Mountain Bike Maintenance

Fix your own bike…

A Home?

with 26 comments

Educate yourself about Net Neutrality; it allows you and everyone else to view this site (well, this and the rest of the internet) for free. It’s not somebody else’s responsibility. As of May 2018, it looks as though the fight is lost. Here’s where we are at (link).


This is the home page for what will become my own series of MTB maintenance guides. There’s a handful linked below, with the rest linked in ‘The Pages’ over there on the right. There’ll be more added over the next few weeks and, hopefully, beyond. If you’re new to MTB or to MTB maintenance, I’d recommend reading the basic guide and the tools page before you go anywhere else. This whole endeavour started out as a cleaning/maintenance guide for beginners on the MTBR forums and has grown as I got my hand into more and more aspects of my own bike, so it does all have a loose chronology to it. Please feel free to use the Comments boxes to ask a question if what you’re finding here doesn’t quite cover what you’re looking for.

Basic Cleaning and Maintenance Guide

DMR V8 Pedal Overhaul (Cup and Cone)

Hope Braided Hose Assembly

Hope Brakes – Bleeding

Hope Mono Caliper Overhaul (Mini/Trials/M4/V2/M6)

Shimano Hub Overhaul (Cup and Cone)


These guides and the photographs contain within it are my property and as such are covered by copyright. Please feel free to provide links to this guide, but do not copy or reproduce any part of it without my permission.


Bicycle -n. a vehicle of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals and steered by handlebars attached to the front wheel. It’s that simple; here are mine…




Check out (up-to-date MTB content and product reviews).

Written by SteveUK MTB

March 11, 2008 at 11:39 pm

26 Responses

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  1. Just to say thanks for the awesome Mono Caliper guide – been looking for one for ages. Now just have to find myself a bore cap tool………


    April 14, 2008 at 10:59 am

  2. Great guide Steve!, getting myself the new 08′ Giant Reign 1 in a week or so and could use some maintenance tips..hope you keep it updated with the latest..i would check back everyday/weekly if ya did..

    Once again thanx.



    April 25, 2008 at 3:04 am

  3. Thanks for the Hope brake overhaul guide! I have a sticking piston in my M4 and was wondering how to take it apart.

    Steve Conner

    May 2, 2008 at 11:07 am

  4. Great guides! been very, useful, thank you so much! 🙂


    September 2, 2008 at 7:52 am

  5. Great guide for someone new to the sport like myself. Is there any chance this could formatted in a more printer friendly manner, say like a pdf document?


    September 10, 2008 at 8:26 pm

  6. Dave, I’m working on it. I have quite a few more articles which I will be ready to publish by October/November and will edit/reorganise everything else when I roll them out. If I can get my tiny mind around it all, I’ll put some PDF documents together when everything is up-to-date. In the meantime, good dirt and enjoy the ride…

    SteveUK MTB

    September 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm

  7. For a beginner like myself I really like the in-depth detail of the tutorials
    especially the cleaning and maintenance. I’m sure it is overlooked by many how to clean deep inside some those parts at home and rather than taking it in to the shop. Please if you have time the Front Derailleur Set-up would be appreciated greatly. Thanks for the great effort.


    September 24, 2008 at 11:14 pm

  8. Really pleased to find a blog/site which explains things in every step and doesnt talk down to the reader.

    There’s so many articles out there that simply assume you know what you’re doing (hey we searched for the help so no we dont!)

    Keep up the good guides, Im sure this will start to become a regular visit for me for those “How to” moments.

    A bottom bracket guide would be very useful! (hint!)

    Ben (UK)

    September 29, 2008 at 4:37 pm

  9. Cheers Ben, I’m glad you’ve found the guides useful. The BB/crankset guide is already on its way – watch this space (or one just like it!)…

    SteveUK MTB

    September 29, 2008 at 6:39 pm

  10. Steve,
    Thanks for the guides. I want to rebuild my mini calipers and levers. By the way, do you know a good place to order the rebuild kits? I live in WashingtonState, USA
    Thanks, Dave

    Dave C.

    March 11, 2009 at 1:19 am

    • Hello Dave. Try JensonUSA (link) for sets of caliper/lever seals. The caliper piston and lever piston seals are identical for the Mini and Mono Mini, with only the MC diaphragm being different in the ’07 lever. Hope usually put one if each in their sets.

      If you struggle with any small parts, just contact Hope USA directly.

      SteveUK MTB

      March 11, 2009 at 10:41 am

  11. Loving the site. Going to be a god send in future months. Was trying to put together a shedule of maintaince for myself, wondered if you had done similar? e.g every ride, clean and rinse, weekly, proper clean, lube, fortnightly, clean fork seals, monthly check chain wear?

    Obviously depends on how and where you ride but just curious to know thoughts.

    Anthony Fryer

    March 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  12. Thanks for Hope Brake Bleeding info. I am about to try this tomorrow – gulp.

    Some people recommend a syringe to extract oil, is that better?


    July 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    • It’s a cinch, Graham; don’t worry about it. I find the method I described to be simple enough, plus it requires less additional tools. The master cylinder is so small that the lever-pull method works well as it easily controls how much fluid is passed into the system at any time. Bear in mind that you’ll need a constant supply of fluid into the MC as you pull the syringe; otherwise you’ll end up pulling in air.

      SteveUK MTB

      July 13, 2009 at 7:24 pm

  13. Steve,
    Thank you so much. I have been fixing bikes for 40 years but had little experience of modern bikes. Thanks to you, today I have stripped, repaired and rebuilt mono minis and fitted new derailleurs with confidence. Best wishes.

    David who knows more than he did before

    August 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

  14. I have a set of Hope Mono M4’s and I’m wanting to replace my hoses. As it turns out, I have the early black with gold bore cap version that has 6mm hoses. It looks like they don’t make the 6mm horses any more and I was wondering if I can just use the 5mm hoses and olive with my 6mm fittings? Thanks, Duane.

    Duane Stark

    September 7, 2009 at 12:51 am

    • The 6mm olive will not work with the 5mm hose; it won’t compress small enough to form a suitable seal. You could file the olive at the slot so that it will close further when compressed, but you may find that the internal bevel of the shroud won’t allow full compression. Brakes are an important (vital!!) safety component, so it’s worth spending a little extra to get the proper parts. My advice would be to order the 5mm fittings when you order your hose. If you can’t find anywhere that sells them, call Hope in your country (international contact link) and they’ll fix you up.

      SteveUK MTB

      September 11, 2009 at 8:01 pm

  15. I believe when you need a dictionary to read the first paragraph of a blog post, you really wouldn�t want to continue, especially when you�re in a rush.

    P a k l e k U p i k

    February 25, 2010 at 6:12 am

    • Yeah, if you can’t make it through the first paragraph, P, then you’re really going to struggle with the rest of the guide. You should probably just go somewhere else, or ask somebody else to read it for you.

      SteveUK MTB

      February 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

  16. I have an SRAM x.5 rear derailleur. How much free spin should the two pulleys have?


    February 9, 2011 at 4:36 am

    • Free spin as in how long will they spin, without a chain, after you let go? Not very much, if any. As long as you can turn them without any obvious friction, they’re doing OK. It may be possible to get a few spins in if the bushings/seals are all perfectly clean, but it’s not really a problem if they don’t.

      SteveUK MTB

      February 9, 2011 at 11:08 am

  17. Thanks Steve

    With a read over you guides I have just turned a set of mono m4’s ( black and gold) into practically new ones with red goodridge hoses and fittings, red bore caps, new plastic pistons, piston seals, fully refurbed master cylinders with gold levers and internal gubbings.

    They look the biz on my polished 2009 meta 5 build (built up from an abused thing which was feeling really sorry for itself in the corner of the garage) its been reborn!!

    Now just need to bed them in once the big outdoors thaws out a bit!!

    Thanks again, first time I had stripped a set and it was actually pretty easy, cursed the seals a little getting them in 😉


    February 3, 2012 at 12:12 am

  18. Good guides – well written. A genuine resource. Congrats & many thanks!


    April 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  19. Can you do something about your net neutrality comment? It doesn’t belong on such a well thought out maintenance guide. Your context also shows that you misunderstand what would happen if it actually went into effect, as laws are often disguised to serve some other selfish purpose.

    Missed the Point

    January 19, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    • Net Neutrality is not something that will come into effect. It’s what we had, what was always in place, and what has now been lost in the US. I will do something about the comment, I’ll update it to re-emphasise the importance of a network not owned and controlled by corporate political/social interests and agendas.

      SteveUK MTB

      May 22, 2018 at 8:48 am

  20. Hi Steve.
    Just a quick word of thanks, I had to rebuild a set of Mono Minis, and the local stores in New Zealand all recommended I just buy new brakes! I’m stoked to have rebuilt them now thanks to your advice and a few cheap parts and tools from online.
    Really appreciate your guidance, and recommend your work to anyone!


    November 6, 2016 at 1:10 am

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