1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    I'm New! Need help to update '99 Raleigh M80

    Hey all. I'm new here and am just now getting into biking for the first time since I was a teen. (30's now). This is my first post and I LOVE forums. The reason I am here is to soak up some good info from some vets.

    I just picked up a '99 Raleigh M80. It is actually my first owned by me mnt bike, but it is very similar to what I rode back in the day.

    It looks like I have a few issues with this new to me bike. The rear shifter will not go click through all it's gears. I suspect the shifter after tightening and tuning the derailer. (I am new to this) It doesn't click through all the gears. Seems to me the shifter just wont shift and/or pull any more cable.

    The other is the middle crank gear up front. 32 tooth. This gear (and oddly just this gear) is banged up and beat up pretty bad. Still runs and runs smooth, but I can see bends and cracks.

    I'm eyeballing a crankset and a shifter set online. Both newer Shimano stuff. I'll be back later to answer the "details" questions, etc.

    Thanks to all who reply!

    P.S. My plan with this bike is general street, dirt road riding and to get me back in the game......and familiar with doing mods, upgrades, etc.

  2. #2
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    Here's a few specs I have off hand of gear on bike:
    Crank: Shimano STX RC
    Shimano Deore Shifters/Derailers/etc.

    Here's what I am considering for replacements/upgrades:

    Shimano Alivio Crank Set FC-M410 170mm Square taper

    Shimano SL-M410 Alivio 8 speed shift lever set

    The shiflt lever set is my first priority. Crank set is to replace damaged gears that seem to work and shift just fine.

    My main question is to wether or not I can pull and replace these parts onto this bike. What do I need to look out for and what am I missing on my parts/tools list to get this stuff done.

    Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure I will need new shift cable if I replace the shifters. Not sure about brakes since these sihfters are integrated and the current ones are independent.

  3. #3
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    Remove the shifter cable and see if your shifter goes through all its positions. If not, try flushing it with WD-40 and repeat. Follow that with heavyish, once it's working. Deore is a higher spec. than Alivio, although between age and the possible lack of function, new Alivio shifters may be better.

    http://www.parktool.com/ has instructions and pictures for just about anything you might want to do.

    How many gears does the current cassette have?

    The Alivio crankset isn't bad, but I wouldn't buy it either, at least if I didn't mind spending $90 on the LX crankset on Jenson. Shimano's LX and higher rings are very nice, and have a weird fit issue with their inexpensive cranks. How many rings do you want to replace? If it's just the middle one, replacing that may make more sense. How's the bottom bracket?

    Your middle ring is probably in the worst shape because the bike's previous owner probably didn't use the other ones much. Most trail riding is done in the middle ring, IME.

    Shift and brake cables should cost about $2 each. Can't remember with housing, but it's often sold by the foot and comes out to more than that, although it's still pretty cheap. When you cut your housing, make sure the ends are really nice.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com is another great source of technical information, and he talks a bit about housings. I'm not sure if Park Tool does or not... Anyway, it's well worth getting it right when routing and cutting housings.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Be careful, if the middle ring is badly damaged, it might indicate excessive chain stretch. You can do a search on checking chain stretch, Sheldon's website has a good explanation. If the chain is stretched then you will need to replace the chain and cassette along with the crank. If you don't, the old chain won't mesh with the new crank and you'll get slipping under power, not fun.

    I would try and replace your crank with something that has replaceable chainrings, it will save you from buying a new crank every time you wear out or damage a chainring.

    I would put money on the fact that following Andrw's advice on cleaning out the shifter along with new cables and housing will fix all your shifting woes. New cable and housing is a really good idea and I will replace mine at least once a year on the rear derallieur.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I believe my current crank does have replaceable rings. They are bolted on. Not riveted. The price of the crank I listed seemed to be not much more than a ring. How much should a ring cost? And what will fit? It's a 32 with 4 mounting holes.

    When I got the bike the rear wouldn't shift at all. Cable was loose. As in I could see slack in the cable. Tightening it brought me to about 5 of 8 gears. The H L limit adjustments did nothing. I may be missing something on setting this up. I believe my shifter won't rachet through all gears with cable loose as all heck.
    I dig Shimano stuff. If I need to replace shifters, what should I get?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBikes
    Thanks for the replies. I believe my current crank does have replaceable rings. They are bolted on. Not riveted. The price of the crank I listed seemed to be not much more than a ring. How much should a ring cost? And what will fit? It's a 32 with 4 mounting holes.

    When I got the bike the rear wouldn't shift at all. Cable was loose. As in I could see slack in the cable. Tightening it brought me to about 5 of 8 gears. The H L limit adjustments did nothing. I may be missing something on setting this up. I believe my shifter won't rachet through all gears with cable loose as all heck.
    I dig Shimano stuff. If I need to replace shifters, what should I get?
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...nts-derailleur

    Read that and follow it's directions. I still suspect that you may need new cable and housing and a shift pod flush before you can execute the adjustments properly.

    If you have replaceable rings then you need to work out what size BDC (bolt circle diameter) the ring is. I assume 104, but I haven't done the research. And as far as 8 speed shifters go, I don't think you have many options these days. Just go with Shimano in the highest quality you can find.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  7. #7
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    Every click of the shifter from 8 to 4 takes a longer push on shifter to reach the click and shift. Stops at 4. If I pull on the cable near the frame I can make that move the derailler through all gears. Just more info as I gather It.

    Seems like I've got to much play in something. I will be looking up the chain thing soon.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBikes
    Every click of the shifter from 8 to 4 takes a longer push on shifter to reach the click and shift. Stops at 4. If I pull on the cable near the frame I can make that move the derailler through all gears. Just more info as I gather It.

    Seems like I've got to much play in something. I will be looking up the chain thing soon.
    That's the textbook definition of a gunk filled shifter. Spray the crap out of it with WD-40 and wait for a while. What happens is the lube in the shifter gets old and collects dirt and junk and gets stiff. That holds up the pawls in the shifter and keeps the mechanism from ratcheting. WD will break up the old lube and get it running right again.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  9. #9
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    Awesome. I will be getting at this asap after some other stuff. Thanx tons for the info and good hopes.
    Last edited by DirtyBikes; 03-11-2011 at 11:42 AM.

  10. #10
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    Thank You Zebra and Stitch! The random crap on the web was a good ice breaker, but full of off target crap for my situation. Lube alone didn't work. A web post I read was written so well I (mechanic) was spooked to open up the shifter. I tore into it anyway and found a gear that wasn't grabbing each tooth, just bottoming out to give the 4 gears I had w/ a longer throw for each. Got it clean, lubed, and WALLAAA!

    We just saved me 50 or more dings to the pocket book!

    Now I just need to find a new ?ring gear? I think I got that wording wrong. I'm use to trucks!

    Thanks guys. I now have full range of gears, a helmet, and a air pump. I'm riding tomorrow!

    P.S. No wd40, Rem Oil got it done!

  11. #11
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    Looks like I'm after the chain ring and the new ride is fresh! One question now. Will I need a new chain or cassette if I switch out just the 32 tooth gear?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBikes
    Looks like I'm after the chain ring and the new ride is fresh! One question now. Will I need a new chain or cassette if I switch out just the 32 tooth gear?
    Maybe. If the current chain is stretched, you will need a new cassette and chain to go along with your new 32T chainring. You may also need a new small chainring (~22T) but you will very unlikely need a new large chainring.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  13. #13
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    Looks like this chain ring is elusive. I'll be calling Shimano on monday. 8 speed and the IG style chain make it "special".

    I'm hoping to find this chain ring. If I don't, and it breaks down, I may have to upgrade all sprockets, shifters, derailers, etc.

  14. #14
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    Found my ring at local bike shop. 40 bucks. Ouch. (that's more than half I paid for bike) Looks like they would be about 10 if they were in stock. I'll Probly pick it up next week if I still can't source it elsewhere.

  15. #15
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    Sometimes you have to ask a shop twice, but you may be able to order something cheaper than you can bolt on instead.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    2nd LBS suggested I may want to swap chain and crank assembly with a newer style chain. He says me derailers and rear cassette could stay as they are. Does this sound right?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBikes
    2nd LBS suggested I may want to swap chain and crank assembly with a newer style chain. He says me derailers and rear cassette could stay as they are. Does this sound right?
    If the chain is stretched, you need to change the cassette with the chain. Derailers should be fine unless the chain is super stretched. If the chain was super stretched, the jockey pulleys on the rear derailer will look like a throwing star; that will mean you will need to change the pulleys. If the bike shop inspected the cassette and verified it is fine, then you probably can get away with not changing the cassette.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's usually cheaper to buy one chain ring than a new crank, and if you're replacing multiple rings and maybe also the bottom bracket, the savings start to evaporate.

    Do you only need the one chain ring, or are some other parts of the crank worn out as well? Unless your crank is really, really weird, the chain rings for it should still be available.

    If you replace your crankset, you can typically use the same derailleurs, shifters and cassette that you've always had.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Pm me. I have a bunch of parts from raleigh m80. Rings included. You pay shipping and anything you need is free. I have cranks, der, chainrings, extra chain, etc.

    Let me know.

    MK

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