As we all know, due to the epidemic and the superposition of various factors, the demand in the electric bicycle industry has shown an increasing trend in recent years, but manufacturers have not been able to keep up with the pace of demand. The shortage of bicycles and parts is real, and while many forecasters say it will continue until 2022, perhaps everyone has already prepared for a long-term shortage. In this case, you may need to use your existing parts for a longer period of time. Here are some suggestions, highlighting some areas that may be overlooked, so that your parts can have a longer life.
1. Maintenance and prevention of damage to parts are the key
Choose when and where you ride your e-bike
Not riding in inclement weather will greatly increase the life of your drivetrain, brakes, tires and bearings. Of course, sometimes this is unavoidable, but if you can choose not to ride on wet, muddy, or padded gravel trails, your bike will thank you.
If it is absolutely unavoidable or planned to ride off-road, then you need to consider whether the route you choose will have water accumulation. For example, after a heavy rain, the trails and gravel roads will be wetter than the wide roads. A little adjustment of your route will Will greatly extend the service life of spare parts.
Clean your drivetrain, lubricate your chain
Keeping your drivetrain clean and lubricated can greatly increase the life of the drivetrain. As an extreme example, in the case of lack of maintenance, the entire drivetrain of the same model is covered with rust after less than 1000 kilometers of use and has to be replaced, while those who keep it clean and use high quality lubricants, only the chain You can use at least 5000 kilometers.
In order to pursue marginal benefits, people have developed different chain oils. A well-maintained chain can have a service life of more than 10,000 kilometers, while other components are far beyond this category. If you feel the chain load is rough or dry during riding, then it needs to be lubricated as soon as possible. Generally, chain oil is divided into wax type (dry) and oil type (wet type). Generally speaking, wax type chain oil is not easy to stain and is suitable for drying. environment, reduce chain wear; oily chain oil is suitable for wet environments, with stronger adhesion, but it is easy to get dirty.
Checking the chain wear and tension in time is another important point to protect the transmission system. Before your chain wears and becomes longer, you need to replace it in time, so as not to speed up the wear of the flywheel and the disc, or break and cause unpredictable damage. A chain ruler is usually required to confirm whether the chain is stretched. Some brands of chains come with a chain ruler, which needs to be replaced immediately when the chain exceeds the stretch warning line.
Implement preventive maintenance
The drivetrain is just one part of the bike, other things like bottom brackets, headsets, hubs, etc. can also be implemented preventive cleaning and maintenance. Simple cleaning and lubrication of these often-overlooked areas, removing accumulated grit and preventing corrosion, will also greatly increase service life.
Also, if your car has moving parts like shocks or dropper posts, fine dust can get trapped under the seal and gradually damage the surfaces of those telescopic parts. Usually suppliers recommend that similar parts be serviced at 50 or 100 hours of use, and if you can’t remember when the last service was, it’s definitely time to service.
Brake pads and pads inspection
Whether you’re using disc or rim brakes, the braking surfaces will wear out over time, but taking precautions can go a long way toward improving part life. For rim brakes, this action can be as simple as cleaning your rims with a clean rag and removing any buildup from the brake pads.
For disc brakes, the most common cause of premature wear is uneven friction caused by improperly installed calipers or by warping the pads. Disc brake road kits are one of the parts most affected by supply chain shortages, and adjustments to the brakes can have a huge impact on wear and braking performance. Usually, when the thickness of the pad is less than 1mm, the pad can be replaced. In addition, don’t forget that the disc will eventually wear out. Checking the relevant parts in time can find the problem as soon as possible.
Avoid getting wet with sweat and take active maintenance
The winter weather in the north is cold, and many riders choose to use the riding platform at home. Because of the relatively fixed posture and a lot of sweat dripping, it is very likely that the sweat will penetrate into the interior of the parts, and the salt carried in the sweat will accelerate the metal zero. Parts are oxidized, and the accumulated salt will also cause damage to the parts. There are many pictures of salt-corroded parts on the Internet.
Therefore, when using the riding platform or riding on a muddy road or after riding, you should avoid direct infiltration of sweat and mud into the parts. If it has infiltrated by accident, please actively clean it, which will greatly extend the service life.
2. Select compatible products to upgrade or downgrade appropriately
1. When the parts do reach replacement, you find that the products of the same model are already out of stock. At this time, you need to find a more advanced or downgraded compatible product to replace. It’s also an opportunity for you to learn about the part compatibility you need and see if there’s a low-end or high-end part that can be substituted.
For example, road chainrings are a classic example. Starting at 11 speeds, Shimano Ultegra chainrings can be swapped out on almost any model of Shimano cranks. Cassettes and chains are another example where speed matching can be safely upgraded or downgraded regardless of grade. Usually for the drivetrain, other parts of the same brand and the same speed can be mixed, such as 105 cranks with Dura-Ace chainrings. Or choose some third-party discs.
For other parts, the main focus is on compatibility, such as the OD2 head tube and other parts such as seat tube diameter, which can be selected as long as they are compatible.
3. Select third-party spare parts or other channel products
Thanks to the X treasure market and various channels that cannot be talked about in the past few years, the price of Shimano accessories was once quite low, which meant that products could be purchased quickly online without geographical restrictions. Now these channels are gradually disappearing, and prices are rising.
This means that you can choose products from third-party accessories manufacturers on some wearing parts, such as Jagwire brake pads, whose products often claim to have performance advantages, have better prices, and are quite compatible with the original factory. And KMC, YBN, SwissStop, SunRace and other accessories manufacturers are also actively expanding their scale and gradually seize the accessories market.
2. At the same time, the emergence and even the rise of transmission kits are also actively grabbing the existing market. After years of development, manufacturers such as Blueprint, Shuntai, and Micro-Turn have been actively researching and developing them. It takes the lead in using 13-speed than other aspects, taking the first-mover advantage and giving drivers one more choice in the fierce market competition.
4. Search in the second-hand market
With parts shortages, purchasing new parts can be difficult and expensive. If you’re not an OCD sufferer, buying used parts might be a good way to go. You can find them on certain fish, certain Zhuan and even foreign shopping websites.
Of course, it is not recommended to buy consumable parts in the second-hand market, such as chains, flywheels, etc. It is also not recommended to buy second-hand products such as brake blocks and discs, but other spare parts can be selected if they are in good condition.
It is worth noting that the second-hand market is risky. Most of the products have no warranty, and the quality of the products depends on their own judgment. Whether they can accept these shortcomings varies from person to person.
5. Avoid copycat products; choose carefully and avoid fakes
As long as the products are purchased from unofficially licensed channels, especially on second-hand platforms, there is a key problem: the existence of counterfeit products.
Counterfeits and knockoffs are nothing new, and the number of knockoffs in the bicycle industry is also on the rise. Fake Shimano and KMC chains are all over the place these days and can tip over if you’re not careful. In order to meet the needs of some people, it is no secret that copycat carbon fiber frames such as S-Works and Pinarello, carbon fiber parts and even junk products known as factory goods exist.
These products all have major safety hazards, and various brands and platforms are also working hard to crack down on the manufacture and sale of counterfeit goods. As consumers, don’t be greedy for petty gains. Buy from a trusted retailer.6. Think outside the box
Need a new gear kit but none of the merchants have it in stock? Maybe it’s the best time to think outside the box and convert it into a single-disk shift. Even if it’s aggressive enough, the flywheel doesn’t need to be converted into a complete single-speed car. This idea isn’t for those who ride in groups and live in bumpy terrain, but it’s certainly an option for those who prefer solo riding and flat conditions. A typical single-speed conversion requires a single-speed cassette and chain without any shifting system, and best of all, it’s not very expensive or a permanent change.
The above is just an example, so that you can jump out of the inherent thinking in the case of shortage of parts, and maybe you can have a different experience.
7. Don’t always be in the online world
Because of the rapid development of the Internet, many people live completely in the online world, and it is easy to form an information cocoon. The spare parts information searched on the Internet will show out of stock and premium prices, which is very likely to be misled.
The reality is that many spare parts manufacturers will close online agents, online sales channels to support their offline retail partners. Like Giant, Trek, Specialized, or just about any major bike company parts are fully serviced offline. The same goes for Shimano, SRAM, Fox, and countless other spare parts manufacturers, not all of which are available on the internet.
If you can’t find parts online, give your local bike shop a call and see if they can help, there’s a good chance there will be a different fix.