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30 Days to a beautiful bike (Days 21-30)

Here is the last part of the article :

Day 21

Remove the pedals ( Remember to turn the wrench clockwise on the left pedal _-the opposite of usual)) . Clean them – and if your pedal has a visible spring, lube it. Apply a coat of grease to the pedal threas before resinstalling so they’ll budge the next time you remove them.


Day 22

Tune up your bike computer; remove it from the mount and clean the contacts on the mount and computer heand with a pencil eraser. Cut the zip-ties hodling the sensor on the fork, strip off the electrical tape or pad, the clean off the gritt lines. Replace the batteries to avoid a blackout halfway through next season; Use fingernail clippers to trim the zip-ties for a smooth edge.


Day 23

Measure the distance from the nose of your saddle to the center of your stem. Then loosen the seat clamp, pull the saddle off the post ans clean the rails with degreaser. Add a light layer of lube to the rails, then wipe them dry. Clean the clamp parts as well, then apply a dry lube to the grip surfaces and wipe clean. Reassemble everything, matching the saddle-to-stern dimension. You’ve just ensured yourself a season free of saddle squeaks.


Day 24


Your new cables should have streched by now. To fix clattering shifting : if the chain is having trouble jumping from big cots to small, turn the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur half a turn clockwise. If the chain hesitates from smal to big; go half a turn counterclockwise. Shift again and repeat. For the front derailleur : with the derailleur in its lowest position over the small ring, loosen the pinch bolt and pull the cable to remove slack, then retighten the bolt – don’t make the cable so taut it twangs. For mushy brakes: Pinch the arms in with your fingers until the pads just contact the rims, loosen the pinch bolt and pull through the slack. Or you can dial out the cable adjuster; which is easier now but limits the amount of adjustment you’ll have later


Day 25


Flip open your quick-release levers, unscrew them and pull them out of the axle (yes, you can do this with the wheel still in the frame, if you’re careful). Screw the cap all the way off, remove the two springs, then clean the rod with degreaser, wipe it dry with a rag, apply a light layer of grease, then rebuild and reinstall the whole thing. (Remember to orient the springs with the tiny side facing inward.) When was the last time you took care of your bike down to that level of detail?


Day 26

26. Today you will get cranky: Slip the chain off the little ring and loop it over the bottom bracket. Spray degreaser on the rings. Then prepare to drive yourself mental. With a rag, clean the space between each tooth on the big and little rings. Spray on more degreaser. Then, using a fresh rag, floss all those hard-to-reach spots between the rings (like where they meet at the arms of the crank). Spray on more degreaser, then clean the faces, and the inside, of both rings. Painstaking–and satisfying, because you have just completed a task only about 2 percent of all cyclists ever do.


Day 27

If you don’t own a torque wrench, borrow or buy one and check crank bolts, chainring bolts, stem clamp bolts, stem faceplate bolts and the seatpost binder bolt for proper tightness. You can find torque recommendations for every component on the manufacturers’ websites.


 Day 28

Washing Day: Fill one bucket with clean water, and one bucket with water plus dish soap or degreaser. With one of your new sponges, soak your bike with plain water. Then soap up the second sponge and scrub the frame first, then wheels (don’t forget the spokes), then drivetrain. Soap the brush, then scrub the cassette, chainrings and rims. Soak the clean sponge and use it to sluice the soap off the bike. Soak it again, wring it dry, and go over the whole bike again, drying it. Finish drying with clean rags, using the last two or three to swipe the nooks and crannies dry. The entire wash takes 15 to 20 minutes.

 Day 29

Break out the bar tape. Methods for taping are numerous and sometimes ridiculously complex, but don’t be intimidated. All you need to know are the basics: Roll back the brake/shift hoods and stick the two tiny pieces of tape across the shifter clamp. Now take one of the big rolls and start at the bar end. Wrap toward the frame (counterclockwise for the right half; clockwise for left). On the first wrap, let half the width of the tape hang over the end of the bar, so you can stuff it in at the end to hold the plug tight. Wrap in spirals, overlapping half the width or less, and slightly stretch the tape as you pull it around. Make a figure eight around the lever–it’s more intuitive than it sounds, but you’ll probably have to make two or three passes to get the tape right. Stop wrapping a little less than a hand’s width from the stem. Cut off excess tape. Then cut a lengthwise slant in the tape so that the final wrap aligns directly against the edge of the previous wrap–don’t worry, that’ll make sense when you see it. Secure the last wrap with one or two layers of black electrical tape, half on the tape and half on the bar. Shove in the plug; you’re done. For a visual, go to


 Day 30

Top off the month by polishing your gem to a sheen with the frame wax. Pretty, isn’t it?

Days 21 > 30

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