Refurb Bikes Checklist

Use the Refurb Bikes Checklist to guide you through refurbishing a bike.

Note that there is some logical thought put into the order of the list and list items and skipping ahead can potentially result in having to redo steps again later, so picking and choosing items at random may not be beneficial. For example:

  • If you skip ahead to changing the shifter cables and later find one or both shifters were not functioning properly, you may end up having to redo the cables again after locating suitable replacement shifter(s) or having to disassemble the shifter to clean out.
  • If you skip ahead and replace a tire or tube but the wheel ends up not being true and is beyond repair, you may have to remove and reinstall them onto a new wheel.
  • Starting with brakes is always a good idea because if you are testing/installing drivetrain parts or wheels, you will need a way to stop them.

Bikes that are in the process of refurbishing are tagged with RED TAGS.

Bike that have been fully refurbished and are ready for sale are tagged with GREEN TAGS.

This checklist must be fully completed and the bike test ridden before a bike is considered ready for sale.

To increase visibility of available bikes (and hopefully sell them faster), post completed bikes in the #bikes-for-sale Slack channel. See Posting a bike for sale for more details.

Checklist Items #

F and R indicate the item in question has a front and rear component, respectively.
Initial are the initials of the volunteer who has verified this list item has been completed.

Summary #

Colour/Make/ModelA short description of the bike, ie: “Orange Linus cruiser”, “Blue Supercycle Mountain Bike”.

This is just in case the checklist falls off the bike or gets mixed up with other checklists, we can quickly identify which bike the it belongs to.
Ad #The next available number in the #bikes-for-sale Slack channel.

See: Posting a bike for sale for more details.
Date StartedWhen refurbishing has begun on the bike.
Date Tested/VerifiedWhen the completed bike has been tested and verified to be ready for sale.
Checked/Test Ridden ByThe individual who tested and verified the bike is ready for sale.

Note: The person who performs the test ride should not be the same person who finished the repair. This is just so there is a second set of eyes on the repair to make sure nothing is overlooked.
Serial #The serial number of the bike (if applicable).

It is usually found on the underside of the crank and will require the bike to be flipped upside-down. But it may also be found on the headset, rear stays, seat tube, or top of the crank.
BIIndicates that a volunteer has verified that the serial has not been registered on Bike Index and thus (hopefully) not stolen.
Frame SizeThe frame size of the bike will help potential customers find a suitable sized bike. It may be helpful to include both the measurement and the size, ie: 17″ (Medium).

Refer to the sizing chart.
PriceThe price of the bike.

Refer to selling a refurbished bike.

Brakes #

Brake Pad WearIndicates there is enough braking compound remaining. If the grooves are hard to see or there is uneven wear, it is time to change the pads.
Brake Pad AlignmentEnsure there is enough clearance such that the wheels spin freely and are not rubbing against the tires and the pads have enough contact with the braking surface.
Brake Arm FunctionThe brake arms open and close freely and brakes stop wheels from spinning.
Brake Arm Tension Brake arms close easily and reset to the proper position such that the pads are not rubbing against the braking surface.
Lever Condition/AngleTest that the brake levers function properly, in decent condition, and are in a comfortable position when the rider is in the seat.

Drivetrain #

Shifters FunctionCheck that not only do all the gears shift up and down on the shifter, but that there are the correct number of gears! Sometimes damaged/sticky shifters may not shift to the highest or lowest gears.

If the shifter is integrated (having both the shifting and braking component together), it is a very good idea to test this before verifying/fixing the brake components or else you may have to redo some steps after having to replace the shifter.
  • Hanger Alignment
  • Indicates the hanger is properly aligned so that the rear derailleur may shift properly.

    If alignment is needed, use Park Tool DAG-2.2.
    Derailleur ConditionCheck derailleurs freely move the chain up and down the gears.

    For rear derailleurs, check the limit screws are not corroded, jockey wheels are not worn and can spin freely, cage is not bent, etc.
    Bottom BracketBearings are do not require servicing, spin freely, lack corrosion, secured to the frame, and are properly greased.
    Crank & Pedals SecureCrank: Both sides are properly secured and spin freely.

    Pedals: Properly tightened. Applying grease in threads is also a good way to prevent potential corrosion and makes future removal easier.
    Chain Condition & LubedChain moves freely, free from corrosion, properly sized, not too worn, and sufficiently lubricated.

    Use Park Tool CC-2 to check chain wear.
    Gears ShiftChain moves up and down each gear freely and limit screws are properly set.

    Front: make sure chain is not rubbing the front derailleur.

    Rear: gears are indexed.

    Wheels #

    Wheel TrueWheel is aligned and does not wobble (too) much. Wheels should not be rubbing against brake pads. Also check spokes are not too loose.
    Hub, Axle, and BearingsWheels spin freely without much resistance and bearings are greased and do not require servicing.
    Rim TapeWheel has rim tape and all spoke holes are not exposed.
    Tire ConditionTires have sufficient grip and rubber is not cracked.
    Tire PressureTubes are filled with sufficient air pressure. Check tire sidewall for recommended pressure ranges.
    Wheels Fully in Drop-OutsWheels properly seated in drop-outs and square to frame. Check that axle nuts or quick release skewers are also properly tightened.

    Misc #

    HeadsetHandlebar and fork freely turn without much resistance and bearings are greased and do not require servicing.
    Stem Bolt TightStem bolt sufficiently tightened such that the handlebar does not come loose from the fork.
    Grip/Tape ConditionGrip/tape not cracked, sticky, missing, etc.

    Duct tape is not acceptable handlebar grip/tape!
    Seat Post Moves Up/DownSeat post height can be easily adjusted. Lubricate the seat post with grease to prevent potential seizing with frame.
    Housing ConditionCheck cable housing is not too hard or brittle. Aged housing can restrict cable movement and impact braking and shifting performance.
    FerrulesMissing or corroded ferrules should be replaced.
    Cable EndsEnds of cables are capped with tips and properly crimped and not loose.

    New Parts #

    • The most commonly replaced items have been pre-filled (brake pads, cables, cable housing, tubes), along with their prices per unit.
    • Any additional parts can be filled in the remaining lines or the back side if there is not enough space.

    Checklist PDF #

    The latest version of the checklist can be downloaded here:

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