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  1. #1
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    Repairing an old MTN bike

    Hi Guys,

    This is a kind of follow up to this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-maybe-cruiser

    I've been looking around and not really seeing any bikes I like. Actually went against everyone's advice and did the walmart bike-like-object, figuring I'd take advantage of their return policy if it didn't work out right. I didn't even last a month. Hell, I didn't even ride it before it had its first problem, an exploding tube when I actually put more then 10psi in the tire. After a pedal snapping, the tube blowout and finally a seized freewheel, its gone. YOU GUYS WERE RIGHT.

    Anyways, through a combination of not knowing what to look for and not really seeing anything I like on craigslist, as well as watching the city auctions (they use raleigh mountain bikes for patrols downtown), I've pretty much settled on fixing my old bike.

    First issue up is a back wheel that doesn't spin well. Prognosis is a bent axle and 13 year old dirty white lithium grease in the hub.

    Option 1 is to replace the axle, clean and repack the bearings, clean up the cogs. It still only leaves me with a 32h single wall (but pretty solid) rim and rear freewheel which will probably bend the replacement axle given the wonderful brick roads here.

    Option 2 is to replace with a new wheel. From reading on the forum here, 36h double wall rim freehub. There are a couple questions for that:
    * do I go with a similar 7 speed read cassette and keep the shimano altus derailleur, or upgrade speeds and get a new derailleur and shifter to match. It seems like I could order a 7 speed cassette and add a spacer onto a new hub and adjust derailleur to shift it. It would also leave me open to upgrade to an 8 or 9 speed in the future (and save costs.

    Could I build the wheel myself? I've seen stuff online, looks tedious but doable. I'll check around town on how much a build will be. Are there any places online that will do a build and ship it to me at a decent price? I'd like to comparison shop that around.

    Front wheel is also 32h, in good condition. Do I have to match up wheels? I'd rather just leave it as is, and just clean, repack and true. Its the same sturdy single wall with stainless steel spokes.

    There's also a weird sound that was coming from the crankset. I'm going to pull that apart and see if I can just replace bearings and repack and call it a day. I'll replace if need be.

    The front derailleur cable is pretty frayed at the end. I'll probably replace that. But even if it snaps, I can limp home in the small chainring.


    Does it make sense to do all this, or am I shooting myself in the foot again, this time without a return policy?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Sounds like a logical route to go. You can replace the rear wheel without worrying about the front. Freewheel with 7 speed cassette is fine and allows you to keep your existing shifters. Definately replace the cable (do them all while you are at it) and clean and lube the BB bearings (and do the front hubs as well). Building your own wheel is doable but I'd suggest buying one to get yourself on the road and concentrate on the other do-it-yourself projects the bike needs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    I curious, what is your current bike? Oh, and I'd get an axle for your rear wheel, if that's all it needs, axles are pretty cheap and that will either get you riding or be nice for a spare. What city are you in? Yes, clean and lube all the bearings, replace any that look discolored, if any of the cups or cones are pitted where the balls roll you'll want to replace those as well. New cables are a good thing, although just frayed at the end doesn't indicate a bad cable, to me that indicates a missing crimp-on cable end. Still cables are cheap and a good thing to replace. Sheldon Brown, Park Tools, and Bicycle Tutor are great sites for how-to information on bicycle repair.

  4. #4
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    The current bike is a mongoose manuever. So not the best to start with, but the frame is solid and I think I'd have better luck just building out what I want to be in there.

    I'm in downtown orlando. I've ordered some tools to pull the BB and freewheels apart. I've have a better idea what everything looks like. I'm thinking for the back wheel I could use something stronger, and I could easily take this opportunity to build out a solid back wheel.

    I do have to say I'm tempted to go whole hog and get an 8 or 9 speed set up and replace the derailleur and shifter in back. The from derailleur cable is split bad all the way to the nut and a couple strands are broken. Crazily, the cap is still there. The cap in back is missing, but the cable isn't frayed and just needs a new cap. The back one is slightly kinked though. It does make sense to replace them. I don't see any rust on them, but I'm worried they could be inside the plastic cable sheaths. I've been reading sheldon brown and the park tools site pretty heavily. I'll check bicycle tutor also.

    I'm assuming also I should change the brake pads? They are a decade old, but no real wear on them. . I'm also going to get hybrid tires and eventually swap out the handle bars for risers to get more comfortable. Also in the works are a rack and some grocery carriers in back. But that can be added over time, and I'll depend on my trusty backpack in the mean time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    The good thing about fixing up this bike is that you'll have it in nice ridable condition again. Either you'll love it or be in a position to snap up that yardsale/craigslist find that needs work, and really know what you're getting into. I like fixing my own bikes, I get to buy bikes on the cheap and know them inside and out. It makes me feel more connected to them when I'm riding them.

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