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  1. #1
    Cincy Clyde
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    Parts recomendations for upgrading a "mart" bike...

    I've read through the threads, and know that even tying to upgrade this bike is probably useless, but hopefully there's SOMETHING that can be done. I'm willing to accept a certain amount of throwing good money after bad given the situation.

    My 3 kids pooled their money for father's day and bought me a "15 speed" Wal-mart bike so that we can start riding as a family.

    Unfortunately, as is to be expected, the shifting is less than optimal, and both brakes work hardly at all.

    What I want to do is put some money ($100 or so probably) into this bike so that I can ride it safely with them for the next couple of months. Then, next year, when they'll be ready for new bikes, I can upgrade with them to something that's more reasonable.

    So, what I'm looking for are recommendations for specific component upgrades that will get me through 3-4 months with the. Specifically, I was thinking new brakes, slicker tires (instead of the knobbies that are on there), and, maybe some help with the gears/derailleur. I know that a lot of the parts on the bike may not be standard sizes, but, hopefully, I can at least get it to the point that I can comfortably shift at least the back gears and stop when needed.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    First thing I would deal with are the brakes. If they are as bad as you say I would see about getting them adjusted and/or put on a couple of pairs of good brake pads.
    1997 Mongoose Hilltopper, 1988 Bianchi Specialissima, 2006 Surly Cross-Check, 2010 Norco City Glide, 1947 CCM Single-speed.

    "Take him to the forge and show him the instruments"
    Bernardo Gui, Inquisitor The Name of the Rose

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Brakes definitely. If not adjusted, they can slip and scrape on the tire, causing a very hard to repair blowout.

    I'd consider something like Avid SD-5s at the least.

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22
    Brakes definitely. If not adjusted, they can slip and scrape on the tire, causing a very hard to repair blowout.

    I'd consider something like Avid SD-5s at the least.
    Not even. $13 Deore V brakes Pair of levers $20
    As for the shifting all you need is a set of friction thumbshifters which are about $15 at any shop.

  5. #5
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    While you are doing that on-line shopping, get ya a pair of slicks.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  6. #6
    Senior Member doghouse's Avatar
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    You have great kids! Most -Mart bikes are put together by non-bikers who have no clue.

    Go to a local bike shop and share your story. Ask them to help you out with adjustments. Other than the tires you prefer, that may be all it takes to get your brakes and shifters working.

    I would try that before I put real money into it. Especially when you are not certain of the part models that you would need.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Not even. $13 Deore V brakes Pair of levers $20
    As for the shifting all you need is a set of friction thumbshifters which are about $15 at any shop.
    +1 don't mess with pads just get all new calipers and levers, i got nice kool stop pads for my mart bike and they didn't help at all, the whole braking system was garbage (well, still is, i got a different bike)

    +1 friction thumb shifters, I would spend a lot of time getting the crappy 6spd index to shift perfectly then go ride around the block and it was crappy again. So i took it to the LBS because I thought I was doing it wrong, they got it to shift perfect too, but again after less than 2 miles it out of whack. with friction shifters there's nothing to tune as you do it yourself, and once you learn where the gears are you can keep it shifting perfect. and they're cheap too

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