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  1. #1
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    Brought an used bike, what should I do?

    Hi all,

    I'm was an auto tech and now I'm back in college in hopes to do something more with my life. I'm very mechanically incline (comes with the job) and I'm comfortable doing everything that deal with nuts and bolts.

    I recently brought a used 720 multi-track and everything is straight. A little rust here and there, but no major corrosion going on. The cassette is chewed up, and the chain needs replacing, but I was planning to replace those anyways.

    My question is, what should I do to this bike to make it road worthy? Should I tear it down, inspect everything, repair everything, and find and treat the rust? Is there anything specific I should be looking for?

    Thanks for the help,

    Curtis Wilson

  2. #2
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    A little rust is tolerable. First thing Id do is make the drivetrain clean and functional.
    Replace the chain and cassette. Also inspect the chainring's teeth. If the teeth are a little curved
    and shark-fin shaped it should be replaced.

    Of course make sure the brakes are functional. If the bike is very old, it can be helpful to sandpaper
    the brake pads lightly to give them some texture.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  3. #3
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    You could repack the hubs and adjust the cones that engage the bearings, replace the rubber brake pads and ensure the cables are intact and that the brake levers can exert full force without hitting the handlebars. Make sure it shifts through all the gears without jumping off the inside or outside of the cogs and ensure critical other parts like the steerer are properly set up and won't fail on a fast downhil. Check that bottom bracket doesn't have much play. That would be a start.

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    Senior Member fujibike's Avatar
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    Don't forget where the rubber meets the road......

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    I'm was an auto tech
    So, now that you're not an active mechanic, you've forgotten what mechanics do?

    What would you do if you bought a used car?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrenchDevil6 View Post
    So, now that you're not an active mechanic, you've forgotten what mechanics do?

    What would you do if you bought a used car?
    Tune it so it doesn't smoke anymore, and then turn around and sell it for 3x the profit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Tune it so it doesn't smoke?????

    Are you sure the cassette is "chewed up" and you aren't confused about shift ramps?
    New ones look "chewed up" to an extent.

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    Actually after closer inspection the cassette doesn't look all too bad. A little love and it should be alright. That chain had to go though, no way I'm trusting my life on it.

    The frame is all dismantle except for the Crank assembly. Should I bother with this thing? I don't have the tool needed to get this thing apart (well I can get creative, but I want this bike to last), but I would imagine there is something needed lubing in there.

    One last thing, what is a good online part shop?

    Tune it so it doesn't smoke?????
    Yeah, buy some old junker and just do enough so it runs halfway smooth and pass emissions. Turn around and sell it for profit. You be surprise what people are wiling to spend on a car.

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    IMHO, eBay is great for parts for used bikes, but I would default to Nashbar if that isn't comfortable for you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    Actually after closer inspection the cassette doesn't look all too bad. A little love and it should be alright. That chain had to go though, no way I'm trusting my life on it.

    The frame is all dismantle except for the Crank assembly. Should I bother with this thing? I don't have the tool needed to get this thing apart (well I can get creative, but I want this bike to last), but I would imagine there is something needed lubing in there.

    One last thing, what is a good online part shop?



    Yeah, buy some old junker and just do enough so it runs halfway smooth and pass emissions. Turn around and sell it for profit. You be surprise what people are wiling to spend on a car.
    The best places to shop online are: Nashbar, Performance Bike and JensonUSA. For the first two shops, make sure you use a 10%-20% off promotion code since there's always one floating around. (Check the Coupons forum here.)

    You could probably leave the crank assembly -- bottom bracket, cranks, etc. -- alone. Most recreational bike owners never ride their frames to the point where the crank assembly needs to be overhauled.

    This is a great starting point for bike repair: http://www.parktool.com/repair/

  11. #11
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Get a part-time job at a bike shop.

    You won't make jack squat, but you will be able to buy all the stuff that will be worn out on a used bike at cost.

    You will also be able to learn that buying a used bike may be the equivalent of building a car piece by piece at the auto parts store and that buying a new one at EP is the cheapest route.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  12. #12
    stay free. frankstoneline's Avatar
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    My suggestions for rebuilding bikes is generally as follows, though take it for what it's worth, I dont do anything bike related professionally, I just like wrenching and learning, especially tearing down and rebuilding stuff.

    first, look into the rubber bits, brake pads, tires, tubes etc. next invest in a tube of phil grease and I look to headsets, pull it apart and grease it up if it's loose ball. Pull the cranks apart and rebuild the bottom bracket and then do the hubs if they are loose ball as well. Lots of grease, adjust the cones so they roll well. Reassemble the cranks put the wheels on. Next put it all back together with a new chain, maybe some new bar tape etc. Then, adjust everything, saddle, brakes etc. Make sure you grease up all the contact points with the phil grease including the seatpost and the stem if it's threaded. If you are really picky, you could pull apart your pedals and grease them up.

    For about 8 dollars for a tube of grease and 15 for a decent chain you can get a bike back into running order, so I think it's sort of hasty to say buying a new bike is cheaper than rebuilding an older one. Besides, who wants to let a trusty old steed go to waste when a few dollars and a bit of attention can make it perfectly rideable
    xoxo David
    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    katana's out frank! always be ready.
    <edited>

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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    Actually after closer inspection the cassette doesn't look all too bad. A little love and it should be alright. That chain had to go though, no way I'm trusting my life on it.

    The frame is all dismantle except for the Crank assembly. Should I bother with this thing?
    If the cassette teeth are worn a new chain will skip, even though the old worn one didn't. So you may end up needing a new cluster.

    Most of the time bottom brackets are sealed and not intended to be serviced. Instead they are replaced when they wear out, and that would be when you grab both cranks and rock them and can feel the play in the bottom bracket. However there's probably no reason not to have a look inside.

  14. #14
    118AHC "Thunderbirds" 2372ighost's Avatar
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    This is a very helpful How to site;

    http://parktool.com/repair/

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    Damn I'm hate going in circles but here's where I am at.

    1. Crankset needs to be replace. The gears are riveted on, and the gears are missing tooth/worn.
    2. The rear Cassete needs replacing, yes it is a freehub.
    3. Cables needs replacing.
    4. I hate gripshift, so I'm replacing that with rapidfire (I rode my friends bike and holy **** they're cool!)
    5. This bike was previously a commuter (last owner said he put thousand of miles on it), so I'm not too sure on the condition of the bottom bracket. I might as well replace it for the hell of it. (edit: read the above post and I have no play in the bottom bracket, so all is cool for now)
    6. The bearings in the handle bar/fork assembly thing is all good.
    8. I doupt the freehub needs to be replaced, a little lube should be good.
    9. The front hub feels good, a little lube and it should be good.
    10. Sanded down the rust I was worried about, and rattlecan spray some rust resistant primer. Yes it isnt a complete fix, but this bike is going to be a beater. One day I may be so in love with this bike that I will acid dip it, or weld up a replica of this frame.

    So, that's my ten step program to make this bike streetable. After that I have to make it a commuter (lights, fenders, rack, tires, tubes, etc).

    Now it may seem like a lot and the question I'm gonna be asked is "Why dont you just buy another bike?". Well the answer to that is, "Why not fix up this bike?". I like taking old things and fixing them up, it's probably why I made it my career for awhile. Same thing with cars. Yeah I can just buy a Corvette and get a car that is 100% better in every aspect of my current car, but I enjoy tinkering and moding my car.

    So matching a crankset to the bottom bracket is a matter of matching the fitting, eight? Right now it's a square, so I guess I just get a crankset with a square hole?

  16. #16
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    1. Crankset needs to be replace. The gears are riveted on, and the gears are missing tooth/worn.
    Are you certain? Most modern chainrings have rivets, ramps and shortened teeth to aid in shifting. They are only truly worn when the chain no longer meshes correctly or teeth are bent/broken affecting shifting.

    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    2. The rear Cassete needs replacing, yes it is a freehub.
    Agreed. A worn cassette cannot be adjusted to work properly.
    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    3. Cables needs replacing.
    Agreed. Replacing cables and housings are typically the #1 performance improvement for the buck.
    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    4. I hate gripshift, so I'm replacing that with rapidfire (I rode my friends bike and holy **** they're cool!)
    They both perform equally well when adjusted. Performance varies with quality level.
    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    5. This bike was previously a commuter (last owner said he put thousand of miles on it), so I'm not too sure on the condition of the bottom bracket. I might as well replace it for the hell of it. (edit: read the above post and I have no play in the bottom bracket, so all is cool for now)
    No need to replace it until it's completely worn out.

    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    6. The bearings in the handle bar/fork assembly thing is all good.
    It's still a good idea to pull it apart and repack it, especially with bikes that have been exposed repeatedly to rain.
    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    8. I doupt the freehub needs to be replaced, a little lube should be good.
    True. Oil it with a viscous lube.

    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    9. The front hub feels good, a little lube and it should be good.
    The correct lube for hubs is grease. Cone wrenches will be required.
    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    10. Sanded down the rust I was worried about, and rattlecan spray some rust resistant primer. Yes it isnt a complete fix, but this bike is going to be a beater. One day I may be so in love with this bike that I will acid dip it, or weld up a replica of this frame.
    Sure, as long as the rust isn't to deep, ride it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    Now it may seem like a lot and the question I'm gonna be asked is "Why dont you just buy another bike?". Well the answer to that is, "Why not fix up this bike?". I like taking old things and fixing them up, it's probably why I made it my career for awhile. Same thing with cars. Yeah I can just buy a Corvette and get a car that is 100% better in every aspect of my current car, but I enjoy tinkering and moding my car.
    Agreed. My previous statement was just a warning against the common misperception that fixing an old bike is always more economical than purchasing a new one. Factoring in new parts, lubricants, cleansers, tools and the value of your time, it can become a labor of love, not frugality.

    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    So matching a crankset to the bottom bracket is a matter of matching the fitting, eight? Right now it's a square, so I guess I just get a crankset with a square hole?
    Lots more to it than that. Every crank is made to use a certain size range of bottom bracket spindle (or in the case of two-piece cranks, correct spacers for the bottom bracket width) for proper chainline on a given frame design.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  17. #17
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    Concerning the crankset,

    You know, now that you mention it the chrainrings follows a certain pattern and it's clear now that this is intentional. Thank you for the tip! Looks like I just have to clean it out really well and lube it up!

    -
    Curtis Wilson

  18. #18
    Senior Member 04jtb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    Now it may seem like a lot and the question I'm gonna be asked is "Why dont you just buy another bike?". Well the answer to that is, "Why not fix up this bike?". I like taking old things and fixing them up,
    Well you've come to the right place
    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    i jam my thumbs up and back into the tubes. this way i can point my fingers straight out in front to split the wind and attain an even more aero profile, and the usual fixed gear - zen - connectedness feeling through the drivetrain is multiplied ten fold because my thumbs become one with the tubing.
    A group for all Dawes Galaxy owners to give and recieve information about them
    http://flickr.com/groups/dawes_galaxy/

  19. #19
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gascostalot View Post
    Concerning the crankset,

    You know, now that you mention it the chrainrings follows a certain pattern and it's clear now that this is intentional. Thank you for the tip! Looks like I just have to clean it out really well and lube it up!

    -
    Curtis Wilson
    A good thorough cleaning is always a good start. It allows one to inspect all the components and find issues before they become serious problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  20. #20
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Curtis, if the bottom bracket of the bike is of the cup and cone variety, you may as well replace it with a sealed cartridge type:
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...tom%20Brackets

    Sealed cartridge BBs are relatively inexpensive and less of a hassle to deal with than c&c.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  21. #21
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Lots more to it than that. Every crank is made to use a certain size range of bottom bracket spindle (or in the case of two-piece cranks, correct spacers for the bottom bracket width) for proper chainline on a given frame design.
    So how does one find out this essential information? When I went through this process, I bought a crank and then discovered that the old bottom bracket needed to be replaced (old one was "semi-cartridge" and road grit ate the bearings). I went to the LBS to buy one, and the guy there looked up my new crank in some secret decoder book and told me what size I needed (he also told me my old derailer wasn't quite the right size for the new crankset). What was that book and where do I get one?

  22. #22
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    So how does one find out this essential information? What was that book and where do I get one?
    Most likely a wholesale distributor's catalog or a Sutherland's manual.

    Given a model number, most newer compatibility information can be found online. For older parts, a shop's archives may be the best source. It sounds like you found out that an experienced mechanic has a lot of this information memorized and can recognize many issues at a glance.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  23. #23
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    Okay,

    So the hubs are taken apart and the cups are good, but the cones are pitted. No big deal, right? Well I find the front cones easily, but the rear ones are weird. Some cones are labeled left, some are labeled right. But the cones on the bike look exactly the same. This is the one I need

    http://www.harborcountrybike.com/product_p/hu3520.htm

    and as far as I'm concern, they're both the same. So bugger this whole 'left' and 'right' thing, right?

    Thanks,
    -Curtis Wilson

  24. #24
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    When I see external rust, the first thing I do is pull the seat post, and with a flashlight, inspect the inside of the seat tube. As you look down the tube, a common place for rust is at or near the bottom bracket. If I see rust there, I go ahead and acid treat the frame (search for oxalic acid for more info in that regard).

    Disassembling a bike down to the frame really doesn't take very long. Take some digital pictures of cable routings and similar as a reminder of how it all goes back together.

    Some bike shops will remove the bottom bracket for you, which is better than destroying parts for sure. My local shop removed two for free, the third was a tougher job, they charged $10. Be sure to reward them with some business in return.

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