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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    What kind of parts do I want to buy?

    I'm 5'8" and 275 lbs with a male body, and I'm still relatively new to bicycling. I didn't learn how to ride a bike until right before I turned 21, and I've only been riding regularly for about 11 months (I'm 23). I've never done maintenance or bought new parts, and I think both are just about in order right now. I currently have a 1987 Hard Rock Specialized hardtail mountain bike, and it works for me. The frame fits my proportions just right (it used to be my uncle's, and we have about the same proportions), it's good and sturdy, the handlebars are a good configuration for me, and it handles beautifully. I mostly use it for commuting on urban roads (I live in Silicon Valley). I'm looking to replace the pedals and tires, get a rear rack, maybe replace the wheels, and install a water bottle holder. Can anyone give me recommendations as to what specifics I should be looking at with these parts?
    Last edited by Gothic Sunshine; 06-03-14 at 11:12 PM.
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  2. #2
    Fat Cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic Sunshine View Post
    I'm 5'8" and 275 lbs with a male body, and I'm still relatively new to bicycling. I didn't learn how to ride a bike until right before I turned 21, and I've only been riding regularly for about 11 months (I'm 23). I've never done maintenance or bought new parts, and I think both are just about in order right now. I currently have a 1987 Hard Rock Specialized hardtail mountain bike, and it works for me. The frame fits my proportions just right (it used to be my uncle's, and we have about the same proportions), it's good and sturdy, the handlebars are a good configuration for me, and it handles beautifully. I mostly use it for commuting on urban roads (I live in Silicon Valley). I'm looking to replace the pedals and tires, get a rear rack, maybe replace the wheels, and install a water bottle holder. Can anyone give me recommendations as to what specifics I should be looking at with these parts?
    1. Are you on a budget?
    2. If so, what's a rough estimate of what you have to spend?
    3. Is a new bike out of the picture?


    • If you're on a budget, your best bet would be to replace the suspension fork with a rigid fork. It will probably be steel. Used or on sale off of the larger online retailed like Performance, Nashbar, PBK, Chainreaction etc. And swap out the tires with slick, narrower tires for reduced rolling resistance.
    • If a new bike isn't out of the option, check out some previously owned commuter bikes that people are tired of. Some people will spend all sort of money to get in to cycling only to find out they don't like it, and sell their bike and equipment at a huge discount.

    MTB pedals (M540) are relatively cheap and useful addition. A decent rack will run you around $30; panniers are even more. You won't find much benefit in buying new wheels unless the ones now are trash (but you describe it rides beautifully, so probably aren't). You might want to check your chain and cassette because they are probably worn. And if you replace the tires you ought to replace the tubes as well. And Ergo grips & bar ends are really useful if your budget allows them.
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” - Jiddu Krishnamurti

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
    Are you on a budget?
    If so, what's a rough estimate of what you have to spend?
    I can go up to around $200-300 in parts, but I would rather go lower.
    Is a new bike out of the picture?
    Quite. I very much like this bike, and there is nothing wrong with it. I just want to tweak it a bit with some nice new parts.
    • If you're on a budget, your best bet would be to replace the suspension fork with a rigid fork. It will probably be steel. Used or on sale off of the larger online retailed like Performance, Nashbar, PBK, Chainreaction etc.
    I have a rigid fork already. Think the bike was originally built like that. The entire frame is solid steel.
    And swap out the tires with slick, narrower tires for reduced rolling resistance.
    Any psi recommendation? I currently have 26" x 1.75" tires. Can I change that?

    You won't find much benefit in buying new wheels unless the ones now are trash (but you describe it rides beautifully, so probably aren't).
    The main issue here is that the plastic piece next to my rear gears has chunks missing. Not sure if that is a problem or not. If it's not, then the wheels are fine.
    You might want to check your chain and cassette because they are probably worn. And if you replace the tires you ought to replace the tubes as well. And Ergo grips & bar ends are really useful if your budget allows them.
    Thanks.
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  4. #4
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Are your goals to bury the male body in one piece or load it into your panniers?
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  5. #5
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    If I had your budget, I would look for a another used MTB or Hybrid and keep the Hardrock as-is. The pedals - $20, rack - $20 used or $30 new are minor expenses. The dork disk next to the cassette can be removed. It's sole role is to keep the chain from falling into the spokes, a rare occurance with a tuned RD.

    But if you're bored and want to spend some $$ on a new ride....... The first bike is less than a new wheeleset and excellent value.

    Here's a top of the line Trek for $135, your size.
    Trek 970 mountain bike

    Put some 26 x 1.5 road slicks on it and fly!

    Excellent price on a 7.3fx
    TREK 7.3 FX -- 22.5" 57cm XL FRAME -- ROAD HYBRID BIKE
    Last edited by oddjob2; 06-04-14 at 07:20 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member FLJeepGuy's Avatar
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    First, I thinks some folks saw you call your bike a "hardtail" which means it has suspension in the front and a rigid rear. Looking at your follow up comments stating you don't have suspension in front means your bike is described as "rigid". This is why you're getting recommendations to replace the front forks.

    As far as your list goes, some items are very inexpensive... A basic water bottle and cage should cost less than $20 total (maybe significantly less). Likewise, the rear rack should come in around $35-$50 depending on how fancy you want to get.

    I'm definitely in the replace it when it breaks club when it comes to existing components, unless said component doesn't meet your needs. Pedals might fall into this category. What's your reason for wanting to replace them?

    Same goes for the wheels, unless the size tire you want to mount won't fit on your existing ones. I know you mentioned that you want to go to a narrower tire, but you might just want to consider a more road oriented tire with a slicker tread and allowance for higher pressure that will fit your existing rims. Simply going to a more suitable tread and higher pressure will reduce rolling resistance without incurring the expense of replacing wheels as well. Check with your LBS on the right tread pattern and just how narrow of a tire you can fit without swapping out the wheels.

    Of course, you can go all in and replace parts to your heart's content, but you did mention you were on a budget of only a couple hundred dollars. A water bottle, bottle cage, rear rack and some new tires will keep you around the $100-$150 range and allow you to replace other parts over time as they wear out and/or break.

  7. #7
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    if short commute say under an hour each way, I'd invest in a decent messenger style bag vs the rack thing (you still need to get the right size bag to put on it), make sure it has the 2nd strap to go under the other arm or it will keep rotating on you while riding. Chrome Soma Messenger Bag - Slings & Messenger Bags | Competitive Cyclist

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    I say, first try to find a bicycle co-op in your area. Next, after you join the co-op, have a co-op mechanic evaluate your bike. Then discuss with a co-op leader the various components that need replacing and how you may best obtain those parts. After you've replaced the needed components, then address the new tire issue, along with the other minor concerns.

    You'd be surprised at the difference new tires, rack, grips, and a saddle will make.

    You're gonna need a decent U-lock, as well....
    Last edited by WestPablo; 06-04-14 at 03:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLJeepGuy View Post
    First, I thinks some folks saw you call your bike a "hardtail" which means it has suspension in the front and a rigid rear. Looking at your follow up comments stating you don't have suspension in front means your bike is described as "rigid". This is why you're getting recommendations to replace the front forks.

    There's seems to be widespread disagreement about the exact definition of a "hardtail". Hardtail simply refers to any mountain bike that doesn't have a rear suspension...That's it!

    Therefore, you can have a "hardtail" rigid, or a "hardtail" with a suspended fork.

    Mountain bike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Salsa describes their Fargo model as a "hardtail" mtb, even though it has no suspended fork.

    salsabikes.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Where in the valley do you live/work I can suggest a shop for you. (performance is not my favorite, but has some good deals when sales are on)

    my 2 cents

    * Smoothish tires that can go to 80psi or above will make a huge differrence something like this WTB Slick Flatguard Sport Tire - Performance Exclusive - Mountain Bike Tires


    * pedals...get ones that you can use with any shoes or with spd clipless in in the future (will save you money) Forté Campus Pedals - Bike Pedals / Cleats


    * racks simple I like to add wald folding baskets TransIt TS-1 Rear Rack - Bike Racks

    * bottle cage..... metal, cheap and simple Forté Terra Lite Aluminum Cage - Bottle Cages


    why are you thinking about new wheels? if you really need them getting a set online is probably cheapest or you can learn to rebuild them or talk to Tahn at silva cycles Silva Cycles
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  11. #11
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    You're gonna need cycling gloves too!

    Don't wait until after your first spill to get them either!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    There's seems to be widespread disagreement about the exact definition of a "hardtail". Hardtail simply refers to any mountain bike that doesn't have a rear suspension...That's it!

    Therefore, you can have a "hardtail" rigid, or a "hardtail" with a suspended fork.

    Mountain bike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Salsa describes their Fargo model as a "hardtail" mtb, even though it has no suspended fork.

    salsabikes.com
    So far as I know, hardtail means no rear suspension, but I'm not that familiar with bike terminology. To allay confusion, here is my bike:

    20140604_171955.jpg

    I'm removing the big white rear flasher in lieu of the small red one. I also use a front light, but I took it off temporarily to use as a flashlight. I do ride at night, so lights are a necessity.

    I have another saddle, I just have to install it this weekend.
    Last edited by Gothic Sunshine; 06-04-14 at 06:37 PM.
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  13. #13
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    In that case, just have a mechanic go over it. Leave the pedals, wheels, and tires alone, until you experience some kinda problem. Does that bike have rack and fender mounts? If so, I'd get a rack, fenders, and a saddle! That's it! Unless the mechanic tells you something differently...

    That's a really nice looking bike!

    Remember: Get those gloves!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 06-04-14 at 06:58 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
    if short commute say under an hour each way, I'd invest in a decent messenger style bag vs the rack thing (you still need to get the right size bag to put on it), make sure it has the 2nd strap to go under the other arm or it will keep rotating on you while riding. Chrome Soma Messenger Bag - Slings & Messenger Bags | Competitive Cyclist
    For school I use a backpack, though that bag is an interesting idea. I want the rack for shopping.
    "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    In that case, just have a mechanic go over it. Leave the pedals, wheels, and tires alone, until you experience some kinda problem.
    I may do that with pedals and wheels, but I am replacing the tires with higher PSI road tires.
    Does that bike have rack and fender mounts? If so, I'd get a rack, fenders, and a saddle! That's it! Unless the mechanic tells you something differently...
    I'm considering clip on mountain bike fenders, so that I can use them when the roads are wet and leave them home when things are dry. That's a pretty low priority with summer here, though, because I wouldn't need the fenders for months. I'll skip them for now, and revisit the idea when it's time. I don't believe I have a rack mount, but I've seen several racks that can mount to the seat post.

    That's a really nice looking bike!
    Thanks! I'm thinking of going with leather grips and saddle eventually, once I have enough money.
    "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    You're gonna need cycling gloves too!

    Don't wait until after your first spill to get them either!
    Heh. A little late. I've had a few spills already. The best was when a driver hi-beamed me and I lost vision and hit the curb.
    "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Gothic Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    Where in the valley do you live/work I can suggest a shop for you. (performance is not my favorite, but has some good deals when sales are on)
    I live out by De Anza College, and I spend most of my time there (I'm a full time student, and I have an on campus job).

    my 2 cents

    * Smoothish tires that can go to 80psi or above will make a huge differrence something like this WTB Slick Flatguard Sport Tire - Performance Exclusive - Mountain Bike Tires


    * pedals...get ones that you can use with any shoes or with spd clipless in in the future (will save you money) Forté Campus Pedals - Bike Pedals / Cleats


    * racks simple I like to add wald folding baskets TransIt TS-1 Rear Rack - Bike Racks

    * bottle cage..... metal, cheap and simple Forté Terra Lite Aluminum Cage - Bottle Cages
    Thanks.

    why are you thinking about new wheels? if you really need them getting a set online is probably cheapest or you can learn to rebuild them or talk to Tahn at silva cycles Silva Cycles
    I have chunks missing from the divider between the cassette and spokes on my rear wheel.
    "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."
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  18. #18
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    The "divider" between the cassette and spokes is usually referred to as the "dork disc". (If you still have one on your bike, you aren't one of the kEwL kiDz, and therefore, by default, a dork.) If your rear derailleur is adjusted properly you don't need it.

    As for what to spend your cash on. I would go for what you really need and then work down to what would be nice to have. You said you need something to haul groceries in. That would be priority 1. The rack/pannier setup is probably the way to go. Although, lots of folks put a store bought rack on and then bolt milk crates or some other hefty plastic bucket type thing on and never miss a beat. One advantage to having actual panniers is you can take them off and carry them into the store with you, filling them as you go. Then when you check out you know you have enough room for everything you bought.

    You said you don't have a water bottle cage so I would do that right away too. You can get a cheap aluminum cage and bottle for well under $20. If you buy all your stuff at once at a local bike shop (LBS) you might even talk them into throwing in a bottle for free.

    After that, just go down your list of anything that bugs you or something that would make life better if you had it. As long as it's mechanically safe and sound you are just adding things to make your ride more enjoyable.
    Last edited by DTSCDS; 06-05-14 at 10:24 AM. Reason: To add more stuff
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  19. #19
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic Sunshine View Post
    I live out by De Anza College, and I spend most of my time there (I'm a full time student, and I have an on campus job).



    I have chunks missing from the divider between the cassette and spokes on my rear wheel.
    Cupertino bike shop is close to De anza, it is a good shop.....but not the cheapest REI on saratoga is not far.


    The spoke protector (aka dork disk) does not affect the function of the wheel. it is not needed if you have a properly adjusted derailler. So unless you have functional issues (bearings in hub worn out, rim bad, broken missing spokes) you probably don't need a new wheel.

    learning how to do you own work will give you a lot of returns. tons of basic information can be found here

    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog

    Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  20. #20
    Member Tekcor1's Avatar
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    I have this rack:

    Amazon.com : Topeak Explorer Bike Rack : Sports & Outdoors

    And this bag:

    Amazon.com : Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP Bicycle Trunk Bag with Rigid Molded Panels : Bike Pack Accessories : Sports & Outdoors

    I use them on my commuter and they are fantastic. The bag easily slides onto the rack and clips itself in place. The sides unzip and turn into panniers. It's not the cheapest system, but it is excellent for my needs. I use the main compartment for my commute each day (it also unzips and gets bigger if needed) and on the rare occasion I need a lot more room I just unzip the sides and I have tons of room. Definitely worth checking out.

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