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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    Taking out bike after 6 year in storage

    Hi all,

    I have 2004 cannondale scalpel 900 with a lefty front shock and a float rl rear shock. I havent biked in 6 years (my bikes been in storage) and I want to get back into mountain biking. Funny enough I tested my scalpel in my backyard and other than some screeching from my rear disc brake everything seems fine. I was wondering if I could get some advice on what check ups I should do on the bike before taking it out for some serious fun. I guess my bigest concerns is my front and rear shock...(they seem to be working fine)

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    The seals might have dried out some ,that could lead to them leaking ,worry about that when /if it happens. I'd lube the cables and chain ,check the tires for dry rot and start riding.

  3. #3
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    lube your chain and wipe all the gunk off.

    check that your cables are not corroded inside the housing. if they just have a little white corrosion, you might be able to scrub them off with steel wool and some Triflow.

    check all your bolts.

    clean your rotors with alcohol.

    check your tires, cable housing, and grips for dry rot.

    check the air pressure in your suspension!

  4. #4
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    I would take the chain completely off and run it through a chain cleaner, THEN relube. A great first time lube is Dumonde Tech - the blue stuff. Clean the cassette as much as possible.

    I'd also just go ahead and replace the tubes. They're cheap and the failure of your old ones halfway through your maiden voyage will have you kicking yourself.

  5. #5
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    Great!!! thanks for all the helpful advice.

  6. #6
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    Taking out bike after 6 year in storage

    If you take the chain off, don't reinstall it. Older chains (without a master link) are not made to be reinstalled. Don't take it off... Just clean it and lube it. Change the tires, and tubes though, and all that stuff Mack-Turtle recommended.

    $100 LBS tuneup would probably be worth it .... And could tell you if you can run the tires tubeless. Happy trails.

  7. #7
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    IDK maybe I like living on the edge lol, maybe old school, but I'd take the chain off and reinstall it if I wanted. Could always use a master link to put it back on because it's easier, and then you don't need a chain tool again to take it off, but no need. Also if the tubes holds air I'm riding. I'm gonna have a spare anyways, and it's a good idea to have a spare master link too.
    Round and round we go

  8. #8
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    this is a point of controversy, but I am in the "clean and lube the chain on the bike" camp. apply a light degreaser to the chain if it's exceptionally nasty, scrub the grunge off with a brush or rags, lube, run it through the gears a few times, then wipe off all the excess filth and lube. if a chain is foul enough that you have to remove it to get it working smooth, it's probably time for a new chain.

    also, if a tube is holding air, my experience says it's fine. no need to replace a tube unless it's leaking. I have seen 30 year-old tubes in completely dry-rotted tires that work just fine in a new tire. when I ran tubes (tubeless FTW!), i patched each tube four or fives times before replacing it.

    wipe everything down well to get it really clean and then get the trained eye of your local bike shop mechanic to look it over for little details you would have missed. if the grease monkey can give it an OK without any additional charges, slip him a $10 for the trouble and enjoy your ride.

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