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.
mtn. biking 101
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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    New question here. Mom says I'm special...

    ...but I still can't build a bike without a little help. Bear with me - this is my first post to this forum and I couldn't really find the info I'm looking for with the search.

    I'm re-entering the non-motorized bike world after, well, decades off and I've decided to maximize my personal disaster potential by building (assembling?) the bike myself. I've purchased a complete donor bike containing a majority of usable components to transfer directly to the builder frame (Raleigh Ram XT 2500), and while I'm no slouch with a wrench things appear to have, erm, progressed in the bicycle technology arena in the past 20 or so years. I'm pretty sure I could remember how to true a wheel or adjust a derailleur given time and tools, but I wouldn't want to test my current (lack of) skills against, say, a fork and headset installation or hydraulic disk brakes without proper technical documentation.

    I've got a good shop (I guess they're called "LBS's" in Webspeak ) right up the street (a Raleigh shop no less ) that I'm sure I will turn to for the more technical or difficult bits (such as pressing in bearings for example) but what I'm really looking for here are suggestions or recommendations for maintenance or bike building books or technical manuals. I do all my own work on my motorcycle with the help of the Kawasaki shop manual, and I'm wondering if there's a modern equivalent, like a Haynes or Clymer manual for example, for bicycles, or more specifically mountain bikes. Perhaps even more specifically than that, for bicycles manufactured after 1977.

    So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks in advance for any info, including advice if you feel so inclined, that you could pass my way.

    Cheers,
    Mfed

  2. #2
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    The Park Tool website is a good source of info.

  3. #3
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    Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintenance. You should also look for a tool set that includes a crank puller, shimano cartridge bottom bracket tool, and a shimano cassette lockring tool to get you started. They kits are cheaper than buying the tools seperately.
    Last edited by c_m_shooter; 06-19-2008 at 02:22 AM.

  4. #4
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    And awaaaaaay we go! Good stuff, thanks!

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    Manufacturers' websites also usually have guides for installation and adjustment.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Wow. That build thread is excellent, thanks. Almost makes me want to just take the heap of parts and a heap of money directly to the shop tho...

    I've got Zinn on order from Amazon now - any other books I should be looking for? Any opinions/experience with this one? http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Comp...3895339&sr=1-1

    Or this? http://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Repair...3895339&sr=1-2

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