Strida Tune Up
One of the nice things about the Strida bike is the minimal maintenance required, but the Strida will last longer and perform better with a little regular attention and a yearly Strida tune up. This will of course depend on the amount of time you ride your Strida. For a basic Strida tune up the only tools required are a set of metric hex keys. For lubricants I use a light oil for bearings and metal on metal moving parts. For plastic on metal moving parts a white lithium lubricant.
First let’s wash the Strida, warm water and soap applied carefully will clean off the road dust and dirt. There is no grease and this makes for a easier Strida tune up. When you are cleaning all the small details check carefully for loose spokes, tire wear and general signs of wear and tear. Loose spokes in the back wheel can make a noise when pedaling. Here is a link that will help you if you find a loose spoke or two.
Checking the frame
The new Strida reinforced frame introduced in 2012 has taken care of the older Strida frame weak points. For older Strida bikes the main areas to check are the bottom bracket welds connecting the bottom bracket to the bottom tube and the area surrounding the locking latch bolts.
Other places that have been reinforced are where the stem joins to the front tube behind the handlebars and the bottom of the front tube at the axle. I have never seen an example of these areas failing but checking them would seem prudent. Another idea is to remove the seat mount and check for stress, the part of the tube not visible around the seat pin holes.
Checking the rear hinge
Next I would fold the Strida watching the movement of the rear hinge, this is the joint at the rear wheel where the bottom tube connects to the seat tube. The cup spring that rests against the tube should not move when you fold your Strida, the part that should move is the small washer under the bolt that sits on the top of the cup spring. The pivot point is between this small washer and the top of the cup spring. This detailed post, understanding the Strida rear hinge will explain this in detail. If the cup spring moves against the tube then this needs to be fixed, this condition can lead to wear that not only becomes noisy but will lead to many other problems.
Other things to check
Snubber bearing, this is the bearing located under the freewheel that guides the belt on the freewheel. If you turn your Strida upside down and rest it on the handlebars and the saddle you will get a good view of the snubber bearing. This bearing should turn freely and a drop or two of light oil will help. While your Strida is upside down check the belt and the freewheel for wear. Wear of the freewheel is natural, the wear will be determined by use and the conditions you ride. At some point excessive wear of the freewheel teeth will result in your belt slipping. To replace a Strida belt the bolt under the bottom bracket needs to be loosened, the lock ring on the bottom bracket loosened with a hook wrench and the bottom bracket shifted to slacken the belt. Do not try to derail and remount the belt with a screw driver, this may damage the belt and or the beltwheel.
With your Strida upside down now is a good time to check your kickstand bolt, or if you don’t have a kickstand then the adjustment bolt on the bottom of your bottom bracket. This bolt needs to be tight, very tight so if it isn’t then remove it, clean it and reinstall with a thread locking compound.
For the bottom bracket on single speed Strida bikes check for side to side movement of the axle. There should be very little side to side movement, too much movement and the bearings inside the bottom bracket may be worn.
Check your tires for tread wear and cracks in the tire sidewalls. Check that the fender bolts have not loosened. To tighten the fenders you will need to remove the wheels if they are 16 inch. With 18 inch it is possible to tighten these screws by removing the tires and tubes from the rims. This link to Strida will help if you are considering removing the Strida wheels. Changing a tire on a Strida is very easy with the single sided fork, no need to remove the wheel to change the tire. Check the front and rear wheel bolts for tightness, don’t over tighten the rear wheel bolt, just make sure it has not come loose. Here is a link to a thread on the Strida Forum regarding the torque required or actually not required on the Strida wheel bolts.
The magnet that holds the Strida’s wheels together when folded is located in the front wheel hub. Located at the rear wheel is the magnet keeper. The magnet keeper connects with the magnet in the front wheel and makes the click you hear when folding the Strida. At this time you may also want to check the strength of the magnet. If the magnet strength is to strong and separating the wheels is difficult then this can be adjusted at the rear wheel. On the surface of the magnet keeper you will find a small hex set screw. By turning this set screw in a counterclockwise direction the set screw will extend from the magnet keeper lessening the contact area of the magnet and reducing the magnets strength. This small hex set screw needs to be secured with a thread locking compound or it may disappear.
Checking the brakes
Checking the brake pads can be easier with the Strida upside down, and did you know your Strida bike’s serial number is located on the bottom of the tube by the rear tire, now visible with your bike upside down.This blog post details checking the Strida brakes and replacing the Strida brake pads.
Locking Latch and bolts
Check the locking latch for operation, a drop or two of light oil in the top for the spring is good. The two bolts fastening the latch to the frame need to be tight, if they are not then this can be a source of noise when pedaling. If the bolts are loose enough the locking latch can shift position and make the removal of the bottom tube when folding difficult.
Top and bottom steering bearings
The top and bottom steering bearing are located on the end of the bottom tube where the tube connects to the locking latch. You can see the top steering bearing when you unlatch the bottom tube when folding the Strida. The bottom steering bearing is visible after you fold the Strida and set the folded Strida down on the rear rack. Both of these bearing could use a drop of light oil. It is important that these two bearing are free and rotate easily.
The adjustment bolt for the Strida handlebars is located in the center of the handlebar release lever. If your handlebars stick when folding them you could try loosening this bolt several turns so that the hinged part of the stem can be moved. This front hinged part can stick and make it difficult to fold the handlebars when the release lever is opened. Opening and closing this hinged part and applying a few drops of oil can help it’s movement. I have seen new bikes experience this problem, the handlebars fold much easier if this part moves easily.
A couple of small dabs of white lithium grease applied in the groves the pins on the end of the handlebars slide in can also help. The white lithium grease can be applied with a small thin screwdriver when the handlebars are in the folded position. The adjustment bolt in the handlebar release lever needs to be tightened so that the handlebars are not loose when the handlebar release lever is snug. When properly adjusted the handlebar release lever doesn’t need to be real tight, just snug will do.
Ball Joint Socket
The Strida ball joint socket is located at the top of the frame triangle. You may already know that care needs to be taken when folding and unfolding your Strida so the ball joint does not become dislocated. With normal use the Strida ball joint socket will not wear enough to need replacing but if your ball joint socket has been dislocated then it may have become weakened and should be replaced.
For a Strida tune up I suggest checking for visible wear and applying a small amount of white lithium grease to the metal ball and the plastic socket.
Check the bolts of the Strida standard seat mount for tightness. With the Strida adjustable seat mount check tightness of the quick release levers and check for missing parts like the red locking lever and the black plastic locking lever retainer. Check the saddle bolt for tightness.
Strida Tune Up Checklist
- clean you bike
- loose spokes and wheel true
- worn tires
- rear hinge joint, for proper movement of parts
- snubber bearing
- freewheel, for amount of wear
- belt, for signs of wear and cracks, belt tension
- kickstand bolt, for tightness
- bottom bracket, side to side movement
- frame parts, for signs of stress and cracks
- locking latch and bolts, spring operation and bolt tightness
- top and bottom steering bearings
- magnet strength, and wheel bolts
- brakes, operation and brake pad wear
- handlebars, operation and looseness
- ball joint socket, for signs of wear and lubricate
- seat mount, for loose bolts
Download for the Strida manual