Ask a Mechanic | Spare Parts

Question: On a previous video you mentioned that spare derailleur hangers are good idea to purchase when buying a new bike. Are there other recommendations for parts that should be purchased or preventive maintenance preformed when buying a new frame or bike? From: Jay

Answer: Great question. The general rule is to have the kind of things on hand that are typically hard to find special order items that are essential for your bike to function. If these parts fail or go missing, you are off your bike until the new part arrives. In my experience that generally means waiting at least two weeks for the part to arrive. That is a very long time off of the bike for someone that rides nearly every day. Hopefully you never have to use the spares you purchase, but you will be glad you have them when something goes wrong. Here is what you should look for:

On road bikes it really depends on the bike you ride. Some aero and TT bikes have unusual cable setups so it is a good idea to have some spares on hand for when these wear out or get damaged or lost during routine service. These parts may include special ferrules, special clips and covers, special bolts, and special cable noodles or housing; including cable sleeves and liners.

Wheels that use proprietary spokes can often be difficult to find replacement parts for in a hurry. Art’s carries many of these and even sells them one at a time, so find out which ones you need and be prepared. If you are looking for a spoke that we don’t have on the website, call us, because we may have it in stock in our Service Department.

For mountain bikes a spare pivot bearing kit is good to have along with spare pivot hardware. Be sure to get “Max” type bearings that are packed to the brim with waterproof grease. Folks buying new mountain bikes should also pick up some tubeless tire sealant, because the sealant in your tires will most likely dry up before the tread wears out. Spare presta valve cores are good to have too because sealant tends to clog them up over time. While these last items aren’t hard-to-get proprietary parts, you don’t want to have to abort a ride because you are having trouble airing up your tires.

Welcome to our Ask a Mechanic column where our expert mechanics Daniel Slusser and Greg O’Keeffe answer your bike maintenance questions. If you have a question for us, please post it on the Art’s Cyclery Facebook Wall or e-mail Daniel directly at To see more great how to videos click on the highlighted link to subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay up to date on each episode of the Art’s Cyclery/VeloNews Ask a Mechanic Series.