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  1. #1
    Newbie Afrothunderkat's Avatar
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    Hey all! Keep snaping axles

    First post, site looks awesome.

    Well, I have a 2006 Trek 3700. I keep snapping/bending the rear quick release axles. I ride dirtbikes quite often, so I enjoy rough trails HOWEVER my trek's cheapness is killing me. Is there a more rugged bike out there that I could get on a budget that has solid axles that can take more of a beating? Craigslist special? Or... can I replace my axles with solid ones? I know my bike is all show no go, cheap parts bottom of the line but there has to be another option or something I can do... local bike shop recommended a $2200 freestyle/downhill hybrid. SCAM.


    Riding style: I do dirt road riding, very little tar ridding, lots of woods, single track, a few jumps here and there nothing serious.



    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Dol you have a Free Wheel or free Hub?
    If Free Wheel, you'll either bend or break them without much effort.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I suspect freewheel hub..

    Freehubs have wide axle support.. if you are breaking those, you have problems beyond the scope of talk, here..

    get to a Bike Shop.


    Freewheel? rebuild around a Freewheel hub From California made
    Phil Wood, in San Jose.or Pauls in Chico,, both sealed bearing hubs have very strong
    axles..
    I used a Phil FW hub on my Touring bike on many Bike tours with full camp load.


    though on the cheap budget interim a solid axle and nuts are made matching the thread of QR ones
    cant ride with you to know how hard you are on stuff.
    you may be OK or trash those too..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-29-12 at 02:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrothunderkat View Post
    First post, site looks awesome.

    Well, I have a 2006 Trek 3700. I keep snapping/bending the rear quick release axles. I ride dirtbikes quite often, so I enjoy rough trails HOWEVER my trek's cheapness is killing me. Is there a more rugged bike out there that I could get on a budget that has solid axles that can take more of a beating? Craigslist special? Or... can I replace my axles with solid ones? I know my bike is all show no go, cheap parts bottom of the line but there has to be another option or something I can do... local bike shop recommended a $2200 freestyle/downhill hybrid. SCAM.


    Riding style: I do dirt road riding, very little tar ridding, lots of woods, single track, a few jumps here and there nothing serious.



    Thanks!
    Sounds like you'd benefit from a full suspension bike. Either that or work on your riding technique so you aren't landing those jumps so hard. I'd go with the second suggestion and see if it works for you. You could end up breaking rear axles on a full suspension bike for all I know.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You could end up breaking rear axles on a full suspension bike for all I know.
    well a cheap bike that only looks like it has suspension , there may be some truth ..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrothunderkat View Post
    HOWEVER my trek's cheapness is killing me.
    The 3700 is a very cheap bike, no point in saying that it's Treks cheapness, a good AM MTB rear wheel will be the same price range as your complete bike.

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    Do the Formula hubs have a freehub with the axle fully supported by bearings at each end?
    Some cartridge bearing hubs place the driveside bearing inboard of the freehub, leaving a lot of axle hanging out unsupported, ready to bend and break.
    All Shimano hubs have a fully supported axle with bearings close to the ends. They solved the issue of bent axles for tourists in the 1980s. I don't think you need to go all the way to a Phil Woods hub, any low end Shimano (eg Altus FH-RM30) will be fine.

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrothunderkat View Post
    Well, I have a 2006 Trek 3700. I keep snapping/bending the rear quick release axles.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Dol you have a Free Wheel or free Hub?
    If Free Wheel, you'll either bend or break them without much effort.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
    A 2006 model bike is unlikely to have a freewheel. OP should check dropout alignment to start.

  9. #9
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    Afrothunderkat, Welcome to the forum.

    Your 3700 is spec'd like my sister's Trek Skye. A really good and proven frame, but down market components that aren't really up to the task of rough mountain biking. You can have your rear wheel built with a Shimano LX or XT hub or look on the internet for a replacement wheel.

    Learning how to "ride light" is also important, basically use your legs as shock absorbers when you land. What is your weight?

    Brad

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    A 2006 model bike is unlikely to have a freewheel. OP should check dropout alignment to start.
    I don't know if that's right. A lot of lowest line bikes, even from well regarded makers, still use freewheels. It could indeed have a freewheel.

  11. #11
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I don't know if that's right. A lot of lowest line bikes, even from well regarded makers, still use freewheels. It could indeed have a freewheel.
    Indeed. freewheels abound at the low end of the market.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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  12. #12
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    A 2006 model bike is unlikely to have a freewheel. OP should check dropout alignment to start.
    The 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 models of the 3700 all have 7-speed freewheels. To get a cassette you need to get the 8-speed 3900.

    The 3700 is a fine bike for commuting and light off-road use. That is, cinder paths, fire roads, and maybe some slow and easy singletrack.

  13. #13
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    That bike is NOT a mountain bike in the sense that you are using it. Like others have said, it is designed for light offroad use like smooth gravel, pavement, streets that might not be paved all that smooth, that kind of thing. If you are doing jumps and rock climbs or downhill runs or anything remotely like that, you will kill the bike.

    I also suspect that it has a freewheel and freewheels can hardly handle the stress of an abused bike that is being used for tasks far above its abilities. Freewheel wheels are fine for light duty use or smooth commuting but not for hard core mountain biking, otherwise you WILL break/bend axles.

  14. #14
    Newbie Afrothunderkat's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the responses, seems like I need a new bike as I purchased the 3700 when I didn't know much about quality components.

    What would be a good budget bike? Common bike that I can find on craigslist?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrothunderkat View Post
    Thank you all for the responses, seems like I need a new bike as I purchased the 3700 when I didn't know much about quality components.

    What would be a good budget bike? Common bike that I can find on craigslist?
    The problem is that the riding you are doing/describing doesn't bode well with cheap bikes. HOwever if you want to go the CL way, I would look for an older high end rigid/hardtail mountain bike from the '90s. Something like a Specialized Rockhopper/Stumpjumper. Those were pretty good strong mountain bikes that have nice sturdy chromoly steel frames and should have fairly decent components. If you wanted to buy new, for the riding you are describing, you would not want to spend much less than 1000-1500. Anything less costly but new will probably not be up to the task of jumping, rough off roading, etc. You mentioned your riding and said "nothing serious" but your riding does sound pretty serious.

  16. #16
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrothunderkat View Post
    Thank you all for the responses, seems like I need a new bike as I purchased the 3700 when I didn't know much about quality components.

    What would be a good budget bike? Common bike that I can find on craigslist?
    Where are you? What's your local craigslist? How tall are you?

    I really get a kick out of looking at craigslists across the country.

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    The online retailers sometimes have entry level wheelsets with Shimano freehubs and decent rims for a good price. I got a set from Performance for $119 with 525 hubs and Rhynolite rims.

    If the 3700 has a freewheel hub you might need to upgrade your rear shifter to an 8 or 9 speed and buy a cassette and new chain.

    Or, you could just find the chrome moly steel solid axles that Niagara has and use one of those. It would still need periodic replacement. I personally feel a slight preload on the cone adjustment helps them last but some others seem to disagree.

  18. #18
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I would just try to find a used 7-speed cassette MTB rear wheel. If that's the only part that's breaking, you don't need a whole new bike. At least yet.
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 10-29-12 at 12:56 PM. Reason: clarity
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    I would just try to find a used 7-speed cassette MTB rear wheel. If that's the only part of your bike that's breaking, you don't need a whole new one. At least yet.
    +1. A new replacement wheel with an 8 speed cassette body (will need a spacer to make a 7 speed cassette fit) can cost less than $100. Since the OP has only indicated that he has problems with the rear axle, and not snapping forks and handlebars and seatposts, I would think the rear axle is the only part of the bike that is truly insufficient for his use.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Just that in a 126 frame, there is extra axle width of 130 or 135 as standards now..
    Cold-set, spreading the frame , makes wheel replacements with each puncture repair less of a PIA.

    and dish is less.. wider is better..
    Bike is from 2006. Very very unlikely to be 126mm spacing in that frame. Probably 135 mm.

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What would be a good budget bike? Common bike that I can find on craigslist?
    for hammering on Off Road, get a hardtail MTB which will usually come with a front suspension fork..

    good bike will be starting, new at $500 at your Trek dealer,
    since you have one that sold what you have.

    Dual suspension, double that $..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    I would just try to find a used 7-speed cassette MTB rear wheel. If that's the only part that's breaking, you don't need a whole new bike. At least yet.
    Or you could get a modern wheel with an 8/9/10 freehub and put a 7 speed cassette and spacer on it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I'm with thermionic and gsgt, just get yourself a nice wheel, or even wheelset +1 spacer + 7-speed1 cassette. Rim brake wheels continue to get rarer but are still around. I bend/snap solid or QR axles on 7-spd FW setups all the time, the rest of my almost-as-lowend Trek 4000 was up to the task, tho.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-29-12 at 02:57 PM.
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  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Having friction shifting and a newer cassette wheel
    the 8th cog instead of the spacer filling in the width is another option..

    sort it out when you take the bike in to the Bike Shop to have the dropout alignment checked.

  25. #25
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I agree with the above; your cheapest option is to spend maybe $100-200 on a rear wheel and 7-speed cassette (or 8-speed cassette, replacing one cog with a spacer, or just leave it on and know that one of your cogs never gets used!) Others at this forum are better qualified than me to talk about 7/8-speed cassette/derailleur spacing/compatibility.

    For a CL option I would take a look at mountain bikes on your local CL for $200 and up. You'll want to aim in maybe the $400-600 range, or you can probably even do well in the $200-400 ballpark, but looking at the wider range will help you get familiar with what is better or worse than your target. Post some proposed CL links here, somebody will drop in, take a peek, and give you an opinion.

    But I totally agree, $2200 for a brand new downhill bike? If you have $2200 to throw away, fine. But there are so many ads on CL that start with "I bought this really awesome bike and thought I was going to ride it a lot, but...". Don't be that guy, take advantage of that guy. Don't pay retail for a new bike from a store, pay half or less for a "new" bike off CL.

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