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My bike is messed

Old 05-11-04, 07:03 PM
  #1  
Mikeesq4
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My bike is messed

Hello there. I am new to this forum, and I am pretty new to biking. I know basic knowledge, but anyhting beyond that, I'm lost.

Here's my story.
I've been biking all my life. I started with a BMX bike, and went through 3 Mountain bikes from k mart. I got sick of that, and bought a minelli echo for $400. I must say, this is the WORST bike I've ever owned. I've taken it in to be fixered litterally over 20 times. Broken spokes, broken chain, I broke my rear gear dealie (i don't know all the technical terms), 9 flat tires, my front shocks don't move, my rear shocks bottom out a lot. I've spent over 500 dollers of repairs on this peice of ****, and I'm sick of these stupid morons at the bike shop screwing me over, so I've decided to learn all this myself. Heres where you come in!
My brakes are messed. I don't know how to explain it, So i'll give it my best.
They are not disc brakes, just normal breaks. This problem is on both wheels.

Much like that ^. Well one side scrapes along the tire every turn. I know my tires are off balence, and that is my next question. But first I need to know how to move the breaks around, and tighten them and loosen them as i see fit. I've tried just pulling the wire through more, but that makes it scrape even more.
Ok theres my first question.

Second:
How do I true my tires? (trueing is what the bike shop called it, i'm trying to sound smart)
I know it's something about tightening and loosening spokes, but I don't want to mess with them.

ALSO What tools do i need to fix either of these problems.

Thanks a lot guys. I'm glad I found these forums. I know I will be returning
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Old 05-11-04, 07:19 PM
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bluejack
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Originally Posted by Mikeesq4
Well one side scrapes along the tire every turn. I know my tires are off balence, and that is my next question. But first I need to know how to move the breaks around, and tighten them and loosen them as i see fit. I've tried just pulling the wire through more, but that makes it scrape even more.
Pulling the wire tightens the brakes, as you discovered. But your problem
doesn't sound like brakes, it sounds like you need to true your wheels...


Originally Posted by Mikeesq4
How do I true my tires? (trueing is what the bike shop called it, i'm trying to sound smart)
I know it's something about tightening and loosening spokes, but I don't want to mess with them.
You're right, you don't. Let your local bike shop [LBS] true your tires.
It's about the most skilled job there is in bicycle repair.

There's such a thing as a spoke wrench, which you can get quite
cheaply, and which will allow you to tighten or loosen your spokes.
However, without the skill, all you are likely to do is mess
your wheels up even more.

There are a lot simpler repair tasks to start with. If you have already
replaced tubes front and back, replaced your chain, and fixed your
"rear dealie" then you're doing well. You might want to study up at
Sheldon's Place. You might also want to think
about a sturdier bike.
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Old 05-11-04, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bluejack
There are a lot simpler repair tasks to start with. If you have already
replaced tubes front and back, replaced your chain, and fixed your
"rear dealie" then you're doing well. You might want to study up at
Sheldon's Place. You might also want to think
about a sturdier bike.
alright thanks. yeah the rear dealie i think is called a rear drive train maybe? i dunno. I was biking one day, and it snapped. they actually replaced that one.
i'm not too enthused about getting my tires trued either, since i've paid them to do it 6 times before. they blame it on the fact i'm a bigger guy. they replaced my rear spokes with some stronger ones or something, I dunno
Thanks anyways.
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Old 05-11-04, 10:09 PM
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shaq-d
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why don't you go to a different bike store?

anyway, i think you should go ahead and start truing your wheels. it's very simple: tightening a spoke will move the rim toward the direction of that spoke. (when you do it, you can see the results yourself) usually you do true the wheels so that its' between the brakes, but this is only safe when you know the brakes are correctly adjusted. nonetheless you can give it a shot and learn what it means to true. the only tool you need is a "truing tool" of the right size; if you don't know the size, get one that has multiple holes for different sizes. the Park Tool website is fantastic; they make the tools that most people use.

http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/index.shtml
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Old 05-11-04, 10:31 PM
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If you've had your wheels trued 6 times, you might consider getting some wheels built for a heavier rider... though I'd definitely ask at a second bike shop

-chris
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Old 05-12-04, 01:02 AM
  #6  
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just want to add that you can adjust the tension of the v-brakes with the little screws by the pads.
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Old 05-12-04, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by shaq-d
anyway, i think you should go ahead and start truing your wheels. it's very simple: tightening a spoke will move the rim toward the direction of that spoke. (when you do it, you can see the results yourself) usually you do true the wheels so that its' between the brakes, but this is only safe when you know the brakes are correctly adjusted. nonetheless you can give it a shot and learn what it means to true. the only tool you need is a "truing tool" of the right size; if you don't know the size, get one that has multiple holes for different sizes. the Park Tool website is fantastic; they make the tools that most people use.

http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/index.shtml
alrighty, I think I am going to buy a truing tool. if i mess up, I can always take it in.
And i'm not to happy about taking it to another bike store. the next bike store is an hour drive. I might have to though.


Originally Posted by brokenrobot
If you've had your wheels trued 6 times, you might consider getting some wheels built for a heavier rider... though I'd definitely ask at a second bike shop

-chris
They already did. this is the first time it's ever messed up in the year i've had it.
They said that puttling them on the frontt would be a waste of money, since most of the weight is on the rear tire. ah well.
anyways,
Thanks everyone. this thread has helped me a lot.
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Old 05-12-04, 08:37 AM
  #8  
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"i'm not too enthused about getting my tires trued either"

just to let you know, you might want to say "getting my wheels trued" in the future instead of "getting my tires trued."

that said, I suggest you true your wheels yourself. It's not super easy, but it's not that hard either.

If you want to learn wheel truing the way I did (and I think it's a good way) here's what you do:

1. go to a thrift store and buy the cheapest, broken-down-est , smallest bike you can find. it doesn't need to have usable tires, but it does need wheels. i used a bike with 16-inch wheels.

2. make sure you have wrenches and/or an adjustable wrench, as well as a tool that can be used on spokes. i get by with just a plain ol' flat-head screwdriver.

3. Take the front wheel off the bike, and take the tire and tube off.

4. take a left-side* spoke in your fingers, and notice how many left-side spokes it crosses. this is important.

5. notice how when you follow spokes down toward the hub starting at the rim, they alternate, one to the left side of the hub, one to the right side of the hub. notice also how if you hold the wheel upright and look at the spokes that are on the top at the rim, two will go to the front of the hub, and the next two will go to the back of the hub. everything balances, front-back, left-right.

6. unscrew all the spoke nipples (the things that hold the spokes on to the rim) and remove all the spokes from the wheel.

7. put the spokes back in, as best you can, just the way they were before. be prepared to have to try stuff and get it wrong and spend a good bit of time undoing your mistakes. that's part of learning.

*it doesn't matter which side, but you have to pick a side. you probably won't really know which is the left side of the wheel anyway once you have it off the bike. normal front wheels don't really have a left and right side, because they're the same on both sides.
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