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30 years ago

Old 06-03-19, 03:42 PM
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Mark5555
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30 years ago

Hello,
It has been a long time since I rode a bicycle. Probably the mid 1980's. Had a beautiful Italian 10 speed. Wish I could remember what brand it was! Metallic light blue, swift nimble and a puncture magnet. Anyway I've decided I need to get some cardio and not knowing if this feeling would stick, I looked around for used bikes but was unsuccessful. Decided that the Mongoose Hotshot 700c was a good price and size. I know I need to get back up to speed on riding and handling. I can say the seat is very uncomfortable. Considering the bike for possible upgrades but I will wait at least until the return period is done. Any ideas on good ideas to do to it, like having a local shop grease it up. Seems fairly well setup.
Also the bike seems unstable at first. Possibly the time and a new higher center of balance doesn't help it's flow!
Any assistance or advice appreciated!
Cheers
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Old 06-03-19, 07:15 PM
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Interesting.

I have a friend who has used a Hotshot for a while for urban commuting ... very leisurely, a lot of riding to the bus stop, racking the bike, and riding away from the next stop.

The bike is made for that stuff. Anything much more than that, I wouldn't trust it. (https://www.walmart.com/ip/700C-Mong...ange/143302742)

The bike has a 7-speed freewheel hub, which isn't as strong as the modern freehub design, no front derailleur, and a lot of cheap plastic and stamped-metal parts. It is a fine bike for getting bsck into riding, and with good maintenance could last a long time, but I wouldn't trust it for hard use.

Have a shop look it over, certainly. The assemblers at Walmart are notorious for making simple yet dangerous errors, as well as ignoring things like basic lubrication. Then, just go out and ride it as much as you like. Check it before every ride (no matter what bike, but Much more important with a cheap bike): shake the bike, bounce it a little, listen for rattles, tap the spokes to check spoke tension, spin the wheels to make sure they are straight, shake the brakes to make sure they aren't loosening up .... shake the handlebars and spin them to see if the headset is tight but not too tight. Push the bike and squeeze the brakes to make sure they are adjusted properly--(not something you want to find out when you Need to stop.) Shake the wheels to see if they are solid side-to-side--bearing adjustment and axle tension.

Then just ride around for several months until you decide on a next step.

If the bike meets your needs, there you are. If not, we can send you in lots of other directions.

The saddle might be cheap, but it isn't necessarily bad. Probably since you are new to riding you are putting most of your weight on the saddle and that is Not what it was designed for. Your legs should carry most of your weight, and you hands a small amount, with your seat bearing a slightly greater proportion---but the vast majority should be supported by your legs.

Also, check the seat angle and the overall fit. A lot of people have the seat too low, and sit on it like a chair, and have the angle a little off, so that it presses in unpleasant places. Everyone is different and you will need to experiment.

I assume (?) that you have a spare tube, patch kit, portable pump, tire levers, and a multi-tool which has at least three allen wrenches, all in a small bag under the saddle. One of the allen wrenches will fit the seat collar (up and down) while another should fit the seat clamp or clamps (saddle tilt and fore-and-aft.) The bike shop will be able to help you with all that stuff. (Oh, and consider a Serious tail light if you ride in traffic---day or night. Headlight too if you ride at night.)

DO NOT "upgrade" this bike. It simply is not worth it. Do not put anything on this bike you do not intend to take off and install on your next bike .... which you Will (almost certainly) need if you find you like cycling. Give the saddle some time, and if it just never works, then you, like many of the rest of us, can embark on the long and sometimes frustrating search for the "right" saddle for you. Once you find it, you will want to keep it. Other than that. I would not replace anything on the bike. No part of it is of sufficiently quality to justify hanging any quality parts on it.

There is nothing Wrong with your bike. If you treat it gently and keep it maintained you should be able to ride it for years ... or perhaps not. But if you really like cycling you might find yourself wanting something much lighter, sturdier, and more functional. It depends on what you want the bike to do. It might meet your needs ... but there is a reason many of us pay ten times that amount for an "entry-level" bike ... because we are entering the world of "cycling" as as opposed to just riding a bike around.

Pardon my pretentiousness, but there is a reason there are econoboxes with vinyl floor mats and AM radios, and Porsche 911s, Corvettes, F-150s, Serious 4WD SUVs, fake AWD "SUV" minivans with hoods for soccer moms, and such .... each vehicle does specific things well, and All of them are vastly better than the $13K "loss-leader" no-frills, no-options econobox---unless you just need the cheapest thing which will get you to work each day, in which case ... drive a Yugo or whatever is the modern equivalent. A ride is a ride.

But ... if you find you Like cycling, you will appreciate what the better machinery offers. Your bike and a Giant Contend, for instance, will both get you around town ... but one will probably offer a lot more utility and be a lot more fun in a lot more situations. But for now ... just add up the miles, or the hours, or the smiles, or however it works for you and keep the pedals turning.

None of us here can agree about anything except maybe that riding a bike can be a really great way to spend life. If you find it so ... well, great.

Last edited by Maelochs; 06-03-19 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 06-04-19, 05:30 AM
  #3  
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Wow, lots of info and good advice, thank you! The plan is to ride it and see. Purchased a used Trek Navigator 100 for my wife from a local shop. Going to start slow. My local shop wanted $79 to do a setup and that is why I purchased it from Walmart already built. Possibly I can get them to double check it and lubricate properly for less. I shot WD 40 on the exposed metal parts and lubed the chain with the real stuff. I readjusted the seat height to get a straighter leg while riding. You are correct in that I am currently depositing my weight on the seat and with my back at a comfortable angle, the heels of my hands on the bars. The bike seems less stable than my 1980s road bike, but I am carrying a heigher center of mass. I will try to adjust the seat some front and rear and also the angle!
Planning on purchasing the need accessories today. Any recommendations on the mini pumps. My tires say max psi is 50. I do hope to enjoy riding, I seem to recall that I used to minus all the tire punctures.
BTW I actually identified my old road bike, it was a Benotto. I wonder if it would be as much fun today as my memory has it in the 80's.
In any case thanks for the help!
cheers
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Old 06-04-19, 01:10 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Mark5555 View Post
BTW I actually identified my old road bike, it was a Benotto. I wonder if it would be as much fun today as my memory has it in the 80's.

Similar to this one?




As to the question of will it be as much fun - the answer is: If you can make it fit, without having to change many parts, the rides on it will be sweeter than anything you can buy. Learning to wrench the simpler problems will add to your pleasure of the vintage bike. There are other points of view.
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Old 06-04-19, 01:16 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
... As to the question of will it be as much fun - the answer is: If you can make it fit, without having to change many parts, the rides on it will be sweeter than anything you can buy. Learning to wrench the simpler problems will add to your pleasure of the vintage bike. There are other points of view.
You and I are on the same page (see signature).
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Old 06-04-19, 02:17 PM
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Howdy and not sure of the exact model... But if yours was a light blue metallic with white tape, it sure could be. My memory says it was great, quick and agile and could put some miles down. But the tires punctured too much. Didn't know any better back then. Never raced, just cruising. I don't even remember the frame size! Neat!!
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Old 06-04-19, 03:07 PM
  #7  
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I thought this was going to be about Tiananmen Square.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing. Remembered in China more euphemistically as the 4 June incident, the events ...
I bet bike shops love working on department store bikes. /s
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Old 06-04-19, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark5555 View Post
Howdy and not sure of the exact model... But if yours was a light blue metallic with white tape, it sure could be. My memory says it was great, quick and agile and could put some miles down. But the tires punctured too much.

The pictured bike (Benotto in above post) is an image I just picked from this Forum.

Here's my light blue metallic Italian with white bar tape. If yours rode as nice as this one, it WAS 'quick and agile and could put some miles down'.


'86 DeRosa
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Old 06-04-19, 08:08 PM
  #9  
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A little darker blue and different manufacturer, but beautiful. Mine also had the cream sidewalls. I wonder if a recreation or look alike could be made with a modern classic steel frame and similar looking parts. Noticed a bike brand called State Bicycles that has a similar looking 8 speed.
If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets
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Old 06-04-19, 08:12 PM
  #10  
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Yes it is 30 years ago that the Tiananmen Massacre happened and apparently since been forced to be forgotten. But that is not what the thread is about.
It IMHO shouldn't be forgotten
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Old 06-04-19, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark5555 View Post
A little darker blue and different manufacturer, but beautiful. Mine also had the cream sidewalls. I wonder if a recreation or look alike could be made with a modern classic steel frame and similar looking parts. Noticed a bike brand called State Bicycles that has a similar looking 8 speed.
If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets
The ones that come to mind for me would be the custom builders. Soooo many to choose from.
After that would be Bianchi and Masi who offer a steel replica models. Maybe Raleigh, too.
Waterford builds in USA. Framesets available from lots of companies, ordering from Taiwan, etc.
Probably others as well.

Spirit, Life, couple of Stainless versions - there are lighter and/or stronger available today.
but no champagne on a beer budget.
I do not exceed the capability of my frame to handle nimbly and predictably under fast/furious conditions. Double pivot brakes and good rubber (meaning brake pads and tires) are always a huge advantage.
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Old 06-05-19, 10:39 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Mark5555 View Post
Yes it is 30 years ago that the Tiananmen Massacre happened and apparently since been forced to be forgotten. But that is not what the thread is about.
It IMHO shouldn't be forgotten
Absolutely. When Deng Xiaoping took over, he hired a bunch of Madison Ave ad men to polish China's image so he could get rich off the West ... and inside China, you can't find "June 4" on the internet (but you might get a visit from the police if you try.) China's regime decided No one should remember that it murdered thousands of citizens for wanting moderate reform.

Since we do so much business with them ... it is good to keep in mind that the ruling regime did that ... and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

So ... back to cycling, but thanks for the reality injection.
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Old 06-05-19, 02:09 PM
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30 years ago I had recently finished my first year of law school and was dating a beautiful woman named Carrie.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
30 years ago I had recently finished my first year of law school and was dating a beautiful woman named Carrie.
Oh wow! We need to hear about the following years!!!
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Old 06-05-19, 07:38 PM
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Yes, sounds great. The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys! I need to get in better shape before I try to appreciate the style and quality...
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Old 06-05-19, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Absolutely. When Deng Xiaoping took over, he hired a bunch of Madison Ave ad men to polish China's image so he could get rich off the West ... and inside China, you can't find "June 4" on the internet (but you might get a visit from the police if you try.) China's regime decided No one should remember that it murdered thousands of citizens for wanting moderate reform.

Since we do so much business with them ... it is good to keep in mind that the ruling regime did that ... and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

So ... back to cycling, but thanks for the reality injection.
Yes sir, and much much more. Back to bikes!
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Old 06-06-19, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Oh wow! We need to hear about the following years!!!
We dated for more than a year and a half. She was instrumental in helping me get through my aortic valve replacement before my third year of law school.

She's a successful, practicing attorney at a large firm in Pittsburgh.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark5555 View Post
the bike seems unstable
maybe the pressure in the front tire can be lowered? I know when I used to pump both my tires to their max pressure, my road bike was more "titchy" than it should be. now that I run the front lower I feel like I have more control. bike tires carry so little volume, that small changes in pressure can make a big difference
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Old 06-10-19, 09:23 AM
  #19  
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30 years ago I was so poor I had to rent a turkey for Thanksgiving.
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