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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-01-02, 01:37 AM   #1
tFUnK
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install derailleurs f/r, cassette, etc

hi i am a total newbie when it comes to mountain biking but i am trying to make my 96 giant boulder more able on the hills and trails. the frame is 4130 chromoly and i am swapping out the wheelset, cassette, and derailleurs to all shimano XT group. down the line is a shimano LX crankset.

my question is how to know what size front derailleur i need? how to tell if it's top/bottom pull/swing? is it easy to install?

i have never really messed with anything tech when it comes to mtn bikes but i am the type who likes to figure out and do things myself. how difficult will installing cassette and derailleurs be? what about the crank and some shifters too?

if all this is beyond my abilities, then how much can i expect to pay at a LBS to get stuff installed onto my bike?

any help is appreciated, thanks:confused:

edit: how good is the 4130 chromoly frame? i know its an entry level bike but as a frame would it perform ok?

im also installing a controltech stem, how easy is it to do this? is everything pretty much self explanatory when i take a look at the parts and try to assemble them to look like how they were on the bike before? or are there tricks to it and its not something i can emulate visually?

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Old 07-01-02, 03:10 AM   #2
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let's see...
For your fr. derailleur, you can check to see if it's top pull or bottom pull buy looking at where the cable comes from. If it routes down along the downtube, it's a bottom pull. Top tube = top pull. As for size, i think if you take off your existing derailleur, there should be a size on the inside of the clamp itself (i think). Install is pretty easy if you have a 5mm allen key and the alignment block that will come w/ your new derailleur).

The only tricky thing (more like tedious) about derailleurs is the cable setup. Play w/ it and the shifter and i'm sure you'll get it. As for cassette removal and installation, you'll need special tools for this. You'll need a 'chain whip' and also a cassette lockring remover (Park tools are really good). You'll need to position the chain whip over one of the larger cogs and then thread the skewer through the lockring remover and tighten it. Then, as you hold the chain whip, you'll need a wrench to unscrew the remover attached to your cassette. (not as hard as this sounds..hope it makes sense!) To install the new cassette, just put the cassette on and once again, thread the skewer through the lockring remover and tighten it. You don't need the chain whip now cuz your freewheel will engage and won't spin it. Just tighten it w/ a wrench till you feel it clicking into place.

Now cranks also require a special tool. In order to remove them, you'll have to take off the allen bolt (8mm?) and then thread into place a 'crank puller.' Thread it in till it doesn't go in any deeper and then start rotating the handle clockwise. Eventually, you'll feel resistance so turn it a few more turns and your crank should be able to come rite off. To put it back on, just use the allen bolt and tighten it (but don't go nutz trying to tighten it!!! you don't want to mess up your bottom bracket spindle)

I'm sure if you buy this stuff from your local bike shop, they'll probably put it on for you free of charge. But i do recommend building your tool collection. Some of these things are really useful when you want to do it yourself and other maintenance.

I'm not too familiar w/ the 4130 designation, but i assume it's a doublebutted steel frame. It should be good if you're not too anal about weight. Steel frames last forever.

As for you stem install, i think all you'll need is a 5mm allen key to remove your old one and put on the new one. Replace you stem w/ the new control tech one, and put on the plastic or metal top cap. thread the bolt through the top cap and into the starfangled nut inside your steerer tube. Before you tighten the bolts on the stem, tighten the topcap bolt. Tighten it until you feel no slop in your headset (hold the front brake and rock the bike back and forth while your other hand is on the lower headset cup just above the fork--there should be no movement). Line up your stem as straight as you can w/ your top tube, and tighten your bolts on the stem that clamp the steerer tube. once tightened onto the steerer, back off a few turns of the top cap (top cap shouldn't be tightened onto the bike once the clamping bolts are tightened).

Anyways, i hope my instructions are clear for you buddy. Good luck.
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Old 07-01-02, 03:52 AM   #3
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:thumbup: :thumbup:

thank's man!
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Old 07-01-02, 03:55 AM   #4
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i need one of those chain popping things huh? also which is the down/top tube?
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Old 07-01-02, 04:10 AM   #5
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No worries man, hope it's all clear for you..

Chain whip you mean? You'll need it cuz if you have only the removal tool for the lockring, it'll spin when you try to loosen it (same as pedaling backwards..it freewheels), so the chainwhip allows you to prevent it from spinning..

The top tube is the tube that is between and closest to your croch when you stand w/ the bike between your legs. A top pull front derailleur will route the cable along the top tube and then down along the seat tube (where the seat post goes into) to the derailleur. The down tube is the one that goes 'down' from the front of your bike (the fork and front wheel) towards the crankset (the 3 big gears). It usually is the tube w/ the brand name of your bike on it (ie: Trek..etc..)
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Old 07-01-02, 04:14 AM   #6
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The top-tube is the one at the top

A chain tool is a worthwhile investment, even with an SRAM chain, you'll need to get it to the right length.

I think you'll find your frame has a chromoly seat-tube but unbutted hi-tensile steel for the remainder of the tubing. It'll be a little heavy and might not have the spring of a better frame but should be robust enough.

Is your stem headset or quill-type?

It's worth your while buying a basic maintenance book.

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Old 07-01-02, 04:50 AM   #7
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Your number ONE acquisition should be a book on maintenance. It will answer every question you have now and almost every question you will have in the future.
Working on bikes is not rocket science, but you do need to be able to "think with your hands." You said you like to figure things out; that means, you're half way there to being a bicycle mechanic.
If you search the forums you'll find lists of books that other members have found useful. A member --mike-- recommended a book by Sloane just a few days ago. It is one of my favorites, but there are many others.
If you search the forums archives you'll find links to web sites on maintenance -- Harris Cyclery-- is one of the better and most complete sites there is.
There is NO job on a bicycle that is beyond the capabilities of any forum member who wants to do it theirself --with the possible exception of frame repair. Good Luck.
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Old 07-01-02, 06:13 AM   #8
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TFunk
dude, go to Mountain Equipment Co- Op (MEC) they are awfully helpfull there, and buy, Richards bike repair or Zin's repair. Seriously... books help with the details..
and remember its the little things that allways go arwry!
I F*** wit my derailurs for the longest time before reading up on it.
Also, make sure you arent going to reuse your old chain, spend the 8 bucks at hell, buy all your tools / tubes / yadda yadda at MEC... their pricing is good because they dont want to make a profit.

Good luck!

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Old 07-01-02, 10:30 AM   #9
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good ol MEC
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Old 07-01-02, 12:07 PM   #10
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LOL
Yep MEC,....
$2 innertubes...
$6 brake pads...
well as long as you're in the neighborhood, otherwise its the LBS
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Old 07-01-02, 12:11 PM   #11
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i live in thornhill but im downtown every weekend so it works out for me
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Old 07-01-02, 02:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scooby Snax
LOL
Yep MEC,....
$2 innertubes...
$6 brake pads...
well as long as you're in the neighborhood, otherwise its the LBS
Don't forget they also stock Kool Stop Salmon pads which are very hard to find in a lot of places.
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Old 07-01-02, 02:23 PM   #13
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is there a mec in california? haha...

one question on the books... are they pretty much universal or do i have to buy a book specific to my bike?
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Old 07-01-02, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by tFUnK
is there a mec in california? haha...

one question on the books... are they pretty much universal or do i have to buy a book specific to my bike?
First off, this link http://www.sheldonbrown.com/repair/index.html will answer a lot of questions. Also, check out http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQindex.shtml

If you buy Zinn's book, there is one for MTBs and one for road bikes. I'd guess that there will be a lot of overlap between them.
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Old 07-01-02, 11:26 PM   #15
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turns out the cassette is already on the wheel, so i dont have to worry about that. the derailers i am getting next week and it shouldn't be too bad i'll get a friend to point some things out to me before i start taking things apart. my question now is whether or not i can use a 7speed shifter derailer with a 8 speed rear cassette? this is not for long term just a week or so until i get new derailers and put it together right. so any way to make the derailer work? doesnt have to include using the last gear but if it can work just for riding around thats good. thanks
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Old 07-02-02, 03:17 AM   #16
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i think it can be adjusted to work, but you might be riding w/ a single speed until you get the proper shifter. if i were you, i'd just wait the week for the parts to come in..that way, you don't have to deal w/ routing cables through and adjusting it twice...
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Old 07-02-02, 03:53 AM   #17
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I ran 7 speed shifters on an 8Spd cassette for a week whilst awaiting new shifters but only a couple of gears ran without rubbing.

(It's likely to be the shifters that cause the problem not the derailleur - you'll be unlucky to find a seven speed derailleur that doesn't have the throw for eight)
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Old 07-02-02, 10:41 PM   #18
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well i put the wheellset and cassette on and i also put a chain on and i think after that chain i began encountering problems. the front will not shift onto 3 the biggest gear and the chain gets stuck at the derailer and cant pedal. the rear is ok but gears jump around when i go over bumps or even when i climb. i cannot go into my 1 in the rear so climbing i was on the 2nd easiest gear. everything else was fine. oh yeah, i also popped my rear tire going downhill over bumps.. think it was overinflated tube
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