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Used bike - back to basics for me!

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Used bike - back to basics for me!

Old 05-19-14, 01:43 PM
  #1  
jeebers
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Used bike - back to basics for me!

Hi Guys,

I am new to the forum! I have been away for cycling for the best part of ten years, and to be honest even then I knew bog basic maintenance! so I come seeking your expert assistance!

I have just bought a cheap used bike that is new in most respects, but appears to have been canabilised! I bought the bike as a backup primarily for when my car is in the garage - it just gives me a cheaper mode of transport. I spent 17 on the bike, which is as cheap as two taxis from the garage to here, and it needs some work doing to it, but I cant say I know exactly what needs to be done. So please do feel free to laugh at the newbie who doesnt know the basic terms (even I am laughing now at the lack of knowledge!), if I dont know the proper term it will be a "something" so if you see this and can correct me, it will be greatly appreciated also ... so here goes!

Just to say, I am working on the strictest of budgets, so any advice you can offer, if you can offer it on the basis of the cheapest possible, that would be much appreciated!

So the bike is a ShockWave SUS 800 in Silver - Full Suspension, Disc Front Brake, V Brake Rear, 18 Speed with Grip Shifts, Alloy Wheels (according to an advert, they just look standard spokes to me), Alloy Frame, 26inch Wheels pictures inline...



so the jobs that it requires:

rear brake handle needs fitting along with the brake line, and a new V Brake system (one "Arm" seems to be there, but there are no pads, or a "bolt" for the other missing altogether). I am thinking purchase a universal set (if they really are universal?) and replacing both to keep them looking less odd.





then fit the brake cable to the new handle. then repeat the same in preperation for the rear. Does the rear V Brake system need any specific sizes do you think? or would a universal V brake set work? I have my eye on this set on ebay, which looks like a reasonable buy?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mountain-R...item19e3cda3a0




Also it seems that the front brakes are "loose" and probably just need tightening up as pulling the handle doesnt seem to try and stop it





It will also need some form of greasing as the front suspension appears to be rather unresponsive, so I presume a dose of WD40 will be necessary to try and release this.

Alternatively it seems to just need some air in the tyres and it will be good to go!

Hopefully you guys are able to steer me in the right direction and teach me the basics again!

Last edited by jeebers; 05-19-14 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Added a link that I was looking at.
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Old 05-19-14, 02:52 PM
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Unfortunately, around here, that would be considered a BSO - a Bicycle Shaped Object - rather than an actual bicycle. It has all the trademarks, strange suspension geometry, quill stem, 6-speed rear.
Despite the suspension, that isn't a mountainbike. The fine print, had you had it avaliable would have been hilarious reading. Basically the suspension is good enough to take a nasty bite out of your pedalling effort, but not good enough to be of any use off-road. Don't expect much from the fork, even if you were to marinate it in lube.
For the rear, a generic v-brake set will do the job. Although when you buy cable, that has to be rear specific. Front isn't long enough.
Front brake doesn't look healthy. There's an arm that's supposed to move through an arc, say from 6 o'clock go 9 o'clock. But in the pic yours seems to be up against the hard stop already. With luck, new pads will sort it out.
Either way, stay true to your budget ideal, the bike isn't worth investing in.
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Old 05-19-14, 04:18 PM
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jeebers, since you quoted the price in pounds, I take it you are in UK? It seems that wiggle.co.uk generally has good values for bike stuff.

The eBay link you provided does seem a good price, but it includes front brakes, and levers, which you don't need. Seems it has to be possible to get a better price on just the one pair of V-brakes you need.

dabac is right, your bike is of the lowest quality; but don't despair, if you are truly at near-0 budget, it can be made rideable, and even safe! But probably not pleasant to ride. My overall recommendation to you is to consider this bike as a 17# lesson, first off make it safe, then make it ride as well as possible, and use it while you save up like 100# for a better used MTB.

I've never had or worked on disc brakes so I can't help you there. Does it stop the bike as-is? If not, do not ride the bike anywhere until brakes are reliable! Very unsafe!

If you have pumped up the tires and they hold air, they're probably ok, the rubber doesn't look deteriorated. But "slick" or "city" tires would make the bike ride a lot easier on the street, and can be had for very cheap if you look around (like $10 ea).

Does the bike shift through the gears? If not, look on youtube for videos on how to adjust derailleurs; it's not difficult and can be done with fingers and screwdrivers. If it's really bad you may need a wrench to loosen the nut that holds the cable.

Does the bike fit you well? The rule of thumb for seat height is that with your leg completely extended, and the pedal is all the way down, the _heel_ of your shoe should just barely graze the pedal (without rocking your hips). Then the _ball_ of your foot on the pedal should give you an appropriate slight-knee-bend. If your seat is lower (way too common) you will be working too hard due to not allowing your muscles to extend all the way. If your seat is too high you are inviting knee injury due to stretching and stressing.
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Old 05-19-14, 10:21 PM
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If it is strictly back-up and you want to stay cheap; do this.

1. Remove and discard the rear brake completely, including lever and cable. 90% of the braking occurs up font anyway. Spend your money getting the front brake working reliably; it's all you've got. New cable and housing.....maybe pads.
2. Remove and discard the front derailleur and shifter. Set the chain on the middle chain ring and forget it.
3. Examine the rear derailleur.
3a. If it works, great! It will have small screws in the mechanism that limit how far up and down the cogs it will move the chain. Continue to research and you'll find tons of "how to" on this. Cleaning, adjust and ride.
3b. If it doesn't work; use the adjuster screws described earlier to move the derailleur and chain to the center most cog. You'll need to turn the bike over to operate the pedals...move the chain.....spin the wheel and adjust/move the derailleur and chain to the center cog. Once you get the chain where you want it, tighten the adjuster screws to lock the derailleur and chain in place. Then remove the rear shifter and cable.

Now you have a single speed mountain bike with 1 brake. It should be as bomb proof as any bike that starts out in that condition.

And hopefully zero bucks spent..............
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Old 05-20-14, 02:08 AM
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Hi All, and thank you for taking the time to reply.

Dabac, I must admit having read the reviews, it would appear that many are in agreement with you! I dont expect much from it to be honest, I wont be taking it off trail, it will purely be used as an emergency transport for when the car goes for repairs, so I dont have to pay taxi rates to get myself from A to B. Thanks for confirming on the rear brake, I will do a rough measurement of the bike from handle to wheel and make sure that any cable I purchase (preferably in the set) will not be too short! Thanks also for the suggestion of the new pads, that is certainly one of the things I was expecting I might need to buy, I will remove it, check it over, refit and lubricate as necessary and hopefully I can get it working tightening the slack on the cable, but as you say, am prepared for the need to buy the new pads. But definately I am to keep to the budget!

RubeRad, Yes, I am indeed in the UK and will check out wiggle.co.uk for some prices. I will certainly look to the idea of buying the individuals, but I guess I was mainly looking to see if such a set will do the job. I agree that the bike quality isnt worth the price of a new one, but as a cheap snapup for a used one, I dont mind putting a bit of elbow grease into the job! perhaps in a few years when the kids are a bit older and we all get back into the saddly, I might find myself investing in a higher quality bike, but for now, if I can make it safe and rideable, then I will be happy with that! As it stands, I have put the bike in the car and then put it into the garden, not even tried to get as far as sitting on it or inflating the tyres, so the plan is to get the basics working, then check for and repair the puncture, then get a seat on it and make it comfortable. so far though, the bike rolls, and thats about it!

Again with the gears, not even checked those, but know that once I get the bike stopping safely I can then check the gears, in the short term, I could live with the basics of one gear (as troublesome as it might be) but if its only for a five or 10 minute ride, it will if nothing else give me a workout on the cycle paths! so far though the height appears OK, but will need some adjustment!

Thumpic, Thanks for your advice also. I appreciate most of the braking is done up front, but knowing my fortune and health, I dare say that riding on the front brake only, I would end up at some point wheel over head and I could do without that I think lol! so I think I will be aiming to at least get a relative breaking performance of the front and rear, and fingers crossed that will save the wheel and head meeting at any point! With the front derailer, that is certainly something I have considered, if not disgarding, at least securing and leaving. When I owned my bike years ago, I know I spent more time in the centre cog, so got used to just leaving it! as for the rear, I would like if possible to maintain the flexibility of gears, but in the very short term, I agree, sticking with the medium (or say, 10,11 or 12 gear) is certainly the aim until I can at least get a bit more done to it!

Again I thank you all for your feedback and any further advice you may be able to offer! I will look to post this as my project thread and hopefully should any newbies such as myself come across this thread in future days with as little / rusty knowledge as I posess, hopefully they will find it of use and be able to see the progress I have made!

James
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Old 05-20-14, 05:57 AM
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Hi All,

Well further to the above advice, and taking my safety on board, I have now purchased the rear brake set from ebay for 13. I will at least be able to stop the bike I hope from the rear, and can work on the fronts later. I have decided I will also remove the wheels, tyres and inner tube, then pump the tyres up and make sure there are no punctures.

I will hopefully get those fitted at the weekend, and at least have a basic braking system on board! then I can work to adjust the bike a little more.
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Old 05-20-14, 07:51 AM
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Looking at the bike, yes. its a BSO, but they can be made to work. The biggest issue with them, is that it's often more cost effective to replace the complete bike rather than repair due to the original low cost.

Have to disagree with just about all that #thumpic says, rear brakes are useful for control (and to stay legal), if the gears work, keep and use them, to convert that (or any bike) to a single speed if done right, needs specific chainrings, tensioners along with other parts, all of which would cost significantly more than the original cost of your bike.

Also going to disagree with the suggestion of using Wiggle, or just about any on-line bike stores, they really don't cater for parts that a BSO would use, a better choice would be a LBS which repairs bikes, as opposed to being a bike shop, or places like Halfords, CycleKing (if you are in the south) or other stores which deal with low end bikes, as they will stock parts more appropriate for what you have. ebay as you have found can also be a good source, although postage can kill any saving from buying in store.

For the front brake, that just looks really badly adjusted, would look at replacing the gear inner, you can pick these up cheap from Wilkinson, and adjust as per #dabac
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Old 05-20-14, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Looking at the bike, yes. its a BSO, but they can be made to work. The biggest issue with them, is that it's often more cost effective to replace the complete bike rather than repair due to the original low cost.

Have to disagree with just about all that #thumpic says, rear brakes are useful for control (and to stay legal), if the gears work, keep and use them, to convert that (or any bike) to a single speed if done right, needs specific chainrings, tensioners along with other parts, all of which would cost significantly more than the original cost of your bike.

Also going to disagree with the suggestion of using Wiggle, or just about any on-line bike stores, they really don't cater for parts that a BSO would use, a better choice would be a LBS which repairs bikes, as opposed to being a bike shop, or places like Halfords, CycleKing (if you are in the south) or other stores which deal with low end bikes, as they will stock parts more appropriate for what you have. ebay as you have found can also be a good source, although postage can kill any saving from buying in store.

For the front brake, that just looks really badly adjusted, would look at replacing the gear inner, you can pick these up cheap from Wilkinson, and adjust as per #dabac
disagree away......he asked for cheap and functional.......with what he has to start with.....that's what I did.....
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Old 05-20-14, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
to convert that (or any bike) to a single speed if done right, needs specific chainrings, tensioners along with other parts, all of which would cost significantly more than the original cost of your bike.
But jeebers is not talking about "doing it right", he's talking about letting the chain sit in whatever gear it feels like, probably smallest rings front and back, and if the shifters can't put the chain on other gears, so be it.

I have a friend at work who for years has been riding his hybrid bike to work, I would always see it parked in the corner of the parking lot (no lock, we are in a gated, guarded complex). I went to take a closer look at his bike one day, and found that not only were the shifters not working (the cables were hanging loose), but the handlebars were installed backwards! I convinced him to let me take his bike home and tune it up, my hands almost fell off it was so anti-ergonomic! Then when I got it home I found when I took the rear wheel off that his axle had cracked in half (ball bearings went spilling everywhere), and everything was held together back there just by the quick-release!

I patched things back together as best I could and returned the bike with a severe warning, but he tried it out and was blown away, "It's so much better now!"

Just goes to show you people can get a lot of good use out of a crap bike. It might help he's a Chinese immigrant, there's probably a good chance he grew up on bikes that we in the states would consider monstrosities.
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Old 05-20-14, 10:03 AM
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Hi All,

once again thanks for your valuable input. I do appreciate all opinions, and we all know opinions will differ

my main priority is getting the bike to stop, so once I have working rear brakes, and tighten the front up as well, I can then work towards the basics of the derailer. I might get bored tonight and mount the wheel in the air and just hand pump the pedals and shift the gears to see what state they are in. I could probably do with inflating the tyres, but of all things, I dont have the old fashioned cycle pump, but I do have a car tyre inflator and a few adapters that should hopefully come in use, otherwise a quick search on the net and I am sure I can find a cheap one!
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Old 05-20-14, 10:13 AM
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If the fork has posts for V brakes, you could scrap the disc and go that way as an alternative if the current set up is beyond repair.
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Old 05-20-14, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jeebers View Post
I dont have the old fashioned cycle pump, but I do have a car tyre inflator and a few adapters that should hopefully come in use
I can't really see from the pictures, but basically there is no chance that your bike has presta (skinny, bike-specific) valves, which means there is 99.99999% chance that your bike has schrader valves, which are identical to car tire valves, and you shouldn't need any adapter.

If the fork has posts for V brakes...
That's a good point. Again, the pictures do not show, but check the front of the "brake booster" (black horseshoe at the top of the fork) for posts sticking out to mount V-brakes. If they are there then you can ditch the disc brake altogether (unless of course it works) and put a V-brake on the front. If there are no posts on the booster, there's a chance that the booster is attached with bolts, which means you might be able to replace it. But it would almost surely be easier/cheaper to find a bike co-op and buy (swap?) an entire used V-brake fork, or find one on whatever the UK uses instead of craigslist.
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Old 05-20-14, 12:57 PM
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CACyling, just took another couple of photo's

The stumps are at the back but not the front sadly



You can see the stumps there and the old V brake arm still in place.



RubeRad, just checked and looks to be a standard tyre fitment! so that makes it a bit easier!

Thanks
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Old 05-20-14, 01:06 PM
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jeebers, your pics are at quite a funny angle, but I guess that might be explained by us being close to 120deg around the globe from each other...
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Old 05-20-14, 02:14 PM
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haha, I suspect its more my odd angles lol the bike was laying down today, seems the wind caught it, or more likely the neighbours cat rubbed itself on it and it fell over!

As for the angle, yes, it seems I stumbled over the pond, but I still feel I am learning a lot and as this forum was at the top of google when I searched, so now I just get to add my odd angles!
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Old 05-20-14, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jeebers View Post

The stumps are at the back but not the front sadly

That's not a problem. Rear brake bosses faces the rear and work just fine. As long you have clearance for the arms you're OK.
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Old 05-20-14, 04:11 PM
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yes those brake bosses are fine for putting v-brakes on the rear, but you are correct, that brake booster/brake bridge on the fork does not have bosses, and so cannot hold V-brakes. If the disc brakes don't work, weigh the cost/difficulty of fixing them against the cost/difficulty of swapping to a used V-brake fork (should be very cheap at a co-op if you can find one)
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Old 05-21-14, 02:41 AM
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Thanks for confirming Dabac, hopefully the new set will fit just right, if I need to "encourage" them with a little bending, I dont mind doing so!

RubeRad - Thanks for confirming, perhaps its just the fact that I am not local to you guys over the pond, but for us, the Co-Op is a chain of convenience stores, but it would seem that its different for you guys? what sort of venue is it? as for the swapping, its something I might consider, having had a brief look at the pad's they seem to have a fair amount of life in them, so I suspect a tighten of the cable should do them the world of good, if not though, perhaps disassembling and a dose of WD40 or other oil will help to relieve the seized caliper and allow them to become operational again!

I am just awaiting the delivery of the new kit and will look to put it all together! I didnt get to faff with the gears last night, things have been busy but I hope to at least test them, the gear linkage and the derailer seem to be the healthiest part of the bike! I did notice a small amount of surface rust on the underside of the frame, would a product such as KRust be best for relieving this, or am I better off sanding down the affected area's, priming them and giving it a coat of some paint?
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Old 05-21-14, 09:11 AM
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A "co-op" in the states (or "cooperative") is generally a community/volunteer-driven not-for-profit store. Like a neighborhood could band together and form an organic grocery co-op, using their numbers to get wholesale prices for the group, much cheaper than all the individuals buying retail from regular grocery stores.

A bike co-op is is kind of a not-for-profit, community/volunteer-driven bike shop. They will typically have tons of used bike parts for cheap (stripped off of donated bikes), probably some amount of consumables for sale new (tubes, tires, chains, bar tape, lube, patch kits, etc), tools for loan, classes for the public on bike maintenance, wheelbuilding, etc, maybe lessons on bike safety or agility. Not so much with regular bike shop sales/service: I doubt you could leave your bike overnight for a mech to fix for pay; but you could more likely find a volunteer to teach you how to fix your bike yourself, using co-op tools. Many members of BF are active co-op volunteers. Co-ops often spring up at universities, run by and for students.

A small amount of surface rust, on a bike like that I wouldnt' even worry about it. If you have a can of spray primer on hand already, maybe a light sand & spritz to keep the oxygen out, but I don't think there's much point trying to make it look pretty.

Also note that WD-40 is frowned upon for lubrication purposes. Its main use (as "WD" implies) for Water Dispersal, i.e. chasing water out of parts that have been washed or gotten soaked with rain. WD-40 is not a chain lube; there are many inexpensive chain lubes to pick from (including a different product made by the WD-40 company specifically to be a chain lube). My choice is Chain-L because I want to relube as infrequently as possible, and I don't mind that it's dirtier. But really any chain lube "works" as well as any other as long as you add lube whenever your chain "asks" for more (i.e. squeaks).
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Old 05-21-14, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the information there RubeRad, it sounds like a fantastic scheme, sadly I dont believe we have an equivelant here in the UK. We just have a lot of bike stores who dont tend to charge cheaply for jobs! it sounds like a great community gathering scheme though, it would be fantastic if something like that could be setup here, but given the "economic climate" everyone is out to sell what they can and so charitable donation to such schemes would probably never be taken up!

Thanks for the advice also on the WD40, I do have some oils that I might use instead, I will probably work to at least pull back the forks and at least offer them a smduge of normal oil rather than WD40. although I was wondering as I think there is some sitting water there, of driying it out as much as possible, then using WD40 to see if I can clear it up a tad and then use oil as a proper lubricant?
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Old 05-21-14, 01:46 PM
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Yes WD40 is ok to try to clear out the water, but then again so is sunshine on a dry day. At least in San Diego, maybe not so much in UK!
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Old 05-21-14, 02:28 PM
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haha, we were allowed 3 - 4 days of sunshine recently, and now the atlantic is sharing its cold air, and the sunshine is hiding behind thunder and lightening! I will have to look out and see if I can prepare the bike for a day in the sun, but I suspect the WD40 is more likely to occur!
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Old 05-25-14, 02:44 PM
  #23  
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Hi All,

Well, its taken a few days to actually get to this point! again, thanks to all of you for your support for now.

My universal brake kit worked a treat. The rear brake pads are now installed and rather effective, but it has highlighted another small problem! The front brake pad is also back to life. I removed the caliper and hosed it down with WD40! having removed the front brake cable the thing was still seized tight, after a drowning of WD40 and a few manual movements, it freed up! so I now have the majority of braking back!

So to recap, I installed one brake lever, cable, and the entire V brake system. The front brake lever will be changed if nothing but for cosmetic purposes. It probably took me a good 2 - 3 hours to do the whole job from start to end, but given that is in between wrestling kids and no real time to just get on with it, it took me a while to get into the mix!

So the issue highlighted before is that the rear wheel is buckled! having finally gotten the brakes done and spinning the wheel there are about 4 spokes where it then comes around and rubs up on the brake pad. So I need to see if I can dig out the old spoke adjuster and stick my head in google for a while and try and jog my memory, or if I can find an individual or small business who will straighten it for a couple of notes then that will do me!

The gears seem to have a range of 3 gears only at the moment, the derailers are moving, but do need to be adjusted. At the moment, out of gears 1 - 18, I have gear 7,8 and 9 usable! so hopefully with a couple of twists of the screwdriver I should have it back on track!

The Front suspension needs lubricating, and finally, the tyres need a bit of air in them, and I should be able to take this thing on the road (although the suspension isnt too much of a problem to get it out there).

So its cost me 30 all in ($50 in your part of the world ) to buy the bike and rebuild the brakes at the rear, I dont think that is too bad? although it might be a BSO, once I have it back up and built, I think it could well be a worthwhile investment
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Old 05-25-14, 05:15 PM
  #24  
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Not too surprising that the wheel is out of true, hopefully if it's not too bad you can coax it to not rub the brakes, and have the brakes not be set too terribly wide. The general principle is, find an extreme spot on the rim (where it is rubbing the brake) and pull the rim away from the brake/toward the center by tightening spokes in the neighborhood that go to the opposite side of the hub.
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Old 05-26-14, 08:40 AM
  #25  
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You might also want to crank down on the suspension spring adjust all the way so you put more energy into going forward rather than up & down.
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