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new rider with lack of knowledge and need some advice(?)

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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

new rider with lack of knowledge and need some advice(?)

Old 05-10-21, 12:18 AM
  #1  
RAYZIE
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new rider with lack of knowledge and need some advice/help(?)

hey everyone,


Recently bought my first single speed bike second handed and been loving it so far. Never really biked a lot as I mainly take the local transportation in the city as it's much faster (and as the roads are pretty rough, or maybe it's me considering that i'm so "safe" with my bike). Currently live in the suburbs and occasionally take rides to the city which is roughly about 20/25km. After riding it for a few days (probably within a week), that's when I realized that maintenance kicks into place... so as cringe as my question's are going to sound, please bare with me.


Before anything, the specs that I think are important are the following:


4130 "chromoly metal"

46T All alloy chain ring and 170mm alloy crank arm (I really wish I had more information than this, otherwise all I currently know is that the chainlink is a "KMC 7C-3 Z" while the crankset is... i have no idea..)

30mm "cheap/generic" Deep V 700 x 28c wheels (rear tire - Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire / front tire - Kenda's)

Joytech Flip Flop Hub 16T


so my questions are:


- After riding about 4/5 days I recently just started to hear a crunching sound when I started to pedal. Searched around, cleaned/wiped my chain (with dry lube), wiped my crankset and cleaned the cog a bit. Now I know all these are important factors but as a first investment (other than tires), which would be a good first investment? I understand that a number of things are to be in considerate but I'm just going from point A to point B with slight detours on the way (Lol). as I heard that "prebuilt" bike chains are eventually going to snap of constant wear and tear. I was thinking of this as my first investment. Was thinking on grabbing the Izumi Super Toughness chain to replace the current chain I have. - On that being said, if I upgrade the chain, will this effect the freewheel/chainset at all? (other than keeping chain resistance in mind)

- At what point should I be considering on upgrading my crankset?

- when it comes to a "flip flop" hub, does that mean that the freewheel cog can be changed? meaning that if I had the tools, I could change from 16T to a 17T? - this is probably a stupid question

- Joytech Hubs, TL;DR forum search shows that it's garbage. So far I'm planning on riding it out til the hubs actually blow (is this very dangerous?), otherwise what's the first step on upgrading/stepping up from Joytech Hub? Is it possible that if I have the tools that I could replace the Joytech hub with a different hub while keeping the same rim/wheel (if this makes any sense?)


- For wheel(sets)... I'm not too sure exactly... Stuck at a wall because I don't know what first step to take.


Thanks alot guys... I know I typed out a life story but I hope y'all can help.


Cheers.
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Old 05-10-21, 12:59 AM
  #2  
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It sounds like you’ve already gotten a bad case of upgradeitis.
That can be VERY costly.
For frankly put, often with little to no practical benefit.
A flip-flop hub is a hub that’s threaded on both ends. Most commonly to take a fixed sprocket on one side and a freewheel on the other. Some can take/are meant to have different sized freewheels on either side.
Never heard of ”pre-built chains snapping”.
The biggest factor I’ve ever noticed WRT chains is degree of upkeep. Between different brands and models, they all hold up and last a considerable time as long as they’re kept clean and lubed. And for bikes like yours, not overtensioned.
Some riders seem to notice lots of difference between chains, but not me.
All chains will eventually elongate past the point of usefulness anyhow.
Crankset - if the current crank works for you WRT crank length, tooth count etc, the actual riding benefit of an upgrade is going to be between tiny and insignificant.
Ride until wore out, then considered buying something nicer. It might be a tad lighter, but may not last longer.
Really, if you do utility type riding, have to park in public places, keep the bike as basic as possible while still fulfilling your needs. It’s easy to end up offsetting the joy of a nice ride with parking worries.
Wheel/freewheel/hubs.
So maybe yours are on the cheap side.
But it doesn’t sound like you’re trying for a coast-to-coast, unsupported ride.
To you, a ride-stopping failure will be an annoyance, not a disaster.
Ride them as long as they last.

Get a jar. Write ”New Bike” on it.
Next time you feel the urge to replace a fully functional part, go to jar and start stuffing money in until the urge passes.
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Old 05-10-21, 07:34 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
It sounds like you’ve already gotten a bad case of upgradeitis.

Get a jar. Write ”New Bike” on it.
Next time you feel the urge to replace a fully functional part, go to jar and start stuffing money in until the urge passes.

"upgradeitis" HAHA. That's a new one, today I learned something new xD

Anyways dabac, thanks alot for your opinions/output, definitely helps me a bit in terms of which direction I wanna go to, appreciate it!
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Old 05-11-21, 05:06 AM
  #4  
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First, just ride your bike and enjoy it. It would benefit you to look at Zach Gallardo's youtube channel.

First investment should be a flat repair kit and bicycle multi tool.

My opinion is chains don't really matter as long as they aren't worn out. I had a Joytech front hub that lasted a long time. A rear hub that lasted a few thousand miles. Both were ok. It would not be cost effective to switch out the hubs. Check out velomine.com when its time for new wheels.

If the tires you have are working, just keep them. Gatorskins are great for commuting and flat free riding. When its time to upgrade GP5000'S are good.

Enjoy the bike.

Last edited by stevel610; 05-11-21 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:12 AM
  #5  
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Sorry that your bike is making weird noises, I hate that but it could be so many things and you might never fix it lol.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:40 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
Was thinking on grabbing the Izumi Super Toughness chain to replace the current chain I have.
I'd just get a KMC or a Sram singlespeed chain. Cheap and durable.

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
if I upgrade the chain, will this effect the freewheel/chainset at all? (other than keeping chain resistance in mind)
Not unless they're really worn.

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
At what point should I be considering on upgrading my crankset?
Why?

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
when it comes to a "flip flop" hub, does that mean that the freewheel cog can be changed? meaning that if I had the tools, I could change from 16T to a 17T?
That's not what flip flop means, but yes, you can change your cogs if you want to.

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
I'm planning on riding it out til the hubs actually blow
That's not really a thing.

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
what's the first step on upgrading/stepping up from Joytech Hub?
Cone adjustment, new bearings

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
Is it possible that if I have the tools that I could replace the Joytech hub with a different hub while keeping the same rim/wheel
Sure, if you want to rebuild the wheel. You'll need a truing stand, nipple driver, spoke wrench, dishing tool, and new spokes.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:04 PM
  #7  
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Ride it as it is, get it adjusted to the right fit, find out what works.

The best upgrades are the ones that you work out that you need. It took me many many rides before I decided to change the chain ring and I got it right.

Decent pedals, decent seat, brakes that work, and no extraneous clutter are all you need until you find an actual deficiency in your bike.

Keep it simple and just enjoy it.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:10 PM
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Rolla Mikefule stevel610 Thanks alot for you guys input. I realized the more I researched via bikeforums/other websites I can definitely say that my questions are questions that I should've already been answered way before. As what Mike said, I'm gonna take the easy route on this one and simply "Keep it simple and just enjoy it." and to "Ride them as long as they last".LarrySellerz lol no need to be sorry. I've done some small maintenance on my bike (cleaning the chain, cleaning the freewheel, crankset) with relubing (dry) in mind with minor brake tweaks here and there from youtube.

Appreciate everyone's comments. Super helpful.
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Old 05-13-21, 09:17 PM
  #9  
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A crunching sound could be any number of things, so it's worth investigating systematically before pre-emptively replacing anything. I would only divide the parts into two categories for now: Works and Broke. The third category, "would be better if upgraded" could be put off for the future.

For the crunching, I would try to investigate precisely where it's coming from if possible. If you loosen the rear wheel and drop the chain, then you can spin the crank on its own. It should sound smooth and not have any play. If it has play, the bottom bracket might benefit from cleaning and re-adjustment, which requires a small handful of specialized tools. Park Tool website is a good resource for videos on how to do the basic operations. If upon trying to clean and adjust the bottom bracket, you discover that it's worn out -- pitted bearing surfaces -- then that's the time to just replace it, so you can reassemble and forget about it for a long time.

Likewise spin the pedals. Do they spin freely with no play?

Are the cranks tight, or can you wiggle them around? Is the chainring tightly attached?

Now that the chain is off, you can independently check the condition of the rear hub in the same way. And the front wheel, and the steering column.

Piece by piece. If you leave everything a bit cleaner and better adjusted than you found it, you'll have a better bike and perhaps one that will last a long time.
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Old 05-13-21, 11:14 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
hey everyone,


Recently bought my first single speed bike second handed and been loving it so far. Never really biked a lot as I mainly take the local transportation in the city as it's much faster (and as the roads are pretty rough, or maybe it's me considering that i'm so "safe" with my bike). Currently live in the suburbs and occasionally take rides to the city which is roughly about 20/25km. After riding it for a few days (probably within a week), that's when I realized that maintenance kicks into place... so as cringe as my question's are going to sound, please bare with me.


Before anything, the specs that I think are important are the following:


4130 "chromoly metal"

46T All alloy chain ring and 170mm alloy crank arm (I really wish I had more information than this, otherwise all I currently know is that the chainlink is a "KMC 7C-3 Z" while the crankset is... i have no idea..)

30mm "cheap/generic" Deep V 700 x 28c wheels (rear tire - Continental GatorSkin DuraSkin Tire / front tire - Kenda's)

Joytech Flip Flop Hub 16T


so my questions are:


- After riding about 4/5 days I recently just started to hear a crunching sound when I started to pedal. Searched around, cleaned/wiped my chain (with dry lube), wiped my crankset and cleaned the cog a bit. Now I know all these are important factors but as a first investment (other than tires), which would be a good first investment? I understand that a number of things are to be in considerate but I'm just going from point A to point B with slight detours on the way (Lol). as I heard that "prebuilt" bike chains are eventually going to snap of constant wear and tear. I was thinking of this as my first investment. Was thinking on grabbing the Izumi Super Toughness chain to replace the current chain I have. - On that being said, if I upgrade the chain, will this effect the freewheel/chainset at all? (other than keeping chain resistance in mind)

- At what point should I be considering on upgrading my crankset?

- when it comes to a "flip flop" hub, does that mean that the freewheel cog can be changed? meaning that if I had the tools, I could change from 16T to a 17T? - this is probably a stupid question

- Joytech Hubs, TL;DR forum search shows that it's garbage. So far I'm planning on riding it out til the hubs actually blow (is this very dangerous?), otherwise what's the first step on upgrading/stepping up from Joytech Hub? Is it possible that if I have the tools that I could replace the Joytech hub with a different hub while keeping the same rim/wheel (if this makes any sense?)


- For wheel(sets)... I'm not too sure exactly... Stuck at a wall because I don't know what first step to take.


Thanks alot guys... I know I typed out a life story but I hope y'all can help.


Cheers.
the crunching noise you’re hearing is possibly the freewheel. That noise is common with freewheel unless you have a white industries freewheel if you don’t have it, I highly recommend investing in buying one. They are expensive but they have sealed bearings and low maintenance. Make sure to use a new chain when install a new freewheel or fixed cog. also be aware of the sizes of your drivetrain and make sure they all match.

Last edited by jay4usc; 05-13-21 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 05-14-21, 02:49 AM
  #11  
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I would normally not suggest a new rider start upgrading parts right off the bat. But those sound like some crappy wheels.

Here's some decent ones for a $129.99. They also have more on their single speed page and they have discount codes with the link at the bottom of the page. I've bought a couple of sets of wheels from them and they're a good company.

https://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/Ro...oose-Ball.html
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Old 05-15-21, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I would normally not suggest a new rider start upgrading parts right off the bat. But those sound like some crappy wheels.

Here's some decent ones for a $129.99. They also have more on their single speed page and they have discount codes with the link at the bottom of the page. I've bought a couple of sets of wheels from them and they're a good company.
haha yeah... just prefer local deals rather than shipping but if it comes down to it so be it... appreciate the link though, at least i do have options now.
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Old 05-16-21, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
haha yeah... just prefer local deals rather than shipping but if it comes down to it so be it... appreciate the link though, at least i do have options now.
I don't know where you live but local deals on good single speed wheels might be a limited selection lol. BWW has free shipping and they ship fast. I got mine in three days in NC.
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Old 05-16-21, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I don't know where you live but local deals on good single speed wheels might be a limited selection lol. BWW has free shipping and they ship fast. I got mine in three days in NC.
I'm in Canada. Toronto Ontario
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Old 05-17-21, 02:50 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
I'm in Canada. Toronto Ontario
Ah, gotcha
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Old 05-17-21, 07:24 AM
  #16  
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First thing I do when I buy a "used" bike is check out all of the greasy bits. I address the head set, the bottom bracket and the hubs and unless they have sealed bearings, I clean out all of the old grease, check the bearings for wear and then repack everything with fresh grease. You have to assume that the previous rider hasn't kept up with maintenance. History proves me right. I've never opened up components and found clean, fresh grease yet.

If you haven't done that yet, I suggest you back up and begin there. Sure, clean the chain, but if you're hearing a "crunching sound", I doubt it is the chain. Unless something is really off-kilter. As you become more familiar with your bike, you need to learn whether your drivetrain is set up for 1/8" or 3/32". Learn how to measure your chainline and adjust as necessary. Sheldon Brown's website has a lot of good advice for fixed-gear and single-speed riders. There are also many youtube videos that can be helpful. Of course there are some questionable ones, but there's some really good ones too.

Last edited by TugaDude; 05-27-21 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:59 AM
  #17  
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DO NOT think in terms of upgrades at this point. Think in terms of what maintenance you can learn to sustain the bike that you have. A "crunchy" sound can originate at any of a number of points. That's why another poster said to systematically go through and eliminate potential causes.

1. (standing versus seated) - takes the seatpost and seat clamp mechanism and saddle rails out of the equation.
2. (chain on versus chain off) - allows you to feel the bottom bracket bearing for both resistance and potentially side-to-side play, both indicative of poor adjustment.
3. (flipping rear wheel) - gives indication of whether the freewheel is the culprit, with only the fixed cog in place.
4. (swap in another set of pedals) - after manually testing pedal bearings for adjustment and free movement, this allows you to eliminate the pedals as the crunchy source
5. (check chainring bolts) - a loose chainring can shift ever so slightly under load, and the grit in the interfaces and fasteners can make noise. Easy to check/tighten.

You get the idea. If you've done all of these, try a good bike shop and tell them what you've tried so far.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
First thing I do when I buy a "used" bike is check out all of the greasy bits. I address the head set, the bottom bracket and the hubs and unless they have sealed bearings, I clean out all of the old grease, check the bearings for wear and then repack everything with fresh grease. YHou have to assume that the previous rider hasn't kept up with maintenance. History proves me right. I've never opened up components and found clean, fresh grease yet.

If you haven't done that yet, I suggest you back up and begin there. Sure, clean the chain, but if you're hearing a "crunching sound", I doubt it is the chain. Unless something is really off-kilter. As you become more familiar with your bike, you need to learn whether your drivetrain is set up for 1/8" or 3/32". Learn how to measure your chainline and adjust as necessary. Sheldon Brown's website has a lot of good advice for fixed-gear and single-speed riders. There are also many youtube videos that can be helpful. Of course there are some questionable ones, but there's some really good ones too.
Heh well other than having to check the crank (still have to visit a lbs, or maybe one of these days i'll actually invest in the tools as it'll save me a trip), I managed to "macgyver" removing the original freewheel hub and replace it with a MX30 17T... 46/16 was a bit too hard for me but so far I'm loving 46/17. It was a bit confusing at first but completely understand now about the whole chain length, 1/8th, 3/32', etc (with chain retention being the most important) but one of these days I will have to eventually learn how to check when it's time to replace a chain, but so far I've been maintaining it, keeping it clean and rough hah..

I've already watched majority of Zach G's videos and other biking videos as well to give me a whole better understanding, hell it took me a a few days to understand the whole gear inches/ratio thing, and how to calculate it, etc... but yet again i do appreciate the feedback man.

Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I would normally not suggest a new rider start upgrading parts right off the bat. But those sound like some crappy wheels.

Here's some decent ones for a $129.99. They also have more on their single speed page and they have discount codes with the link at the bottom of the page. I've bought a couple of sets of wheels from them and they're a good company.
so i managed to find a local ad for a wheelset around me, getting the wheel measurements now and it's just a matter of waiting so far.

i know, i know i shouldn't be really upgrading so much but i'm kinda scared one of these days i'm gonna be a bit aggressive with how i ride and next thing ya know something happens to my wheel (lol..)

"Low flange 32h Phil front hub to Deep V.
High flange 32h Phil rear hub to DTSwiss R460."

425CAD... whatchya think, is this something worth looking into or should i just keep riding it out? just wanna avoid having to be put in a situation like that later down the road..

although further inspection on my current wheels, it does look like the "brake section" on the wheel/rim has worn out as there is a bit of an uneven surface (concave-ish?),

did eventually ask someone where to start when it came to building wheels but it looks a bit too advanced for me to tackle on myself (i know, there's a lbs for a reason), but i would rather have it done all at once rather than in stages, maybe down the road if I eventually have the space and time then I'll consider, but I feel like a 'package' is what i'm leaning more towards.

cheers

Last edited by RAYZIE; 05-18-21 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:02 PM
  #19  
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I think you should just ride it until it breaks.
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Old 05-19-21, 12:22 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
I think you should just ride it until it breaks.
sounds good, just my "upgradeitis" kickin in once in a while heh.

cheers
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Old 05-19-21, 02:49 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
so i managed to find a local ad for a wheelset around me, getting the wheel measurements now and it's just a matter of waiting so far.

i know, i know i shouldn't be really upgrading so much but i'm kinda scared one of these days i'm gonna be a bit aggressive with how i ride and next thing ya know something happens to my wheel (lol..)

"Low flange 32h Phil front hub to Deep V.
High flange 32h Phil rear hub to DTSwiss R460."

425CAD... whatchya think, is this something worth looking into or should i just keep riding it out? just wanna avoid having to be put in a situation like that later down the road..
Those sound like fine wheels, I'm going to buy a set with Paul hubs myself. Worlds better than what you have now. The only thing I don't like is the front and rear have different rims along with the mix of high and low flange hubs. That's kind of odd. My pet peeve is mixing and matching parts.

But don't fight the mod bug, it hits us all. If anything it gets people to ride more. I'm just not as bad as I used to be in my younger days
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Old 05-27-21, 03:12 AM
  #22  
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hehe so after riding it for 2 weeks, i've ran into an 2nd worst enemy... "sand"

few hours go by and i noticed that my bike started "scrunching" again... driving me crazy i didn't even realize to think that sand could've been the culprit, now i sorta see the importance of bike maintenance heh...

however I do have a question about a couple of things:

- after adjusting bike slack, after a few days of hard riding it eventually had more slack than originally, should i fix the slack or should i leave it? so far i haven't gotten any chain problems (yet).
- is "chain lube" okay for the bearings and the threads on the bottom bracket? kinda on a tight budget but so far i was planning on getting 'dry' lube (if that helps) as i'm riding my bike alot during the summer/spring with no rain (yet). would like to eliminate to having to buy both "chain lube" and "assembly grease". (probably a stupid question... sorry!)
- bike flipped upside down, just noticed rear wheel kinda wobbles when pedaling, is it safe to assume that the axel is slighty bent? - maybe i'm just overthinking it because "gravity", would like to upload a video but can't yet as I haven't hit the "10" post mark yet (heh). however spinning the rear wheel it doesn't look like the fixed/freewheel is whobbling and just to be safe i've checked all the spokes and none don't seem to be cracked, just the "wheel/rubber" itself.

would love to visit my lbs but trying to learn how to do this myself instead. only downside is that I have no idea what needs to be done (sometimes).

cheers

Last edited by RAYZIE; 05-27-21 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 05-27-21, 09:28 PM
  #23  
SkinGriz
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You’d have to define “wheel wobbles.” Do you think the rim is bent? If you grab the rim and tire and move it around with the bike staying still can you feel play like the bearing cones are loose? I don’t think it’s a bent axle.

On using a light oil instead of grease. It can work for a short while, but I will solve your budget problem for grease right now.

If you get along with your neighbors, ask them for a beer or a coke.
Take that beverage to a heavy equipment or tractor trailer or car mechanic shop.
Bring an empty 12oz water bottle.
Ask if you can give the mechanic there the beer or coke in exchange for some grease.
He’ll happily take a grease gun and fill up your water bottle giving you enough grease for a lifetime of bike servicing. Even if he just holds the trigger for like 5 or 10 seconds you’re good for a long time.

Probably 90% of my coworkers past and present would just give you the grease. The most expensive part is the time of the interaction.
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Old 05-27-21, 11:14 PM
  #24  
RAYZIE
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
You’d have to define “wheel wobbles.” Do you think the rim is bent? If you grab the rim and tire and move it around with the bike staying still can you feel play like the bearing cones are loose? I don’t think it’s a bent axle.

On using a light oil instead of grease. It can work for a short while, but I will solve your budget problem for grease right now.

If you get along with your neighbors, ask them for a beer or a coke.
Take that beverage to a heavy equipment or tractor trailer or car mechanic shop.
Bring an empty 12oz water bottle.
Ask if you can give the mechanic there the beer or coke in exchange for some grease.
He’ll happily take a grease gun and fill up your water bottle giving you enough grease for a lifetime of bike servicing. Even if he just holds the trigger for like 5 or 10 seconds you’re good for a long time.

Probably 90% of my coworkers past and present would just give you the grease. The most expensive part is the time of the interaction.
nah, don't think my wheel is bent. however spinning it makes it seem that the rubber for some reason is deformed... unless if i'm blind/overthinking as usual.

appreciate the tips on how to get grease! might throw in a slice of pizza hah.
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Old 05-27-21, 11:30 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
after adjusting bike slack, after a few days of hard riding it eventually had more slack than originally, should i fix the slack or should i leave it?
If by "bike slack" you mean the chain is slack, you should properly tension it. I find a single drive-side chain tensioner is very useful for setting and maintaining chain tension.





Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
is "chain lube" okay for the bearings and the threads on the bottom bracket? would like to eliminate to having to buy both "chain lube" and "assembly grease".
You need both; they do two different jobs. Lube is thin and is used to reduce friction in moving parts like chains and cables. Grease is thick and facilitates assembling and disassembling parts that are threaded or pressed together (like bottom brackets and headset cups), and it provides long-term lubrication and protection for bearings.

Originally Posted by RAYZIE View Post
bike flipped upside down, just noticed rear wheel kinda wobbles when pedaling, is it safe to assume that the axel is slighty bent?
It more likely means your wheel is out of true, and the spokes need tensioning.

Last edited by Rolla; 05-27-21 at 11:35 PM.
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