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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    Idea! Some upgrade advice

    Hi,


    I decided to pick up my long forgotten hobby again but my bike has some issues I need to tackle first:

    - Rear cassette has a too big sprocket: I had some problems with pedalling, went to a shop and they put a too big sprocket on the hub. I noticed shifting to '1' was harder to do, I complained and they said it was normal and would otherwise need to 'replace the whole thing'. I was little and didn't know a thing about bikes so I semi believed it was normal
    - Cable of rear derailleur to the shifter snapped

    I have some spare time and decided to fix it myself so I could learn a few things. However I don't know if this is a good frame, so I'm not sure if it would be smart to spend a lot of money on a new set/disk brakes from deore for example.. What would you guys suggest in terms of replacements/upgrades? The purpose would be occasional cross country/noob free riding


    Some upgrade advice-p1010750.jpgSome upgrade advice-p1010752.jpgSome upgrade advice-p1010753.jpgSome upgrade advice-p1010751-.jpg

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'm confused about what you replaced. It's very unusual to replace just one cog. Did you mean the whole chainring?

    For longer term purposes, though, I think you're best off just starting over. It looks like a dept. store bike, to me, and I don't see disc brake mounts. What are you comfortable spending?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    I haven't replaced a thing, yet The shop replaced some things and it seemed to me that one cog is too big:
    http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/beg...-p1010751-.jpg
    So I assumed it would be best to also replace the rear cassette. But I thought, while I'm busy, I may as well replace the whole thing with a cheap new mtb set. I am comfortable spending $100, but I see you can already buy a decent second-hand mtb for $ 200-300..

    Perhaps I should just replace the cable and rear cassette and see how long the other components last?

  4. #4
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    I would get a rear cogset without that giant gearing jump, replace your cable, give the bike a decent 1-over and tune-up (check the Maintenance sticky above) and just ride it the way it is while saving up for a whole-bike upgrade, which will be your best bang for the buck. Disc brakes are a non-viable upgrade for your ride. Looks like you could definitely use a rear tire tho.

  5. #5
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    Okay :-) You know any compatible rear cogsets? Just the cheapest shimano 7-set I can find?

    Is this alright: Google Vertalen
    Last edited by stonaar; 07-04-2013 at 09:17 AM. Reason: misunderstood 'gearing jump'

  6. #6
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    That's not normal. That looks like a road cassette matched up with a massive cog. If that's different than the way you brought it in, bring it back, ask them to return it back to the way you brought it in and to give you your money back. Then, go to another shop.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    That's not normal. That looks like a road cassette matched up with a massive cog. If that's different than the way you brought it in, bring it back, ask them to return it back to the way you brought it in and to give you your money back. Then, go to another shop.
    Unfortunately it has been ~8 years ago Could it be this?
    Google Vertalen
    Why such a big cog?

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's a stock cassette or freewheel. I can't tell which from the picture. It's called "Megarange" gearing, and often criticized for poor performance and the big step in gear ratio. If you want to replace it, either take the bike to the shop or take your wheel out of the bike and post a clear picture focusing on the cogs so we can tell.

    If you want to keep this bike rolling, start with the derailleur cable and a tuneup. There's an excellent article on rear derailleur tuning on parktool.com.

    You're not getting any money out of this bike. If you're looking at a new cassette or freewheel but can spend a couple hundred on a new bike, cut your losses and do that. The derailleur cable is about a $3 part. The cassette/freewheel and chain are on the order of $20 each, so it becomes more expensive if you need to replace things. And your derailleur hanger doesn't look like it fits right.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    I don't think I had that freewheel before the shop repair








  10. #10
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    It looks like you have some missing/broken spokes on the rear wheel. You will need to have that fixed/replaced. Is the front wheel complete?
    How do the bearings in the bottom bracket and whels feel. Do you feel any catching or grinding when you rotate them?

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    That's a freewheel alright. So you'd need another freewheel, with the same number of cogs. Just don't get another Megarange.

    But before you throw any money around, in the second picture it looks like there are some pieces of the rear hub missing - no axle and no left-side cone. So if you plan to keep this bike, you need to replace those things and rebuild your hub. If available, they're cheap parts. If you can't get them, you basically need a new wheel.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    You mean I need a new bike?

    Just before taking the wheel out:


    Loose components:

    I can manage to put everything back together with A,B,E and F, but I'm not sure exactly what to do with C and D. They fell out when I took the wheel out

    Quote Originally Posted by theboomboomcars View Post
    It looks like you have some missing/broken spokes on the rear wheel. You will need to have that fixed/replaced. Is the front wheel complete?
    How do the bearings in the bottom bracket and whels feel. Do you feel any catching or grinding when you rotate them?
    The front wheel seems to be complete. I feel the bike cracking when I ride, I thought it had to do something with the cassette/chain, but as you mention the broken spokes, it's probably the rear wheel.

  13. #13
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    It's just a mega range freewheel. Designed to make climbing easier on 7-8 speed bikes. Nothing wrong with them, they work fine, just need to make sure the derailleur is adjusted properly.

    I put one on my daughters bike. Did exactly what it's supposed to, give a nice low gear to a 7 speed drivetrain.

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    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonaar View Post
    You mean I need a new bike?

    Just before taking the wheel out:


    Loose components:

    I can manage to put everything back together with A,B,E and F, but I'm not sure exactly what to do with C and D. They fell out when I took the wheel out


    The front wheel seems to be complete. I feel the bike cracking when I ride, I thought it had to do something with the cassette/chain, but as you mention the broken spokes, it's probably the rear wheel.
    Wow....

    Have you considered getting another bike?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonaar View Post
    The front wheel seems to be complete. I feel the bike cracking when I ride, I thought it had to do something with the cassette/chain, but as you mention the broken spokes, it's probably the rear wheel.
    Cracking can also be a loose crank, crank bolts like to work themselves loose. If you turn the wheels and bottom braket by hand do you feel any rough or flat spots? Though with the rear wheel, it looks like you are going to have to rebuild it, so those bearings will be taken care of.

    You can probably get this back on the trail for about half of what a used one will cost, less if you can score a deal on a used rear wheel.

  16. #16
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    If I'm identifying everything in the pictures correctly, your derailleur shouldn't have come off the bike when you removed the quick release. I wonder if C and D are the bolt that's supposed to hold the derailleur hanger on. If they are and it's sheared, it's most likely a metric cap screw, and easily replaced.

    I'm not sure, but the axle looks complete. Make sure there's not a sheared off piece of it still in F.

    It's easy to lose bearing balls, so make sure you've got enough when you put everything back together. If you're missing some, they're typically sized using US customary units. Again, something you can pick up at the hardware store.

    Since everything's already apart, give it a good cleaning. Grease the hell out of it when you put it back together. Either the magic unicorn bike grease or any non-lithium water proof grease. Park Tool has instructions for adjusting an adjustable hub like this one.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    By the time you fix everything that needs fixing, you'll be up to a "good used entry level" mountain bike money.

  18. #18
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    C and D were indeed from the derailleur hanger

    I will attach a new cable for the rear derailleur, do a full clean with new oil/grease and let you know how it rides. 3 broken spokes can't be that bad

  19. #19
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    LOL, three broken spokes is a lot.

    You can replace them, but it usually means the wheel's toast.

    If the hub is of reasonable quality, it can be worthwhile to build a new wheel on it. That's usually a pretty expensive proposition, since prices on wheel components aren't great a la carte. If you have a local bike coop or used bike shop, you might scare up a rear wheel for not too much money, though. I would try not to buy a new one - it's getting into the same order of cost as buying a nice old Fisher or something.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Re: Some upgrade advice

    If your looking at a new wheel or wheel build, its better to get a used bike on cl IMHo. I found some 2-3 year old disc bikes for around $200 with a lot of searching in good shape

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