Velo Garage

“I thought of that while riding my bike.” ~Albert Einstein

Bicycle Repairs & Projects

This is where we get our hands greasy. Tips for bicycle maintenance and modification.

How to rust-proof a steel bicycle frame

September 11, 2012
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Whether you are restoring a neglected classic, or protecting a new, thin-walled thoroughbred bicycle frame–the latter demanding particular attention to rust-proofing–longevity can be enhanced with a little preventative medicine.

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Servicing threaded headsets

August 18, 2012
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If you are restoring a vintage bike or prefer to outfit your classic retro-randonneuse with the appropriate parts, here’s a guide to maintaining and adjusting a standard ball-bearing steering mechanism.

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Overhauling cup & cone bicycle hubs

April 3, 2012
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Restoring or maintaining a vintage bicycle? Keeping cup & cone hubs running smoothly is the foundation of efficiency and longevity. Here’s a video illustrated tutorial to help you get your bearings [...]

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Removing cassettes & threaded multispeed freewheels

February 7, 2012
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Whether you’re turning the latest freehub/cassette combo or a retro multi-speed freewheel, here’s a basic guide to removal and installation of derailleur sprockets [...]

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Removal & Installation of Bicycle Pedals

December 5, 2011
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The most common pedals have 9/16″ x 20 tpi threads.

Occasionally, you might run into pedal with ½” x 20 tpi, usually on old one-piece cranks.

Even older French cranks used a 14 mm x 1.25 mm thread. Unless you’re restoring an old “randonneuse,” you’re not likely to run into such a beast. [...]

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How to install integrated brake/gear shift levers

November 30, 2011
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Prepare your bike by adjusting handlebar position. Peel back rubber hoods on “brifter” units Loosen clamp and slide unit onto handlebar and position (rear derailleur control on right) Tighten shifters in place with 5mm allen tool Check position. End of brake lever should be at lower curve of drop. [...]

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Removal & Disassembly of Bicycle Cranks

April 30, 2011
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Occasionally, you’ll want to remove your cranks for cleaning or replacement of worn chainrings. Don’t be intimidated; it’s not a difficult job, as long as you follow a few basic rules. A couple of tools are required: A bolt removal tool—either an Allen wrench or spanner—and a crank puller. [...]

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How to measure a bicycle chain

April 30, 2011
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Save the Sprockets! Proper installation and regular inspection for chain wear will preserve your whole drive train and save you money. New chain installation There are several methods of determining chain length for derailleur-gear drive-trains, but none is more simple—or any more accurate—in my [...]

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How to Remove & Install a Bicycle Chain

April 30, 2011
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Without your chain, you’re going nowhere, so it pays to maintain it. Removing your chain also makes cleaning a snap. Inexpensive tools or quick links help. Derailleur-equipped bicycles require “endless” chains. That is, links must not interfere with the passage of the chain through the derailleur gear system. [...]

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Clean & Lube Your Bicycle

April 30, 2011
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A simple bucket of warm, soapy water is the foundation of bicycle ablution. Any liquid car wash will do the trick. If you use dish soap, note that it often contains salt, so rinse well.

Sponge the frame, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. Use a retired toothbrush to reach difficult spots, such as behind brake calipers and cranks. [...]

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How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire

April 30, 2011
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Recipe for roadside repairs A simple fix If you ride a bike and you don’t have a special dispensation from the Polybutl Fairies, you’ll eventually be faced with a flat. Punctures are no big deal, if you’re prepared. With the right kit, you can fix a flat in minutes. Here’s how: Repair kit saddle pouch Use […]

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How to Patch a Bicycle Tube

April 30, 2011
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A home recipe for polybutl repair If you followed my advice on the Fixing a Flat page to save your punctured tubes to patch at home, you might have collected a few. Here’s how to patch them: Find the puncture First, inflate the tubes and examine them for punctures. Hold tubes up to your cheek to […]

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Installing Velo Orange bicycle racks

April 28, 2011
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VO Randonneur Front Rack Constructeur inspired Before you begin First, a warning: this is definitely not a job for the faint of heart! In particular, the beautifully crafted front “Randonneur Rack” (for use with caliper or centre-pull brakes), calls for metal-working skills, as it comes with a plain, unfinished tang that requires shaping and drilling to […]

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How to install Honjo Fenders

April 28, 2011
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& beautify your bicycle Complete Honjo Aluminum fender kit Hardware requirements (see list, right sidebar) will vary, depending on your bike. Fortunately, Honjo offer enough fasteners to thrill a phalange of fitting freaks. Here we are mounting the fenders to a Rivendell Bleriot, with Tektro R-556 (long-reach) caliper brakes. Rear Fender/Mudguard     1. Begin by […]

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