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Atlantian 01-03-09 06:52 PM

Greetings from Mercer Island, Washington
Hey everybody! I am Atlantian from Washington, I have grown up with some bikes, as most of my family members bike. I am a car nut, and a mechanics nut, I am fascinated with anything with gears, ranging from cars to motorcycles to bicycles, and different machinese that move fast.. (I even like longboards and planes). I also swim on my local high school team and club. I want to start doing triathlons but I suck big time at running...

I have not biked in two years, and I decided I wanted to bike again since I got a few hundred dollars for Christmas. I went out and got a Kent GMC Denali road bike, I am still waiting for Amazon to get the package to me by the seventh. I am hoping to be a rather competitive biker in the near future (in a few years).

BengeBoy 01-03-09 06:57 PM

Greetings...fellow MI resident here.

You live in a great place to get fit - the ride around the island is a great way to get in basic training miles on a daily basis, and once you've got your mileage up the bridges give you access to the EastSide or the city.

There are a bunch of great biking routes in the Seattle area - make sure you check out the resources at and the Pacific Northwest forum here at BikeForums.

See you around..

Atlantian 01-03-09 07:37 PM

Thanks for the welcome! I have ridden East and West Mercer Way quite a bit when I was a kid because I live right next to it, I still do see a lot of road bikers fly by there regularly. I also like to drive the street because it is windy and challenging to drive fast on. I am hoping that I have enough muscles to bike up hills. :P

Btw, this Kent is not going to be my first road bike, I have had a taste of drop handle biking in my sister's old-school Huffy TechTra. It's an old steel frame 10-speed bike with Specialized tires and a slanted top bar. I rode it until it fell apart from bent rear rim (powersliding), the snapped shift cable (stem friction shifters are really irritating when you are exhausted to use, so I was trying to mash the cable into a higher gear up a hill because it was too light), the flat pinch flat (I jumped onto a curb without clearing the rear wheels after the jump), and the shaved rear brakes (from the constant contact with the messed up rim). Although it was a lame bike, it was very exciting to ride a "road bike", I remember skipping class during Sophomore year to ride it all the time!

East Hill 01-15-09 06:29 AM

Hi Atlantian, did you ever get your bike?

I'm in Kent, just down the road :) .

Welcome to BikeForums, and don't hesitate to send me a PM if you have any questions.

East Hill
Forum Moderator

Atlantian 01-18-09 08:35 PM

Yeah, I got my bike on the 7th, and assembled it two days ago. It is a very nice bike, very fast and nimble despite being at an estimated 26 pounds, and a much better choice then to get an old 10 speed.

Does anyone know what to use as a gentle adhesive solvent to clean off the gunk off the frame after I remove the decals? I don't want to ruin the paint on the bike.

I might need some tips on how to setup/tune my derailurs properly, to be in which gears when I am adjusting the limiters or wires.

How tight do you guys usually set your brakes? Is it enough to lock your front tires when you slam on it at speed? Because if I go more then 2 mph, it doesn't lock at all.

I don't know about the validity of this bike's reputation for pinch flats involving the innertube or rim tape, but just in case that it IS true, and I get a flat. I went ahead and got myself an innertube patch kit, some cloth tape, and a nice big 150+ floor pump on Saturday. Although I might get a new tire/tube set because it came with 80 psi max hybrid tires with a lot of treads leading out to the side of the tires, I am guessing it is for wet performance.

I will get a sort of "Car and Driver" type pro/con/verdict review up soon, I wrote it up TWICE as a reply for this thread, except for the fact that my internet cut out the first time, and the forum denied me to do so because of an "expired token".

East Hill 01-18-09 08:43 PM

Try using Goo Gone for the decal residue. The Bicycle Mechanics forum can help with your derailleur setup, and also about the brakes. It sounds as if they are definitely not set up correctly. You don't really want to slam on the brakes at speed (because normally just the front brake is used, and you would go flying end over teakettle if you did), but you should be able to stop if necessary.

East Hill

BengeBoy 01-18-09 08:46 PM

"Goof off" will remove the decals without hurting your paint; just wipe it off/clean the bike after you've used it. They should carry that at the Tru Value on the North End of the island.

Good maintenance tips:

- (has videos, too).

In terms of front brakes, I'm not sure that I can actually lock my tires at speed (as attempting that would throw me over the bars). You should be able to come to a pretty quick stop using the front brake primarily with a little bit of force on the back as well. Look up what Sheldon Brown (see link above) has to say about breaking.

Atlantian 01-18-09 09:39 PM

Well, the brakes seems to be getting weaker and weaker every day, but it might just be that the cables are brand new and I need to keep adjusting it, but it takes around 20 feet to come to a complete stop if I am rolling down Merrimount. And that is with a death grip on both brakes, and yes, I know how to brake correctly, I use my front brakes first.

Thanks for the advise guys!

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