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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    Need to get a tune-up, take accessories off or leave them on?

    I have a used off CL 2003 Quintana Roo Kilo triathlon bike(I know, this is MTB forum, but here me out) that could use a tuneup. I got it in April and have ridden it a ton, plus upgraded stuff I could do myself.
    I suck at der adjustments though and she could use a bit of professional once over anyways, so....

    I have a Brooks swallow titanium saddle on it, along with a nice cycling computer and a Brooks Challenge saddle bag & tools.

    I love the bike shop I just bought my Surly Pugsley from, so I would go there. Do I take this stuff off or leave it on while there? It isn't like they couldn't get that stuff there anyways but most places have some sort of a "not our fault" policy about personal items and theft/loss.

    I really can't afford another set of matching Brooks stuff(certainly not a Ti saddle) and replacing the cycling computer if it walks off or if it gets ruined by greasy hands.

    Yes? No?

  2. #2
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    Take of the computer and the saddle bag. I just replaced my derailleur cables with Giant SS for $4 apiece. The farrel ends on some of the housings were bent or deformed. A straightening and smoothing out of the cable channel with a small round file and it's night and day.

  3. #3
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    if you can't afford to replace stuff... i recommend just learning how to adjust the 4 cables yourself seriously... rear derailleurs are absolutely the easiest thing ever. brakes? really? ok.. the front derailleur, well.. learn how to fix it. can't hurt to know how right? and uhhh.. yeah thats about it? i don't understand why people throw good money at the lbs for things they should know how to do.

  4. #4
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    Sorry, I thought it was standard procedure to support the LBS and take your bike in for regular tuneups. Sure, I can change a tire and wrap my own handlebars, but disk brakes and ders and headsets, well I just thought.....

    Okay, I will learn then. I ride it, I guess I should be able to fix it. Just like I should be able to fix my car or plumbing in my house. Otherwise, I guess I'm throwing away good money for things I should know how to do, right?

  5. #5
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    one bit of advice that I'll give you about replacing any type of cable..have a solid, and I mean, real good set of wire cutters. Using a cheap set will give you headaches. Ask me how I know.

  6. #6
    local bike dr.
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    Tuning a derailleur may seem daunting, but there are documented procedures for doing this. You just need a set of metric hex keys (allen keys) and a phillips head screw driver...

    Here's a link to the shimano manuals

    This is where to go for the Sram manuals

  7. #7
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    Nothing wrong with supporting your LBS if that's what you would like to do. I can buy parts cheaper online but almost every time I buy them locally because I know what it's like to have people bring their shiny new stuff that they saved $10 on but paid $8 in shipping to get when you're behind that counter.

    Anyway, you never know what's going to happen in the shop. Even with the best shop, you can loose stuff if you're not careful. Things fall off, things get removed to make service easier, and things get hidden in that pile of crap the new kid made from the bikes that he's parting out for the basement. Unless it is very difficult to remove, take your accessories off. The shop will always do their best to make sure nothing happens to them, but with cool and expensive stuff like you have it's best not to tempt fate. At the very least, take the head off the computer; that's both easy to remove and easy to loose.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    Sorry, I thought it was standard procedure to support the LBS and take your bike in for regular tuneups. Sure, I can change a tire and wrap my own handlebars, but disk brakes and ders and headsets, well I just thought.....

    Okay, I will learn then. I ride it, I guess I should be able to fix it. Just like I should be able to fix my car or plumbing in my house. Otherwise, I guess I'm throwing away good money for things I should know how to do, right?
    well... yeah. you should probably know a little something about your car and plumbing. in europe, they make everyone point out the parts of their car that are necessary to watch, such as radiator, fluids, tranny oil, etc... and they ask you what you would do if.. like if your car is over heating. and no, the correct answer wasn't call the mechanic. plumbing? hell yeah you should know the basics of plumbing, how to shut your waters off, how to stop a leak... cause if you're leaking and ruining your house waiting for the plumber to get there..... yes, these are things you should know.

    nobody on here is ever going to say, oh yeah.. you should not do work yourself and support your lbs. they'll say not to go to walmart or some crap to get a tube or a part that you could get at an lbs. but knowing how to do your own work is an valuable tool, and is something that will more often than not come in handy. its a saturday morning. you want to go for a ride, but your shifter cable broke! oh no... i guess you'll have to wait til next week because the lbs is busy?

  9. #9
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    Usually you notice problems on the trail. With a multitool you can make the adjustments. If that isn't enough you replace the cables and check the ferrels. Pull out your cables. Buy the replacements at the LBS. They can cut to match the old one you bring in.

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