Principal Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair

Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair

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Updated with new information, techniques, photos, procedures, and components, the BBB-3 3rd Edition is a complete repair manual created to provide both the novice and veteran mechanic the information needed to perform nearly any repair from trailside repairs to complete overhauls. Written by Park Tool Director of Education, Calvin Jones, the Big Blue Book is the perfect reference guide and step-by-step repair manual for nearly any bike, including road, mountain, bmx, and single-speed. We wrote the book on bicycle repair.

New information and topics included in the BBB 3rd Edition:

Thru-axle systems
Tubeless tire conversion systems
11-speed SRAM® XX1® freehub removal/installation
BB30 crankset system
PF30 bottom bracket system
Specialized® S-Works® cranks
Campagnolo® Power Torque™ systems
BB86 and BB92 bottom brackets
11-speed chains
11-speed Campagnolo® chain installation
11-speed derailleurs
Shimano® Di2® electronic shifting
Campagnolo® EPS® electronic shifting
SRAM® Red® derailleur adjustments
Shimano® 9000 derailleur adjustments
SRAM® and Shimano® clutch type rear derailleurs
Tektro® hydraulic brakes
Headset standards and SHIS standards
Updated torque tables
Updated tool tables
Ano:
2013
Edição:
3rd Edition
Editora:
Park Tool Company
Idioma:
english
Páginas:
241 / 228
ISBN 13:
9780976553045
Arquivo:
PDF, 112,20 MB
Descargar (pdf, 112,20 MB)

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BIG BLUE BOOK
OF BICYCLE REPAIR
A Do-It Yourself Bicycle Repair Guide from Park Tool
By C. Calvin Jones

3RD EDITION

BIG BLUE BOOK OF BICYCLE REPAIR — 3RD EDITION
A Do-it-Yourself Bicycle Repair Guide From Park Tool
Park Tool Company
Copyright © 2013 Park Tool Company
® PARK TOOL and the color BLUE are registered trademarks of Park Tool Co. All other referenced trademarks and trademark
registrations are the property of their respective owners.
The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair is published by Park Tool Company. For more information or to contact us:
Park Tool Company
5115 Hadley Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55128
T: (651) 777-6868
F: (651) 777-5559
http://www.parktool.com
To report errors, please send a note to info@partktool.com
For the latest an all our products and services, please go to http://www.parktool.com
Written by: C. Calvin Jones
Editor: Bill Gibson
Graphic Designer: Joel King
Special thanks to the manufacturers of components and bicycles featured within this publication.

NOTICE OF RIGHTS
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information on getting permissions for reprints
and excerpts, contact info@parktool.com.

NOTICE OF LIABILITY
The information in this book is distributed on an “As Is” basis, without warranty. While every precautions has been taken in
the preparation of the book, neither the author nor Park Tool shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to
any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instruction contained in this book and products
described in it.

ISBN 978-0-9765530-4-5
Printed and bound in the United States of America

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OPENING

Table of contents

Foreword.....................................................................................................................................................................xi
Introduction........; .......................................................................................................................................................xii

CHAPTER 1 — BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS
Threaded Fastener Tension & Torque................................................................................................................2
Lubrication, ThreadLockers, & Cleaners............................................................................................................4
Bearing Systems....................................................................................................................................................5
Diagnosing & Solving Mechanical Problems.....................................................................................................6
Tools & Tool Selection..........................................................................................................................................6
Repair Stands........................................................................................................................................................6
Home Shop Setup..................................................................................................................................................7
Maintenance Schedule....................................................................................................................................8

CHAPTER 2 — TIRES & TUBES
Wheel Removal....................................................................................................................................................12
Removal of Tire & Tube from Rim.....................................................................................................................14
Inner Tube Inspection.........................................................................................................................................15
Cut at Valve Base...........................................................................................................................................15
Leaky Valve Core...........................................................................................................................................15
Large Shredded Hole.....................................................................................................................................15
Hole on the Rim Strip Side of Tube.............................................................................................................15
Long Cut or Rip..............................................................................................................................................16
Single Puncture or Small Hole......................................................................................................................16
Double Slits.....................................................................................................................................................16
Tire Inspection.....................................................................................................................................................16
Rim Strip...............................................................................................................................................................17
Inner Tube Repair................................................................................................................................................17
Pre-Glued Patch Repair.................................................................................................................................17
Inner Tube Repair with Self-Vulcanizing Patches.....................................................................................17
Inner Tube Sealants.............................................................................................................................................18
Tire Liners.............................................................................................................................................................18
Temporary Tire Repair with Tire Boot..............................................................................................................19
Inner Tube Valves................................................................................................................................................19
Tire & Tube Sizing...............................................................................................................................................20
Installation of Tire & Tube on Wheel.................................................................................................................21
Wheel Installation...............................................................................................................................................22
Front Wheels with Disc Brakes....................................................................................................................25
Solid Axle Types............................................................................................................................................25
Thru-Axle Systems........................................................................................................................................25
Tubeless Systems...............................................................................................................................................26
Tubeless Conversion Systems.....................................................................................................................27
Tubular Tires........................................................................................................................................................28

CHAPTER 3 — REAR SPROCKETS
Cassette Sprocket Removal & Installation......................................................................................................34
Freewheel Sprocket Removal & Installation...................................................................................................36
Single-Speed Removal.......................................................................................................................................38
Sprocket Inspection & Cleaning........................................................................................................................38
Fixed Gear Sprockets.........................................................................................................................................39

CHAPTER 4 — HUBS
Hub Bearing Service: Adjustable Cup-and-Cone Type..................................................................................42
Disassembly...................................................................................................................................................43
Parts Inspection............................................................................................................................................44
Assembly.......................................................................................................................................................44
Hub Adjustment............................................................................................................................................45
Oversized Axle Service: Campagnolo® and Shimano®.............................................................................46
Hub Adjustment: Solid Axle Cup-and-cone..............................................................................................46

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OPENING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Freehub Removal & Installation........................................................................................................................47
Cartridge Bearing Hubs.....................................................................................................................................47
Mavic® Hub (Level 1 Type)...........................................................................................................................48

CHAPTER 5 — WHEEL TRUING
Wheel Truing Overview.....................................................................................................................................54
Lateral True....................................................................................................................................................55
Radial True.....................................................................................................................................................55
Rim Centering (Dish)....................................................................................................................................55
Tension...........................................................................................................................................................56
Truing Procedures..............................................................................................................................................56
Lateral Truing..........................................................................................................................................57
Radial Truing............................................................................................................................................58
Wheel Centering (Dishing)....................................................................................................................58
Spoke Tension.........................................................................................................................................60
Broken & Damaged Spoke Replacement..........................................................................................................61
Wheel Wear, Damage, & Repair........................................................................................................................62

CHAPTER 6 — PEDALS
Pedal Removal....................................................................................................................................................66
Pedal Installation................................................................................................................................................66
Damage to Crank Pedal Threads......................................................................................................................67
Pedal Bearing Service........................................................................................................................................67

CHAPTER 7 — CRANKSETS
Crank Types.........................................................................................................................................................70
Crank Removal & Installation.............................................................................................................................71
Self-Extracting Crank Systems....................................................................................................................71
Three-Piece Cranks: Octalink®, ISIS Drive, Square Spindle, Power Spline™, and Power Drive™.........72
Two-Piece Compression Slotted Cranks: Shimano® and FSA®...............................................................73
Two-Piece Cranks Using Wave Washer: FSA® MegaExo® and SRAM® GXP® PF...................................74
Two-Piece Self-Extracting Cranks: Truvativ®, SRAM® GXP®...................................................................74
Two-Piece Pre-Load Adjuster Nut Cranks: Truvativ®, SRAM® BB30 I-A, and FSA® Afterburner™.....75
Campagnolo® and Fulcrum® Ultra-Torque® Cranks..................................................................................75
Campagnolo® Power Torque™ Cranks........................................................................................................76
Specialized® S-Works® Cranks.....................................................................................................................77
Bottom Bracket System Types.........................................................................................................................78
Threaded Standards.....................................................................................................................................78
Non-Threaded Standards.............................................................................................................................78
BB86 and BB92........................................................................................................................................78
BB90 and BB95........................................................................................................................................78
BB30..........................................................................................................................................................79
PF30..........................................................................................................................................................79
386EVO.....................................................................................................................................................79
BBright®....................................................................................................................................................79
Bottom Bracket Bearing Service for Non-Threaded Shells...........................................................................79
BB30 Bearings...............................................................................................................................................80
PF30 and BBright® Bearings.........................................................................................................................81
BB30 and PF30 Adaptors for non-BB30 Cranks.......................................................................................81
BB86, BB90, BB92, BB95 Bearings (Shimano® PF and GXP® PF)...........................................................82
Campagnolo® Ultra-Torque® and Fulcrum® Bearings...............................................................................83
Campagnolo® Power Torque™ Bearings....................................................................................................84
Campagnolo® BB30 Bearing Adaptors......................................................................................................84
Bottom Bracket Bearing Service for Threaded Shells...................................................................................85
Threaded Bottom Bracket with Two-Piece Cranks..................................................................................87
Threaded Cartridge Bottom Brackets: ISIS Drive, Octalink®, and Square Spindle..............................87

vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OPENING

Threaded Adjustable Bottom Bracket Bearings.......................................................................................89
Bottom Bracket Removal.......................................................................................................................89
Bottom Bracket Installation..................................................................................................................90
Bottom Bracket Adjustment.................................................................................................................90
Chainrings.............................................................................................................................................................91
Chainring Replacement................................................................................................................................92
Chainring Wear and Damage......................................................................................................................92

CHAPTER 8 — CHAINS
Chain Sizing for Derailleur Bikes......................................................................................................................96
Chain Sizing with Chain Retention System...............................................................................................98
Chain Removal...............................................................................................................................................98
New Chain Installation on Derailleur Bikes.....................................................................................................99
Shimano® and FSA® Chains with Connecting Rivet..................................................................................99
Campagnolo® 10-Speed Chain...................................................................................................................100
Campagnolo® 11-Speed Chain.....................................................................................................................101
Setting or Peening of 11-Speed Coupling Rivet.................................................................................101
Chains with Master Link..............................................................................................................................102
Chain with Reusable Rivets........................................................................................................................102
Tight Link Repair.........................................................................................................................................103
Chain Sizing and Tension Adjustment: Two-Sprocket Bicycles.................................................................104
Chain Tension: Two-Sprocket Bikes.........................................................................................................104
Chain Tension: Two-Sprocket Bikes with Chain Tension Idler Device.................................................105
Chain Tension: Eccentric Bottom Brackets on Tandem and Single-Speeds.......................................105
Tandem Crank Synchronizing..............................................................................................................105
Chain Wear and Damage..................................................................................................................................106
Chain Cleaning...................................................................................................................................................107
Chain Lubrication..............................................................................................................................................107

CHAPTER 9 — DERAILLEUR SYSTEMS
Cable System......................................................................................................................................................110
Cable Housing Length and Routing............................................................................................................111
Cable Lubrication.........................................................................................................................................112
Shift Levers.........................................................................................................................................................112
Flat Bar Trigger Shifters..............................................................................................................................113
Twist Grip Shifters.......................................................................................................................................114
Above-the-Bar Shifters...............................................................................................................................114
Drop Bar Integral Brake/Shift Levers........................................................................................................115
Campagnolo®..........................................................................................................................................116
Down Tube Shifters......................................................................................................................................116
Bar End Shifters............................................................................................................................................116
Front Derailleur..................................................................................................................................................116
Derailleur Cable Attachment......................................................................................................................118
Height Adjustment.......................................................................................................................................118
Rotational Adjustment................................................................................................................................119
Limit Screw Adjustment.............................................................................................................................120
L-Limit Screw.........................................................................................................................................120
H-Limit screw..........................................................................................................................................121
Front Index Adjustment: Three-Chainring Bikes.....................................................................................122
Front Index Adjustment: Two-Chainring Bikes.......................................................................................122
Front Derailleur Performance....................................................................................................................122
Shimano® Front Derailleur FD-9000.........................................................................................................122
Shimano® FD-9000 Front Derailleur Adjustment.............................................................................123
Rear Derailleur...................................................................................................................................................124
Derailleur Capacity and Maximum Sprocket Size...................................................................................124
Derailleur Installation..................................................................................................................................125

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OPENING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Derailleur Cable Attachment......................................................................................................................125
Limit Screw Adjustment.............................................................................................................................125
H-Limit Screw.........................................................................................................................................126
L-Limit Screw.........................................................................................................................................126
B-Screw Adjustment..............................................................................................................................127
Index Adjustment........................................................................................................................................127
Shimano® Rapid Rise™ Derailleurs.......................................................................................................129
Clutch System Rear Derailleurs.................................................................................................................129
Chainline.............................................................................................................................................................129
Derailleur Hanger Alignment & Repair...........................................................................................................130
Derailleur Wear & Service.................................................................................................................................132
Troubleshooting Derailleur Systems.........................................................................................................133
Electronic Shift Derailleurs...............................................................................................................................133
Shimano® Di2® Intelligent System.............................................................................................................133
Shifters....................................................................................................................................................133
Di2® Battery............................................................................................................................................134
Front Derailleur......................................................................................................................................135
Rear Derailleur.......................................................................................................................................136
Crash Feature.........................................................................................................................................137
Campagnolo® EPS® Derailleurs: Super Record®, Record®, and Athena®...............................................137
EPS® Rear Derailleur Adjustment........................................................................................................138
EPS® Front Derailleur Adjustment.......................................................................................................139
EPS® Derailleur Ride-Setting...............................................................................................................140
Crash Mode and Ride Home Mode.......................................................................................................141
EPS® Battery and Charging Unit...........................................................................................................141
Troubleshooting.....................................................................................................................................141

CHAPTER 10 — INTERNAL GEAR SYSTEMS
SRAM® DualDrive™............................................................................................................................................144
SRAM® I-Motion® 9.............................................................................................................................................145
Shimano® Nexus Inter-7®, Nexus Inter-8®, & Alfine® Hubs...........................................................................146

CHAPTER 11 — CALIPER DISC BRAKE SYSTEMS
Caliper Types.....................................................................................................................................................150
Brake Pads..........................................................................................................................................................150
Disc Brake Rotors...............................................................................................................................................151
Hydraulic Brake Systems..................................................................................................................................152
Hydraulic Brake Levers...............................................................................................................................152
Hydraulic Disc Calipers...............................................................................................................................152
Hydraulic Brake Caliper Alignment.....................................................................................................153
Hydraulic Brake Fluid Service.........................................................................................................................154
Shimano® Hydraulic Brakes........................................................................................................................154
Brake Pad Removal and Replacement................................................................................................154
Brake Bleeding.......................................................................................................................................155
Magura® Hydraulic Caliper Brakes............................................................................................................156
Hayes® Hydraulic Caliper Brakes...............................................................................................................157
Avid® Hydraulic Caliper Brakes.................................................................................................................158
Tektro® Hydraulic Caliper Brakes...............................................................................................................161
Mechanical Disc Brake Systems......................................................................................................................162
Brake Lever..................................................................................................................................................163
Caliper Pad Alignment and Clearance......................................................................................................163
Shimano® Mechanical Disc Brakes.............................................................................................................164
Tektro® Mechanical Disc Brakes................................................................................................................164
Hayes® Mechanical Disc Brakes.................................................................................................................164
Avid® Mechanical Disc Brakes....................................................................................................................164

viii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OPENING

CHAPTER 12 — CALIPER RIM BRAKE SYSTEMS
Brake Levers......................................................................................................................................................170
Upright Handlebar Brake Levers...............................................................................................................170
Drop Bar Brake Levers................................................................................................................................170
Cable System......................................................................................................................................................171
Cable Lubrication.........................................................................................................................................172
Cable Housing Length.................................................................................................................................172
Caliper Rim Brakes............................................................................................................................................173
Brake Pads....................................................................................................................................................174
Brake Pad Alignment............................................................................................................................174
Vertical Height Alignment....................................................................................................................175
Tangential Alignment............................................................................................................................175
Vertical Face Alignment.......................................................................................................................175
Pad Toe....................................................................................................................................................175
Linear-Pull Caliper Adjustment.................................................................................................................176
Cantilever Caliper Adjustment..................................................................................................................177
Dual-Pivot Caliper Adjustment..................................................................................................................180
Side-Pull Caliper Adjustment......................................................................................................................181

CHAPTER 13 — HANDLEBARS, STEMS, SADDLES, & SEATPOSTS
Upright Handlebars...........................................................................................................................................184
Bar Grips.......................................................................................................................................................184
Drop Style Handlebars (Road Bars)................................................................................................................185
Clip-On and Aero Handlebars....................................................................................................................185
Stems..................................................................................................................................................................186
Quill Stems...................................................................................................................................................186
Threadless Stems.........................................................................................................................................187
Saddles................................................................................................................................................................188
Seatposts............................................................................................................................................................189

CHAPTER 14 — HEADSETS
Headset Types...................................................................................................................................................194
Headset Service.................................................................................................................................................195
Threadless Headset Service.......................................................................................................................196
Threadless Headset Adjustment...............................................................................................................198
Threaded Headset Service.........................................................................................................................198
Threaded Headset Adjustment..................................................................................................................199
Headset Replacement & Installation.............................................................................................................200
Headset Stack Height................................................................................................................................200
Pressed Headset Removal.........................................................................................................................200
Pressed Headset Installation.....................................................................................................................201
Fork Crown Race Installation....................................................................................................................202
Fork Steering Column Sizing..........................................................................................................................202
Threadless Steering Columns...................................................................................................................203
Star Nut and Compression Plug Installation.....................................................................................204
Threaded Steering Columns......................................................................................................................205

CHAPTER 15 — FRAME & FORK
Frame Components..........................................................................................................................................208
Fork...............................................................................................................................................................208
Head Tube....................................................................................................................................................208
Top Tube......................................................................................................................................................208
Down Tube...................................................................................................................................................208
Seat Tube.....................................................................................................................................................208
Chain Stay....................................................................................................................................................208
Seat Stay......................................................................................................................................................209

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OPENING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Dropouts......................................................................................................................................................209
Bottom Bracket Shell.................................................................................................................................209
Swing Arm...................................................................................................................................................209
Frame Construction & Service........................................................................................................................209
Steel..............................................................................................................................................................209
Aluminium....................................................................................................................................................210
Titanium........................................................................................................................................................210
Carbon Fiber................................................................................................................................................210

CHAPTER 16 — SUSPENSION
Spring Systems..................................................................................................................................................214
Helical Compression Springs.....................................................................................................................214
Elastomer and Rubber Springs..................................................................................................................214
Air (Gas) Springs.........................................................................................................................................214
Shocks (Dampers).............................................................................................................................................215
Suspension Linkages.........................................................................................................................................215
Service & Tuning................................................................................................................................................216
Spring Preload.............................................................................................................................................216
Fluid Viscosity..............................................................................................................................................216
Valving..........................................................................................................................................................216
Linkage..........................................................................................................................................................216
Cyclist Posture.............................................................................................................................................216
Tire Contact..................................................................................................................................................216

CHAPTER 17 — ON-RIDE REPAIR
Tool Choices......................................................................................................................................................220
Repair Procedures............................................................................................................................................220
Flat Tire........................................................................................................................................................220
Cut or Ripped Tire......................................................................................................................................220
Broken Spoke..............................................................................................................................................220
Dented Rim..................................................................................................................................................220
Broken Chains.............................................................................................................................................220
Chain Suck...................................................................................................................................................220
Twisted Chain...............................................................................................................................................221
Squeaky and Noisy Chain...........................................................................................................................221
Rear Derailleur Shifting into the Spokes or Frame.................................................................................221
Derailleur Not Indexing Properly...............................................................................................................221
Broken Derailleur Body, Cage, or Hanger.................................................................................................221
Missing Derailleur Pulleys...........................................................................................................................221
Front Derailleur Cage Bent or Twisted.....................................................................................................221
Crank Falling Off..........................................................................................................................................221
Pedals Falling Off........................................................................................................................................222
Bent Crank...................................................................................................................................................222
Bottom Bracket Loose or Falling Apart...................................................................................................222
Broken Derailleur Cable.............................................................................................................................222
Broken Brake Cable....................................................................................................................................222
Twisted or Bent Handlebars or Stem.......................................................................................................222
Bent Frame or Fork.....................................................................................................................................222
Bent Saddle or Seat Post...........................................................................................................................222

APPENDICES A–E — REFERENCE MATERIALS
A: Tool List.........................................................................................................................................................226
B: Glossary.........................................................................................................................................................228
C: Torque Recommendations..........................................................................................................................233
Torque Conversion Scale...........................................................................................................................237
D: Headset Standards.......................................................................................................................................238
E: Bike Map........................................................................................................................................................240

x

FOREWORD

T
Foreword

he year was 1956. My father Howard and his partner
Art Engstrom had just bought a small fix-it shop on
the east side of St. Paul, Minnesota, named Hazel Park
Radio and Bicycle. Both loved to get their hand dirty. So the
shop seemed to be a good fit with their skills. Along with the
lawn mowers and ice skates, the shop sold bicycles, although
neither new much about bikes. As they dug in to their new
venture and bicycles evolved to include hand brakes and
shifting systems, Howard and Art soon tired of working on
bikes turned upside down while squatting on the floor. With
the help of a longtime friend, Jim Johnson, they designed
their first bicycle repair stand. Soon, they realized there was
a need for other tools that could make their lives easier, and
a tool business was born. At first Howard and Art produced
tools under the Schwinn label, then shortened Hazel Park
Cycle Center Repair Stand Company into Park Tool Company.
So begins our history.
Today, Park Tool produces and supplies over 400 different
bicycle specialty tools to more than 70 countries worldwide.
Go into any bike shop in America or just about any shop
around the globe, and you’ll find our famous Park Tool Blue
tools in use in the back room and for sale on the showroom
floor. Our goal is simple: Build the best bicycle tools. We are
constantly improving and expanding our line to meet the
expectations of team and professional mechanics as well as
those doing their own work at home or on the trail.
This, the third edition of our Big Blue Book contains new
chapters, new photos and most importantly advice and
mechanical procedures using some of the newest components
and parts available alongside hundreds of other repairs and
basic maintenance instruction. While we love to sell tools, we
feel strongly that information and knowledge are the most
valuable tools of all. Once you gain some of this knowledge
and the confidence to use it, a whole new side of bicycling
opens up to you. With a basic understanding of the bicycle
and how it works you’ll be free to ride longer and farther.
You’ll understand what makes one bike or one component
better than another. You may even take apart your bike and

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OPENING

put it back together just for fun. This manual is designed to
give you a complete, well-rounded look at the mechanics of a
bicycle. We’ve designed the BBB-3 to help guide you through a
wide variety of repairs from flat tires to bearing replacement;
from repairing a chain to lacing spokes; and from truing a
wheel to dropping in a headset. Road or mountain, recumbent
or kids bike, tandem or city bike, whatever you ride, we’ve
included information that can help you maintain or repair
your bike.
Our author, Calvin Jones, is truly one of the world’s most
qualified mechanics and instructors. With over 40 years in the
industry, Calvin lives, eats, and breathes bicycles. Here is a
short list of his qualifications:
• US Olympic Team Mechanic, Los Angeles 1984
• 15-time National Team Mechanic and Manager of National
Team Mechanics at MTB World Championships
• Instructor at USA Cycling Mechanics Licensing Clinics
at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs,
Colorado since 1985
• Eight years instructor at Barnett’s Bicycle Institute for
Bicycle Mechanics
• Author, Park Tool School Manual: Park Tool’s in-store
clinic presented by your local bike shop
• Park Tool Director of Education since 1997
• Mechanical advisor for countless bicycle industry
manufacturers, professional racing teams, and retailers
We’re sure you’ll agree that Calvin has done his homework
and created a complete and concise manual. It’s sure to be a
reference for nearly any mechanical procedure you choose
to tackle. This is the book Howard and Art could only dream
would ever be written. With a special thanks to Calvin for all
his hard work, late nights and early mornings we’re proud to
present the 3rd Edition of The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair.
Eric Hawkins
Owner
Park Tool Company

xi

OPENING

I
Introduction

INTRODUCTION

think the bicycle is possibly the perfect combination of
simplicity and complexity. To me, it is more than just a
vehicle that transforms your muscular energy into motion.
The bicycle provides transportation, exercise, a way to escape,
and a way to be together with friends. I view the bicycle itself
as a system of numerous levers, bearings, pivots, and parts
that require proper care and maintenance. I know that if you
don't have a basic understanding of these parts and how they
all work together, fixing your bike can be intimidating, but I
also know that gaining that understanding is easier than you
think. Knowledge of the mechanics of the bicycle will change
the way you ride. It gives you the confidence to ride longer
and farther, the skills to do trail or roadside repairs, and the
ability to maintain your bike yourself and get it ready for the
next ride.
Whether you own a single, high-end bike or a fleet of
bikes for the family, the third edition of the Big Blue Book of
Bicycle Repair is designed to help you, the home mechanic,
keep your equipment in top-notch condition. This book is a
natural for Park Tool Company, where we’ve been designing
and manufacturing bicycle tools for professional and home
mechanics since 1963. Now, with the Big Blue Book 3, we are
giving you more than five decades of knowledge about bicycle
repair in one comprehensive, easy-to-use manual.
This latest Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair-3 is updated
with information on the newest technologies. The modern
crank and bottom bracket standards and their service are
reviewed in this edition. We cover the new and major changes
in derailleurs, such as 11-speed systems, and the new
electronic shifting systems from Campagnolo® and Shimano®.
Thru-axle hubs are now more popular, so we include them in

xii

this edition. Brake systems are also updated and expanded.
You will also find more information on headsets than in
earlier editions. The headset was once a simple system, which
has now become complex with many different standards.
You can find specifics for your repair and the relevant page
number at the beginning of the book in the detailed Table of
Contents. The book is organized by “systems” rather than by
type of bike, such as “MTB” or “Road Bike.” Both mountain
bikes and road bikes have crank systems, and both types are
covered in the same chapter.
Creating a bicycle repair book is like creating a new bicycle
tool. It takes time and effort and the process is never as
straightforward as one would hope. I want to thank Eric
Hawkins, owner and President of Park Tool Company, for
his continued support and patience as we worked through
this new edition of Big Blue. My editor, Bill Gibson, and our
Park Tool Graphic Artist, Joel King, were indispensable in
this project. I have also received invaluable help and advice
from the technical representatives at Mavic®, Shimano®,
Campagnolo®, SRAM®, and FSA® regarding the proper
procedures to use when preparing or maintaining their
products. I also want to thank everyone who emailed or called
me with feedback. It makes each edition better when we hear
from readers.
Thanks for purchasing the BBB-3 Big Blue Book of Bicycle
Repair. This edition carries on as the most comprehensive and
easy-to-use bicycle repair manual we have ever published.
Calvin Jones
Park Tool Company

1
Basic mechanical skills
Basic mechanical skills

CHAPTER 1

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS

E

quipment and machinery of all types share many
commonalities. Leverage, friction, tension, material
strength, and bonding are all parts of automobiles,
coffee makers, satellites, and bicycles. Understanding some
basic concepts of engineering will help you understand and
service any equipment or bicycle.

FIGURE 1.1

THREADED FASTENER TENSION & TORQUE
Manufacturers use threaded fasteners to hold many
components to the bike, and the bike itself can act as a nut
for certain threaded parts. Understanding threaded fasteners
(i.e., bolts and screws) is an important part of bicycle
maintenance. These fasteners are made of two parts: the
external thread, which is the bolt or screw, and the internal
thread, which is the nut.
It is important to align threads correctly when you first
begin to engage the inner and outer threads. The critical
threads are the first ones, and damaging these threads from
misalignment can make the component very difficult to
install. Take note of the axis of both inner and outer threads
and make sure you are rotating the parts square to this axis.
One technique for beginning a difficult-to-start thread is to
purposely rotate the threaded part backwards to feel the first
thread engagement. You will feel a click or give in the part,
which tells you this is the beginning of the thread. Rotate in
the correct direction after this.
Threads are made in many different sizes. Bolts that appear
identical may actually be made for different nuts or fittings.
The size of the thread is designated and named by the nominal
external thread diameter and pitch of the thread. Thread
diameter is measured from the outside to outside of the thread
crest. However, the actual, and accurate, measurement is
slightly smaller than the common name for the thread size.
For example, a ½ inch thread may measure 0.495 inches, not
0.500 inches. It is still referred to as a ½ inch thread.
Metric thread sizing is given in millimeters and given
the prefix “M.” For example, the M6 thread would measure
between 5.8 mm and 5.9 mm.
The pitch is the distance from the crest of one thread to
another measured along the length of the thread. Thread
diameter can be measured with a caliper, but pitch is best
measured with a thread pitch gauge.
The so-called “English” or SAE (Society of Automotive
Engineers) threads are designated by the frequency of how
many threads are counted along one inch. This is called
“threads per inch” and is abbreviated as “tpi.” An example of
an SAE thread is ⁹⁄₁₆ in. x 20 tpi (for pedal threads). Metric
threading uses the direct pitch measurement in millimeters
from thread crest to the adjacent thread crest measured
along the thread axis. An example of metric thread would be
10 mm x 1 mm (common rear derailleur bolt).
Threads are made to advance as they rotate. Many
threaded fasteners, but not all, tighten when turned
clockwise. These are called “right-hand threads.” Some
threads on the bicycle are made to advance and tighten
when turned counter-clockwise and are called “left-hand
threads.” All threads are made at a slight angle when viewed
along the axis of the thread. If the threaded bolt or screw

2

Left-hand threads are seen on left pedal and right-hand threads on right
pedal. Threads slope upward toward direction of tightening.

is held vertically, the threads will appear to slope upward
toward the bolt’s tightening direction. Right-hand threads
slope upward to the right, and left-hand threads slope upward
to the left (figure 1.1).
As a fastener is tightened, the fastener and the threads
actually flex and stretch, much like a rubber band. This
stretching is not permanent. It gives force to the joint,
holding it together (figure 1.2). The stretching force is called
“preload” or tension. Each fastener is designed for a certain
range of tension. Too much tightening will deform the threads
or damage the parts. However, a fastener with too little
preload will loosen with use, which in some cases can also
damage the part. For example, riding with a loose crank bolt
will eventually damage the crank. Loose bolts and nuts are
also a common source of creaking noises on the bike as the
component parts move and rub one another.
FIGURE 1.2

Crank bolts under tension keeps the crank pressed secure to the spindle

Typically it is necessary to lubricate threads. Without being
lubricated, the internal and external threads of a fastener
rub and scrape together, sticking temporarily, rather than
smoothly and fully tightening to create a level of tension in
the bolt that holds the fastener firmly until you disassemble
it. Lubrication also aids in preventing corrosion. As a rule of
thumb, if the threads are relatively small with a fine thread
pitch, a liquid lubricant is adequate. If the thread size is
relatively large, grease is preferred. For example, a small bolt
holding a derailleur shift wire can be oiled, but the large
threads of pedals should be greased.
There are exceptions to always lubricating a thread. Either
the internal or external thread may have nylon fittings,

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS
commonly called “Nylock.” The nylon insert in the thread
prevents the screw or bolt from turning freely. Nylock
systems are used for adjustments when there is low torque or
even no torque on the fastener. For example, derailleur limit
screws use plastic fittings to prevent the screws from turning
and changing the derailleur adjustment. Do not lubricate the
limit screws.
Generally, bolts and nuts should be tightened as tight as
the weakest member of the bolt-nut component system can
withstand. For example, crank bolts are large and can take a
very high torque. Cranks, however, are typically made from
aluminum and cannot withstand as much pressure as the
bolt could potentially generate. The crank is the weak link
in that system, and manufacturers limit the recommended
torque accordingly.
To prevent overtightening and undertightening, many
manufacturers provide specific torque values, best achieved
by using a torque wrench (figure 1.3). Torque wrenches are
simply a type of measuring tool, like a tape measure or a
ruler. Torque wrenches measure the amount of turning effort
applied to the bolt or nut. A torque wrench should be part of
the bicycle tool kit, but it is possible to work without one at
some risk.
FIGURE 1.3

CHAPTER 1

“perceived effort” and is an important skill to develop and
understand. Perceived effort is subjective and will change
with the length of the tool used and where the hand holds
the tool. Think about lifting a six-pack of 12 ounce beverage
cans. The six-pack weighs approximately 4.7 pounds. This
effort applied to a wrench held 6 inches from the bolt is
about 30 inch-pounds of torque, just about what is required
to tighten a derailleur cable pinch bolt. Now consider hefting,
with one hand, a 24 count case of 12 ounce beverage cans.
Typically, that effort will be close to 20 pounds. That much
effort on a wrench held 6 inches from the bolt is 120 inchpounds, approximately the amount of torque required for
hub cone locknuts and a minimum torque for pedal threads.
Cranks with a single bolt typically require about 300−400
inch-pounds, which is one of the highest torque values on a
bicycle. That is at least 50 pounds of effort holding a wrench
6 inches from the crank bolt.
If you are not using a torque wrench, it is still useful to use
torque values as a guideline for perceived effort. To determine
the effort, divide the inch-pound torque by the number of
inches from the middle of your hand to the bolt or nut. For
example, in the image below, a 300 inch-pound torque is
desired to hold the wheel to the frame. The hand is holding a
wrench 6 inches from the nut. Apply an effort of 50 pounds
force (figure 1.4).
FIGURE 1.4

A beam type torque wrench

Measured torque may be given in Newton-meter, inchpound, or foot-pound units. These units of measure refer to
the force at the end of a lever. For example, 60 inch-pounds
are equal to 60 pounds of force at the end of a 1 inch wrench.
If the wrench were 2 inches long, 30 pounds of force would be
required to achieve the same torque on the bolt. If force were
applied at 12 inches from the bolt, only 5 pounds of effort
would be required.
To convert inch-pound units into foot-pound units, divide
the inch-pound number by 12. For example, 60 inch-pounds
of torque are equal to 5 foot-pounds. To convert footpound units into inch-pounds, multiply foot-pounds by 12.
Three foot-pounds are equal to 36 inch-pounds. To convert
Newton-meters to inch-pounds, multiply Newton-meters by
8.85. There is a list of recommended torque specifications in
Appendix C. Use the component manufacturer’s recommended
torque when available.
With experience, a person may learn the amount of force to
apply to a wrench when tightening a fastener. It may require
both overtightening and then undertightening fasteners in
order to learn acceptable torques. Tightening by feel relies on

www.parktool.com

Apply force to wrench according to distance from hand to bolt

FIGURE 1.5

Poor mechanical advantage

It is very useful to understand the concept of “mechanical
advantage” especially when working on tight bolts and nuts.
The wrench acts as a lever that pivots on the bolt or nut. In
situations where two wrenches are used, position the
wrenches to form a “V,” with the bolt or nut at the point

3

CHAPTER 1

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS

FIGURE 1.6

Good mechanical advantage

of the “V.” This position allows more force to be applied
effectively to the bolt head. Avoid positioning the wrench so
the levers form an angle greater than 90 degrees. When using
one wrench, look for the second lever. This will sometimes be
in the form of the opposite crank when working on pedals or
the frame tubing while working on the bottom bracket (figure
1.5 and 1.6).

LUBRICATION, THREADLOCKERS,
& CLEANERS
Bicycles require various types of lubricants depending upon
the component part and how it is used. Lubricants vary in
how well they work, what they are composed of, and how
they are sold.
Lubrication prevents friction and corrosion, including rust.
Engines use motor oil under pressure to ensure that pistons
and bearings run smoothly. The car engine has pumps to
maintain oil pressure to keep friction between parts low.
That’s a luxury the self-propelled cyclist cannot afford.
Lubrication on bicycles is based on a much simpler system
called “boundary lubrication,” which refers to a very thin
film of lubricant that separates moving bearing surfaces.
This boundary of just a few molecules of lubrication is all we
have to prevent metal from being ripped off a hub bearing or
chain rivet.
A good lubricant should stick to the part requiring
lubrication. Unfortunately, that means dirt and grit may
want to stick to the part as well. Water tends to wash off
lubricants. Liquids such as chain lubricants vary in their
resistance to being washed off. It is useful to have available
several lubrication choices. A light liquid lubricant will
penetrate easier into smaller areas, such as derailleur cable
housing. Examples of a light lubricant are Park Tool CL-1
Synthetic Blend Chain Lube and Triflow®. Heavy lubricants
stick better in very wet conditions and are good for
lubrication where grease is not useful. A chain used in the
rain or the internals of a freehub would be good areas for a
heavier lubricant. An example of a heavy lubricant would be
Phil Wood™ Tenacious Oil™, or Finish Line™ Cross Country™.
Grease is simply oil suspended in a mixture of surfactant,
soap, or other compounds. Grease keeps the lubricating
oil in place on the component part, but it is the oil in the
grease that provides the lubrication. When grease gets
pushed out of the way of the bearings, there will be little

4

or no lubrication left. Grease should be changed when
it becomes contaminated with grit and dirt or when the
oil in the grease becomes old and dry, which reduces its
lubricating properties. Water may also wash out grease; the
bottom bracket bearings are especially vulnerable to this
type of failure.
It can be difficult to know when the grease used in the
component parts is contaminated. It will be necessary to
simply disassemble a hub or part and inspect. By the time a
bearing is making noise, the damage from poor lubrication
is already done. As a rule of thumb, the grease should be
replaced once a year. If the bike is used for racing or ridden
daily, replace the grease two to three times per year.
Grease is commonly sold in tubes or in tubs. Use care to
always replace the lid when using the tub so the grease
does not become contaminated. Liquid lubricants come in
spray aerosol and non-aerosol bottles. The non-aerosol
bottles use a tube for dripping the lubricant, which allows
the user to place it where it does the most good. Aerosols
can easily over-lubricate parts by spraying too much
lubrication, but they can be helpful when flushing away
dirt. If the bike is ridden in heavy rain, taken through
stream crossings, or is washed with soap and water, liquid
lubricants should be applied to suspension pivot points. Do
not drip or spray oil into greased bearings such as hubs,
headsets, and bottom brackets.
Another option for thread preparation and some press
fit parts is anti-seize compound. This provides a thick and
durable coating for surfaces. Anti-seize solutions are typically
made of ground metals such as aluminum or copper that
are combined with lubricants. These compounds are not
appropriate for moving bearing surfaces such as hubs or
headset bearings. Anti-seize compound, such as Park Tool
ASC-1 Anti-Seize Compound, tend to outlast grease when
exposed to water and makes a long lasting preparation for
applications such as bottom bracket shell installations.
Threadlockers and retaining compounds are special liquid
adhesives for metal fasteners and fittings. These liquids are
available at home improvement centers, hardware stores,
or automotive parts stores. Threadlockers are made by the
Loctite® Corporation, the Wurth® Company, ND Industries®,
and the Devcon® Company. Retailers commonly sell a
type of threadlocker called “anaerobic.” These liquids cure
independently of air and will harden and expand when sealed
in the threads of the part. This process is what gives the
threadlockers and compounds their special features. It should
be stressed, however, that these products should not be used
to replace proper torque and pre-load when the clamping load
is important. Most threadlockers are designed for use with
metals. They may harden and weaken plastic and generally
are not intended for that material.
Lighter duty threadlockers are considered “service removable.”
This means the part can be unthreaded and removed with
normal service procedures. An example of a service removable
threadlocker is Loctite® 242®. Stronger compounds require extra
procedures to disassemble the part, such as treating with a
heat gun. In a pinch, even hot water poured on the part can be
enough heat to soften the compound.

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS
Retaining compounds are intended for press fit
applications. On a bicycle, they may be used for poor
cartridge bearing press fits and poor headset cup fits.
Retaining compounds tend to have a higher viscosity than
the threadlocking compounds. Many retaining compounds
require special techniques for removal, such as excess force
or mild heat or both. An example of a retaining compound is
Loctite® 680.
Retaining compounds are less effective for plastic or carbon
fiber press fit situations. When attempting to use a retaining
compound, such as on a PF30 bottom bracket press fit, use
the special liquid primers from the compound manufacturers,
following their directions. These primers allow the compounds
to harden and expand. Without use of the primer, the
compounds may simply remain liquid and not cure.
Another compound useful on carbon fiber bikes is an
“assembly compound,” such as Park Tool SAC-2 Super
Assembly Compound. These are basically a silicon dioxide
(sand-like) material in a liquid or paste carrier. Do not
confuse this with grease: it is not lubrication and should
never be used as lubrication! It provides extra friction
wherever it is placed and can be useful in seat tubes of
carbon fiber that have difficulty holding the seat post
secure. It can also be useful in clamping a front derailleur
bracket to a carbon frame. The grit in this compound will not
structurally harm carbon fiber, but you should expect some
surface marring.
Servicing bicycle components, such as the chain, will
require cleaners and solvents. Never use highly flammable
liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, or diesel as cleaning
solvent. There are safer solvent choices on the market,
including Park Tool CB-2 Chain and Parts Cleaning fluid.
It is possible to reuse solvents for an extended period of
time. Save used solvent in a sealed container and allow it to
settle for days. The dirt and grit will settle to the bottom.
Carefully pour off the solvent and reuse. Scrape the grit from
the bottom and dispose of it and spent solvent by contacting
your local hazardous waste disposal site, which is typically
with a state or county agency.
For cleaning the paint on the frame use mild cleaners,
such as window cleaners, or simply soap and water. Isopropyl
rubbing alcohol is usually adequate for cleaning rim-braking
surfaces. It is important that cleaners for braking surfaces not
leave an oily film.

CHAPTER 1

This is normal and does not significantly affect the ride.
Generally, the lighter load a bearing is expected to experience,
the “smoother” the feel of that bearing. Bearing systems
experiencing more stress and pressure will seem to have more
drag, even when the adjustment is correct. For example, a
bearing for a rear derailleur pulley, which is designed for
low stress loads, will seem to have less spinning resistance
compared to a bottom bracket bearing, which is designed to
handle more load.
The races and balls are greased to minimize wear. The
bearing system is commonly shielded from dirt by covers and
seals. Exposure to the elements will increase wear on the
bearing surfaces and shorten bearing life.
Cartridge bearings use an industrial, or rolling element,
bearing. Ball bearings are trapped between inner and outer
rotating races (figure 1.7). There should be no play between
new bearings at the inner and outer races of the cartridge.
With use, however, play will develop between these two races,
and then the cartridge bearing must be replaced.
FIGURE 1.7

Typical cartridge bearing shown with outer race cut away. Ball bearings
ride on inner and outer curved races.

FIGURE 1.8

BEARING SYSTEMS
Bearing systems on bikes typically use ball bearings. Round
ball bearings are trapped between two bearing surfaces, called
races. The two basic ball bearing systems are cartridge bearing
systems and adjustable “cup and cone” bearing systems.
Neither system is inherently better for use on a bicycle.
Adjustable-type systems can be overhauled by disassembly,
inspection, and re-greasing.
Even the highest quality bearing surfaces will have
slight marks and imperfections from grinding as they are
manufactured. Better quality bearing surfaces are ground
smoother and will have less friction and resistance to turning.
All bearings, however, will have some friction as they rotate.

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Lift cartridge bearing seals from the inside edge to remove
and clean bearing

Cartridge-type systems are designed to be disposable and
rely on replacement of the entire cartridge bearing rather
than cleaning and greasing the existing bearing. However,
if the axle or spindle can be removed from the center of the
bearing, it is often possible to lift the seal from the inside lip
and flush the bearings clean with a solvent (figure 1.8). The
bearing should be blown dry and repacked with grease. Return
the seal and press into place. If the axle or spindle cannot be
removed, it will damage the seal to remove it.

5

CHAPTER 1

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS

DIAGNOSING & SOLVING
MECHANICAL PROBLEMS
As you develop mechanical skills and become more
experienced with the technical side of the bicycle, diagnosing
particular problems will become easier. To learn this skill,
begin by paying attention to your bike while you ride and
become accustomed to how it sounds and feels when things
are operating properly.
A basic component of diagnosing and discussing technical
or mechanical issues is knowing the names of the component
parts. Being familiar with what shop mechanics call a part
will enable you to converse and provide useful information.
Appendix E is a Bike Map, showing the common names of the
various component parts of the bike. Additionally, a glossary
of bicycle specific terms can be found in Appendix B.
Diagnosing from the saddle, while riding, can be quite
useful when repairing the problem later. For example, note
if an unusual noise is repetitive or occurs with every pedal
revolution. This would place the problem in the crankset area,
like the pedal, bottom bracket, or chainring. A noise every
second or third revolution might be in the chain, such as
a stiff link as it passes by the derailleur pulley wheels. Ask
yourself if the noise occurs when pedaling only or also when
coasting. Make a mental note if the noise or problem occurs
under load, such as on a hill or when you hit a small bump.
It can be very helpful to use another mechanically-minded
friend when diagnosing problems. For example, a friend can
stress the suspect part of the bike, such as the crank, while
you listen and feel for creaking. Creaking can often be felt
through the frame and parts as a resonance. It can also be
useful to ride with a friend, first describing what you think
you are hearing and experiencing before you both ride. Use
extra care during these diagnosing/riding sessions so you
don’t run into each other or into parked cars!

TOOLS & TOOL SELECTION
Having the correct tool for the job makes the work easier.
Bicycles require both general maintenance tools common in
any toolbox and specialty tools unique to the bicycle industry.
There are a wide variety of sources for tools, such as bicycle
retailers, department stores, automotive stores, and general
tool retailers. In some cities, there are also public workshops
that rent special tools and workbench space by the hour.
It is possible to purchase tools only as they are required.
This is economical in one sense but not timely in another.
When a part fails, the tools to repair the problem must be
sought out, which can create a long delay in fixing the bike.
Anticipating the use of tools and purchasing them ahead
of time means initially spending money, but the tools are
there when you need them. Your priorities in purchasing tools
depend upon your bike’s components, the type of
maintenance you want to do yourself, the frequency of the
work, and your growing mechanical interests and skill level.
Look for the “Tool and Supplies” icon throughout the book,
which lists tools and supplies typically required for the
described procedure. Some tools are common, such as
screwdrivers. Other tools, such as crank pullers, are more
specific to the bicycle industry. Bikes are not all equipped

6

the same and don’t require every tool listed in the Tool Box.
Keep in mind that older bikes may need special tools as well.
Consult your local bicycle professional for recommendations
on specific tools.
Tools differ between manufacturers in many ways including
tool finish, fit in the hand, type of material, and tool fit to
the part. The finish affects both the look of the tool and
how it will resist corrosion. A hand tool should fit the hand
comfortably and not be awkward to use. The type of material
may affect the durability of the tool. Good quality steel will
last longer than softer grades. Tools are typically made to a
certain size. The size should fit the part correctly without
being too large or too small. Bicycle component manufacturers
sometimes limit what tool companies can do for tool design.
For example, if a component part was poorly thought out and
service considered only after the design was completed, a
“correct” fitting tool may not be possible.
Box-end wrenches and open-end wrenches fit over the outside
of a bolt head or nut. When choosing a wrench for a particular
bolt, pick the smallest size that will fit over the head/nut. This
also applies to spoke wrenches. Two different wrenches can
appear to fit, but the smaller one will grab the part better.
Hex wrenches and screwdrivers (Phillips®, cross-tip, and
straight blade) fit inside a screw head. The proper size here
is the largest one that will fit inside. Although two different
screwdriver tips may fit inside a screw head, always choose
the larger one for more engagement to the head.
A complete tool table for a very complete home shop is listed
in Appendix A. However, the table does not include some tools
professionals might use, such as frame machining equipment.
It is important for all mechanics, whether casual home
mechanics or professional mechanics, to always use tools
correctly. Wrenches should be placed fully on the nut or bolt
head before turning. Hex wrenches should be fully inserted
into the socket fitting before turning. Hold wrenches for
comfort and good mechanical advantage. When using a file or
hacksaw, apply pressure on the forward cutting stroke, not
on the backstroke. These basic habits may seem obvious and
pedestrian, but they are what make good mechanics.

REPAIR STANDS
The repair stand (work stand) is the basic and most crucial
piece of equipment for any shop or home. Getting the bike off
the ground makes the repair quicker, easier, and more fun. A
FIGURE 1.9

Park Tool PCS-10 screw-type clamp with an opening cam

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS
good work stand brings the work up to the mechanic, instead
of forcing the mechanic to bend over to get to the work.
Work stands also allow the mechanic to pedal the bicycle
by hand and quickly diagnose problems. Many stands come
with a rotational feature that allows the bike to rotate up to
the mechanic. Repair stands often have a height adjustment
feature, which allows for raising and lowering the bicycle.
Some bike frames have oval, square, or other non-round
shaped tubing, making it difficult to clamp onto the frame
tubing. For certain frames, the bicycle manufacturer may
recommend clamping only on the seat post, rather than the
frame tubing. Most bikes can be clamped on the seat post.
FIGURE 1.10

CHAPTER 1

When in doubt, check with the manufacturer for acceptable
areas to clamp.
There are several clamp and stand designs available. Models
vary in adjustability, range of working height, and how they
hold the bike (figures 1.9 to 1.12). There are also repair
stands available that do not clamp the bike on any tube
(figure 1.13).
FIGURE 1.13

Park Tool PRS-21 holds the bike without clamping any tubes

HOME SHOP SETUP
Park Tool PCS-9 screw type clamp

FIGURE 1.11

Park Tool PRS-25 screw type clamp with opening cam

FIGURE 1.12

Park Tool 100-3C over-center adjustable linkage clamp

www.parktool.com

Home mechanics may enjoy setting up a dedicated repair
area or, basically, their own “bike shop.” The primary
requirement for a shop is space for a workbench, a repair
stand, the bike, and enough room to maneuver. A common
size for commercial workbenches is 72 inches by 30 inches
(182 cm by 75 cm). This is deep enough to hold a wheel. It
is possible to use a bench shorter than the 72 inches, but
avoid benches narrower than 30 inches deep. If you are
building a custom workbench, it can be set for the height of
the user. This may range from 32 inches to 40 inches high.
For general technical work, the top of the workbench should
be approximately 4 inches to 6 inches (100−150 mm) below
the height of the user’s elbow. The bench top can be made
of many different materials, but expect the top to take some
punishment during work. It is very useful to bolt the bench
to the floor and to a wall. This is especially important if you
plan to mount a vise to the bench.
Tools may be mounted to a board on the wall. This allows
the mechanic to quickly find the right tool. A pegboard
provides a versatile system to hang and arrange tools. Higher
quality pegboard measures ¼ inch thick. The pegboard should
be at least as wide as the workbench. Hardware stores and
home supply stores stock pegboard hooks. A mix of short
and long hooks will be needed. However, the short hooks are
better, as this avoids stacking too many tools on one hook.
A tool magnet is also a very useful item for the work area. It
can hold odd shaped steel tools and even bolts that you don’t
want to lose during a repair.
If possible, select an area with good light. You may need to
supplement the work area with extra lighting. Painting the
pegboard surface white or off-white will reflect more light
onto your work area.
A good repair stand is the most critical part of the repair
shop. The repair stand should be positioned next to the work
area. Keep the stand close to the workbench to avoid taking

7

CHAPTER 1

BASIC MECHANICAL SKILLS

even one step to the bike but not so close you are crowded.
Be sure to use the rotation and height adjustment features
of the stand to move the work area of the bike closer to you,
rather than bending over. Save your back for riding.
If possible, get a bench-mounted vise. A 4 inch vise is
typically adequate for bicycle repair. Mount the vise on a
corner of the bench so the non-moving jaw is even with the
bench edge.
When arranging tools on the wall, place the tools likely to
be used in conjunction with the vise close to the vise. For
example, place the axle vise, cone wrenches, hammer, and
freewheel tools closer to the vise.
Another very useful piece of equipment is an air
compressor. A floor pump can, of course, provide enough
air pressure for tires. A small air compressor, however, is
useful for drying parts after washing them with a solvent. A
compressor is also very useful when inflating tubeless tires.
Tool arrangement preferences will vary from mechanic to
mechanic, but try to group specialty tools together. Brake
tools should be with other brake tools. Non-specialty tools
should be together with hex wrenches grouped together and
combination wrenches lined up in order (figure 1.14). With
time you will develop the system that is best for you.
FIGURE 1.14

TABLE 1.1

Maintenance Schedule
Every Ride

1. Check pressure in tires. Use tire gauge when available. Squeeze sidewalls
at a minimum.
2. Check tires for tread cuts
3. Grab brake levers with force, note any differences between rides
4. Bounce bike, listening for rattles and odd noises, such as loose headset
5. Spin pedals backwards, note any squeaky or dry chain
6. Clean/wash if very gritty and dirty
Every 100 Miles (160 Kilometers)
1. Check chain stretch
2. Inspect cable for cuts
3. Clean chain if necessary or dirty
4. Inspect brake pads for wear
5. Inspect tires for tread wear, replace as needed
6. Check hand pump for ability to create pressure
7. Check for bearing play in wheel hubs
8.
9.
Every 500 Miles (800 Kilometers)
1. Grab cranks and pull side-to-side
2. Lubricate pivot points
3. Lubricate brake and shifter cables
4. Check crank bolts
5. Full suspension bikes, check swing arm pivot bolts
6. Inspect frame for cracks or other anomalies
7.
8.
Every 1,000 Miles (1600 Kilometers)
1. Inspect rims for wear if using rim calipers

Workbench layout

MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
The idea of a schedule of maintenance is that it will
encourage you to check certain items on a regular basis. No
two bikes are used in identical conditions, and your bike may
benefit from more checking than a list suggests. If you ride
in conditions of rain, mud, sand, dust, salt water, pot-holed
roads, or aggressive trails, these will take their toll on the
bike. Table 1.1 should be viewed only a general reference. Add
your own items to the list that you feel are needed.

2. If ridden in muddy and hard conditions, overhaul bearings
3. Inspect shoe cleats and replace as needed
4. Remove seat post and clean; re-grease as appropriate
5.
6.
Every 3,000 Miles (4,800 Kilometers)
1. Grease bearings if non-cartridge
2. Remove tires and inspect rim strip
3. Install new cables and housing, especially shifting systems
4. Replace cartridge bearings if worn or play is present
5.
6.

8

2
Tires & tubes
Tires & tubes

CHAPTER 2

TIRES & TUBES

T

ires are the rubber and fabric casings fitted over the
wheel rim. The common bicycle wheel uses pneumatic
tires referred to as “wired-on” tires or “clinchers.” The
wheel’s rim uses a channel or U-shape to hold the tire beads.
The smooth ride of the bicycle is due in large part to the air
in the tires. Inside conventional tires is an inner tube to hold
the air. The tire’s body and casing around the inner tube takes
the stress of air pressure, bumps, and bruises of riding. There
are also “tubeless” systems using special rims and tires that
are similar in design to car tire systems and contain no inner
tube. Many professional-level road racers also use sew-up or
tubular tire systems that use a tire with tube built inside that
are glued to special rims.
Servicing flat tires is a basic skill required for any cyclist.
Anything from sharp thorns, glass, or nails can puncture
tires and inner tubes, and the tire itself will wear out with
use and time.

Tools & Supplies:

• Wrench of correct size for wheels with
axle nuts (15 mm is common)

WHEEL REMOVAL
The wheel must be removed to replace the tube and tire. If
possible, begin by mounting the bike in a repair stand. If no
stand is available, the bike should be laid on the non-drive
side to avoid damage to the rear derailleur when the rear
wheel is removed. Do not stand the bike upright without the
rear wheel in place, as this will damage the rear derailleur.
The bicycle may be turned upside down on the ground if there
is no chance of lever or accessory damage on the handlebar.
Bikes with quick-release hubs do not require tools for wheel
removal. Bikes with axle nuts will require the correct size
combination wrench or adjustable wrench.
Common quick-release wheels use a hollow hub axle fitted
with a shaft, a lever that operates a cam mechanism, and an
adjusting nut. Swinging the lever to the closed position puts
tension on the shaft and pulls both the cam and the adjusting
nut tight against the fork or frame dropouts. This tension
holds the wheel securely to the frame. The adjusting nut
determines the amount of tension on the quick-release lever
and cam.
Non-quick-release hubs use a solid axle with nuts outside
the dropouts. An axle nut may have a built-in washer, or
there may be a separate washer under the nut. If the washer
has teeth or a knurled surface, these face the dropout
to help secure the wheel. When removing wheels with
axle nuts, loosen only the nuts on both sides outside of
dropouts. Lubricate the axle threads while the wheel is off
the bike.
Common fork or frame designs use an open slot dropout
to fit a 9 mm front axle and a 10 mm rear axle. Forks may

12

FIGURE 2.1

Fork with wheel retention devices cast into dropout end

be designed with retention devices intended to hold a wheel
should the axle-nuts or quick-release fail (figure 2.1). The
quick-release nut must typically be loosened several turns to
allow the mechanism to clear the fork when the quick-release
lever is open. Even with these extra design features, the
wheel axle should be fully and properly tight in the fork.
Thru-axle frame and fork designs use a closed hole in the
fork or frame end. This permits a stronger retention system
and precisely positions the wheel and rotor (if any) in the
frame. A removable axle is fitted through the frame/fork hole,
into the thru-axle hub, and engages the opposite side. Thruaxle forks may use a 15 mm or 20 mm axle, and rear hubs use
a 12 mm thru-axle.
A thru-axle hub may be held tight with pinch bolts in
the frame, or it may use a quick-release system, such as the
“Maxle” which require no tools for removal. For removing
thru-axle hubs, see page 25.
Procedure for wheel removal—open dropouts with
quick-release:
a. Rear wheel: Shift derailleurs to outermost rear cog and
innermost front chainring.
b. Front and Rear: Release rim brake caliper quick-release,
if any (figure 2.2, figure 2.3, figure 2.4, figure 2.5).
c. Front and Rear: Release wheel quick-release by pulling
quick-release lever outward. If necessary, loosen quickrelease adjusting nut to clear any tabs at end of fork
(figure 2.6). If the quick-release is used on a thru-axle
fork and hub, it is necessary to remove axle completely
from hub. For non-quick-release wheels, loosen both
axle nuts.
FIGURE 2.2

Side-pull or dual-pivot rim caliper may have quick-release at caliper arm

TIRES & TUBES
FIGURE 2.3

CHAPTER 2

FIGURE 2.7

Quick-release located at brake lever

FIGURE 2.4

Squeeze linear-pull calipers together and disconnect
cable “noodle” from linkage

FIGURE 2.5

Pivot rear derailleur back to clear wheel and cogs of frame

d. Front: Guide the wheel through the brake pads and out
the fork ends.
Rear: Pull back on rear derailleur to allow cogs to clear
chain (figure 2.7). Lower wheel, guiding the wheel down
through caliper brake pads and forward to clear chain
and derailleur. Note: Some bike dropouts are rear facing.
Pull wheel back to remove it from the dropouts. Unhook
chain from cog for removal.
There are rear derailleur systems that use a clutch mechanism
in their pivots, which could make it awkward to remove the
rear wheel without a way to lock the tension cage in a position
that lowers chain tension. The Shimano® Shadow Plus® system
and the SRAM® Type 2 derailleurs use clutch mechanisms that
provide resistance at the lower pulley, which are intended to
prevent the chain from bouncing off, slapping the frame, or
wrapping around the bottom bracket during rough travel.
When changing the rear wheel with the Shimano® clutch
system, look for a lever on the lower pivot of the derailleur
body. Pull the lever down to disengage the clutch feature
(figure 2.8). The derailleur will now easily pivot backward to
release the rear wheel. After the wheel is reinstalled, pull the
lever back up to engage the clutch.
FIGURE 2.8

Squeeze the cantilever calipers together and disconnect
the straddle wire cable

FIGURE 2.6

Push on-off lever upward to return derailleur to clutch operation mode

Puller lever from closed to open position

www.parktool.com

SRAM® Type 2 derailleurs do not use an “on-off” lever.
The lower pulley is pushed forward, and a button is pushed
to engage and hold the cage forward, creating chain slack
(figure 2.9).
Remove the wheel with the cage in the locked mode (figure
2.10.) Reinstall the wheel, and push forward on the lower
pulley to release the cage lock and to return the derailleur to
the working mode.

13

CHAPTER 2

TIRES & TUBES

FIGURE 2.9

Push forward on lower pulley and depress cage lock button to hold.

FIGURE 2.10

all the surfaces of the tire, tube, rim tape, and tire bead seat
inside the rim.
Procedure for tire and tube removal:
a. Remove valve cap. Fully threaded valve shafts may also
have a locking nut next to the rim. Loosen and remove
valve locknut before deflating inner tube.
b. Deflate tube completely. Even a small amount of air left
in the tube can make it more difficult to get the tire
off the rim. For best results, press downward on wheel
while depressing the valve. Schrader valves: depress valve
plunger with small hex wrench.
c. The tire bead will be pressed tight against rim sidewall.
Push both sides of tire toward the center of the rim to
loosen the bead (figure 2.11).
FIGURE 2.11

Push the tire bead toward middle of rim

Remove and install wheel with cage in locked mode

REMOVAL OF TIRE & TUBE FROM RIM
Remove the tire and tube (if any) from the wheel for a
complete inspection. A mounted clincher tire has two beads
that are fitted to the inner walls of the wheel rim. Use tire
levers to pry one tire bead up and over the rim sidewall. Tire
levers come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Plastic
levers (Park Tool TL-1, TL-4, or TL-6) are typically adequate
and will not leave blemishes on the rim. Use only plastic tire
levers for carbon fiber clincher wheels to avoid damaging the
rim surface.
Some tire and rim combinations are extremely tight and
may require a steel lever, such as the Park Tool TL-5. Some
cosmetic marring may occur with any metal lever, but this
will not harm the function of the rim. To avoid cosmetic
damage, you may use Park Tool TL-6 composite-covered steel
core tire levers.
When possible, mark the tire at the valve to help in
locating any holes in the tube. Use the mark to trace the
location back to the tire. However, always inspect entirely

Caution:

Do not use a screwdriver, knife or other
sharp object as a lever. Doing so could
damage the tire or tube.

14

FIGURE 2.12

Engage tire levers under tire bead

d. Engage one tire lever under bead of tire. Engage second
lever 1−2 inches (2−5 cm) from first lever then push both
levers down towards the spokes to lift the bead up and
off the rim (figure 2.12).
e. Disengage one of the levers. Move it approximately 2 inches
(5 cm) along the rim and engage this lever under the bead.
Push lever to lift the next section of bead off rim.
f. Repeat engaging the lever until the bead loosens. Then
slide the lever along the rim under the bead until the
bead is completely removed from the rim.
g. Starting opposite the valve, pull inner tube out from
inside of the tire. Lift valve from valve hole and remove
tube from wheel.
h. Remove second bead from rim, which removes the tire
completely from the rim. To fully inspect the tube and
tire, it is best to remove the tire completely.

TIRES & TUBES

INNER TUBE INSPECTION
When servicing a flat tire, always inspect the tire and
tube carefully to locate the cause of failure. If you intend to
replace the inner tube, knowing the cause of the flat can help
prevent future flats.
Procedure for inner tube inspection:
a. Reinflate inner tube, if possible, to twice its normal
width. This extra pressure makes small leaks easier to
locate (figure 2.13 and figure 2.14).
FIGURE 2.13

CHAPTER 2

2.15). Do not mark directly on the hole, as the marks
may be sanded off, making the puncture’s location
difficult to find.
d. Inspect the remainder of inner tube for more holes.
The type of cut or hole in the tube will help determine the
cause of the flat. Common cuts and their causes include:

CUT AT VALVE BASE
Misalignment of inner tube in the rim, a crooked valve,
or riding with low pressure. Be sure the inner tube valve is
mounted straight inside the rim and check tire pressure before
every ride.

LEAKY VALVE CORE
Schrader Valves may have loose cores inside valve stem. Test
the mounted tube and the tire at full pressure with soapy
water or saliva sealing the core. Inspect for bubbles appearing
at the core (figure 2.16). Presta valves may have a loose
locknut or loose valve core inside stem. Tighten valve cores
with a valve core tool such as the Park Tool VC-1.
FIGURE 2.16
Inner tube before inflation

FIGURE 2.14

Test valve for a leaky core

LARGE SHREDDED HOLE
Inner tube after inflation for inspection

b. Inspect for air leaks. Slowly move the tube closely past
sensitive skin such as the lips or cheeks. Small leaks can
also sometimes be heard. Check around the entire tube.
If this does not work, then submerge the tube in water
and watch for bubbles at the hole.
c. If you plan to repair the inner tube, use a marking pen
to make four marks, one on each side of hole (figure
FIGURE 2.15

Tire blowouts are not repairable. Check tire and rim for
seating problems. Also check for hole in the tire casing
(figure 2.17).
FIGURE 2.17

Shredded hole indicating blowout

HOLE ON THE RIM STRIP SIDE OF TUBE
Mark inner tube after location hole

www.parktool.com

Rim strip failure. Inspect inside of rim for protruding
spokes, sharp points, or lack of rim strip coverage over inner
rim holes.

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CHAPTER 2

TIRES & TUBES

LONG CUT OR RIP
Tire blowout. Inner tube is usually not repairable. Check tire
and rim for seating problems. Use care when seating the tire
during installation.

FIGURE 2.20

SINGLE PUNCTURE OR SMALL HOLE
Thorn, wire, glass. These holes may be repairable.
Check tire as well. The cause of the puncture may still be
embedded in the tire. Hole typically located against top of
tire casing.

DOUBLE SLITS
Rim pinch. Tube was pinched between the rim and an object
on the road or trail. Increase air pressure or use wider tires
(figure 2.18).
FIGURE 2.18

Failure at tire beads cannot be repaired

Inspect tire bead for damage. A broken or cut bead will not
permit the tire to hold to rim. Any exposed bead will require
tire replacement (figure 2.20).
Check for “tire rot,” or a deterioration of the tire casing.
Old and rotted tires are more susceptible to punctures and
blowouts from sidewall failure (figure 2.21). Even if the tire
has an adequate amount of tread, replace rotted tires.
FIGURE 2.21

Two parallel marks show the tube was pinched between rim and struck object

TIRE INSPECTION
It is important to always inspect the tire as well as the
inner tube. The cause of the flat, such as a nail or piece of
glass, may still be embedded in the tire or tread. Inspect both
the outside of the rubber tread and the inside of the casing.
Again, mark the tire near the valve core as a reference.
Inspect for protruding nails, pieces of glass, thorns, or
other objects. Squeeze any cut to look inside for objects such
as slivers of glass. Use a seal pick, scribe, or pointed knife to
carefully pick out small pieces of glass or thorns lodged in the
tread. Visually inspect the inside of tire casing for nails, glass,
or debris. Wipe inside of casing with a rag and then carefully
feel inside with fingers. Proceed slowly as there may be sharp
objects still in the casing (figure 2.19).
FIGURE 2.19

Cracks in tire casing from tire rot

FIGURE 2.22

Damaged sides will lead to failure under pressure

Carefully feel inside the case with fingertips

16

Inspect sidewall for rips, abrasions, holes, or damage to
casing (figure 2.22). Damage to the cords may only be seen
w