I've purchased an Orbea Dakar 2012 about a week ago. I cut a distance of about 40 miles. After the 3 rides I performed, I noticed the following:
1- Some scratches to the Pedal Crank (due to frictions to platforms jumping in the roads).
2- Some scratches to the aluminum frame and left shifter plastic indicator (due to falling on ground by a sudden front brakes application)
3- Dirt and mud (due to streets and conditions)
4- Lower performance on applying both front and back brakes
5- Sudden gear shifting to higher speed (back gears) while riding (I ignore the reason but I feel ease of cycling on 5th Gear Back and 2nd Gear Front which soon after accelerating from 0 to about 10 Km/hr it suddenly shifts itself to 6th gear)
I'd like to get information regarding:
1- Can I patch the paint scratches simply (especially it's black)? Is it necessary?
2- What is the best way to clean the bike parts? Just a dry clean piece of cloth for all parts? When shall I use a wet cloth? (Wheels, frame, wires,...) Do I need gasoline or any lubricant for certain parts like gears and moving parts?
3- Is it common to get a lower performance in brakes after a number of miles? What shall I do to make them as stock?
4- Why I got that gearing issue and how to overcome it?
I'd be glad also if you provided me with further tips to maintain the mountain bike for maximum usage.