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Help me figure out what to do with and what can be done to this Big Box bike

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Help me figure out what to do with and what can be done to this Big Box bike

Old 12-17-20, 08:53 PM
  #1  
BlindGuyRides
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Help me figure out what to do with and what can be done to this Big Box bike

Fresh thread.

Bike: Huffy Parkside Men's 27.5
Note: Personally I see no useful specifications here. I'd GUESS the rear freewheel is 14 to 28 tooth, but that's just a guess based off of other bikes. No idea what the front chainring is toothwise. No handlebar measurements. No listing for replacement parts that 'best fit' Nothing.
The included manual is a generalist affair that gives no real specific help past basic mantinancing. Leaves a newbie like me frustrated.

Where I ride:
farmland that used to be nursery space. Currently has overgrown grass and the fields are currently subdivided. They will be made into one large u shaped field totaling six or so acres.
Also plan on occasional greenway use, LIGHT dirt paths. Not actual mountain bike trails. I need to be able to see a path to follow it and not a chance in the pits of hell am I going to do whail tails, berms, etc.As fun as a lot of it looks on youtube? I just don't think I have the reactions to pull it off. So 'light trail use, fields, maybe within a cyclist group.'

Current Known Budget: At this point $150 + occasional assistance on detail adjustments and probable assistance in getting fresh tubes, chain oil and other (incidental expenses.)
Tools Owned: None. However I do have access to all manner of allen wrenches, sockets, open face wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers. Generalist or woodworking tools. Adjustable air compressor
Experience: Pretty much starting from nothing, but I was able to improve how the gearing feels by following tutorials. I know it's probably Not Right, but 'better than when it was at the store.'

Maintenance Questions:
I am assuming the guy that did assembly underlubed and poorly tuned. Best tutorial videos to look up? Best greases and lubes for each component? Should I go get someone with better eyesight? As in, tiny pea sized bearings, little fiddly O rings, and other small items that could get lost in a shop floor. Are those a thing?

What pieces of gear do I need for mantinancing? Bike stand? Do I need that or is that just a convenience item?

Component Questions:
What is the problem with that specific derailleur compared to even slightly 'better' offerings? In what way is that specific item defeciant? Mantinancing? Lack of features? Lifespan? All of the above?
Best options for replacing on a small budget?

In General:
Walk down with me on why each thing on my bike is garbage. I walked in here knowing 'OK I have been given a walmart bike. that is about as low end as it gets and this thing is not going on any trails and surviving.' However given the entire scouring of ******, facebook, other forums, and so forth seems to have an in gneral elitist 'lol bike shaped object' response to the point it feels less like commentary on poor coponents and more 'people spent a lot of money and are trying to reassure themselves they made the right call' along wit ha side of 'i am not seeing a lot of WHY, just that thing is bad.' So. tell me WHY This thing is bad. List quantifiable reasons to show me that you know what you are talking about so I will be better educated if I end up getting lucky enough to have money for a better bike. I need to know what to look for, or failing that know enough to educate people who want to help me upgrade.

In the meantime I am going to ask about specific components for THIS bike, because it is what I have to work with.

Freewheel.
I had my eye on getting a megarange so there is that one low LOW gear to deal with harder to muscle through parts of the ride. However I have no idea if that will work or if better options exist.

I realize converting to cassette would probably give better long term, but that is also more expensive, and if this is supposed to be a 'first bike to graduate from' probably better to hold off? I dunno

Crankset and front gear: Are there any apparent problems that would make someone go 'those need replacing Right Now'? Could getting a snail thirty tooth and action crankset make any improvements?

Pedals: Fooker? Rockbros? Ezra? Any preferences other than 'anything but what's there'?

Shifter: I have heard Revo is the least worst option for twist shifter, but what e a good budget option for a seven speed thumb shifter?ould b
Front Fork, Head tube, Handlebars.
What are my options considering this is a quill stem? I have heard sunfire makes decent entry level replacement forks but again, quill stem. I actually like the current handlebar height, but do not know how best to replicate or even if that is an optimal height. I put these three things together because 'quill stem sorta throws everything in the air on if i can do a front fork without replacing the quill headset which also means replacing theh andlebars' which puts that as a group replacement running easily into the $200+ range for budget options if it has to be done all at once.
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Old 12-17-20, 09:41 PM
  #2  
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You have a POS bike, you've got a $150 budget to make it better, and you're considering upgrading to a cassette (that'll take the whole budget), pedals, rear derailleur and shifter?

Just ride the snot out of the bike and report back what you're having problems with.

Do DIY, look at lots of videos. Keep in mind that there are a lot of videos made by people who don't know what they're doing. Art's Cyclery is a great source. Sheldon Brown is also a great source. Workstands are nice, but you can get by with inserting the nose of the saddle into a loop that hangs from your garage ceiling. Bike doesn't shift good? Do your research. Poor shifting is usually attributed to simpler and cheaper things, such as new cables and housing.

You'll never make that a great bike. Just use the $150 to correct things as needed from riding what you have. Save the $ for a new-to-you bike, and maybe as time passes you'll have more $ and more knowledge of what you want and what to look for.
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Old 12-17-20, 11:28 PM
  #3  
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Are you able to count? If so, things are very simple as far as your freewheel and chainring go. Count the teeth
Your bike is not worth upgrading. Use it as it is
There is nothing wrong with a quill type stem. Professional cyclists used them in the most demanding races for over 70 years. I have a very nice bike that I want to convert back to the original fork that uses a threaded headset and a quill stem
Had you spent your current upgrade budget plus the amount you paid for your bike you would have a better bike than what you will end up with. You will be paying retail price for parts that you already bought. The parts you already paid for will cost far more aftermarket.

Last edited by alcjphil; 12-17-20 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 12-18-20, 12:29 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
fresh thread.
OK, you just want answers, no opinions? Well, I'll try...
Bike: Huffy parkside men's 27.5
note: Personally i see no useful specifications here. I'd guess the rear freewheel is 14 to 28 tooth, but that's just a guess based off of other bikes. No idea what the front chainring is toothwise. No handlebar measurements. No listing for replacement parts that 'best fit' nothing.
The included manual is a generalist affair that gives no real specific help past basic mantinancing. Leaves a newbie like me frustrated.
OK, yeah, they're not going to provide a lot of that, so why don't you check and note that here? How many teeth do you count? Next person who buys this bike will Google it and find your info here, which will be helpful.

...

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
current known budget: At this point $150 + occasional assistance on detail adjustments and probable assistance in getting fresh tubes, chain oil and other (incidental expenses.)
tools owned: None. However i do have access to all manner of allen wrenches, sockets, open face wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers. Generalist or woodworking tools. Adjustable air compressor
experience: Pretty much starting from nothing, but i was able to improve how the gearing feels by following tutorials. I know it's probably not right, but 'better than when it was at the store.'
You need to make sure you have metric hex wrenches, from 2.5mm to 10mm, and it would be good to have a degreaser (citrus stuff, WD40, etc) and a light oil, and a grease like marine grease or lithium grease. Good to have sockets with metric like 6-17mm. You should get a pedal wrench- Park Tool makes a good, inexpensive one (there's also more pricey ones, but even the entry-level Park is good to have).

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
maintenance questions:
I am assuming the guy that did assembly underlubed and poorly tuned. Best tutorial videos to look up? Best greases and lubes for each component? Should i go get someone with better eyesight? As in, tiny pea sized bearings, little fiddly o rings, and other small items that could get lost in a shop floor. Are those a thing?

What pieces of gear do i need for mantinancing? Bike stand? Do i need that or is that just a convenience item?
Not sure exactly what you mean here, but a bike stand is nice, though not a necessity.

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
component questions:
What is the problem with that specific derailleur compared to even slightly 'better' offerings? In what way is that specific item defeciant? Mantinancing? Lack of features? Lifespan? All of the above?
Best options for replacing on a small budget?
Why are you worrying so much re: your derailleur? Yes to all of your questions, but so what? That's not something that is going to prevent you from riding this bike how/where you want to.

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
in general:
Walk down with me on why each thing on my bike is garbage. I walked in here knowing 'ok i have been given a walmart bike. That is about as low end as it gets and this thing is not going on any trails and surviving.' however given the entire scouring of ******, facebook, other forums, and so forth seems to have an in gneral elitist 'lol bike shaped object' response to the point it feels less like commentary on poor coponents and more 'people spent a lot of money and are trying to reassure themselves they made the right call' along wit ha side of 'i am not seeing a lot of why, just that thing is bad.' so. Tell me why this thing is bad. List quantifiable reasons to show me that you know what you are talking about so i will be better educated if i end up getting lucky enough to have money for a better bike. I need to know what to look for, or failing that know enough to educate people who want to help me upgrade.

In the meantime i am going to ask about specific components for this bike, because it is what i have to work with.
If your goal is to make the bike more robust for trail riding, ok, there are little things you could do, but some of the things you're asking about are beyond that scope and you don't seem to know why you want to change them. You keep missing that people are not saying anything to reassure themselves about their bike ownership - they are telling you things to help you know that while you CAN upgrade stuff, it may not be the smart thing to do, and especially not just cause you feel like you have to change things.

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
freewheel.
I had my eye on getting a megarange so there is that one low low gear to deal with harder to muscle through parts of the ride. However i have no idea if that will work or if better options exist.
If you're having a tough time getting up hills, yeah, you could swap the freewheel for one with a 34-tooth 1st gear or something. You'd have to look up that derailleur's capacity (Shimano is good about this - there will be a part # on it and they have all tech specs online and it would tell you whether it can handle wrapping around that many more teeth than you have in the back now. Probably fine.) But try it for awhile as-is - once people start riding a lot they notice more strength and you may be able to take hills a gear higher than you did on Day 1.

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
i realize converting to cassette would probably give better long term, but that is also more expensive, and if this is supposed to be a 'first bike to graduate from' probably better to hold off? I dunno
Right, not worth it unless you're changing the wheels themselves, or really changing the drivetrain as a whole, or if you are breaking axles or something, so again, stick with what it's designed for- freewheels are easy to swap (again, will need a specific tool, but the tools and the freehwheels themselves are cheap).

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
crankset and front gear: Are there any apparent problems that would make someone go 'those need replacing right now'? Could getting a snail thirty tooth and action crankset make any improvements?
Again, sorry, not sure what you wrote. Improvements in WHAT? Sure, you could get a lighter crank with a differently-sized ring, but you'd need to know what you like/don't like about the gearing and possibly change your bottom bracket...

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
pedals: Fooker? Rockbros? Ezra? Any preferences other than 'anything but what's there'?
Yes, buy quality BMX pedals - for example Odyssey Twisted PC - stronger, wider, stiffer, better-made than what you have, and they come in colors and are around $15. Can't be beat. Or Merritt, Animal... available from many places online.

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
shifter: I have heard revo is the least worst option for twist shifter, but what e a good budget option for a seven speed thumb shifter?ould b
front fork, head tube, handlebars.
Why? I don't believe the thumb shifter will do any more for you than the twist grip on it... unless you don't like the way it feels or it doesn't work well! They're very simple, so that's good and if it moves freely and you can tell when you click into the next gear, you're good as far as the shifter goes.

Originally Posted by blindguyrides View Post
What are my options considering this is a quill stem? I have heard sunfire makes decent entry level replacement forks but again, quill stem. I actually like the current handlebar height, but do not know how best to replicate or even if that is an optimal height. I put these three things together because 'quill stem sorta throws everything in the air on if i can do a front fork without replacing the quill headset which also means replacing theh andlebars' which puts that as a group replacement running easily into the $200+ range for budget options if it has to be done all at once.
Again, a quill stem is fine unless you feel like it is too flexy, or it doesn't put the bars where you want them to be for reach, or you find them a pain to adjust. Some people like quills better as they're easy to adjust height with, but assuming you want a change, OK. Buy a Profile Design 1" quill to threadless converter- they're on Amazon for sure. Buy a threadless stem with the rise (angle up) and/or reach (length forward from the fork tube) that you want. It will feel solid and look more modern.
Re: fork, you mean SunTour, or SR SunTour. I would not buy a suspension fork - unless a pricey one on an actual mountain bike designed to have one, they add weight and complexity and cost. You have nice 27.5 x 1.75 width tires on this - if you want more trailworthiness, look at some WTB or Maxxis, or Kenda tires with a fatter diameter and maybe some chunkier tread - not so knobby that it'll slow you down a lot on smoother parts, but wider with a bit more bite in loose surfaces. That's a difference worth spending $ on.
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Old 12-18-20, 01:35 AM
  #5  
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You'll almost certainly benefit from upgrading all of it, but it'd be cheaper putting the money aside to get a better bike when you need it (because you'll spend as much in parts). Lots of people have tried the "buy a cheap bike and turn it into an expensive bike" thing and almost all of them have concluded that you get a much better bike, cheaper, by buying the good one in the first place. Albeit if it's a project to work on then it's well worth trying to upgrade/build it for the learning experience.

Just ride it and replace what brakes or annoys you; you might find that it's fine. Cheap bikes are usually alright (the big box stores wouldn't sell them if they cost more in returns than they sold), they may be a bit heavy and unrefined but you're not doing anything demanding and likely won't notice. I had a $150 big box bike as a teenager, abused it something horrible and sold it 15 years later for $50 to a friend who wanted something to leave outside bars. As I understand it all he's changed is the tires.

I'd leave the gearing completely alone as that's a lot of fiddly work and I'm sure you'll be fine even with a 14-28 cog on the back unless you're dealing with really steep climbs.

The easy and good bang for buck upgrades (which you can potentially take onto a newer bike) are pedals and saddle, I'm not sure I'd bother with anything else.
If I wanted to improve the riding experience and had $150 to spend, I'd probably spend it on decent clothing (shoes, padded shorts and jacket) or accessories (like a track pump).

Edit: I've actually looked at the bike - this one? https://www.huffybikes.com/parkside-...-5-inch-56728/
It's a city bike, and it sounds like you're mostly going to be using it offroad? If so I'd get a pair of mountain bike or hybrid tires for it (the size will be written on them somewhere, 27.5x something). The gearing looks like it'll be OK too. The pedals look super cheap (and may not be great off-road) and the saddle is more for comfort and pretty heavy. So as I said above: leave the gears alone and look at possibly a new set of mountain bike pedals and a seat.

Last edited by Herzlos; 12-18-20 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 12-18-20, 03:07 AM
  #6  
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DON'T upgrade your cheap bike!

Just ride it as others have said. Learn and have fun with it. The more experience you acquire with the bike, the more you'll know what bike to buy later, one that will suit you the best.

And when you're pretty sure you want something better. Buy another bike with all the components you want already in it!

Something you can buy at the cost of $1000 (brand new price) will have quite decent quality already and far better than your current bike.

A field that big, you can do lots of fun stuff in it, you can even put a runway if you like flying!

Last edited by cubewheels; 12-18-20 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 12-18-20, 07:08 AM
  #7  
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There is nothing wrong with the bicycle that you have. Keep the tires aired up. Lubricate the chain and wipe it occasionally. It looks to me like this bike will be fine for the riding that you've described. Simply ride it and enjoy the out of doors.
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Old 12-18-20, 07:49 AM
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no one is telling you things you don't want to hear because we are snobs or for some personal reason. it's because many of us have "been there" and know first-hand just how futile it is to "upgrade" a bike like that. if you spend enough time on this forum or in a bike shop or co-op, we've all seen at least a dozen of these stories play out: rider spends weeks trying to justify their choice, arguing with people who know better and care enough about them to tell them it's not a good idea, does it anyways and one of two outcomes occurs: the rider admits it was a waste of time and saves up for a suitable bike, or the rider can't relinquish their pride, gives up, and disappears. I don't want to see the latter happen, so for your own sanity, don't fret too much over this bike. ride it as-is. perhaps some better grips would be a good idea. buy some tools and learn how to perform basic maintenance on it. then find a more suitable starting point of a bike for what you are doing.
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Old 12-18-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
no one is telling you things you don't want to hear because we are snobs or for some personal reason. It's because many of us have "been there" and know first-hand just how futile it is to "upgrade" a bike like that. If you spend enough time on this forum or in a bike shop or co-op, we've all seen at least a dozen of these stories play out: Rider spends weeks trying to justify their choice, arguing with people who know better and care enough about them to tell them it's not a good idea, does it anyways and one of two outcomes occurs: The rider admits it was a waste of time and saves up for a suitable bike, or the rider can't relinquish their pride, gives up, and disappears. I don't want to see the latter happen, so for your own sanity, don't fret too much over this bike. Ride it as-is. Perhaps some better grips would be a good idea. Buy some tools and learn how to perform basic maintenance on it. Then find a more suitable starting point of a bike for what you are doing.
+1
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Old 12-18-20, 07:59 AM
  #10  
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There is not a problem in life that spending money on can't make worse.
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Old 12-18-20, 08:05 AM
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Just ride the bike and see what happens. You might be able to ride it for years with no problems. If parts break or wear out, then you'll know exactly which ones you need to fix.
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Old 12-18-20, 09:19 AM
  #12  
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Just ride your bicycle as is. Once you have a few 1000 miles on it you will have a better understanding of what you like and what shortcomings of your bike are holding you back.

Many of us, me included, have come back to bicycling after many years away from the activity. In my case I was off my bicycle for 25 years, when I decided to get back on it I was 60 years old. When I started back I had available to me 2 bicycles, one a mountain bike the other a road bike. The road bike I bought new in 1986, slightly above entry level. I have put on this bicycle in the last two years over 5000 miles in spite of the fact it has a quill stem and a 6 speed freewheel. I have performed a few upgrades but have no plans to replace the stem or go to a cassette because the cost isn't worth what I will have once completed. I say this as an individual that has the tools and knowledge to do all of the work myself, including building new wheels from scratch.

Today my primary road bike is a 15 year old Cannondale that I bought off CL for $300 I got it before the virus demic so deals like that are harder to come by now but my point is I have the cash stream to buy a new CF bike but what I have works fine for me as I've currently not reached the limit of what my bicycle can offer me. As far as my mountain bike is concerned it has v-brakes not disk, 26" wheels not 29". When I was first getting back to riding, before I fully comprehended the fact that I was actually out of shape, I thought in my mind that my problem was my bikes, not my fitness level. Now that my fitness level has improved I have no desire to upgrade my existing bikes. If however a major component were to fail I would probably replace that and it might be an upgrade but I'm not going to upgrade simply for the sake of upgrading as it's not a wise use of money.

So again ride your bike. As things either break or fall out of adjustment address them but don't throw money into it until you get your fitness level up and figure out exactly what you want out of this hobby.

Last edited by Thomas15; 12-18-20 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-18-20, 09:38 AM
  #13  
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Talk of upgrading the OP's Huffy reminds me of a high-school classmate who put mag wheels and headers on his parents' brown '75 AMC Matador Sedan.
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Old 12-18-20, 09:43 AM
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The bike is what it is. While some would rush to condemn it, I will note that a big-box bike like this is worlds away superior to big-box bikes of 30 or 40 years ago, and with some basic maintenance should work just fine.

There really IS a point of diminishing returns. Maybe my story will illustrate it. When I was a kid in 1973, my father bought me my first 10-speed bike. Fortunately for me, the first bike, a basic welded American BMA/6 thing with Ashtabula cranks and Shimano Eagle derailleurs was actually missing some vital parts, so Dad returned it and came home with a West German-built "Brownie," probably built by Kalkhoff. It was one of the many bike sourced from makers world-wide to meet the demand of the Great Bike Boom of the early 70s. It had all the hallmarks of bottom rung European 10-speed - steel rims with 3-piece hub shells laced with galvanized spokes to steel rims, gas-pipe tubing that was at least lugged, but was squished flat at the dropouts and crudely attached to stamped ends, a steel cottered crank, plastic Simplex derailleurs, Altenberger Synchron sidepulls and a nasty hard a$$-hatchet plastic saddle. I actually did upgrade some things on it, and learned several lessons the hard way. 1. DIY repainting a bike rather than cleaning it and living with the stock paint job is a bad idea and looks like home-made hell. 2. Replacing broken Simplex derailleurs with budget SunTour alloy units makes sense and was cheap, easy and a genuine upgrade - replacing the Altenberger brakes with expensive Italian Universal mod. 61 sidepulls that cost almost as much as the bike sold for new was a bad idea. 3. The difference between the $50 big-box bike vs. the $150 bike shop bike that replaced it two years later was far more than the 3:1 cost ratio.

Were I in your shoes, I would ride the bike you have now and (apart from saddle and pedals!) would only REPLACE stuff if it breaks or wears out. I would NOT upgrade anything, unless it was an incidental upgrade to replace broken or worn-out stuff. I would also ride the snot out of the bike and make notes on what I wanted next. Finally, I would learn all I could about how to service and repair bikes.

I am NOT enamored of new bikes, and for the riding you're doing, I would tell you to figure out what size and dimensions of bike fit YOU, then start keeping an eye out for a high-quality older mountain bike at a bargain price. Ride what you have while you do so. Sooner or later a deal will come along. As I write this I have a 2007 or so Giant Yukon 24-speed with disc brakes and a front shock that I paid $20, then another $4 for a rear brake cable. Once I fixed the rear brake, I pumped up the tires, lubed the chain - and it runs beautifully. Pity it's too big for me! I just had a nice older used Cannondale offered to me for $25. If you can use tools and watch YouTube videos you will get a much better ride experience out of an older bike shop quality bike than you can get from a big box machine.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:00 AM
  #15  
CAT7RDR
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Talk of upgrading the OP's Huffy reminds me of a high-school classmate who put mag wheels and headers on his parents' brown '75 AMC Matador Sedan.
It could have been a Pacer.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:07 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
It could have been a Pacer.
Yeah, it really did seem like AMC was competing with itself to build the ugliest cars on the planet.

My dad owned not one, but two Gremlins: a '72, and then a '74; the latter had the Levi's package, with a full denim interior.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:19 AM
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Yes, it's a cheap bike, but it's a very simple one. That means there's not much to go wrong. You're not going to be asking much of it, performance wise, so it may suprise you with how well it holds up.

The weakest link is probably the derailleur, but again, it's a 1x7 path bike, so it won't see very demanding use, so, if it's working well enough now, i'd ride it until it breaks, then worry about an upgrade. (Frankly it's more likely to get damaged from a drop than worn out) 7-speed is also good to learn about tuning / adjusting as it's fairly tolerant of minor misadjustment , not as 'picky' as something like 10-speed.

Same goes for the tires, 27.5x1.75" is more than enough for a gravel track, and unless you're riding in a lot of mud, a more aggressive tread pattern really wouldn't bring much benefit.
Again, ride until they need to be replaced.

The only thing I'd go for replacing out-of-the box would be the pedals. I like plastic-body BMX pedals as a budget upgrade. Oddessy 'Twisted" and Animal "Hamilton" are perennial favorites. They're light-ish, good grip and durable. You can find them all day for $20.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BlindGuyRides View Post
Pedals: Fooker? Rockbros? Ezra? Any preferences other than 'anything but what's there'?
I have Rockbros pedals on both bikes, the kind with the little grub screws for traction (I ride with regular sneakers, not clipless).

No complaints here. It's a bike pedal, not a rocket to Mars. Simple.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by Reflector Guy; 12-18-20 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Added a link
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Old 12-18-20, 10:35 AM
  #19  
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One thing that separates cheap bikes from the next step up, is just manufacturing quality.

I've met some people who work for a bike brand that's sold through big-box stores. They are passionate about bikes, but they're dealing with the reality of bringing an affordable bike to the masses within the modern retail environment. If they can't make a certain price point, the retailer simply drops them and buys bikes from someone else.

According to Deming, during the heyday of the Model T, cars were not even fully tested before being shipped from the factory. The dealer was expected to do the final preparation of the car, which involved fixing all of the production defects that could be found. Lower end bikes are the same way: In fact they are not even fully assembled at the factory: The frame and wheels are brought together for the first time at the retail store, or at your home if you buy one by mail. Bikes purchased from more respectable shops are tuned up by the dealer before being sold, and since those dealers value their time and reputation, they impose some discipline on the brands that they carry.

I've messed with a lot of what used to be called "department store" bikes. I think the main thing you can do is go from one subsystem to the next, and learn how to adjust and maintain it. The Park Tool website and videos are great. Things will be harder to adjust than on a higher end bike, because things like threading and mating surfaces don't slide as nicely, but you can learn a lot. Simply knowing that all of the bearings are actually lubricated is a step forward. Knowing that the spokes are at a decent tension will make the bike last longer. Being in charge of how the brakes work and how the shifter behaves, will improve your riding experience.

Gain confidence in these skills will give you the option, in the future, of buying another "cheap bike" by buying a used bike that you can evaluate and maintain yourself.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:35 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
I have Rockbros pedals on both bikes, the kind with the little grub screws for traction (I ride with regular sneakers, not clipless).

No complaints here. It's a bike pedal, not a rocket to Mars. Simple.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I've read quite a few horror stories about the spindles on those breaking during a ride. some of these stories include graphic images of lacerated legs. they might be fine for OP, but there's a reason why cheap knockoffs are so cheap. Odyssey PCs come from a reputable brand and can be found cheaper than that.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:44 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
I've read quite a few horror stories about the spindles on those breaking during a ride. some of these stories include graphic images of lacerated legs. they might be fine for OP, but there's a reason why cheap knockoffs are so cheap. Odyssey PCs come from a reputable brand and can be found cheaper than that.
Interesting; I'll have to look further into that. Although truth to be told, I am probably much easier on them than some people might be. I'm riding road bikes, not mountain, so I'm not doing jumps, hopping curbs, etc and generally don't ride out of the saddle unless it is to float over bumps.
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Old 12-18-20, 10:58 AM
  #22  
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Looks like a good choice for a box store bike. No suspension to rob power, only one derailer to worry about keeping working. I would check the tune, make sure it shifts through al the gears. Park tools website has videos that can help you. Center the brake pads, and make sure they don't rub. I would put slime inner tubes in the tires, pasture have lots of thorns and people have probably been loosing nails out there for 100 years. Check tire pressure before every ride so you don't pinch flat on rocks.
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Old 12-18-20, 11:29 AM
  #23  
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Best upgrade for a bike like that is a clothes pin and playing card in the spokes.

Vrooom Vroom.

Can't believe the mods told him to start a second thread.
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Old 12-18-20, 12:31 PM
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Sell it and buy an actual hybrid or rigid mtb. The geometry on those comfort bikes is awkward for trail riding. You'll want to be able to stand and peddle comfortably.
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Old 12-18-20, 01:24 PM
  #25  
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I would simply ride the bike as is, and replace things as they need replacement. As for pedals, maybe try some BMX style platform pedals by Wellgo. I use pedals like that on my touring bike and they are comfortable. I have a pair of Wellgos in the garage, but swapped them out for some magnesium DMR V12 pedals, but the shape and design are the same as the Wellgos I have. They both work well. Wellgo has many different styles, mine have replaceable pins, but that isn't necessary. Here is a basic one that would work well. Also search Amazon for their pedals.

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