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Maintenance on a found bike!
#1
I found a Giant manufactured (I assume based on what I have read and that it says Taiwan on the handle bar post) Schwinn Woodlands abandoned outside that I would like to fix up and use. This is some good timing as I love taking my kids for bike/walk adventures, and I am very tired of the terrible bicycle I am using now. I am fairly mechanically inclined, with replacing a turbo charger on my old TDI Golf being my greatest achievement, but I am not very familiar with bicycle maintenance.

Where should I start? I can tell right away that it needs tires and tubes as well as lubrication of the cables, but what else should I look out for/replace/fix/lubricate/whatever?

Thanks!
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#2
Get some cone wrenches.

You typically need a 13mm for the front hubs and a 15mm for the rear. Overhauling wheels is fairly simple. You just undo the bolts from the non-drive side, slide out the axle, clean them off; repack the races with grease, put the bearings back in after cleaning, and put it back together. Make sure there's no play in the axle when you tighten everything down.

When you do this, you'll have to remove the cassette. A threaded freewheel uses a special socket-like driver. A cassette will require a chain whip and one of those tools.

To overhaul bottom brackets, you'll need different tools based on different bottom brackets. There are a few specialty wrenches for things like cup n' cone and one-piece bottom brackets. If you remove or install any external cup based bottom brackets, make sure you get the socket-style tool and not the wrench style tool. You risk stripping it out otherwise. Sealed bottom brackets will require a special socket-style tool to install and remove, and for best results, I'd suggest using an impact wrench to remove them. They can be seized on bad and strip very easily. Consider nothing less than a 1/2" or 1/2" torque wrench to install them, as well as to remove crank bolts (for the same reason).

Threads are the same as the side for the pedals and then reversed for the bottom bracket.

Left Pedal has Left-Hand Thread. Right Pedal has Right-Hand Thread.

Drive Side BB has a Left-Hand Thread. Non-drive Side has a Right-Hand Thread.

Same is true when removing a one-piece bottom bracket. You will want to turn the wrench and nut clock-wise.

When you put any threaded bottom brackets in, I strongly recommend wrapping the threads in teflon tape. This helps to secure the bottom bracket and prevent it from creaking—which is incredibly annoying.

A set of crescent wrenches (small, medium, large) will carry you from there. As well as a metric hex key set.

The grease I use for hubs and general purpose is Lucas Xtra Heavy Duty. It is my go-to and I love the smooth, new bike feeling it provides. I have recently began to use Lucas Red N Tacky grease for anything threaded, so long as those two greases will not be in contact, because they are not compatible with one another and will cause the other to wash out. Best lubricators I've found are Tri-Flo (a cult favorite); and 3-in-1 Oil (which I have been enjoying for pulleys and the chain).
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#3
Abandoned bikes might be stolen bikes. So you might get in trouble for having stolen property.
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#4
(07-12-2022, 12:05 AM)ichitan Wrote:  Abandoned bikes might be stolen bikes. So you might get in trouble for having stolen property.

Good point! Always contact local law enforcement if it seems odd (not found with a pile of other junk), or at anytime; especially a newer bike. I am seeing a lot of the "rental" bikes and scooters being left all over the place; one I found completely stripped of parts in the woods.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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