Garage Files: Things Even Good Mechanics Can Miss



they make sure they are all facing the same direction. They also make sure the ends are clipped clean and flush with the head. While running sloppy zip-ties may not be a safety issue, running them clean and aligned shows you care about your bike. We like to use a pair of flush-cut pliers or a pair of fingernail clippers to take care of the ends.


21-Every suspension design is different. That means that the old advice to “just put your bodyweight” in the shock is completely wrong. Every bike requires a different pressure to work properly, and that’s determined by the linkage, leverage ratio, shock valving, etc.

However, there is one fool-proof method to setting up suspension properly: put the shock in the “open” mode and then set the sag. For most bikes, this will mean your bike will sit through about 20–30 percent of its travel with your body weight on the bike in the riding position.

22-Pedal cleat bolts love to come loose, so it’s best to use a thread- locking compound on them rather than grease. This will prevent them from coming out unexpectedly and will also allow you to remove them easily when you need to.


23-Before working on any part of your bike, it’s always a great idea to use your smartphone to take a picture of the area you’re working on. Whether it’s a factory-routed cable or the orientation of a bearing, it’s always great to have a photo to look back on so you can “put it back to stock.”

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