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. New Rider- Just got my first real mountain bike.

    So, I used to ride bikes alot, and decided since I am going to be at college next year I wanted a bike to save gas and to have a fun way to get to school.
    So, fast-forward on that train of though for about 2 months, researched alot of bikes, visited bike shop, later walked away with a new Giant Revel 3, love it. (seems like the revel series are funky with their model names, used to be the 0,1 and the 2, now its 1,3,and 4 - I guess the 2 is now the 3?)
    Only have a few issues with it, and since I know its a lower-level mountain bike I wanna try to upgrade some components sometime soon.

    First issue is the front shocks, they are pretty good but I want some that are better, been considering some Rock Shox XC32's mainly cause of the reviews I've seen on here, and most people seem to like them quite alot.

    Another thing that has been bothering is my shifters, for some reason I can only use like 1/2 of the gears on the back? like after clicking it will not shift through all of them, only the smallest 4 or 5 of them.

    And, it keeps popping a chain off sometimes, is this normal when you first start riding, usually happens when I ride up a hill and stop and accidentally hit the shifters. And are gears supposed to make a loud sound, cause on gear shifts if I'm really cranking and shift it makes a really loud sound.

    To change subjects slightly: I plan on using my bike as a commute for school, but at the moment I might start riding it to work when summer gets here, cause its only about a 4-5 mile ride, so interested in getting a bike-pack for clothes and stuff. Have read alot of posts about making a frame pack, seems sorta simple, do you guys use a normal sewing machine for x-pack stuff? My mom is worried that hers would not be strong enough.


    Edit: Fixed the shifter issue, back derailer cable was not in one of the little mount thingy's on the frame, works now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Rider- Just got my first real mountain bike.-dsc00514.jpg  

    Last edited by The_Devin_G; 03-09-2013 at 03:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Congrats on the new purchase.

    Take care when commuting with your trail bike--such rigs are tempting targets for opportunistic bike thieves. You might consider getting a second bike (I know, I know). Nothing fancy, just a cheap beater that you can pedal to class or work and not miss too greatly should it wander off.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Just take a good look at what else is locked up outside when you get to school, and what people are using to lock their bikes. If you see some more expensive ones, get a bigger lock and don't worry about it.

    Glad you figured out about the derailleurs. Check out parktool.com for great articles on almost every maintenance task on a bike.

    I've been commuting on and off for a pretty long time. I've never tried making a frame bag. But I've used panniers, a backpack, and a messenger bag. On a road bike, I prefer a messenger bag. I always had problems with backpacks sliding to the side, and the suspension system on a messenger bag is quite good at getting it to stay put. Or at least, on my Timbuk2. Panniers have to be taken on and off at the beginning and end of a trip, unless you have a safe place to just walk away from your bike. I'd anticipate that a frame bag would have the same problem, but be heavier. So figure out what your commute actually is before you try to make something. People often lose lights and wedge packs and things if they leave them on bikes left locked outside, even if nobody even tries for the whole bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Nice bike - Giant do some solid spec'd machines for the money.

    Regarding the forks I wouldn't rush out to buy a the XC32's - I'd save the pennies and go for Rockshox Recon Silver or Gold Solo Airs.

    Much much better forks for not a lot of extra money...

    Cheers

    Danny B

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the help. Actually I do kinda like my shocks now, they aren't terrible, but I would like to replace them eventually. But I found you can adjust the tension on them and that made it a little better, added some tension and now they dont feel so floaty and bouncy.

    But so far the main thing I do wanna fix on this bike is got something to do with the rear derailer.
    There is a little thing that keeps the chain tight, or is supposed to, so you can adjust to bigger or smaller gears and still keep tension on the chain, but the spring on it is terribly loose and it bounces and makes the chain loose when the back wheel hits the ground after a jump or bump.
    I could see this being the culprit of why my chain keeps trying to fall off after a jump or something.
    Does anyone know how to fix this? I will post a link to some pics of it later, but its dark out right now. But is there a stiffer spring I can put in there? It just seems too loose to me.

    Really not sure what that part is called.

  6. #6
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Honestly, it sounds to me like you've got a loose chain. Maybe it was cut a couple of links too long? But I'm only guessing and definitely wouldn't recommend breaking/recutting the chain until you know for sure.

  7. #7
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    How can I tell if its too loose? Yeah, really dont wanna take off links.
    But like its taunt when the thingy is up, but when I take a jump or bunny hop or anything else the thing bounces horribly bad, even my dad was thinking there should be a heavier spring on it, would fix it easily enough. Chain is alright.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Two things.
    First, Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Chain Length Sizing

    Second, in your photo of the bike at the top of the page, you have it in a really bad gear combination - small chainring and small cog. This is redundant with another gear combination in the middle ring and some more medium-sized cog. Using combinations like small/small or big/big causes undue wear and can give you problems with the chain falling off or having very low tension. So that could be the culprit.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Nice bike. I remember when I got my first mountain bike. Be sure to keep it clean and maintained if you want it to last long and look good!

  10. #10
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    The SR Suntour XCT fork is subject to an upgrade offer from Suntour.
    If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork
    Check the review on page 5 for the Raidon air. For your bike 150. An Epicon would be lighter but require a 15mm wheel upgrade. Lacing up an ArchEX yourself would be another fun upgrade.
    Sometimes shifting problems for the rear involve not the derailleur but the hanger being bent. Your lbs can check it.

  11. #11
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    So, looking at the chain thing, I might actually need to try and shorten the chain. Kinda looks like it, will look at some more stuff one it and try the equations given and see what I come up with.
    I noticed today when looking at my shadow when riding that it seemed like the chain would have sag in it really easily when riding over the slightly uneven gravel surface of the road.
    I will take some pics of the chain tomorrow in the suggested gear ratio's and post them, might help to show you guys what it looks like.

    Edit: Honestly, since this is my first mountain bike I'm not really sure what to do such as maintenance. My bike that I rode the most before this was some cheap Wal-Mart Next BMX-style bike.
    Was kinda weird cause had bigger tires and stuff, kept that thing around for a long time until I broke the welds on the handlebars to the stem last year, didnt ride it a whole lot recently but was fun to mess around with.
    But that bike lasted a long time, but it didnt have shocks or anything so nothing complicated to maintain.

    I know my new bike has to have more maintenance required, the shocks, multiple gears, any suggestions? - I did check out the sticky thread but could not find the information I was looking for in it.

    Planning on getting some special chain lube, Teflon lube actually, and get a basic wrench kit so I can actually have a tool to check on stuff when I'm riding, but not sure what else to do? Thanks for any help or suggestions you guys can give out, been a big help already.

  12. #12
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    I don't think anyone ever actually uses the equation. And I say this with love for awesome equations. Park mentions that they give it just for the sake of completeness. Putting the chain in the big/big combination should give you a clear enough sense of whether or not you've got extra links. If you're not sure, try overlapping them, like how they'd be with one less pair.

    There's a maintenance sticky on the top of the forum. It's a bit overgrown, but read through the first couple posts and you'll pretty well have it covered.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    you brought it brand new at LBS take it back they'll fix it for free

  14. #14
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    Re: New Rider- Just got my first real mountain bike.

    How long have you been riding it? Might be time for your first tune up.

  15. #15
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    I just got this bike about 2 weeks ago. It shouldn't need a tuneup already, because they worked on it at the shop when I bought it.

    Ok, the newest problem that has popped up so far is the front derailed, for some reason it does not like shifting up in gear size. Like on the front it will try to grip the gear but keeps slipping and takes quite a while for it to catch, doesn't sound good and kinda irritating. Actually a couple of times I went and stuck my toe under the edge of the chain to help it catch, works but shouldn't need to.
    Seems like the derailer is either not quite going over far enough or something, I might check the cable this time, cause last time that was sort of the culprit - on the back anyways.

    Will try and ride a lot tomorrow, because tomorrow is supposed to be super nice out and we get out early on Wednesdays. So might ride a lot then. But it is irritating, again thanks for advise.

  16. #16
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    Sounds like you have some indexing/cable tension issues on your front shifter/derailleur. Consider checking out the DYI bike maintenance videos on YouTube or over at Park Tools. They can be very helpful. You'll probably be overwhelmed at first but hang in there--it'll come to ya.

    Quick tip: if you're finding the chain won't move up or down after shifting while you're on a ride, gently press the lever--not enough to cause another shift, but enough to increase or decrease tension as needed. This will usually force the shift and the chain will slide into place.

    Happy trails,

    HDP

  17. #17
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    Your bike is only 2 weeks old and regardless of the shop doing work to it before you took it home, all bikes go through a bit of a break in period and yours is no exception to that. The likely cause of your front shifting issues is cable stretch, and more cable tension will need to be added to make it shift properly.

    If your derailleurs are adjusted properly and nothing is bent, your chain shouldn't be coming off. I can't say that the chain is too long or anything, but since most shops offer a free tune up when you buy a bike, you should take it to them and let them sort out the problems.

    Your drivetrain is making loud noises when you accidentally shift going uphill because you haven't mastered proper shifting yet. Check out this article:

    How to Effectively Shift Your Bicycle's Gears | An Article by Atlanta Bike Shop, Intown Bicycles

  18. #18
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    I have been trying the tension thing using the shifters. Thanks for telling me about cable stretch, I will tighten the cables up some tomorrow.
    The back one was fixed by tightening the cable, so I should have realized that the front one probably needs tightening also.
    Thanks a ton for that article about gear shifting, I'm starting to figure some of those things out on my own but still learning. So far I have been riding everyday, and kind of discovered the rhythm thing by accident, but it works great.

  19. #19
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    Cool bike, congrats man!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max24 View Post
    Cool bike, congrats man!
    Thanks, I like it so far, having a few issues with it because its a new bike and mainly I dont know anything. So learning with it.

  21. #21
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    I get my bikes tweaked after the first 5 rides..... The gears need to break in and that makes things out of alignment....after you wear the gears in then it will only need seasonal adjustment..... Make sure your chain doesn't have a stiff link..... That could be the culprit .....the chain needs break in as well...also since your a new guy make sure your chain is clean and lubed.... I clean my chain after every trail session and have half the issues my buddies do.... Your lbs will adjust it....I'm surprised they didn't tell u to bring it in aftera certain amount of time/rides....hope all works out enjoy the sweat ride

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Njhardrock View Post
    I get my bikes tweaked after the first 5 rides..... The gears need to break in and that makes things out of alignment....after you wear the gears in then it will only need seasonal adjustment..... Make sure your chain doesn't have a stiff link..... That could be the culprit .....the chain needs break in as well...also since your a new guy make sure your chain is clean and lubed.... I clean my chain after every trail session and have half the issues my buddies do.... Your lbs will adjust it....I'm surprised they didn't tell u to bring it in aftera certain amount of time/rides....hope all works out enjoy the sweat ride
    Yeah, they said that I get a free tune, so after a while of riding it I will probably bring it in and maybe have them upgrade some stuff on it, thinking about doing some of the things the other Revel guys have done. Like probably get disc brakes on it, new wheels, tires, need new forks eventually. Probably will just try and do that kind of stuff.

    Since it has V-brakes Its gonna be a bit more work to swap stuff over to disc brakes but I'm ok with that, might end up eventually buying a plasti-dip gun and plasti-dip and re-spray the frame with my own design, would be more unique then. And if I dont like it I can just peel it off, that's the amazing ability of plasti-dip.

    But other things that I will be confident doing myself, like petals, handle-bars, etc. I will do later on.

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