Bike Tune-up

Old 04-12-00, 10:53 AM
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Hi, my daughter is 8yrs with a recently purchased Mountain Bike. My question is what are the fundamentals of tuning it up for summer,also her hand brakes seem extra hard to pull in how would I make them easier and still safe? Any assistance appreciated!
Old 04-13-00, 08:16 AM
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A basic tune-up consists of airing up tires to the proper presuure, truing the wheels, and adjusting the four cables - 2 brakes & 2 derailleurs.

The brake pads should be about a 1/16" from the rim when trued. The shoe might have about 1/8" toe on the back side. Almost all cable operated brakes have a barrel adjuster on them. If the locking nut has any threads showing between it and the top of the barrel then you can back it off a little and gain a little hand brake. This is usually enough.

Believe it or not - the front brake needs to be better adjusted than the rear. There is over 60% of the braking power up front when used correctly.

Cables should not have any slack when properly adjusted. Both derailleurs have in and out limit screws. They keep the derailleur from over shifting of either the chainrings or freewheel cogs. The slack in the cable comes when the derailleur is in the full forward position (usually the little chainring and smallest cog).

You will need metric wrenches to adjust the cables clamps, and a 6" or 8" adjustable wrench to toe the shoes. I can't recommend the proper size spoke wrench, because I do not know what gauge the spokes are.

Truing the wheel is by far the most difficult part. A true wheel is round and does not wobble side to side.

This entire procedure only takes about 15 or 20 minutes at a bicycle shop. We used to get $15.95 for a basic tune-up. They were free during the first year of purchase.

MTAC - Van Buren,MO
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