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Thread: My first ride..

  1. #26
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    The fit is actually decent, surprisingly enough. The seat could stand to go a bit higher, but the seatpost won't allow it. It's right on its min. insertion point right now. I could opt for a longer post I suppose, but I'm not about to drop any more money into it than I have to. Riding it is bearable besides the basic things wrong with it (shifters, brakes). This is in reference to the Schwinn, btw.

    The LBS we went to were very friendly and impatient. I didn't catch on any cues of trying to be upsold to something we weren't really interested in. I work in retail (ugh) so I can usually spot when I'm trying to be pushed into something. I asked the guy who was working with us if they even work on box store bikes, and he said bring it in and they'll take a look and if it's just simple things that don't require major parts replacement then they'll usually take care of it without an issue. I think that's pretty agreeable overall.

    I'll bring it in today and see if they'll take care of it while I'm at work, and hopefully it will be brought up to some level of decent rideability.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himurastewie View Post
    The fit is actually decent, surprisingly enough. The seat could stand to go a bit higher, but the seatpost won't allow it. It's right on its min. insertion point right now. I could opt for a longer post I suppose, but I'm not about to drop any more money into it than I have to. Riding it is bearable besides the basic things wrong with it (shifters, brakes). This is in reference to the Schwinn, btw.

    The LBS we went to were very friendly and impatient. I didn't catch on any cues of trying to be upsold to something we weren't really interested in. I work in retail (ugh) so I can usually spot when I'm trying to be pushed into something. I asked the guy who was working with us if they even work on box store bikes, and he said bring it in and they'll take a look and if it's just simple things that don't require major parts replacement then they'll usually take care of it without an issue. I think that's pretty agreeable overall.

    I'll bring it in today and see if they'll take care of it while I'm at work, and hopefully it will be brought up to some level of decent rideability.
    With bike shop bikes, there is a degree of standardization, so components for a Trek will fit a Norco, components for a Norco will fit a Specialized, etc. This does not always apply to department store bikes, where the components are often different. Sometimes it's a standard from 40-50 years ago, that has been supplanted since, like the use of Ashtabula cranks, where cottered cranks (which use a smaller bottom bracket shell) were common in the 1960's and 1970's and cotterless (same size BB shell as cottered) have been common since. Yes there are ways to adapt this particular one, but then your into an extra parts cost.

    Other times, it's just not worth the cost of parts, for example suppose you have a FUBAR freewheel, a bike shop can fix it, just need to replace the hub with a freehub and a cassette, thing is, $100 for the hub, $50 for the cassette and $50 to rebuild the wheel, and your into replacement cost on a lot of department store bikes, not to mention that modern wheels are wider, and may not fit your frame.

    The shop is doing you a favour, by telling you that as long as they don't need major parts, they will fix it. Just means they will patch it up best they can for you, and that if you need parts, your better to put the money toward a new bicycle (which they will gladly sell you).

  3. #28
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    That's something I wasn't aware of, but am really not surprised by. I'll bring it in and let them have a look while I'm at work and if they come back and say that they can't fix it without changing out parts, then I'll just tell them thanks for the look-over and I'll bring it back to target..., then very likely drop another $500 on a bike for myself.

    Though I would honestly be pretty surprised if it came down to needing major parts replacement (maybe the chain, but I don't think even that), it's likely just stretching of cables and things having come out of adjustment since it was put together originally. At least that's what I'm hoping. I don't really want to drop $500 on a replacement bike, when I could put that money toward the bike I'm really interested in. But then again, if it comes down to bike or no bike, I'm opting for the former most assuredly.

  4. #29
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    So I brought the bike into my LBS today. The wrench there told me that they could take a look at it, but no guarantees of perfection on targetbikes. That's fine, but then he told me that it would cost $50 for a tune-up and a week's turnaround. I decided it wasn't worth it, so I bought the blue book of bike repair from Parktool and maybe I can take care of it myself.

  5. #30
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Learning to wrench on your own bike is worth the effort. Knowing how your bike works and how to make adjustments can save a lot of time and money not to mention getting you back on the road if something happens while you are out on a ride.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himurastewie View Post
    So I brought the bike into my LBS today. The wrench there told me that they could take a look at it, but no guarantees of perfection on targetbikes. That's fine, but then he told me that it would cost $50 for a tune-up and a week's turnaround. I decided it wasn't worth it, so I bought the blue book of bike repair from Parktool and maybe I can take care of it myself.
    The next issue is tools, there are only a few that you really need, a set of Allen keys, being primary, a few screw drivers, if you have bolt on wheels, you need some wrenches, a small set is good, or just pick up ones the right size. There are some bike specific tools, which range from cheap to outrageous, if you think you will use it on a regular basis, then it can be worth buying, some jobs use more expensive tools, and I let a shop do those jobs.

    For example I need to replace a crank arm, I will buy a crank arm wrench, because it's likely to be used again, because then I will put the wrench on them once in a while and make sure they stay tight. If you are the least bit mechanically inclined, then bicycles are one of the easiest mechanisms to keep repaired. Although some things are different from a target bike and a bike shop bike, many things are very similar.

  7. #32
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    I think it's overall just the frustration of having to deal with sub-standard products. Yes, it's a bike from target, yes it was likely put together by a minimum wage kiddo who's only interest is getting it done so they can go home. I know better not to expect much out of it.

    I really wanted to go for a ride tonight (it was gorgeous out after the rain passed) so my fiancee could try out her new Trek, but every time I get on my own bike it just seems to get worse. The brakes didn't even feel like they were there. The last thing I'm interested in is heading toward a bunch of trees or some people walking on the trail or another cyclist and not being able to slow or stop.

    I played with the front brake cable some, but the cap they put on the end of it just slid off, so now the cable is starting to unravel and fray. So I'm just kind of at a crossroads now as to what to do. If the bike goes back to Target, there's no way in hell I'm walking out with another one. It's not worth the trouble. I'd much rather NOT ride than go through the BS of another piece of junk.

    I'll play with it some more tomorrow and see if I can get it sorted out enough to at least ride a little with some decent measure of safety and comfort.

  8. #33
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    Good luck with your efforts. It may well be worth working your way through the issues if for nothing other than the education.

    I own a Trek 7.3 among a couple of other bikes. I now have ~3950 miles on it as of today's ride and I've never had a single issue with its performance. I'm sure your SO will enjoy hers.

  9. #34
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    oh pshaw, just go to the lbs and buy BOTH of you bikes...she won't be mad for long
    We cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them. A.E.

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  10. #35
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    Well, I got my brakes tightened up enough to ride pretty safely yesterday afternoon/early evening. It was also the first ride for the new Trek. It passed with flying colors, I'm glad to report. We had one slight issue with a loose seatpost, but a quick turn with an allen key fixed that right up.

    We did our usual 5 miles and at the halfway point I asked how she was doing... apparently I was holding her up.. . She was riding in 2x5-6 the entire ride, and here I am puffing along in 3x7 because I can't downshift. Even if I can go to an easier gear it feels like its too much spin, like uncontrollable. I know my spin technique isn't great or anything, but it's just kind of flailing. Seems I need to train up more though!

    The 7.2 FX seems like a great bike so far though. Fast, comfortable, LIGHT. I can't wait til I get get a nice bike of my own.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himurastewie View Post
    Well, I got my brakes tightened up enough to ride pretty safely yesterday afternoon/early evening. It was also the first ride for the new Trek. It passed with flying colors, I'm glad to report. We had one slight issue with a loose seatpost, but a quick turn with an allen key fixed that right up.

    We did our usual 5 miles and at the halfway point I asked how she was doing... apparently I was holding her up.. . She was riding in 2x5-6 the entire ride, and here I am puffing along in 3x7 because I can't downshift. Even if I can go to an easier gear it feels like its too much spin, like uncontrollable. I know my spin technique isn't great or anything, but it's just kind of flailing. Seems I need to train up more though!

    The 7.2 FX seems like a great bike so far though. Fast, comfortable, LIGHT. I can't wait til I get get a nice bike of my own.
    So why can't you downshift?

    There are one of five reasons.....

    1) Everything is way out of adjustment
    2) The cable needs to be lubed or replaced.
    3) The Dérailleur is pooched
    4) The Shifter is pooched
    5) Two or more of the above.

    First thing is to determine what is wrong.



    Put the shifter in the lowest gear, put you thumb against the cable, now shift to the highest gear, the cable will either be tighter or looser, if it's about the same, the shifter is probably not working correctly. Spray some WD-40 into the shifter mechanism, use lots, see if you can un-stick the mechanism. If you can, then that may be all it needs, but we will do some more.

    Get some bicycle oil and degreaser, and a can of WD-40, with the little straw nozzle on it, and a new dérailleur cable. You need a good pair of cable cutters, nice and sharp ones Now look at the rear dérailleur loosen where the cable is attached to it, pull the cable off. Pull the cable back through the housing bits, keep them in order. As you pull the cable out of a housing section, flush it with WD-40.
    Then pull it out of the shifter, look at the old cable, is there any rust on it, loose bits or kinks in the cable, if any of these questions are true, then you need to replace it. Take the new cable, one end will look the same, the other looks different, cut off the one that looks different.

    Take the derailleur and push it side to side, with the bike upside down, so you can pedal with your hand, push the derailleur all the way so that it lines up with the large sprocket, if it doesn't want to move, then spray the pivot points with the WD-40, and work it back and forth until it moves easily. Let go, most deraiileurs will go to under the largest cog at the back, I'm assuming that is the case, if not, then reverse what I am about to write.

    Hold the derailleur so that it's over the largest sprocket, and hold it there, turn one of the screws, you should see it move slightly, if it doesn't rtry the other one with one of them, if it does, that's the one, turn it so that the derailleur moves towards the wheel until the chain rattle slightly, then turn it back 1/4 turn. Now let the derailleur go, it should spring under the largest sprocket, Turn the other screw, so that it moves away from the wheel, until you get a rattle, and again, back 1/2 turn. Now there should be an adjusting barrel the cable goes through, turn this so that it gets shorter, until you get to the shortest position, then turn it back 1/2 turn.

    Now taking your new or good old cable, put some oil on your fingers and run them along the cable, then through a rag to take off the excess. Feed it back through the shifter, and along it's path, through the cable housing as needed, then through the cable adjuster, and through to where it attaches to the deraillaur, make sure the shifter is in the same position as the derailleur us normally in. This will be the lowest if it's under the largest cog, highest if under the smallest.

    feed the cable through the shifter, then back along it's original path, through the housing through the adjusting barrel, and to the point where it attaches, hold it taught but not tight, and tighten up the bolt holding it, as tight as you can. Now with the bike right side up, move the shifter through it's range while pedalling with your hand with the back wheel lifted up. if the chain rattles turn the adjusting barrel 1/4 turn, if it still rattles, another 1/4 turn. At some point it will shift between all of the gears quietly.

    Go for a short ride, and see if that fixed it, you may need to make more adjustments, and if it starts rattling again, then you need to turn the adjusting barrel 1/4 turn.










    Feed the cable through the shifter, and back through the housing bits. Before you feed it through a housing bit, put some WD-40 along the inside.

  12. #37
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    Thanks for all that info, Wogsterca! Looks a little intimidating, but we'll see if I can pull it off. As for why it's not shifting, I'm pretty sure its one of the reasons you mentioned. In fact, I'm pretty positive the bike just wasn't put together very well, which is just SHOCKING that a product from TARGET would be not so well assembled.

    I'll post again after I've had a chance to play with it and let you guys know how it went.

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