Just thought I’d share my “A” race DIY bike tune-up routine. I try to do this work the weekend prior to race weekend. That way, I can do a few shakeout rides and if I need to run to the LBS for emergency assistance I still have time.
If anyone has anything to add to this list, please do.
Remove and clean chain.
Remove and clean cassette.
Using soap, water and a brush, clean front and rear derailleurs (I admit I don’t remove the jockey wheels from my rear derailleur, just because I don’t want to mess with that before a race).
Using chain gauge, check chain for excess wear (I replace the chain at the beginning of each season and don’t think the gauge has ever indicated replacement by September).
With the chain off, give the cranks a spin to check the bottom bracket bearings. If there is clicking or stickiness, BB may need an overhaul or replacement.
Reinstall chain and cassette and lube chain.
Check shifting and adjust derailleurs if necessary.
Remove wheels and clean frame with soap and water.
Inspect frame visually for any cracks or dents.
Wheels and Tires:
Clean wheels, focus on brake track.
Check wheels for true.
Inspect wheels for cracks.
Inspect tires for wear or damage (I put on new tires and tubes on the race wheels at the beginning of each season, because I like to get a few hundred miles on them before the A race. Yes, they might be ever so slightly slower, but it’s peace of mind for me to not be messing with tires and tubes. It is way too easy to mis-install a tube such that it works itself under the bead of a tire, especially on a narrow rim, and bursts during a race. Lots of people will blame this phenomenon on hot temperatures. They are wrong.)
Check valve stems/extenders on tubes to make sure everything inflates smoothly.
Clean calipers and check that action is smooth (Gatorade and sweat can do an number on front brake calipers over time)
Check pads for excess wear.
Check alignment of pads with race wheel and adjust if necessary.
If rain is forecast, switch pads to Kool Stop salmon. (I have aluminum rims on my race wheels. If I had carbon ones, I’d have to switch the pads every time).
Check headset action by holding bike by seatpost and making sure bars swing freely back and forth (at least as much as the cables allow). If stuck, loosen stem cap bolt slightly to see if that frees the bars. If not, remove bars and clean or overhaul headset as needed.
Check that these bolts are tightened to spec, using a torque wrench where necessary:
2. Pedal tension bolts (visual check of tension setting)
3. Bottom bracket
5. Saddle hardware
6. Derailleur mount bolts
7. Brake mounts
8. Stem bolts
9. Stem cap bolt
10. Aerobar extensions
11. Water bottle brazes
Check cleats for wear and replace if necessary.
Tighten cleat bolts.
On the shakeout rides:
Make sure all gears are shifting smoothly, both under load (while climbing) and not. Check braking; listen for any new rattles, etc.