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Old 08-05-08, 08:57 AM   #1
lordbigsack
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Difficult to peddle Apollo mountain bike

Hi, hope you can help. My misses has an Apollo childs mountain bike (she is only 5' 1") with 24" rims. She has been complaining its difficult to ride and maintain any speed when we're out. We swapped for a while and no matter what gear you select it feels like there is some sort of resistence there. The bike has an aluminium frame and is V light even with front suspension. When the bike is stationary and you crank the pedal by hand it feels normal, weird!

So I guess my questions are

1, is this normal for apollo bikes?
2, can it be fixed?
3, should we scrap it and get something else?

Would really like to get it fixed for her as it was a B'day pressie and has sentimental attachment for her.

Thanks

Scott
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Old 08-05-08, 09:27 AM   #2
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Several things can make it difficult for a bike to maintain speed. Unfortunately children's bikes are not always efficient, but there may be things you can do.

Is she riding strictly on the road? If so, switching to slick tires instead of the knobbies that a mountain bike comes with would be very helpful.

Ride beside her and watch/listen for anything that may be rubbing. Anything making a sound other than the cassette's normal clicking could be a problem.

Also, if there is suspension on the bike, and it is adjustable, tighten the adjustments to make it as stiff as possible, suspension softens the ride but it sucks away power.
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Old 08-05-08, 09:32 AM   #3
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If it feels normal when you lift up and pedal it sounds like it's definitely either front brake rubbing the rim or front hub adjusted too tight or worn out
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Old 08-05-08, 02:44 PM   #4
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Not sure what an "Apollo" is, but-
Tires! As Little Darwin says, knobby tires really suck energy on pavement. Trouble is, in 24" size, smooth, skinny street tires are hard to find for a reasonable price, and the selection is pretty small.
At least make sure the current tires are pomped up to max pressure.

Gears- How many speeds is this bike? IF you only have 5 in the back, it's often hard to find a good combination. One's too high, but the next one down is too low.

As LD said, look for things like the brake shoes rubbing etc.

ALSO- Make sure the seat is at the correct height. IF too low, you simply don't get the proper leverage from your legs. See this link for a guide-
http://bikenhike.com/page.cfm?pageid=23&FAQid=25
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Old 08-05-08, 03:56 PM   #5
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Try Craigslist.
(Ohhh SNAP!)
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Old 08-05-08, 04:18 PM   #6
BurnMyEyes
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Lift up the bike and spin each wheel by hand. Make sure the brakes aren't rubbing on the rim at all. If the wheel is slightly bent, it's possible that it will only be rubbing in one spot (which you might not notice with a non-spinning wheel).

If you say it works fine when you pedal it by hand, that sounds like the problem is in the front wheel. Lift the bike up and spin both wheels by hand. Do they feel nice and easy to spin, or does one of them (especially the front) feel tight and like it slows down too quick?
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Old 08-05-08, 04:48 PM   #7
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Apollo is a low end British brand
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Old 08-06-08, 02:11 AM   #8
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cheers for all the tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnMyEyes View Post
Lift up the bike and spin each wheel by hand. Make sure the brakes aren't rubbing on the rim at all. If the wheel is slightly bent, it's possible that it will only be rubbing in one spot (which you might not notice with a non-spinning wheel).

If you say it works fine when you pedal it by hand, that sounds like the problem is in the front wheel. Lift the bike up and spin both wheels by hand. Do they feel nice and easy to spin, or does one of them (especially the front) feel tight and like it slows down too quick?
Both wheels spin freely on their hubs no rubbing from brakes or noise from Hub

Quote:
Is she riding strictly on the road? If so, switching to slick tires instead of the knobbies that a mountain bike comes with would be very helpful.
The bike is mainly road based and has those semi slick type tyres already. Smooth in the middle and a little knobby on the edge. It is a front suspension frame but the forks arent diving at all under acceleration.

When she gets on my bike she goes like the clappers. Is it possible the final drive for the gearing is designed for standard 26" wheels but hers are 24" throwing it out of balance? Failing that where would be the best place to look for a new bike around the 200 mark?

tia

S
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Old 08-06-08, 05:57 AM   #9
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I fix a lot of Apollo bikes as I work for a Bike Charity and people denote these (with good reason) regularly. They are sold by the Halfords chain, and Halfords have a poor reputation when it comes to preparing bikes for sale. The Appolo bikes are of low quality and I find that the hub bearings are usually in need of adjustment as well as the wheels requiring truing. It is not unusual to find that the forks have been reversed when these have been fitted. We had three Halford's childs' bikes donated yesterday and all three had the forks reversed.
Can I suggest that you take it to a bike shop and let them have a look. Do not spend any real money on it as the quality doesn't warrant it. I'm interested to hear that you think your wife's bike as being light. I think you will find that these tend to be thought heavy when compared to similar bikes.
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