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Newly found love for bikes

Old 03-14-17, 07:44 PM
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HerrKaLeun
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Newly found love for bikes

I live in WI and have ridden bikes all my life. Mostly on streets to get from A to B as a child. Longest tours with luggage through Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. After moving to the US I got distracted with school, child etc. and haven't had as much time. Now I finally have more time.

As a child I rode up to 30 miles to Grandma's house, and tinkered with adding de-railers to single speed bikes. Also added my own rim brakes (we had coaster brakes on rear and those rubber brakes that brake on the tire on front). Don't judge, I grew up in communism, we didn't have much. But having a 3-speed when most kids and adults just had single speed was extremely fast in comparison.

I was looking for a new bike (like the Giant Toughroad as that would fit my riding style in general). But the more I research the less I know what I want. I'm getting the feeling I need to buy my own frame and add what exactly I want.

I have an about 8 year old Schwinn Mesa LT. Some family member who got it at a silent auction gave it to me, so the actual age isn't known to me. It has cheap components, but mech. disc brakes. The cassette is worn out despite not riding a lot. It has a suspended fork and is a bit too small for me (17" frame, I'm almost 6ft). For now I retrofit my old Schwinn. Either to ride through this year until I make up my mind on a new bike, or keep as secondary more off-road bike. Or to sell it. I ordered a new cassette, a frond hydraulic brake and also will replace the crank.

I'm sure I'll be here a lot to ask stupid question about how to upgrade my bike or how to build a new one
I read all the sheldon articles, ordered the Park bike book, researched all kind of youtube and other channels to learn more about what I'm doing. Trust me, even if my question may sound stupid, it is based on hours of research.

We live in interesting times, the access to information is just great.
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Old 03-14-17, 08:32 PM
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Kindaslow
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Welcome to BF!

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Old 03-15-17, 05:04 AM
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coominya
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I was looking for a new bike (like the Giant Toughroad as that would fit my riding style in general). But the more I research the less I know what I want. I'm getting the feeling I need to buy my own frame and add what exactly I want.
Welcome mate. I wouldn't make too much out of the Perfect bike thing. A lot of us here have many bikes, I have 6 myself now. Just buy one you like and get into riding I would suggest.

PS. I have the Toughroad slx1 and I find it excellent for general road work. Just don't tinker with the brake calipers unless you know exactly what you're doing
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Old 03-15-17, 01:31 PM
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Old 03-15-17, 04:42 PM
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Don't worry I'm self -taught using YouTube, this site, and a Bike repair book

Same here I loved my bike (kid car) as a kid, and would go everywhere. But, I was way to "cool" as a teenager to be riding around on a bike. Then to socially "busy" as a young adult to ride. Until I got a beautiful 1974 UO18 Peugeot Mixte, for my birthday. I fell in love all over again. Now I have 6 bikes, one of each kind Road Mixte, mtn. bike, commuter/comfy bike, fixie, bmx cruiser, and a men's bike in case I take a dude along with me. No excuses tolerated just RIDE!! All Ass No Gas
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Old 03-15-17, 08:36 PM
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HerrKaLeun
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Originally Posted by coominya View Post
Welcome mate. I wouldn't make too much out of the Perfect bike thing. A lot of us here have many bikes, I have 6 myself now. Just buy one you like and get into riding I would suggest.

PS. I have the Toughroad slx1 and I find it excellent for general road work. Just don't tinker with the brake calipers unless you know exactly what you're doing
I saw the Brakes SLR1 are relatively expensive ones with a 4-piston type or so. I just ordered a Shimano Deore brake for my front wheel (for rear i keep the mech. disc brake for now). It seemed they are easy to service and you can find parts and advice everywhere since they are so common.

Multiple bikes won't work for me for space reasons. And I also couldn't maintain them all and equip them well. My ideal scenario would be having one for most uses, like a toughroad. Maybe I would keep my current one as an offroad one. by offroad I mean going on rough trails etc., not real off-road biking.
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Old 03-15-17, 10:03 PM
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coominya
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That makes good sense. Hope you pick the right one first time.
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Old 03-25-17, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I'm sure I'll be here a lot to ask stupid question about how to upgrade my bike or how to build a new one
I read all the sheldon articles, ordered the Park bike book, researched all kind of youtube and other channels to learn more about what I'm doing. Trust me, even if my question may sound stupid, it is based on hours of research.

We live in interesting times, the access to information is just great.
your on the right track. patience with the mechanical will pay off, and you may have some fun rebuilding older bicycles as we do on the classic & vintage section of this forum.
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Old 04-07-17, 09:01 PM
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HerrKaLeun
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I finally fixed up my bike. It seems my bike cost about $650 when new, so it is not that bad and had mechanical disk brakes.
I kind of fell into a rabbit hole and the more I looked the more i had to do. I learned a lot, got lot of tools and accessories and now have a better bike.
1. The only problem I knew was the need to replace the cassette (outer gear skipped). Ordered cassette and the tools to remove.
2. Decided to order a front hydraulic brake (Deore)
3. Noticed cable housings are falling apart: installed shifter cables Shimano Optislick; decided to buy rear hydraulic brake instead of buying new cables.
4. noticed the tires have cracks: ordered new tires
5. My front derailleur can't shift into the granny gear, blamed the crank and started to remove that, attempted to service BB. So far haven't and this seems to be a throwaway item
6. Serviced hubs, replaced ball bearings and one pitted cone (couldn't find the quando cones and substituted with Shimano cone)
7. when replacing tires noticed one tube is kinked with thin parts; replaced it pro-actively
8. one rim tape was damaged; ordered new one

This all took many weeks since one thing came after another and I had to research what to buy, where to buy, wait for delivery, find time to install and find a new thing. Since this is a keeper, I didn't buy the cheapest parts, and also got good tools.

The only real problem I still have is that I can't shift into the granny gear. it seems the derailleur is too far out, or the BB too thin. I never use it anyway, and now just have a 2x9 instead of 3x9.

I paid:
$210 in parts ($110 if you discount the hydraulic brakes, but then add cost for cables and housing for the old mech. brakes)
$262 in tools, book, and consumables (but I also bought a whole 32 ounces in chain oil etc.)
$196 in accessories like pump, lights, mirror, computer

Assuming the parts are the only cost I can't use for other bikes, I didn't do too bad. Besides learning a lot, I also have a much better idea what a new bike should be. Had I just bought a new bike, I'm sure would not have been a good shopper.

There were times when it went deeper and deeper that I wished I had just bought a new bike. I now also understand why people have multiple bikes - so you can ride one when you fix one up. I still plan to buy a new bike next year or so. My frame is too small for me and I like some larger wheels and a lighter bike. But this one will do for now.

For lubrication I read every opinion there exists. I ended up buying a mini-grease gun and marine grease. It is cheap in bulk and probably good. For chain oil I bought a 32 ounce bottle of chain-L wet. All I know is one needs to lubricate frequently and richly. So I picked whichever is cheap in bulk and suitable. Some other magic oil may be better, but if in 4 oz bottles only it gets expensive. The wet-lube may attract dirt, but at least keeps it all lubricated long time (I realize a reasonable person may have differing opinion...)

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 04-07-17 at 09:17 PM.
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