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Heyyah guys im new to this forum and new to the whole maintenance of bikes. It's something i'd love to get into as i am a sport fanatic. I currently have a mountain bike, in poor condition, and shall be getting a hybrid bike soon as i am doing a cycle event from Holbeach to Sussex for MS along side my dad. I would love to know about all the different components of bikes (MTB, road and hybrid) and how to clean, fix, take off/replace them.
For example, i have a severely rusty chain (ridable) and would like to clean it, how? Do i leave it to soak in coca cola? Also, my fork is rather rusty...?? How to clean?

Please help? Are there any courses on how to maintain bikes in/around Lincolnshire - spalding, Bourne, Boston/Kings Lynn.

Thank you Dayna Kingshott
Hi and welcome. Nice that you are planning a bicycle trip with your father. Hope you get good weather, but do pack rain gear.

AS per chain cleaning, depends what you have around , there are citrus based non toxic cleaners, check at your hardware store or bicycle shop. Than there are various lubricants after you clean it.

For forks hard to tell how much rust but I'd consider again a hardware or auto store rust remover and some gentle elbow grease.

For maintenance tips perhaps there are local clubs or do it yourself shops. The maintenance tutorials offered on this site are very good......Make sure everything is serviced and libricated such as wheel bearings, crank bearings and shifter mechanisms.

As per hybrid are you getting it new?
Never Give Up!!!
You can sign up for the repair guide at the top of this page. There is a tutorial on rust removal from chrome.
You can look about on the Park Tool web site. You can see their chain tool models & see their instructions on how to tell when to replace them and service them.
You can also look at the Sheldon Brown web site.
For about a fiver (English) you could get a new chain.
Hi Dayna;

Rusty chain - replace. The way chains are made, it is impossible to properly replace the grease that is put inside them during the manufacturing process without specialized and expensive equipment. Definitely do NOT use Coca-Cola; it will eat away at the inside of the chain as fast as it eats away at the outside. This will result in chain failure at the most inopportune time.

Bicycle chains should be wiped down regularly (quarterly to daily depending on riding and environment) with a old rag, then lubricated with a light oil (I use TriFlow), then wiped down with another rag to remove any excess oil, and spread a thin oil film over all the outside surfaces of the chain.

One way to great reduce; almost eliminate corrosion is to electro-less nickel plate. There is a company in the UK that does this for bicycles: http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk/news/nickel-plating-road-and-mountain-bike-.php I am trying to find a company in the SF Bay Area that will do the same.
I agree with replacing the chain, with some amendments:

Chains and cogs wear together, more so if you ride the smaller cogs a lot or with a lot of pedal pressure, so it's likely the freewheel/cassette will need to be replaced as well.

Lubricating with something designed for bicycle chains/parts (Finish Line, Chain-L, many other options) is indeed a good idea, but frequency varies tremendously. I advocate lubing when the chain appears dry or becomes more noisy. Lubricate and then wipe with a rag. There is no need to lube again afterward - there will be more than enough left on the surface of the chain after wiping, let alone what tends to migrate from the inside. Unless the bike is ridden in winter/salt conditions fairly regular lubrication will prevent any significant rusting.
Since we are talking about chain lubrication etc. Here in USA our products may differ from what you have in Britain. I have a citrus based chain cleaner and a chain cleaning tool that bathes the chain as it cleans it. Since I ride on the beach bike path I stay away from oily lubricants or use them very sparingly as they attract sand and create a grinding compound. For my chain I use a Finish Line Ceramic lubricant sparingly, which is not oily, and wipe away excess.

For bearings I use Bel Rey waterproof grease , since I have it on hand for my motorcycle. I also use Tri Flow Teflon spray and sometimes Foaming Silicone spray which cleans and lubricates. Still have not decided which is better, although I lean towards Tri Flow.

That's the basic lubes I have.
Never Give Up!!!
Thank you all! I have another question Smile Today i am trying to clean my bike and take off the handlebars and fork but i am encountering a problem i cant.....my bike is a trax TFS.1 mountain bike...any help??
Removing handlebars is fairly simple, but one does not just "remove" the fork. It's called overhauling and, although it can be done with regular tools, the headset (fork) bearing needs to be properly greased, adjusted and secured when you reassemble.

Your bike appears to have what is called a quill stem and a threaded headset. For the procedures Google "remove quill stem" and "overhaul threaded headset" or look for those procedures in this site's tutorials. Check the sheldonbrown.com and parktool.com/blog results from the Google search or go to those sites - two of the best available. Read and understand the written tutorials first, then go to videos to see the process in action.

As far as repair classes you seem to be in a less populated area, so that might be a challenge. As this forum is worldwide you'd have to hope someone else from UK looks at your post here. Check with knowledgeable friends first, then possibly bicycle clubs. The nearest bicycle collective (co-op) seems to be in Leeds. http://www.bikecollectives.org/wiki/index.php?title=Community_Bicycle_Organizations#United_Kingdom.
Try going to the nearest craigslist.org location to you or local adverts and see if anyone advertises bike repair - see if they would help you out. http://london.craigslist.co.uk/ (I'm not familiar enough with UK to know which is in your area)
Hi Dayna;

Referring to the picture below:

The arrow is pointing to a bolt. Loosen it a little ways - 1 to 2mm, then tap it down as far as it will go with a hammer and block of wood to protect the bolt. Repeat until you can lift the handle bars off the bike, or the bolt comes out completely. (Hopefully the former).

Next there is a large hex nut, usually 30mm or so. Loosen and remove it. Next there is usually an anti rotation washer, this needs to be pulled straight up. Finally there is the top cone for the headset bearings. This should unscrew by hand. Now the fork will fall out. You will find (hopefully) very greasy balls top and bottom.

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