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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 12 Common Bike Maintenance Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

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- Whilst maintaining your mountain bike

is actually fairly straightforward,

it could be really easy to get a few things wrong.

Especially if you rush something,

if you don't quite know what you're doing,

or if you just take a chance on something

and don't do your research.

So here are some classic mountain bike workshop mistakes

and what you need to do to avoid them.

(metal crunching)

Working in inappropriate footwear.

OK, we've all done this and really,

it doesn't need spelling out to show you

just how bad this can be.

If you're in a workshop and you're in bare feet,

flip flops, even just in your socks,

you're asking for trouble really.

Bikes have heavy components on them,

they've got heavy tools that you start using,

things like hammers.

All it's gonna take is to accidentally slip

and you're gonna be in a realm of pain.

(intense music)

(painful howl)

Fiddling with your bike naturally means that

from time to time, you're gonna drop a few things.

That could be the Allen key set you're working with,

it could be a few annoying washers,

or it could be something heavy like a hammer.

And I can tell you firsthand,

dropping a hammer on the top of your foot

is one of the most painful things you'll ever do.

It's right up there with treading barefooted on Lego

or even worse, on a plug, in the middle of the night

when you're on your way to the loo.

And I can tell you, it is exactly 13 times

more painful than falling off your bike.

But on a more serious note, you are working with bikes,

you're working with tools, there are sharp things

floating around in the workshop so do take care.

White t-shirts and light clothing.

Bikes are dirty.

Drive trains, they're even more dirty.

Now despite what those 52 home boys are doing,

and what all the cool kids are doing,

white t-shirts are a terrible idea for mountain bikers,

especially in the workshop.


- [Man] You're so dirty, look at you.

- What? What are you talking about?

(angry growl)

- [Man] You state.

Now wearing dark clothes obviously is a much better idea.

When you do get dirty at least you can't see it

and it means it's easier to wash out,

but a better idea is actually

just to get yourself a workshop apron.

Make a lot of sense, you can stick

your tools in 'em, you're done.

Gimme that.


Blunt cable cutters.

Now this is a classic workshop error.

I see this a lot with people that skimp on cable cutters

and get themselves a nice value set

that never really cut through the cable,

and I see these people hacking at cables

trying to get through.

But, what you need is a quality set of cable cutters.

These will cut through your cable

precisely every single time.

You won't get any of those frayed cables

which cut the ends of your fingers,

which is excruciatingly painful.

One note though; get yourself a pair of cable cutters,

buy once, do it right, and they will last you.

But make sure you do not use them

for anything except cutting through cables.

Now I've got a really, really old set,

you can see how old and faded they are by comparison

to these brand new workshop spare ones.

These ones are now retired from use as cable cutters

and I use these as generic cutters for cutting cable ties,

cutting through spokes, anything like that.

And I've marked them up with some silver tape so I know

that these are no good for using on the bike.

I'd definitely recommend doing the same

if you've got a knackered pair,

cause you can still get use out of them,

just don't go hacking at your cables.

Get yourself a nice fresh, sharp pair,

and only use them for that.

Rounding off bolt heads.

Now possibly one of the quickest ways

to round off a bolt head is getting

imperial and metric Allen keys confused.

Now thankfully, in a mountain bike world

and the same in a road world you don't really see

a mix of imperial and metric these days,

really you do see some of that in the bmx world

and of course you'll see it from other sports,

so if you've got a tool kit that has varying

Allen keys in it make sure you keep them separate

because it can be really easy to find one that

looks like a five, or looks like a four,

jam it in the bolt and round the head off.

That is not good.

Just need to sort this jockey wheel bolt,

ah, three mil. (snaps)

Thank you.

Here we go.

(gasps) Oh, shiiiii--

Mono and shroud rear derailleurs both have tiny little

counter-sunk bolts that hold the jockey wheels in place.

Now, these are super easy to round off,

so make sure that A, the bolt is in vaguely

good condition before you even start using it,

B, make sure that your Allen key is in fine condition,

it's got a nice sharp chiseled edges on it.

Don't go using an old one that's slightly rounded,

your asking for trouble,

and it's gonna be a big pain in the ass.

And ultimately this is why we tell people to buy

quality tools, because they last a lot longer.

Remember the motto, only a rich man buys cheap tools.

Slipping sockets.

Now, the top cap on most suspension forks,

you will need to access this in order to put

air-volume spaces in.

Now, you'd think a normal socket is the ideal

thing for this, but most typical sockets you'll

get in tool kits will have slightly shaved

edges like this one here, that's to aid them

to get them to slide onto a bolthead nicely,

but in the case of a real shallow-headed bolthead

like you see on atop of suspension-fork,

this is a really, really bad idea.

They're made of soft aluminum and it does mean

that you'd actually round those edges off really fast,

so don't use one that's got edges like this.

What you really wanna be doing is either get yourself

one that's already got a flat surface to it,

get an old socket and grind it down,

or get yourself a purpose built one like this one,

for example from Fox, designed for the fork

and you can get purpose made spanners exactly for the job.

And if something like this is the sort of tool

that you're not gonna use that often,

chip in with your mates and get a set between you

of those less commonly used tools.

Well worth it.

Using the wrong tool for the job.

Now, I think we all know where I stand on this,

I think that you should have the correct tools for any job,

it doesn't always happen like that and it does mean

that a lot of the time you see people budging.

Yeah, you, I've seen you doin it.

I've done it from time to time, I've got to say,

it is quite useful to be able to budge here and there.

What I'm talking about is if you do find yourself

in a situation where you round off the head of a bolt.

Say it's a four millimeter one on the front of a stem,

you can actually sometimes get a T25 Torx Key

into that it will find some traction.

So, sometimes it can be useful to get you out of danger.

And likewise, if your at the side of the trail

and say the eight mil bolt on your crank has come loose,

you can wedge a six and a two in there

and it will just about nip it up tight enough,

certainly, to hopefully get you to the next spot

or until you find another rider that will have an

eight millimeter and we'll we've all done it,

we've all hit a headset with a block of wood and a mallet,

but that's for another video on GMBN Tech soon.

Keep an eye out for that one.

Being Hamfisted.

We've all seen this one, there is no excuse for it.

Being hamfisted around a bike isn't gonna get you anywhere.

If anything, it's just gonna cost you money.

Working on bikes isn't hard as long as you follow procedure,

it's pretty logical to be honest so just take your time.

If there's a job that frustrating you, walk away from it.

Get a bit of fresh air.

Never work on a bike when your in a bit of a mood,

your stress level's pretty high,

it's never gonna work out that well.

All you're gonna end up doin is snapping a bolt,

rounding a bolt off or doing something you're

really gonna regret, especially in the wallet department.



Misplacing Tools.

The main answer to misplaced tools are lending them out.

Do not ever lend your tools to anyone,

cause you won't see them again.

Every tool needs to have a home.

You don't have to have a workshop

quite as well organized as this place,

or even as retentative as my own workshop

which is pretty retentative to be fair,

but it is important that you do have

somewhere to store your tools.

You do that and your gonna be able to avoid

the rare phenomenon known as workshop rage.

This happens when your working on your bike,

your just about to go out riding

and there's one crucial tool missing that you need.

It's always something like a five millimeter Allen key,

the most common thing there is, where is it?

Oh, yeah, you lent it to a mate, didn't you?

Cool and the last thing I need is just a mallet.


It's got one place.

I bet those guys next door at GCN, I bet they've got it.

Ugh, there it is.

What do these flippin roadies need it for anyways?

Probably can't even pick the thing up.

Misplacing Small Parts.

We've all done this before when we've been working on bikes.

We've dropped stuff and it's flown under the fridge

or wherever it's gone, it can be so annoying

and it can be right in front of your eyes half the time.

You waste time trying to find this stuff.

It will always happen either the night before,

when you're preparing to go for a ride,

you need to get a early night's sleep in order

to get up and ride all day or just before you go riding.

In which case, you're wasting valuable riding time.

Having some sort of magnetic parts tray,

that's a great idea cause you can, just for example,

lock on grip, bolts, stuff like that,

you can pop them straight in there,

they're gonna stick in there, they're not gonna go anywhere,

you're not gonna lose them.

You can even drop these things,

and they're so magnetic the stuff doesn't really fall out.

If you work with a few more parts,

it's worth having a rubber mat on top of your workbench.

They have little compartments on the top of them

and they're really, really good for just making sure

your parts don't go missing.

Forgetting the order in which you need

to reassemble parts of your bike.

Now this is an absolute classic

and it does directly go on from losing parts

or misplacing parts.

Whenever you're working on parts of your bike

that have multiple components and parts to them,

always lay them out on your workbench.

It's a good idea to put them on a rubber mat

or some shop towels so they can't roll off and go anywhere

and put them in the reverse order so you know

when you have to put it back together again,

the order in which they go back on the bike

and also you can't have any parts left over afterwards.

I've seen some people trying to reassemble headsets

and forks and all sorts of stuff in the past

where they have just chucked the stuff down

on their work surface,

they're always left with something afterwords.

You never want to be in that position

because you might get it together okay,

but you'll be left with something that's actually

quite crucial to the way your bike works.

Overtightening Spokes.

Now, this is another classic so you've got the

loose spokes or your back wheel is a little bit buckled

from that downhill run you've just done,

so you start attacking it with the spoke key.

The idea is if you do have a loose spoke,

you just want to nip it up tight

and then start working on it quarter turns,

maximum half turns at a time.

If you just start cranking away on it until it gets tight,

A, you're gonna ruin your wheel.

That's a good way to make your wheel egg shaped

instead of round.

And of course, if they're that tight

and you're struggling to tighten them, stop.

You need to relieve some of that pressure

elsewhere on the wheel, if you just keep tightening them

you're gonna round off that nipple and then the only

way to get it out is by cutting spokes out.

And of course if you're not thinking straight you're

gonna use your nice cable cutters to do that.

Which is why I always tell you to never overtighten spokes

and always keep a set of old cable cutters handy

in case you do overtighten your spokes

and you need to cut one.

Overspraying Lubricant.

This is something a lot of people are guilty of.

When your lubing your chain you need to be really careful

not to get any lubricant near your braking surfaces.

If you do, you're almost certainly gonna need to replace

the brake pads and more than likely the disk rotors

as well, which can obviously work out to be

quite pricey and a massive pain.

Now, spray lube is really quite cost effective

and it's good for using on multiple areas of the bike,

but we try to recommend people to avoid using it around

the chain because of the fact the mist can go all over

your disk rotors, so really try and avoid that if you can.

The best solution for just using on your chain

is a dedicated chain oil droppers.

You can literally drop it drop by drop onto each link.

It's much more cost effective

cause you're not wasting any by spraying it

and of course it's not gonna go near your braking surfaces.

So we got us some classic workshop mistakes for

everyone to avoid including myself,

I'm guilty of these from time to time.

For some more mistakes that you do

when you're traveling on your bike, click down there.

And for something a bit more useful,

check out the brand new Canyon Strive, up here.

As always, if you love what we do here at GMBN Tech

give us a huge thumbs up and don't forget to share

and subscribe.

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