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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 06-06-03, 11:10 PM   #1
Logan S.
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have $100 cdn to upgrade

i have about $100 cdn that i would like to spend on my new mountain bike. i bike mostly on paved paths and simple cross country style trails. but i'd like to make the bike ready for more rugged use. what should i invest on?

Got a new bike, nothing to fancy, from local sports retail store. so far this is what i know is strapped on it:

fork - Zoom 327 Escape Series
rear shock- Kind Shock 260
rear derailleur - Dynamax 10
front derailleur - Shimano
rear cogs - ???
crank - ???
frame - y frame, high tensile steel
shifters - microshift
brakes - ???
tires - el cheapo (brand ??? don't know)
rims - aluminum
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Old 06-06-03, 11:40 PM   #2
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A good tune-up by a conscientious mechanic at the local bike shop could be a smart buy The typical sports store leaves something to be desired in the assembly and tuning. So you stand to gain better performance, possibly additional safety, and fewer problems in the future.

Aside from that, some bar-end extensions (if you don't have them) and a waterbottle & holder, or preferably a water-pack like a Camelbak, would be practical upgrade items. And of course, a helmet. If you're going to be riding in the dusk or at night, consider a headlight and a blinking taillight (I like the Cateye HL-500 and RR-LD500). If you don't have a small multi-tool, a spare inner tube and a small pump, add those to the list of possibilities

The type of bike you describe is not really intended for high-performance off-roading, and some actually come with disclaimers saying they're not for off-road use at all. My suggestion is to focus on accessories that you can migrate to your next bike, or which are for the motor (Camelbak, gloves, helmet). Hope that helps
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Old 06-08-03, 10:10 PM   #3
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thanks for the advice mechBgon

i got a few things, water bottle & holder, a few basic bike tools, & a cleaning kit for my chain. i think i really should take it in for a good tune-up though. i noticed my brakes aren't adjusted properly. after i squeeze the front brakes and then let go... they don't seem to ease up. i also noticed the whole brake mechanism shifts to one side. (when i push my bike forward) i then get that really annoying noise the brakes make when they barely slide along side the aluminum rims

i notice that there are screws on boths sides of the brakes, that don't seem to be screwed in all the way. what are those for?
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Old 06-09-03, 12:01 AM   #4
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The screws you mentioned fine-tune the tension of the return springs on each arm. If you want, you can try fixing the sticky-brake problem by adjusting these screws. There is some more info on how to adjust brakes here: http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...arbrakes.shtml

Brakes are a definite safety item, so if there's any doubts in your mind about how to do the adjustments, at least have a shop eyeball it for safety issues when you're finished. If you do get a tune-up, the shop will typically
  • adjust the bearings that the cranks, wheels & fork rotate on (this often has a big positive impact on the longevity of these parts)
  • make your wheels as straight as practical (the wheel rims double as the brake rotors for most bikes, so straightness helps with getting the best brake performance)
  • adjust the brake system for best performance, and hopefully no howling noises or incidents of the brake pads eating your tire
  • adjust the shifting and drivetrain
  • lube the chain, air the tires, and often some amount of cosmetic cleanup
Good to hear you're getting equipped. Does it get muddy where you live? If so, that chain cleaner should come in really handy
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Old 06-10-03, 10:28 AM   #5
Logan S.
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help tweaking rear coil spring

just took the bike in for a tune-up. feels and sounds much better now. he tuned the brakes and fixed the play in my steering. everything seems smoother than before. i just noticed i could adjust the rear suspension but not too sure what to do. I'm not too sure what these spec's mean for my rear end shock...

C/C : 125, 150, 165, 180 mm
Travel : 26, 33, 42, 48 mm
F : 450 ~ 2500 lbs./in.
Weight : 390 ~ 650 g
Material : Alloy body 6061 T6 forged
CNC machined
Type : Coil Spring Shock Absorber

what should i be setting the travel for the coil spring at for best performance?
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Old 06-10-03, 01:51 PM   #6
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48 mm will give you the best performance and ride off-road, but on regular road-riding it will make the bike feel much slower and cushiony, so you won't be getting to your destinations as fast. Do you know what make and model the bike is?
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Old 06-10-03, 08:16 PM   #7
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It's an Nakamura Vertical. I read somewhere on the net that it's made by Raleigh but I still question that statement. I got it at Sportchek (Canadian Sports Dept. Store). I haven't been biking for about 12yrs... I chose to get this bike to see if I'd be interested in taking biking to the next level, off-road trails: hills, up\down hill... stuff like that. If I find that this bike isn't going to hold up to off-road riding I'm going to get something better next year.
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