)
5

Th
The
h pads are
he
re wearing down or the
t e cable has
h slipped
thrrough the cla
cl mp bolt.

If the
he pads aree not to
oo
o worn, tak
t e up the ext
extra
raa tra
ravel
vel by u
un
ncla
l mp
ping
the br
brake
akes, pulliling
g thee cab
able
lee thr
h ough
h the
t cla
clamp,
mp, an
a d tighte
t ing
ten
n . If
the pa
th
pads
ds are
a wo
worn,
n, re
repla
plaace the
th m. (See pp.11
110––23, 126–35)
5)

Yo r bra
You
rak
a es are not centered
d.

Fol
ollow
low th
he proc
ro edu
dures
res for centering the type
pe off brakes
kes on
your bike. (See
See pp
p.11
.1
1 0–2
0 3, 128
1 –35)
5

There is grease on the pads
Th
ds,, foreeign
gn ob
objec
jects
ts are
ar
em edded in them, or they are
emb
ree wea
wearring unev
nevenly. You
may even need a different comp
mp
pound
ound of brak
r e pad.
d

Rub the
the pads
dss wi
w th eme
m ryy cloth. Remove fore
me
reign
ign bo
b dies wiitth
h
needle
nee
dle--nose pl
plieers. Fitt new
n pads iff theyy are worn unev
evenl
enly.
y See
y.
eekk
advice from
m a bike
b shop
o reg
op
r arding diiffe
f rent pad compoun
nds.
nds
(See pp.110–2
0–223, 126–35
35)
35
5)

With air/oil forks, not enough airr is in the
h system.
With coil/oil forks, too light a spring
ing
ng is
i fi
fitted.

Pump in more
re air. Rep
R lac
lacee springs
ngs wi
w th heavie
vi r-duty sp
vie
prin
ri gs.
gs
(See pp.1
140–3
0–33)

The front of the bike is diving underr bra
raking
rak
ng
because the fork is not stiff enough.

Pump iin
Pump
n air
air, or
o incre
reease
s preload, acccordin
ding to the typ
y e of
of ffork
o
on your bike. (See
(
pp.14
14
40–3)

The fork’s rebound is set too fast.

Use the
th rele
elevan
antt adjusster to redu
duce
c the speed
ed
d off tthe for
ork’s rebound.
(See pp
pp.14
.1
1 0–33)

Insufficient air in the shock, or too much dampi
ping,
ng
ng,
means that the shock is not returning from each
compression quickly enough.

Set u
up tthe sag
g on the sshock ag
again.. If the pro
p oble
bleem continues, use
the da
dampi
mpi
p ng
g adj
ad ustmen
nt to spee
peed
d up thee act
action
ion of the shock.
io
(See
ee pp.15
.150–1
1 0–1
0 )

37

38

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Spotting danger signs
The more you ride your bike, the quicker the
various moving parts, particularly tires and
brake pads, will wear away. Replacing the
parts as soon as they become worn not only
keeps the bike running smoothly but also
reduces the chances of an accident. You will
save money, too, since worn parts have the
effect of wearing out other parts.

As you run through your safety checks (see
pp.32–3), look for worn teeth on cogs and
chainrings, worn brake pads, split or frayed
cables, worn wheel rims, bulging or split
tires, and worn tire treads. If you spot
any danger signs, take action as soon as
you can. You must replace a damaged
part before you next ride your bike.

Checking for danger
Regularly check the tires,
rims, brakes, chainrings,
cables, and cogs so that
you can spot signs of wear
as early as possible.

Cables
Rims and tires

Brakes

Cogs
Chainrings

Cogs and chainrings

Brakes

Worn teeth

Worn brake pads

Regularly check for worn or missing teeth on a
chainring or cog. The chain can jump when you
apply pressure to the pedals, especially if you are
out of the saddle, and you may be pitched
forward and crash. Replace the chainring or cog
as soon as you see this sign (see pp.66–9).
9

Regularly check all the brake pads for uneven
wear. This is a sign that they are not contacting
the braking surface evenly. The effectiveness of
your brakes is compromised because not all the
pad’s surface is in use. Install new pads and adjust
your brakes correctly (see pp.118–23).

Spotting danger signs

39

Cables
Split or frayed cables
Check all cables and cable housings for signs of
splitting and fraying. Frayed inner cables can snap,
leaving you without gears, which is inconvenient,
or without brakes, which is dangerous. Change the
cable before you ride again (see pp.46–9, 112–15).
5
Worn or split housings reduce the effectiveness of
your brakes and allow dirt to get in and clog the
cables. Change the housing as soon as you can.

Split brake housing

Frayed gear housing

Rims and tires
Worn rim

Bulging tire

Look for evidence of deep scoring on the rims
of each of your bike’s wheels. Rim brakes will
gradually wear out the rims, especially if you ride
off-road or in winter. Eventually, the rims will fail
and you could crash. Cracks around the nipples of
the spokes where they join the rim are a danger
sign, too. Replace the rim if you see these signs.

Check the whole circumference of both tires
for bulges in the tread or the walls. Tires with
bulges or distortions are very likely to blow out
if you ride on them. If you see any of these signs,
replace the tire (see pp.104–5).
5

Split tire

Worn tread

Check each tire for splits or cuts in the tread or
side walls. A large split means that the internal
fabric of the tire is damaged, so the tire is likely
to blow out. Smaller splits and cuts will let sharp
objects penetrate the tire, causing at least a
puncture and possibly a rapid blowout. Replace
the tire if you see any splits or cuts (see pp.104–5).
5

Look closely at the tread of both tires for signs
of wear. If the tread is worn, the tire has lost
structural strength and can break down and
distort or bulge. The result can be a blowout
during the course of a single ride. A tire that has
been skidded and lost enough rubber to develop
a flat spot can also be dangerous. Replace the tire
if you see either sign (see pp.104–5).
5

40

CARING FOR YOUR BIKE

Preparing for wet weather
These steps will help you to prepare a bike
for a rainy winter, a particularly wet climate,
or if most of your riding is done off-road.
The mud, sand, and water that your wheels
spray up into every part of the bike combine
to form a damaging, grinding paste. Salt, if
used to treat roads where ice is likely to
occur, will quickly corrode your bike. Regular
Protecting a bike
Fit mudguards, insert
seals, and lubricate
the exposed parts to
protect a bike from
wet conditions.

cleaning and lubricating helps with
protection, but try to stop the mud and
salt from reaching the delicate parts
of the bike in the first place. The overall
aim when protecting a bike in wet weather
is to prevent water from reaching the
interior parts and washing the lubricant
off the exposed parts.

Mudguard

Headset
Derailleur
Seat post
collar

Pedal
Chain

Shielding exposed components
Sealing the seat post collar

Sealing the headset

Keep water out of the point where the seat pin
enters the frame. Mark this junction and remove
the pin. Pull a piece of narrow road-bike inner tube
over the frame. Insert the pin through the tube to
the mark and tie-wrap the tube to secure it.

Place a cover over the headset to provide
protection. You can fit a protector to the headset
without removing any components by simply
fastening the velcro.

Preparing for wet weather

Fitting mudguards
Fasten a mudguard to the seat pin and you will
block much of the spray from the back wheel.
For the front wheel, fit a guard that clips onto the
frame and is secured in place with tie-wraps. Full
mudguards, which attach to the fork and rear
dropout, give almost full protection for on-road
biking but get clogged up off-road.

Weatherproofing the drivetrain
Cleaning and lubricating the chain

Cleaning and lubricating derailleurs

Lubricate and clean your chain as often as
you do in summer and after every wet ride.
Apply the same light lubricant that you use in
the summer and then apply a heavier oil, which
will not wash off as easily. Only coat the rollers
and insides of each link with heavier oil because
it attracts more dirt.

Dribble oil on to the pivots around which the
front and rear derailleurs move. Use a heavier, wet
oil rather than the oil you would normally apply
during the summer. Every time you dribble oil like
this, first flush out the old oil by dribbling some
degreaser onto the pivots and letting it sink in for
a few minutes.

Cleaning and lubricating
pedals
Apply heavier, wet oil to lubricate the retention
mechanism of clipless pedals after degreasing all
the moving parts. The heavier oil will not wash off
as easily as dry oil. Regularly clean off old oil with
degreaser and apply new oil in order to prevent
the accumulation of grit and the consequent
increase in pedal wear.

41

The drivetrain is the
heart of your bike. Finetune and regularly service
the system to ensure that
the gear-shifters, chain,
crankset, cassette, and
derailleurs work together
in perfect harmony.

44

M NTA
MAI
TAINI
A INI
IN NG
N YOUR DRIVETRAIN • CABLES AN
AND S HIF
HIFTER
TERS
S

CABLE
ES AND
D SHIFTERS
Cablles
e and shiftter
e s en
enab
able
le tthe
he rrid
ider
er to op
o er
erat
atte th
he geears. Cable
able
ab
les
are under cons
nsta
tant
nt tension
on and neeed to
t be rep
eplla
lace
cedd reg
gular
arlly
ly
and keptt w
wel
elll lubr
briccated.
d. Th
They
e must
stt aals
lsso bee ins
in
nsspeect
cted
d ofte
offteen
and repl
plac
aceed iff th
they
ey sho
h w signss off weear.
ear. SShift
fte
ter
ers reequ
quirre
on
nly oc
occasionall lubrication off their
ir inn
inner woorrking
ng
gs..

How
w they work
An inn
nner cab
a le conneect
ctss th
he g
geear
a -sshift
hiift lev
e er to
th
the
he deraille
l ur, an
le
nd alllo
lows
wss the
he rid
ider
er to ch
chaan
ang
gee
gear
ge
ars.
s Mov
ovin
in
ng the geear-s
ar-sshi
ar
hi t llev
hift
ever
e ccau
er
ause
au
sees th
the
fron
fr
ont dera
dera
de
raililille
l ur to sh
le
s ifft th
t e ch
chai
ain
ai
in fr
from
om
mo
on
ne
ch
hai
ainr
nrrin
ing
g to
to aano
notth
no
her
er,, orr tthe
he reeaar de
he
dera
railililleeur
ur
to
o shift
hiift thee cha
hain
in
n fro
rom
m on
on
nee co
cog to
to ano
notth
noth
herr.
Pu
ullllin
ng th
the ge
gear ccab
able shi
ab
hift
ift
fts th
the ch
chai
ain
from
fr
om
o
m a sm
maallller
ler
er to a la
larg
rger
rg
er chain
hain
ha
inri
nrriing
ng
orr ccog
o
og; re
og
releeas
asin
ing th
ing
the
he g
geeaarr cab
able
le
sh
hifts
ifftss tthe
he ccha
he
haiin
ha
n ffro
rom a la
ro
larg
ger
er
to
o a sma
maller
llller
er cha
chaain
inri
inr
ring
ng or
co
og
g.. The
he leftefftt-ha
hand
nd
shiifftteer co
sh
con
nttrol
rollss the
ro
he front
rro
on
ntt
dera
de
r iillle
l eur
ur;; tthe
hee rig
h
ight
ht-h
-hand
aan
nd
shifte
sh
iffterr co
ont
ntro
rols
ls thee
reear
a der
erai
a lllleu
ai
eur.r.r
eu

C tro
Con
Co
trrolli
lling
lli
ng the
ng
he
e gear
ge
g
ears
arss
Th
The
he ccaables
ble
les and
d sshi
hifte
ftteers
rs
on
n a bike
ikke
ke al
allow
ow th
he riid
ide
deer
d
to
o eff
e fort
ef
ortles
r lles
eesssly
sly cco
ont
ntr
n
ttrrol
ol
thee g
th
the
geear
ar sys
ssyyysstem
tem
te
m.

Cable cla
Cab
cl mp
m
Atttac
aach
hess the ca
c ble
le to tthe
rearr dera
rea
dera
eraill
illleurr
Rea
e r dera
dera
eraill
illeur
ill
eur
Mov
o ess the ch
chain
ain fr
from
om one
one
cog
o to
t an
anoth
other
oth
er

REAR DERAILLEUR CABLE
BLE
LE
LE

A clamp connects the cable to
the rear derailleur. When the
shiffteer iss pus
ushe
hed,
he
d, thee cab
d,
abl
ble
le
pulls the rear deraiilllleu
leu
ur in
inw
waard
d,
moving the chain from a
smaller to a larger cog. When
the shifter releases the cable
tension, the springs on the
rear derailleur pull the jockey
pulleys, and the chain, back
to a smaller cog.

Fr nt derrail
Fro
a leu
leur
leur
Mov
oves
ess th
the
h ch
chain
hain
i
fr m one
fro
onee cha
hainr
ha
inring
in
ng
too ano
othe
t err
th

How they work

SHIFTING GEAR

In this Campagnolo
shifter, the rider
pushes the inner
shift lever to pull the
cable and move the
derailleur. When the
rider presses a lever
on the inner side of
the lever hood, the
cable is released
and the derailleur
moves back.

Gear-shift lever
Pulls and releases
the gear cable

COMBINED BRAKE LEVER/GEAR-SHIFT LEVER ANATOMY

Cable
Connects
the lever to
the rear
derailleur

Gear-shift levers are often
combined with the brake levers
on the handlebar. On this
Shimano shifter, the brake lever
also acts as a shift lever. When
the rider pushes the brake lever
inward with the fingers, the
control cable attached to it is
pulled and a ratchet mechanism
is lifted. One click of this
mechanism equals one shift of
the front or rear derailleur,
which moves the chain across
the chainring or cogs. The
ratchet mechanism then holds
the cable in its new position.
When the rider pushes the inner
shift lever inward, the ratchet
mechanism’s hold is released and
the pull on the cable ceases.

Lever hood
Attaches the levers to the handlebar

Ratchet
mechanism
Holds the
cable

Cable inner
Controls derailleur
Inner shift lever
Releases the cable
Cable housing
Counteracts
the cable pull
Brake lever
Pulls the cable

45

46

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • CABLES AND SHIFTERS

Drop handlebar
gear cables
Keeping gear cables clean and lubricated,
and replacing them if they fray, is very
important for smooth shifting. Change
them as a matter of course at least once a
year, or more often if you are a heavy user.
Lubrication reduces the effects of friction
between the inner cable and the cable
housing, and helps to keep out water and
grit. If the gears become difficult to shift to
a different chainring or cog, the cable is
probably dry and needs lubrication.
These steps show how to fit a new gear
cable to a SRAM shifter. Fitting cables to
gear shifters made by other manufacturers,
such as Shimano and Campagnolo, will be
slightly different, but the order of each task
in the overall sequence is generally the same.
STEP LOCATOR

Replacing a
SRAM gear cable

Use the shifter to move the chain to the
smallest sprocket if you are fitting a new
rear-derailleur gear cable, or to the smallest
chainring for a new front-derailleur gear cable.

1

• To do this with Shimano and SRAM shifters,
move the inner shift lever toward the center
line of the bike.

• To do this with Campagnolo shifters, push

1 3 4
5

down on the lever situated on the inner side
of the lever hoods.

2
6

Parts of gear-shift units
Rubber brake
hood cover

Gear-shift lever
SRAM shifter
Brake lever

Insert the new, lubricated cable into the
same hole in the shifter that the old cable
emerged from, pushing until you see it emerge
from behind the lever hood.

4

• Pull the new cable all the way through the
Toolbox

 Allen key multi-tool  Long-nosed pliers
 Cable cutters  Oil

shifter until the nipple fits snugly in place.

Drop handlebar gear cables

Undo the cable clamp bolt on the
derailleur, then release the old cable and
push it through the guidance boss on the derailleur.

2

• Note the path by which the cable enters the
derailleur and how it sits in the cable clamp. You
must replicate this with the new cable.

Remove the old cable from a SRAM or
Campagnolo shifter by rolling the rubber
lever-hood cover forward. Push the cable from
behind the shifter and watch where the cable nipple
emerges from the side of the shifter hood body.

3

• For Shimano shifters the cable emerges from

• If the cable is frayed, cut off the frayed end

under the hood cover without rolling it forward.

with a pair of cable cutters, to allow it to pass
through the guidance boss and the outer cables.

• Pull the old cable from the shifter by its nipple.

Dribble a little oil into the cable outers
and insert the cable through the outers.
Make sure they are firmly seated in the cable guides
on the frame. If you are fitting new outers, cut
them to the same length as the ones they replace.

Pull the cable through all the outers and
cable guides, and reconnect it to the
derailleur by tightening the cable clamp bolt.

5

• Ensure metal ferrules are fitted to both ends of
each outer.

6

• Refasten the cable so that it is in exactly the
same position as it was when you unfastened the
clamp bolt in Step 2.

• Ensure that you pull the cable tight through
the clamp bolt before you fasten it.

47

48

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • CABLES AND SHIFTERS

Straight handlebar
gear cables

Replacing a
Rapidfire gear cable

Looking after and replacing the gear cables
on a mountain bike is very similar to a road
bike. However, mountain bikes are often
subjected to harsher conditions than road
bikes, as they are often ridden through dirt
and mud, so the cables must be replaced
and lubricated more regularly.
There are three main kinds of straight
handlebar shifter: the Shimano Rapidfire,
the Shimano Dual Control, and the SRAM.
Replacing a gear cable is similar for them all.
STEP LOCATOR
Remove the old cable with long-nosed
pliers and put the shifter in the smallest
sprocket or chainring position.

1

1 2 3
1 1

• Insert the end of the new, lubricated cable
into the hole where the cable nipple sits inside
the shifter.

4

• Check the route of your existing cable and
follow the route when fitting a new cable in Step 4.

Parts of gear-shift units
SRAM shifter

Gear-shift
levers

Shifter cover
Barrel adjuster
Gear
indicator
Star nut
Ring clamp

Shimano
Rapidfire
Gear-shift levers
Gear-shift
lever

Barrel adjuster

Handlebar clamp

Shimano
Dual Control

Cable port

Brake lever body
Shifter body
Brake/gear-shift lever

Cut both the cable and cable outers with
your cable cutters to the same length as the
old ones you have removed. Make the outers long
enough to allow the cable to travel freely inside.

3

Toolbox

• Dribble a drop of oil down each cable outer.
• Fit a ferrule to the end of each cable outer to

 5mm Allen key  Long-nosed pliers
 Cable cutters  Cable pullers  Tweezers

ensure that it fits tightly into the frame’s cable
guides (see pp.26–7).
7

Straight handlebar gear cables

Replacing a
SRAM gear cable

Push the cable into the hole until its end
shows through the barrel adjuster on the
outside of the shifter body.

2

• Thread the cable through the first length of
lubricated cable outer.

For the rear cable, put the shifter into the
smallest sprocket. For the front cable, put
the front shifter into the smallest chainring.
Remove the old cable from the derailleur, then undo
the star nut that holds the shifter cover in place.

1

• Grab the cable nipple with tweezers and remove
it. Insert a new one through the barrel adjuster and
seat the nipple into position. Pass the cable through
the outers and reattach it to the derailleur.

Replacing a
Dual Control gear cable

4

Thread the inner cable through each
length of outer cable.

• For the rear derailleur, unscrew the barrel

For the rear cable, put the shifter into the
smallest sprocket. For the front cable, put
the front shifter into the smallest chainring.

1

adjuster to about half its range and then insert
the inner cable. For the front derailleur, insert
the cable into the clamp.

• Open the cable port to reveal the old cable inside

• Pull hard with your cable pullers and tighten

cable nipple sits in the cradle inside the body.

the cable clamp. Cut off any excess cable.

• Follow Step 4 of Replacing a Rapidfire gear cable.

the shifter, and remove it with long-nosed pliers.

• Push the cable into the cable port until the

49

50

MAINTAINING YOUR
R DRIV
RIVETR
R AIN • FRO
FR NT AND
D RE
R AR DER
ERAIL
AILLEU
LEURS
RS

FRONT AND RE
EAR DERAILLEURS
The derailleurss move the cha
ain smoot
othl
hlyy be
betw
ween co
cogs
cogs
gs and
d cha
hain
inrriing
gs,
but only if thee tr
trav
avel
el oof th
the deraille
leur
u s is set
set up corr
corrrec
co
ectly
tly.
tl
y. Deerrail
aaiilllleu
eurr
pivots and jocke
keyy pu
pulllleys must be ch
c ec
ecke
kedd fo
or w
weeaarr and
d lub
ub
ubri
brriica
catteed. The
he
front derailleurr musst be properly al
alig
igne
ig
nedd wiitth
h the
he cha
ain
nri
rin
ring
ng
gs.
s.

How the
ey workk
The front and rearr d
deraailleurs cha
hang
ngee th
thee ge
g ars. To
change up a gear, th
he sh
s ifterr is
i useed to pul
ull on the
he cab
ablee,
which causes the fro
ront
nt d
derailleurr to pus
ush
h th
he ch
chai
haiin fr
from
r m
a smaller to a largeer chainring
g or tthe
hee rreea
ear de
ear
derailleeur
ur tto
push the chain from
m a sm
smal
a ler to
o a llar
arge
gerr co
ge
og.
g TTo
o cch
han
ang
gee
down a gear, the cab
ablle iiss re
releeas
ased
ed, ca
causiing
ing th
the sp
prriing
ngs
gs in
in
both derailleurs to mo
move
ve tthe
he cch
hain to a smal
alle
al
lleer ch
chainriiin
ng
or cog. Each derailleur mo
move
vess aroun
nd a pivvot
ot p
poi
oiint
nt.
Adjusting screws ensure th
hat the derraill
ailleu
ai
eurs
rss do no
not pus
pu
ush
sh
the chain beyond the largest
st chain
hainri
riing
go
orr co
cog
g, o
g,
orr p
pu
ullll it
beyond the smallest. Thiss rang
ng
ge is ccal
allled
leed th
he de
deraaillleeu
urr’s
r’s
’s
travel. Once its travel is set
et up, p
provideed th
he cabl
cabl
ca
blee
tension is sufficient, the derai
rai
a lleu
lllleur wi
will makke a si
sn
ng
gle,
gle
clean gear-shift for eveery ccliickk o
off th
he ssh
hiffte
ter
er.

Reaar
Re
Rea
derrai
de
der
aail
iillle
lleu
eur
ur
Mov
Mo
oovveess ch
cha
haain
in
ffro
room one
ne ccog
co
og
og
to anoth
to
ano
ano
an
nother
tthe
th
h
heer
Caa le
Cab
C
le
Pu
PPus
u h
heeess an
hes
and
pul
ppu
ullls
u
ls rre
rea
eea
ar
der
dde
eerra
rail
aiillleu
leu
le
ur

REAR DERAILLEUR AN
N ATO
ATOMY

To change gears, two jockeyy pu
pulleyys tr
transf
sfer
er tthee cha
haain
in ont
nto
a different cog. They mo
ove in
n th
thee sa
same
me p
plla
lane
ne as th
thee chai
an
and are spring-loaded to pre
resserv
rvee thee te
tenssio
ion
o in
in tthe
he chaain
n.
Two derailleur plates enable
le tthee jockkeyy pu
pullley
eys to change
ng geear
a
upward, while the plate spri
ring
g eenaabl
bles the
h joc
he
o ke
oc
keyy pu
pulllley
leyss
to change gear downward.
d.

Der
erail
aillleur platte
Transf
Tra
nsfers
ers ccable pu
ull to the
t
jockey
joc
k pulllllleeys
Pla spr
Plate
spring
i
Pulls der
dee ailleu
leur back
ac
as cab
able
le is relleas
ea ed
High and low
adjusters
Limit travel of
the derailleur
Cable clamp
Attaches cable to
derailleur plates
Cable
Pulls derailleur plates

Jockey
Joc
key pu
ke
ullleey spri
pring
g
Pr ser
Pre
s ves th
the
tensio
ten
on in
in the
th cha
chain
Jo key
Joc
ey pu
pull
lleyy
lle
PPul
Pu
ulls an
and
d pu
ushe
shess
the ch
chai
ain
JJockey
ey pu
p lleey cage
cagee
Ho dss th
Hol
the
hee jjocke
ckkey
pul
u ley
le s

W kin
Wor
ng w
with
ith
h th
the
he shif
shif
hifter
ter
erss
Thee ffront and
and rear
eaa de
derai
raille
rai
l eurs
ll
lle
urs
wo k in
wor
in harm
armon
ony
ny wi
with
th
h thee
shi
sh
hifte
hi
f rss to
fte
o pr
pro
ovid
vide
de easy
easy
asy,, quic
uick,
k
and
d aacccur
curate
cur
ate
at
te gearr shi
sh ffts
tss
whe
wh
heenev
ever
ev
er the
thee rrider
riderr ne
need
n
ed
eds
d them.
th
hem
em.
m.

51

REA
RE
R
EA R D ERA
A IL
I L LEU
ILL
L EU
EU
EUR
UR IN
IN U
US
SE

When thee cab
When
ablle
le is p
pu
ulllled
led
d, iitt caau
ause
sess bo
oth the der
erai
er
a lleurr
plates
ess tto
o swiing in
i waard
rd o
on
n fo
our
ur piv
i ot poi
o nts, cau
usi
s ng
g th
hee
jock
jo
ockey
cckkey
ey p
pul
u le
leys
y to
o guid
de th
he ch
chai
chai
ain
n on
ntto
o a lar
arge
g r co
ge
cog.
g.. Whe
hen
the ca
cabl
abl
ble iss rel
rel
elea
eassed,
ea
d, thee plaattee sprin
prrin
ng mo
move
vees th
thee ch
haaiin
back to a smal
sm
m lleer cco
og.
g

La gee co
Lar
cog The
The cchain
Th
a iss mo
move
ve
ved
to th
the
hee la
h
large
geesstt cog
og by th
t e pullllll
off th
t ca
the
cabl
cable
ble
l .

Sma
S
malll ccog
og The
The
h ch
chain
ain iss re
r tur
turn
urrn
ned
edd
to th
to
the
hee small
h
sm
mall
allest
e co
es
est
c g by the
he
pplla
pla
ate
te spr
spr
p ing
ing.
in

F
FR
FRO
NT
T DER
DERAILL
L EU R A N
LEU
NA
NAT
AT O MY

Wheen pulled, the cable move
o s the
hee outer
er arm
arm, which acts as a
lev
evver on a pivot poin
oint to
o pu
ush
us
sh
h th
thee front deraill
i leur
e ccage
g awa
w y
f m the bike. Thi
fro
fr
hiss movees the
the
he cha
haain fro
fr m a smallller
er to
oa
larger
la
g ch
ge
c ain
ainrin
ri g. When the
he cable
ca e is relleased,
ed, a sp
pring
ng on th
thee
d ailleur’s inner arrm
der
m pullls the ca
cagee back
cag
ac towar
to rd the bik
b e.
e
High
Hig
h and low adjus
justers
Lim
imits
i trravel
its
avel ooff tth
he der
he
erail
aillleur
leu cage
Ou
uterr arm
ut
m
Actss as a le
Act
lever
ver
er
Cab
able
ble cla
clamp
lamp
H ds
Hol
ds thee ca
abl
ble
lle to th
he de
dera
era
railill
il eu
eeur
ur

Pivvott poiint
Actss as a fu
Act
fulcr
crrum
crum
for th
thee arm
m

Fro
Fro
Fr
ront
nt d
der
de
eerrail
aaiil
i leu
e r
eur
eu
Transf
Tr
Tra
Transf
nssffeers
rrs tth
he
chain
cha
in fro
from one
ne
cha
cch
h
ha
ainr
nrring
n
iin
ng to
to
aano
no
othe
tth
heer

Cha
C
hainr
ha
aiin
inr
nrring
n
ing
g
Ca
Car
C
aarrrie
rri
rrie
ies
ie
tthe
th
he ch
h
haain
in
n

Derailleurr
cagee
cag
Moves
Mov
ess the
hee
chain
cha
ain
in
Ch inr
Cha
inring
ing
ing
g
Engage
Eng
ag s
the ch
chaain
n

Cla
l mp bolt
Fixes derailleur
to the framee

52

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • FRONT AND REAR DERAILLEURS

Front derailleur
Front derailleurs shift the chain from one
chainring to the next. There are two main
kinds: braze-on derailleurs (below)
w are fixed
by an Allen bolt to a lug, or protrusion, on
the bike frame; band-on derailleurs are
attached to a band that goes around the
frame and is part of the derailleur.
There are two important maintenance
jobs for a front derailleur: setting it up after
fitting a new control cable and adjusting it
when it is not shifting properly. You should
also clean the derailleur regularly to prevent
the buildup of dirt, which interferes with the
way it works and will quickly wear it out.
For the derailleur to work perfectly, the
lower edge of the derailleur cage’s outer side
should be no higher than 2mm above the
largest chainring. The cage’s outer side must
also be parallel with the chainrings.
Correct shifts depend on the front
derailleur’s traveling a certain distance per
shift. High and low adjusting screws on the
derailleur will control this travel.

Adjusting a front derailleur

1

Shift the chain onto the largest cog and
the smallest chainring.

• Pull the front derailleur cage away from the
frame. The lower edge of its outer side should
clear the largest chainring by 2mm. If it is more
or less, undo the frame-fixing clamp and raise or
lower the front derailleur.

• Line up the cage parallel with the chainrings
and tighten the frame-fixing clamp.

STEP LOCATOR

1
2
3
4
5
Parts of a braze-on front derailleur
Cable-fixing clamp

High/low
adjusters

Pivots
Front derailleur
cage (outer side)

Frame-fixing
clamp
Front derailleur
cage (inner side)

3

Pull the gear cable through the cable
clamp and tighten the cable-clamp bolt.

• Cut off any excess cable with your cable
cutters and put on a cable crimp (see pp.26–7).
7

• Repeat Steps 2 and 3 if, after a couple of rides,
Toolbox

 Needle-nose pliers  5mm Allen key
 Screwdriver  Cable cutters

the chain will not shift up to the next chainring,
since cables can sometimes stretch slightly.

Front derailleur
Undo the cablefixing clamp until
the cable comes free.

2

• Look for the low gear
adjuster (usually marked
“L”) and screw it in or out
until the inner side of the
front derailleur cage is
about 2mm from the chain.
You have now set the
starting point of the
derailleur’s travel.

• Take this opportunity to
clean the guide in which
the cable runs under the
bottom-bracket shell. Use
degreaser, and then wash
and dry the whole area.

• Put a little dry lubricant
in the guide.

4

Shift the chain across until it is on the
smallest cog and the largest chainring.

• Repeat Steps 2 and 3 if the chain will not shift
onto the largest chainring.

Screw in the high adjuster (usually marked
“H”) to bring the outer side of the front
derailleur cage to about 2mm from the chain.

5

• Unscrew the higher adjuster to allow more
travel if, when you shift to the largest
chainring, the chain does not move onto it.

• Check the action by shifting a few times
between all the chainrings.

53

54

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • FRONT AND REAR DERAILLEURS

Rear derailleur

Adjusting a rear derailleur

Most rear derailleurs are indexed, which
means that for every click of the shifter,
either up or down, the derailleur will shift
the chain from one cog to the next.
Occasionally, you may find that the chain
does not quite move onto the next cog
when you make a single shift, or else it skips
a cog in an overshift. In either case, the rear
derailleur needs adjusting. You will also need
to follow the steps in this sequence
whenever you fit a new cable (see pp.46–9).
9
To ensure that the rear derailleur works
faultlessly, pay particular attention to its
jockey pulleys because this is where oil and
dirt can accumulate. Degrease and scrub
them every time you clean your bike (see
pp.28–9).
9 Whenever you lubricate the jockey
pulleys or the rear derailleur pivots, make
sure you wipe off any excess oil.

Shift the chain onto the biggest chainring
and smallest cog, then undo the cablefixing clamp so that the cable hangs free.

1

• Check the cable and fit a new one if it shows
any sign of fraying (see p.39).
9

• Screw the barrel adjuster in or out, until it is at
half of its range.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1 2 3 4 5
Parts of a rear derailleur

Derailleur
pivot
Cable-fixing
clamp

Barrel
adjuster

Jockey cage
Jockey pulley

Toolbox

 Needle-nose pliers  Cable cutters
 5mm Allen key  Screwdriver

Shift back to the smallest cog, then
shift upward through each gear. If the rear
derailleur does not shift all the way onto the
next-biggest cog, screw out the barrel adjuster
until it does. If the derailleur overshifts and skips
a cog, screw in the barrel adjuster until it stops.

4

Rear derailleur

Use the high adjuster (usually marked “H”)
to line up the jockey pulleys with the
smallest cog.

2

• Once you have lined them up, rotate the pedals

3

Shift onto the smallest chainring and
largest cog.

• Push the rear derailleur with your fingers

forward while adjusting the “H” adjuster until the
chain runs smoothly.

toward the spokes. If it moves beyond the largest
cog, screw in the low adjuster (marked “L”) until
the derailleur stops at the largest cog.

• Pull the cable downward through the cable-

• Turn the pedals to see if the chain runs

fixing clamp and reclamp it.

smoothly. If it does not, adjust the “L” in or out.

Prevent the jockey pulleys
from making contact with
the bigger cogs by screwing in
the adjuster that butts onto the
rear derailleur hanger on the
frame dropout. Remember to
make this adjustment if you fit
a block or cassette with bigger
cogs than usual.

5

55

56

MAINTAININ
N G YOUR DRIVETRAIN • HUB GEARS

HUB GEARS
Hub gearrs located inside the hub casing alter th
he speed att whiich
h
the back wheel revolves. They require little routin
ne maintenan
ance
c
and, sincce they are sealed, most hub-gear system
ms do not nee
eedd to
be lubricated regularly. The control cables must sttill be inspeccte
tedd
regularlyy and replaced if they are worn.

How they work
All hub gears work according to the same basic principle. A system of internal
cogs makes the hub casing, and therefore the reaar wh
hee
eel,l, tu
urrn
rn at a different
speed from a single, external cog that is driven
nb
byy the peedals
daalss via
d
i the chain. The
external cog
g is connected to the internal cogs by a drrivveerr un
niit,
t, and
and
n th
hee cogs
rotate the hub casing at different speeds. Spoke
kess at
atta
tach
ta
ch the
he caassing
iin
ng to
to the
rim, therebyy turning the rear wheel.
A shifter on the handlebar operates a mech
han
anis
ism
m attta
t ched
ch
heed
d tto
o th
he
hub. This mechanism causes various combinatiions off diffe
ferreent
nt-siz
-siz
-s
izzed
ed
ed
cogs within
n the hub to engage with a ring gear
ar,, whicch dr
drivvess th
hee
hub casing.. Each combination gives a different gea
earr raati
tio,, and
tio,
d the
he
number of gears depends on the number of cog
gs wi
within
in tthe
hee hu
ub
b
b..
SHIMAN
N O NEXUS HUB GEAR ANATOMY

To changee gear, the rider activates the shifter to
pull the cable, which turns the satellite on the
drive sidee of the hub. This triggers a mechanism
within the driver unit to move two carrier units

containing cogs. Difffeereent
nt cog
gs arre br
brou
ough
ou
ght
gh
ht in
i to
to
contact with
th
h the rin
ing geears. Wheen th
ing
he ca
cabl
b e is
bl
released, th
he spring
ng-l
ng
-loa
-l
oad
oa
ded ccaarrrie
de
ier un
unit
its
it
ts mo
move
ve
the cogs bac
ackk to a d
ac
dif
iffe
if
feeren
fer
nt com
nt
mbi
bina
nati
tion
tion
ti
on..

Hub
ub ca
casi
sing
sin
ng
Tur
urns
ns the
hee
wheel
whe
ell

Ca
Cab
ab
ble
e and
and
d satel
tte
e litte
Side
Sid
de viiew
ew
w off tth
he hub

Beaarin
ings
gss
Aidd th
he rot
rot
ota
tation
tion of th
tio
hee hu
hub
h
ub
b cca
asin
si g
si

Carrier unit
Carries the
different--sized cogs

Ring gear
Turns the hub casing
g

Driver
Driver
er un
nit
Transf
Tra
nsf
sfers
ers th
thee cog’
cog’
ogg’s driv
rivee and cau
ri
use
se
ses
the ca
carri
rriier uni
unitt to en
eng
ngag
age
ge di
ddif
iffe
feerent
fer
ntt
cog
ogss with
i th
he rring
ing
ngg ge
gear
eaarr

57

Protec
P
e tin
t g the gears
T eh
The
hub gear mecha
ch nis
ni m is
is fully
enclosed to
o pro
p tect it from
dam
mage
a , dirtt, and water.
r.

Hub gear
a unitt
Contai
ains
n the
th
he co
c gs thaat
allow gea
g r ch
hanges

58

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • HUB GEARS

Hub gear I

Replacing a
hub-gear cable

If the cable to your hub gear breaks or frays,
you will need to replace it. Before you start,
first identify the hub gear units on your bike
from the manufacturer’s name. This is usually
stamped on the hub, and the number of
gears is indicated on the shifter.
The hub-gear model illustrated in the
steps of this sequence is the Shimano Nexus
7-speed gear, which is operated by a twistgrip shifter. Alternatively, bikes may be
equipped with SRAM hub gears, as well as
those made by other manufacturers, that
are operated by thumbshifters.
Some older bikes have Sturmey Archer
3-speed gears. Although they all work on
the same principle, the methods used to
change a cable are subtly different. Try to
find the manufacturer’s instructions for the
gear on your bike—ask at a bike shop or
search the Internet.

Put the shifter into first gear. At this
point, there is no tension on the cable, so
it is the starting point for fitting a new cable.
If the cable is broken, the hub gear will have
automatically returned to first gear, so move
the shifter there to line up the system.

1

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1
3

2

5

4

Parts of a hub gear
Seat for cableretaining bolt

Right-hand axle nut

Lockring

Cable route

Insert the cable through the chainstay
cable guide and make sure the housing
is well-seated into the guide.

4

Position
i i off red
d dots
d
(underneath)

Gear satellite
G
t llit

Toolbox

 Wrenches to fit wheel axle nuts and cable-clamp
bolt  Flat-bladed screwdriver

• Pull the cable tight and tighten the clamp
bolt onto it at exactly the distance you measured
from the cable guide in Step 2.

• Now push the clamp bolt back into the place
where it sits on the gear satellite (inset).
t

Hub gear I

2

Remove the
R
th rear wheel
h l and
d push
h th
the wheel
h l
forward out of the dropout.

• Use a flat screwdriver to lever out the cable-

Remove the
R
th cable
bl portt on the plastic part
of the shifter, where the pointer indicates
which gear the system is in.

3

clamp bolt from the position in which it sits on
the ge
gear
ar sat
satell
ellite
ite..

• Take the old cable out of the shifter by pushing

Pulll on
on the
the cla
clamp
mp bol
boltt and
and mea
measur
suree the
the len
length of
• Pul

• Insert the greased new cable into the shifter.

the cable between it and the chaiinst
nstay
ay cab
ble g
guiide
de.
Undo the
Und
h clamp
l
to remove
ve it from
m the
th ol
old
d ccabl
able.
ble.

Drib e a little oil inside the housing and then
Dribbl
push the new cable through the housing.
pus

it from behind, or pull it out by its nipple.

Return the wheel to the bik
ke
byy placing the axle in the rear
dro
d
dr
opou
p ts and pulling backward on
tthee wheell so that there is tension on
o
tthe
he cch
hain
a . Do
D not pull so hard that
tthe
th
he chaain
aiin beecomes tight.

5

ns
n ure
re thatt the wheel is straight
• EEns
bet
be
b
ettwe
weeen thee chainstays and tighteen
thee axxxle
le nutts. There should be
abo
ab
out
u 1⁄4in (6mm) of vertical
pla
layy in
in th
he chain.

• RRuun throough the gears, shifft
by sshiifft.. Iff ttheere is a problem,
the hu
th
ub gear may need adjustin
ng
(see pp..6
.60
0–1).
)

59

60

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • HUB GEARS

Hub gear II

Adjusting your hub-gear
assembly

Occasionally, you might be unable to engage
a particular gear because dirt has interfered
with the gear satellite’s action. You will need
to remove the satellite to clean it, and this
means removing the rear wheel.
On other occasions, you might find that
the shift has lost some of its smoothness. In
this case, the cable has probably stretched so
that the shifter is out of phase with the gear
mechanism. To remedy this problem, use the
barrel adjuster on the shifter to take up any
slack in the cable.
Every time the wheel is removed and put
back on to your bike, run through the gears
and make sure they are shifting correctly.
If they are not, follow the last two steps of
this sequence in order to make the gears
run smoothly.
Finally, the hub-gear system has clear
markings—look for the red dots and the
yellow dots and triangles—to help you to
set up the gears.
If a bike is fitted with a Sturmey Archer
3-speed hub gear, it may occasionally shift
to second gear, but without any drive. When
this happens, put the shifter into the thirdgear position and look at the cable where it
runs along the chainstay. The cable will be
slack so that it sags. Undo the cable-clamp
bolt near the hub-gear unit and pull the
cable through the clamp until it runs in a
straight line. Reclamp the bolt and the
gears will shift perfectly.

Remove the rear wheel by undoing and
removing both its axle bolts. The satellite is
locked onto the hub by a lockring. Turn the
lockring by hand until its yellow dot lines up with
the one on the satellite.

1

• Lift off the lockring to free the satellite.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1
2

4
Put the satellite back onto the wheel. Line
up its triangles with those on the axle.

3

3

5

• Press the satellite home on to the hub.
• Replace the lockring, pushing it onto the

Toolbox

satellite so that its yellow dot lines up with the
yellow dot on the satellite.

 Wrenches to fit wheel axle nuts

• Turn the lockring so that the dots are
separated. The satellite is now locked in place.

Hub gear II
Lift the satellite from
the hub body, noting
the relative positions of the
two yellow triangles that are
marked on it.

2

• Note the position of two
more yellow triangles on the
bare axle that is left inside
the wheel.

• Flush out the freed gear
satellite with degreaser. Let
this drain out and spray light
oil into the satellite.

4

Shift through the gears until the shifter
is in fourth gear.

• Use the barrel adjuster on the shifter to
fine-tune the gear adjustment. Tilt the bike so
that you can see the underside of the hub gear.

Look for the two red dots on the gear
mechanism. One is marked on the satellite
and one on the lockring. Both dots are marked on
the underside of the gear where the cable runs.
In fourth gear, these two dots should line up. If
they do not, screw the barrel adjuster in or out
until the dots line up. When they do line up, all
the gear-shifts will be perfect.

5

61

62

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • CHAIN, CASSETTE, AND CRANKSET

CHAIN, CASSETTE, AND CRANKSET
With every turn of the pedals, the chain, cassette, and crankset are
put under strain. The parts are in continu
ual con
nta
tact
ct,, an
ct
a d the mo
m tiion
of pedaling inevitably leads to we
wear
ar.. No
ar
No mat
mat
atte
teer ho
how
w we
welll you
o car
are
for each part, they eventual
ally
lyy n
nee
eeed to be re
remo
m ve
mo
v d an
a d reeppllacced
ed.
d

How theyy work
The chain, cassette,
e, aand cra
rank
n se
sett comb
com
co
mb
biin
ne
to form the heear
a t off thee drriive
vetr
trrain,
trai
n, th
hee
part of the bikee tthr
hrough
hrou
ough whi
hich
ch a rrid
id
id
der
er’s
er
’s
pedal power iss tra
rans
nsfe
ns
ferr
fe
rrreed
d iint
ntto fo
forw
rwar
ard
ard
motion. Thee peda
daals dri
rive
ve the
ve
he cra
rankse
nkse
set
et an
and,
d,
via the chain,
n, ttur
urn
rn a co
cog attta
tach
ched
ch
ed tto
o tth
he
hub of the reear
ear w
wh
hee
eel, whi
h ch
ch iin tu
turn
urn
n
rotates the whee
wheel.l.l
Bikes with
h der
erai
aillleu
eurr g
geearrs usse de
dera
railille
leur
us
to shift the cha
haain ont
nto diiff
fferren
entt si
sized
size
zeed co
cog
gss
and chainringss, wh
w ic
ich
ch ma
make
k up the
th
he ca
casss
ssett
ette
et
te
and crankset. Ea
Each
ch ccom
ch
ombi
om
bina
nati
tion
on
no
off ch
haaiin
nrrin
ing
and cog provides
es a dif
iffe
feere
r nt
nt geaar raati
tio
o,,
giving up to 27 di
d fffeerren
e t ge
gear
arrs th
that
att can
an b
bee
used to tackle any
nyth
thin
ing
g from
from
m sstte
teep
ep clilim
mb
bs
to gentle flats.

Cha
Ch
C
haain
h
in
Fee
Fee
Fe
eeddss th
tthr
hroug
hr
oou
ugh
ug
joc
jjo
ockey
oc
keeyy ppu
ullllle
lleeeyyyss

Cog
C
og
ogs
gs
Dri
Dr
D
rriiven
n by
by tth
he chai
hai
ha
ain

Reeeaar der
R
Rea
derai
era
er
era
r iill
lllleu
eur
eur
ur
Sh
Shi
hift
hi
ftss th
fts
thee cha
hai
hai
ain
acro
ac
acr
cross
cr
oosss
ss th
the cogs
the
gss

EXPLODED CASSETTE

The cassette transfers the motio
on off the
chain to the wheel
el. It
It con
onsi
s sts of cog
ogss th
og
that
at
slide onto the casseetttte bo
body,
dyy, wh
d
w ic
i h is bol
o te
ted
onto the hub. The cassset
ette
te bod
ody hous
houses
ho
es tthe
hee
freewheel, which allow
ws th
he wh
w eeeel tto
o ttur
un
when the cassette is stati
t on
nar
ary.
y.

Cas
asset
sette
te bod
bodyy
Conttai
Con
tains
ins th
thee ffreeew
ewhee
heel
eel

QuickQui
ickck rel
releas
ease
ase leve
everr
Lo ks whe
Loc
wh ell int
into
nto
place
pla
l ce
c

Lockring
Holds cogs on
the body

Spacer

Cog
Slides
Sli
des on
onto
to
casset
cas
sette
tee
boddy

Pro
Profil
Pr
ofil
filee
Sec
ecure
ure
ress cogs
cogs
o too
casset
cas
asset
sette
tee bod
body

Hub
b fl
flang
flan
ge
Spokes
Spo
Sp
Spok
kes
con
connec
on
nnec
ne t hubb
to whe
wheel
el rim
i

H w th
How
they wor
w orkk

CHAIN ANATOM
MY

The chain is the key
e to
o
transmitting pedal
al pow
weerr
into forwa
w rd mot
otio
ion.
TTo
o trraans
nsfe
fer powe
weer ef
e fi
fici
ciien
enttlly,
y, the
he
chai
ch
ain m
mu
ust
s be st
s ro
ron
ng, bu
ng
ng,
butt fl
flex
exiib
bllee
eno
en
ou
ugh
gh to ffiit se
secu
cu
ureelyy aro
roun
un
nd tth
h
hee
tteeet
eeth
eth of
et
of th
hee cha
hain
hain
inri
nriing
ngs and
cco
ogs
gs. To achieeve
v this,, a series off
lilink
nkks aarrttiicu
icu
cula
late
tee aaro
roun
ro
und joining
jo
jo
pins
pi
ns, w
wh
hicch ar
aree su
urr
rrou
o nd
ded
ed by
revo
rev
re
volv
lvin
ing me
meta
tal
al b
baarr
rreellss..

R ar wh
Rea
Re
heel
hee
Dri
Dri
riven
ven
en
n by
by
the
th
h co
he
cogss

B rel
Ba
Bar
Sitss betw
Sit
ettween
et
eeen teeth of
cha
h inr
nring
i s and
d cog
cogs
J nin
Joi
ning
g pin
pin
Co e tss inn
Connec
nner
aand
d ou
uter links
kss
O er
Out
e lin
nk
Shape to alllooow
Shaped
w
qu ckk ge
qui
gea
gear-s
ar shif
h fts
ftss
Inn
nn
ner
er lin
link
Ro
Rot
o aate
atte
tes around
rou
und
nd th
the
he barre
h
ba
arre
rell

Cranks
Cr
Cra
nkset
kset
ks
et
Powere
Pow
red
ed by
by
peed
pped
edali
alliin
ng
g

Li htw
Lig
tw
we
eig
ig
ght
ht ccom
o pon
ponent
po
ent
nts
T cch
Th
The
hain
in
n, cass
asssett
ette,
ett
ttte,
e, and
nd
d ccrrankkssett arre ligh
ligh
ightwe
htw
tw igh
twe
ight
ht
items
ite
items
ms tha
t t use
use
s the
h lates
laates
test des
e gn
esi
gn and
aan
nd co
c ns
nsttruc
ructio
ru
t n
tio
t ch
tec
hni
niique
n
que
q
qu
u s to maxi
maxi
ximiz
xi
m e sstre
miz
trrengt
tre
n h and
n dur
durrabi
bilit
ilit
lity
ity
while
whi
le mai
le
ma nta
ma
ntaini
ining
in
n ng aan
n aer
aerody
ody
dynam
dy
amic
icc pro
profil
fii e.
fil

Ch
Ch
Cha
hainr
in
nring
n
ing
Caarrrie
C
Car
rriiies
iees the
he
cha
haaiin
n aro
aarround
ro
ound
ndd
th
the
he cr
he
crank
an
an
nkkset
ksse
set
e
et

Cha
Ch
C
hai
ha
aiin
n
Transm
Tra
nssm
mits
iitts
ts
pow
ppo
oweerr fro
ow
fro
r m
the
tth
hee ccrraank
h
an
nksset
nk
seet
et

Ped
P
Pe
eed
dal
dal
al
T ansmit
Transm
Tra
nsm
nsm
mits
iitttss
ene
ene
en
nergy
rgyy too th
rg
the
cra
cranks
raank
nks
n
kkset
et

63

64

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • CHAIN, CASSETTE, AND CRANKSET

Chains

Replacing a
derailleur chain

Replacing a chain is a regular maintenance
task. All chains eventually wear out, even
if you clean and lubricate them properly.
A worn chain, as well as being inefficient,
will quickly wear out other drive parts and
end up costing you money.
To determine how much a chain has
worn, either use a specialist gauge from a
bike shop or measure the length of 24 links.
If the length is greater than 12in (300mm),
the chain is worn.
New chains on derailleur gear systems
are linked with a joining pin that comes with
the chain. You will need a link extractor tool
to make this join. The thicker chains of hub
gears, BMX bikes, and some fixed-gear bikes
are joined by split links.

1

Shift onto the smallest chainring and cog
so that the chain is slack.

• Place a link in the link extractor and push out
the pin until the chain breaks.

STEP LOCATOR

• Remove the old chain with the link extractor.

1
2
1 2 3 4
Parts of a split-link and a Shimano chain
Split-link pins
Groove

Split-link
chain
Outer platte

Inner
links

Split pin

Shimano
chain

Toolbox

 Chain link extractor
 Needle-nose pliers

Remove the excess links from the opposite
end from the one on which there is a
joining link. Leave an inner link so that the two
ends can be joined together.

3

• Close the chain by pushing the pin of the
joining link through the opposite inner link with
the extractor tool.

Chains

Joining a split-link chain

Thread a new chain through the jockey
pulleys and around the biggest chainring
and smallest cog.

Join the chain by pressing the side of the
split link with the pins fixed in its plate
through the two inner-link ends of the chain.

• Pull the ends of the chain together so that

• Press the other plate onto the pins that are

there is a little tension in the jockey pulleys.
This establishes the length of chain you need.

now sticking through the inner links.

2

1

pressure until they become loose (inset).
t

Push the split pin into the grooves of the
split-link pins. These are sticking through
the outer plate that you have just fitted. The split
pin’s open end should face the rear of the bike.

• Remove the protruding part of the pin after

• Fix the split pin in place by pushing it home

4

Loosen any stiff links that occur when the
chain links are compressed during Step 3.

• Flex the stiff links with a little sideways
joining a Shimano chain, since these have an
extra-long joining pin.

• Break off the excess with needle-nose pliers.

2

with needle-nose pliers until you feel it click.

65

66

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • CHAIN, CASSETTE, AND CRANKSET

Cassette and
freewheel

Removing a cassette

The cassette and freewheel allow the rear
wheel to rotate while the pedals remain
stationary. Their internal mechanisms—the
freehub body of a cassette and the block in
a freewheel—will eventually wear out and
need replacing. The cogs on both can also
wear down. These parts will also need to be
removed whenever you replace a broken
spoke on the drive side of the rear wheel.
The tools for removing a freewheel and a
cassette depend on the manufacturer of the
part that is fitted to the bike. Usually, the
manufacturer’s name is stamped on the
component. However, if you are in any doubt
about which tool you need, take the wheel
to the bike shop when buying a remover tool.

1

Remove the quick-release skewer from
the rear wheel.

• Insert the cassette remover into the teeth of
the lockring at the center of the cassette.

• Replace the quick-release skewer to secure the

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

cassette remover.

1

Removing a freewheel block

2
3

1 2 3

Parts of a freewheel and a cassette
Cog

Freewheel mechanism
Cogs
Inner side
ridges of
cassette

Freewheel

Lockring

Cassette

Remove the quick-release skewer and
insert the block remover into the teeth at
the block’s center.

1

• Lock the block remover in place by replacing
the quick-release skewer.

Toolbox

 Wrenches  Cassette remover  Chain whip
 Block remover  Grease

Cassette and freewheel

2

Wrap the chain whip around a cog, and
place the wrench on the remover.

• Press downward on both tools. This holds the
cassette, while the remover unlocks the lockring.

• Remove the quick-release skewer once the
lockring starts turning.

• Continue to unscrew the lockring with the

Take off the smallest cog after
you have removed the lockring. On many
cassettes, the remaining cogs come off in one
piece. If they do not, you must put individual cogs
back in a certain way. Failure to do so will affect
the precision of gear-shifts. Usually, the cogs are
marked, so that lining up these marks ensures the
correct cog orientation.

3

cassette remover.

2

Put the wrench on the flats of the block
remover and turn counterclockwise.

• As the block begins to move, remove the
quick-release skewer and continue turning until
the block comes off.

Check the integral freewheel mechanism,
which is independent of the hub. Replace it
with a new block if it is worn.

3

• Coat the threads of the hub with grease, then
screw the block on by hand.

• Lock the block in place by tightening it with
the wrench and the block remover.

67

68

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • CHAIN, CASSETTE, AND CRANKSET

Cranksets

Removing a crankset

Removing a crankset is a useful skill to have
because it will allow you to replace an old
crankarm, clean or replace a worn chainring,
or work on the bottom bracket.
Cranksets are attached in one of four
ways. Those held in place by a hexagonal
bolt can be removed with a crankset socket
spanner (see Step 1). Cranksets with a selfremoving Allen bolt can be detached with
an 8mm Allen key (see Step 2). Versions with
a standard Allen bolt can be detached with
the relevant Allen key (see Step 3). Those
on a hollow-axle bottom bracket can be
removed by reversing the steps on pp.74–5.
When refitting a crankset, keep grease or
oil from touching the axle. The crankset must
be dry when fitted to the axle or it will work
loose. After refitting, go for a short ride and
then try the axle bolt again. If it is slightly
loose, you should tighten it.
STEP LOCATOR

Detach a hexagonal crankset bolt from
the axle with a crankset socket wrench.
Normal socket wrenches are often too thick to
fit into the space where the bolt is located.

1

• Steady the crankarm with your free hand to
give you something to push against. Work from
below the crankset so that if your hand slips, the
chainring teeth will not injure you.

• To remove the crankset, go to Step 4.

1
2
3

5

4
Parts of a crankset
Right-hand
crankarm
Spider

Chainring bolt
Chainrings

Toolbox

 Crank extractor  5mm Allen key
 8mm Allen key or crankset socket spanner
 Chainring bolt peg spanner

Use a crank extractor to remove the
crankset if it is not the self-removing type.
Make sure that the washer beneath the bolt has
also been removed.

4

• Carefully screw the extractor into the delicate
threads at the centre of the crankset. When the
extractor is fully in, turn its handle clockwise to
pull off the crankset.

Cranksets

Unscrew a self-removing Allen bolt with
an 8mm Allen key. These bolts extract the
crankset as you unscrew them.

Use a long-handled Allen key if there is
an Allen bolt holding the crankset on your
bike. Usually, an 8mm key is the size required.

• Steady the crankarm with your free hand to

• Work from below the crankset so that if you

give you something to push against. Work from
below the crankset so that if your hand slips, the
chainring teeth will not injure you.

slip, the chainring teeth will not injure you.

2

3

• To remove the crankset, go to Step 4.

• To remove the chainring, go to Step 5.

Remove the chainring
with a 5mm Allen key
on one side and a chainring
bolt peg spanner to hold
the bolt on the other. You
can do this without taking
the crankset off the axle, but
you must remove it if you are
working on the inner rings of
some triple cranksets.

5

• Cure a creaking noise from
the crankset by putting
grease on the threads of the
chainring bolts before you
reassemble the crankset.
Standard chainring bolts
are made from steel. Be
especially careful not to
over-tighten aluminium
or titanium bolts.

69

70

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • BOTT TOM BR
BRA
A CKETS

BOTTOM BRACKETS
There are two ma
ain types of bottom bracket: cartridgee-bbearrin
ingg
and hollow-axle. Both use sealed bearings, which can wearr
out over time. If thiss happens on
n th
the ca
cart
r ridge versio
ion,
replace the wh
hol
ole unit, but on a hollow
w-axle type
you only needd to rep
place
ce tth
he bearings.

How they work
The bottom bracket joins the crank of each
pedal with an axle, which rotates in the bike’ss
frame. Each type of bracket consists of an axle,
e
two bearings, and two threaded cups (called eith
ther
e
the free cup and fixed cup, or the non-drive and
drive-side cup). With the cartridge type, both cranks bolt
onto the axle, but with the hollow-axle type, the driveside crank is fixed to the axle and only the non-drive side
crank can be bolted on. A third type of bottom bracket,
the BMX bracket, has a threaded axle—the bracket is held
in place by a locknut that screws on to the thread on the
non-drive side of the axle.

Providi
iding st
s rength
The axle and bearings off
the bottom bra
racket need to
o
be both stron
ng and reliablee
enough
h to bear the weigh
ht
and power
wer of the rider.

CARTRIDGE-BEARING BOTTOM BRACKET ANATOMY

Each of the cartridge bearings
is composed of ball bearings,
which are sandwiched between
an inner and outer race by
plastic seals. The cartridge
bearings are located close
to each end of the
bottom-bracket axle.
A tubu
b lar sleeve fits over
the two bearings, filling
the space between them.
The fixed and free
cups fit over this
sleeve to create a
totally sealled unit.

Free cup
Scr
crews
cr
ew into
the bike’s
the
fram
fra
ame

Fixed cu
cup
up
Holds the bo
ottoom
bracket in
n placce
Out
uter
ut
e rac
acee
ac
Houses th
Hou
he bear
b ring
ings
ngs
Bal
all-b
al
l- ear
l-b
earing
ing
n
Suppor
Sup
ppor
oorts
t the
the aaxxle
lee

A e
Ax
Axl
Connec
Con
Co
nec
ectss the
hee
cranks
cra
n an
nks
nd
rottate
a s in
the
th
he be
beari
arings
ari
ngs

Crank
Cra
nk
nk
Turns
Tur
Tu
n the
the
h ax
axlee
axle

H o w tth eyy wor
How
Ho
workk
wo

HOL
OL
L LOW-AXLE BOTTOM BRACKET ANATOMY

The drivee side
d crank is
permanently fixed to the axle,
which passes through both
cups. The non-drive side
crank slides onto the axle
and is secured by two
pinc
n h bolts. The crank
cap bolt inserts into the
end of the axle to hol
od
the crank against the
bearing, ensuring that
there is no play, rather
like the stem cap bolt
on a threadless
headset (p.90).
0

Pinch bolts
Hold crank
in place on
the axle

Crank cap bolt
Presses crank
against bearings

Cup
Holds the
h bearings
in place in the frame
Axle
Connects the cranks
and rotates
in the bearings

Ball-bearing
Lets the axle turn
Crank
Turns the axle

Cup
Holds bearings
in the frame

C nk
Cra
n
Tu nss the
Tur
h aaxle
he
Cartridge-bearing
bottom bracket
Allows the smooth
rotation of the axle

71

72

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • BOTTOM BRACKETS

Cartridge
bottom bracket
Cartridge bottom brackets require no routine
maintenance. Their bearings are sealed from
the elements—even from the water you use
for hosing or pressure-washing your bike,
provided you turn the pedals forward during
the wash.
When the bearings do eventually wear
out, you will have to replace the whole unit.
The remover tools for this job are specific to
each particular bottom bracket, so check
which brand is fitted to your bike before
buying the tools.
If you are planning a replacement, there
are three types of bottom bracket axles to
choose from: square-tapered, Shimano
Octalink, and Isis. The type used in the steps
in this sequence is square-tapered; the type
shown below is Octalink.
Finally, if you are having any problems
installing a bottom bracket on your bike,
ask the experts at a bike shop to help you.

Installing a cartridge
bottom bracket

1

Put the bike on a workstand and remove
the crankset (see pp.68–9).
9

• Use a pair of calipers to measure the length
of the old axle before you remove the bottom
bracket, so that you can be sure the replacement
has an axle of the same length. You need to do
this because different cranksets are designed to
work with different axle lengths.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1 2 3 4 5
Parts of a cartridge bottom bracket
Drive (fixed-cup) side

Grease the threads of each side of the
new bottom bracket for easier fitting. The
non-drive threads are sometimes referred to as
the free-cup and the drive-side threads are known
as the fixed cup. Do not grease the drive side of
a bottom bracket with Italian threads.

4

Non-drive
(free-cup)
side

Bottom-bracket axle

Toolbox

 Measuring calipers  Ruler  Wrench
 Cartridge bottom bracket remover  Grease

Cartridge bottom bracket

Measure the width of the bottom-bracket
shell with a ruler. The shell forms part of
the bike’s frame and will be either 23⁄4in (68mm)
or 3in (73mm) wide. This width determines the
width of the bracket unit you need to buy.

2

Remove both the crankarms
k
(see pp
pp.68–9)
68 9),
insert a bottom-bracket remover into the
non-drive side of the bracket, and turn the
remover counterclockwise with a wrench.

3

• Repeat on the other side, turning clockwise.
Turn counterclockwise if your bike has an Italianthreaded bottom brack
cket
et (ma
(marke
rked
d 36
36 x 1)
1).

Insert the bottom bracket from the drive
(fixed-cup) side using the remover tool. Fit
the teeth of the tool into the indentations of the
bottom bracket (see enlargement).
t

5

he
• Insert the non-drive (free-cup) side when the
drive side is almost in position. Use the rem
remove
ove
verr
to screw it in a few turns. Fully tight
ghteen
en th
thee dr
drive
ivvee
side, then the non-drive side.
e.

73

74

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • BOTTOM BRACKETS

Hollow-axle
bottom bracket

Installing a hollowaxle bottom bracket

Hollow-axle bottom brackets, such as those
made by SRAM, Campagnolo, and Shimano,
are designed to increase bottom-bracket
strength. The axle bearings screw onto the
outside of the bottom bracket shell, which
houses a large diameter axle that is hollow,
light, and stronger than other axles. Since
the bearings are farther apart than on other
bottom-bracket designs, they encounter less
torque, which increases their lifespan. But
they will eventually wear out, so you will
need to know how to remove and replace
them. The steps can also be followed if you
want to upgrade to this system.

The faces of the bottom bracket shell must
be flat and parallel. This requires specialist
equipment, so get the frame checked at a bike shop.

1

• Measure the width of the bottom bracket shell,

STEP LOCATOR

then check the manufacturer’s instructions to
determine how many spacers are required and on
which cup to put them.

1
2

• Grease the threads of the cups and place the

3
5 6

4

necessary spacers on them.

Parts of a hollow-axle bottom bracket
Chainring

Axle

Combined
drive-side
cup and
sleeve

Left-hand
crank
Spacers

Non-drive
side cup

4

Pinch bolt
Crank cap bolt

Push the left-hand crank onto the nondrive side of the axle.

• The crank must be mounted at 180-degrees to
the right-hand crank. To do this, match the wide
notch on the axle with the wide tooth on the crank.

Toolbox

• Unlike other bottom bracket systems, it is not

 Hollow-axle cup tool  Hollow-axle crank cap tool
 Allen key multi-tool

necessary to have a dry interface between the
crank and axle. Put a little grease on the axle
before you fit the crank.

Hollow-axle bottom bracket

2

Screw the cups into the frame as far as you
can with your fingers (inset).
t

• The drive-side cup screws in anti-clockwise, and

Hold the drive side (right-hand) crank
and push the axle through the hole in
the center of the drive-side cup.

3

the non-drive-side cup screws in clockwise.

• Continue pushing until the end of the axle

• Secure the cups on each side by tightening

pops out of the non-drive-side cup.

them with the hollow-axle cup tool (main image).

• You may encounter resistance, especially as you

• Grease the axle in preparation for pushing it
through the cups.

push the axle through the non-drive side cup. If
this happens, give the center of the crank a sharp
tap with a plastic mallet.

5

Grease the threads of the crank cap bolt,
and screw it into place with your fingers.

6

Tighten the crank pinch bolts with an
Allen key to fix the crank in place.

• Tighten the crank cap bolt with the crank cap

• The pinch bolts work as a pair, so must be

tool, which draws the crank onto the axle.

equally tight. Tighten them in sequence by screwing
in the first a little, then screwing in the other by
the same amount. Repeat until both bolts are
tight, but do not use excessive force.

• Do not over-tighten the crank cap bolt. Rotate
the cranks and if the axle is stiff, loosen the crank
cap bolt a little.

• If you have access to a torque wrench, use it to
tighten the bolts to the manufacturer's instructions.

75

76

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • BOTTOM BRACKETS

BMX bottom
bracket

Setting up a BMX
bottom bracket

Many types of bottom brackets are fitted to
BMX bikes. The type used in this sequence
of steps is similar to the type used on many
children’s bikes.
The biggest difference between this kind
of BMX bracket and normal bottom brackets
is that the threads securing it in the frame
are on the axle and not inside the bottombracket shell. The axle has a cup and cone
bearing system, a little like an open-bearing
hub (see pp.100–1). The drive-side cone,
chainring, and axle are made in one piece,
and the crankarms bolt on to them. This kind
of crankset and bottom bracket is called a
3-piece crankset. Screwing the locknut onto
the cone needs practice to ensure that the
bottom bracket is adjusted successfully.

Take out the captive bolt at the center of
the non-drive side crankarm, then loosen
the crankarm bolt on the side.

1

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5 6
Parts of a BMX bottom bracket
Chainring
Drive-side cone
Non-drive side cup
Non-drive
side bearings
Non-drive
side cone

Axle threads
Spacing washer

Drive-side cup

Put the newly greased drive-side bearings
back into their cup, then insert the axle so
that it sticks out of the non-drive side.

4

Axle
Drive-side
bearings

Locknut

• Put the greased, non-drive side bearings over
the axle and into their cup.

Toolbox

• Make sure that the non-drive bearings are

 Allen key multi-tool  Peg wrench
 Wrenches  Grease  Degreaser

sitting square inside their cup.

BMX bottom bracket

Remove the crankarm. Hold the non-drive
cone still with a peg wrench while removing
the locknut with a wrench.

Take out the drive side of the bottom
bracket once you have removed the locknut
and cone from the non-drive side.

• Remove the spacer and the cone and pull out

• Hold the drive side by the drive-side crankarm

the non-drive bearings from the cup, which is
located inside the bottom-bracket shell.

and clean and degrease the bearings. Replace any
worn bearings and grease the clean bearings.

• Inspect, clean, and degrease the cone.

• Inspect the cups while the drive side is out of

2

3

the bike. Replace any worn cups or cones.

Put the non-drive cone and spacer over
the axle and screw the cone on to the
bearings with the peg wrench. Screw the locknut
onto the axle.

Put the spacer back on the non-drive
side of the axle and then push the crankarm
back onto it.

• Hold the cone in place against the bearings and

crankarm, then tighten the retaining bolt on
its side.

5

screw the locknut down onto it. Then screw the
cone back a little to the locknut. A bit of play in
the axle is permissible, but too much will throw
off the chain.

6

• Tighten the captive bolt in the middle of the

77

78

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • PEDALS

PEDALS
There are two types of pedals, flat and clipless.. Pedalss w
witth op
open
en
n
bearings require regular inspection and lubrication. Clilippleess peda
dals
da
ls
must be lubricated to ensure easy foot relea
ase. Clea
atss shoul
uld be
correctly fitted to the rider’s shoes and regularl
rlyy in
i sp
pected
ec d fo
or we
wear
arr.

How they work
The two pedals transfer the push from the
rider’s legs and feet into both crankarms,
which, in turn, rotate the axle in the bottom
bracket. The body of a pedal rotates around
an axle and is supported on bearings that are
either open or held within a cartridge. Thee
pedal’s axle screws into the crankarm.
Pedals should grip a rider’s feet in somee
way. For example, studs that prevent foo
oott
slippage will help a rider who makes frequ
quen
qu
een
nt
stops, such as a commuter in heavy traff
ffic
ic..
Some flat pedals are fitted with toe-cliips
ps
and straps that hold the front of the fo
foot,
although they can interfere with thee ffo
oot
as the rider tries to remove it. Cliplesss
pedals hold the foot securely, while
releasing it easily whenever the rider wis
ishe
h s.
he

Converting energy
Pedals
alss aare the invention
tha
h t defi
ha
effines cycling. They
ar th
are
thee first step in the
pro
oce
ces
eesss of converting
hum
uman
an energy into
mec
mec
echa
cha
h ical motion.
han

FLAT PEDAL ANATOMY

Two bearings on the pedal’s axle
are held in place by a cone and
lockring that screw on to the
outer end of the axle. A knurled
retainer attaches the pedal body
to the axle. The cone
(not visible) and the
lockring can be
adjusted to permit the free
rotation of the body around
the axle, without any play.
Axle
Screws into the crankarm
Knurled retainer
Holds the body onto the axle
Ball bearings
Allow the body to rotate around the axle

Crankarm
Transf
Tra
nsfers poower
w to
t
the bo
botto
t m brac
ra ket
et
Pedal bod
body
bo
Rot
otate
atees on
n
the ax
axle
lee
Lockknutt
Holds
ds the
conee in
in plac
lacee

H w th
How
theyy wor
w k
wo

Ped
P
ed
daall
Con
on
nn
nec
ne
eeccts
ts the
t e ri
th
rider
deerr’s
’s fo
fooot
foo
too th
the
hee dr
h
driv
ive
vetra
ttra
raain
in

79

80

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • PEDALS

Pedal axle

Removing and
lubricating a pedal axle

The axle of a pedal is usually made from
steel and the crankarms from aluminum
alloy. This creates an interface where a
chemical reaction can take place between
the two metals, so it is important that you
coat the threads with grease before you put
pedals on your bike. The tools for removing
the axles are specific to the brand and model
of the pedals, and are either supplied with
the pedals or available at a good bike shop.
Most pedals contain two bearings on
which the pedal body revolves around its
axle. These sometimes need replacing; in
the case of ball bearings, they need regular
cleaning, checking, and greasing.
Pedal axles can be damaged by an impact
or during a fall, and a bent axle can cause
riding discomfort or even injury. After
removing the pedals, rotate their axles
by hand, feeling for the tight spots that
are evidence of a bent axle.

1

Place a wrench on the flats of the axle to
remove a pedal.

• Turn the wrench counterclockwise for the right
pedal, which has a right-hand thread, and clockwise
for the left pedal, which has a left-hand thread.

• Steady the opposite crankarm with your hand
to give you something to push against.

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5 6
Parts of a pedal
Cleat-release
mechanism

Pedal body
Pedal axle
Retainer

Wrench
flats
Release tension
adjuster

Toolbox

 15mm bike spanner  Allen key multi-tool
 Remover tool  Degreaser  Grease

4

Lift the axle from the pedal once you
have fully unscrewed the retainer nut.

• Clean the axle with degreaser and inspect it.
If the axle is bent, it will need to be replaced.

• Replace the bearings on the end of the axle if
they are worn.

Pedal axle

2

Hold the removed pedal, with the axle
upward, in a vise.

• Remove the axle by using a remover tool that
fits over the knurled retainer connecting the axle
to the pedal.

Ensure that the remover tool fits snugly
onto the retainer. The retainer may be
damaged if you do not.

3

• Place a wrench on the flats of the remover tool
in place and turn it to remove the retainer.

• Turn the wrench clockwise for the right axle
retainer, which has a left-hand thread, and
counterclockwise for the left axle retainer, which
has a right-hand thread.

Hold the cone with one wrench and remove
the locknut with another. The cone and
locknut hold the bearings on the end of the axle.

Grease the inner bearing to prolong its
life. If it is worn, the whole axle assembly
must be replaced.

• Remove the cone, then the old bearings. Clean

• Push some grease down into the bearing after

the end of the axle.

cleaning the axle. To reassemble the pedal, carry
out Steps 1–4 in reverse order.

5

• Set the new bearings in grease and screw the
cone back on top of them. Then lock the cone
with the locknut.

6

81

82

MAINTAINING YOUR TRANSMISSION • PEDALS

Clipless pedals
Clipless pedals were developed in response
to the racing cyclist’s need to apply power
throughout the entire pedal revolution.
They hold the foot to the pedal by locking
onto a cleat attached to the sole of the
shoe. The mechanism that holds the cleat is
spring-loaded—the foot is released by
turning the heel outward.
The release spring is an essential working
part and must be kept clean and well
lubricated. Use light oils on road pedals

and heavier oils on off-road pedals. Wipe oil
off the pedal body to stop your foot from
slipping. The mechanism lets the foot pivot
around its long axis during each revolution.
The oil applied to the release spring is enough
to keep the mechanism working well.
Toolbox

 15mm bike wrench  Allen key multi-tool
 Degreaser  Stiff brush  Oil

ROAD PEDALS

Ro
oad
ad ped
edal
als
al
ls ar
aree ligh
ght,
ht,
t ssup
u portive,
e and
n ,
beca
be
caaus
use off tthe
use
hee gre
reat
a err sspe
p eds
pe
ed
ds in
invo
volv
vo
lvved
d
in roa
in
oad
d ridiing
n , aero
aero
ody
dyna
naami
n
mic.
c. The
heyy need
ed
to eng
ngagee an
and
d re
rele
leas
le
asse th
thee fe
feeet
et witth eq
equa
ual
ua

Top fa
ace
ce

Time
Tim
e road
road
ad
d pe
pedal
dal
dal
Th se ped
The
pedals
al of
als
offer
fer a
fe
fer
range
ran
ge of movveme
e nt tha
th
hatt
can bee ad
adjus
a jus
justed
ted
d to
o su
s it
the
th
h requ
qui
u rem
ui
ement
ents
ts of
of
ind
ndivi
div
ivi
vidua
du
ual ride
ride
id rs.
s.. Ke
K ep
Keep
the
heem well
el maaint
el
ntain
nt
ain
i ed by
b
scrrubb
ub ing regul
ularl
ul
arlyy with
arl
t
dee reaser, usin
deg
ng a st
stiff
ifff
bru
rush.
sh. Wash this
thi
his off,
fff
the
hen lubr
l brica
icate
ica
te the reelea
l se
sprring
in
ng with
h hea
heavie
vie
ieer oil,
oi
d ibbl
dribbl
dri
bb iing
ng itt fr
from
om a ccan.
an.

Look road
road pedal
pedal
all
These easy-to-maintain
pedals have a small
Allen bolt on top of the
bac
ba
b
a k plate rete
et ntion
mecchan
m
h ism, which adju
ha
adju
justs
u
thee ffo
th
the
oot
oto
t release tens
ension
ion
n.
TThee p
peedal
alls need to be
b
scr
crru
ubb
bb
bed
e cle
clean
an
n regularlyy.
Occ
Occasi
ccasiion
onally
ona
llyy, drib
lly
lly,
bbl
ble
ble
le some
oil betwe
tween
en the
en
th b
back
ck
plate
pla
t and
te
an peeda
dal
al b
al
bo
ody.
dy

eaase, ass wel
e l ass hol
o diing
g thee ffoo
oott se
oo
secure
relyy.
re
Id
Ideall
d ll
lly,
y, you sho
hou
ho
uld bee ab
blle
le to adjust th
them
acco
ac
co
ord
diin
ng tto
oh
how
w muc
uch
h mo
oveme
veemeen
ntt yyou
o r
feet
fe
feet
et mak
ake du
duriing
ng ped
edaal
alin
ng.
g

Bo
Bot
o to
ttom
om
o fa
face
face
ce
Ped
Peda
daal body
body

Rete
R
e entio
t n
tio
m ch
mech
hanis
anis
nism
ism
Rel
Rele
elease
e
asse
sp ngg
spri

Rele
ele
leasele
easeaase
e-tens
etens
enssion
en
ion
ion
aadju
ad
d ster
ter
e

Top
To
op fa
ace
P dall bo
Peda
ody
d

Release
e
te ion
ten
tens
i
adjuster
adju
ster
e

R ase
Rele
e spri
spring
ng

Bottom
Bot
tom fa
tom
to
f c
ce
e

Back pla
plate
te

Clipless pedals

OFF-ROAD PEDALS

Off-ro
Offoad ped
e als are eq
e uiipp
pped
ed
dw
wit
ith
h
retent
ntio
ion mech
chan
anisms
ms on at lea
eaastt two
w
side
si
dess so thaat th
thee ri
ride
der’s feeeett caan
de
n att
ttac
tac
ach
h to
o

Tim
ime
e off
fff ro
road
d peda
e l
ed
The
he fe
few
w movi
movi
viin
ng
g pa
pa ts
par
off thi
this simp
imp
mp
m
plee p
ped
eedall are
ree
pro
p
rrotected
ted
te
eed
d in
n tthe body
body
o o
of
the pe
th
pedal
dal
aall. Keep
e th
thee part
ar s
cleean
an and
an
nd d
n
dribb
ib
bble
b a litt
lit
ittle
itt
llee
hea
he
h
e vy
vy oil
oi iintto
o the point
whe
w
heree thee re
he
relea
lease
se bar
en
ent
nteerss tth
he peda
peda
e l body
ody..
Iff ne
necces
nec
ess
ess
s ary
ary,, repl
rep ace
a th
t e
bea
bea
be
earin
rrin
ngs and aaxles
es (see
ee
pp.
p.80–
80–1).
)

tthe
th
he pe
p dal
dal no
da
n mat
atte
tte
t r wh
hic
ich wa
way up
way
up iitt is
is..
Thee pe
Th
peda
dals
da
ls aals
ls
lsso let
leet mu
mud
d pa
p ss thr
hrou
ough
h to
prev
pr
evven
ent th
ent
them ffro
rom
ro
m be
beco
comi
ming clo
ming
ogg
g ed
d.

Rete
e n
ete
ntio
tion spring

Top
o face
e

Bot
otto
ot
ttom
tom face
c
ce

Release-tension
o
on
aadju
dju
j ster
err

Rete
R
tentio
nttion
n bar
b r
ba
Axle
A
xle
e
t read
thre
ad
d

Shiman
Shi
mano offmano
off-roa
roa
ad peda
peda
edall
TThe
he o
op
pen
n des
design
ign of this
this
ped
eda
dal
al all
allows
o go
ood m
mud
d
cleeara
clear
a nce
nce b
bu
ut expo
xposes
s
ses
th pedal
the
peedall’s
’s ret
re ent
ention
on
meechan
m
mec
eechan
hanism
ism to
o th
the
elemen
el
ele
en
nts.
ts Cl
Clean
ean aan
nd
deg
de
eeg
grea
r ssee tthe
hee pe
pedal
dal
alss
reg
eg
gula
u rly
l an
and
d lubricate
tee
thee mo
movin
v g part
a s with
it
a heea
ea y lubricant.
eav
nt. Th
Thee
releasse tension ad
adjus
dj terr is
o thee ba
on
back
ck pla
p tee of
o thiss
double-s
-sssided
-si
d d peedal
da .

Top fa
f ce

Rele
ease
asessese
e--tens
tte
ension
on
n
adju
dju
jju
uster
err

Bottom
Bot
ttom
om fa
face
ace
c

Re
R
Rele
elease
sp ng
spri

Rete
entio
on
mechanis
mech
anis
ni m
nis

R ntio
Ret
Rete
nt on spring
spri
ring

Cra
ra
ank Broth
herss ped
he
pedal
a
al
Thiis is aan
n open
n de
d sig
ign
with exc
wit
xce
cceellent mud
cle
cl
l ar
le
aranc
nce and very feew
nc
mov
ovving
in paarts
rttss—the
rettent
enttion
tio
ion meechanism
cha
ch
haa
h
is jus
justt a ssimpl
p e spriing.
g
C an
Cle
a the
h peedal
a s regu
gu
ula
la ly,
lar
aand
an
nd veery
r occ
c aasi
cc
ssio
ona
nally
nally
ly
rre--gre
grease
se th
he bear
bea
ear
aring
ar
ingss
using
usi
ng a grea
grease
see gun an
nd
a special adaptor thaat iiss
sold with
th th
t e peda
pedals
ls.

P n view
Pla
ew
w

Axle th
thread
ad

Proffile view
ew
Rete
Re
e ntion bar
R t ntion bar
Rete

Rete
etentio
n n sp
ntio
pring

Pedal aaxle
Peda

83

84

MAINTAINING YOUR DRIVETRAIN • PEDALS

Pedal cleats

Fitting a pedal cleat

Clipless pedals are designed to hold your feet
firmly in place, so it is important that the
cleats on the pedals are positioned correctly
on the sole of your shoes. The right position
also enables you to transfer the maximum
amount of leg power into the pedals.
Once you have set up the cleats, you
might find that your feet try to return to
their natural position as you ride. Alter the
cleat’s angle to accommodate this. However,
do not alter its fore and aft position because
the position shown here is the most efficient
for applying power to the pedals.
The steps in this sequence show an offroad pedal (see pp.82–3), but the principles
are the same for road pedals.

STEP LOCATOR

Put on your cycling shoes and mark them
on the outer side where your foot is widest.
This point is usually slightly behind the smallest
toe and is in line with the ball of the foot. The
aim of setting up a cleat is to make sure that
this part of your foot is exactly above the pedal
axle when you ride.

1

1 2 3 4 5 6
Parts of a pedal cleat

In-shoe threads for fixing bolts

4
Fixing
bolts

Cleat

Recessed cleat plate

Put on your cycling shoes and sit on your
bike, engaging the cleats in the pedals.

• Ask someone to check from the side that the
initial mark you made is over the pedal axle.

• Go for a ride and check whether your feet try
Toolbox

 White marker pen  Silicone sealant
 Allen keys  Screwdriver

to turn in or out on the pedals.

Pedal cleats

Take off your shoes and continue the mark
you made with a straight line across the
sole of your shoe, from outside to inside. This line
must be at right angles to the initial mark and
should end on the inner side of the shoe, in line
with the initial mark.

2

Place the cleat on the shoe so that the line
runs exactly through its center. Some cleats
are marked to help with this alignment.

3

• Make sure that the horizontal axis of the cleat
is exactly parallel with the line you made.

• Secure the cleat in place with the screws or
Allen bolts provided.

Adjust the cleats to accommodate any foot
position changes your test ride reveals, but
keep the cleat centered over the axle.

5

• Mark the sole of your shoes all around the
cleat, so that you can line it up again.

• Remove the cleat, put anti-seize compound on
the screw threads, and line the cleat up with the
marks you made. Tighten the cleat.

Seal the Allen heads on the bolts that
secure the cleats to off-road shoes. These
heads can fill with grit, causing them to lose
shape and making it difficult to replace the cleats
when they wear down. Prevent this by filling the
Allen heads with blobs of a silicone sealant
available from the hardware store.

6

85

Steering gives you control
of a bike’s handling and
direction. Regularly check
and maintain the headset,
handlebar, wheels, and
hubs to safeguard their
reliability at all times.

88

STEERING AND WHEELS • HEADSETS

HEADSETS
A headset allows the bike to be steered. The headdseet must
ust
us
be properly adjusted to allow smooth, safe stteerin
ng an
and
to prolong its life. The bearings and bearing su
urfaccess
need regular inspection and lubrication, and anyt
y hiing
that is worn must be replaced at once.

How they work
The main function of the headset is to enable the rider
to change the direction of the front wheel under any
conditions. There are two types of headsets, threaded
and threadless, and both hold the front fork securely
in the head tube, while simultaneously allowing the
fork to turn freely.
The headset rotates on bearings, which are held in
place by cups, one above the head tube, the other below.
For the forks to turn freely, these two cups press on the
bearingss jjus
ustt en
enou
ough
gh tto
o pr
prev
even
entt an
anyy pl
play
ay iin
n the part of
the fo
th
fork
rkk kkno
nown
wn aass th
thee st
stee
e rer tu
tube. Th
Thee wa
wayy th
this
is presssur
ue
(also kn
(a
now
own
n as loa
oad)
d)) iiss achiiev
eveed varies be
betw
twee
eeen th
thee
thre
read
re
ead
ded and
and
d tthr
hrea
hr
eaadl
dles
dles
esss he
h ad
dse
sets
t.
ts
T
TH
THR
E
EAD
LESS HEA
EADSET ANATO
OMY
Ste
tem
m clam
clam
a p bolts
Th
he stem cap bolt at
C mp steem to
Cla
to stee
te rer tube
the top of a threaadl
dless
headset screws into a
Stem cap
p bol
boltt
star washer below.
Pulls the steerer
Some types of threadless
tube upward
headsets contain a wedge
instead of a star washer.
When the stem cap bolt
is turned with an Allen
key, it pushes the stem
and spacer down on to
Top cup
the bearings in both the
Loads the
bearings
top and bottom cups,
and pulls up the steerer
Bottom cup
tube at the same time.
Loads the
This places sufficient load
bearings
on the bearings for the
fork to turn freely with
no play. The
h stem is
secured in place on the
steerer by tightening two
clamp bolts (not visible
on the
h illustration).

Star wash
her
Gr ps the st
Gri
steerer tube

Stem
Links handlebar an
and heeadset
Spacer
Sits on top of the beearin
nggs
ng
Top bearings
Allow the steerer tubbe to
turn in the headset
Steerer tube
Connects the fork
to the headset
Bottom
m
bearings
gs
Allow the
he
fork to tu
urn
ur
Fork crown
n
Turns the forrk
rk

89

THR
HREAD
ADED
AD
E HEA
ED
HEADSE
E T ANAT
A N TOMY
Y

Screwing the
he top cup
cu dow
own the th
hre
r ad of the
th
h st
steeerer
plac
pl
ace
ces a lloa
oad
oa
d on the
he top
p bea
e rings to the
hee p
poi
o nt
oi
nt where
th
he fo
fork
rkks tu
t rn fre
reelyy but wi
w thout play. The cup
p, and
nd
conseq
eque
eq
uent
ntly
ly tthe
he ffro
ontt ffor
ork, iss then loc
ocke
ked in pla
laace
byy a lockrin
ng th
hat
a als
lsso sc
s rews down
n th
the thre
th
hread
aded
de
sttee
eere
rerr. Thee ssteem is
is atttac
ache
hed
d to
o tthe
h hea
eads
dset
et by
tiigh
g teniing the ste
tem’
m s exxpand
m’
nder
e bolt, whi
hich
ch p
pul
ulls
ls
up a wed
e gee aand
nd
d jjam
amss th
am
the st
s em
m’s qui
uillll ins
nsid
ns
id
de th
he
th
hre
read
aded
e ste
teerrer
e.
Stem
Liinks the
handle
dlebar
and
nd heads
dset
e
Quill
Fitts ins
n de the
nsi
thread
eaded
steere
er r

Haaan
Han
H
n
ndle
dlle
dle
d
lebar
baaarr
b
Ste
SSt
tteeeer
ers
rs tth
rs
he
ffro
fr
rroon
ntt w
wh
heee
h
eel
el

TTop cup
Loa
adss tthe
h
beaarin
ri gs
Thr
hrea
ead
ad
ded
e steere
e r
Con
C
onnec
ects
ec
t the
hea
adse
d t to
t fork
the

Hea
He
H
eeaads
dse
d
sseeett
Hool
Hol
H
olddss th
old
th
the
hee
ffor
fo
oorrk in the
he
heea
hea
h
ead ttube
ubbee
ub
ube

Expandeer bo
olt
olt
ol
Draws up
p the
h wedge
dge
ge
LLockring
g
Locks the
th topp
cup
up in pl
place
To
Top
op be
beari
arin
riing
ngs
Alloow the steerer
All
too tur
urn
n in the
headset
hea
Wedgee
Wedge
Jams
ams thee quill
quill in
the st
steerrer
er
Bottom
o beeari
a ngs
Alloow the fork
too turn

Fo
FFor
orrk
Hoollds
Hol
Ho
ds and
aan
ndd tu
turn
rn
rns
nss
the
th
he fr
front
on
on
ntt wh
wheel
whee
eeel

Ste
St
S
tee
eri
rin
ng
ge
efffecti
ectively
vely
A head
e set
seeett aalllow
lo
ow
wss th
the
he rid
rider
er to
o
steeerr th
ste
the
the
he ffrro
ont
nt
nt w
wh
heeel eeffec
ectiv
iveely
ely
and
an
nd cco
confi
onf
nfi
n
fiden
dently
de
t y. The
tly
h handleebar
bar,
wh
whi
wh
hiich
ch iss ccon
o
on
nn
nec
eected
cte
ted
d to the
the
ssttteeeer
ste
eere
rreer
er tu
ub
ube
be by
by the
the sttem
em
m, tu
urn
r s
thee fo
the
forkk aand
nd
n
d th
the fron
frron
ont w
whe
heee
hee
h
eeel
el.

90

STEERING AND WHEELS • HEADSETS

Threadless headset
To determine whether your bike is equipped
with a threadless or a threaded headset, look
at the stem. If you can see bolts on the side
of the part that sits on top of the head tube,
it is a threadless headset.
A number of different types of threadless
headsets can be fitted to modern bikes.
These range from the type that has both top
and bottom cups, like the traditional headset,
to others, such as the headset illustrated
here, where the bearing surfaces fit inside
the head tube. All the various types of
headsets work on the same principle and
are taken apart in a similar way.
Occasionally, you need to strip down the
headset in order to check it for wear and to
clean and lubricate the bearings. If you find
any cups or bearing surfaces are worn, you
will need to replace the whole headset. This
job requires special equipment and is best
left to the experts in a good bike shop.

Adjusting and cleaning a
threadless headset

Remove the stem cap bolt from the center
of the stem cap with an Allen key. This bolt
loads the headset to prevent play in it, rather
than securing the stem.

1

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5

Parts of a threadless headset
Stem cap
Top bearing
cover

Stem cap bolt

Top race

Lower the fork and lift off the top spacers
and either the top cup or bearing cover,
depending on the type of threadless headset.

4

Bottom cup

• Clean, degrease, and look at the bottom bearing.
If there are no signs of wear, grease the bearing.
Toolbox

• Take the centering wedge out of the head tube.

 Allen key multi-tool  Degreaser  Grease

Clean the bearings, bearing surfaces (inset),
t and
bearing cover or top cup . Examine for wear, put
new grease on the bearings, and reinstall.

Threadless headset

Loosen the clamp bolts on the side of the
stem once you have removed the cap bolt
bolt.
The stem and handlebar assembly are now free.
It is the stem clamp bolts that securee the stem
m
to the steerer.

2

Put the fork back into
o the heaad tube
and replace the centerin
ng wedg
ge, bear
be ring
g
cover, and spacers.

5

• Put the handlebar and stem backk onn topp
of the steerer.
t
ng thee steem cap
• Load the headset byy tightenin
bolt to a point wher
ere the hand
andllebaar tu
turn
ns fre
freelyy,
but there is no pla
play in the headset.
he et. Seccure the
stem in place byy tightenin
ing the clamp
p bolt
b ts.
bikee
• Apply the front brakke and try to puush thhe bik
forward to make sure
re the heeadsett is not loose.

Take hold
ld off the ffrontt fork
fo , then lift the
steem and handle
dlebar
b from the steerer. You
can leave
leave these
these to ha
hang
ng out of th
thee w
way,
ay, su
suppo
p rted
by th
by
thee brake
brake an
and
d gear
gear cable
cab s.
s

3

91

92

STEERING AND WHEELS • HEADSETS

Threaded headset
Older bikes and children’s bikes are equipped
with threaded headsets. This type of headset
is designed to make it easy to raise and
lower the stem whenever you want to
change the height of the handlebar and
adjust your riding position.
The headset’s top cup and the locknut
that holds it in place are both screwed onto
the steerer. The stem is equipped with a shaft,
or quill, that fits inside the steerer. For safety
reasons, you should never raise a stem above
the limit marked on its quill.
On some even older headsets, the top cup
screws down. Its serrated top edge is held in
place by a clamp bolt on a similarly serrated
lockring assembly. When the clamp bolt is
loosened, the top cup screws off.
Remember to disconnect the brakes
before you start working on the headset
and make sure that you reconnect them
when you are finished. Before the stem
is replaced into the steerer of the headset,
coat the quill with grease (see pp.30–1).

Servicing a threaded
headset

Undo the Allen bolt in the stem center and
knock it downward with a plastic mallet
to free the steerer. The stem is secured into the
steerer by an expander bolt, which, as it is
tightened, draws a wedge up inside the quill.

1

• Lift the stem from the steerer.

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5 6

Parts of a threaded headset
Locknut
Spacer
Top cup
Top race

Degrease all the bearing surfaces of the
top and bottom cups and of the races. You
can access the top bearings by pushing the fork
up the head tube and holding it there.

4

Bottom cup
Fork crown race

• Inspect the bearing surfaces. If any are
Toolbox

 6mm Allen key  Grease  Degreaser  30mm
and 32mm headset wrenches  Plastic mallet

damaged, you need a new headset; this is best
left to a good bike shop.

Threaded headset

2

Unscrew the locknut while holding the top
cup still with a headset wrench.

• Spread newspaper on the floor to catch loose
bearings that may drop out of the top cup.

• Lift off the spacers, then unscrew the top cup
upward from the steerer.

5

Grease both the top and bottom bearings
or set loose bearings in grease inside each cup.

• Completely unscrew the top cup to remove
the bearings. Set the bearings individually in the
greased cups and screw the top cup back on.
Bearings held in cages can be greased in situ
provided they are not worn out.

Lower the fork to reveal the bearings in
the bottom cup. Screwing the top cup
upward allows this to happen. Although most
headsets have ball bearings held in cages, watch
out for loose bearings that may drop out of the
bottom cup. Some headsets have roller bearings—
treat these as ball bearings in the following steps.

3

6

Screw the top cup down onto the top
bearings. Replace the spacers and locknut.

• Adjust the top cup so that steering is free.
• Pull the fork to make sure there is no forward
movement in the headset.

• Replace the spacer, hold the top cup with a
wrench, and tighten the locknut onto it.

• Replace the stem and handlebar.

93

94

STEERING AND WHEELS • HANDLEBARS

HANDLEBARS
Most modern bikes are equipped with either straight or drop
handlebars. A rider must be able to rely totally on the handlebar, so
for safety reasons, a handlebar must be replaced at once if scratches,
stress marks, or cracks develop on the surface.

Straight handlebar
Owners of road bikes sometimes want to
change the handlebar to a different shape,
often to suit the proportions of their body or
because of their cycling needs. Some cyclists
want to replace a drop handlebar with a
straight, or flat, bar. Others may want to
replace their existing straight bars with riser
bars, or vice versa. Riser bars, which are fitted
to mountain bikes, are straight in the center,
then rise up to become straight where the
grips are. They are installed the same way as
a straight handlebar.
The steps in this sequence apply to all
straight handlebars, whatever the reason for
replacing them. However, when replacing a
drop handlebar with a straight bar, it will be
necessary to swap the brake levers for levers
that work with flat or riser bars. Some of
these steps will also be useful when fitting
new grips, brake levers, gear-shift levers, or
bar-ends to an existing handlebar.

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5

Installing a straight
handlebar

Parts of a straight handlebar
Plastic plug
p g

Grip
p
Straight
handlebar

Ring
clamp

Bar-end

Shifterr unit

Remove any raised pieces of metal inside
the stem clamp with a medium, half-round
file (inset).
t Smooth the area with emery paper.

1

Brake lever
Clamp bolt

Toolbox

 Half-round file  Emery paper  Ruler
 Allen key multi-tool  Hairspray

• Place the straight handlebar into the stem clamp
and screw in the clamp bolts. Make sure the bar is
centered before tightening it fully. If you are
fitting a riser bar, decide what angle of sweep
you want before tightening the bolts.

Straight handlebar

Secure the ring clamp of the brake lever
to the handlebar. Like road brake levers,
off-road levers have a ring clamp that fits over
and secures them to the handlebar. Some off-road
brake levers have integrated shift levers with only
one clamp. However, some are separate and there
are two clamps to go over the handlebar.

2

Spray hairspray into the handlebar grips to
help the grips slide onto the handlebar.
When the hairspray dries, the grips will fit tightly
to the handlebars.

3

ends to allow for the width of the bar-end clamp.

Clamp on the bar-ends. Line them up
parallel with the angle of your stem to
begin with, then adjust their angle to suit your
own preference after riding.

• Fit grip-locks to hold the grips in place and

• Put a plastic plug in each end of the handlebar

4

Slide the grips onto the handlebar while
they are still wet with hairspray.

• Push the grips farther on if you are fitting barprevent them from twisting while you are riding.

5

to prevent injury in the event of a fall.

95

96

STEERING AND WHEELS • HANDLEBARS

Drop handlebar
Road-riding cyclists often fit a drop
handlebar to their bikes so their bodies can
adopt a lower, more aerodynamic posture.
However, the handlebar should never be
positioned so low that breathing is restricted
when holding the bottom of the bar.
Replace a drop handlebar at once if any
cracks develop on its surface. The steps in
this sequence will show how to replace a
drop handlebar and how to fit, and therefore
how to reposition, brake levers. Cyclists with
larger hands and long arms may prefer to
mount the levers lower down the handlebar
than the ideal position shown here.
Regularly replace the handlebar tape as
shown in Steps 5 and 6, and insert a plug in
each end of the handlebar after taping to
help prevent injury in a fall.
Brake levers for flat handlebars will not
work on drop handlebars, and may not work
with all brake types. Check the compatibility
of your components before swapping.

Installing a drop
handlebar

Use a medium, half-round file to remove
any raised areas of metal inside the part
of the stem that clamps the bar in place. These
raised areas can bite into the handlebar, eventually
causing them to fracture.

1

• Smooth the filed surface with emery paper.

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5 6

Parts of a drop handlebar
Drop handlebar

Cable groove

Secure the levers of a Campagnolo
brake/shift to the handlebar by tightening
a bolt on the outside of the hood with an Allen
key. Pull the lever hood cover forward to access
the bolt. The bolt on Shimano levers is farther
down the outer side of the lever hood, so
you need to put your Allen key into a recess
under the rubber cover.

4

Handlebar tape
Brake lever
hood

Rubber cover

Toolbox

 Half-round file  Emery paper
 Allen key multi-tool

Brake lever

Drop handlebar

Fit the new handlebar and tighten up the
clamp bolts. Before you secure the bolts,
try to line up the flat part of the bottom of the
han
ndlebar with a point just below the back brake.

2

Slide the steel ring of the brake lever over
the handlebar. This ring clamps the lever
to the handlebar.

3

• Attach the bolt in the brake lever hood to the
screw thread on the ring and tighten
n.

Pull the cover of th
he
brake lever hoo
od
forward and place a shorrt
length of tape oveer each
h
steel ring.

6

• Wind the tape in onee turrn
from
m the
t bottom to th
he top
p off th
thee
levver hood. When yo
ou reaach th
he
top of the handleb
ebar, secu
ure thee
tape with ele
electrical tap
ape.

5

Start taping at one end
en off
the handlebar.

ha f
• Wind upward, coverinng half
of the previous turn wi
with each
ch
sub
bsequent turn.

• Keep the tape tight at allll titimess.

97

98

STE
STEERI
TE ERII NG
N AND
ND
D WH
WHE
W
EE S • H
EEL
HUB
BS
BS

HUBS
Th
her
eree ar
aree tw
wo ty
t pe
pess of
o hub
b, op
o en
en-b
-b
bea
e ri
ring
ngg and
nd car
artrid
trid
tr
idge
ge. TTh
he cone
ccoone
nes
aan
nd be
bear
arin
ar
ings
in
gs ooff op
open
pen
n-b
bea
e ri
ring
ng
g hub
ubs mu
must
ustt be
be ad
adju
just
sted
ed to lleet tth
he
hubs
hu
bs sspi
pin
pi
in fr
free
eely
ee
ly,, wi
ly
with
th
h littl
itttle
tlle pl
play
ay.. Th
The bear
beear
arin
in
ngs
gs in
n bo
both
th tyyp
peess of h
hu
ub
ub
need
ne
ed rreg
ed
e ul
eg
ularr che
che
h ck
ckin
in
ing
ng an
andd lu
lubr
bric
br
i at
ic
atin
tin
ing.

How they work
The
Th
he h
hu
ub al
a lo
lows
w the whee
ws
heel
he
el to revo
revo
re
volv
lvee. Qui
lv
uick
ickckck
r lea
re
leas
le
ase me
m ch
c an
a issms
ms or nu
utss sec
ecu
ure th
ure
ur
thee ax
ax e
axle
in
nto
to the
h bike’
ikke’s fr
fram
fram
amee. TTh
he axl
xle re
rema
m in
inss sttat
atic
icc
whilililee th
wh
the hub body spi
pins
n aro
round
d on b
bea
e rin
ea
riing
ngs.
ngs.
Spokes run
Sp
n from
m th
thee hu
h b’
b s fl
f an
angees to
o the
h rim
m
of the
of
h whe
he
heell—ass tthe hub
ub sspi
pins
n , so
ns
o do
oees
es th
thee ri
r m.
m.
T e dr
Th
drivet
etra
rain
ra
in trraans
nsfe
fers
rss the rid
der
er’s pow
er’s
ower
eerr
f om
fr
m thee ped
dal
alss to
o thee reaar wh
whee
eeel, w
whi
hiilee th
hee
frron
o t wh
w ee
e l is ess
ssen
en
nti
tiaally
ally pusshe
h d al
alon
ong
on
g byy thee
revo
v lu
vo
l tiion
ns of tthe
he rea
e r.r The g
gea
eaarss o
on
n a biike
ke arree
lo
oca
c ted
teed on tthe
hee rea
e r hu
hub,
b, eittheer ass a h
hub
ub
b-g
-gea
earr
u it
un
i or as
as m
mul
ullti
t pl
p e co
c gs iin
n th
thee ca
case
case
se of
deera
railille
leur
urr gea
ears
rs..
rs
Thee fr
Th
free
eeewh
whee
eeel me
m ch
chan
an
nism,
issm,
m, wh
hiich
h is aallso
so on
thee re
th
rear
ar h
hub
ub, al
ub
allo
lo
ows
w a rid
der to st
stop
top
pp
ped
ed
edal
dal
alin
ing
ng
w ililee th
wh
t e biike iiss in
i mot
otio
tio
ion
n—ffo
or
or ex
exam
ample,
am
ple,
pl
e, on
a do
d wn
w hi
hilllll sstr
tret
tr
etch
et
ch of ro
road
d. Th
his
is mec
echa
hani
nism
sm is
part
pa
rt of th
thee hub
hu
ub in bo
otth hu
h bg
geeaarrs an
and h
hu
ubs
bs
with
wi
th cassse
sett
ttee co
cogss.

Minimi
M
Min
in
nimi
imizin
im
zin
in
ng friccttio
tion
Free-s
Fre
ree-s
e pin
ep nin
ing
in
ng hub
ubss aare an essse
ubs
ssse
senti
ntial
nt
aall
parrt of an
p
an eeffi
f ccie
ff
ffi
iieentt bik
bikke.
ke.
e. Th
TThe
heeir
h
ir
bea
b
eaarin
rin
ri
ng
gss mus
mus
mu
ust crea
reeate
te as
as lit
iittttle
ittle
lee
fricct
fri
cttiion
cti
on
n ass p
po
pos
osssib
o
siib
blle,
lee,
e, sso
o as
as n
no
ot to
slo
lo
ow th
hee rid
id
deer’
errr’s forw
orw
war
ard
rd p
rd
prrog
ogr
o
g ess
ess
ss.
s.

EXPLOD
LODED
E CAR
ED
CA TRIDGE HU
UB

Th axlee o
The
of a cart
rtridge hub
b is nott thr
h eaded, so th
he bearings are
pushed ont
n o each end of the axle and coverred by a seal. Wh
W en
t e hub is assembl
th
bled, the bearings sit in the hu
h b body, just to
t e outs
th
tside of the flaanges, witth the axle running through
h them.
L ckring
Lo
gs en
e su
s re that everything is held in place.
Flangee
Anc
n hors the
spokes to
the hubb

Axl
xle
Rottatees the
wheel

Seal
Seal
Cov
o ers th
he
be rings
bea

Hub bo
b dy
d
Co taiins thee
Con
axl
xe

Cartri
tridge
dg
b rings
bea
gs
Suppor
Sup
port the
he
hub bo
b dyy

How they work

OPEN-BEARING FRONT HUB ANATOMY

The body on an open-bearing front hub spins on ball bearings
that are set within, and at each end of, the hub body. Each set
of bearings is held in place by a cone (not visible) that is screwed
down on the thread at the end of the axle. A locknut (not visible)
locks the cone in place on the same thread. If the hub is held by a
quick-release mechanism, the axle is hollow to allow the quickrelease skewer to go through it.
Axle
Remains static
as the wheel
revolves

Open-bearing
front hub
Allows the wheel to
revolve smoothly

Hub body
Rotates
around
the axle

Ball
bearings
Support the
hub body

Quick-release
skewer
Locks the axle
in place

99

100

STEERING AND WHEELS • HUBS

Open-bearing hub
Hubs are available in two types—openbearing or cartridge. The open-bearing hubs
require much more maintenance than the
cartridge type, since their bearings need
regular inspection, cleaning, and regreasing.
As a result, the ability to strip down and
service an open-bearing hub is a skill that
can be used repeatedly.
The following steps will help you to
remove an axle and a freehub, as well as
regrease and retighten the bearings. They
can be applied to a Shimano front or rear
hub and a Campagnolo front hub. However,
leave servicing a Campagnolo rear hub to
the experts at a bike shop because it
requires special tools.
If you are working on a rear hub, you
need to remove the cassette by following
the steps on pp.66–7 before tackling the
steps in this sequence.

Overhauling an
open-bearing hub

Remove the locknut on the drive side with
a wrench while holding the non-drive-side
cone with a cone wrench. Some locknuts can be
removed with an ordinary wrench, others with
an Allen key.

1

• Keep holding the non-drive-side cone with
the cone wrench and remove the drive-side
cone with another cone wrench.

STEP LOCATOR
STE

1 2 3 4 5
Parts of an open-bearing hub
Locknut

Flange

Cone

Flange

Freehub body

Hub
body

Locknut

Spacers
Non-drive side

Axle
Drive side

Toolbox

 15mm and 16mm cone wrenches (Shimano)
 13mm and 14mm cone wrenches (Campagnolo)
 Grease  Grease gun (optional)
 Allen key multi-tool  Adjustable wrench
 8mm or 10mm Allen key

4

Take out all the ball bearings from each
side and clean them with degreaser.

• Replace ball bearings that are scored or have
flat spots on their surface.

• Insert a layer of grease into each groove, or
race, where the ball bearings sit.

• Return the ball bearings to each race, pressing
down firmly so the grease holds them in place.

Open-bearing hub

Pull the axle out from the non-drive side.
Be careful not to dislodge any of the ball
bearings as you do so.

2

• Clean the cones and axle and then inspect
them for damage. Check to see if the axle is bent
by rolling it on a flat surface and looking for any
irregular motion. Replace damaged cones or bent
axles immediately.

Insert an Allen key into the 8mm or
10mm Allen bolt located in the center
of the freehub. This bolt holds the freehub
body on to the axle.

3

• Turn the key counterclockwise to remove the
freehub. You may need a bit of force to loosen
this bolt, so use an Allen key with a long handle
for extra leverage.

Fit the new hub body or
the cleaned old one by
reversing Step 3.

5

• Reinsert the axle from the
non-drive side.

• Tighten the drive cone up to
the bearings and make sure the
axle spins freely with minimal play.

• Lock the cone into position
with the locknut.

• Use the cone wrenches to check
that the non-drive cone is tight
against its locknut.

101

102

STEERING AND WHEELS • WHEELS

WHEELS
Quick-release mechanisms help to remove and replace a wheel more
quickly than ever before. The tires are the component that make
contact with the ground. Match the tires on your bike to the prevailing
riding conditions and always be ready to replace worn-out tires.

Quick-release wheels
Removing and replacing a wheel is a very
straightforward task, but if any of the
following steps are overlooked, the wheel
may come loose and compromise the rider’s
safety. The steps are for wheels that use
quick-release levers to secure them in the
dropout (the frame recess into which the axle
fits). For bikes with axle nuts, loosening and
tightening with a wrench corresponds to
unlocking and locking the quick-release lever.
Levers are labeled “locked” or “closed” on
the side facing the cyclist when the wheel is
secure, and “unlocked” or “open” when it is
not. Check levers are locked before each ride,
and during a ride if disc brakes are fitted.
The rim brake needs to be released on the
wheel being removed. For V-brakes, unhook
the cable from its cradle; for cantilevers,
unhook the straddle wire from the left brake
arm; for calipers, use the quick-release lever.

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3

1 2

Removing a rear wheel

Parts of the quick-release system
Fork

Quick-releasse
bod
dy

Quick-release
Qu
leve
ver

Wheel dropout

Release the brake, shift the chain onto
the smallest cog, and pull the quick-release
lever away from the bike into the unlocked
position. Some quick-release levers are shaped so
that they bend toward the frame when in the
locked position. This provides a visual check if
nothing is printed on the lever.

1

Toolbox

 Wrenches for wheels with axle nuts

Quick-release wheels

Removing a front wheel

Release the brake. Pull the quick-release
lever to the unlocked position. If the
dropout has safety lips, the wheel will not come
out of the fork at this stage. These safety lips keep
the wheel from falling out in the unlikely event of
the lever becoming unlocked while you ride.

1

• Use your fingers to unscrew the nut on the
opposite side of the lever until the quick-release
clears the safety lip.

Hook the chain out of the way and onto
the peg situated on the inner side of the
right seat stay (if there is one).

2

2

Lift up the bike to allow the wheel to drop
out of the fork.

• Replace the front wheel by reversing Step 1.
• Push the quick-release lever behind the left
fork blade to prevent anything from catching it
and opening it accidentally.

• Reconnect the brake once the wheel is locked.

3

Replace the wheel by introducing the hub
axle to the dropouts.

• Hook the chain onto the smallest cog, then

• Pull the rear derailleur back and then lift up

push or pull the wheel backward.

the rear of the bike.

• Line up the tire exactly in the middle of the

• Give the tire a sharp blow from above with

chainstays as you hold the wheel straight.

the heel of your hand if the wheel does not drop
forward and out of the frame.

• Push the quick-release lever into the locked
position to secure the wheel. Reconnect the brake.

103

104

STEERING AND WHEELS • WHEELS

Puncture repair
When you are out on a ride, it is much easier
to replace a punctured inner tube with an
intact tube rather than painstakingly mend
the puncture. At home, you can repair the
punctured tube with adhesive and a patch.
It is still a good idea to carry a repair kit on
every ride, because you might be unlucky
enough to get a second puncture and be
forced to repair the tube outdoors.
The main point to remember about
mending a puncture is not to rush any of
the stages. If you patiently give the glue
time to dry, closely examine the inside of
the tire, and carefully refit the tube, then
you will be rewarded with a successful repair.
If you miss anything or pinch the inner tube,
you may get another puncture.

Mending a punctured
inner tube

Take the wheel out of the bike. Place one
tire lever under the tire bead and lift it off
the rim. Hook this lever around one of the spokes.

1

• Insert another lever under the tire near the

STEP LOCATOR

hooked lever. Push the second lever forward and
run it around the whole circumference of the rim
to remove one side of the tire.

• Remove the inner tube from the rim.

1 2 3 4 5
Parts of a wheel
Tire

Inner tube

Valve

Rim

4

Take the tire off the wheel, turn it inside
out, and thoroughly check the inner surface.

• Remove anything that is sticking through the
Spoke

Toolbox

 Tire levers  Crayon  Sandpaper  Chalk
 Patch adhesive  Repair patches

tire by pulling it out from the outside of the tire.

Puncture repair

Inflate the tube a little and listen for the
sound of escaping air. Locate the hole, mark
it with a crayon, and let the air out of the tube.

Use a small piece of san
sand
dpaper to dust
some chalk over
over the patch to preve
event
nt ex
excess
adhesive fro
om sticking
s
to the
the in
inside o
of th
he tire
tire.

• Spread a thin layer of adhesive over and around

ve the tu
ube for
or a few
w minut
nutes
tes to
to mak
makee sure
sure
• Leave

the hole (inset).
t Allow time for it to become tacky.

thaat the adh
hesi
esive
vee has dried.

2

• Peel the foil from the patch. Press the patch
firmly onto the adhesive for over a minutee.
Make sure the edges are flat.

Put one side of the tire
ire all thee
way back onto the rim
im. Slightl
tly
inflate the tube, insert th
he valve into
the hole in the rim, and
d work the
he
tube back inside the ti
tire.

5

• Put the other sidee of the
tire in place by push
ushing th
he
valve upward, the
hen lifting
ng
the section of tire nextt
to the valve over thee
rim. Work the tire
re
back arou
ound
the rim
m.
heck th
hat the
he
• Che
tire has no
not pinc
nc ed
nch
thee ttube
be und
ndeerneath
h it
before
bef
re fu
ullyy infla
in ating
tin
ing thee
tub
tu
be. To do this,
s, squ
ueezee the
t tire
tog
geth
ther and look around
d the whole
circu
um
umference
of th
he wheeel.
e

3

105

106

STEERING AND WHEELS • WHEELS

Spokes and rims
The steps in this sequence explain how to
replace a single broken spoke and how to
true a wheel, a term for straightening the
rim of a wheel. However, replacing multiple
spokes, replacing spokes in nonstandard
wheels, and truing a wheel that has been
buckled by some kind of impact are jobs
that are best left to the experts in a good
bike repair shop.
It is essential to true the wheel after
replacing a broken spoke because the wheel
rim is kept straight by the combined pull
of all the spokes acting on it. If one spoke
breaks, its pull is eliminated and the rim
as a whole goes out of line.
A wheel jig is needed to true a wheel
properly. This tool holds the wheel securely
in place, and its jaws provide a reference
point on either side of the rim to help judge
how far out of line the wheel is. Bringing it
in line is a matter of tightening the new
spoke until it reaches the same tension as
the old spoke.

Replacing a spoke and
truing a wheel

1

Remove the wheel and take off the tire
and inner tube.

• Lift up the rim tape next to the broken spoke
and push the spoke upward and out of the rim.
If the head of the spoke is broken, measure the
broken spoke so you can buy the correct length to
replace it. If the break occurred in another place,
measure the two pieces to get the right length.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1 3 4 5 6

2

Parts of a spoke
Spoke head

Spoke

Bend

4

Screw the nipple onto the spoke. For the
first few turns you can use your fingers.

• Go back to Step 2 and make sure it is laced
Nipple head

Nipple

Toolb
lbox

 Spoke key  Wheel jig
 Needle-nose pliers

Threads

Spoke

exactly the same way as the spoke four along
from it. If it is not laced properly, tensioning the
spoke in Steps 5 and 6 could damage the wheel.

Spokes and rims

Insert the new spoke, threads first, into
the hub flange from the opposite side from
its two neighbors.

Push the nipple of the new spoke through
the rim hole from inside the rim and screw
it onto the spoke.

• Lace the new spoke into the wheel, under and

• Remove the rim tape to make it easier to fit the

over the neighboring spokes. To do this, look at
the spoke four along and lace the new spoke
exactly the same way.

nipple onto the new spoke.

2

Put the wheel into a wheel jig and take
up the remaining slack on the spoke nipple
by tightening it with a spoke key. Make sure that
the spoke key is precisely the right size for the
nipples on the wheel.

5

• Stop short of making the spoke as tight as its
neighbors at this stage.

3

• Check the rim tape—if you see any splits, or if
it is frayed, replace the tape.

6

Use small, measured turns of the spoke
key to tension the spoke.

• Rotate the wheel so that the nipple of the new
spoke is between the jaws of your jig.

• Note how out of line the rim is, then give the
nipple a one-quarter tightening turn and check
again between the jaws. Repeat and check each
quarter-turn until the rim is straight.

107

ADJUSTING YOUR
a bike’s most important
component. The braking
system needs to be
adjusted and serviced
carefully and precisely to
guarantee a rider’s safety
in all conditions.

BRAKES

Trustworthy brakes are

110

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

RIM BRAKES
Rim brakes stop a bike by contactiing
g the rim of th
thee wh
heels
ls.
s
Pads must be checked to ensure that they con
ntact
tact tthee rim
im
fully and at the same time, and replaced wheen th
hey are
re woorrn.
n.
Brake cables must be checked and lubricate
tedd regula
arllyy..

How they work
The three most common types of rim brake
k —VV-br
b akke,
br
cantilever, and caliper—work in similar ways
y . A le
ys
leve
veer
ver
pulls a cable, which causes the two brake ar
arm
ms to mo
ms
move
move
toward each other simultaneously. Th
his
i act
ctio
ion
io
n brrin
ings
gs
the two pads into contact with the braaki
king
ng ssurfa
face of
the wheel rim. Springs cause the arms to m
mov
ovee baackk
ov
when the lever is released. Cantilever brake
kes di
d st
strribute
tee
the cable’s pull via a strad
ddle wire. Th
T e in
nne
ner cabl
cable in
ca
n
a V-brake and caliper pulls one arm,
m, w
whi
hiile thee o
out
uteer
ut
er,
er,
in resisting this pull, effectively pu
push
s es the
sh
he oth
therr arrm
m.

Bra
akin
king ssafe
a elyy
afe
Ri br
Rim
b aakees must
usst b
bee se
set
et up
pro
roper
p ly and
pe
per
nd ma
main
in
int
nttain
i ed
in
ed to
o
vverry
ry hiigh
gh st
stan
tand
nd
dard
r s if they
rd
heeeyy
ar to
are
to wo
ork eff
effect
ef
ec ive
ivel
iv
ely
ly an
and
and
nd
saaafely o
saf
on
n aan
ny surffac
ace
cce an
and in
a co
all
ond
n tio
ndi
tions.
ns.

V-BRAKE ANATOMY

The cable of a V-brake is attta
tach
ched
ed to a br
brak
brak
akee
arm by a cable-clamp bol
o t. Whe
hen
n pu
ulllleed
ed, th
ed,
he
cable pulls this arm tow
war
ard
d th
thee ri
r m. At th
thee
same time, the cable-guide
de tube,
ub
be, w
whi
hich
hi
ch is an
an
extension of the cable houssing
ng, push
hes
es the
he

Cable-guide tub
be
Pushes the brake
arm
Brake arm
Pivots inward on
a brake boss

othe
ot
herr arrm in
he
inwa
ward
wa
r . Th
rd
Thee tw
wo arrms
m p
piv
iivvo
ott aro
roun
ro
un
nd
thee brak
th
brak
br
akee bo
boss
sses
ss
es,, pu
es
push
shin
sh
i g th
in
thee br
brak
a e pa
ak
p d
dss
agai
ag
ains
ai
nstt the
ns
th
he br
b ak
akin
ing
in
g su
surf
rfac
rf
acce on
n the rim
m. On
Once
ce
t e ca
th
cabl
b e’
bl
e s pull
pulll iss reeleeas
ased
e , sp
ed
pri
ring
ng
gs arou
und
d th
hee
pivvot
pi
vot bo
bolt
ltss pu
lt
p sh the
h bra
rake aarms apar
arrtt..

Inn
nn
ner cab
c lee
ca
Pulls
Pul
ls th
the
he
brake
brake
bra
k arm
m
Cab
ble
le--cla
clamp
m bol
mp
bo t
At ach
Att
acc ess thee cable
b to
to th
t e bbra
rakke arm
m

Bra
raake
k bo
boss
Alloows
All
ow
ow
ws th
t e bra
rake arm
rak
m to piv
p ot
ot
Brrrakee pad
Bra
B
ad
Contacctss the
h riim and
d sto
st ps
p
tthe
th
he w
whe
wh
heel
el
Spr
prrin
i s
ing
Pus
ush
h bbrak
rakee arms apart
rak
apart
ar
Pi ot
Piv
o bol
oltt
Anchor
Anc
ho s the
hor
he
br ke
bra
ke arm to
t br
the
b ake boss
bo
osss

H ow
How
Ho
o w th
the
eyy w
wor
or
o k

B ke
Br
Bra
k lev
lever
err
PPullls the
h ca
c ble
blle

Bra
Br
rake
ra
ke arm
ar
ar
Mov
Mo
M
ov
oves
es the
he
h
brake
br
bra
ke pad
padss
pa
tow
to
oward
ow
ard th
the
the rim
rim
m
Bra
Bra
Br
r ke
rake
ke pad
paad
SSllo
Slo
lows
ws do
ddow
ow
own
th
the
th
he wh
wheel
e l

BR KE LEV
BRA
LEVER
ER ANA
AN TOMY

When
Wh
e the rid
en
der
e app
p lies
es tthe
he b
braake lever, it pulls the
niipp
pple
le of th
thee in
nne
n r caabl
b e. A
As it leaves the lever, the
brak
br
akke ca
cabl
b e ru
bl
runs
n iins
ns
nssiid
n
de a ca
cable hous
u ing, which sits in
a ba
barr
r el adj
rr
djus
uste
us
ter.r. Thiss baarr
te
rrel
el adj
djussteer allows the brake
ttrrav
avel
el tto
o be
b fin
finee-tu
etune
tu
n d.
ne
N plee
Nip
Fixxess inn
Fi
nner
er cab
able
lee to braake lev
le er
Inner cable
Lin
nks the
th br
brake
akk ar
ake
arm
m to
the
h br
brake
rake
ak le
lever
verr
B rel ad
Bar
adjus
j ter
jus
Adj
dju
usts brak
ust
brak
rakee
t avel
tra
el
Cabblee hou
housin
ousin
ng
Re istts the
Res
h
pulll on
pul
on tthe
he
cab
ble

Bra
rake
ke lever
Pullss the
nipple
nip
ple

111

112

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

Drop handlebar
brake cable

Replacing road bike
brake cables

Brake cables on a drop handlebar need to be
changed at regular intervals, although this
depends on how much the road bike is used.
For a heavily used bike, change the brake
cables every two months; for a bike ridden
lightly two or three times a week, change
the brake cables once a year.
The steps in this sequence are performed
on the back brake. Replacing a cable on the
front brake follows the same principles, but
there are no cable guides to thread through.
Brake levers that fit a drop handlebar
require a brake cable with a pear nipple.
Always keep a new cable in the toolbox
or workshop as a spare. A rear cable can be
cut to fit the front as well. Once the cable
has been removed, remember to put a few
drops of lubricant on the pivots around
which the brake lever moves, and spray
some oil into the tube inside the lever
hood where the cable is inserted.

Loosen the cable-clamp bolt on the brake
caliper. Remove the old cable by pulling its
nipple from the lever hood with needle-nose pliers.

1

• Note exactly where the cable fits in the lever
hood to allow you to fit the new one easily.

• If the old cable has broken, remove the part of
the cable that is still clamped to the calliper.

• Carefully unwind the handlebar tape.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
ATO
R

1

5

2

6

3
4

Parts of a brake lever and brake cable
Brake lever
hood

Brake cable
Pear
nipple

Brake
cable
Campagnolo Ergoshift

Toolb
lbox

 Needle-nose pliers  Cable cutters
 Allen key multi-tool  Fine round file

Fit each length of cable housing with a
metal ferrule at both ends. When you
apply the brake, ferrules prevent the cable
housings from being pulled through the
cable guides on the frame.

4

Brake lever

• Make sure that each ferrule is pushed all the
way on. Put a little oil on the end of the ferrule
to help it slide into place, and wipe off any excess.

Drop handlebar brake cable

2

Insert the new, greased cable into the
cradle on the lever in which the nipple sits.

• Thread the cable into the tube in the lever

Cut the new cable housing to length with
good-quality cable cutters. Measure the old
housing and cut the new one to the same length.

3

hood. Push it in and watch for it to come out of
the back of the lever hood. Now pull it through
the lever hood from behind.

• Always cut between the spirals of the housing.
• Dribble oil into the housing, holding it while

• Make sure that the nipple is seated in the brake

• Renew cable housings at regular intervals.

lever cradle when the cable is all the way through.

5

Thread the cable through the first length
of cable housing and the first cable guide.

• Pull the cable all the way through and insert it

the oil runs down to coat the inside.

Pull the cable through the cable-clamp
bolt on the caliper until each brake pad is
about 2mm from the wheel rim.

6

into the next guide, then the next housing.

• Hold the cable and tighten the clamp bolt. If the

• Push the cable housings firmly into the guides to
ensure there is no slack when applying the brakes.

brake has a quick release, ensure that it is in the
closed position before tightening the clamp bolt.

• Use a fine round file to file out any tight cable

• Follow Steps 5 and 6 on p.97 to re-tape the

guides. Do not file more than you have to.

handlebar, with either new or existing tape.

113

114

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

Straight handlebar
brake cable
Replacing brake cable inners and housings
is a job that should be done fairly often on
a mountain bike—about once every six to
12 months. They also need replacing if they
start fraying and become worn. The hybrid
bike in this sequence has V-brakes, but some
mountain bikes are equipped with cantilever
brakes. Fitting cables is similar for both.
Brake cables also require regular cleaning
and lubricating, especially if the bike has
been ridden consistently in wet weather. All
brake levers that fit onto a straight or riser
handlebar require a cable with a barrel nipple.
Regardless of the manufacturer, the barrel
nipple fits into the brake lever in the same
way. Remember to use ferrules on both ends
of every length of new cable housing. Put a
cable crimp on the end of the cable once
everything is secure and working as it should.
In these steps, the tire is removed from
the wheel to show clearly what is happening.

Replacing V-brake cables
on a hybrid bike

Undo the cable-clamp bolt on the brake.
Note where the nipple sits in the cradle
that is part of the lever and remove the cable
from inside the brake lever by pulling it out
with needle-nose pliers.

1

• Check the cable housings. If they are not worn,
you can use them again. Flush them out with
degreaser and dribble oil into them.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1
4

2

5

3

6
Parts of a brake lever and a brake cable
Brake lever

Ring clamp

Brake cable
Nipple

Reach
adjuster

Brake
cable

Attach the cable to the brake arm by
inserting it into the cable guide tube and
then pull it through the cable-clamp bolt.

4

Brake lever

Barrel adjuster

Toolb
lbox

 Needle-nose pliers  Cable cutters
 Allen key multi-tool  Cable pullers (optional)

• Keep the cable under tension and make sure
each length of cable housing is properly seated in
the cable guides.

• Pull the cable to bring the brake pads closer to
the rim. Tighten the clamp bolt when the pads are
about 2mm from the rim.

Straight handlebar brake cable

Cut new cable housings to the same
length as the housings you removed, or
measure them on your bike and trim as needed.
Buy cable housing either in a roll or in precut
lengths with inners in a cable kit. The precut
lengths may be too long for your bike, so you may
still have to cut to fit.

2

Grease the new inner and thread it into
the brake lever. When it shows through the
barrel adjuster, pull it from this side of the lever
until the nipple is seated in the lever cradle.

3

• Thread the cable through the lengths of cable
housing and seat the cable housings in the cable
guides of the frame.

• Dribble oil into each cable housing and push a
metal ferrule onto each end.

Pull the brake lever until the brake is fully
applied. This ensures that all cable housings
are bedded in and all bolts are tight.

5

• Undo the cable-clamp bolt and repeat Step 4
if the cable slips through the clamp bolt or a
ferrule is not seated properly.

6

Cut off any excess cable once the cables
are bedded in.

• Leave about 1 ⁄ in (4cm) of free cable after the
1

2

cable-clamp bolt.

• Put a cable crimp on the end of the cable to
prevent it from fraying.

115

116

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

Caliper brake

Adjusting a caliper brake

Maintaining caliper brakes is a question of
regularly checking the action of the brake
lever. If you have to pull it too far before the
brake bites, the brake needs adjusting. Check
the brake pads for wear and alignment, and
ensure that they contact the braking surface
of the rims simultaneously.
How far the lever has to be pulled before
the brake comes on depends on the rider.
People with smaller hands may prefer more
travel in the lever before the brake bites,
because they will pull with more strength
the closer the lever is to the handlebar.
Apart from their quick releases, all dualpivot caliper brakes (such as the Shimano
brakes shown here) work in the same way,
regardless of the manufacturer. This means
that you should be able to apply these steps
to your bike, whatever its brakes.
STEP LOCATOR

Periodically check for pad wear. If the
pads are wearing down toward half their
original depth, they must be replaced.

1

• Undo the Allen key pad retainer and push out
the pad. If the pad and shoe are a complete piece,
replace the whole unit, releasing the old pad and
fitting the new one with a 5mm Allen key.

1 2 3 4
1
1

Parts of a caliper brake
Travel
adjuster,
spring,
and
washer

Caliper arm
Center-fixing bolt

Centering
adjusting
screw

Brake shoe
bolt
Brake pad
Brake shoe

Toolb
lbox

 Full set of Allen keys or Allen key multi-tool
 Needle-nose pliers (optional)

Pull the brake on with the brake lever and
check to see if both pads simultaneously
come in contact with the braking surface on the
rim of the wheel.

3

• Make sure that both sides are working together
by turning an adjustment screw on the side of the
caliper with an Allen key. This process is called
“centering” the brakes.

Caliper brake

Using quick-release
mechanisms

2

Adjust the brake pads so they are directly
in line with the braking surface of the rim.

• Release the 5mm Allen bolt on the pad and line
the pad up with the braking surface.

• Look for pad wear at this point. Pads that have

Use a quick-release mechanism when
the adjusted brake pads are so close to
the rim that it is impossible to remove the wheel.
Campagnolo and Shimano caliper brakes are
equipped with different quick-release systems.

1

been set too low will develop a lip and will need
to be replaced.

• Lift the small lever on the cable-fixing bolt to

Adjust the brake travel if you have to pull
the brake lever back a long way toward the
handlebar before the wheel stops moving.

Press the small button at the side of the
brake lever to move Campagnolo caliper
brake pads away from the rim.

• Undo the cable-fixing bolt and squeeze the

• Restore the pads to their original position by

sides of the caliper until the pads nearly touch the
rim. The brake cable will then move through the
fixing bolt.

pulling the brake lever toward the handlebar
until the brakes are on and then push the small
button back.

4

• Tighten the bolt and release the caliper.

make Shimano caliper brake pads move away from
the rim. After replacing the wheel, lower the lever.

1

117

118

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

V-brake

Adjusting a V-brake

V-brakes are fitted to most new mountain
bikes because they give good stopping power.
Maintaining brake performance is crucial
because of the harsh conditions to which
mountain bikes are sometimes subjected, so
knowing how to adjust the brakes at home
and out on the trail is very important.
Pad alignment and brake travel need to
be checked and adjusted regularly to keep
them working properly. Bear in mind that as
soon as you ride off-road you will increase
brake pad wear. Even a single ride can render
already worn pads useless, so change them
before they need it.
Adjustment in the workshop, especially
pad alignment, is best performed with the
tire removed, since off-road tires are bulky
and can get in the way. Wheels must run
true before setting up brakes (see pp.106–7).
7

Make sure the stopper pin on each brake
arm is seated in the same hole on the
brake bosses. If it is not, remove the pivot bolt,
slide the brake arm off the boss, and put the pin
into the correct hole.

1

• Replace the pivot bolt and retighten it. If you

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
ATO
R

notice that the brake boss was dry with the arm
removed, smear a little grease on it.

1 2 3 4 5
6

Parts of a V-brake
Cradle

Cablefixing
bolt

V-brake arm
Spacers
Spring
clip

Pivot
bolt

4

Retension the brakes by hooking the cable
b k in its cradle.
bac

• Make sure the gap between each brake pad and
the rim of the wheel is 1mm.
Brake shoe

Brake pad

Toolb
lbox

 Full set of Allen keys or Allen key multi-tool
 Phillips screwdriver  Cable puller (optional)

• Undo the cable-fixing bolt with an Allen key
and pull the cable through until the 1mm gap is
achieved. Then tighten the cable-fixing bolt.

V-brake

Press the brake arms together. If they are
not vertical when the pads touch the rim,
rearrange the spacers on either side of the pads
until they are vertical.

Undo the brake-pad fixing bolt, remove
the pad and shoe assembly, and switch the
spacers around.

• Release the brakes by unhooking the cable-

pad-retaining clip, push the old pad out of the
shoe, and replace it with a new one.

2

guide tube from the cradle. Do this when you
remove the wheel with correctly adjusted V-brakes.

3

• Check the pads. If they are worn, remove the
• Line up the pads so that they hit the rim with
their entire braking surface, and are parallel to it.
Then tighten the fixing bolts.

Use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten
or loosen the centering screw on each brake
arm. The aim is to make both arms move an equal
distance before the pad touches the rim when you
apply the brake lever.

5

• The tension on each screw should ideally be
even, since there is an equal number of spacers
on either side of the brake arm.

Screw out the barrel adjuster on the
brake lever to reduce brake travel and
make the brakes feel more responsive.

6

• Screw the adjuster outward to reduce brake
travel and create firmer braking. This technique is
quick and easy to perform, and is especially useful
for riding in wet conditions, when brake pads can
wear down rapidly.

119

120

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

Cantilever brake
Cantilever brakes work with the brake
levers that fit dropped handlebars, whereas
V-brakes do not. This is why touring and
cyclo-cross bikes are fitted with cantilevers.
Cantilevers were the predecessors of
V-brakes, so they may also be fitted to
older mountain and hybrid bikes.
Keep cantilever brakes running smoothly
by regularly checking the pads for wear and
adjusting the pad alignment and brake travel.
The cable of the cantilever brake shown
in these steps is clamped to one brake arm
and the straddle wire running off it attaches
to the other arm. On some older cantilever
brakes, the brake cable is attached to a
straddle. This hooks the straddle wire that
transfers the cable’s pull to both brake arms
and needs regular adjustment (see Step 1
Adjusting a BMX U-brake, pp.122–23).

Adjusting a
cantilever brake

Disconnect the straddle wire by pushing
the cantilever arm to which it is attached
toward the wheel with one hand. At the same
time, unhook the nipple on the straddle with the
other hand.

1

• Undo the pivot bolts that attach the cantilever
STEP LOCATOR

arms to the frame bosses.

1 2 3 4 5

• Remove the cantilever arms.

1m
mm
m

Parts of a cantilever brake
Brake shoe

Brake pad

Cantilever arm

Cable-clamp bolt
Spring
clip

2 mm
mm
Angle the pads so that the front of each
pad hits the rim before the rear when the
brakes are applied—this is called “toe in.”

4

Brake pad Allen nut

Spacers

Toolb
lbox

 5mm Allen key  Grease gun (optional)
 Grease

• Loosen the pad-fixing bolt and place an emery
board between the rear of the pad and the rim.
Apply the brakes and then tighten the bolt.
Release the brakes and remove the emery board.
Ideally, the front of the pad should be 1mm from
the rim and the rear 2mm.

Cantilever brake

Clean the exposed frame bosses with a
cloth soaked in degreaser, then lubricate
with a light grease, not a heavy-duty industrial
grease. Use a grease gun if you have one.

Check the pads. If one is worn or badly
aligned, undo the pad-fixing bolt with an
Allen key and remove the pad/shoe assembly.

• Bolt both arms back on to the bosses, making

slide out the worn pad. Slide in a new pad and
replace the spring clip.

2

sure that the stopper pins are inserted into the
same hole on each boss.

• Replace the pivot bolts and then tighten them
to hold the brake arms to the bosses.

3

• Remove the spring clip from the brake shoe and
• Return the assembly to the brake arm, line up
the pad so that its entire surface contacts the rim
and is parallel with it, then tighten the bolt.
Undo the brake-cable
clamp to achieve the
proper spacing from the pad
to the rim.

5

• Pull the cable through the
clamp until the front of each
brake pad is 1mm from the
rim. Tighten the clamp bolt.

• Pull the brake lever to see
if both brake arms contact
the rim simultaneously. If they
do not, screw the centering
screws in or out on each arm
until they do.

121

122

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • RIM BRAKES

Alternative
brake designs

Adjusting a side-pull
caliper brake

Two alternative brake designs are commonly
fitted to some new bikes. These are the
side-pull caliper brakes used on children’s
bikes and the U-brakes fitted on BMX bikes.
Side-pulls work in much the same way as
calipers (see pp.116–17 ), while U-brakes
resemble cantilevers (see pp.120–21).
Before buying replacement cables for
either of these types of brakes, first check
the kind of nipple that is currently used
on the bike in question. Some levers on
children’s bikes and older bikes require
pear nipples, while other levers need barrel
nipples. When a new cable is fitted to a
side-pull caliper brake, leave the barrel
adjuster at the halfway point of its range.

Loosen the cable-clamp bolt and pull the
cable through until the brake pads are
closer to the rim. This compensates for pad wear.

1

• Screw in the barrel adjuster to move the pads
away or screw it out to move them closer.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

• Replace pads that are worn below half their
1

1

depth by undoing the pad bolt and fitting a new
pad or shoe unit in their place.

2

2

3

3

Adjusting a BMX U-brake

Parts of a side-pull brake and a U-brake
Side-pull caliper brake

Barrel adjuster

Pivot nut
Brake
arms

Brake
pad

Cable-clamp
bolt

Brake-pad bolt
Brake
arms
Straddlewire seat

Straddleclamp
bolt
Pivot bolts

BMX U-brake
Brakepad bolt

Brake
pads

Toolb
lbox

 Allen key multi-tool  Needle-nose pliers
 Wrenches

Centering
screw

Undo the
straddle clamp
bolt and pull the brake
cable through the
straddle with needlenose pliers to take
up the pad wear.
Then tighten the nut.

1

Use an Allen key
to adjust the
centering screw on
each brake arm if the
pads do not contact the
rim at the same time.
Screw in to move the
pad away from the rim.

2

Alternative brake designs

placee and is located behind the fork crown.

Undo the pad bolts, line up the pads, and
tighten the bolt so that the brake pads
contact the rim directly in line with it. Do this
when yyou replace
ep
worn pa
pads,, too.

• Hoold the caliper so that both pads are an equal

• Inspect the pads regularly. If you find any

2

Center the brakes if one brake pad is
contacting the rim before the other.

• Undo the brake’s pivot nut that holds it in
distance from the rim and tighten the pivot nut.

Line up or replace pads in the same
sa
wayy
as caliper brakes (see pp.116–1
–17).
7 . Rep
plac
lace
the brake pads by removing the pad boltts and
nd
fittin
ng new pad and shoe units..

3

• Too disconnect the brake, pinch thee
brake arms together and unh
hookk
the straddle from the
strad
ddle wire. To
reconnect, reverse
this procedure.

3

ridges on them, replace the pads (see Step 1)
and then line them up as described above, so
that thei
eirr enti
entire
re sur
surfac
facee cont
contact
actss the
the rim
rim.

123

124

ADJUST
ADJ
USTING YOUR BRAKES
E • HUB-MO
O UNT
NTED
T ED BRA
B KES

HU
UB-M
MOUNTED BR
RAKES
Hub-moun
untedd br
b akess stop a bike by sl
slow
owin
ow
ingg do
in
dow
wn the spe
p ed
d of the
th
he hub.
hub.
Regu
Re
g la
gu
larl
rlyy ch
heck disc
sc bra
rake
ke ppad
a s fo
forr we
wear
ar aand
nd alil gn
g meent
nt,, re
repl
placcing
in
ng th
them
em
m
when
wh
en the
heyy ar
aree wo
w rn
rn. Reegu
gula
la
arl
rlyy ch
checkk an
andd re
repl
plac
pl
aacccee th
t e ca
cabl
bles
bl
ess on ca
cabl
blee
bl
discss and
an
nd hu
ub br
brak
akkess. Exam
Examin
i e thee ho
h se
sess of hyd
dra
raul
ulic
ic bra
r ke
kes fo
kes
f r le
leak
akss.
ak
s.

How th
hey work
Hub-mo
H
ountted brakes are activated by th
t e pu
pullll of a le
pull
l ver on a
cabl
ca
ble,
e, w
whi
hich
ch ccauses pa
p ds to co
ont
ntac
a t a braking
n surfacce.
e Sprin
ings
in
gs
push
pu
sh tthe
he pad
ads
ds away wheen th
thee le
leve
ver is rel
elea
e se
ea
sed. In disc bra
r ke
kes,
s,
tth
he pa
pads act
ct on discs at
attaach
ched to th
he hub
b.
In rollller and coaster brakes, the pads act on a brak
In
akin
ing
surfac
facce in
nsi
s de the
h hub. The action of the pads on the surfacce
then
th
en sslo
lows
ws d
dow
own th
t e hub
hu
ub an
and therefore th
the wh
whee
eel. In hydraaulic
brak
br
akes
es, th
thee le
leve
veer’
r s ac
actiion p
pus
ushe
hess fl
f uid through a ho
ose
se;; this
is flu
uid
d
push
pu
shess tthe
he bra
rake
k pad
a s in the cal
ad
a ipeer int
n o ac
acti
tion
on.. Of aalll the
hub-mounted br
brak
akes
ak
es,, hyydr
drau
aulilic disc b
brake
kes offfe
fer a ride
fer
riide
derr th
thee
b stt control ove
be
verr th
t e br
brak
akin
ing
g fo
f rc
rces tha
hatt can
n be app
pplilied
ed.

Work
Wor
king in
kin
in any
any wea
weath
the
th
h r
her
he
An adv
advant
antag
age
ge of h
hu
u
ub
b
brakkes over rim
m bra
b
braake
kees iiss
that their perf
tha
erffo
orm
or
man
a e
anc
is lar
largel
gel
e y unaf
unaf
naaffec
fe te
ted
ed by
by
adv
ad
dvers
ersee rid
rid
idiing ccon
ondittion
ion
ns..

HYD
YDRAU
R
LIC
C DI
D SC BRA
BR
R AKE
KE A NATOM
MY

When the
W
h rid
der
e p
pul
ulls
ls the
the b
bra
rake
ke llev
ever,
thee hy
th
hydraulicc fl
flui
u d in tth
he hose
push
pu
shes
es on th
thee pi
p st
ston
on
ns in tthe
he
calilipe
per.r. TThe
hese
se pis
isto
tons in turn
cau
ca
use th
thee br
braake pa
pad
d on eacch
sidee o
off th
the disc to co
ont
n acct
the di
dissc and sslo
low
w the
rota
ro
tation
ta
tati
o of the whee
e l.
When
n the rider
reele
leaas
ases the
ases
h bra
r kee
leve
le
ver,r, the preessur
ssur
ss
uree
off tthe
he fluid
id in
n th
he
ho
ose
s d
dec
eccre
r asses
e,
allo
al
lowi
wing
ng
g the spr
p in
ngs
g
(not
(n
ott vissible
ib
ble
le)) in tthe
he
caalil per to
t push the
brake paads apaartt.

Disc
Slows dow
down the hub of the
wheel under pressure from
the brakee pads

Ho
ose
ose
Contains
Co
fluid
flui
id
Calipe
iper
ip
Con
Con
Contai
o tains
ainss
pis
isto
tons and
two br
b ake
ke
pads
pad

Brak
Bra
rake
ke pad
p
Con
C
on
ntac
tacts
thee di
disc
sc
un er
und
e
preessu
pr
uree
fro
from
rom thee
f id
flu

Ho th
How
h ey
e y w orr k
Bra
B
rak
rake le
lev
eever
Com
Co
mppr
pre
r sse
re
ssess
th
the
hee br
h
brake
ak
flu
fl
flu
uid
id

Hosee
Hos
Car
arrrie
riess th
the
he braake
ke
fluid
flu
i fro
id
from
m tthe
he le
lev
e er
too the
th
hee cca
alip
perr

Cal
C
Ca
aallip
ipe
ipe
per
Hoou
Ho
Hou
usses
sees
es tth
he
bra
bbr
rraakkin
kiin
ing
meecchan
mec
mech
me
haan
ha
nism
issm
is
m

Dissc
Sloows
Slo
ws ddow
doow
wn
n
tthe
th
h
hee wh
whee
ee
eel

HYD
YDR
R AULIC BR
BRAKE
AKE LE
E VER
VE

Brake hose
sess ar
aree co
conn
nnec
ecte
ted
d to a reserrvo
voir
ir o
of
brake fluid on eacch br
brak
a e lever. The fluid
fills the hosess alll thee way to the caliper on
the wheel. P
Pulliing tthe brake lever operates
a pi
p st
sto
on iin the re
reserv
rvoi
oir,r, which pushes
the fl
flui
u d down
wn
n tth
he hose an
and, as a result,
accti
tivates th
thee caliper pi
p st
stons.

125

126

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • HUB-MOUNTED BRAKES

Replacing disc
brake pads
When brake pads wear down, the brakes
will not stop the wheel as quickly. Eventually,
the pads become so worn that they have to
be replaced. Unevenly worn pads should
also be replaced immediately and the caliper
may need to be realigned (see p.129).
9
Although replacing pads is broadly the
same for all makes and models of disc brake,
there are some differences, mostly in the
way the pads are retained within the brake
caliper. Some brake pads are kept in position
within the caliper by retaining bolts, while
others rely on the spring that keeps the two
pads apart to fix them in place.
Only use replacement pads recommended
by the manufacturer of your brakes, and be
very careful how you handle the pads.
STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

Changing the pads

Remove the wheel from the frame or
forks (see pp.102-3), depending on which
brake you are working on.

• Taking care not to touch the disc brake rotor,
lower the wheel from the bike by supporting it with
both hands on the axle, on each side of the hub.

• If you do touch a rotor you must clean it, or
the performance of the brake will be reduced
(see pp.128-29).
9

Parts of a disc-brake caliper

Brake
hose

Caliper
Rotor

Brake pads
(not visible)

Toolb
lbox

 Allen or Torx keys
 Flat-bladed screwdriver

Place the new pads on either side of the
s ing, which is V-shaped when looked at
spr
from the side. The tabs of the pads should be at
the open end of the V. The narrowest part of the
V goes into the caliper first.

• Taking care not to touch the pad surface, hold
the pad and spring assembly between the thumb
and forefinger, ready to put it in the caliper.

Replacing disc brake pads

Remove the pad from the caliper. The
pads on this model are held in place within
the caliper by outward pressure from a spring.

2

• Before you can push the pads out, you need to
prise them apart with a flat-bladed screwdriver.

• If your brakes have a mechanism for taking up

Once the pads are dislodged, and all
internal pressure is off them, squeeze them
together. Use the tabs at the front of the pads
to pull them free from the caliper. Sometimes
they need a gentle push from behind with a flatbladed screwdriver.

3

pad wear you need to fully wind it out.

• If you have to push them, take each pad out

• If your bike has a pad-retaining bolt, remove it

separately and ensure that the separating spring
comes out, too.

with an Allen key.

Squeeze the pad/spring assembly together
and push it into the open end of the caliper.
Slide the assembly all the way in, listening for the
“click” sound that indicates it is seated correctly in
the caliper. Let go once you hear the “click.”

• Bed the pads in by spinning the wheel and

• The pads should separate when you let go of

• Some brakes have micro-adjusters for fine-

5

them. If they don’t, remove and reassemble them,
then push them in again, repeating Steps 2–5.

6

Put the wheel back in the frame or fork,
ensuring the quick-release lever is locked.

pulling the brake lever a number of times. Ride
the bike for a short time to test the brakes fully.
tuning their action—adjust this feature if present
on your brakes.

127

128

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • HUB-MOUNTED BRAKES

Disc-brake care

Adjusting cable travel

Cable disc brakes work well in all conditions.
Even so, check the brake cables regularly
for signs of fraying and keep them well
lubricated. If the brakes do not release
quickly when you let go of the brake lever,
they need to be lubricated. Check brake
travel, too, since excessive travel can mean
that the brake pads are worn.
When lubricating your bike, make sure
that the lubricant does not fall on or touch
the brake discs or pads. Do not even touch
the disc or pad faces, because the grease
from your fingers can easily affect their
performance. Always clean the discs with a
specialized rotor-cleaning fluid.
Check your disc brake rotors regularly
for accuracy and cracks, and clean them after
every ride to ensure good brake performance.
Replace a cracked or buckled rotor at once.

Loosen the cable-clamp bolt on the
caliper and pull through enough cable, with
pliers or a cable-pulling tool, to take up
any slack in the cable.

• Tighten the clamp bolt. This will reduce the
travel on the brakes and is a necessary adjustment
if the brake levers need to be pulled a long way
before the brakes work.

STEP LOCATOR

Looking after rotors

Parts of a cable disc brake (front)
Cable
housing

Hub

Brake
cable
Brake
caliper

Rotor-mounting
bolts

Toolb
lbox

 Allen or Torx keys  Needle-nose pliers
 Rotor cleaner  Clean cloth

Brake disc

Check the rotor for accuracy by
inspecting how it moves through the
calliper when the wheel is turned. It should run
absolutely straight and true.

• Spin the wheel quickly, but ensure you are
holding your bike steady.

129

Screw out the barrel adjuster to reduce
brake travel. The adjuster is just above
where the cable housing sits on the caliper body.

• Loosen the fixing clamp to remove the old cable
if a new cable is needed. Insert the new cable into
the brake lever (see pp.114–15)
5 and follow Steps 1
and 2 with the new cable.

Align the calipers with the discs using the
adjustment bolts. Undo these bolts, align
the caliper so that its sides are parallel with the
disc, and then tighten.

• Align brakes that are not equipped with this
adjustment facility by using spacers to pack out
the caliper-fixing bolts.

• Lubricate the new cable before you fit it.

Remove a cracked or buckled rotor by
unscrewing the bolts, holding it to the hub
with an Allen or Torx key. Replace it with the
specific rotor for your type of brake.

• Place the new rotor over the threaded bolt
holes in the hub. Screw in and tighten the bolts.

Clean the rotor with a special rotorcleaning fluid after removing the wheel.

• Spray a little cleaner on either side of the rotor.
• Use a clean cloth to prevent the cleaner from
coating other bike parts but also to ensure the
rotor is covered with cleaner. Do not polish with it.

130

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • HUB-MOUNTED BRAKES

Hydraulic
disc brake I

Installing a hydraulic
disc-brake system

Hydraulic disc brakes are more powerful
than cable disc brakes, and once correctly
installed, will require less maintenance. A
bike that has disc-brake mountings on the
frame and fork will be suitable for a discbrake system.
Cable disc brakes can work with rim-brake
levers but their performance falls fractionally
short of hydraulic systems. These work by
compressing a fluid rather than pulling a
cable. Compatible hydraulic brake levers will
need to be fitted to the handlebar and brake
hoses that hold the brake fluid. Disc-specific
hubs will also be required.
There is no need to fasten the front hose
to the fork. To direct and keep the rear hose
in place, use an adapter kit to let the frame’s
cable guides take hoses, because the cable
hole in a standard cable guide is too small.
STEP LOCATOR

Parts of a hydraulic disc brake
Caliper
Hose
Wheel
quickrelease
Disc bolt
Disc

Toolb
lbox

 Allen or Torx keys  Wrench  Utility knife
 Thread-locking compound  Flat screwdriver

Fit the caliper using the Allen bolts and
washers provided.

• Switch the washers around to pack out each
caliper in order to line it up with the disc.
p ly a thre
threadad loc
lockin
king
g comp
compou
ound
d to
to the
the thr
thread
eadss,
• App
then fix
fix the di
disc
sc to the hu
hub
b usin
using
g th
the dis
discc bolt
bolts.
s

Hydraulic disc brake I

Cut the hose of the
hydraulic system if it is
too long by following Ste
Steps 3–7.

Mount the brake lever
onto the handlebar and
secure with the clamp bolts.

Move the brass olive
along the hose and out
of the way.

• Take out the brake pads (see

• Unscrew the aluminum

• Pry the hose off the brake

pp.126–7 ) first and replaace
them with a spacer. The caliper
u d here is a demonstraation
use
m el with no hose attaached.
mod
mo

shroud located where the hose
joins the brake lever and move
it out of the way. Pry open
the brass olive beneath with a
flat screwdriver.

lever joint with a flat screwdriver,
but be careful not to damage
the lever joint. At the same
time, gently pull on the hose
to detach it.

Join the hose to the
brake lever by inserting
it into the lever joint. Push it
home firmly, but not too hard,
since this can split the hose.

Squeeze the olive on to
the hose at the lever joint
to make a good seal.

• Hold the hose upward as you

• Bleed the disc-brake system

2

3

4

Carefully cut offf excess
C
cable from the deetached
end of the hose with a ssharp
knife. Keep the olive and
d the
shroud on the part of th
he hose
that you will be reconneecting.

5

6

work to keep brake fluid loss to
a minimum.

7

• Screw the shroud on to the
thread of the lever joint.
(see pp.132–3).

131

132

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • HUB-MOUNTED BRAKES

Hydraulic disc
brake II

Draining and
replacing brake fluid

If you are pulling hard on the brake levers
without much effect on the discs, or if you
are pulling the levers several times to make
the brakes work, you need to bleed air from
the system. The following steps will also help
if you have cut hoses to fit while installing a
hydraulic system, had a leak in the system, or
have fitted a new hose.

1
3
2

4

5

6

Remove the wheels from the bike to
reduce the chance of brake fluid falling
on the brake discs.

1

• Place a spacer in the caliper between the
brake pads (see Step 2, p.131).
Toolbox

 Allen key multi-tool  10mm wrench
 Length of clear hose

• Take off the brake fluid reservoir cover on the
brake lever with an Allen key. Be careful not to let
any of the brake fluid touch your hands.

handlebar and hold it. Close the bleed nipple.

Repeat Step 4, filling up the reservoir until
there are no more air bubbles flowing
through the clear tube when you squeeze the
brake lever. You will probably have to repeat this
step four or five times before the bubbles in the
tube completely disappear.

• Never mix brake fluids. Mineral oil or DOT 4

• Close the bleed nipple once the tube is bubble-

Angle the bike so that the reservoir is
level, open the bleed nipple, and fill the
reservoir with brake fluid. Pour with a smooth,
constant stream to minimize air bubbles.

4

• Squeeze the brake lever all the way to the
fluids cannot be interchanged.

5

free and the reservoir is full.

Hydraulic disc brake II

2

Open the bleed nipple on the caliper with
a 10mm wrench.

• Slide one end of a short length of clear tube

3

Pull the brake lever all the way back to
the handlebar to remove some brake fluid.

onto the bleed nipple.

• Tighten the bleed nipple.
• Make sure that all tools are at hand, since the

• Put the other end of the tube into a plastic

next steps require you to be organized.

container that is big enough to hold the old
brake fluid.

• Cover the surface below where you are working,
since brake fluids can be corrosive. Use disposable
mechanic’s gloves to protect your hands.
Replace the cover of
the brake fluid reservoir
but be careful not to displace
any brake fluid.

6

• Refit your wheels and pump
the brake lever a few times to
center the brake pads.

• Go for a flat test ride. If
your brakes are not performing
as they should, there may still
be air in the system. Repeat
Step 4 and make sure that
everything is tight.

133

134

ADJUSTING YOUR BRAKES • HUB-MOUNTED BRAKES

Roller-brake cable
All brake cables wear out, no matter how
much time is spent maintaining them. Cables
for roller brakes—sometimes called drum
brakes—are no different. If the bike is
equipped with roller brakes, the steps in this
sequence show how to replace a cable when
it is frayed or worn out. However, lubricating
the brakes and replacing the internal parts
are occasional jobs that are best left to the
experts at a good bike shop.
If the rear inner tube is punctured, or it is
necessary to take off the back tire to replace
it, you need to know how to disconnect the
rear brake in order to remove the back wheel.
At the same time, you should know how to
reconnect and adjust the brake after replacing
the wheel. Once this is a familiar routine, it
will also be possible to adjust the roller
brakes for brake pad wear from time to time.

Replacing a
roller-brake cable

Push the brake-arm cradle toward the
front of the bike. This takes the tension
from the cable so that you can unhook the
cable-clamp bolt from the cradle and remove
the old cable.

1

• Screw the barrel adjuster on the brake arm in
or out to about half of its extent.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
ATO
R

• Remove the wheel at this point if you need to
replace the tire or inner tube.

5

1 2 3 4 6
Parts of a roller brake
Brake
body
Wheel
axle nut
Brake
arm
Cableclamp
bolt
Barrell
adjuster

Cable
C
bl
guide

Toolb
lbox

 Wrenches
 Needle-nose pliers

C bl
Cable

Tighten the cable-clamp bolt while
squeezing the cable slightly, as your helper
keeps up the forward pull on the brake-arm cradle.

4

Roller-brake cable

2

Thread the greased cable through the
brake lever, then through the housing.

• Dribble a little oil into the housing.
• Make sure the housing is firmly located in the
lever, then thread the cable through the barrel
adjuster and seat the housing firmly into it.

• Thread the cable through the cable-clamp bolt.

Pull the cable backward with the needlenose pliers while you push the brake-arm
cradle forward and hook the clamp bolt into it.

3

• Bend the cable slightly behind the clamp bolt
and ask someone to push the brake-arm cradle
forward. Use your free hand to tighten up the
bolt so the cable is nipped in place.

Pull the brake lever hard repeatedly (ten
times) to bed in the brakes. The brakes may
be a little tight, as if they are being applied gently,
even when there is no pressure on the lever.

Screw in the barrel adjuster a few turns
until you achieve the 2⁄5in (15mm) of play in
the brake lever.

• Keep about

to check when the brakes begin to bite.

5

2

⁄5in (15mm) of play in the brake
lever before the brakes begin to bite.

6

• Pull in the lever after each turn in the adjuster

135

Suspension technology
has revolutionized
off-road riding. Accurate
adjustment of the front
fork and rear shock
allows uneven terrain to
be tackled safely and
confidently.

138

TUNING YOUR SUSPE
E NSION • SUSPENSION FORKS

SUSPENSION FORKS
A suspension foork softens the blow of a bump on the road
d or trai
ail.
The fork must be checked for wear and lubricated reg
gularly
lyy. The
oil and springs should be changed either when they wea
earr oorr to
alter the characcteristics of the fork.

How theyy work
The suspension fork on the front wheel absorbs
the energy of a bump
p and prevents the force from
reaching the rider. The fork’s main spring, which
can be trapped air or a metal coil, is compressed
as the sliders move up
p the stanchions. Compression
ends when the spring has absorbed the shock of the
bump. At this point, the spring pushes the sliders
back and the fork reb
bounds. Damping controls
the speed of compresssion and rebound, usually
by absorbing some off the energy of the bump
with an air or oil dam
mping mechanism. This cre
reat
ates
es
friction, which slows down the fork’s moveme
ment
ntts.
s

Reacct
Rea
cti
tn
ng
g to
to bu
bum
b
um
u
mpss
Dam
mpin
pi g sho
hould
hou
lld
d
pre
reven
ven
nt th
the
he ffo
forrk from
ro
ro
om
m
reach
rea
ching
chi
ch
ng thee li
lim
mits of
mit
of
its trrav
it
aave
vel,
el,, b
butt the
the fo
ork
or
rk
rk
sh uld
sho
d sttilll b
bee re
react
act
cctive
ve
ve
enough
en
eno
gh
h to co
cope
pe w
wit
wi
ith
ith
ev ry bum
eve
bump.
p.

FRONT FORK CO
O MPRESSION

Bunnyhopping gives a graphic demonstration of compression and rebound.
d
As the rider picks up the front of the bike to clear the log, th
the fork rebound
ndss
because the rider’s weeight has been taken off the spring. On landing
ng, the fo
ork
r
compresses as the sprring absorbs the shock of the bike and rider lan
andi
ding
ng.
Reboun
ound
d

Pulling the handlebar upward and
moving the body backw
ward lifts the front
wheel so the front fork rebounds.

Compr
Co
mpress
ession

Landin
ng on the gro
ound
nd
d ret
etturn
rns the
rns
thee
rider’ss weig
ei ht
h to the
he bi
bikke’
bike’
kee’s frame
ram
ra
ame and
d
com
mpre
resse
ss s the fro
front
ront
n for
fo
ork.
ork.
k

How
w tth
h ey
e wor
o k

A R /OI
AIR
/O L FORK

W en
Wh
en a b
bum
u p pushes up the sliders on this fork, a piston
mo
ove
vess up the left stanchion, compressing the air. Once the
bump has
as b
beeen absorbed, the air pu
ush
shes
e thee p
pis
i ton back and
the fork reb
bou
ound
n s. The dam
mpi
p ng mec
echa
haniism iin
n th
t e ri
righ
ghtt
stanchion, which
ch iiss fu
full of oil,l aalso move
ves up and down with
th
t e bump, conttro
th
rolling the speed of com
ompression and
d rreb
ebound
nd.
F k crown
For
Tur
urns
ur
r the fork
Brake arch
Coon
onnects the
two sliders

Seal
Keeeps
p dirt out
of fork’s
interior

Rig
ght
stanch
hio
on
on
Contains
n th
thee
dampin
pin
ingg
in
mec
echanis
issm
sm
Oil ch
O
chamb
ber
er
Con
C
ontains oil
oili
Dampin
Dampin
Da
Dam
p g
mee hanism
mec
sm
m
M es up
Mov
p
and
n doown
wn
with
wit
h slilid
lider

Slliderr
S
Sli
Mov
M
Mo
Moves
ooves up
p and
down on the
dow
the
he
sta
tanch
ta
nchion
nch
ion
io
ion

Leftt
Lef
staanc
nch
chio
ch
ion
on
Con
ontai
a ns
the sprin
ring
me hanism
mec
and
d pi
p ston
Air
cha
hambe
mbe
b r
Co tai
Con
ains
air
ai
Pisston
t
Mov
o es
e up
and do
d wn
w
in respon
po se
to
o bum
bu ppss
Shaftt bol
Sha
Sh
b t
Fasten
Fas
tens
sha
haaft to
sliide
der
er

139

140

TUNING YOUR SUSPENSION • SUSPENSION FORKS

Front suspension
A suspension fork works best if it has been
set up to accommodate the rider’s weight.
When you sit on your bike, the amount the
fork depresses, as the slider moves down the
stanchion, is called the sag. As you ride, sag
allows the fork to extend into the hollows in
the ground, giving a smooth ride. To set the
amount of sag, you can increase or decrease
the amount of preload in the fork.
Damping controls the speed at which a
fork works. To find out if a fork is working
too fast, lean on the handlebar, then quickly
lift up the front of the bike. If the suspension
fork bangs back to its limit, its action is too
quick and its rebound damping needs to be
increased. Adjust the damping still further
after a few rides. The best setup will let
the fork absorb a hit and rebound quickly
enough to be ready for the next.

Setting sag

Put a tie-wrap around the stanchion of the
unloaded fork and next to the top of the
slider. Ideally, the sag should be about 25 percent
of its available travel, though cross-country riders
often prefer less and downhillers more.

1

STEP LOCATOR

2

1 3 4

1
1

Parts of a suspension fork
Steerer
Air valve
Crown
Stanchion
Fork brace

Brake boss
Slider

Get off the bike and carefully measure the
distance between the tie-wrap and the top
of the slider.

3

Dropout

Toolbox

 Shock pump  Tie-wrap
 Tape measure

• Express this measurement as a proportion of
the fork’s available travel. If the distance is 1in
(25mm) on a 31⁄5in (80mm) fork, the proportion is
32 percent. Check the owner’s manual to find out
the available travel of your bike.

Front suspension

Fine-tuning the fork

2

Sit on the bike, wearing your normal
cycling clothes.

• Place both feet on the pedals. Either ask
someone to hold you upright on the bike, or lean
your elbow against a wall. The slider will travel up
the stanchion, pushing the tie-wrap with it.

Fine-tune the damping on some forks with
an adjuster at the bottom of one of the
fork blades. The two air chambers in this fork
allow further refinements to damping.

1

• Pump air into the bottom chamber with a
shock pump to change the spring characteristics.

• Change the size of a valve on the air piston to
control air flow between chambers. This flow is
called air-damping.

Increase the air in the chamber with a
shock pump if the proportion of available
travel is greater than 25 percent.

4

• Increase the spring preload with a coil/oil
system (there is usually a dial at the top of the
fork blade) or fit stronger springs.

• Release air, reduce the preload, or fit lighter
springs if the proportion is less than 25 percent.

Make damping adjustments on some types
of fork while riding the bike. The controls
for these on-the-fly adjusters are usually marked
“faster” and “slower” to indicate which direction
to turn them in. It is also possible to lock out
some forks. This means that you can stop their
action if you are riding over a very smooth
surface and do not need suspension.

1

141

142

TUNING YOUR SUSPENSION • SUSPENSION FORKS

Coil/oil fork

Setting up a coil/oil fork

If the sag has been set up correctly (see
pp.140–41) but the coil/oil fork keeps
bottoming out—the fork reaches the full
extent of its travel but the spring cannot
compress any more—it will be necessary to
fit heavier-duty springs. Conversely, if the
fork only reacts to the bigger lumps and
bumps, lighter springs should be fitted.
The method of changing springs is
similar in most coil/oil forks, but check the
manufacturer’s manual to find the features
of the fork on the bike in question. It may
not be necessary to remove the fork blade
from the fork crown; or a spring in both
blades of the fork may need replacing; or
one blade may incorporate the spring, while
the other has the damping mechanism.
STEP LOCATOR

Remove the circle clip from around the
rebound adjuster of the fork by prying it off
with a flat screwdriver. Be very careful. Do not dig
your screwdriver too far under the circle clip, but
put it far enough under so that it does not slip.
Keep your fingers away from the screwdriver to
avoid injuring yourself if it slips.

1

1 2 3 4 5
Parts of a coil/oil fork
Steerer
Fork crown

Top cap
Fork crown bolts
Stanchion

Fork brace
Brake boss

Slider

Dropout

Toolbox

 Wrench  Allen key multi-tool
 Flat screwdriver

Drop the new spring into the fork blade.
Make sure that it sits correctly in the fork
blade, then replace the top cap.

4

• Screw the top cap in with your fingers, then
tighten it with a wrench.

Coil/oil fork

Undo the retaining bolts in the fork crown
so that you can drop the blades out. There
are usually four retaining bolts. Some fork crowns
do not have them, in which case undo a cap bolt
at the top of the fork blade to remove the springs.

2

Start to remove the top cap of the fork
blade with a wrench on the wrench flats,
then unscrew the cap the rest of the way out
with your fingers.

3

• Note how the spring is sitting in the fork blade,
then lift the spring out.

Put the fork blades
back in the fork crown
and secure the retaining bolts.

5

• Follow the manufacturer’s
torque settings when replacing
the retaining bolts.

• Reset the sag of your forks
(see pp.140–41).

143

144

TUNING YOUR SUSPENSION • SUSPENSION FORKS

Changing oil

Air/oil fork
Air/oil suspension forks usually have short
travel and are popular with cross-country
riders. Their spring medium is air, which
makes them very light, and their mechanism
is damped by oil.
Sometimes they have a negative spring
working in the opposite direction of the
main air spring. This helps to overcome the
stiction (the sticky friction between two
adjacent but motionless objects) which is
inherent in air/oil suspension forks and is
caused by their very tight seals.
Changing oil is necessary from time to
time, as dirt in the system starts to cause
excessive wear. If you have increased the
damping on your fork and its action is still
too fast, replacing the oil with a heavier
one will slow it down. In the same way,
lighter oil can help to speed it up.

Remove the cap from the top of the
stanchion without the Schrader air valve.
This is the same kind of valve that is used on car
tires. You can carry out this following sequence of
steps with the fork still in the bike, although
it is easier if someone helps you.

1

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5

Parts of an air/oil suspension fork
Steerer
Fork crown
Stanchion

Air valve
Fork brace

Brake boss

3
Slider

Make sure that you hold the fork blades
absolutely vertical.

• Place a bowl under the fork to catch any spills.

Dropout

Carefully pour new oil into the stanchion until it
is full and then replace the cap.

Toolbox

• Use a calibrated pouring vessel to ensure that

 Wrench
 Shock pump

you accurately measure the amount of oil, if the
fork manufacturer specifies.

Air/oil fork
Pour the old oil out
of the stanchion and
into a plastic cup. This
air/oil fork has an openbath damping system, in
which the damping rod
moves up and down an
open oil bath. The oil also
lubricates the rest of the
suspension system.

2

4

Put the cap back on top of the oil
stanchion and tighten it.

• Set the sag again (see pp.140–41), pumping air

Pump air in or let air out of a fork with
negative air springs after you have replaced
the oil with one of a different viscosity.

5

in or letting it out to obtain the ideal sag.

• Adjust the damping of the fork so that it works

• Tighten the Schrader valve if, after setting up

at the speed you require, then fine-tune its action
with the negative spring.

the sag correctly, your fork works well at first, then
starts to bottom out (the valve may be leaking).
Use an automotive valve key.

• Pump air in to make the fork more active over
small bumps. Let air out to make it less responsive.

145

146

TUNING YOUR SUSPENSION • SUSPENSION FORKS

Looking after
suspension forks
Suspension forks soak up a lot of abuse
because that is what they are designed to
do. Although manufacturers do whatever
they can to protect the inner workings, there
are still some things you need to do to look
after your forks.
Chief among them is cleaning. If you
do not clean your forks regularly, dirt will
wear down the seals at the top of the
sliders and allow water to get into the inner
workings and damage them. Worn seals will
also allow oil to leak out, which affects the
fork’s performance.
Cleaning also gives you the opportunity
to examine the forks for cracks and defects.
You can also look for tell-tale signs of seal
wear, such as the absence of a dirt ring on
the stanchions after a ride—you should see
this ring after every ride.
Another one of your regular jobs is to
check the fork’s settings. You can set the
speed at which some forks work, along with
other features. You need to check these
settings have not been reset after a tough
ride or after cleaning.
Do not use pressure hoses to clean
suspension forks, since they can force water
into the inner workings. You need to use
a much gentler method of cleaning this
part of your bike.

Cleaning suspension forks

Remove mud and dirt with a dry, stiffbristled brush. Remove the front wheel if
there is a lot of mud on the fork, since it will
make the job easier.

1

• Start at the top of the fork and brush
downward. Take care not to scrub too hard
around the fork seals.

• Use smaller brushes to get into hard-to-reach
places on the fork.

STEP LOCATOR

1 2 3 4 5 6

Apply light, Teflon-based lubricant to the
seals at the top of the sliders to keep them
supple and help maintain their integrity.

4

• Apply the oil sparingly but make sure you spread
it all around the circumference of both seals.
Toolbox

• Be careful not to spill oil on the tires of your

 Stiff-bristled brushes  Sponge  Oil
 Degreaser

bike. If you do spill any, wash it off immediately
with hot, soapy water.

Looking after suspension forks

Spray degreaser all over the fork, especially
on the stanchions, to remove the old oil
and dirt—a mix that could corrode the seals on
your fork.
f k

Wipe the fork clean with a clean sponge
soaked in warm water. Wrap the sponge
around the fork to ensure they get completely
rinsed. Start from the top
t and work d
down.

spray
raying
ing de
degre
grease
aserr from
f
the top of
• Again, start sp
thee fo
fork
rk and
an work
w
workk dow
downwa
nw rd
nwa
rd.

• Remove the wheel so you can cleaan

2

3

the lower

part of the fork thoroughly.

• Examine the fork for cracks and deefects while
you perform this step.

Pump the fork up
aan
nd down by pushing
nd
on
o
n the handlebars so that the
sseeals be
become well coated.

5

• This is a good time to
cch
heck
ck fo
orr cracks on your
haan
h
nd
dleebars and stem.
Do n
not
ot
o be tempted to alter
• Do
the sett
sett
tti
tings of the fork if it
iss h
haar
ard tto
o push.
p
What
maattt
ma
tte
teerrs is the way the fork
ffeee
eels when you ride.

Check the settings dials
on your fork. Cleaning,
especially when yo
ou use a stiffbristled brush, can
n move the
dials. Check that tthey are set
where you want th
hem for riding.

6

• Check the cablee outers or
hoses for wear ovver the crown
of the fork.

• As a final step, turn your
bike upside down for five
minutes to help reedistribute
the oil inside the fork.

147

148

TUNING YOUR SUSPENSION • REAR SUSPENSION

REAR SUSPENSION
The rear suspension absorbs the shock caused by a bump in
the ground or rough terrain. A shock absorber must be kept
clean and lubricated, and the bushings and frame mounts
checked regularly for damage and wear.

How they work
The shock absorber of the rear suspension
mirrors the specifications of the front fork
in order to increase the rider’s control of
the bike. The rear triangle of the frame,
which connects the rear wheel to the shock
absorber, can move independently of the
rest of the frame on bikes that are fitted
with rear suspension.
Shock absorbers, or shocks, as they are also
known, consist of a spring medium, either a
coil or trapped air, and a shaft. The shaft is
usually connected to a damping mechanism,
which contains oil and controls the speed of
the shock absorber’s action.

Adjusting the shock
The shock absorber of
the rear suspension
can be adjusted to
suit different kinds
of terrain and gradients.

COMPRESSION OF THE SHOCK ABSORBER

When the back wheel hits a bump on the road or
trail, the rear triangle moves up on its pivots,
compressing the spring, which absorbs the shock.

As the spring pushes back on the rear triangle of
the frame, the shock rebounds, pushing the rear
wheel back ready for the next bump.

When riding over smooth ground the rear shock
absorber is in a neutral position.

When riding over rough ground the rear shock is in
a compressed position to absorb bumps.

How they work
AIR/OIL SHOCK ABSORBER ANATOMY

In an air/oil shock absorber, the
spring mechanism is compressed
air that is sealed inside an air
sleeve. The damping mechanism
in the shock body contains oil.
When the bike hits a bump, the
shock body travels up inside the
air sleeve and compresses the
trapped air. Once this air spring
has absorbed the energy of
the bump, the shock absorber
begins to rebound and return
to its original position. The
shaft, which runs from the top
of the air sleeve into the shock
body, is connected to the
damping device. Oil flowing
through holes in the device
slows the action of the shock
absorber in compression and
rebound as the shock body
travels up and down.

Rear shock
Absorbs the
force of a
bump

Bushing
Attaches shock to frame
Air valve
Controls air
pressure in the
sleeve
Rebound
adjuster
Changes speed
of rebound
Shaft
Runs into
shock body
Air sleeve
Contains
compressed air
Shock body
Contains the
damping device

Rear triangle
Transmits the
force of a
bump to the
rear shock

Rear wheel
Moves up
and down in
response to
bumps

149

150

SUSPENSION • REAR SUSPENSION

Rear suspension

Adjusting the sag

A good-quality, full-suspension bike should
be designed with a rear shock absorber that
complements and works with the suspension
fork in the front. Air/oil forks are normally
accompanied by an air/oil shock, and coil/oil
systems are usually paired.
The first step in setting up a rear shock
is to adjust its sag. Take into account the
rider’s weight, as with suspension forks (see
pp.140–1), and then fine-tune its action
by using damping and the shock’s other
functions after several rides on the bike.
One simple test to see if a rear shock is
working in tune with the front fork is to
press down on the middle of the bike while
looking at how the fork and shock react.
For general riding, each should depress
about the same amount.
Add the frame mounts, to which a shock
is attached, to the routine safety checks (see
pp.32–3). Check the bushes that allow the
shock to pivot—consult the manufacturer’s
guide for instructions.

Measure the centre-to-centre distance
between the shock-mounting bolts, with
the bike unloaded.

1

• Familiarize yourself with the valves and various
controls of your shock before going further.

STEP
STE
P LOC
LOCATO
ATOR
R

1 2 3 4 5

Parts of a rear suspension unit
Pro-p
pedal
adjustter

Shock body

To achieve the proportion of sag that
your riding style requires, let air out or
pump it in as needed, then take the second
measurement again.

3

Air sleeve

Air valve

Toolbox

 Tape measure  Shock pump

Rebound
adjuster

• If your bike has a coil/oil shock, increase or
decrease the pre-load to achieve the measurement
you want. The recommended range is only a guide.

Rear suspension
Sit on the bike
and ask someone to
measure this distance again.

2

• Take both measurements
and calculate the second as
a percentage of the first.
This will reveal the
proportion of the shock’s
overall travel that is used
as “sag.” For general riding,
the figure should be from a
quarter, to a third.

• Cross-country racers
tend to want stiffer shocks,
so they sometimes go for a
quarter or less.

• Downhill racers like
their shocks to move a
lot more. Their bikes often
feel spongy to ride on the
flat, but are really active
when descending.

Fine-tune the damping speed of your
shock with the rebound adjuster—if your
bike has one.

Some shocks have additional features. The
pro-pedal system on this one allows you to
control pedal-induced movement of the shock.

• Turn the adjuster on an air/oil shock absorber

• Familiarize yourself with your shock’s features

but follow instructions on the shock to find out
which way to turn.

by reading the instruction manual.

• Do not set it too fast because this can upset

what happens when you vary the settings. Knowing
all about your bike and the way you ride will help
you get the best out of any trail situation.

4

the handling of the bike.

5

• Ride your bike across different terrains and see

151

152

GLOSSARY

Glo
ossary
Terms in italic within an entry
are deffined under their own
he din
hea
ngs
g within the glossary.
ALL
AL
L EN
N BOLT A threaded bolt
w h a hexagonal depression
wit
in the center of its head.
ALLEN KEY
AL
K
Hexagonal
a tool
th t fits
tha
ts Allen bolts.
BEA
ARIN
NG A mechanism that
usu
uallyy consists of a number
of ball bearings and circular
channe
nnels, or races. It allows
t metal
two
me surfaces to move
freely
ly while in contact.
B CK
BLO
K Cogs fitted to a
freewheeel.
fre
BOSS Thrread
e ed metal fixture
on
n a bicy
cycle frame to which
an
n ite
item such as a bottle cage
or a pannier rack is attached.
BO
OTTTOM BRACKET Rotating
unitt that connects the
uni
cran
nkarms.
BO
OTTO
TOM OUT A term that
desccribes the point when
a su
uspension fork or shock
ab
bso
orber reaches the limit
off its
ts travel.
BRAKEKE-LEV
L ER HOOD The
body in
n which the brake
lever
lev
e sit
sitss, con
connec
nectin
i g it
in
i to
the handl
handl
nd eba
b r.
BRA
RA
AKE TRAVEL The
T dista
distance
nce
a brak
rakee leve
everr move
o s befo
befo
f re
r
the brake
ke pads
pads engage the
braking surface on the rim
or hub off a wheel.
CABLE CRI
RIMP
MP A small metal

cylinder tha
t t iss closed at one
end an
nd fitss ov
over
er the
h cut ends
of a cabl
b e to prevvent ffrayi
aying.
g.
CASSETTE A collectio
ion of
cog
gs that fit on the rear
wheeel’ss freehub.
f

CHAINRING A toothed ring
attached to the cranka
arms
that drives the chain an
nd, in
turn, the cog
co s and th
he rear
r
wheel of a bicycle.
CHAINSTAY The frame
m tube
tu
joining the bottom brack
acket
shell and rear dropou
outt.
CRANKSET The assembly
bly of
chainrings and cranka
arm
rms.
CLEAT A plas
la tic or meta
tal plate
that fits on the sole off a
cyclin
i g shoe
oe and engaages
ge
witth a cli
c ple
plesss pedal to hold
thee fo
oot on
n th
the
he pedal.
CLIPLE
ESS PEDAL A pedal with
a mech
ec anism tto
o engage
ge the
cleatt on the so
ole
l of a cycling
shoe and hold it securely in
place.
e Called clip
i less because
theyy replaced peda
edals that had
toe clips and straps.
p
COG A circula
lar meta
et l obje
ject
with
h teeth thatt is turneed by
the chain. Combined with
other
e cogs, it forms a
er
cassette orr block.
k Cogs are
sometimes
m caalle
l d “spr
s ockets.”
COMPRESSION The action of
a suspension system when
en it
absorbs an impact fro
from
m the
he
terrai
ter
rain.
n. Thee teerm
m refers to th
he
compression of the spring.
co
CRANKARM The lever that
at
joins the pedals to the
chainrings and transsfe
fers
energy from thee ri
rider’s legs
to the drivet
vetrai
rain
n of the bike.
DAMPIN
PING The proceess tha
t t
a orbs the energy off an
abs
ab
impact transmitted throu
oug
gh a
susspen
ension system. It cont
ntrol
ro s
thee sp
peed
e at which any form
rm
off sus
uspen
pen
nsion responds to
une
u
n ven
en tterrain.

DERAILLEUR Device that
pushes the chain onto a
larger or smaller chainrrin
ng or
cog. See also Derailleurr gears.
g
DERAILLEUR GEARS A syst
y em
that shifts the chain beetw
tween
cogs on the rear wheell (rear
d ailleur) and between
der
ch inrings attached to
cha
o
cra
r nkarms (front deraiillleur);
ra
it all
al ows multiple gearin
ng
on bik
bikes.
e
DOW
OWN
N TUBE The frame
ame tube
th t joins the bottom-brack
tha
acket
ck
shell to the hea
ad tube.
DRIVET
VET
ETRAI
R N The assem
mbly
b
of pe
ped
e als, crankset,
t chaiin,
and
nd
d cogs that drives the
th
bik
ike forward by cconveert
rting
the
he rider’s leg power in
nto
t
wheeel rotation.
DROPOU
OUT A slotted plate
ate at
the en
nd of the fork blad
ades
an
and
n sttays
ys, into which the axle
of a whee
h l is attached.
d.
EXPANDER
E BOLT A bolt
olt that
drawss up a truncated cone
or triangle of met
metal
a ins
nside a
mettal
a tube in orderr to
to wedge
the tube in place. Commonly
found
nd inside the stem
t of a
threaded headset.
t
FFREEHU
EHUB A mechanism, part
off the h
hu
ub, thatt allows
a
the
rear wheel
whee
e to rotate while the
ped
pe
e als
ls remain stat
tation
ta
io ary.
FREEWH
W EEL A mechanism
that does the same job as a
freehub but can be scre
cr wed
cre
on or off the hub.
b
GEAR An exp
GEAR
exprression of
the chainring and cog
com
ombin
binat
ation,
n lilinke
nked
d by
by the
the
cha
hain, that propels the bik
bike.

Glossary

GEA
EAR-S
R HIFT LEVER The
con
ntro
tr l mechanism,
m usu
usuall
allyy
on th
he handlebar, used to
initiaate gear-shifts.

QUICK-RELEASE MECHANISM
QUICK
A lever connected to a skew
skewer
er
that locks or releases a
component from the frame.

THREADS The spira
sp al groo
grooves
ves
cut in
into metal that allow
sep
par
arate
te pa
parts to be screwed
or bo
olted
d to
t gether.

GR
RUB SCREW A headless,
threa
thr
eaded bolt that has a
singl
sin
gle dia
diamete
ter throughout
ut
its leength.

REBOUND A term to describe
the action of a suspension
sys
ystem
te after it absorbs an
impact
imp
act fr
from
om the te
terra
rrain.
It refers to tthe exte
xtensi
s on
of the system’s
m’s sprin
ng.
g

TOP
OP TUBE The frame tube
tha
th
h t joins the seat tube to
the head tube.

HEA
EADSE
D T The bearing unit
that attaches the forks to a
frame and allows them to
turn. There are two varieties:
threaded and threadless.
HEAD TUBE The frame tube
through which the
he steerer
tube runs.
HEXAGONAL BOLT OR NUT
A threaded bolt with a
hexagonal head, or a
hexagonal nut that fits
onto a threaded bolt.
HYDRAULIC A type off
me han
mec
nica
ic l system tha
hatt uses
co pressed flui
com
luid
d to
t move
ov
an
n ob
object.
LOCKRING/LOCKNUT A ring
LO
or nut used to tighten onto
a threaded object and lock
it in place.
NEGATIVE SPRING A device
that works against the main
n
spring in a suspension
syystem. In compression, forr
example, a negative spring
ex
works to extend the fork,
helping to overcome the
effects of stiction.
NIP
PPLE
P
PL
The piece of metal
attac
ached to the end of a
cablle that secures the cab
ble
in the
th control lever.
PLA
AY A term describing an
any
looseness in mechanical
al parts.

SEA
EATT POST
ST A hollow tub
u e
tha
haat holds the saddle
dle and
d iis
inserted in
nto
o the
he sea
seat tube.
SE
SEA
E T STAY The
Th frame
frame tube
joining
g the
th bot
bottom
om bracket
shell and
an reear dro
r pou
poutt.
SEA
EAT TUBE
UBE The frrame
me tube
tha
hatt holds
h
the sea
seatt post
post.
t
SID
SIDEWALL
L Part of thee tire
betwee
een the tread an
nd rrim.
S ERER TUBE
STE
UBE The
Th
he tu
tube
be tha
that
connectss the fork to the ste
tem
and haandl
nd eba
eb r.r
STE
TEM The compo
mponen
nentt that
nen
that
connec
ne ts thee ha
handl
nd eba
barr to
to
the
he ste
steerer tube.
STICTION A term
m that
combines
es the wo
ords “stat
atic””
at
and “friction.” Itt describ
bes the
he
tension between
n movin
ng and
and
st tic
sta
i parts at rest,
ree such
ch
h as
t seals and
the
d staanchions
ns in
a sus
uspen
pe sion fo
ork.
STOPPER
R PIN Th
he end of a
cantilever or V-br
-brake return
spring that fitss into a
locating hole on the
h bik
bike’s
es
brake-mountiing bosses.
SUS
S
U PENSION An air//o
/oil or
c l/oil system
coi
m that abs
a orbs
the
h bumps frrom a trail or
road. The sys
ystem
s
is either
integrated into thee fork or
connected to thee rear
r
wheel
via a linkag
ge.

TRAVEL
TRA
VEL A term that refers
to the
th ttotal distance a
com
mponent moves in carrying
out its purpose. For example,
ou
traavel in a suspension fork is
the total distance the fork
has available to move in
order to absorb a shock.
Brake
Bra
ke tra
travel
vel is the distance
ab
brake leveer must be pulled
beffore
or the brak
rakes
es fully
contac
actt the
h braking
g surf
surface
ace.
TREAD Th
he centrral par
pa t off a
tire that makes conta
tact witth
the groun
nd.
VIS
V
SCOS
OSITY A rating system fo
or
oils, which also refers to the
weight
wei
ght. A lig
ght oil has low
viscosity and
d moves more
q ckl
qui
ck y than a heavy oil
thr
h oug
ough
hag
giiven
en dam
dampin
pingg
mechan
mec
hanism
han
ism.. This
ism
hi re
results in a
faster
fas
ter-ac
ter
actin
ac
ti g susspen
pensio
s n
system
sys
tem or
o reduc
duced
duc
e dampin
p ng.
WH EL
WHE
EL JIG A stan
stan
and
d that h
holds
a whee
eeel so that
at it
itss rim
rim run
runs
betwee
be
bet
w n two
t o jaw
jaws. Use
ja
Used in
truing a w
whe
h el aft
af er
e replaccing
g
a broken spo
oke.
e

153

154

INDEX

Index
A
adult's bike, setting up 18–19
air sleeve 149, 150
air valve 13, 104, 144, 149, 150
air-damping 141
air/oil fork 139, 144–5, 146
Allen bolt/wrench 13, 25–6, 152
antiseize compound 13
axle
cartridge-bearing bottom
bracket 70–3
hollow-axle bottom bracket
70–1, 74–5
hub quick-release mechanism
98, 99
nut 102, 134
open-bearing hub 98–9,
100–1
pedal 13, 17, 18, 78, 80–1

B
band-on derailleur 52
bar end 94
barrel, chain 63
barrel adjuster
brake 111, 114, 119, 122, 129,
134–5
gear-shifter 48, 60
rear derailleur 12, 54
basic bike 10–11, 14–15
bearing 152
BMX bottom bracket 17, 70,
76–7
cartridge-bearing bottom
70–3
gear hub 6
headset 88–9, 93
hollow-axle bottom 70–1,
74–5
hub 98–100
lubrication 30
pedal 78, 80

bleeding hydraulic disc brake
132–3
block, freewheel 66–7, 152
BMX bike 16, 17
bottom bracket 17, 70, 76–7
chain 64
U-brake 122–3
bolt 152, 153
Allen 13, 25, 26, 152
cable-clamp 110, 120, 122,
128, 134
pivot 110, 118, 120
rotor-mounting 128
stem 13, 88, 90
tightening 24–6
boss, brake 110, 140, 142, 144,
152
bottom bracket 12, 70–1
BMX 17, 70, 76–7
cartridge-bearing 70–3
hollow-axle 70–1, 74–5
Isis 72
lockring 70, 76
lubrication 30
replacement 72–7
servicing 34–5, 53
Shimano Octalink 72
square-tapered 72–3
tools 25
brake 11, 12
adjustment 17, 116–19, 122–3
alternative designs 122–3
arch 139
boss 110, 140, 142, 144, 152
braking surface 124–5
Campagnolo 117
cleaning 29, 114
combined shifter 45
danger signs 38–9
drum, see roller brake
fluid 124–5, 132–3
handlebar compatibility 94,
96
hose 124–5, 130

maintenance 15, 17, 34–5,
112–17
safety checks 32, 38–9, 133
servicing 34–5
Shimano 116–17
shoe 116, 118
spring 110, 124
“toe-in” 120
troubleshooting 36–7
working of 110–11, 124–5
see also cable disc brake;
calliper brake; cantilever
brake; coaster brake; hubmounted brake; hydraulic
disc brake; rim brake; roller
brake; U-brake; V-brake
brake arm 12, 29, 34
cantilever brake 120
rim brake 110–11, 120, 122
roller brake 134
U-brake 122
V-brake 119
brake cable
cable tidy 114, 152
cutting outer 26
drop handlebar 112–13,
120–1
guide tube 12, 110
hub-mounted brake 124–5,
126–7, 128, 130, 134–5
lubrication 30–1, 34–5,
112–15
maintenance 15, 34–5,
114–15
rim brake 102, 110, 114–15,
116, 118, 120–1, 122
split or frayed 39, 128
straight handlebar 114–15
brake lever 13
barrel adjuster 111, 114, 119,
122, 129, 134–5
brake travel 152, 153
drop handlebar 96, 112
gear-shifter combination

Index

45, 46–7
hood 45, 96, 112, 152
hub-mounted brake 125
hydraulic 125, 127
nipple 111, 112, 114, 122
piston 124–5
position/reach adjustment 18,
19, 114
rim brake 110–11
side-pull caliper brake 122
straight handlebar 94, 114
brake pad 12, 15, 16, 17
cable disc brake 124, 126–7
caliper brake 116–17, 122–3
cantilever brake 120
coaster brake 124
hub-mounted brake 124
hydraulic disc brake 124
maintenance 32, 34, 126–7
rim brake 110–11
roller brake 124
side-pull caliper brake 122–3
troubleshooting 36–7
V-brake 118–19
braze-on derailleur 52
bunnyhopping 138
bushing 149, 150

C
cable, see brake cable; gear
cable
cable disc brake 124, 126–7,
128
cable-clamp 44, 50, 53, 54
bolt 110, 120, 122, 128, 134
cable-guide tube 12, 110
caliper brake 17, 102, 114
adjusting 116–17
brake lever 116
cable 110
cable disc brake 126
hydraulic disc brake 124, 125,
128
quick-release mechanism 117
side-pull 122–3

Campagnolo
caliper brake 117
gear-shifter 45, 96
wheel hub 100
cantilever brake 102, 110, 122–3
adjusting 120–1
cable 110, 114, 120–1
carbon fibre, and lubrication 31,
131
carrier unit 56
cartridge-bearing bottom
bracket 70–3
cassette 152
cleaning 28, 28–9
lockring 62
maintenance 17
profile 62
removal 66–7
replacement 17
tools 25, 29, 66
working of 62–3, 66
chain
barrel 63
cleaning 28–9
derailleur 64–5
gear-shifter and 44, 50–1
joining pin 63, 64
links 63, 64
lubrication 15, 29, 30, 41
measuring device 25, 64
replacement 15, 64–5
safety checks 33
servicing 34–5
Shimano 64–5
split-link 64–5
troubleshooting 36–7
wear estimation 64
weatherproofing 41
whip 25
working of 44, 62–3
chainring 13, 15, 51, 62, 63, 68,
76, 152
cleaning 28
danger signs 38
removal 69
servicing 34–5

chainstay 12, 32, 152
child's bike
handlebar adjustment 20–1
setting up 20–1, 76–7
side-pull caliper brake 122–3
threaded headset 92–3
cleaning/degreasing 28–9, 30
cleat, pedal 78, 82, 83, 84–5,
152
cleat-release mechanism, pedal
80, 82, 83
clipless pedal 11, 41, 78, 82–5,
152
coaster brake 124
coil/oil fork 141, 142–3
common problems 36–7
commuting bike 14
compression 138, 139, 148, 152
see also suspension
cone 76, 78, 99
crank 70–1, 152
crankset and drivetrain 13, 68
crank-removing tool 25, 68
pedal 70–1, 78, 80
Crank Brothers pedal 83
crank puller and bolt remover 25
crankset 152
cleaning 28–9
removal 68–9, 72
3-piece 10, 76–7
triple 10
working of 62–3, 68
cup
BMX bottom bracket 70, 76
bottom 13, 88, 90, 92
fixed 70, 72
free 70, 72
top 13, 88, 89, 90, 92

D
damping
disc brake 152
fork 138, 139, 140, 144–5
danger signs 26, 38–9
see also safety checks

155

156

INDEX

degreasing 28–9, 30
derailleur 40, 153
adjustment 50, 51, 52–5
band-on 52
barrel adjuster 12
braze-on 52
cage 51, 52
cleaning 28–9, 52, 54
front, see front derailleur
jockey wheel 12, 30, 34–5,
44, 50–1, 54–5, 62
lubrication 29, 30, 41, 50–1,
54, 78
maintenance 52
plate 12, 50, 51
rear, see rear derailleur
safety checks 33
servicing 34–5
troubleshooting 36–7
weatherproofing 41
working of 10, 12, 44–5, 50–1
derailleur gear 62, 64–5, 98, 152
maintenance 15, 17
disc brake 10, 11, 34
cable 124, 126–7, 128
damping 152
hydraulic, see hydraulic disc
brake
lubrication 128
maintenance 128–9
rotor 126, 128–9
driver unit, hub gear 56
drivetrain 10, 13, 152
see also chain; chainring;
crankset; pedal; sprocket
drop handlebar 16, 17, 96–7
brake cable 112–13, 120–1
brake lever 96, 112
gear cable 46–7
drop-out 12, 102, 140, 142, 144,
152
drum brake, see roller brake
Dual Control gear-shifter,
Shimano 49

F
flange, hub 62, 98, 100
flat pedal 11, 78
folding bike 14–15, 15
foot retention mechanism 13,
78, 82–3
see also pedal cleat
fork
air/oil 139, 144–5, 146
brace 139, 140, 142, 144
cleaning 146–7
coil/oil 141, 142–3
compression 138, 139, 152
crown 13, 88, 139, 140,
142–3, 144
damping 138–9, 140, 144–5
drop-out 140, 142, 144, 152
headsets 88, 89
leg 13, 142
lockout 141
lubrication 34–5, 144–5, 146
maintenance 146–7
pistons 139
sag setting 140–3, 145
seal 139
servicing 34–5
Shrader air valve 144–5
slider 13, 139, 140, 142, 144
spring 138, 142, 144
stanchions 139, 140, 142, 144
troubleshooting 36–7
working of 11, 138
frame 10
aluminum 33
anatomy 12
carbon-fiber 31, 33
chainstay 12
metal fatigue 32–3
protector pads 17
safety checks 32–3, 150
seat stay and tube 12
steel 16
freehub 100, 152
freewheel 152
removal 66–7

working of 66, 98
front derailleur 41, 44, 50–1
adjustment 52–3
outer arm 51
front suspension, see fork
front wheel
hub 98, 99, 100
removal 103

G
gear 152
adjustment 60–1
control 44–5
danger signs 39
derailleur 15, 62, 64
hub 56–61
lubrication 15, 34
ring 56
safety checks 33
satellite 56, 58
servicing 34–5
Shimano Nexus hub 56, 58–9
SRAM 58
Sturmey Archer 58, 60
working of 56, 58
gear cable 44–5, 50, 58–9
cutting outer 26
danger signs 39
drop handlebar 46–7
lubrication 30–1, 46–7, 48
maintenance 15, 34
split or frayed 34, 39
straight handlebar 48–9
gear-shifter 11, 13
barrel adjuster 48, 60
Campagnolo 45, 96
combined brake lever 45
drop handlebar 46–7
maintenance 44–5, 60
Shimano 46–9
SRAM 46–9
working of 44–5, 50–1
grease
applying 30–1
removing 28–9, 30

Index

servicing timetable 34–5
weatherproofing treatment
40–1
see also lubrication
grip 13, 94, 95, 96–7

HIJ
hairspray on grips 95
handlebar 13, 94, 96
adjustment 20–1, 92–3
drop, see drop handlebar
maintenance 34–5
replacement 94–7
riser bars 94, 114
safety checks 32
stem 13, 88, 89, 92, 153
straight, see straight
handlebar
tape 96–7
headset 17, 34–7, 153
adjustment 90–1
bearing 88–9, 93
cleaning 90–1
fork connection 88, 89
lubrication 30, 90, 92–3
sealing 40
threaded 89, 92–3
threadless 88, 90–1
working of 88–9, 90, 92
high and low adjuster, derailleur
50, 51, 52–3, 55
hollow-axle crank cap and cup
tools 25
hose, brake 124–5, 130
hub
axle quick-release 98, 99
flange 62, 98, 100
lockring 99, 100
open-bearing 98–9, 100–1
rear 12, 98, 100
hub-mounted brake
cable 124–5, 126, 128, 130
see also cable disc brake;
coaster brake; hydraulic disc
brake; roller brake

hybrid bike 10–11, 14–15, 120–1
hydraulic disc brake 16
brake fluid replacement
132–3
installing 130–1
lever 124–5, 127
piston 124–5
working of 124, 130
inner tube 13, 104–5
valve 13, 104
Isis bottom bracket 72
jockey wheel 12, 30, 34–5, 44,
50–1, 54–5, 62
joining pin 63, 64

KLM
knurled retainer 78, 80, 81
lever, see brake lever;
gear-shifter
lockring/locknut 12, 153
bottom bracket 70, 76
cartridge hub 100
cassette 62
flat pedal 78
headset 92
hub 99, 100
Look road pedal 82
low and high adjuster, derailleur
50, 51, 52–3, 55
lubrication 17
applying 30–1
bearing 30
brake cable 30–1, 34–5,
112–15
cable 30–1, 34–5, 46–7, 48,
59, 112–15
and carbon fiber 31
chain 15, 29, 30, 41
derailleur 29, 30, 41, 50–1,
54, 78
dry lube 30
fork 34–5, 144–5, 146
gear cable 30–1, 46–7, 48
headset 30, 90, 92–3

pedal 41, 80–3
rear derailleur 30, 41
removing 28–9, 30
servicing timetable 34–5
viscosity 153
weatherproofing treatment
40–1
wet lube 30
see also grease
mountain bike 12–13, 16–17
brake cables 114–15, 120–1
gear cables 48–9
off-road pedal 83, 84–5
riser bars 96
V-brake adjustment 114,
118–19, 120
mudguard 40, 41
multitools 25

NOP
negative spring 144, 153
Nexus hub gear, Shimano 58–9
nipple 153
brake lever 111, 112, 114, 122
pear 112, 122
spoke 106Octalink bottom
bracket axle 72
off-road pedal 83, 84–5
oil, see lubrication
outer arm, front derailleur 51
pear nipple 112, 122
pedal 10, 40
axle 13, 17, 18, 78, 80–1
bearing 78, 80
cleaning 41, 82–3
cleat 78, 82, 83, 84–5, 152
cleat-release mechanism 80,
82, 83
clipless 11, 41, 78, 82–3,
84–5, 152
crank 70–1, 78, 80
Crank Brothers 83
flat 11, 78
foot retention mechanism 13

157

158

INDEX

knurled retainer 78, 80, 81
Look road 82
lubrication 41, 80–3
off-road 83, 84–5
release mechanism 80, 82, 83
replacement 17, 80–1
retention mechanism 13, 78,
82–3
road 82
servicing 34–5
Shimano off-road 83
Time 82, 83
toe clips 78
working of 78–9, 80
piston
fork 139
hydraulic brake 124–5
pivot
bolt 110, 118, 120
joint 41, 50, 51, 52, 54
plate spring 50, 51
pliers 25, 26
preride safety checks 32–3,
38–9
problem-solving chart 36–7
profile, cassette 62
pumps 25
puncture repair 104–5

QR
quick-release mechanism 153
caliper brake 117
hub axle 98, 99
wheel 12, 102–3
quill 89, 92
race 70, 90, 92
race level road bike 16–17, 17
Rapidfire gear-shifter 49
reach adjustment 18, 19, 114
rear hub 12, 98, 100
rear derailleur 12, 15, 50–1, 62
adjusting 54–5
barrel adjuster 12, 54
cable 44–5
lubrication 30, 41

rear suspension 17
compression 148–9
pro-pedal adjuster 150
sag adjustment 150–1
rear wheel removal 102–3
rebound 138, 139, 148, 153
adjuster 149, 150
see also suspension
release mechanism
pedal 80, 82, 83
quick-release, see quickrelease mechanism
retainer, knurled 78, 80, 81
retention mechanism
pedal 13, 78, 82–3
riding position
adult 18–19
child 20–1
rim 13, 39, 104
straightening 106–7
see also tire; wheel
rim brake 11, 39, 102
drop handlebar 112–13
straight handlebar 114–15
working of 110–11
see also caliper brake;
cantilever brake; U-brake;
V-brake
ring clamp 48
ring gear 56
riser bars 94, 114
road bike 16, 17
drop handlebar gear cable
112–13
road pedal 82
roller bearing, see bearing
roller brake 124
brake arm 134
cable replacement 134–5
rotor cleaner 129

S
saddle 12
adjustment, adult 18–19
adjustment, child 20–1

sealing seat post collar 40
seat pin and stem 21, 31, 41
seat post 12, 40, 153
seat stay and tube 12, 153
safety checks 17, 32–3
danger signs 26, 38–9
troubleshooting 36–7
sag setting, fork 140–3, 145
salt 40
satellite 56, 58
removal 60–1
servicing 34–5
setting up
adult's bike 18–19
child's bike 20–1
shifter, see gear-shifter
Shimano
brake 116–17
chain 64–5
hollow-axle bottom bracket
84
Dual Control gear-shifter 49
gear-shifter 46–9
Nexus hub gear 56, 58–9
Octalink bottom bracket 72
off-road pedal 83
Rapidfire gear-shifter 49
wheel hub 100–1
shock absorber
air/oil anatomy 149
damping 149
sag adjustment 150–1
shock pump 25, 141
shoe, see brake shoe; pedal cleat
Shrader fork air valve 144–5
slider, fork 13, 139, 140, 142,
144
spanners 25, 26
specialized bike 16
see also BMX bike; mountain
bike; road bike
split-link chain 64–5
spoke 13, 104
key and ruler 25
replacement 106–7
see also wheel

Index

spring
brake 110, 124
fork 138, 142, 144
negative 144, 153
plate 50, 51
shock absorber 148, 149
see also suspension
sprocket 12, 38, 51, 56, 62, 66,
153
square-tapered bottom bracket
72–3
SRAM gear-shifter 46–9
stanchions, fork 139, 140, 142,
144
star washer 88
steering
headset, see headset
safety checks 32
servicing 34–5
steerer 13, 89, 140, 142, 144
steerer tube 13, 88, 153
troubleshooting 36–7
see also handlebar
stem, handlebar 13, 88, 89, 92,
153
stiction 144, 153
straddle clamp 122
straddle and straddle wire 120–1
straight handlebar
brake cable 114–15
fitting 94–5
gear cable 48–9
Sturmey Archer, 3-speed gear
58, 60
suspension 11, 16, 17, 153
compression 138–9, 148, 152
damping, see damping
fork, see fork
lubrication 17, 34
mountain bike 16, 17
negative spring 144, 153
rear 148–51
rear, see rear suspension
rebound, see rebound
sag 140–1, 150–1
servicing 34–5

shaft 148, 149
shock absorber, see shock
absorber
troubleshooting 36–7

T
tape, handlebar 96–7
3-piece crankset 10, 76–7
Time pedals 82, 83
timetable, servicing 34–5
“toe-in” brake 120
tools and workshop 24–7
torque gauge 24
transmission, see cable; chain;
derailleur; shifters
travel 153
tread 153
wear 15, 39
troubleshooting 36–7
danger signs 38–9
troubleshooting chart 36–7
truing, wheel 106–7
tire 10, 11, 17
bead 13
bulge 33, 39
danger signs 38–9
inner tube 13, 104–5
pressure 33
puncture repair 104–5
puncture resistance 11
replacing 105
safety checks 33, 102
sidewall 153
split 39
tread, see tread
wear signs 15, 102

UV
U-brake 122–3
utility bike 14–15
V-brake 102, 110, 120
adjusting 118–19
cable 102, 110, 114–15, 118
cable replacement 114–15

valve
fork, air/oil 144–5
tire 13, 104
vice, bench 25
viscosity, lubrication 153

W
washing and degreasing 28–9,
30
wedge 88, 89
wet weather 40–1, 114
best brakes for 124–5
wheel 10, 13
carbon rims 16
cassette, see cassette
child's bike sizes 20
cleaning 28–9
danger signs 38–9
derailleur, see derailleur
jig 106, 153
levers, quick-release 33, 34
lubrication 30
mudguard 40, 41
quick-release 12, 102–3
removal 102–3
rim straightening 106–7
safety checks 32–3
servicing 34–5
size 20
spoke, see spoke
troubleshooting 36–7
truing 106–7
wheel hub 12, 13, 128
Campagnolo 100
cartridge 98
freewheel, see freewheel
front 98, 99, 100
lubrication 101
maintenance 100–1
open-bearing 98–9, 100–1
rear 12, 98, 100
Shimano 100–1
working of 98–9, 100
workshop principles 26–7
workstand 25

159

160

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Acknowledgments
Author’s
acknowledgments

Publisher’s
acknowledgments

Pip Morgan and Richard Gilbert
for their patient and diplomatic
editorial work.

Original edition produced by:
Senior Art Editor Kevin Ryan,
Art Editor Michael Duffy,
Managing Editor Adèle Hayward,
Managing Art Editor Karen Self,
Category Publisher Stephanie
Jackson, Art Director Peter Luff,
DTP Designers Rajen Shah, Adam
Shepherd, Production Controller
Kevin Ward

Ted Kinsey for designing
everything so that the writing
makes sense.
Dave Marsh of the Universal
Cycle Centre for technical
advice regarding road bikes.
Wayne Bennett of Don’t Push It
Mountain Bikes for advice
regarding mountain bikes.
Tim Flooks of TF Tuned Shox for
advice regarding suspension.
Gerard Brown for his excellent
pictures and Guy Andrews for
getting together the equipment
we needed to show all the
aspects of bike maintenance.
Jo Jackson and Keith and
Barbara Oldfield for help when
the author’s computer broke
down, twice.
Finally, all the bike companies
who lent their equipment for
our photoshoots.

Design: Janice English, Simon
Murrell, Dawn Young
DTP Design: Gemma Casajuana
Photoshoot Art Director: Jo Grey
Picture Research: Carolyn Clerkin
Proofreading: Lynn Bresler
Illustrations: Kevin Jones and
Matthew White at Kevin Jones
Associates, Tim Loughead at
Precision Illustration Ltd.
Additional photography: Jill
and Steve Behr at Stockfile
Models: Jay Black, Chris Hopkins,
James Millard, Simon Oon, Helen
Rosser, Rochele Whyte
Cycling models: Hsu Minh
Chung, Jamie Newell, Claire
Paginton, Hannah Reynolds,
Simon Richardson, Kelli Salone,
Ross Tricker, Russell Williams

Accessory, component, and
bicycle suppliers:
Ian Young at Moore Large for
Schwinn BMX; Caroline Griffiths
at Madison for Profile, Shimano,
Finish Line, Park, Ridgeback,
Cervelo, and Commencal; Ross
Patterson and Jon Holdcroft at
ATB sales for Electra and Marin
bikes; Collette Clensy at Giant
Bikes; Adrian at Pashley
bicycles; Evans Cycles in
Wandsworth and Milton Keynes;
Cedric at Luciano Cycles,
Clapham; Sam at Bikepark,
Covent Garden; Richard at Apex
Cycles, Clapham; Graham at
SRAM; Shelley at Continental;
Trek UK; Mike Cotty at
Cannondale; Richard Pascoe of
Ricci—Bike Chain; RJ Chicken;
and Fisher Outdoor Leisure.

Picture credits
The publisher would like to
thank the following for their
kind permission to reproduce
their photographs:
56—7: Stockfile/Steve Behr;
150: Fox Racing Shox.
All other images © DK Images.
For further information see
www.dkimages.com

PLEASE NOTE
Bicycle maintenance is potentially hazardous. While the information in
this book has been prepared with the reader’s personal safety in mind, the reader may help to
reduce the inherent risks involved by following these instructions precisely. The scope of this
book allows for some, but not all, the potential hazards and risks to be explained to the reader.
Therefore, the reader is advised to adopt a careful and cautious approach when following the
instructions, and if in any doubt, to refer to a good bike shop or specialist.

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