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Old 07-07-06, 05:10 PM   #1
josh7337
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i need advice

this morning i bought a new bike: a 26" frame dual suspension Roadmaster Power-X from a certain large and infamous retail store. i noticed that one of the brakes was tight to the point of rubbing against the wheel, and the other brake was so loose as to barely contact the wheel. luckily, i know how to use basic hand-tools, and i solved the problem in about 15-20 minutes. after this adjustment, i rode it around campus for about 20-30 minutes; i have found that it behaves in a fashion which effectively imitates a fully-functioning bicycle. having never ridden a bike with shock-absorbers, i must say that they are a nice feature. the rear shock is indeed damped, in opposition to another poster's ill-informed speculation. i bought a decent bicycle for about $79.

ok, now on to my advice-seeking:


a.) what other kinds of pre-ride maintenance/inspection should i perform on this machine, if any?
b.) after completing all necessary inspections, how long do i have to live before my cheap bike leads to my heirs collecting insurance?
c.) am i missing out on some kind of kind of mystical bonding experience by buying a low-priced bike? Say, for instance, i would have bought a high-end Trek or Fuji; would i have been privy to some kind of awe-inspiring fraternal bond that other true cyclists share?

thanks...
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Old 07-07-06, 05:36 PM   #2
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Any bike is better than no bike. You'll spend a bit more time keeping things in adjustment on yours than if you had a "better quality" bike, but other than that nothing different. Pre-ride inspection is always the best predictor of rider mortality. If the tires have air and the brakes work, the drive train will announce its own problems (if any). Go ride and use the spare $$ on beer!
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Old 07-07-06, 07:50 PM   #3
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well, usually if you spend more time saving up for a expensive bike and have to wait more time and such, when you do get that bike it's the best feeling ever (for example waiting a month for my volpe which i now adore and pamper). so yeah, going out and buying a bike for not much money, i could imagine is kinda like "oh, hey, a bike". doesn't seem as special.


however "any bike is better than no bike" is 100% true.


just keep the bike in good shape, tighten everything and have fun and screw being fancy.
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Old 07-08-06, 08:15 AM   #4
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Yeah as long as you checked everything out you should be good. There's two main concerns with a cheap bike:

Cheap parts
Poor Assembly

Cheap parts just means you might have to adjust them more often, and they'll probably wear out sooner than expensive ones. Also means they're usually heavier. And some other minor stuff, like the bearings won't ride as smooth etc... but I mean, that's not stuff that'll keep you from riding. You might notice it if you ride this bike a lot and then buy a more expensive one.

Poor Assembly is where you can get into trouble, because like you noticed the brakes were not adjusted correctly, and sometimes it can be even more dangerous like the wheels/frame not put together right or whatever. However if you go over the whole thing with a critical eye and a wrench, you should be able to notice/fix any of that. It's not like there's some hidden bolt you can't see that's critical and the entire bike'll fall apart because you didn't tighten it. If the seat, handlebars and wheels are nice and tight and the brakes work, you're not likely to get hurt from anything else that may come loose.
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Old 07-08-06, 12:01 PM   #5
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Overall a better quality bike just feels nicer, I think. The materials are lighter, the welds are cleaner, the moving parts move better...the shifts are quick, smooth, and certain, and the brakes both grab and let go with assertive motion.

X-mart bikes function, and a bike is better than no bike.

I doubt you have a 26" frame, unless you're a bloody giant. X-marts engage in a very peculiar sizing convention, where they "size" their bikes by wheel size. You have standard 26" wheels if it's a MTB. They do this because they only actually offer one size in any particular model, and this "sizing" practice is how they distinguish between "adult" or "full size" bikes, and kid's bikes.

I hate suspensions. In time you may too. They are uniquely designed to sap energy from you and your forward progress whilst riding on decently groomed pathways or on roads.

Still, happy riding to you. A good "pre-flight" was very smart, and being diligent about checking the moving parts will save you some grief down the road...that's true of ANY bike, but I think more true with parts that are more likely to quit functioning as you would like.

Which brings up one last thing...I've noticed that more "upper end" components not only function longer in proper adjustment, but are actually easier and simpler to adjust and maintain as well. Go figure.
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Old 07-08-06, 12:10 PM   #6
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By the way, by virtue of owning a bike and actually riding it that makes you part of that "fraternal order", which is a sight better than those who buy $4,000 CF frames that look pretty and get out on the road twice a year when the owner is pretending he's Lance.

So, welcome to the club, and we'll all just pray that your bike isn't an Ebola patient...you know, looks good on the outside, but is secretly rotting from within.
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Old 07-09-06, 09:13 AM   #7
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I predict that your bike mechanic abilities will improve dramatically with this bike because it will need freqent adjustments and repairs.

I also predict that within a year you will either buy a better bike or stop riding altogether. I hope it is the latter.

There are plenty of low-priced GOOD bikes around, particularly used ones. A decent used bike fixed up by a bike shop or bike-savvy person will be alot more pleasant to ride and own than a cheap-o bike that was poorly assembled and made of cheap parts.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy riding. If it gets frustrating, consider upgrading a bit.
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Old 07-09-06, 10:14 AM   #8
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you mean former, not latter. unless you just don't want him to ride
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Old 07-09-06, 10:18 AM   #9
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Too funny...joshboy is trolling again because he got his arse handed to him in this thread:
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=206072
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Old 07-09-06, 11:05 AM   #10
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Right on, Waldo. Keep riding, man!
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Old 07-09-06, 11:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16
Overall a better quality bike just feels nicer, I think. The materials are lighter, the welds are cleaner, the moving parts move better...the shifts are quick, smooth, and certain, and the brakes both grab and let go with assertive motion.

X-mart bikes function, and a bike is better than no bike.

I doubt you have a 26" frame, unless you're a bloody giant. X-marts engage in a very peculiar sizing convention, where they "size" their bikes by wheel size. You have standard 26" wheels if it's a MTB. They do this because they only actually offer one size in any particular model, and this "sizing" practice is how they distinguish between "adult" or "full size" bikes, and kid's bikes.

I hate suspensions. In time you may too. They are uniquely designed to sap energy from you and your forward progress whilst riding on decently groomed pathways or on roads.

Still, happy riding to you. A good "pre-flight" was very smart, and being diligent about checking the moving parts will save you some grief down the road...that's true of ANY bike, but I think more true with parts that are more likely to quit functioning as you would like.

Which brings up one last thing...I've noticed that more "upper end" components not only function longer in proper adjustment, but are actually easier and simpler to adjust and maintain as well. Go figure.
ive noticed that when i engage in serious hills, like when i have to stand up to pedal, the shocks, especially the rear one, seem to absorb a lot of my energy. who'd a thunk it? maybe i should have just gotten a better seat; my intent was to save my a$$ from pain after a long ride.
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Old 07-09-06, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldo
Too funny...joshboy is trolling again because he got his arse handed to him in this thread:
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=206072
you and others on this forum, when encountering ideas that you find offensive, should just call the poster in question a "Jew" and put a yellow triangle on their profile. it would simplify the amount of thought required to read the many different posts.
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Old 07-09-06, 11:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by velogirl
Right on, Waldo. Keep riding, man!
don't tell me you are one of those people who derive an inordinate amount of self-worth from their choice of bicycle. i mean, even if you subscribe to some notion of conspicous consumption, in order to boster your self-image, it is after all just a bicycle.
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Old 07-09-06, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh7337
ive noticed that when i engage in serious hills, like when i have to stand up to pedal, the shocks, especially the rear one, seem to absorb a lot of my energy. who'd a thunk it? maybe i should have just gotten a better seat; my intent was to save my a$$ from pain after a long ride.
There isn't a new Full Suspension bike sold for under $1000 that is worth a crap. Yours cost, $79- you do the math!

Also I wonder if your posts are even legit. Seems like troll material to me, since all of your threads and posts revolve around x-mart bikes being good!
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Old 07-09-06, 11:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle!
well, usually if you spend more time saving up for a expensive bike and have to wait more time and such, when you do get that bike it's the best feeling ever (for example waiting a month for my volpe which i now adore and pamper). so yeah, going out and buying a bike for not much money, i could imagine is kinda like "oh, hey, a bike". doesn't seem as special.


however "any bike is better than no bike" is 100% true.


just keep the bike in good shape, tighten everything and have fun and screw being fancy.

yes any bike is better than no bike; i bet i get the same endorphin rush regardless of the brand of crank i pedal. speaking of brands, im not really brand-conscious. my choice of bike stems from the same impulse that keeps me from having "Abercrombie & Fitch", "American Eagle'" of "Tommy Hilfiger" and other such sillyness plastered all over my clothing.
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Old 07-09-06, 11:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portis
There isn't a new Full Suspension bike sold for under $1000 that is worth a crap. Yours cost, $79- you do the math!

Also I wonder if your posts are even legit. Seems like troll material to me, since all of your threads and posts revolve around x-mart bikes being good!

so you are saying that the price of the shocks is the relevant factor which caused the problem? if you are implying that the more expensive shocks would absorb energy in a less efficient manner than my less expensive shocks, then that is a testament against the efficacy of the pricier shocks for their intended purposes.

btw enough of the name-calling.
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Old 07-09-06, 12:31 PM   #17
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If I was in your shoes, I'd keep the decent $79 bike and return the department store one.
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Old 07-09-06, 12:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh7337
ive noticed that when i engage in serious hills, like when i have to stand up to pedal, the shocks, especially the rear one, seem to absorb a lot of my energy. who'd a thunk it? maybe i should have just gotten a better seat; my intent was to save my a$$ from pain after a long ride.
I would counsel that you should never ever stand to pedal. Find an appropriate gear and spin. Mr. Sheldon Brown has an outstanding article about this that I'm too lazy to link to right now.

Ever had a chain "skip" just a minute when switching gears under a load? Ever drop a chain off of a crank when shifting under a heavy load? The likelihood of that happening goes way up if you are standing to push, and things under you start flexing a bit under the weight. Now imagine a terrible chain skip/jump/disengagement whilst you are standing and mashing. Ouch.

You should only stand and mash if you are 100% certain that your maintenance on your derailleurs is perfect, and that your frame is stiff enough to withstand those pressures.

With an x-mart bike I would be doubtful of either of those, because quite frankly I'm doubtful of that on my rather nice Fuji, which I meticulously maintain.

The likelihood of catastrophe is low...but it could run a spectrum of painful to disastrous.

A suspension or even a sprung seat post does not relieve arse pain. Bike geometry does that, which means not the kind of upright position that a MTB provides. I can ride 100 miles on my road bike...I can only make it 15 on my MTB without real discomfort.

And you are correct, price does not change the physics of a flexing spring...but more expensive suspensions are more than a flexing spring; some are of more complex construction and finer materials, and others even have very finely tuned inertial releases in them.
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Old 07-09-06, 01:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
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you and others on this forum, when encountering ideas that you find offensive, should just call the poster in question a "Jew" and put a yellow triangle on their profile. it would simplify the amount of thought required to read the many different posts.
Nothing offensive about riding an x-mart bike if it suffices for your riding or financial situation. The only thing that's offensive is your hijack of the other thread and weak sauce attempt at continued trolling.
Oh, that and the ridiculous "jew" comment. Interesting that you introduced that into this thread and the homophobic comments into the other.
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Old 07-09-06, 02:57 PM   #20
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am i missing out on some kind of kind of mystical bonding experience by buying a low-priced bike?
Bike? Josh, you are forgetting the clothing and other high priced accoutrments or ancillary merchandise. I mean if you really want to experience the complete imago bonding process you have to spend a minimum of 2 times the bike value on fashion accessories. Plus the whole ensamble must not show any wear and tear, smudge, blemish and/or any other signs of actual use. Just like the magzines, books and other ephemera which must be displayed according to the guidelines set by the Advertising and Catalog Photographer's Association's revised 2006.04 recommendations for display purposes.

I think the best bike is one that you ride. If you don't ride it, then the bike sucks. So if a that bike costs 4 grand makes one too paranoid to ride it anywhere, then it sucks just as much as a xmart bike that falls apart.

Oh, and I agree with banzai. You would do better if you spin (peddle at a higher rpm rate) than stand up on the peddles (high torque). You can get away with that as an elemtary school kid, but as an adult your being much heavier and much stronger can damage the bike or the knees. You won't like it at first beacuse it's a whole new muscle group that needs to be developed, but it will start to pay off after a couple of months. Getting up to 90 rpm would be real good.
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