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Got a bike problem? Ask the Bike Guy!


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Initial post: Jul 16, 2009 7:03:20 PM PDT
I'm a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor and otherwise all around plain clothes cycling enthusiast. I'm always happy to dole out free advice via email or message boards. If you've got a question simply ask within this topic and I'll reply as time permits. Repair questions? Help figuring out what kind of bike to buy? Commuting advice? Product evaluations? Cycling education? You name it I can help!

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 5:39:22 AM PDT
F.S. Tri says:
Hi! I am an older female who just purchased a mountain bike and have not biked in many years. I suffered with tailbone pain 15 years ago while riding on the back of my husand's motorcycle. I am unable to ride my new bike because of this and would like to try a new saddle, (will try all the adjustments I've read about till then). My question....since I am used to the bike and not comfortable with my riding ability yet, should I be concerned about purchasing a noseless split seat because of instablity issues? Would a split seat help, and could I get a split seat with a nose? Thank you so much...I'm very confused!

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 1:21:52 PM PDT
TwoFunkyFish says:
Bike Guy,

I have a shimano 105 7 speed cassette spaced onto a matrix iso 8/9 speed rim. I've just ordered a 9/10 speed easton sl wheel set so are larger spacers available for my cassette or will I need to re-work my drivetrain all together. if need be, could I buy a 9 speed cassette and just not use the top or bottom two rings?

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 1:27:37 PM PDT
@F.S. Tri. I have not had much experience with noseless seats. They're a rarely discussed and witnessed item. If you have a reputable local bike shop I would see if they carry any noseless saddles and test one out. Again, if they're reputable they should have no problem taking the saddle back as a return if you find it's too unstable for you. Online you've got several options, some offer if you don't like it you can return it guarantees. http://www.spiderflex.com/, http://www.spongywonder.com/, etc. Google "noseless bicycle saddle" or seat.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2009 1:37:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2009 1:43:17 PM PDT
@TwoFunkyFish. You cannot go with a 9 speed cassette, or even an 8 speed. Spacing between the cogs is different and even the chain width is different from 7/8 to 9 to 10 (the chain has to get narrower to fit more gears into the same space, commonly 135mm rear dropout spacing. Your shifter will also not allow you to use a higher speed cassette. I'm assuming it's indexed (it clicks with each gear). This indexing determines how far to move the derailer for each gear and the distance will not match an 8/9 or 10 speed cassette. I do believe you can put spacers onto the freehub, then the 7 speed cassette, then the lockring. You'll need to spend some time adjusting the limit of the rear derailer. You'll want to adjust the limit screws on the rear derailer to ensure the movement of the rear derailer does not jump the chain into the spokes or off the smallest cog. http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64 discusses rear derailer adjustment. A local bike shop or a google search will help you with cassette spacers.

Posted on Jul 18, 2009 4:36:03 PM PDT
J. Fee says:
Simple question? ... what is the best generator-powered headlight / taillight? and where to get them?

Posted on Jul 18, 2009 5:54:52 PM PDT
B. Kaufman says:
FS Tri, as I recall, Amazon has noseless, padded bicycle seats, look for "The Seat". not too expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 5:56:40 PM PDT
F.S. Tri says:
Thank you Burt. I will check it out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 5:57:20 PM PDT
F.S. Tri says:
Thank you Tom

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 5:59:15 PM PDT
B. Kaufman says:
@J. Fee, the BEST light? You might look at Velo Orange or Rivendell, they both sell fairly unique gadgets, gimcracks and the like.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 7:23:05 PM PDT
J. Fee says:
Hey tom tom ... was wondering which generator headlight/tail light you would recommend? Thanks - J Fee
email: peaissue@sbcglobal.net

Posted on Jul 18, 2009 7:46:11 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 18, 2009 7:47:24 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 19, 2009 2:51:36 PM PDT
I need a front suspension fork for a Cannondale Mountain Bike frame which predates suspension.
Any suggestions on type ? or stiffness

In its current configuration it has been to Moab dozens of times and also to Peru over the Andes.

Posted on Jul 19, 2009 2:51:38 PM PDT
I need a front suspension fork for a Cannondale Mountain Bike frame which predates suspension.
Any suggestions on type ? or stiffness

In its current configuration it has been to Moab dozens of times and also to Peru over the Andes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 2:53:55 PM PDT
@J. Fee, what I think is the best and what you think is the best is somewhat grounded in personal opinion. Do you already have generators or are you looking to buy generators? Hub generators or contact generators? What kind of voltage & output do they have if you have them already? I personally run high powered LED lights front & back.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 2:59:17 PM PDT
@Grey, what size headtube 1" or 1 & 1/8th? Threaded or threadless? If it's 1 & 1/8 threadless you have lots of options. If it's 1" or threaded you don't have many (will need to find a used suspension fork that is threaded). Keep in mind that large travel front suspension forks are much longer than a rigid fork. Your frame geometry is not designed for a suspension fork. If you put a fork on that has 5" of travel you're going to raise your handlebars 5" higher off the ground than they were with a rigid fork. It will also increase ground clearance below your bottom bracket. Just something to consider as it will change your riding position. I personally recommend Fox shocks as one of the best in the industry, they're not cheap though but you can get previous year closeouts for significant discounts over the current year's offerings.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 4:26:58 PM PDT
J. Fee says:
Thanks for the info Tom Tom. I do not have a generator - looking to get one. Haven't ridden in 20 yrs - am just now getting back into it. I plan to ride on somewhat-rural roads at night, so am looking for a dependable headlight / tail-light that would operate on a contact-generator. I trust your judgement so any help is definitely appreciated. Thanks for you time!
Respectfully, John Fee (peaissue@sbcglobal.net).

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 12:48:00 PM PDT
What is a good water cage for handle bars. I have no holes to screw the water cage on my bike.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 1:07:26 PM PDT
@G. Scales, search for "handlebar mount water bottle cage" on Amazon.com or Google, you'll find some results, they're all very similar and should work for you.

Alternatively you may want to consider a dual water bottle mount that mounts to the rear of your seat rails. This bracket then allows you to mount regular bottle cages to the bracket. Google "seat mounted water bottle cage", Minoura makes a good one, and I'm sure there are others.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 2:57:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2009 2:59:25 PM PDT
Nellie Bly says:
Tom Tom, Thank you for taking the time to offer your expertise in this "help" discussion! I need it . I purchased an Arette GT bike from a relative many years ago, and I would really like to purchase a new, perhaps smaller version (I am 5'3), however, to my disappointment, this particular bike was last made in 2000. Very disappointing. I don't have model #'s or a book that was given with the purchase. I would be so appreciative of some expert advice or suggestions about a replacement bike. I ride, weather permitting, about 12 miles a day. Typically, the road is asphalt, but, occasionally, I have ridden on gravel. I prefer something light and easy to lift up, as well. Again, I really like this Arette GT model, but I want a smaller, new bike (not interested in purchasing another used one.) Any thoughts or suggestions, Tom Tom? Thanks for your time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 3:30:33 PM PDT
@Nellie, looks like the Arette is/was a hybrid bike. Hybrid bikes are quite popular among recreational riders and commuters. Many manufacturers, including GT, still make hybrid bikes very similar to the Arette, so have no fear. You'll find that most newer hybrid bikes are aluminum (not steel as your Arette probably is) so they'll be lighter weight. You'll probably also move up to a front suspension which will smooth out the bumps a little. Since you still have the Arette, I would suggest finding a reputable local bicycle shop that you can ride (or bring) your bike to so they can assist you in finding a suitably sized replacement. It sounds as if the Arette you have is a bit too big for you, a bicycle shop can help determine the proper size bike as well. You can expect to spend at least $300 for a good hybrid bicycle. Similar style bikes to a hybrid are comfort & commuter bicycles. Comfort usually offering a bit more upright riding position and commuter offering a bit more utility (such as racks, etc). The good thing about buying at a local bike shop is that you can test ride the bikes. Best of luck. -Tom

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 4:03:27 PM PDT
Tom Tom,
I have a 3 year old Diamondback Maravista with 12K miles on it. (I commute 16 miles roundtrip daily).

My rear cones are shot but I don't want to replace the entire rear wheel. Free hub is Shimano FH-RM30 with M10x15mm cones. I can't seen to find any replacement cones, though I do have the Shimano hub compability guide. I can find some LEFT hand rear cones for FH-RM40 on Amazon but can't see WHY they are different from the right side which are same Shimano part number for RM30 cones.

What are the odds of those working for me?

Jim

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 7:50:32 PM PDT
Nellie Bly says:
First of all, thank you for sharing the good news regarding the possibility of finding a bike that I am happy with and similiar to my Arette Gt. Secondly, I am thrilled that the price for a good hybrid bike is certainly within reason (I was thinking around 1000-1200) From your experience, which brand names have you had the best luck with? I came across one called motobecane (cafe noir), while browsing online. Do you know anything about this type/brand? Are you familiar with the Schwinn solution GSX? I plan to go to a bike shop soon, unfortunately, one isn't very close! Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 8:43:14 PM PDT
@Nellie, the Schwinn Solution is considered a mountain bike as far as I can tell. Maybe check out the Schwinn Voyager or Searcher, GT Transeo, Nomad, Timberline or , Mongoose Crossway, Fuji Crosstown, etc. All of these are well under $1000. The Cafe Noir is certainly a nice bike.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 8:58:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2009 8:59:25 PM PDT
@James A. Looking at the tech docs from Shimano for FH-RM30-7 and FH-RM30-8 (7 and 8 speed hubs, respectively) it does not specify different rear cones, just M10 x 15mm. Do you have the 6 speed FH-RM30? Shimano does not provide a tech doc for that model on their website. I say go with the cones you've found, as far as I know cones are cones so long as the size, profile & thread is correct. At the bicycle co-op where I've volunteered all the cones are in one big container and I've fished out a matched pair and they've worked before when rebuilding older bicycles.
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Discussion in:  Cycling forum
Participants:  976
Total posts:  2845
Initial post:  Jul 16, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 31, 2014

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