• jules

    great tips. for the lock-ring, you’ll need a spanner too – a large-ish shifter is your best option. if you are removing cassettes, you’re probably changing chains so a chain breaker is a good idea too. they’re easy to use, just make sure you cut the chain at the correct length!

    • Hamish Moffatt

      Quick links + master link pliers! But yeah you’ll need the chain breaker to get a new chain to the right length.

  • Anon N + 1

    I found white fingernail polish useful for marking the seat post and the bar position. Also, when re-installing pedals and other threaded parts, put a light coat of grease on the threads BEFORE inserting the male part into the female part. (Not “before tightening them all the way” but before inserting and starting to tighten the threaded part PERIOD.)

    • jules

      you don’t need to grease all threads. pedal threads are designed so that the pedaling action continually tightens the axle into the crank thread – greasing them facilitates that. greasing threads isn’t standard practice.

      • Anon N + 1

        Actually, greasing the pedal threads is to make it easier to loosen the pedals next time it is necessary to remove them (such as when packing the bike for an overseas trip). But don’t forget that the left pedal has a left-hand thread! Torquing on it the wrong way won’t work.

        • jules

          fair enough – you may be right! but the point remains that the pedaling action is exploited to constantly apply tightening pressure on the threads – this is why the LH pedal thread is reversed, as the pedaling action is effectively reversed on that side. I may have been wrong about the grease being needed to support that tightening – it may be to facilitate loosening, as you said.

          • hornk

            It’s primarily to prevent corrosion. Particularly steel/stainless steel pedal & aluminum crankarm can gall while tightening, and corrosion can make it quite difficult to loosen again. A nice layer of grease slows both those things down, making it much easier to remove the pedal.

            • Barry

              Would agree with this , never had a pedal loosen but sure have had plenty corrode and seize in place. I think they are also susceptible to sweat getting in as well.

          • Chris

            They can creak if you don’t, too. At least, mine have after putting them back on out of a bike box. Quick dab of grease on both threads – noise gone.

          • Douglas

            This is the reason why the grease matters. The pedals can over tighten themselves.

        • Douglas

          I agree. I often fly with my bike, and removing the pedals at the end of an all-weather tour with a multi tool (which is all I can carry) can be fraught. I use copper anti-seize grease, which solves the problem.

  • Hamish Moffatt

    For the advanced list (or beyond), add a torque wrench.

    • some1s_lucky

      Now days if you are adjusting the height of your saddle or tilt of your bars it is imperative you have a torque wrench. Many of these parts (Seat post, stem and handlebars) are now made of carbon fiber and gorilla grip over tightening may cause severe unseen damage!

      • Hamish Moffatt

        Most things are marked as 5-7Nm which is actually quite a bit, if you don’t use the gorilla grip you will be under that.

        • Mad Marsupial

          It really isn’t much – I’ve seen plenty of blokes easily go over 5Nm with an allen key without much thought.

          • Tim Ashton

            I can attest to going too tight on the ISP of my Fuji. Cracked carbon. Repaired for $300 or $400. Costly lesson. I now have a torque wrench!

      • jules

        this may be stating the obvious – but the strength of your grip is not a reliable measure of torque, which = force (loosely the strength of your grip) x distance (from the pivot point to where you’re applying your grip).

        you can overtighten the hell out of a bolt with a light grip, if applying it to the end of a long wrench. and vice versa – not achieve much with a lot of force on a small (allen) wrench.

  • Tim

    I’d also chuck in a pair of pliers (for holding cables when adjusting gears/brakes) and an adjustable spanner (especially if you’ve got a track bike or fixie).


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