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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    Good job! New Guy with an Aquila

    Hello MTBR members!

    My name is Brandon, from Atlanta, and I very recently purchased a 2000 Gary Fisher Aquila off of CL. I have already replaced the rear cassette and the chain with parts that were similar to factory. I bought a new Shimano Deore HG-50 11-32 tooth cassette and SRAM PC971 chain and Powerlink.

    I also took off the derailers, completely cleaning and lubing them up. I have done what I can to get the brakes centered up on the wheels, but they just need to be replaced more than anything.

    The wheels need to be retrued, it is definitely apparent that they have a slight wobble in them when you have the bike flipped over and spin the wheels.

    The middle chainring (32T) has a tooth that is pretty worn and it causes the chain to skip when in that gear. I am already planning on replacing just that gear for the time being. I need some advice as to which chainring will fit my bike. I read up on BCD, but this one appears to be about a 4" diameter and most out there are not that big (or I am just showing how truly green I am and not knowing what to look for).

    The left shifter (bigger gears) shifts very well, but the right side shifter is SUPER slow and seemingly sticky. It is pretty annoying trying to shift gears with it and you can not feel anything changing. I have done some research and am contemplating taking it apart and doing what I can to service it.

    I am an alumni from Kennesaw State University and they have a really good full service bike shop on campus and plan on bringing the wheels up there to be serviced for free. I have a BMX bike that is pretty built and they have done a good job with various small things I needed on my other bike. They completely built a wheel for me and it was awesome.

    Sorry about the long post, but thank you for taking the time to read it and I hope to be a contributing member of this forum here soon!

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - BikePedia

    These are the only two pictures I have of it thus far, but show what I have done so far.




  2. #2
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    You aren't measuring it right ,check the Park tools or Sheldon Brown sites.Those shifters aren't made to be serviced ,you could spray some lube or WD 40 in there to see if that helps.It might be the cable/housing that is the cause of the slow shifting .Shift the chain to the big cog ,don't pedal the bike move the shifter to the hardest gear . You should be able to remove the housing from the stops ,once you do you will see how much drag there is ,squirt some lube in the housing ,move it back and forth .See if it's any better. Reinstall the housing .

  3. #3
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    Roger that, I saw how i was measuring wrong and have gotten that figured out. The majority of what I have read also stated that I could not rebuild them, but then I stumbled upon this...

    Shimano Deore DX Repair

    I plan on getting this chain ring....

    Race Face Single Narrow Wide Chainring > Components > Drivetrain > Chainrings | Jenson USA

    Anyone have any suggestions on better/cheaper websites than Jenson?

    I know these are very newbish questions. I am trying to use the search function as much as I can here guys
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  4. #4
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    The single narrow is normally used only if you plan on running only one cog upfront. To really utilize that chainring without any chain guides you're going to need to upgrade your drivetrain to a clutch style rear D. As for the shifters if you can't free up the shifting with new housings or some spray lube just replace them its not going to be worth trying to service those suckers.
    Instead of ordering these parts from jenson go to a LBS and build a relationship with them by buying from them. A good shop will help guide your decisions on improving your bike. I must admit though I do shop online from time to time. Sometimes a deal is just too good to pass up. Good luck with the bike the bike looks to be in wicked good shape for a 2000
    2010 D440 Redline Rigid 1x9
    2011 Trek Remedy 8 1x10
    2012 Jamis Dragon 2x10
    2013 Diamondback Sortie 3 1x10

  5. #5
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    Re: New Guy with an Aquila

    What model crank is that? It looks like Shimano to me, but I don't have microscope eyes.

    I'm a bit of a Shimano fanboy when it comes to multispeed drivetrains. So my off-the-cuff inclination would be to drop in a new, preferably 9-speed but 10- otta work, Shimano middle ring. But I destroyed a Shimano ring a while ago trying to install it on a lower-end crank. Shimano's nicer rings have features on both faces that can interfere with the crank spider. I'd expect it to be okay on a Deore or fancier crank, though test fitting never hurts. If it doesn't fit or you don't want to deal with it, Race Face rings are nice. Just get one that's supposed to be a middle ring in a three-ring setup.

    You may not even have to replace the middle ring, though. I put a burr on one of mine a while ago shifting at a bad time. I was able to file it down, and the chainring worked fine after that. There's kind of a startling amount of visible damage to the teeth on my big ring now, but it works fine. Just need to make sure nothing raised is screwing things up.

    Do you know about the centering screws on V-brakes?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    If all the rings are looking bad ,it could be cheaper to replace the entire cranks,you can get some for under $100.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnieron12 View Post
    The single narrow is normally used only if you plan on running only one cog upfront. To really utilize that chainring without any chain guides you're going to need to upgrade your drivetrain to a clutch style rear D.
    Ahh I understand, I do not think I want to go that route then. I think I am going to consider an entire crankset, but do not want to waste money if the bb and crank arms are still in good shape.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnieron12 View Post
    As for the shifters if you can't free up the shifting with new housings or some spray lube just replace them its not going to be worth trying to service those suckers.
    I actually sprayed some Brake Cleaner in there today and it seems to have worked quite well. The rear shifter is working much better now and I think I will be able to use them for a little while longer. The windows are beat to hell, but oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnieron12 View Post
    Instead of ordering these parts from jenson go to a LBS and build a relationship with them by buying from them. A good shop will help guide your decisions on improving your bike. I must admit though I do shop online from time to time. Sometimes a deal is just too good to pass up. Good luck with the bike the bike looks to be in wicked good shape for a 2000
    Ya I definitely intend on going to a LBS, but I just have not had the time yet. The parts I stated I purchased above, I got from my local REI and they were great to work with. I still however would like to start going to a dedicated bike shop instead of REI.



    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    What model crank is that? It looks like Shimano to me, but I don't have microscope eyes.
    I believe it to be the ICON Obsidian from what BikePedia states. I am highly doubtful that they have been replaced by any previous owners.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'm a bit of a Shimano fanboy when it comes to multispeed drivetrains. So my off-the-cuff inclination would be to drop in a new, preferably 9-speed but 10- otta work, Shimano middle ring. But I destroyed a Shimano ring a while ago trying to install it on a lower-end crank. Shimano's nicer rings have features on both faces that can interfere with the crank spider. I'd expect it to be okay on a Deore or fancier crank, though test fitting never hurts. If it doesn't fit or you don't want to deal with it, Race Face rings are nice. Just get one that's supposed to be a middle ring in a three-ring setup.
    As I stated above, I think I may end up just replacing the entire crankset. Is it possible to just replace the 3 rings???

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    You may not even have to replace the middle ring, though. I put a burr on one of mine a while ago shifting at a bad time. I was able to file it down, and the chainring worked fine after that. There's kind of a startling amount of visible damage to the teeth on my big ring now, but it works fine. Just need to make sure nothing raised is screwing things up.
    It's pretty deformed and I do not even want to mess with it. The original chain was so beat that it has taken its toll on the drivetrain. I am just hoping to salvage the derailers. They are shifting much better now, so we shall see. I also noticed a slight bend in that middle chainring so it is scrap to me now.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Do you know about the centering screws on V-brakes?
    I believe I have adjusted them to the best of my abilities. The front is solid now, but the rear is still kinda janky. I plan on getting the wheels trued and see where I need to go from there.



    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    If all the rings are looking bad ,it could be cheaper to replace the entire cranks,you can get some for under $100.
    Ya I am thinking that is probably the route I want to go.



    I definitely need new tires, I believe the tires that are on there are still the originals and they are definitely showing their age. The sidewalls are showing chord and one of them has a bulge. I do not want to be riding on these suckers. This bike will be used around the city as well as on trails. If anyone has some suggestions, besides search, please let me know. I plan on replacing the tubes as well, suggestions here would be appreciate also.

    Thanks guys!
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  8. #8
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    I'd be a bad fanboy if I didn't shoot out the Schwalbe Racing Ralph. The fancy version is shockingly expensive, so go second-tier. For city, get a version with flat protection.

    Or, whatever XC tire with flat protection is on sale. They're not as different from one another as we like to think.

    For disclosure, there is a little Schwalbe logo on the back of my jersey somewhere.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Have mercy that Racing Ralph tire is expensive for a bike tire! I couldn't believe the prices on them. I am going to search around and try to find some chainrings today, unless anyone suggests I should just go ahead and change out the entire crankset.
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  10. #10
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    Race Face Ride Crankset OE 2010 > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA

    You can't beat that deal with a stick and it comes with the BB
    2010 D440 Redline Rigid 1x9
    2011 Trek Remedy 8 1x10
    2012 Jamis Dragon 2x10
    2013 Diamondback Sortie 3 1x10

  11. #11
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    It's probably about a $30 tire somewhere. Like I said, you have to look second-tier.

    Like others have said, if you're thinking of swapping all three rings, just do the crank. It makes sense to replace one and sometimes two rings, but almost never all of them.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnieron12 View Post
    Race Face Ride Crankset OE 2010 > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA

    You can't beat that deal with a stick and it comes with the BB
    Hoooooly F. I think I may just jump on that deal there. It is between those and this Shimano set.

    Shimano Alivio M430 Crankset > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    It's probably about a $30 tire somewhere. Like I said, you have to look second-tier.

    Like others have said, if you're thinking of swapping all three rings, just do the crank. It makes sense to replace one and sometimes two rings, but almost never all of them.
    Please excuse my ignorance, but what does 2nd tier mean?

    Ya I have pretty much decided on replacing the entire crank/rings/BB
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  13. #13
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    Bicycle tires come in versions. The companies name them different things. At Schwalbe, "Evolution" means the fancy casing, the fancy bead, and the fancy rubber compound. They perform awesome off-road and don't have a brilliant wear life. They're also crazy-expensive.

    The next tier has a little has a little harder rubber and coarser fabric. Some have a wire bead. At Schwalbe this is called "Performance." There is a difference, but it's subtle.

    Cheap tires have really hard rubber, a wire bead, and a really coarse casing. They roll like ass but wear like iron. Off-road performance is variable. I've come to think the rubber compound is very important on a surface like a rock or a root, and does almost nothing in mud. And of course on hero dirt, every tire is awesome. Life is short, and I now avoid these tires except for cheap road tires, that I hang on to to use on my trainer.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    Roger that, definitely makes sense to me. I am going to be hitting trails as much as I can, but its not going to be near as much as I would like.

    I actually purchased all of this today to get me going for now. I think it should be sufficient to to get me on the trails. I can not wait for them to come in and get them on the bike.



    I know its not all super high quality, but they are better than what I have on the bike currently and will perform for a long time until I need to spend more coin again.
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  15. #15
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    Looks very nice for the age. We have an older steel-framed Aquila still in service (my wife rides it around the neighborhood once in a while). I didn't realize GF made aluminum Aquilas with front suspension (ours was originally fully rigid). Hope you enjoy it!

    AM.

  16. #16
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    I had Speed Dial brake levers Back In The Day. In retrospect, kind of silly as an upgrade. But they're a high-quality part, and I'd expect the SD5 brakes to be pretty nice too. And if you need something to keep a bike rolling anyway, it often doesn't cost much more to buy quality.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Well on that note, I will say that they have not been ordered yet due to me misplacing my new credit card (old one expired) and I will get a new one from my credit union in the morning.

    SO I guess I should look for a different brake lever? I would like something around a similar cost to those that I had picked out, but will have better functionality than the plain-jane no-name levers I have now.
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  18. #18
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    If there's nothing actually wrong with your current brake levers, what do you expect to be better about more expensive ones?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    To add to that in a (hopefully) more useful way, rim brakes are a very mature technology. My short list would include Avid, but I'd just get the FR5s, or whatever their mechanical lever without added weirdness is. I found the Speed Dial function pretty useless. Cane Creek and Tektro also do a lot of good aftermarket stuff, although I'm less bullish about Tektro's mechanical disc brake systems.

    For the brakes themselves, forged arms are important, so a few of the cheapest don't have that. Brake pads that are inserts in a holder are better than the ones that have the post sticking out. So if spending a few extra dollars now gets you that construction right away, do it. If you don't feel like your brakes are being all they can be once you've got them, I like Kool Stop Salmon brake pads.

    For me, tires are one place where I think a little extra money goes a long way. I don't really know the Duro brand, but life's too short for 15 and 30 tpi tires, IMO.

    What's your plan for installing the crank?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Im with ANDRWSWITCH on the brake levers and tires. You won't see much if any difference from your existing brake levers. I would spend the extra money from the levers on some better tires. Tires are one of the most noticeable improvements you can make on your bike. As for crank install with the proper puller and BB tools its a breeze. You most likely don't have the two different types of BB tools and pullers that will be required, so I would say just take it too the shop shouldn't cost much or take very long.

    The thing I just noticed though is the pedals I would ditch those clips. Upgrade the clipless pedals or a good set of platforms. Those pedal clips or going to be hell on any trail.
    2010 D440 Redline Rigid 1x9
    2011 Trek Remedy 8 1x10
    2012 Jamis Dragon 2x10
    2013 Diamondback Sortie 3 1x10

  21. #21
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    Okay, so i have made a few changes to my purchase and are definitely taking yall's advice into effect. I still want to go ahead and get some new levers, so I am going with the FR5s. I will pick out some other tires, and let you guys know what I have come up with. Money is just tight (24yo, just got into rental house, bills, blah blah blah) and I am doing what I can to upgrade the bike to be solid on the trail.

    I have already removed those stupid straps from the pedals, but I guess I will pick out a set of platforms to go with it as well.

    As far as the cranks, I will pay to have them removed and will install the new ones on my own.
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  22. #22
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    This is how my latest shopping cart looks now...

    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  23. #23
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    just thought i ought to add that i stuck with the duro miners and also bought a pair of Gusset Slim Jim LB pedals

    Got everything for $157 with free shipping.
    -Brandon

    2000 Gary Fisher Aquila - RaceFace Ride Cranks, Duro Miners, SRAM chain, Avid FR5 levers, Avid SD5 brakes.

  24. #24
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    You need to know that some levers don't work with some brakes,the old cantilever brakes won't work with v type brakes. They pull different amounts of cable.

  25. #25
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    The FR5 levers and SD5 brakes are two great tastes that go great together. Let us know how the build goes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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