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Video: Easy Ways To Tune Up Your Mountain Bike with Christina Chappetta

Jul 22, 2020
by Pinkbike Originals  

Does your bike ever sound like a bag of loose parts bouncing down the trail? Christina is here to show you a few simple ways to keep your bike fast, smooth, and quiet.


  • 104 0
 Can you make one for tired parents with no time? Must be shot in a garage after 10PM under a humming fluorescent light OR with kids in the background twisting every knob on the bicycle.
  • 39 0
 Skip the garage, that's for the fortunate ones. Go straight to upside down bike in the middle of the kitchen and the toolbox hiding under the couch.
  • 25 0
 Or the apartment dwellers that have to do the work on their balcony. Throw in the occasional bolt or tool drop from two stories up into some grass for good measure.
  • 2 0
 Hahah. Exactly my life.
  • 2 0
 Haha I’m asleep on the sofa by 10pm (because of said kids).
  • 5 0
 Obviously, kids should repeat "Dad, why are you so slow? Haven't you finished yet?" every 0,001 seconds.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 I hear you!
  • 39 0
 Does your bike ever sound like a bag of loose parts bouncing down the trail? No.

Me on the other hand......
  • 34 2
 Thanks for the great video! One thing I'll add is that if your headset, pivot bearings, etc. are running a little ragged, before you replace them try pulling the bearing seal with a sharp knife or pick, packing them with fresh grease (forcing out dirt/water/etc. if possible in the process), and replacing the seal. A lot of the time your bearings will feel brand new after doing so and you won't have to faff with pulling/pressing bearings or buying new stuff.
  • 11 1
 Love that tip! Thanks! I will sometimes go this length but usually have supervision from the pro mechanics to make sure I don't mess it up. Bearings are expensive!!! Grease is not :-)
  • 1 27
flag VZLNMTB (Jul 22, 2020 at 11:30) (Below Threshold)
 @christinachappetta: body parts are more expesive than bearings or grease.. sometimes is just not worth it
  • 30 0
 @VZLNMTB: how many body parts have you lost due to a crunchy headset or pivot bearing?
  • 6 0
 You should spin the bearings 360 degrees a few times as they only rotate 90 degrees during their life to distribute the grease evenly as well....
  • 1 6
flag VZLNMTB (Jul 22, 2020 at 20:05) (Below Threshold)
 @kwietrick: none, but bones can break over some faulty hardware.. I still don't think is worth it
  • 1 0
 Or if every thing is good, wipe away the dust, spin the bearings a few revolutions as bearings don't rotate much. This allows the bearings to wear more evenly; thus, promoting longer bearing life. Reassemble with a light coating of waterproof grease on the contact surfaces.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Cheap hack.

For a cheap portable low pressure washer, buy a pesticide sprayer from your local hardware store.

They usually hold about a gallon of water, and you can adjust spray from jet to mist. And pressure depends on how much you pump. Mine has lasted 15 years and bought it for 20 bucks. No batteries, cords etc to worry about.

Take it with me on road trips or races.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: I just just take my bike in the shower with me and you save water as well!!
  • 37 5
 I think Christina needs to find a good vet, because those pythons are SICK!! Great video as always!
  • 14 1
 Thanks! That's the best one yet!
  • 7 0
 @christinachappetta: please challenge both Mike's to an arm wrestling match!
  • 45 22
 I find the best thing to do with eagle is take it off and fit anything that Isn’t made by sram. Normally XT does the trick.
  • 3 1
 I did exactly this. Worked a treat!
  • 19 0
 In the dry season I've started just gently wiping my bike down with a soft microfiber cloth after every ride rather than washing it with water. Keeps the bike really clean and only takes a minute. Headsets, pivot bearings, hubs, and bottom brackets do a whole lot better over time if they don't get water in them.
  • 6 32
flag BiNARYBiKE (Jul 22, 2020 at 7:54) (Below Threshold)
 I use an air compressor to blow the dirt off my bike (going easy around the bearings). I'll ride in light rain but NEVER intentionally get my bike wet. I know for example that spraying off your bike is all the rage at the base of Whistler mountain, but it my experience, once you soak your bike, it's never the same again.
  • 11 2
 Same here. I bought my bike in 2018 and I never washed it - even after muddy rides. I just leave the mud/dirt to dry up and I just wipe/scrape everything off.
I didn't have to replace any of my pivot/shock/hub/BB bearings, and I ride 4-5 times per week.
  • 4 0
 Really great idea! Even the soaps and lubes can make a perfect rotor sound terrible so I'm pretty lenient with the washes. Thanks for that one!
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: yes we do this at the bottom of the hill at whistler Bike Park and don't put any lube anywhere after that...i guess that's why bike shops are this busy^^ ahahah
  • 3 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: I don't reccomend this. An air compressor can drive air and dirt in places you don't want. Your better off with a wash with a soft bristled brush, and low water pressure. For longer life of the seals and parts, use a shop vac on blow to get the water out of the hard to reach places, and use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe down any extra water. At the end of the day, there is no real hack to lengthen service intervals.
For Carthage bearings, throw a coating of waterproof/marine grease over the dust shield before reassembling. Yes this will attract dirt, but it will also repel water and excess debris.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I will hose the bike down sparingly this time of year- maybe once a month. It's not the end of the world but it does allow crud to migrate through the seals a little easier and can impact function overtime IMO. For most rides I'll use a soft bristle brush quickly over the bike to remove the dust/crud and then a firmer brush over the pivots, drivetrain and BB. I also make sure to run the firm brush through the cassette and then do a full spin of the chain while pressuring it with a clean rag, sometimes with degreaser, and then a quick hybrid wax lube before putting it away. I'll also clean the rotors with iso alcohol after every couple of rides- only takes a minute and to do and I find helps keep em smooth.
  • 2 0
 @audric: To be fair after a day of riding in the rain at whistler, probably doesn't matter if you clean it off with water. But anyway...
  • 4 0
 @jomacba: wow seems like i need to be a surgeon to wash my bike now^^
My tip:
Be gentle spraying your bike especially around pressure washer never ever.
Lube your chain, grease your headset once a month and get out there!
  • 3 0
 @jomacba: Out of curiosity, have you examined air-cleaned bearings and seals and confirmed this, or does it just sound true so you repeat it? In any case, I use a brush around the sensitive bits. If you live in wet enough climate that your bike is wet all the time anyway, then sure, hose the bike down. But it's going to be tough to convince me that bearings, chains, cassettes, etc. prefer getting wet to staying dry. Think of it this way, would you rather buy a used bike that's been sprayed off once a week for a year, or a used bike that's been cleaned every week but never been wet?

Part of my OCD about getting my bike wet likely comes from living and riding in Phoenix for over a decade. I could go years without a drop of water on my bike. When I took trips to BC I had to suppress my anxiety while riding in the rain. Now I live in Oregon and I'm getting better at accepting a wet bike, but I still don't clean with water. If the dirt on my bike is wet, I'll use a microfiber cloth and brush to clean everything off. I may earn some neg props in the comments section, but I do well in the Buy/Sell because I'm so OCD about my bike. Carry on!
  • 2 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: I have actually, as I used to use compressed air once upon a time, however this is contigent on a few factors. One being does the bearing have a laberyth seal and two, what do the dust caps look like. One thing that would be a variable in your case is the fact that uou seldom see rain, so I would image the accumulated dust wont turn to mud in the creases.
Where I live buying a bike that has never seen water is a brand new bike. In fact, when I bought my bike last, it rained on the drive home...
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: I rode in Vancouver a couple times while living in Phoenix and I might as well have been riding on a different planet. I love it up there though. Thanks for the insights!
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: My pleasure sir!!! I would imagine its much differant from Arizona. Definitely polar opposites.
  • 22 1
 Damm....Christina is ripped, look at those biceps...I don't want to mess with her.
  • 23 0
 Dunno...I thought she seemed nice.
  • 6 0
 Anyone found an efficient way to clean eagle cassettes?

I spend a lot of time with a pic digging out grass and leaves that the derailleur picked up and the chain mashed down between the cogs.

Someone invent cog floss please.
  • 6 3
 Finish Line makes the exact product you're asking for - Its called Gear Floss. It works reasonably well.

I use it occasionally, but my usual cleaning method is a park tool cassette brush (GSC-1) after a good soaking with a mixture of simple green and dish soap (my preferred de-greaser combo) applied through a spray bottle.
  • 2 1
 the big ring on the back side is pinned in. you can pry it off (carefully) and then have access to the backside of all the cogs. no sweat after that!
  • 7 0
 hahah I was literally pulling out twigs from my cassette before washing! The things you don't notice, until you look closely! I like the long bristle brushes. Park Tool makes a good one for the cassette but you can find them cheap at the hardware store usually :-)
  • 3 0
 Every shop I have worked in has had one of these. ( Best thing for cleaning cassettes I have ever used and I would love to add one to my own garage shops tool arsenal. Or you can take the cassette off, use hot water, Dawn dish soap, an old toothbrush and a pick tool and give it a good scrub in the sink.
  • 2 0
 Dishwasher with loads of powder/tablets
  • 5 1
 @uncanny: Simple Green is not good for your bike, leave that bit out the mix. Learned that the hard way after using it to clean my fork and completely destroying the internals.
  • 4 0
 Still use it on my tires though, works mint.
  • 5 0
 @uncanny: Be careful with Simple Green!!! It damages the finishes on some bikes.
  • 2 0
 @fishmanjohn: A parts washer in the garage would be such a dream.
  • 8 0
 Great presentation style. Christina badass as usual. And we want to see the outtakes, pretty sure those catches weren't t first take, :-)
  • 3 0
 hahaha good idea! I'll get Cole on those. You may have noticed my shirt was soaked from the hose at some point.
  • 8 3
 I think Christina has bigger arms than I do.... Just did the all that on my Slash about 6 weeks ago to kick off bike park season!
  • 8 1
 So you're saying I need a bike stand...
  • 9 0
 It's helpful but you can be creative! Or find a friend with nothing to do that can hold your bike and beer ;-)
  • 3 0
 @christinachappetta: Using a stand now, but in previous homes I've used: A convenient low branch to hang the saddle on, a laundry line pole, and a string hanging from the ceiling looped under the saddle.
  • 5 0
 @christinachappetta: No friend of mine will hold a beer without drinking it. . .
  • 1 0
 I would say it is worth getting a stand. BUT, there are lots and lots of things that suffice. Anything you can hang your saddle from at the right height basically. I've seen friends use a strap over a beam in the garage, clotheslines, strap between two trees, etc. I recently got a Recon rack for my car and when laid back the wheel rests are perfect to hang a saddle from for parking lot repairs.
  • 3 0
 Many times what sounds like it might be coming from the bottom bracket is actually the pedals and/or the cassette. I clean and regrease the pedal/crank arm and the cassette/hub every couple of months with Phil Woods. My bike doesn't creak. Ever.
  • 5 0
 Oil swap after 10 rides!? I'm here to learn. I also want to add a zero to that number so I don't hate myself more than I already do 0_0
  • 2 0
 50 hour service.
  • 2 0
 I'm sure she meant to say every ten months Wink (and counting in my case)
  • 7 2
 Great video but I have to disagree that those are all "easy" maintenance jobs.
  • 1 0
 Same. Maybe I'm just chicken, but anything suspension related I get worried about. And every 10 rides for a fork oil change seems crazy.. that's probably be right and I'm just neglecting the hell out of my baby tho haha
  • 2 1
 The best question is where to find brake pads for shimano Saint m810 and zee saint derailleur in Vancouver. Same thing for seals for Marzocchi and BOS fork. I have been to 10 mtb shops and they have no stocks. I had to order everything from Europe lol and it was cheap as F**k.
  • 1 0
 Great video, I found it interesting and well presented, but most of the suggestions are beyond my skill set/knowledge, available tools, space and lack of a bike stand. I can't be alone as an avid biker, not having bleed kits, a bike stand, torque wrenches, multiple types of oil and grease, etc. at my disposal. I would classify this video as an overview of advanced tune up tips, especially the items around pulling apart the fork and BB.

Would it be possible to do a video on basic tune up tasks or do videos on each of the individual tasks you demo'd and break it down in terms of what tools/parts one needs, cost to acquire the tools/parts, where best to get the tools/parts, estimated time to complete task, step by step instruction on how to do the task.

Christina, keep up the good work, you are a great addition to the PB team and your videos are quite good.
  • 2 0
 This is a good point. I'd love to see more videos like this tailored to different types of people.

That said, anyone who has basic mechanic abilities and rides a lot should be able to / have the tools to do a handful fo these. Hex wrenches, tire levers, pump, a torque wrench, chain tool, grease (not necessarily suspension oil) a bleed kit for whatever brakes you have, and some brushes/cleaners are about all you need to do basic and frequent maintenance. Hell, half of these things you should be carrying on the trail. Just my opinion. We've all got to balance time/money our own way.
  • 1 0
 @unfknblvbl: I agree, most people have a pump, some brushes,cleaner, basic lube, chain tool (maybe) and hex wrenches. And are capable of cleaning, their bike, tightening spokes, swapping out pedals, tires, etc. These are very basic tasks and are not complicated.

Pulling BB and taking apart forks are fairly advanced and required specialized tools, knowledge and parts.

Torque wrenches are interesting item of their own, acquiring these tools is like the quest for the holy grail in my area. Either shops don't carry them or out of stock or the ones they do carry are uber expensive and only cover a couple of the bolts and torque specs one needs.
  • 1 0
 Late to the party but a good video Christina. I don't oil change the forks every 10 rides, more twice a season. I will though wipe down stanchions with a microfiber cloth as well as the dropper and rear shock after every ride - if the bike is pretty foul, then a light rinse and then dry with a towel - then the microfiber cloth over the a fore mentioned parts. With a hose down, just use tap pressure and more of a mid wide spray rather than a pressure wash or focused water spray. A soft brush and detergent for tricky parts on the bike and WD40 helps clean the drive train with a brush well but then, dry the bike with a towel and kitchen paper on the drive train. Don't let it air dry. When drive train is dry, lube. I wipe down the drive train after every ride and use a Teflon based lube which works well. Instead of the 10 ride fork lower service, I will run some 5w Teflon oil on the stanchions as well as my dropper and shock. Leave over night and then wipe off when I go for my next ride. I don't try to force the oil into the seals but I will work the components before wiping them down for the ride.
  • 1 1
 @christinachappetta has more muscle than many of my riding buddies JAJAJAJA...Nice video by the way (like all yours) and those are many things that the people doesn't like to touch because their lazy... And after few rides they pay it at the trail Razz
  • 1 0
 I don't think it has to do with lazy and more of a lack of knowledge, tools, space etc. There are plenty of factors why a lot of people don't fidget with their bikes beyond cleaning, tightening bolts, and tightening spokes and other basic tasks.
  • 1 0
 Why does christina always tape off the fox logos on her bikes components? I get that she is supported by Marzocchi but fox owns Marzocchi's distribution so it's not like she's promoting for a rival company.
  • 3 2
 If you do such bleeding with pads and rotor on, you are adding extra fluid to the system. This is ok, but you will have to bleed brakes again to install fresh pads.
  • 2 0
 Yup, always use a bleed block.
  • 1 0
 Great point! I have about half my pads left so we ran with it. Almost time for new rear ones though after a big weekend, in which case I'll do a full gravity bleed of the system and she'll be smooth as butter!
  • 3 0
 If you crack the lever bleed port when you push the pistons back, the excess will flow out
  • 2 0
 Yeah, high pressure on that hose is for sure the best way to make things last longer....
  • 2 1
 I have been using the WPL shock cleaning oil and it really seems to lift the dirt up and out so it can be wiped off.
  • 2 0
 You forgot to talk to your bike during the process. ????
  • 2 0
 i like these lasses videos. they seem down to earth and to the point.
  • 2 0
 great video thanks!
  • 1 0
 Awesome vid Thanks alot girl
  • 1 0
 Amazing video.
  • 1 2
 how many times does she refer to her trek slash or specific products in this advert?
  • 4 0
  • 1 0
 Could have been worse. You can play sponsor bingo with GMBN videos, but you get nothing for a muc-off as they mention it three vids out of five.
  • 1 0
 @AlexSplode: Don't watch GMBN or any other videos that constantly mention products.
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