Bike Maintenance

We thought other people planning long rides might be interested in knowing how many spares we needed.

Distance, Date Mark's bike Ju's bike
2200km 8/10/02 New front brake blocks  
4050km, 21/11/02   New front brake blocks
4050km, 21/11/02   New rear brake blocks (about 80% worn)
4750km, 16/1/03 Swapped front and rear tyres on both bikes
5400km, 13/2/03 New front brake blocks  
5500km, 15/2/03 Finished first bottle of Finish Line Cross Country lubricant
5600km, 17/2/03 Rear tyre (Panaracer Pasela Tourguard) replaced due to 15mm rip in casing. It was nearly worn out anyway.  
5600km, 17/2/03 Slick front tyres swapped for cheap semi-knobblies to cope with the snowy weather. One lasted just one day!
6100km, 6/3/03 SPD cleats replaced  
6500km, 22/3/03

Chain replaced. Middle and inner chainrings replaced. Back tyre replaced.

Chain replaced

7100km, 10/4/03

New rear brake blocks  
7350km, 17/4/03 Front knobbly tyre failed, did 1800km but only cost €9 in Thessaloniki. Put nearly-new Panaracer Hi-Road in its place.  
7573km, 21/4/03   Replaced front knobbly tyre before it failed too. Nearly new Panaracer Hi-Road put on back wheel and Pasela Tourguard (from UK) put on front.
8133km, 1/5/03   New rear brake blocks. Also replaced rear brake cable.
8688km, 24/5/03   Replaced newish Hi-Road and a Panaracer Tourguard that had come from the UK (and was worn out), with Geax semi-knobblies to cope with the Russian roads!
9500km, 12/6/03   Geax semi-knobbly developed a bad cut in the tread. Replaced with spare and vowed to obtain decent tyres from the UK.
10850km, 7/7/03 Dismantled and re-greased wheel bearings. Oiled freehub. Dismantled and re-greased wheel bearings. Oiled freehub.
10850km, 9/7/03

New Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres front and rear. Panaracer Hi-Roads not worn out but we felt the need of something a bit knobblier.

Also replaced chain, rear block, middle and outer chainrings. Outer chainring was OK but I got a set of three for $60.

Replaced front brake blocks.

New Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres front and rear. Geax tyres bought in Ufa were simply not up to the job.

Also replaced chain and inner chaining. New inner chainring was a steel Deore one, hopefully it will last better.

10980km, 11/7/03 Second bottle of Finish Line Cross Country lubricant was stolen when nearly empty.
12044km, 7/8/03   Replace front brake blocks
12550km, 28/8/03 New jockey wheels (BBB)
Chain swapped for new one

New jockey wheels (BBB)
Chain swapped for new one
New rear cassette
New middle chain ring
13870km, 13/10/03 Swapped chains (from Irkutsk we carried two each and swapped them every couple of thousand kilometers to prolong the life of chains and cassettes).
14846km, 18/11/03   Lower jockey wheel seized solid after bikes were thoroughly soaked and then left standing for two days.
15700km, 4/1/04 Swapped chain. New chain, rear cassette, deralieur jockey wheels (Tacx)
16400km, 26/1/04 Finished third bottle of Finish Line Cross Country Lubricant
16500km, 29/1/04 Front Sun Ryno rim split, replaced with Sun CR24 in Chengdu. Front CR18 rim replaced because it was quite worn too.
17450km, 7/3/04   New rear brake blocks
17800km, 19/3/04 Swapped chains. Mark's ran badly on the middle and inner chainrings.
17850km, 21/3/04 Front rack cracked. Welded back together. Pannier weighed 7kg.  
18200km, 1/4/04   Rear Sun Rhyno rim was replaced with a Sun Rhyno Lite. It hadn't split but it was badly worn after 13500km.
18250km, 9/4/04   Front cones and bearings replaced.
19250km, 6/5/04 Rear gear cable sheath ruptured. It had become corroded which had split the plastic outer.  
19600km, 18/5/04 Swapped chains, ran OK.
20100km, 27/6/04 New inner and middle chainrings, steel ones this time.
New gear cable sheaths.
New gear cables and sheaths.
20300km, 2/7/04 Rear Sun Rhyno replaced. Not split but badly worn after about 22000km.  
20700km, 9/7/04

Front Schmidt dynohub replaced by a Shimano Acera hub. The dynohub's bearings were loose and it had to be sent to Germany for refurbishment.

Also replaced the CR24 front rim we got in Chengdu with a Sun Rhyno.

Front rack had cracked on the other side, repaired by a brazer.

21150km, 19/7/04 Swapped chains Swapped chains

Note that both bikes had done about 1500km before we set out on the trip, so that should be added to the initial mileages.

Both bikes had Shimano M70R cartridge style brake blocks, meaning that we only had to carry the cartridge inserts, not complete sets of brake blocks. Of course the inserts are almost impossible to obtain other than from St John's Cycles so we put packs in our spares parcels.

Through accidental damage, wear and tear and such like we also consumed the following spares:

Mark's bike had a new frame at 4050km because the Nomad proved insufficiently stiff for the load. The eXp was much better. Gear and brake cables were replaced during the frame exchange.

Ju's back wheel was exchanged for one with a Sun Ryno rim at 4748km because the Sun CR18 had gone slightly out of true a couple of times.

Ju had new pedals at 18250km because she wasn't using SPDs anymore and fancied some wide platform pedals with grippy studs.

The one thing we had most trouble with was obtaining good quality tyres. We under-estimated how bad the roads would be in Eastern Europe, and the effect of snow, and struggled a lot with either poor quality local tyres or Panaracer Hi-Road 26 x 1.75" slick tyres when these were unsuitable for the conditions. If we had our time again we would ride slicks in Western Europe and then swap to Marathon XR for the rest of the journey, or even just ride Marathon XR the whole way.


Home Equipment index