Member Question: High Mileage Bike Maintenance

author : FitWerx
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I have about 9k miles on my bike, what needs to be done, checked or replaced to be sure it is in tip-top shape? I'm racing IM Canada this summer.

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Member Questions from KathyG
"I bought a my tri bike (Kuota K Factor) in June 2006 and it has about 9K miles on it. I normally have two tune ups a year, replace my chain every 2K miles, have my cables replaced annually, watch my cassettes (I have multiple cassettes that I change depending where I'm riding) to see if they are worn and need replacing as I have multiple bikes and swap wheels between bikes with race wheels Zipp 404s with a power tap or power tap training wheel. I wash my bike weekly and keep the chain clean and lubed.


Two issues recently came up that made me wonder if my bike needs more complete inspection and work. I recently realized that my aerobar pads are no longer comfortable and need replacing and this got me thinking are there other parts that need replacing or checking with the kind of mileage I have on my bike?


The other thing I recently found is that my power tap training wheel hub was very dirty, the cone cracked and I needed a new free hub. I was a bit disappointed that in bringing in my bike 2-3 times a year no one mentioned that this should be checked or that there was an issue with it.


My question is now that my bike has significant miles on it what else should/needs to be done, checked or replaced to be sure it is in tip-top shape? I'm racing IM Canada this summer."


From Geoff Hull and Mark Wysocki

Three years of competitive racing puts a lot of stress into a bike. It sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job of paying attention to cleanliness which prolongs the drivetrain. Sometimes it takes a service more detailed than an average “tune up” to check other areas on the bike.

 

You are due for a good overhaul which would strip the bike and thoroughly inspect all the components. Things break and may not show any signs of it until they actually stop working. An overhaul or advanced servicing of the bike should identify any of these potential issues ahead of time and have the necessary parts replaced that would otherwise lead to other issues or actually stop working altogether.

Having the cone crack is rare. It takes a number of things to make that happen. Like any manufactured product sometimes the parts come through less than perfect. Unless a customer specifically mentions that area of the bike or a question regarding the hub comes up it most likely won’t be checked in a standard tune up. We always recommend going over any suspicious noises or feelings from the bike with the mechanics doing the work when possible.

All parts have a life expectancy, so I recommend sharing your concerns with your local shop about parts wearing out and they should be able to inspect particular parts for abnormal, excessive, or unusual signs of wear. If you are at all suspect about your bike you will not trust it as much. Going into a key event with this mindset is never good. I recommend bringing your bike into your shop and ask for a thorough frame and parts inspection including clamping areas on the handlebars and steer tube, and also the drivetrain and all bearings.

 

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date: June 17, 2009

FitWerx

Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

avatarFitWerx

Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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