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.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Washing after a rainstorm

    I took my brand new Cannondale Trail SL out yesterday on its first trip- as fun as it was, we all got caught in the rain so my bike was covered in mud/dirt. Once I got it home I took a garden hose to it and than thoroughly dried it with a towel.

    Am I OK with doing this or is it not recommended?

  2. #2
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    I always rinse my bike off with a low-pressure nozzle on the hose if it's picked up any amount of crap on my ride. This morning I got caught in some rain so I had mud everywhere. 30 sec with the hose and it's clean and shiny again. I never dry it off, just bounce it a few times to get the bulk of the water off and then air dry.

    Rule #1 - No high-pressure water on or near bearings. This includes the head tube, wheel hubs, and bottom bracket.

    PS - which SL did you get?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh_SL2 View Post
    I always rinse my bike off with a low-pressure nozzle on the hose if it's picked up any amount of crap on my ride. This morning I got caught in some rain so I had mud everywhere. 30 sec with the hose and it's clean and shiny again. I never dry it off, just bounce it a few times to get the bulk of the water off and then air dry.

    Rule #1 - No high-pressure water on or near bearings. This includes the head tube, wheel hubs, and bottom bracket.

    PS - which SL did you get?
    I wouldn't say I used high pressure but a good amount of water instead. I used a garden hose nozzle with the "shower" setting in place. I hope that this is ok as I just got this thing and it wasn't exactly cheap lol.

    I've got an SL 2 (29er)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    I wouldn't say I used high pressure but a good amount of water instead. I used a garden hose nozzle with the "shower" setting in place. I hope that this is ok as I just got this thing and it wasn't exactly cheap lol.

    I've got an SL 29er.
    Yeah I use the 'shower' setting as well. You should be fine with that! I picked up a leftover SL2 29er this year and love it! Nice ride.

  5. #5
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    Dont forget to lube your chain. The lube might have been washed off.

  6. #6
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    How often do you guys lube up your chains anyways?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    How often do you guys lube up your chains anyways?
    I inspect my chain after every ride whether I end up washing the bike or not, and if it's looking dry I lube lightly with chainsaw bar oil. Bar oil is tacky stuff so I rarely need to lube more than once a week.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    How often do you guys lube up your chains anyways?
    On average every other ride for me. Have used Dumonde in the past with great results, currently putting Gnarlube dry through its paces which: so far so good.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  9. #9
    Beer Me!
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    Some tips with washing:

    As mentioned use low pressure on the hose. If you are going to actually wash your bike I have found that standard dish soap works quite well, About the same amount you would use to wash a few dirty pans, mixed in with warm water. This removes the dirt / grime / and sludge quite easily, but is deluted enough to prevent stripping your drive train from lube.

    Pay special attention to any seals, particularly your fork, and don't over work these with water, you don't want to force dirt into them.

    Post wash dry everything thoroughly. Re-lube your chain, and add a touch of lube to your fork seals, and any other squeaky bits. For example I had a ridiculously irritating squeak that was the rubber protection seal on a pedal, dab of lube, no more squeak. Other spots to lube about once a year post wash are your derailleur pivot points, brake lever pivot points, and shifter pivots (depending on your shifters) I usually do this after/during cable housing replacement at the end or beginning of every season.

    If your chain, cogs, cassette, and chain-rings are super nasty, its time to bust out a chain cleaner, and detail brush. This is usually a once a season detail clean, and isn't necessary as often if you don't over-lube your drive-train. Simple green works well for me but make sure to delute it. They also sell special chain cleaning products as well.

    I lube my chains when they are dry. I have found that is about every other week. I also ride about 3 to 4 times a week. This depends greatly on your type of lube, and trail conditions.
    -Dry lube keeps your drive train much cleaner, but will rinse away in wet conditions, and requires more regular application.
    -Wet lube is better for wet conditions, doesn't need to be applied as often, but if applied in excess will dirty up your drive train very quickly.
    -Wax lube is a whole nother ball game that I have not ventured into yet, so can't really tell ya.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker01 View Post
    I took my brand new Cannondale Trail SL out yesterday on its first trip- as fun as it was, we all got caught in the rain so my bike was covered in mud/dirt. Once I got it home I took a garden hose to it and than thoroughly dried it with a towel.

    Am I OK with doing this or is it not recommended?
    Just don't squirt water at the bearings wheels, BB and head set.

    Bike bearings are set-up for low friction and a soft stream of water can easily blow by the seal....

    Better wash is a warm soapy bucket of water, and a rag.

  11. #11
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    What is the correct way to lube the chain?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetFotografer View Post
    What is the correct way to lube the chain?
    Well there's this way:
    The ShelBroCo Bicycle Chain Cleaning System

    Or you can just wipe the chain clean, apply lube on each roller, pedal the chain through a few cycles and wipe the thing clean. There are more ways to lube a chain than you can count, I tend to believe that you do more damage by soaking a chain in degreaser than you will by only wiping it off so I choose the latter. If a chain is very dirty, I will spray a rag with a bit of WD-40 and wipe it off with that.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the laugh, zebrahun
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    And also thanks for the tip

    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Or you can just wipe the chain clean, apply lube on each roller, pedal the chain through a few cycles and wipe the thing clean. There are more ways to lube a chain than you can count, I tend to believe that you do more damage by soaking a chain in degreaser than you will by only wiping it off so I choose the latter. If a chain is very dirty, I will spray a rag with a bit of WD-40 and wipe it off with that.

  14. #14
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    one good tip I learned from a friend on cleaning bikes...

    after all done, rub the whole thing down with one of these (not the brakes obviously) Will help keep dirt from sticking to it in the first place, and friggin shines the thing like mad.. better than any car/bike wax I've ever seen.. both working and looking


    I went riding with a guy once on a rail trail with processed stone base. got cought in a flash flood type rain storm and when I got home my bike was coated in a nice layer of concrete

    anywhere I had wiped the bike with the silicone rag, it peeled right off... anywhere not.. (pedals,, rims bl bla bla.. ) it had a good bit of scrubbing to get it off... now I rub the damn rag on everything, spokes, hubs, rims.. pretty much everything but the brakes and the chain...
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

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