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  1. #1
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    Greetings from Lincoln, NE New Rider/Dumb questions!

    Hey everyone. I must say first and foremost that this forum is truly inspiring. Many people are actually doing something to better their health and live happier... which unfortunately seems to be a rarity. I also like the idea of having a forum dedicated to those just like me. (Of which I have just learned the term... Clydesdale. heh)

    I'm just a baby in the riding world and just got a hand-me-down sort of bike from a good friend I juggle with. Apparently it's been in his basement for... 18 years now? He bought it for 280$ in 1990. It's a black hard rock, specialized. After cleaning off the dust, it seems to be in excellent condition, not a scratch anywhere. Everything is original and he said he rode it less than 10 times.

    So, I suppose... questions.
    Is it better to keep an old bike? Have advancements in bikes been dramatic enough that I should shell out the money for a new one? Or, should I take it to a bike shop get a tune-up and carefully inspect the tires to see if I need new ones after this long of no-use?

    The tires/rims of course look very good, seemingly no wear on the tread and no cracks that I can see. It holds air just fine, seemingly.

    Some tire questions. When buying new tires... The rim's say 26x1.75 / 599. Is this a max that the rim will take? A "live chat tech" on the sponsored tire site (nashbar.com) said that I should get Continental Town & Country ATB tires that are 26x1.9 . Isn't this greater than what it says on my rim? Am I misunderstanding the numbers? heh Additionally, do other people have experience with these tires, are they good?
    Or, another question that popped up... Because I'm overweight... Should i keep my tires near their max psi?

    I guess when it comes down to it, I don't know exactly whether the bike will support my weight. The tires (back especially) flatten a bit when I'm riding, but the tires aren't at their max psi right now... and it's all 18 year old materials. Would the continental Town & Country tires be more appropriate for a Clydesdale? What makes a better tire for a clydesdale, wider tires? High Max Psi tires?

    I'm sorry to barrage you guys (and gals) with questions right fromt he get-go but I'm eager to get on the road and you guys seemed very kind-hearted.

    Anyways! I Hope to hear from you guys soon, and get to know you better through the forums,
    Jugglingtye

  2. #2
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
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    The hard rock should be a great bike for you. I would take it to a LBS and let them give it a tune up and replace any parts that they think need it. Tires that old may be sketchy.

    Yes MAX psi as you start out.

    dontjuggle as you ride
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  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Keep the old bike. That is a popular model around here. Do a search and you will find many are using it. Lots of options on tires. If you are going to ride on the road, basically, the wider the tire, the harder it is to pedal (this is too simplistic). I keep tires at or near the max.

    Personally, if the bike has been sitting for a while, I would replace the tires. You can find them on sale right now at Nashbar. Would you accept 18 year old tires on your car? Probably not. And changing old tires on a bicycle is a snap, and not much money either.

    I put Nashar slicks on my MTB: 26 x 1.25 as I recall. These are really narrow for a MTB, but I wanted to use it only on pavement. I also just ordered the Nashbar comfort tires (700 x 32) for my hybrid. They are on sale for next to nothing right now ($7.99 each, and check the coupon forum for a code for a discount off of that). Buy some extra tubes, you will probably pinch one changing tires and always good to have a spare.

    Check the shelton brown website, he lists the sizes of tires you can put on a rim. The ranges are pretty wide.

    I don't see your weight listed anywhere on this posting, and I am at the light end of the Clyde range.

    If you are comfortable inspecting the bike yourself, fine, but since you are asking the question, I assume you are not. Why not take it by a local bike shop, they are usually very helpful and friendly. Tell them you are new to riding and want to get in shape and they will probably go out of their way to help you.

    New bikes are a lot better, BUT, if you are using it for fitness (getting in shape), it is more than good enough. Eventually, if you get hooked on this sport, you will probably get multiple bikes, keeping this one and building a "fleet". Very few have just one bike. I kind of enjoy fixing up bikes and riding a variety of models and types. I favor the steel framed bikes. But its just a personal taste thing (and I do have a couple of aluminum framed bikes)...
    Last edited by wrk101; 05-15-08 at 01:49 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    MTB rinms handle atleast up to 2.5, maybe all the way down to thin 1.0 if you want slicks for higher pressure and less resistance.

    I've switched back and forth from 2.5 to 1.5's.

    As far as psi, I use maximum pressure. I've tried to delfate a bit but tires feel too mushy making bumps in the road feel as if they hit the rim. Plus I flat easier due to pinch flats. But that's my experience, others may differ.

    I have a friend that's an excellent mechanic , racer and a big guy. He said at our weight 230'ish, max PSI is better.

  5. #5
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    Oh, right! I nearly forgot. I'm right around 300 lb. 6'3 and 26 years old. More stocky rather than a belly burster but, that's not to say I don't have one.

    Another question I had... are tubes tubes? as long as you get the right size tube and correct style valves... does brand matter?

  6. #6
    Member WilsonZone's Avatar
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    I'm new at this as well, so hopefully you'll take that under consideration.

    I bought a Bicycle magazine at my LBS yesterday and was reading it last night, I think it was an issue that came out a couple months ago. They had a list of items you can buy cheap on and a list of things you need to spend money on for better quality. On this list they say to go cheap on tubes, but spend more on tires. I paid a little over $3 each on tubes for my bike. I even bought a couple more as spares.

    I hope this helps. If you want I can type exactly what the section in the magazine says when I get home this afternoon.

    James

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Ride the Old Bike. When you get in shape you will know what you need or want in a New or better bike.
    I started on a free mountian bike. Then bought a use road bike for $15 bucks, rode it 1500 miles. Then bought a New Road Bike. All this in 5 months time, 3400 miles, did my first 100 mile ride last week.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilsonZone View Post
    I'm new at this as well, so hopefully you'll take that under consideration.

    I bought a Bicycle magazine at my LBS yesterday and was reading it last night, I think it was an issue that came out a couple months ago. They had a list of items you can buy cheap on and a list of things you need to spend money on for better quality. On this list they say to go cheap on tubes, but spend more on tires.
    I paid a little over $3 each on tubes for my bike. I even bought a couple more as spares.

    I hope this helps. If you want I can type exactly what the section in the magazine says when I get home this afternoon.

    James
    Excellent. My LBS tubes are $5.99. I do try and get them online, but even then, I think the cheapest I found was $4-something.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  9. #9
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Whoa, welcome from another Lincolnite! And.. I also ride a black Hardrock sport, but today I picked up a shiny new Surly . Great to finally have another Lincoln clyde in here!

    Regarding the bike, keep it and ride the wheels off. My suggestion is to take it to one of our shops (I'd recommend Cycle Works, they're my favorite and do very well) and just have them give it a "once over". Check all the various things that you may not think to check - like brakes and the like - and give things some new lube. I wish I would have done that when I started riding an old raleigh after a couple near death experiences .

    Regarding tires, I have 26x1.5 Specialized Nimbus Armadillos and they are *awesome*. They roll very fast, and are also comfortable plus have some great puncture protection. I've got about 500 miles on mine now, and when the stock tires on my Surly wear out, I'll likely put some 700x38 Nimbus Armadillos on it. Great great tires, not cheap at all (Scheels has 'em for $30/ea), but great. If you forego the Armadillo casing and get the regular 26x1.5 Nimbus, they are around $20/ea IIRC - and last I was in there they had both in stock.

    Again, welcome!

  10. #10
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    One thing I haven't seen mentioned in the above posts is: Does the bike fit you? If not, it isn't a good deal at any price. If it is, you couldn't do much better for starting out.

    I returned to riding last year on an '86 MTB. I lubed, tuned and polished it up and put on a set of Forte VersTrac/K tires from Performance Bike Shop (less than $15 each and kevlar belted for flat resistance and run at 65 psi). Put over 1,000 miles on this set up before I decided road bikes made more sense for the riding I was doing. But the old MTB gave me a lot of confidence and was a great way to start getting into cycling shape.

  11. #11
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I'd keep it. If everything works good and it fits, replace the tires and tubes (so you don't have a blowout 20 miles from home) and go with it.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JugglingTye View Post
    Hey everyone. I must say first and foremost that this forum is truly inspiring. Many people are actually doing something to better their health and live happier... which unfortunately seems to be a rarity. I also like the idea of having a forum dedicated to those just like me. (Of which I have just learned the term... Clydesdale. heh)

    I'm just a baby in the riding world and just got a hand-me-down sort of bike from a good friend I juggle with. Apparently it's been in his basement for... 18 years now? He bought it for 280$ in 1990. It's a black hard rock, specialized. After cleaning off the dust, it seems to be in excellent condition, not a scratch anywhere. Everything is original and he said he rode it less than 10 times.

    So, I suppose... questions.
    Is it better to keep an old bike? Have advancements in bikes been dramatic enough that I should shell out the money for a new one? Or, should I take it to a bike shop get a tune-up and carefully inspect the tires to see if I need new ones after this long of no-use?

    The tires/rims of course look very good, seemingly no wear on the tread and no cracks that I can see. It holds air just fine, seemingly.

    Some tire questions. When buying new tires... The rim's say 26x1.75 / 599. Is this a max that the rim will take? A "live chat tech" on the sponsored tire site (nashbar.com) said that I should get Continental Town & Country ATB tires that are 26x1.9 . Isn't this greater than what it says on my rim? Am I misunderstanding the numbers? heh Additionally, do other people have experience with these tires, are they good?
    Or, another question that popped up... Because I'm overweight... Should i keep my tires near their max psi?

    I guess when it comes down to it, I don't know exactly whether the bike will support my weight. The tires (back especially) flatten a bit when I'm riding, but the tires aren't at their max psi right now... and it's all 18 year old materials. Would the continental Town & Country tires be more appropriate for a Clydesdale? What makes a better tire for a clydesdale, wider tires? High Max Psi tires?

    I'm sorry to barrage you guys (and gals) with questions right fromt he get-go but I'm eager to get on the road and you guys seemed very kind-hearted.

    Anyways! I Hope to hear from you guys soon, and get to know you better through the forums,
    Jugglingtye
    First of all a dumb question is only the question that is never asked.....

    A decent bike shop can probably get it in decent shape for about $50 or so, plus any parts that may be needed, count on tires, tubes and brake pads at a minimum, they may want to rebuild hubs, headset and bottom bracket, because the lube in the bearings has turned to goo, this is reasonable.

    Even if it costs $100 out the door, if you find that cycling isn't for you, then your out $100 instead of the $400 for a decent entry level bike. If you find that you like cycling, then you can look for the bike you really want, which will be different dependent on the type of riding you find yourself doing.

    Okay, rims, check those numbers again, most 26" rims would use 559 not 599 which is the wheel diameter in millimeters, if your rims are 1.75" wide, then you want a tire that is wider then 1.75" unless your frame is very narrow, then 1.95" would work fine. However if you are riding on the road you want a tire that is smooth, knobby tires are great in snow and mud, but not on the road. Yeah, keep tires near the max PSI rating, and they should squish down a little, that's the magic of pneumatic tires, but not a lot.

  13. #13
    Member WilsonZone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    Excellent. My LBS tubes are $5.99. I do try and get them online, but even then, I think the cheapest I found was $4-something.
    That's WalMart for ya. Paid $3.27 each on Bell 26 inch Universal Inner Tube.

    As mentioned, this is what I found in Bicycling Magazine - April 2008 (hope I won't get in trouble for this):

    Save on Pedals: Pricey pedals are a bit lighter thanks to techy materials such as carbon and titanium. But you'll notice little or no performance bump compared with midrange models of chromoly and glass fiber. Quality, workhorse pedals cost $100 to $150, half that of feathery ones. And generic pedals compatible with Shimano SPD or Look Delta cleats go for as little as $35.

    Splurge on Shoes: Inexpensive shoes disappoint, with poor closure systems that won't cinch your feet comfortably, and flimsy uppers that wear quickly. Quality footware includes features such as ratcheting buckles and stiff carbon soles. Spend what it takes to find the proverbial soe that fits, and don't order online just to save $5. Buy from a shop so you can try multiple models and sizes.

    Save on Jersey: The fit and feel of a finely made jersey is a worthy treat for long, special days in the saddle. But for everyday squeak-in-an-hour-after-work rides, most any synthetic, snug-fitting top with back pockets will suffice. One way to get a high-end jersey for cheap: Look for replica jerseys of now-defunct pro teams, which often populate the closeout racks at shops.

    Splurge on Shorts and Bibs: The best shorts are constructed with multiple panels-look for eight or more-for a more conforming fit. And they use vastly superior padded inserts. Spend $100 or more (they start getting really good in the $150 range) for shorts that boast multilayer or multidensity, stretchable, smooth-seemed, gender-specific padding. Your bum will thank you every ride.

    Save on Tubes: A generic, $5 Chinese inner tube is all that your bike ever needs. Spending more gets you either special thin, lightweight tubes, which are less weighty but more prone to punctures, or a brand-name box that contains a $5 Chinese tube. They're just butyl rubber doughnuts.

    Splurge on Tires: Better tires have superior puncture resistance and wear, and reduced weight and rolling resistance, so you can go faster. Look for supple castings - sidewalls flexible like a leather glove, not rigid like a car tire - and thread counts of 60-plus tpi. Tires with folding beads, rather than wire, are often lighter and easier to mount.

    Save on Helmet: All helmets sold in the United States meet CPSC safety standards, so a $30 lid is equally as good as protecting your head as a $200 one. Many under $60 helmets offer fit systems similar to pricier models, often head straps with buckles or dials for easy adjustment. they lack just flashy styling and extra vent holes.

    Splurge on Sunglasses: Quality glasses offer the 100 percent UV protection claimed (drugstore cheapies often don't), and they're more scratch-resistant. Sport glasses also have pliable ear and nosepieces that keep them stuck to your face, even on descents or choppy trails. And many offer interchangeable lenses or prescription options.

    Save on Rain Jacket: Except for hardcore commuters or racers, and maybe Northwest dwellers, few of us really ride in the rain much. For the rare occasions you do get caught in a shower, a $200 waterproof and breathable shell is nice, but you'll get wet eventually. And a simple $20 clear plastic jacket, still the choice of countless pros, does the job, too.

    Splurge on Vest and Base Layer: The vest allows more versatility than any other piece of cycling clothing. In cold, windy conditions, it protects your core, but it packs small to stow in your picket. A quality base layer, which fits like a second skin and wicks sweat, will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

  14. #14
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    Welcome! Hopefully I'll see you out and about on the trails here in Lincoln!

    I personally have 2 bikes that I ride on a regular basis. One is a 90's mtn bike from Shopko, and the other is a road bike. I have the mtn bike for just around town and the road for longer rides.

    That being said I have a late 80's Specialized Hard Rock that I got at the police auction over the winter that I can't wait to get up and running (it needs a lot of work). I think your bike would be wonderful to get started on (provided it fits you). I got hooked while leading a group of Boy Scouts on their cycling merit badge, and it was all over after that. It's a great feeling being out there on a bike. Don't be surprised if you get bitten by the bug that others here mention!

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    Well, I want to thank you all for your helpful replies! I've followed the popular opinion and kept the hard rock. So far i've cleaned/degreased/re-lubed the cassettes/chain/deraileurs, bought new tubes(tried slimes but, opted for regulars after having inflation issues) and tires(WTD all-terrainasauruses from the LBS).

    Now I have my eyes on a new seat and saving up for a helmet. (I'm currently unemployed because my previous job lost their contract and ceased to be... :| )

    An additional question... If I have a 3 sprocket cassette in the front, and a 7 sprocket one in the back... with 2 shifters then, this bike should theoretically have 21 different "speeds"... right? So far I can only access 7 of them because the front cassette won't shift up gears... I can use the shifter and hold it in, which lets the chain jump to the middle cog however, when I let go of the shifter the metal bracket of the deraileur rubs the chain and forces it back to the small cog.
    To those self-mechanic bikers out there.... Is this a fairly easy adjustment to make? As far as I can tell the rear deraileur is working fine, and I can access all of my gears... From what I've been reading you need to have a fully functional rear deraileur before you should start working on the front one so.... hopefully, I do.

    For those that know.... Does this seem more like a tension screws adjustment, cable adjustment, or barrel adjustment up by the handlebars?

    Anyways, thanks for all the help and encouragement guys.
    Jugglingtye

    p.s. I hope i'm getting the lingo correct, if I make a mistake let me know. heh
    Last edited by JugglingTye; 05-20-08 at 10:08 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Older bike? Probably need new cables & housings to the front derailleur (might as well get for the rear as long as you're doing one). Then, adjust the limit screws, make sure it's set-up correctly. Failry simple process. Hard to describe via text, though.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  17. #17
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    yeh it's a 1990 specialized hard rock. The cables have no sign of wear really though (rust/worn metal look). Could just time itself be the culprit? Pooh, i was hoping to be able to fix it myself and avoid the 50-70$ bike shop fee.

  18. #18
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    It's probably just a simple adjustment, yeah. With those older friction shifters, it can be a pretty easy one too. Either the tension on the shifter isn't enough, or the cable is too loose. See this site for some help:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html

    That *should* get you going in the right direction.

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    As well as sheldons site take a look at the parktools site
    http://www.parktool.com/ & http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

    Here is also video that may help you
    http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-front-derailer/

    and lots of other basic maintenance videos
    http://bicycletutor.com/

  20. #20
    Semantic Gynmast
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger View Post
    Whoa, welcome from another Lincolnite!
    Technically, you have another Lincoln Clyde lurking around here...I'm just over the edge, anyway, at about 209. I'll probably be "under the wire" very soon, though.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    "An additional question... If I have a 3 sprocket cassette in the front, and a 7 sprocket one in the back... with 2 shifters then, this bike should theoretically have 21 different "speeds"... right? So far I can only access 7 of them because the front cassette won't shift up gears... I can use the shifter and hold it in, which lets the chain jump to the middle cog however, when I let go of the shifter the metal bracket of the deraileur rubs the chain and forces it back to the small cog."

    LIBERALLY flush the shifter with a solvent like WD-40. "Open up" the shifter as much as you can, but don't try too much. A watchmaker has problems trying to repair these!
    Let it set for an hour and repeat. After another few minutes-
    SLOWLY move the shifter as far as you can and SLOWLY EASE it back down.
    IF you are lucky, the hardened grease will have dissolved enough for the pawls to catch the 2nd position. Go from there for the 3rd position. (start at 2 and ease up to 3)

    My main bike is an 86 RockHopper, so yours is a bunch newer than mine!

    BTW the front "cogs" are called chain rings or just rings.

    A good reference for various adjustments/minor repairs-
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/
    Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 05-31-08 at 02:23 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JugglingTye View Post
    An additional question... If I have a 3 sprocket cassette in the front, and a 7 sprocket one in the back... with 2 shifters then, this bike should theoretically have 21 different "speeds"... right? So far I can only access 7 of them because the front cassette won't shift up gears... I can use the shifter and hold it in, which lets the chain jump to the middle cog however, when I let go of the shifter the metal bracket of the deraileur rubs the chain and forces it back to the small cog.
    To those self-mechanic bikers out there.... Is this a fairly easy adjustment to make? As far as I can tell the rear deraileur is working fine, and I can access all of my gears... From what I've been reading you need to have a fully functional rear deraileur before you should start working on the front one so.... hopefully, I do.

    For those that know.... Does this seem more like a tension screws adjustment, cable adjustment, or barrel adjustment up by the handlebars?

    Anyways, thanks for all the help and encouragement guys.
    Jugglingtye

    p.s. I hope i'm getting the lingo correct, if I make a mistake let me know. heh
    The front gears are called the chain rings, they come in three styles, a double (two rings), a compact double (also 2 rings, but the tooth difference is larger) and a triple ( 3 rings).

    The adjustment is fairly easy, providing everything is working properly, On the front dérailleur, there are 2 adjustment screws (called limit screws) the upper and lower, the positioning of the screws is slightly different on each one, some are marked H (for high) and L (low), some have the high screw slightly higher on the dérailleur body, some will have it on the same side as the gear. However unless they are marked, don't count on the position. These screws control the outer limits, of how far the dérailleur can move.

    Now shift into the lowest front gear, see how much slack is in the cable, change to the next gear and see, is it tighter or slacker, shift into the gear that gives you the most slack. Now loosen the screw that holds the cable on, now turn the barrel adjuster until it's in it's shortest position (you will see what I mean when you turn it), and then back off 1 full turn, there is often one at the dérailleur and one at the bars, so the same to both. Remove most of the slack from the cable it should be snug but not tight. Now turn the screw holding the cable, until it is very tight.

    Now look at the limit screws, move each one about a half turn, then back, if the dérailleur moves, then note which one it is. As you pedal the bike, on a stand or flipped onto it's saddle and bars, turn the screw so that the derailleur itself moves towards the middle of the bike, until it starts to sound rough, now turn it the other way 1/2 turn. Now shift into the next gear and then the next it should move towards the largest gear, the cable will get quite tight. Now turn the other lim8it screw, if it sounds rough, then try turning the screw a couple of turns each way until it's smooth, now turn it towards the outside of the bike, until it sounds rough, and then the other way until the roughness goes away. One setting left, click it into the middle gear, does it sound smooth, if it doesn't, then turn one of the barrel adjusters 1/2 turn, sound smooth now, perfect.

    Adjusting the rear one is the same process, except you have more middle gears to contend with, pretty often if one needs doing the other does to. If you find after a while, that it starts shifting roughly, turn one of the barrel adjusters 1/2 turn, longer, that will usually fix it. Cables sometimes seem to stretch, but they never get shorter, which is why you want the barrel adjusters at their shortest, as the cable stretches, you have lots of room to make it shorter.

    You actually don't get 21 different gears, you get 3 ranges of 7 gears, and often some of them are not advised to be used, for example small at the front and small at the back are not advised, and big at the font and big at the back are also not advised, this is because it puts the chain at a severe angle which puts undue stress on the chain and cogs. There are also some combinations that are close gear ratios to other combinations. A simple rule, for starting out with gears, is use the small ring going up hill, the middle ring on the flats, and the large ring going downhill. Like most rules this isn't hard and fast, and many experienced and strong riders will use fewer rings in normal riding.

    Some other things to check, while you have the bike flipped over or on a stand, have a good look at the brake pads (shoes) lots of rubber left, are there grooves across the pads, do they look like they are wearing evenly, are the pads less then 2 years old, are the pads straight against the rim? If any of these conditions are not true, then consider doing a brake service. Also, it's a good time to look at your chain, there are 12 full links to a foot, if 12 full links measure more then 12 1/8th inches, the chain needs to be replaced. More then 12 1/16th inches, and you should consider replacing it soon. If the chain is still okay, then get a rag, Put some degreaser on the rag, and go over the chain, pull off the rear wheel and do the cogs and chain rings as well, you want everything nice and clean. Give the solvent a chance to evaporate, say 1/2 hour. Clean the chain, then do other things like check the brake pads, while waiting for the solvent to evaporate, then use your favourite chain lube to lightly lubricate the chain, then wipe off any excess if using a liquid or wet lube. There are at least 65,536 different chain lubes, if you are in an area where it rains a lot use a wet or liquid lube, if your in an area where it doesn't rain much, use a dry lube. When using a wet lube, if you notice your rag gets black, then repeat the process, it means the lube is flushing dirt out of the chain. Chains are not really critical though, most can be replaced fairly cheaply, so most people don't bother with the heavy chain cleaning processes.

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