Classic Bike FAQ

FAQ Artwork

This classic bike FAQ is about maintaining 18-/21-/24-speed MTB and hybrid models from the classic era between 1985 and 1995.

How do I get a stuck seat post loose?

If you have an aluminum seat post sitting in a steel frame, try cooling down the post by either using a coolant spray or putting the bike outside in an icy winter night (if you live in a climate zone with winter frost).

In freezing temperatures, while steel remains almost unchanged, aluminum will shrink in volume. This will help breaking the bond between both materials. Support this process by applying penetrating oil such as WD40 along the post into the seat tube. Put a spare scrap saddle onto the seat post and hammer on it sideways with a rubber mallet. After a while, you should notice some small movement.

The problem is rather common, particularly when a seat post got mounted without applying any anti-seize lube or is stuck to its position unchanged for years and years.

How can I fix a shifter that fails clicking into certain gears?

Flood the shifter with penetrating oil such as WD40 using the holes in its casing. Switch the lever repeatedly back and forth through all gears until you notice a change. The problem affects almost exclusively Shimano STI rapidfire shifters from around the 90s. The factory-applied grease hardens to a point where the latches get blocked from clicking in.

What is the best Shimano groupset for MTBs and hybrid bikes?

Considering the key factors performance, durability, and price, you will end up with a hierarchy as follows:
– Deore XTR:
– Deore XT:
– Deore DX:
– Deore LX:
– Deore: