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  1. #1
    uber noober RedLT4Mike's Avatar
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    Bringing a used bike back to life

    I just bought a 1999 Trek 820 MB off Craigslist with the intention of
    getting a good deal on a used bike. Wal-Mart was not an option for me.

    He said the bike has been hanging on his wall for years and has seen little use.

    The chain has surface rust and the tips of the gears have some as well.
    There is no lube on the gears or chain, and it makes a clicking sound like it's
    trying to shift gears. The left grip slides off when riding too.

    What maintainence do I need to do in order to bring this bike up to snuff?

    BTW, I picked it up for $120. Good deal, or not??
    My gear: "New to me" 1999 Trek 820
    My skill level: ZERO! I've got high hopes!

  2. #2
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    Whether or not its a good deal depends upon where you live. I'd definately say that it wasn't a bad deal at all.

    For the slippy grip, either wrap a piece of wire around it, twist the wire down tight, cut it off and stick the end into the grip OR take the grip off and spray the inside of it with hairspray.

    Put some lube on your chain and see how it works. The shifters probably need a little alignment, which will likely cure your clicking sound.

    Check out parktools.com and Sheldon Brown's site for the best repair help.
    The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare. -Juma Ikangaa

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    The clicking sound from the gears almost always points to a rear derailler cable that's a little loose. It could also be an out of alignment rear derailler hanger. Either is a relatively simple fix. The above mentioned websites will both have good info on how to go about your repairs.

    I'd say you got a decent deal on the bike especially given the age. All of the bikes I've bought for under $100 have been 10 years or more older.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    It's really hard to say without seeing it what it needs, but at a minimum I think you should get a new chain because you said it had surface rust and, unless $12 is going to break you, you don't want to ride around on a rusty chain. Also new brake pads, the old ones are probably hard and/or worn. And just spend the 5-$10 for new grips. Also get a bottle of thin lube, like tri-flow or pro-link.

    You ought to take the thing apart and put it back together with new grease all around, but if you don't want to get that into it the above parts will help a lot in terms of performance and safety and will cost probably less than $40 total. Then another $5 or so for a little thing of lube and put a little on every moving part of the derailleurs (wipe off excess of course), put a little into where cables go into housings, put a little on the shifters' moving parts... stuff like that. It's hard to screw up lubing. If you lube something that doesn't need lube it won't catch on fire.

    Give it a good cleaning first, of course. Just a damp rag if stuff isn't too bad, if there's greasy messes everywhere some degreaser or simple green... If the chainrings and cassette aren't too worn then your new chain will work great with it all (wipe off the excess packing lube on the chain- but no need to remove it, it works fine to keep the chain lubed for many miles). If the tires aren't cracking and stuff you sholdn't need to worry about those. Ride it like that and someday if you get the notion do stuff like relube the hubs and what-not, but that can probably wait.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I seem to be getting fairly good at restoring some old bikes. My first suggestion is to inspect everything and give it all a good workout to find what's worn and what isn't. Stuff like the brake pads can be easily determined by looking at them--if they're getting thin or appear to be about to fall apart soon, put some new pads on there. Otherwise, just squeeze the brakes and adjust the cable (preferably by loosening the cable-bolt on the brakes, positioning the brakes to where they're close to grabbing (but not touching), pull the cable tight, and then tighten the bolt (actually a two-man job, but skilled users can do it themselves). Same for the derailers--put them in their home positions, pull the cable tight and crank it down). Adjust everything as necessary. Also, use plenty of lube on everything. For now, B'laster or WD would be fine--just hit it every ride or two. You're mostly trying to get lube on it and get the junk off to where you can get everything in adjustment and determine what you really need. Once you determine how the bike is functionally and get all the dud parts changed out, then you can start worrying about what lube to put where.
    Dispite all my rage I'm still just a rat in a cage...

  6. #6
    uber noober RedLT4Mike's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great insight guys!

    I cleaned it up with a wet rag and it is a good looking bike considering it's age.
    It's in really good shape overall.

    I took it down to a LBS and one of the techs said it was complete and relatively unused.
    He said it could probably use some adjustment and lube, so he suggested a $50 tune-up.
    Is this something I should have done? What I was thinking is that I can lube it up myself,
    and see how it runs.

    So far, my purchase list includes:
    1. New Chain
    2. Brake Pads
    3. Grips
    4. Helmet (I don't wanna hit my head and tYpE LiKe tHiS)
    My gear: "New to me" 1999 Trek 820
    My skill level: ZERO! I've got high hopes!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedLT4Mike View Post
    Thanks for the great insight guys!

    I cleaned it up with a wet rag and it is a good looking bike considering it's age.
    It's in really good shape overall.

    I took it down to a LBS and one of the techs said it was complete and relatively unused.
    He said it could probably use some adjustment and lube, so he suggested a $50 tune-up.
    Is this something I should have done? What I was thinking is that I can lube it up myself,
    and see how it runs.

    So far, my purchase list includes:
    1. New Chain
    2. Brake Pads
    3. Grips
    4. Helmet (I don't wanna hit my head and tYpE LiKe tHiS)
    If you aren't in a hurry to have the bike running perfectly, take the time and learn how to do the adjustments yourself. There aren't too many things to adjust or maintain on a bike. The main things you need to know how to do are to adjust brakes and deraillers. Those are the things that you'll spend most of your time maintaining. The wheel and headset bearings are adjustable on all bikes and the crank bearings are adjustable on some. Some of these adjustments require special tools which you'll need to acquire though. For $50, you can get most if not all of the tools you need for almost any tune up job. On all the used bikes I've bought, the wheel bearings always seem to be set too tight and the headset and crank bearings are usually too loose. You'll get the most out of your biking experience by making sure these things are set up properly.

    Since you mention a helmet, I have to comment (yes, I know this isn't A&S). If you plan on riding on the roads, your money/time would be far better spent on learning how to ride in traffic than on a helmet. A quick guide to the basics that's very well done (in my opinion) can be found here: http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm

    If you plan to offroad, a helmet will have a much greater chance of being of use to you.

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