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Newbie ride problem, not sure if itís me or cheap bike.

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Newbie ride problem, not sure if itís me or cheap bike.

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Old 12-19-17, 05:29 PM
  #26  
CliffordK
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I think it should be easy enough to feel a slipping pawl. Flip the bike upside-down on carpeting/grass, and pedal it slowly by hand. Or, remove the rear wheel and feel what the freewheel is like.

As mentioned above, that freewheel looks almost new.

A skipping chain can also be caused by a tight chain link. Flip the bike upside-down and pedal backwards slowly. Watch for the chain to hop as it travels through the derailleur. Or, slowly run the chain through your fingers, and make sure every link is loose. If you find a tight link, wiggle it back and forth until it loosens, or use the shelf on your chain tool to push the pin back slightly. Have you ever lubed the chain?

Slack in the chain can be a bit disconcerting. Usually not on every pedal stroke, but after coasting, or trying to back pedal. I suppose a sticking freewheel could cause slack instead of coasting. Also backpedaling when cross-chained, or slightly out of gear.
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Old 12-19-17, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
If you got the hang of shifting with your old 10 speed, you should be able to shift your current bike. First of all, it isn't a 21 speed, it is a 3 x 7. 3 chainrings up front, and 7 cogs in back, which is only 2 cogs more than your old 10 speed, which was a 2 x 5. Now, the small chainring is likely a very small gear, so for now, forget about that one and focus on the other two chainrings. Start out using the middle chainring and leave it there until you get the hang of things. Now, when you start pedaling, shift into a gear that allows your legs to spin the pedals at about 80 to 90 rpm and still feel some pressure. If you are pedaling like crazy and not feeling any tension, than shift to a harder gear. If the pressure is so great your legs are getting gassed or you cannot maintain at least 80 rpm, shift to an easier gear. That is it.

As for the tires, those knobbies are poorly suited for paved surfaces, so if you keep this bike, you need to budget $40 to $70 for some new tires. That free bike is not free and not worth putting any money into. an expensive lesson, but maybe it is time to consider cutting your losses and starting over.
Thanks, right now I just want to focus on riding a bike again and there is no way that I'm going to invest anymore money into this thing. I had to buy the saddle because the original was too painful. The bike is not really that bad and I'm sure it will get me to where i want to be. I just need to adjust a little. The other side is that i'm not out much if someone steals it. there are so many bikes stolen around here that nobody even reports it except to complain on Facebook.
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Old 12-19-17, 05:44 PM
  #28  
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@JohnnyB65 , first off welcome to the forum, belatedly on my part. Don't haunt the place as I used to.

The notion that you are just in too low a gear hit me right off when you described the problem and that you have had a shop tune up your bike. As said, the cassette looks to be in good condition, and a new chain should be in fine nick too. I'd do just what you are saying above and ride the bike to get used to the gears and shifting them properly. Its not difficult, just takes some time and a few miles of practice to get the hang of it.

Don't give up on the riding, or on your bike, it should serve you well enough to get into the routine and become as addicted as the rest of us are. Best wishes on the adventure, keep us posted on how you fare.

Bill
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Old 12-19-17, 05:44 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
I rode about 5 miles this morning and I suspect that I may be riding in the wrong gear. I'm still learning how to shift this 21 speed and I wish I still Had my old 10 speed. I know I have the wrong bike for me, but I don't want to spend the money if it doesn't work for me because then I'll have 2 bike to get rid of. I still have a long way to go.

Plus I didn’t realize it but the road is a little inclined and the bike maybe rolling faster then I’m pedaling. I also noticed that my left leg gets tired before my right and I only think I’m pedaling the same with each foot. I also have my seat all the way down so I can get on and off without falling and I will probably have to raise it after I master throwing my leg over the seat.
My first thought when I read the original post was that it sounds like you may be in too low a gear and your pedaling is not keeping up and so the drivetrain is not keeping up with the wheel speed. Riding with a too low saddle would make that more likely to happen as well. Next time this happens, try shifting into a higher gear.

If the complexity of the shifting is confusing you, try shifting the front to the middle ring and leaving it there. Concentrate on using the rear gears to keep your pedaling in sync with the bike speed. Shift down when the pedaling gets hard, shift up when it gets too easy. You'll get the hang of it before you know it. And get that saddle up so your knees have just a slight bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
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Old 12-19-17, 06:39 PM
  #30  
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wall*mart mongoose the thing may be just poorly assembled, in the first place...

At least they didn't , according to your picture, leave the fork backwards..
seen that on bikes bought from mass merchant box stores..
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Old 12-19-17, 08:42 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
wall*mart mongoose the thing may be just poorly assembled, in the first place...

At least they didn't , according to your picture, leave the fork backwards..
seen that on bikes bought from mass merchant box stores..
Actually they did have the fork on backwards. The bike shop guy spotted it before I even took it off the truck, LOL
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Old 12-19-17, 08:51 PM
  #32  
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Backwards fork is pretty common, since they come out of the box facing that way.
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Old 12-20-17, 11:01 AM
  #33  
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Does the OP know anyone trustworthy who knows anything about bikes? I'd be leery about putting another dime into the thing until I knew for certain that it could be fixed for a few dimes. Too many potential problems hiding behind other problems ... Before long the "free" bike costs more than a new "cheap " bike ... and still doesn't work as well.

If I were the OP and it wasn't fixable with a can of WD-40 or PB-blaster (free up the pawls or a stuck chain link?) I might Craigslist the thing for $50 OBO and let someone else have headaches and no rides.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:08 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
OK so Iím just learning on a used big-box store 21 speed mountain bike and Iím having some trouble shifting and turning. Now I know you all are going to tell me to spend a lot of money on another bike, but that is NOT going to happen at this point. So please I just donít want to hear it because I am not racing, mountain climbing or anything that I even need gears for plus I already know I have the wrong bike, but it was free.
I'm not going to tell you to spend a lot of money on another bike, but how about spending some money? If all bikes were the same, everyone would be riding cheap big-box store bikes.
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Old 12-21-17, 12:22 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
.....Now I know you all are going to tell me to spend a lot of money on another bike, but that is NOT going to happen at this point. So please I just donít want to hear it because I am not racing, mountain climbing or anything that I even need gears for plus I already know I have the wrong bike, but it was free........
There was a reason why I said this. I have been given crap about my choice of bikes in every post I've made since I joined a few years ago. It is what it is and I will never ever change my mind about expensive bikes so please leave it alone. If i want advice on purchasing a bike then I'll ask for it. If you don't like it and can't hold your belief to yourself then simply don't read my posts. I will for certain buy my next bike from Walmart whether you like or not.
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Old 12-21-17, 01:04 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
There was a reason why I said this. I have been given crap about my choice of bikes in every post I've made since I joined a few years ago. It is what it is and I will never ever change my mind about expensive bikes so please leave it alone. If i want advice on purchasing a bike then I'll ask for it. If you don't like it and can't hold your belief to yourself then simply don't read my posts. I will for certain buy my next bike from Walmart whether you like or not.
I rode my $80 craigslist bike* down to the local bike shop at lunchtime a few months back, and tested out an entry level new bike. I could tell it was much smoother, better fitting, and it looked cool. Would I get to work any faster? Maybe a minute or two? Would it be more reliable? A bit, probably.

I put it back, for now. My trusty steed gets the job done. I've managed to get it to fit me, and my needs. Like you, I started out just trying to get healthier. I also bought a $500 road bike after two years, for weekend use, because I could, and for the express purpose of seeing if a better bike performs differently. I am still testing out; cold weather has put a pause on that.

This forum accommodates a wide variety of styles and approaches to cycling; just ignore the ones that don't appeal to you. Some of the grouchiest people here still have good advice, and good stories to tell.

*Chain, tires, rack, panniers, lights: $120. So $200.
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Old 12-21-17, 01:21 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
There was a reason why I said this. I have been given crap about my choice of bikes in every post I've made since I joined a few years ago. It is what it is and I will never ever change my mind about expensive bikes so please leave it alone. If i want advice on purchasing a bike then I'll ask for it. If you don't like it and can't hold your belief to yourself then simply don't read my posts. I will for certain buy my next bike from Walmart whether you like or not.
this surprises me a bit. I thought what you were saying is, you didn't know any better so for now, you are stuck with a Wal Mart bike. Yet another thing to find out how bad, even expensive Wal Mart bikes can be yet still plan to buy another.
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Old 12-21-17, 02:20 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
expensive Wal Mart bikes


does not compute
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Old 12-21-17, 03:07 PM
  #39  
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The only thing about this bike is that its the wrong type for what I want to use it for and its a little large for me, but I knew that right off. Otherwise it's a great bike as far as I'm concerned.
I only need 3 speeds because it is pretty flat around here and no hills. I thought the knobby tires would be a plus because of the tumble weeds and the little stickers they leave everywhere. My son had so many flat tires on those thin smooth tires that we had to buy flat resistant tires and tubes. Truthfully I think 24in wheels with high handlebars would be better for me so I can sit with my feet on the ground.
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Old 12-21-17, 03:56 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
The only thing about this bike is that its the wrong type for what I want to use it for and its a little large for me, but I knew that right off. Otherwise it's a great bike as far as I'm concerned.
I only need 3 speeds because it is pretty flat around here and no hills. I thought the knobby tires would be a plus because of the tumble weeds and the little stickers they leave everywhere. My son had so many flat tires on those thin smooth tires that we had to buy flat resistant tires and tubes. Truthfully I think 24in wheels with high handlebars would be better for me so I can sit with my feet on the ground.
I would put it this way. Life is too short to spend time riding a cheap bike. Not saying you need to spend thousands on a carbon fiber racing bike. You might even find something that better suits you for less than you put into your Wal Mart special, if you care to listen to advice here and on other forums.

How much are you riding? I would bet with a better quality bike you would ride lots more.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:07 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
...

How much are you riding? I would bet with a better quality bike you would ride lots more.
I've only been riding 7 days and only about a 1/2 mile per day. The last time I rode was in 1978 when I sold my 10-speed bike and concentrated on my business working 16 hrs a day 7 days a week. I did that for 10yrs without even a vacation.
I plan on doing more traveling now that I'm finally retired and not so much bike riding. Right now I hope to get up 15 to 20 miles a day until summer when I plan on riding at the beach at least a couple a times a week on the board walk.
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Old 12-22-17, 06:35 AM
  #42  
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To the OP: if an inexpensive bike meets your needs, then ... your needs are met.

If you have a bike from whichever store ... great. The decal on the down tube doesn't make the bike, and the rider makes the ride. if you are okay with your ride ... good for you.

The only reason I got involved here was to try to help with the specific issues you mentioned. And I repeat my original advice: you might not be able to fix the bike you have, or you might, Either way, a Walmart bike might be fine for your needs.

I think even the people telling you to buy an more expensive bike have good intent: we all want you to enjoy riding.
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Old 12-22-17, 08:08 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
I've only been riding 7 days and only about a 1/2 mile per day. The last time I rode was in 1978 when I sold my 10-speed bike and concentrated on my business working 16 hrs a day 7 days a week. I did that for 10yrs without even a vacation.
I plan on doing more traveling now that I'm finally retired and not so much bike riding. Right now I hope to get up 15 to 20 miles a day until summer when I plan on riding at the beach at least a couple a times a week on the board walk.
Alright then. Keep us posted on your progress. And when you are ready to spend a few bucks, this forum is here to help.

Edit. There are forums devoted to big box bikes if you are interested in keeping your big box bike going. Not really my thing, but there is a community out there who like them.

Last edited by MRT2; 12-22-17 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 12-22-17, 09:30 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
To the OP: if an inexpensive bike meets your needs, then ... your needs are met.

If you have a bike from whichever store ... great. The decal on the down tube doesn't make the bike, and the rider makes the ride. if you are okay with your ride ... good for you.

The only reason I got involved here was to try to help with the specific issues you mentioned. And I repeat my original advice: you might not be able to fix the bike you have, or you might, Either way, a Walmart bike might be fine for your needs.

I think even the people telling you to buy an more expensive bike have good intent: we all want you to enjoy riding.
I realize that everybody is trying to be helpful and I thank them for that. I just get tired of constantly defending my position on this. This is me, I donít buy expensive things because I know either someone will try to take it away or it will get destroyed.
I have this same discussion with my son in law over sun glasses. He thinks he has to spend over $200 when I only pay $12 for the same thing without the logo and I donít have to worry if I lose them or they get broken. He is always losing his or his daughter breaks them in half.
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Old 12-22-17, 09:31 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Alright then. Keep us posted on your progress. And when you are ready to spend a few bucks, this forum is here to help.

Edit. There are forums devoted to big box bikes if you are interested in keeping your big box bike going. Not really my thing, but there is a community out there who like them.
Thanks, I didn't know that.
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Old 12-22-17, 09:50 AM
  #46  
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I probably should not have used the word “Cheap” in the title and that’s possibly why everybody thought I wanted bike recommendations. I knew people would be asking about the bike and I did not want a debate over it, but I guess I was mistaken.
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Old 12-22-17, 09:56 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
I realize that everybody is trying to be helpful and I thank them for that. I just get tired of constantly defending my position on this. This is me, I donít buy expensive things because I know either someone will try to take it away or it will get destroyed.
I have this same discussion with my son in law over sun glasses. He thinks he has to spend over $200 when I only pay $12 for the same thing without the logo and I donít have to worry if I lose them or they get broken. He is always losing his or his daughter breaks them in half.
Everybody has his or her thing they get passionate about. For some it is cars, boats, electronics, watches, clothes, etc....For a lot of people here, that thing is bikes. My view is, the money I spend on bikes and bike related gear is pretty modest. The bikes were paid for a number of years ago, and now, I spend a few hundred a year on clothing, accessories, and repairs. Pretty modest for the enjoyment and health benefits I get from riding 3 or 4 times per week during the 8 month Spring/Summer/Fall riding season.

And the expense is pretty modest compared to, say, boats, cars, golf, or scuba diving. And even there, I don't begrudge people with expensive hobbies their enjoyment if they can afford it.

If you went on a car forum, you might see lots of people passionate about cars. I am not all that passionate about cars, and view them mostly as transportation. I even owned a luxury car for a time, a Mercedes that my late father gave me when he got too sick to drive. Though it was fun to drive, the insurance, the fuel cost, and the repairs eventually led me to conclude I just couldn't afford the cost of a "free" Mercedes, so I traded it in and bought my wife a Honda. Similarly, I used to be into high end audiophile stereo equipment. And if you ventured onto audiophile discussion forums, you would find not much love for stereo equipment you could get at big box stores. But these days, while I don't regret the years I spent fussing over all that gear, today I am fine listening to music through blue tooth headphones 99% of the time. That said, I don't venture onto audiophile boards asking for advice or defending my music listening choices.

All that said, if you start to ride as much as you say you want to ride, you might change your tune on bikes. Not to the extent of the kind of money someone would spend on a luxury car, but maybe more than $100 or $200.
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Old 12-22-17, 10:08 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
......
All that said, if you start to ride as much as you say you want to ride, you might change your tune on bikes. Not to the extent of the kind of money someone would spend on a luxury car, but maybe more than $100 or $200.
Exactly and this is what I've been trying to say. If nobody has taken this bike from me in a year (My town has been overrun by gangs) and I'm riding everyday while enjoying it more and more than I may try riding a good bike just to see if there is any difference that's important to me.
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Old 12-23-17, 06:59 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
For $85 or $90 you can get a Walmart Mongoose Hotshot which has gears but no suspension front fork, has a cassette, and is basically as cheap as a bike worth paying money for is going to be unless you are a mechanic.

Every penny you spend on the bike you have .... well, you have no idea what else might turn out not to be functioning or about to break. I might take on the bike as a project because I could do the work myself, and pick up dumpster bikes for parts, maybe .... But you will be paying for new parts for a beat bike.

Also ... those knobby tires will make you a little unstable on the pavement, because when you lean into a turn you are putting all your weight onto a very uneven surface.
+1 on the knobby tires and handling issues on pavement. Before you spend the $$ to replace the tires, check the inflation and put them at the max psi for the particular tire. I have an old box store MTB that boasts a decent frame but the components are junk. They require constant tweaking.

That aside, it is a pretty good bike for bike paths and around the neighborhood, but the handling is squirrely unless the tires are aired hard.
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Old 12-23-17, 07:32 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
I probably should not have used the word ďCheapĒ in the title and thatís possibly why everybody thought I wanted bike recommendations. I knew people would be asking about the bike and I did not want a debate over it, but I guess I was mistaken.
Originally Posted by JohnnyB65 View Post
Exactly and this is what I've been trying to say. If nobody has taken this bike from me in a year (My town has been overrun by gangs) and I'm riding everyday while enjoying it more and more than I may try riding a good bike just to see if there is any difference that's important to me.
Over the years since I began riding again (2003 or thereabouts) I've gotten to where I just pass over the inflamed rants and self-aggrandizing posturing that boil down to "more expensive is more better, so I'm more important because I spent more money."

Yes, with regard to high-end bikes there are differences in design and construction quality that the amateur competitor or the cycling pro might need, but for most of us those are non-issues. We just need reliable, comfortable, and functional.

Most of my cycling is fitness and recreation oriented. We keep the grands regularly, and cycling gives us something to do with them. I don't want to have to worry about damaging an expensive ride if I drop it, or getting it stolen if I'm watching them at the neighborhood park and swing-set (and not watching the bike).

My old Schwinn MTB was bought in 2003 as a re-entry ride. At the time I didn't know the difference. I just picked something that felt right and bought it at Wally World. The geometry is a perfect fit for me and it is the most comfortable bike I own.

Looking back on life, my first bicycle was a Western Auto kids bike with solid rubber tires. After that I got a similar bike with pneumatic tires that I rode to school in 1st and 2nd grade. Later - maybe 5th grade or thereabouts, I got a Sears "spyder bike" clone that had the first derailleur gears I ever owned. I think it was a 5 or 8 speed. I literally rode that bike all over the city where I live and never thought about fit, geometry, or cost. Looking back on all that with an eye to contemporary debates about high-end bikes, I wonder how I survived to adulthood...

I have dabbled some in the accessories options. Several years ago I took the old MTB to a local shop to have SPD pedals installed and so the tech (a personal friend) could help me with the cleat adjustments. While he had it on the rack he looked the bike over thoroughly and commented, "the frame on this thing is really well built. If you like it and it works for you, just keep the frame and upgrade the components as they wear out." It was sound advice. As it stands the thing will probably leave my place when I one day pass it on to a grandson.

At the bottom line I agree with you on how you see the money side of the issue and bike choice.
__________________
'80's era Cannondale Police bike
'97 Giant ATX 840 project bike (gave it to a nephew...)
'01 Giant TCR-1 purebred road bike
'03 Schwinn mongrel MTB

Status quo is the mental bastion of the intellectually lethargic...
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