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Old 10-15-10, 04:15 PM   #1
3speed
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You're gonna laugh, but...

I'm a road biker who found a kinda beat, but ok mechanically, 1994 Giant Yukon on the side of the road. It basically just needs cables and a tune up. I'm going to use it for a winter beater bike so that I don't subject my road bikes to the snow/salt.

I've been thinking for over a year now that I'd like to get into some mountain biking, but don't want to shell out the minimum $500+ it takes for a decent entry level bike these days not even knowing if I'd ride it that much (if I don't find it as fun or challenging as I'm thinking I will).

Question is, once tuned up, is this bike decent enough to at least give me a good idea of if I'm into trail riding enough to spend the money on a nicer bike? Or should I not even count this bike's trail experience as being very similar to a newer entry level bike? Obviously something newer/nicer is going to be lighter and shift better, but I wouldn't think it could be That different beyond a suspension fork...

http://bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeS...on&Type=bikebb
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Old 10-15-10, 06:27 PM   #2
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Free and easily made roadworthy is never something to laugh about. That bike is fine as an entry level trail rider and for a winter rider even better. After researching it, I'm more envious, I never seem to stumble across a bike that is so close to being roadworthy. Most of what I find are trashed and CL deals wind up being a better effort to find the diamond in the rough. Post pic(s) if you would ?
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Old 10-15-10, 06:34 PM   #3
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Thanks. I pulled the forks off and checked the bearings in the headset, and they seemed fine so I cleaned and re-greased. I think it might have a sealed unit in the BB, and either way it seems pretty smooth so I'm gonna leave it be. I also have a spare serious POS that's been sitting in my shared garage that I found near the dumpster a while back. I'm gonna pull the handlebars, brakes, cables, and tires (2.1" rather than 1.9" Should be better for trails, right?) off of that to put on the Yukon. I might manage to make this a $0 invested decent bike. Once it's all cleaned up and ready for me to go try to kill myself on it I'll get some pics.

EDIT: If I happen to see a cheap compatible suspension fork and crank-set(this one is heavy and the chain rings are just riveted on) on CL or something, do you think it would be worth the upgrades or just ride it like it is?

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Old 10-16-10, 01:03 AM   #4
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My Fuji MX-200 is a 26 x 2.10 and my younger brother has a skinnier tire. The 2.10 have trail advantages, street disadvantages over the skinnier tires. The rims I have are 26 x 1.5, not really sure how much fatter will go on that, even what the frame will accomodate ? And I don't think I'd go anything less than a 1:1 ratio with the 1.5 rims for a commuter street tire ? As I've had it explained and realize that it's with perspective to a Tommi Sea or Surley Pugsley with a 3.7-4 inch balloon tire on them.

http://www.ezbeachattachments.com/pr...each-destroyer

The fatter tire actually flattens and rides on top of the softer sand. With a traditional atb/mtb there is some of that floating on the surface, but for the most part there is still a lot of digging into the loose ground with the tread design and relatively thinner tire. The other day, as a joke and after watching a video on the Pugsley, I rode my 2.10's onto the beach to see how far into the sand I would make it, dropped it into the lowest gear and went in. I made it about 20-25 feet on some relatively loose sand and then it got beach volleyball court soft sand and the ride was over. Wheels at that point were knifing into the sand, the gear was weak enough that when I could get a full power stroke, the rear wheel spun and slung some sand, but there was zero traction, I didn't move any but to start to fall over.

As for a suspension fork and crankset, mine is also like your Yukon, I have a solid fork and the triple gear crank is steel rather than aluminum. I'm riding mine like it is until the crank falls off or whatever and that day I'll most likely upgrade rather than look for a new bike. The fork, I don't trail ride hard enough to destroy a solid fork, so I'm not going to worry about it for myself and even if I bent it, I'd stay with a solid fork. For you though might also be thinking that if mtb'ing is your thing, you'll upgrade the bike. But if you also fall in love with this particular frame, suspension forks might be that next step for your Yukon ? I think if you decide to go after these upgrades, modernizing it is what I hope you can find in terms of free or low cost.

I'm thinking your bike looks like this one, naturally with the 3 gear crank and rear gear cassette/cluster:

http://media.photobucket.com/image/1.../PICT4531a.jpg

vs today's Giant equivalent(s)

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...er/7305/44110/
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...el/7509/44107/
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...oad/?level=all

That's a tough call on worth/value, the frame isn't the most modern of the Yukon, but you may even prefer it over aluminum or composite. There is not only the suspension system(s) fork & frame and the crankset, but on most of those higher end models a disc brake system too. You'll have to weigh that at that time, but MSRP of the Boulder which most closely approximates the Yukon with a shock fork is $ 330, the Revel jumps to $ 650 and it has the shock fork and disc brakes.

Here's where the Yukon FX has advanced to:

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...fx/7326/44104/

$ 940 MSRP

You can see what you'd really want to weigh in your mind as to how far you want to upgrade and what you can live with. I'm wondering if there are trails you can try a newer bike out on, friend, shop loaner, rent or whatever to aid you in a decision ? Sorry for the long post.
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Old 10-16-10, 01:42 AM   #5
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BTW, Giant doesn't indicate a weight on these bikes either:

http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/giant-yukon-fx/
http://www.mountainbiketales.com/reviews/youkon.htm

Quote:
All told our bone stock medium bike weighed in at just a tad below 34 lbs with pedals.
So the Boulder, being steel vs aluminum, traditional frame vs the Yukon FX having the frame shock are they about the same ? If anything, I'm going to say the Boulder is a little heavier, but that's a speculative guess. I may weigh my Fuji MX-200 over at the outdoor scale at a Publix grocery store in the next few days just to see where this one fits ? That particular one is about 12.5 miles away. I hope it isn't closer to a cheap beach cruiser pig weight ?

Edit: The weigh in was a pleasant surprise for mine this AM. With a 2 1/2 lb u-lock, it was right on 31 lbs, 28.5 lbs w/out lock.

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Old 10-16-10, 01:58 PM   #6
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Sorry for the long post.
Not at all. Thanks for the long post. With my inexperience, I can use the advice and comparisons. I'm taking the bike out today to a trail section that a friend who MTBs casually said has sections that are really easy all the way to things that he's walked his bike on, so that should be fun and a good chance to get a feel for things. Just gotta get this bike cabled so I can get out in the next hour or so...
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Old 10-16-10, 11:30 PM   #7
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How did your trail ride go ? I'm going to live vicariously thru you. Did you get to try out another bike to compare or did you just get familiar with your's ? Is your friend's mtb newer era equipment ?
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Old 10-17-10, 07:04 AM   #8
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There's nothing wrong with a Yukon. Back in the day they were one of the most popular bikes, at least in my area. Don't forget, even front suspension was pretty new and most guys just rode rigid frames with no front shock. One of my friends had a Yukon (he probably still does) and he rode plenty of miles on it, all different types of terrain. Will it feel the same as a modern hardtail with a front shock on it, not really. Will it let you know if you like going out trail riding and enjoying some fresh air, certainly. Back when my friend had the Yukon (I think two of my friends did, now that I think about it), I had a GT Tequesta. I have thousands of miles on that bike, although I now ride some lighter aluminum-framed bikes. The Yukon is a few pounds lighter, so it is definitely worth getting your bike cleaned up and taking it for a few rides.

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Old 10-17-10, 05:57 PM   #9
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So, I can't believe it, but there's actually a really cool trail area ~10min. from my house. The one my friend told me about. I hit it for about an hour.

OMG it's fun and challenging! I do think I'm going to eventually want a suspension fork, though. Guess I'll be shelling out $600+ before next spring for a MTB... I'm excited, but damn it, I've already got over $1000 in bikes sitting in my spare room... And this stuff wears you out and gives you such a better work out than road biking! I think I do want a better rear tire, though, and my front derailleur isn't adjusted correctly at all. it scrubs a lot on the largest chain ring. I took some pics, so if anyone can give me an idea of how I should move it please do so.

Anyway, here's the freebie I've built up from parts of two (one crap one, but it still had some parts I wanted to use) "junk" MTBs. I haven't really cleaned it up at all yet. I might just try to find a new crank-set and not bother cleaning it up. I kinda like the look it has. I've already got a nice shiny road bike, and I'm gonna be beating the crap out of this one anyway...





Here's the derailleur in question.



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Old 10-17-10, 06:23 PM   #10
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There's nothing wrong with a Yukon. Back in the day they were one of the most popular bikes, at least in my area. Don't forget, even front suspension was pretty new and most guys just rode rigid frames with no front shock. One of my friends had a Yukon (he probably still does) and he rode plenty of miles on it, all different types of terrain. Will it feel the same as a modern hardtail with a front shock on it, not really. Will it let you know if you like going out trail riding and enjoying some fresh air, certainly. Back when my friend had the Yukon (I think two of my friends did, now that I think about it), I had a GT Tequesta. I have thousands of miles on that bike, although I now ride some lighter aluminum-framed bikes. The Yukon is a few pounds lighter, so it is definitely worth getting your bike cleaned up and taking it for a few rides.

andy b.

I would question the advice giveb by anyone going by the name of "andy b........I'm just saying.
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Old 10-17-10, 06:31 PM   #11
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Just ride brother, ride with a smile. I like the adventure of trails, but I bet you are finding that it is so different that pavement. Being a FRED is OK by me. I'm kinda playing with the idea.
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Old 10-17-10, 06:51 PM   #12
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What's a FRED?

As for trails being different than pavement, I haven't always been Purely a road biker. I did do a little BMX dirt jumping years ago when I was younger. I'm really digging the MTBing, though. I'm just slightly concerned because I'm pretty sure I'm gonna hurt myself pretty decently doing it... I guess I'll find that out for sure later. I did come Really close to getting to know a sapling on a personal level. Hopefully I get better pretty quickly and it won't be too much of a concern. And I think a suspension fork and more aggressive rear tire might help.
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Old 10-17-10, 07:06 PM   #13
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What's a FRED?

As for trails being different than pavement, I haven't always been Purely a road biker. I did do a little BMX dirt jumping years ago when I was younger. I'm really digging the MTBing, though. I'm just slightly concerned because I'm pretty sure I'm gonna hurt myself pretty decently doing it... I guess I'll find that out for sure later. I did come Really close to getting to know a sapling on a personal level. Hopefully I get better pretty quickly and it won't be too much of a concern. And I think a suspension fork and more aggressive rear tire might help.
You'll get banged up a little but it's all good. Enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-17-10, 09:52 PM   #14
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I would question the advice giveb by anyone going by the name of "andy b........I'm just saying.
Heck, I don't follow my own advice half the time.

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Old 10-17-10, 10:04 PM   #15
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Yes, andy b's are sketchy at best.
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Old 10-17-10, 10:24 PM   #16
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Like it ! Nice find. As for the rear tire, swap them, the rear looks road worn and your front looks fresh.
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Old 10-18-10, 01:06 AM   #17
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Like it ! Nice find. As for the rear tire, swap them, the rear looks road worn and your front looks fresh.
Why would you want the front with less bite than the rear?
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Old 10-18-10, 01:15 AM   #18
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I was out on my rigid Kuwahara today and did some fast XC, some mudbogging along the river, played in the rocks, and had a blast climbing out of the valley... never once thought I needed my Blizzard and it's suspension.

And if you ride in the winter a rigid fork is best as many suspension forks don't handle cold very well.
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Old 10-18-10, 02:21 PM   #19
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Why would you want the front with less bite than the rear?
Well, for one reason, traction ? Bicycles are rwd. Another would be that it evens the wear out by rotating them. I'm assuming the guy is going to ride these 2 tires bald. My bike, the rear is showing a little more wear than the front, but not like the discrepancy between his f & r. I'm hoping mine wear down about the same time to buy a fresh pair. I think the reason I haven't rotated them just yet, the wear is close, so I don't see any advantages just yet to a rotation effort, that and I really am not looking forward to doing it.

Another thing too, might be a slightly softer ride on the pavement with a fresher knobby on the rear, that's where most of the cyclists weight is.
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Old 10-18-10, 02:35 PM   #20
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I was out on my rigid Kuwahara today and did some fast XC, some mudbogging along the river, played in the rocks, and had a blast climbing out of the valley... never once thought I needed my Blizzard and it's suspension.

And if you ride in the winter a rigid fork is best as many suspension forks don't handle cold very well.
Glad you posted this, I never gave it much thought about what seasonal effects had on suspension forks. Being in FL it's warm year round, the sand, salt air & humidity the suspension forks rust and pit, tear up the seals moving up and down and I'm cheap and lazy when it comes to that kind of maintenance. I don't ever want to replace or rebuild cartridges and struts. Nothing is ever going to be zero maintenance, but why create a few hours or a day for that, ever notice the day it needs to be done, it's beautiful and all your friends don't have that as a chore and are out riding their bikes ? The simpler the bike the better for me.
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Old 10-18-10, 07:54 PM   #21
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Well, for one reason, traction ? Bicycles are rwd. Another would be that it evens the wear out by rotating them. I'm assuming the guy is going to ride these 2 tires bald. My bike, the rear is showing a little more wear than the front, but not like the discrepancy between his f & r. I'm hoping mine wear down about the same time to buy a fresh pair. I think the reason I haven't rotated them just yet, the wear is close, so I don't see any advantages just yet to a rotation effort, that and I really am not looking forward to doing it.

Another thing too, might be a slightly softer ride on the pavement with a fresher knobby on the rear, that's where most of the cyclists weight is.

If you throw your bike hard into a sketchy corner do you really want the traction on the rear wheel? It's not a nice fuzzy feeling when the fron end starts washing out and you're trying to chase it across the trail. If the rear steps out a little you still have control and you can work through that. Some of the best tire setups I've ever used have been with an agressive front with lots of side bite and not so agressive rear. Like a Minion front/LarsonTT rear. You can also look at whats getting all the work in the steeps and under hard braking......the front.
Rear traction has a lot to do with weight distribution..........
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Old 10-18-10, 08:05 PM   #22
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If you throw your bike hard into a sketchy corner do you really want the traction on the rear wheel? It's not a nice fuzzy feeling when the fron end starts washing out and you're trying to chase it across the trail. If the rear steps out a little you still have control and you can work through that. Some of the best tire setups I've ever used have been with an agressive front with lots of side bite and not so agressive rear. Like a Minion front/LarsonTT rear. You can also look at whats getting all the work in the steeps and under hard braking......the front.
Rear traction has a lot to do with weight distribution..........
Don't listen to mtnbiker66....he gets all his biking advice off of wikipeida. I am not sure he even has a bike.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:53 PM   #23
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If you throw your bike hard into a sketchy corner do you really want the traction on the rear wheel? It's not a nice fuzzy feeling when the fron end starts washing out and you're trying to chase it across the trail. If the rear steps out a little you still have control and you can work through that. Some of the best tire setups I've ever used have been with an agressive front with lots of side bite and not so agressive rear. Like a Minion front/LarsonTT rear. You can also look at whats getting all the work in the steeps and under hard braking......the front.
Rear traction has a lot to do with weight distribution..........
I just picked up a new to me bike. It came with tubeless Kenda Karma 2.35 front and Small Block 8 1.90 on the back. Seems the previous owner drinks the same kool aid as you. I've never used either tire, do you know about them and if so what do you think?
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Old 10-18-10, 08:55 PM   #24
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Freds from what I pick up around here are those who ride skinny and far tires. They have commitment anxiety.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:43 PM   #25
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If you throw your bike hard into a sketchy corner do you really want the traction on the rear wheel? It's not a nice fuzzy feeling when the fron end starts washing out and you're trying to chase it across the trail. If the rear steps out a little you still have control and you can work through that. Some of the best tire setups I've ever used have been with an agressive front with lots of side bite and not so agressive rear. Like a Minion front/LarsonTT rear. You can also look at whats getting all the work in the steeps and under hard braking......the front.
Rear traction has a lot to do with weight distribution..........
By side bite, I'm going to assume you mean the knobbies that are on the sides of the tire that will grab or dig in. In that case, the rear wheel on this bike looks like it's been street worn down the center of it. The side knobbies still have the little rubber hairs or strings still on them from when they were brand new. Anything beyond the plus shaped knobbies are still in pretty good wear condition, well maybe not that immediate row of knobbies from the center, except towards the outer edges of it ? Banked dirt turns and it doesn't much matter ?

Analyzing video footage, most conveniently from You Tube videos, I didn't really see Velodrome speed out in the woods and others leaning their bikes into hard turns ?
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