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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 06-07-11, 12:19 AM   #1
mtb_addict
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New bike from UPS

I just bought a brand new Dawes 29er from online. The manual mention something about lubing the bearings in the pedal, headset, and the bottom bracket. Am I suppose to lube them before the first ride?

Also, the wheels aren't true. Can I fix them myself without special tools?
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Old 06-07-11, 01:19 AM   #2
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I just bought a brand new Dawes 29er from online. The manual mention something about lubing the bearings in the pedal, headset, and the bottom bracket. Am I suppose to lube them before the first ride?
hopefully they're talking about regular maintenance... lubing bearings shouldn't need to be done to a bike until after significant amount of use

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Also, the wheels aren't true. Can I fix them myself without special tools?
no. my guess is you should take them to a shop where they can true and tension the wheels properly
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Old 06-07-11, 02:16 AM   #3
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If it were me...

I'd pull the cranks, stem and fork and apply liberal grease to the headset and bottom bracket. Who knows if the factory installed them dry or with enough grease. Check and re-torque all bolts, lube the chain.

You'll need the proper spoke wrench to true the wheels but you sound like a noob. Leave it up to the wrench at the LBS.
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Old 06-07-11, 09:44 AM   #4
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lubing bearings shouldn't need to be done to a bike until after significant amount of use
I find common sense says : [FWIW] there is an economic incentive
by mass producers to minimize
the amount of grease, in each bike assembled ,
to lower the cost of grease consumed, overall, in production.

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Old 06-07-11, 10:25 AM   #5
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When I worked at a shop many years ago, on any new bike, we always checked that anything with bearings was greased and adjusted properly. We made sure that everything was properly adjusted.

Since you just got a bike out of a box. You need to do the same thing, check that every bearing is lubed and the entire bike is adjusted properly. If you cannot do all of that yourself then you need to take it to an LBS and have someone do it for you.
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Old 06-07-11, 11:36 AM   #6
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I would assume that they all need grease just to be on the safe side. With proper tools and skill set, the wheels can be trued and tensioned quite easily. If you are a newby, a visit to a bike shop would be wise.
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Old 06-07-11, 12:11 PM   #7
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fwiw, a spoke wrench costs like $5 and you can true them yourself if you know how. I bought the wrench planning on teaching myself, but so far I've been lazy and just let the shop folks do it as they know what they're doing. One of these days I will learn to wrench. As for the other, sounds like it'd be a good idea to at least check the bearings. I've heard differing reports about the amount of grease on bikes someone gets from bikesdirect.
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Old 06-07-11, 02:06 PM   #8
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The front wheel hub is whistling. Is it because the wheel isn't true?
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Old 06-07-11, 03:10 PM   #9
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Pop a wheelie and ride on the back wheel.

No, really, check the front wheel hub for grease and adjust cones.
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Old 06-07-11, 03:11 PM   #10
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If the hub is making the noise, it may be dry and need grease. I would highly recommend that you have the help of someone familiar with bicycle mechanincs or take it to a shop. Otherwise, the money you've saved by buying from bikesdirect will quickly be consumed in repairs.
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Old 06-07-11, 07:58 PM   #11
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The front bearing was too tight. I loosened the 15mm cone a little bit and tightened the lock nut. I saw there is a light coating of grease on the ball bearings. Is a light coat enough? Or should the grease be oozing out?

I reading the article on truing in kenkifer.com. And I was able to fixed the little bit of wobbliness in the wheel. And I saved myself a bunch of money, by not having to rely on the LBS. They seem very busy anyway and wouldn't miss my business.

I probably won't lube all the bearings because the bike doesn't seem to fit me very well and I might sell it soon. I've not ridden a bicycle in ten years, but I can feel there's something not right about the size. The bike feels too big and too small at the same time. The stand-over height is too tall for me. My junk touches the top-tube. But the length of the top-tube feels too short. The handlebar also feels too far forward. I think getting a 29er was a mistake for me. I'm 5'7" and wear 30-size pants. I should've gotten a 26er.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 06-07-11 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 06-07-11, 08:23 PM   #12
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Another thing to consider is that most shops probably won't be too happy assembling a brand new bike you bought online. Sometimes it's worth buying in a shop to try before you buy, and to get it assembled correctly from the start. Rather than buying two bikes instead of one...

Now I do neither. I only buy used stuff now that I know what fits me and that I know how to work on bikes. It's a lot cheaper that way, and allows me to have 4 decent bikes rather than one shiny new one.
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Old 06-08-11, 07:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
The front bearing was too tight. I loosened the 15mm cone a little bit and tightened the lock nut. I saw there is a light coating of grease on the ball bearings. Is a light coat enough? Or should the grease be oozing out?

I reading the article on truing in kenkifer.com. And I was able to fixed the little bit of wobbliness in the wheel. And I saved myself a bunch of money, by not having to rely on the LBS. They seem very busy anyway and wouldn't miss my business.

I probably won't lube all the bearings because the bike doesn't seem to fit me very well and I might sell it soon. I've not ridden a bicycle in ten years, but I can feel there's something not right about the size. The bike feels too big and too small at the same time. The stand-over height is too tall for me. My junk touches the top-tube. But the length of the top-tube feels too short. The handlebar also feels too far forward. I think getting a 29er was a mistake for me. I'm 5'7" and wear 30-size pants. I should've gotten a 26er.
CLASSIC! You bought a bike not sized correctly for you by going around the local business that pays taxes in your area. It arrived in need oprofessionalal attention as most do. An now rather than correctly servicing these issues, you will just pass them on to the next unsuspecting buyer. And how can we help?
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Old 06-08-11, 08:41 AM   #14
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There's nothing wrong with the bike now. I have corrected the issues. Like I said, I checked the bearings and there is lube in there.
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Old 06-08-11, 09:58 AM   #15
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There's nothing wrong with the bike now. I have corrected the issues. Like I said, I checked the bearings and there is lube in there.
I guess I misunderstood when you wrote this:
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I probably won't lube all the bearings because the bike doesn't seem to fit me very well and I might sell it soon.
Bikes often have to be checked over completely when assembled at shops in order to avoid customers having issues. Just glancing at the bearings in the front wheel is not be enough to be certain that all bearings on the bike are correctly assembled and adjusted. If they were tight enough to "whistle" as you put it, they were assembled in a hurry and not carefully at all. That would be an immediate red flag to check all of the bearings on the bike as far as I'm concerned. From what you typed above, it looks like you were going to just pass this potential issue onto someone else. If so, not cool in my book. If I am mistaken, sorry for the assumption.

By the way, turning a few spoke nipples is not the same as properly tensioning the wheels. This will ensure the maximum durability out of these wheels.
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Old 06-08-11, 11:02 AM   #16
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There's nothing wrong with the bike now. I have corrected the issues. Like I said, I checked the bearings and there is lube in there.
You don't know what you're doing on a bike; you have no idea what could be wrong with it or what you might have done wrong with it. If you're selling it, a person might have a fit question that you will not be able to answer.

Do yourself a favor and buy your next bike at a local shop.
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