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Got a bike problem? Ask the Bike Guy!

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Showing 2151-2175 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2012 10:07:35 PM PST
lenf says:
Hi S,

I suppose some of it's going to come down to what sort of trails you're expecting to ride. Technical trails, lots of scruff and rocks and boulders, maybe pedaling up the face of Half Dome (grin), a full bore tight geometry mountain bike. You can go with as much suspension goop as you want, but remember that all the extra weight, while it may help going down hills, will certainly be there when you have to pedal it all uphill as well. I like hard tail mountain bikes, and mostly ride without front suspension as well (fast and nimble), but it's a personal choice. Middle tier is almost all the same. High end, Breezer Bikes. Joe Breeze built the first mountain bike, lives near Mt. Tam, and his bikes are superb. I'm sure there will be other posts with notes on makers.

If you're thinking more of trails ridden by people who retain a shred of sanity, I'd go with a bike that can handle trails well and still shine on pavement. MIddle and high end from the same guy, Bruce Gordon Cycles. Middle is the BLT, made in Taiwan, HIgh is the Rock n Road, built in Petaluma, CA. Bruce built the first frame, the Rock n Road, that is now dubbed a 29er. It's basically 700c wheels but on a frame that can handle either nice skinny road tires or big honkin' 45c knobs for trails. Certainly worth checking out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2012 11:58:40 PM PST
S. Lee says:

I saw references to Bruce Gordon in prior posts and have looked at his site online. Nice products! I've noted the commentary on production in Taiwan (seems good), so my next question - what would be the difference between the two frames?


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 7:19:58 AM PST
z1ny says:
Side note: There's a movie called Klunkerz, a documentary about the origins of MTBing in Marin County. Worth watching if you're interested in that stuff, it's floating around the internet. (i.e. torrents.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 7:44:23 AM PST
lenf says:
Hi S.,

The frame designs and build are the same. My understanding is that Gordon has the BLT frames built in Taiwan for a few reasons. 1) He really can't fill demand with just his custom-built bikes. He can have a bunch made up in some stock sizings. 2) Labor costs help keep the price rather lower and still offer high quality. They still cost more than Chinese made frames, of course, but are much higher quality than any Chinese bike.

Of course, the BLT bikes aren't custom built, like the ones welded in the Petaluma shop. But Bruce is still a bear for proper fitting, and a BLT is setup with a stem length and such to match your size. The shop will help you with all the other sizing bits, or if you're heading to Yosemite, maybe arrange to visit in person.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 8:02:18 PM PST
BikeSmith says:
Am rebuilding my drivetrain upgrading to 9 speed using a Shimano hg61 11-34 cassette cog with Shimano SLX m660 crankset max 44t. Want purchase a Shimano HG73 chain, but not sure what I need for the link length. It would be going on a hardtail mtb.

Posted on Feb 4, 2012 4:25:21 PM PST
Dmire says:

I have a girls 20" BMX style bike that I plan on converting to an adult lowrider trike. Where or how can I get a 20" freewheel hub and be able to attach pedals to the front fork?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 5:03:56 PM PST
lenf says:
Hi David,

Your question is a bit confusing. There are no "20 inch freewheel hubs" - just hubs that might be laced onto a 20" rim (and note that tire size and rim size are very different. A 20" kid's bike doesn't have 20" rims, just 20" tires.

And, of course, a freewheel hub would mean a hub with cogs that connect via a chain. If you ran a chain to a front wheel with a cogset, you could only ride in a straight line. Grin.

Finally, you can't attach pedals to a front fork. The fork is just the two arms that the front wheel mounts between. (Well, I suppose you could weld some pedals onto the fork stays, but I don't think that's what you mean.)

If you are wanting to pedal the front wheel for propulsion, like a kiddie tricycle, the easiest bit would probably be just use a unicycle wheel. A lot of unicycles are actually just a front fork with no trail, chopped stem and mounting for a seat post clamp, etc. Once you settle on the correct size, you can try to locate a spare unicycle wheel, or just buy a unicycle in the size you want. You can find old stock Schwinn unicycle hubs out there, and they are very nice and rather cheap. But since the unicycle would come with pedals, tire, tube and built rim, it's probably cheaper to go that route unless you can build your own wheels.

Of course, if I've totally misunderstood your request, perhaps you can explain a bit more fully?

Posted on Feb 4, 2012 7:30:03 PM PST
how about using brake clean as a cleaner for chain and sprockets?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 7:39:58 PM PST
K. Hales says:
@ Robert: I would never use that to clean anything. It is very toxic and not needed. In fact, it can remove paint. When something says "brake cleaner" it is made to clean brake parts and not bike parts. Use either Dawn or Simple Green or Orange Cleaner. Be sure to re-lube with quality chain lube after. I use White Lightning Wax based. It seems to keep my chain cleaner.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 8:18:07 PM PST
K. Hales says:
@ Robert: The reason I don't like brake clean is because they are very nasty solvents. The chain lube is not actually a grease, but an oil or wax based lube that really doesn't need a strong chlorinated solvent like Brake clean. Also, brake clean can strip paint and possibly destroy plastic parts like derailleur parts or cable housings and anything else.

Every bike shop I worked in has bio-degradable detergents that can actually benefit your chain and hands. Some people suggest kerosene, but I hate using a solvent that can cause cancer and leach oils from your hands. Here's the good part: Dawn or Simple green is 10 times less expensive than spray-on cleaners and they do a better job cleaning. If it's been a while since you cleaned, then I suggest taking the chain off and soaking it in 5:1 Hot water to Simple green. Use a soft brush to clean the chain and make sure to clean the gears and derailleur.

When you are done, make sure to use a bike-chain lube. I don't really care what you use, but get it from the LBS. I do prefer wax based but some people don't care for them. Okay. The point is you have to re-apply the lube or the chain is going to wear out FAST.

I believe in doing things right the first time. Using Brake Clean is probably going to be a very bad idea. Just Google it and see. It is just way too harsh for bikes. I won't even use it near my cars because there are bio products that do just as well and won't kill me.

The preceding announcement was MY PERSONAL opinion. It is also based on some research and experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 8:24:42 PM PST
K. Hales says:
@ Robert: Another thing people like to use is the Park Chain Cleaning tool. It does a pretty good job to get most the gunk off and you don't get dirty. I prefer taking the chain off because it is easy to do with SRAM power-links. Simple Green and Dawn are the best/cheapest products I have ever used to clean a chain. Also, very hot water helps emulsify oils and the surfactants in the detergent prevent most of the dirt from sticking. I forgot to mention that I rinse the chain in water and then get it VERY dry. It may be a good idea to use DI water to prevent rust, but if you dry it quickly and reapply the lube, there should not be any rust. (Rust forms rather fast on chains!!)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 9:53:11 PM PST
bradystoff says:
i could also try a bit o a better saddle such as the bontrager rxl inorm it has the cutout through the middle or woman but the good part oo this saddle is that it has a tailbone cutout at the rear of the saddle there is a section of the saddle or youre tailbone to sit without being on the saddle and as hard and thin as the saddle is its one of the better riding saddles ive owned for the same reasons u have im a skinny guy and my tailbone gets sore as can be and this saddle along with a proper pair of padded cycling shorts im good for the century's i like the pearl izumi padded shorts they have a saddle shapped gel insert sewn in and that helps alot as well but another option for u and i wish i could remember th website but u pay 15 bucks a month and they have all the newest saddles to come out and u can try any one u wanted for up to thirty days if u kept the saddle after 30 days they charged youre card for the saddle but u could literaly try 15 saddles a month maybe something like that would help give u an idea of what type of saddle u are looking for u could try them all lol i will do some research for you and try to find the site again but like i said check out the bontrager rxl inform i know it will seem unpadded and hard but look at the rear thats the money maker the cutout for youre tailbone works great for me

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 10:14:21 PM PST
bradystoff says:
well first u need to establish what is the size of the headtube is it an inch or 1 1/8 or 1 1/5 wich most cannondales are 1 1/5 but i think the older older ones are a 1 inch tthey had the old pepperoni forks on them but after u establish the headtube size its all about budget fox fis great but expensive the float series is there cheaper line still not very pocket freindly marzocchi is quit reputable as well and has several options that are pocket freindly i would recomend the 22 r-lo its about 180 bucks very nice and plush for general xc riding and thats one of the biggesst things what type of riding you plan on doing because a fork like the 22 r-lo cant and wont handle down hill races and ten foot drops but is great on the nice cross country trails small jumps and rocks all that nothing to major its perfect and light there a newer company out called x fusion and they are very fairly priced i just baught a 2010 x fusion velour for 238 and it has 130 mm of travel and is full air and super plush its a deffinate do all fork and are easily abtainable from ebay the x-fusion velvot is a very nice fork as well once u go to the rock shox lineup the options seem unlimited the tora seems to be about in the middle for around 200 u can get a nice fork with plenty of travel and fully adjustable and lockout for climbing and such i would say the tora coil u turn then u can dial the travel as needed they have cheaper models now too such as the xc 28 and xc 30 both are good forks have enough adjustability to make it feel at home on youre bike and the price range is under 200 and these all forks for the intermediate level rider not a pro but want the feeling that the fork is helping u along i maybe didnt put it into words the best way buy im sure u got the point and more expensive doesnt mean better fork alot of forks are rider specific forks for like down hill or cross country or all mountain freeride u dont have to spend a grand to get a nice ride out of all i listed i would say that the x fusion velour has the best feel and u can adjust travel rom 80mm to 130 so its pretty versatile and great price tag for an all air fork if the headset is 1 1/5 i can buy a reducer to use a common 1 1/8 fork if the headtube is an inch youre going to be very limited to suspension forks to choose from and might want to consider a carbon rigid fork but u need to establish the headtube diameter first then fork second i would look at x fusion for most fork for youre money

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 10:17:00 PM PST
bradystoff says:
profile makes a nice one and theres always the option of the seatpost mounted holders as well u can also get double bottle holders for the seatpost as well proile design makes a nice one or not to much

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 4:20:58 AM PST
G. Rhine says:
Even Google translate does not understand that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 5:48:03 PM PST
Dmire says:
Thanx for your reply. I intend to use the front fork with a pedal wheel. The back half of the bike will be cut off and then weld an axle with two 6" tube tires. This will allow a lowrider bucket seat position with a low center of gravity. Just a toy project for grandpa.
Didn't really know what to look for or the nomenclature. Will do some searching with your suggestions. Thanx again.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 6:05:31 PM PST
z1ny says:
You're kinda re-inventing the wheel as it were, there's already something similar, although it's wildly overpriced, but I suppose you could model yours after it:
Mobo Cruiser Mobito Ultimate Three Wheeled Cruiser, Red, 16-Inch

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 7:49:46 PM PST
how about simple green as a cleaner for chain and such?

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 8:54:30 PM PST
Kam Wa Lo says:
Hi,first of all, i have no idea about bike.
I usually use it in town,
so what can I get the best hybrid bike for $500? such as Diamondback 2012 Insight 2 Performance Hybrid Bike (Dark Silver) Trek 7000? or?
If i buy a bike from amazon and setup for myself what tools should I prepare?
Thank you so much!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 9:34:34 PM PST
lenf says:
Hi Kam,

Unless you already have a bike that fits you very well, and can use it as a basis for selecting a known frame geometry and sizing, you'll do far better going to a local bike shop, where they can help you fit and adjust the bike and offer a tune up after a month or two. Buying a bike online is not for new cyclists. You may pay a little more at a local shop, but they'll sometimes offer a discount on things you buy with the bike, like a much needed helmet, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 9:43:21 PM PST
lenf says:
"how about simple green as a cleaner for chain and such?..."

It works, but you have to be very careful to dry the chain out (not just the outside, but within the pins and rings and all) and then apply a chain lube to fit where you'll be riding (dry lube for dusty areas, wet lube for most other).

You seem rather determined to use anything but a chain cleaning solution to clean your chain. I mean, you could probably clean your chain in a vibrating bath of chlorate salts and a radium pulsar emitter if you wanted, but why?

Chain cleaning solutions work very nicely. I've used Park ChainBrite for many years. Used with a clamp over cleaning tool, you can clean a chain in a minute or two without even taking it off your bike, and it takes so little it probably costs a dime or so. It probably doesn't clean and lube it as well as taking it off and soaking in a solvent, drying, and then lubing, but it's so simple and fast and cheap I do it every week. The thing that causes chain wear is the tiny grit that collects in the links. A weekly quick ChainBrite treatment keeps a lot more grit away from the chain than a monthly soak/dry/lube. Plus, your chain is always clean so you don't have to clean grease off your socks and stuff.

Posted on Feb 6, 2012 8:10:07 AM PST
D. Brown says:
Could a Tire create a wobble? If it is not seated completely.
I can not for the life of me find where the tire is not seated on the rim. The rim is very close to true.
I can feel the tire wobble when riding.
It's a 29er rear installed tube less on a mavic rim.

Posted on Feb 6, 2012 9:45:54 AM PST
EINJEL says:
I recently converted an SE Racing single speed bicycle with a freewheel to a fixie. I got an inexpensive flip flop hub off of amazon. $100.00 for a set of deep v's. They seem to be okay except sometimes when pedaling if feels as if the back cog slips. Not all the time, but when going up hills or something. What's the beef with this thing?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2012 12:09:31 PM PST
lenf says:
Hi D.,

Sure, an improperly seated tire can make a wheel wobble. But if you're sure the tire is seated OK, some other possibilities...

You say the wheel is very close to true. A wheel can appear to be true, ie. it can spin with very little deflection in a stand, yet spoke tensions can still be very uneven. It wouldn't hurt to check. Simplest approach would be to just pluck the spokes - each side of a rear wheel should sound rather the same, all spokes on a front wheel (both sides) should sound much the same. Pluck with a screwdriver or such to make the clearest sounds.

There could be a bearing problem in the hub of the wheel causing the wobble. Mounted on the bike, there should be no play at all side to side at the hub when pushing/pulling the rim.

I've never gone near any tubeless system, so I've no idea how/if that could be a factor. Good luck hunting down the problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2012 12:49:35 PM PST
D. Brown says:
then it sounds like the issue is with the spokes when I hand plucked the spokes they were lose. So I will need to completely retention this wheel build. It's a High end Hub 'CK' and a local shop did the build, not my normal shop; it was a quick fix and now its going bad fast. Thanks.
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