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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    Total noob here... Is noise from disc brakes normal? And some other noob questions

    Greetings MTBR community!

    Since my daughter finally shed her training wheels a few weeks ago I find myself riding alot more than I used to. Yesterday I impulse bought a new bike because my $69 walmart special from over 10 years ago was showing it's age. I picked up a Diamondback Apex 29er. About all I know is that it's an 18" frame, 29" wheels and has hydraulic disc brakes. I was riding around last night and noticed a constant rubbing sound from the discs. Is that normal or does something need to be adjusted? The noise really doesn't bother me, but I just want to make sure I'm not dragging myself too much or will burn up the pads.

    Also, I have a trailer that I pull my youngest around with. Now that I have a decent bike with suspension I find myself wanting to ride over anything I see but that doesn't work well with the trailer. Do they make trailers with suspension so I don't knock my son around too much? I put a car seat with 5 points in the trailer at least, but I don't want to beat the poor kid up.

    Any other words of wisdom for a noob to real bikes? Any good must have accessories I should look into?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I would advice checking if the wheel is straight. If you have removed the wheel before it COULD potentially be slightly off set, I would recommend reseating if it is crooked. Otherwise take it to your LBS.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by asanatheist View Post
    Otherwise take it to your LBS.
    If you know how spanners and screwdrivers work there is not reason why you can't sort it yourself. Nothing is hidden here, just look at the brake and see what is happening. If the brake disk is not centred in the calliper just move the calliper over a little.

    Only take this on if you are confident with tools and know you can do this without busting anything.

    And yes, do check the wheel is seated in the drop-outs properly before you do anything else!!!

  4. #4
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    Yes, I'm pretty confident in my abilities with hand tools. I do almost all of my own automotive work (except for automatic transmissions, those things run on black magic). I'll take a peek and make sure everything is lined up.

    This bike is brand new and the LBS I got it from offers lifetime tune-ups. They gave it a once over before I left with it. They adjusted the shifters and bled the rear brake. If I don't see anything obviously wrong I'll run it back up to them just for a sanity check.

    Thanks for your input!

  5. #5
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    What you've got to remember is that maybe the guy who works in the bike shop wasn't the brightest kid in the school? Not saying there is anything wrong with being a bike mechanic, just don't assume they will automatically know more about mechanics than you. Some shops are great, others have guys who should be work in a shoe shop not a bike shop!

    There is nothing arcane about a bicycle. It's all there for you to see and it's all simple. Just look at it and you'll soon figure it out.

  6. #6
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    a lot of disc brakes tend to make annoying noises, but usually only when the brake is applied. if you hear a constant rubbing, something is off. either the axle is not straight in the dropouts, causing the rotor to sit crooked in the brake caliper, the caliper is crooked, or a piston is sticking.

    if the axle is straight in the dropouts, you need to check that the caliper is straight. hold one end of the bike up and spin the wheel, listening and feeling for vibrations. you can also peer straight into the caliper to look for an even gap between the pads and the rotor. squeeze the lever and look for the pads to move evenly. if one pad is closer to the rotor so that's it's touching the rotor, you will need to straighten the caliper.

    it seems common that calipers are hard to align on some bikes because of paint and debris on the caliper mounting points of the frame and fork. I have assembled dozens of new bikes and I often have to face mounting points, especially on forks with a post-mount interface. sometimes I just skip all the struggling with the fork posts and just face the posts before I bother trying to align the caliper. it's very possible that your shop didn't even consider this.

    lastly, there's the dreaded sticking piston. when you pull the lever, both pads contact the rotor but only one of them retracts. [edit- this is true only on hydraulic brakes. on mechanical disc brakes, only one of the pads moves. the other remains static.] this is especially common on new or old Avid brakes, in my experience, and it can be cured by lubricating the piston where it moves in and out of the caliper. you have to be careful about doing this, probably leave it to the shop. hopefully the mechanic will know how to deal with this and think to remove the pads and put them somewhere safe before going near your brakes with oil.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:47 AM.

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