Clydesdale? Athena? More like a fat pony :|
Hey all! This seems like the right place for this rant
I am female, and short and stout (here is my han-dle here is my spout...). Not exactly an Athena build. I am having TONS of problems finding a bike the right size. I am 5'3", 27"-28" inseam, and big. Short arms. Every bike shop I have gone into look at me and scour for 14" bikes. I thought I was a 15". I am currently riding a 16". My current bike is a 1996 Diamondback Outlook I inherited. I hate it. I can tell it is too big, I have to shift myself to constantly get my weight back to where it should be. It feels like a beast pulling it up a hill, but that is partially me too >.<
I am looking at some bikes to upgrade. I am looking for used, as I wasn't anticipating the bike to not fit (the owner was 5'1", but I guess she never rode it. It most likely never fit her anyways). I can put up with the bike for a little bit, though it is just uncomfortable and kinda discourages me from wanting to get out on it. It is definitely meant for weekend warriors or occasional riders. But, I am REALLY dedicated to pushing this and getting the weight off! I used to ride all the effin time as a kid on my mountain bike, and I LOVED it! I want to fall in love again
My budget is around $200-$300. I can go to $300 in a few weeks or a month, but right now I only have $200 in hand. I have been agonizing over all the bikes out there, checked out bikes direct, ebay, and of course craigslist. The most important, number one thing, is fit. Once I get the right fit, I will go into details later. My plan is to get something that is older, but a solid start. A solid frame, a few good components, and the rest upgradable. The idea is to grow the bike with me over the years until I have the money and skill for a full upgrade, and maybe two different bikes once the bug has sunk it's teeth in
Right now, I need the bike for a short commute to work (2 miles) and for training and exercise. I currently ride in the park a few blocks from me. It has lots of dirt paths of increasing difficulty, and is right next to a nice mountain range. I tried riding in the dirt, but found my ****ty brakes to be a death trap. I am staying on the path until I get something that won't kill me offroad. But, I want to get into mountain biking! I want to climb the mountains I see every day My thoughts on this are to start with a base mountain bike, which is what I am most comfortable on, get better at biking, learn technical stuff and get rougher, building it up to a good bike as I get better. At that point, I will get a commuter, maybe a hybrid, for getting to work so I don't have to risk my nice mountain annihilator. I am trying to eliminate getting a 'meh' bike I am going to be trying to offload at a fraction of what I paid in a few years.
Now, this was the original plan. But after shopping around I have a few options, and need some help deciding!
First off, I can reverse the order and start with a hybrid commuter. One LBS is willing to sell me a brand new 2012 or 2013 13.5" Jamis Explorer for $220. I think it was an Explorer 1.0? I tried it, didn't like how much it felt like a cruiser. I feel better above the handlebars. But the LBS guys said it was adjusted to feel like that, and can be adjusted to feel like a mountain bike. It had a nice suspension in the seat, which they said is adjustable. Not sure if it can be adjusted to a fat pony like me... I am afraid I will bounce on it and bottom out with painful *CLUNK*s. It also has front suspension, not sure if it will withstand my weight or if I need to swap for a fork. The LBS guys didn't seem concerned about the shocks and my size, saying it can all be adjusted for me.
And the other option is to go with the original idea and start with a solid mountain bike. This one from Craigslist looks the most promising. Guy said he will work with me to go down to $350, but I won't be able to afford that for a few more weeks. Most likely will be gone by then. My only major concern about it is the dent on the top tube. He says it hasn't given him any problems, but a fat pony like me may be too much if I come down on it too hard. If this is a screaming deal I can't pass up, I can over extend myself, ask the power company for an extension, and pick it up thursday when I get paid. The bike is 16", which could possibly be too big, but I was told that if fitted correctly, it *can* work. I am able to ride my 16" regardless of the fact it isn't perfect. And everything I found about Balance bikes RAVED how awesomely balanced they are, so it may feel just fine.
The other option is to build. I have never built before. Took a wheel off for the first time today to transport the diamondback. I have been spending a couple weeks learning about bikes and components, but still feel lost as to what I need. There are SO many options and ****ty walmart parts floating around, I am really afraid I am going to get myself ripped off and stuck with a broken bike and no money to fix it. Another LBS I went to, after a little nudging, I got the owner working with me. He pulled out a 14" Woman's Haro V2 frame, either 2005 or 2006 by my best guess based on info online. He said it was a 14", and it was purple and either silver or white (was really dusty, but otherwise looked brand new). We talked a bit about taking the frame he just pulled out of his project pile and making a bike around it. He said to come back next week or give him a call to see what he has come up with. I suggested cannibalizing my current bike for parts as well, he told me to go ahead and bring it by next week when I come to see him. Here are the specs of my current bike. Everything is stock except the new tires, new handlebar grips, and a better saddle. Saddle, post, and tires are obvious things that can be salvaged. What else looks good, based on everything I have mentioned? Should I spend a little money and bring him a decent used front shock instead of using a fork? There seen to be a few shocks for sale cheap on the classifieds here! Recommendations? Anything in particular I should look for, considering I am a fat pony build? Those rims any good, or am I going to warp them with my first real trail? Should I nip this build in the bud with some disc brakes? Are there any affordable ones that aren't death traps?
Anywho, if building this thing seems like the best plan, maybe we can brainstorm what to put in this thing? Salvage what is worthwhile from the Diamondback, and there is a budget of about $160 for parts (the guy said $45 for the frame, including the dropout that he said was the only thing of real value to him). I will have more of a budget around January, maybe a couple months sooner if there is a good work season. There are some bikes I can buy on craigslist for parts, like Diamondback Crestview Bicycle or Aggressor 1.0 Mountain Bike - (says it is missing a wheel but both are in picture? And disc brakes, so maybe one being MIA makes the other useless?). ****, I could grab the diamondback for 10 bucks and the other one for the 150 and still be on budget if this seems like a good idea!
Any and all input is greatly appreciated!
Last edited by Bikemaya; 10-04-2012 at 03:43 AM.
A couple more bikes that may be worth stripping for parts?
IBOC Pro Series Mongoose Mountain Bike
Trek Bicycle (maybe if I can talk them down to like $75? The Bikepedia lists some pretty non impressive components)
1984 Vintage Specialized Stump Jumper Bike (Palm Springs)
First, I would rule out building up a frame. Even with mostly parts you already have, that's going to be more expensive than you'd think, unless you REALLY know what you're doing, and even then there's often unexpected expenses you just can't get around.
Used can be a good option, if you can find a bike in your size, that was owned by someone that took care of it - that you trust took care of it. That balance bike, for example... that huge dent would be a non-starter for me. It might be fine, but it might not. Craigslist also... for some reason people think their old junk is way more valuable than it really is on there. Half of what that guy with the balance is asking wouldn't be a smoking deal, considering how old and damaged that thing is.
I'd also steer you toward newer bikes. A top-shelf bike from 1990 might not be as nice a ride as a entry level one today (depending on what you want from it, of course) and most certainly will have parts that would be hard to replace today - like a 1" fork.
Just a quick look... The Jamis Trail XR looks to me like a solid choice. Best thing about it, IMO is the lack of a suspension fork. That lets them put some more money in the other components (it's got better drivetrain and brake parts than I see on anything else near the price), which, again my opinion, is a good thing because the fork that comes on a $300 is never going to be worth much. It comes in small sizes and female-specific.
I'm not familiar with every bike in this range, nor what you can find at a shop, but that's the sort of thing I'd look for: a new bike, that doesn't stretch your budget, without suspension.
I'd check out the Trek 820 WSD, the 13 inch frame. It's $370 which is a little more than $300 but it's a good deal for a new bike
Cannondale has some perfect bikes for you are looking for with their Quick models but you going to have to look for used since they're way over your budget.
The LBS has the trek 820 women's for $320. They tried to sell me one, but I wasn't totally sold on it.
The other LBS had a 13" Jamis Explorer 1.0 stepover they would sell to me new for $220. It's a hybrid, wasn't crazy about the feel. I like the balance and positioning on a mountain bike far better than a cruiser, and the guy said it can be adjusted to feel like one.
If I built one, to begin with, the LBS guy would do the initial build. I would basically bring him parts and he would scrounge up what he had lying around to get something going for my budget. My plan after the initial build is to keep my eye out for upgrades. A couple things on the bike that are solid and don't need upgrading for a while is ideal, especially harder things to install. But I can slowly swap out the crappy parts as I find money and parts. Obviously, I would take the bike back to him to install anything I don't feel comfortable working on. He seemed excited about the project too I didn't go into this expecting someone to build a custom bike for me, it was his idea!
The final question I had is just advice about when to look for LBS deals. I asked all of them and got hemming and hawing from 3 out of the 4 I visited, and they told me they were just small markdowns. One shop's entire business is based around seasonal tourism, so they had the exact month I should come back for screaming deals. March. They sell the bikes they had been renting out all season that hit the set number of miles. He said some will be older high end, and some will be last year's models, and all are well maintained retired members of their fleet. And there will be tons of them. Now, if I remember correctly, he told me they offer a 3 year warranty on parts, plus manufacturer's lifetime warranty on frame. Free tune ups and adjustments for the first year. People say the best used cars tend to come from car rental companies, seems to make sense the same would be true for bikes! So, that is the 'Wait for March when I will have more money and can get a killer deal' plan. But I am concerned I might lose interest if I have more obstacles to dissuade me from wanting to ride. Or, worse, I will hurt myself trying to do something with my current bike it really shouldn't be doing.
Some more craigslist complete bikes.
WTF is a Mongoose Quartz? I can't find any info on it! MONGOOSE QUARTZ AL 26" MTN BIKE
And old specialized hardrock Specialized Mountain Bike Don't know what year it is, but the location is far enough away it is only worth driving there if I know I want it.
that Mongoose is a Wal Mart bike. Stay away from it.
That seems to be the status quo of every mongoose I run across. I have mostly stopped even looking at them. I had just never heard of that one and thought I might have found one of their elusive 'non-toy' bikes I keep hearing about :|
You won't find one of their non toy bikes in the US. At least not a a slightly modern one.
From what I hear they have some real bikes they sell overseas.
I have my dad's '96 mongoose maneuver sitting in the garage. Bike is rock solid, name brand components, works as nicely as the day he bought it. Nice ride, it just is too big for me. The diamondback isn't faring as well, but it is a slightly better fit. It's a shame Mongoose went the route they did :/
My first mistake was blowing all my money on Nashbar and Amazon on accessories! I was chomping at the bit (and got some KILLER deals) waiting five effin days for the shop to finish the tuneup. Only after I got that bike home, and began riding it, did I realize my mistake...
I also won't go to that LBS again.
They did a ****ty job on the tuneup on one bike, and the other was used so little and stored so well I know it just needed some grease and a good wipe down to work like new (the guy chuckled when I brought the dust caked bike in and asked how it was stored to keep it in such good shape. It was stored in a regular outdoor garage where there is high elevation, mild to chilly temps, very dry air... a nice retirement location for a bike I guess :P) Nothing was wrong with either bike, each cost $40 of pure labor for a tuneup I doubt they spent more than 15 minutes on (maybe 20 to clean the dust off of the nicer one ). If they did, they would have seen the ****ty brake pads needed replacement (DUH) and they would have ridden the ****ing thing to realize the derailleurs needed adjusting so I could get more than 4 gears on my 18 gear bike :|. Yes, I took it back and made them fix it. He wanted to hold on to it for the weekend. I told him it was my only bike and I really didn't want to be without it. Five minutes later, after a TEST RIDE this time, he had it adjusted. And he tried to sell me $10/ pair brake pads instead of just throwing on some generic ones from the parts bin, which would seem to be the right thing to do considering they missed it the first time... and that's something basic I expected to be included in a tune up anyways...
There is another shop only a couple miles further away than the ****ty nearby one. They were super chill and did their best to work with me to get me a bike, even suggesting when I should come back for their killer deals. I will go to them next time my bike needs work. But, I also would rather learn to do my own tuneups, chain greasing, simple maintenance, etc. instead of paying someone for it.
In retrospect, I should have tried out the bike before anything else and realized I was already beyond it. The good news is, I have a decent helmet, a couple basic lights, a repair kit, and clothes that will wick sweat and heat off me (I live in the desert. This is the first time I have purchased sport specific athletic wear, because I know I can seriously hurt myself if I don't keep the heat off). I hopefully won't hurt myself *too* badly despite my bike's best efforts
And I will keep posting my craigslist finds! If something looks good, or even has salvageable parts that can extend the life of my current ride, I would like to know! I am going to check out one tomorrow that has been wasting away in the guy's yard. It sounds like he just wants someone to haul it away. It might have some stuff I can pull, namely the Shimano Acera Derailleurs that would be a huge upgrade from my tourney ones if they can be saved. What do you guys think? What should I look for to check if parts can be salvaged from the elements? Diamondback Crestview Bicycle
This one is also VERY tempting to strip to have the LBS guy pop onto the 14" frame. It would be my whole budget, so this bike would need to have all the major stuff (I can pull my seatpost, saddle, handebar covers from old bike). Should I check it out? What little things should I look for that might be missing/ broken that will get me? IBOC Pro Series Mongoose Mountain Bike
The other bikes I am keeping an eye on, with the idea of stripping for parts, are these:
Specialized Mountain Bike (actually looks like it *may* be a small frame too! Waiting to hear back...)
1984 Vintage Specialized Stump Jumper Bike (Palm Springs) (I would feel bad stripping this beauty... I hope it gets a good home with someone who will ride it well!)
Aggressor 1.0 Mountain Bike - (based on the boats in the background of one picture, it wasn't taken locally. The area code is not local either. I am afraid I might get mugged. I will bring my mace )
Trek Bicycle (lowest end components out of everything I am looking at, but also looks complete.)
trek 1420 mens bike (not sure if the conversion will be doable using parts from my mountain bike to bridge the gap?)
Well, I do need materials to play with and learn how to build At the very least, the one the guy is throwing away would be worth picking up to tinker with!
Where do you get your parts from? New? Used off ebay?
Originally Posted by Bikemaya
pricepoint.com, ebay, jensonusa.com, performancebike.com,, artscyclery.com, crosslakesales.com, niagaracycelworks, blueskycycling.com,...on and on.
...when I do ebay, often I just put in the color and mtb behind it.(blue mtb, red mtb, etc.)
...or sometimes just put mtb in the search under sporting goods where it says categories.
then i view sellers other items after i bring something up. you can go on the "Where are the best deals?" forum here at mtbr.
...And the guys will tell you where to get stuff here too.
Read the reviews too. There's tons of stuff out there.
My brother had a Mongoose Rockadile back in the 90's. One of my friends bought it from him and still has it. They used to be great bikes.
Originally Posted by Bikemaya
Bah. Guy already sold the junker
My brain is mush from everything I have been sifting through today. I narrowed down the two components I want to be decent on my first build. A solid and relatively inexpensive crankset and some decent v-brakes that won't get me killed. As much as I WANT nice derailleurs, I don't need them. There seem to be a lot of them floating around, so upgrading shouldn't be a problem. I need a bit of help in terms of what to look for in these two. Being short with short legs, I want a shorter crank, correct? And other than reviews or just trying them, I am not sure how to sniff out good brakes.
For everything else, I was trying to sift through all the sales from Clearance Offers - Massive Savings
I could build a bike from the clearance. It is pretty insane. Anywho, the things I picked out and was looking at:
Wheels. Clearance Offers - Massive Savings I can't tell what size the Mach 1 are?
A nice short stem FSA HS-06-TH Stem | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com and cheap, but quality handlebar RaceFace Evolve XC Flat Bars 2012 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com
and headset Syncros Cromoly Threadless Headset | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com
Depending on what speed I decide to go with, SRAM PG820 8 Speed MTB Cassette | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com for 24 speed setup,
crazy cheap suspension fork Post Moderne Cozy-St Fork | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com
Shifter SRAM X9 8 Speed Twister Shifter | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com which I am a bit unclear about the specs. Is it only eight gears (it says front and back) or is it the eight plus the three on the crank, for 24? Is it just the shifter for the rear, and I need one for the crank?)
Front derailleur. Shimano LX M567 Top Swing 8sp Front Mech | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com
SRAM X9 2x10sp Low Direct Front Mech | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com is a much nicer model, but I am getting lost again as to what I need. I read a thread about the long vs short front derailluers, and it seems silly to me to lock out any gears, so I should go for long. How do I know if they are long ones? and the 42-32-22 is standard for cranksets, so I imagine I want the 42T model? But which 'spec'? GAH.
It probably would be way less of a headache to keep checking craigslist for a complete bike... but at least I am learning about this **** by googling all these parts!
umm... Unless I'm reading it wrong, I think those Mach 1 wheels are only 20". Also, that fork is for a 700c wheel. This stuff is all wrong.
Sette Reken Alloy Hardtail Frame at Price Point
Check out this frame in small or 14". Give me some time and I'll look up some deals on wheels and a fork.
Too bad you live on the other coast. I've been building bikes for women and kids lately and have come up with a good, solid, simple build that works well.
The latest is a 13" framed 29er hardtail for my sister in law's girlfriend. She needed low standover height.
The link to the frame I'm showing you requires 26" wheels and fork. All should be easy enough to find.
BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano Deore Disc Wheelset W/Sun Rhyno Lite Rims
My 8 year old is currently riding Rhyno-Lite rims in 24" with Deore hubs. Bombproof wheelset. I laced them myself and spent more than what these cost.
RST GILA T9 100mm Suspension Mtb 26" Bike Fork Disc / V Brake White NEW | eBay
I would hate to see you buy some crappy fork. Maybe start on a rigid fork and upgrade later?
The owner of one of the LBS has a 14" Haro V2 frame for me, and said he would work with me to get a complete build around it. I know if I leave it all up to him, I am relying on whatever he has lying around, so I told him I would try to find some parts for him. I still have a complete bike, so I figure whatever I don't buy can be scrounged off that, so all I am paying the guy is $45 for the frame and whatever he says his time putting it together is worth.
Was the fork I linked no good? I couldn't find any info on it, but considering what the site *claimed* it normally retails for, I thought there might be a good chance it is decent! Is the one you linked any good, or should I just wait to upgrade to something better later? A good crankset and good v brakes are my priority to get for the build, the rest I just hope to get lucky and find some good deals on low and mid grade name brand stuff.
Now, how do I shop for rigid forks? Can that be pulled from my current bike too? Hmmm...come to think of it, the Haro frame is aluminum, and my current bike is steel. No dice. I am kind of curious to see what the LBS guy throws on it...
Found that fork you linked at another site with free shipping.
RST GILA T9 100mm Suspension Mountain Bike Fork Disc / V Brake White NEW: 348912 Random Bike Parts
Can't beat $15 for Deore brakes! Random Bike Parts > Brakes,Brakesets,Calipers,Linear Pull,V-Brake,Disc,Hydraulic,Front,Rear,Canti
They have some cheap ass wheels too! Random Bike Parts > Bike,Bicycles,Wheel,Wheelset,Mtn,26",Mountain,Free ride,DH,Race,Single Track
All their **** is cheap. I will definitely hold onto that site for checking prices.
45 for that frame seems like a fine deal. 15 for brakes is great too.
The wheels I linked up are very strong and stiff, PLUS it's Shimano hubs that you can use if you upgrade to discs and the rims are V brake ready. And they come with the skewers. It's a win win...
You can use a steel fork on an aluminum frame as long as the headtube and steerer are compatible. If you can pirate the fork off your current bike and save up for a good air fork down the road, go for it.
How depressing, Mongoose used to be independent and make a really nice bike.
Originally Posted by NYrr496
Anyhow, I would stick to Craigslist or ebay and look for local listings so you can check for fit live in person.
Alright, will stick that wheelset on my xmas list for sure! To get me until then, I had already planned on taking them off my current build.
What about the other stuff? Solid finds? Should I pull the trigger on the handbar/ stem/ and headset, cassette, shifter, and one of the front derailleurs?
And does anyone know anything about that "Post Moderne Cozy' suspension fork? My best guess as to the year of the frame is '05 or '06, both which came stock with an 'RST Capa T5', 75mm. What I read is that you want to try to match the specs of stock as much as you can so maintain the intended geometry. There isn't much info on the bikepedia about the fork, so I am not sure what size I need? Obviously, a 26", everyone says air is king, and as generous travel as I can afford for a fat pony. Beyond that, I don't know how to choose one that is the right size!
Could they make wheel matching MORE CONFUSING?! Seriously...
So, I know I have the correct headset (1 1/8") but I am having trouble getting a straight answer as to whether a 700c fork will work with a 26" wheelset and MTB setup. The description for the fork says:
Wheel size: 700c.
Steerer: 1 1/8” threaded - 155mm length.
V-brake mounts only.
Steerer is the right size for the frame, I am planning on starting with v-brakes, so I can always upgrade it later when I get disc brakes and throw the fork on another bike as an upgrade. The travel is only 5mm more than stock, so I am hoping that means the geometry will be maintained.
Most of your stuff looks fine. That Post Modern fork says it's for 700c wheels. Without a pic it's either for 29er wheels or road wheels. NOT what you're looking for.
A fork designed for 700c wheels will raise the front of your bike too much and the brakes won't touch your rims.
Hope it is still available, going to go try to pick up this 2005 Trek 820 from craigslist and strip it for parts:
TREK 18" MOUNTAIN BIKE with Locks
I got the Trek for $50
Here is the Bikepedia list of parts: BikePedia - 2005 Trek 820 Complete Bicycle
Not sure what to strip and use on a new build, or if I should keep it as a whole and try to trade? It is in great shape, ready to ride. The tires are the only thing that will need replacing anytime soon, the bike was well ridden but also very well taken care of and stored indoors.
I went for a quick spin around the block on it, couldn't help myself. I was surprised how comfortable I was on it despite it being so HUGE and feeling like I was a passenger on the bike instead of it being an extension of me... you know what I mean? The biggest thing about it was how flippin PLUSH the ride felt! I have only ridden steel non suspension my whole life. I am used to jarring the nose into my crotch when I hit a bump going uphill, and getting some major tennis elbow after an intense ride. I am sure a lot of it is bad form. I am almost afraid I will never learn GOOD form if I put the suspension fork on my new bike! Maybe I should stick with a rigid for my own bike skills sake? But oh gawd that was a nice ride... I need to take it on a longer one on my next day off before I can give a definite opinion on it. Not sure how much wheelsets play in this either? Do they affect the smoothness of a ride?
What I was unimpressed with, right off the bat, was the shifters/ derailleurs. Not sure which was giving me problems, but it was no better or more reliable than the tourney on the diamondback. The Altus on the Mongoose didnt give me any problems... until the bike tipped over. Not crashed, TIPPED. Then I began to have trouble. I do prefer the grip shifters still, however. Hand position always seems to stick my hand in the way of triggers, and I accidentally jar them. Also, the shifting just feels the smoothest on the grip shift, even smoother than the trigger that is 10 years newer!
Need some more time feeling the brakes, but they are eons better than the diamondback, which are horrendous. I think it just needs brake pads, I ordered some, lets see what happens when they come in! Need to look closely at it and see if I can adjust the tension/ pressure on the handles too, I need three fingers to even feather it, four if I want to stop (and it is a skidding stop...). That is why I haven't taken the diamondback off trail yet, despite my itching to do so I asked the LBS guy about it when I took it in for him to adjust the improperly tuned derailleurs, and he shrugged his shoulders at me, said it looked adjusted correctly, and squeezed the handle on each bar to prove it actually moved. I asked about the brake pads, at which point he scratched his head and said that might be it (without even looking at the pads) then tries to sell me pads and tells me they are hard to put on. I raised an evebrow as I asked if all I needed was a hex tool, and he went on about having to take the entire closure apart, at which point I pointed at the release on the wire and the hex screw. One look at the ****ing brake and I could figure out how to change the pad. Sheesh, I know I am a chick and supposed to be an idiot at these things, but seriously?! *winces* More LBS rant, sorry Ya, my bikes won't be going there anymore. Anywho, more research and I found that some brake handles have a tensioning screw to adjust it, so I will poke around them before I go out again and see if it has one.
Oh, the only thing I pulled the trigger on so far was a set of brakes, Shimano Deore v-brakes. 15 bucks a set, so 30 bucks and I am good to go. Being able to stop is worth getting something new and decent quality The other parts I am still hemming and hawing over, trying to decide how many speeds I want to go with, which dictates cartridge, rear derailleur, and shifters. I am leaving it up to my bargain hunting at this point. Whatever the max speed is on the shifters or derailleur I end up getting is what I will go for!
Still having trouble finding that screaming deal on a crankset. I am concerned with my weight I will mutilate any cheap ones. All my poking and I still don't know where to draw the line between cheap and bare minimum what I should be using.
Wow... Good work.
Also, you seem to have found a bike shop guy that truly cares. This seems to be working out for you.
...Just my 2 cents, but you can get some disc brakes for about the same price as v-brakes.
Originally Posted by Bikemaya
Gatorbrake Mechanical Disc Brake at Price Point
replacement pads for those:
Alligator Hayes MX-2/Gatorbrake Disc Brake Pads at Price Point
...but why waste time with spending 20 bucks on a halfway product, when you could get the BEST mechanical disc brake in the world for about $17 more?
...they are the bb7s. This is a VERY VERY good price for them too... act quickly.
...well, they were $37, but the sale's over.but anyway here they are.
Avid BB7 Mech Disc Brake Grey Fnt/Rer 2011 at Price Point
And here's some other cheaper discs:
BlueSkyCycling.com - Funn EZR Mechanical Disc Brake w/ Rotor
I think these use the Hayes mx2 replacement pads too. and the come in 180 or 160 rotors...you might want a 180 rotor up front, but you might need an adapter depending on the fork you choose...prolly will.som Avid
...and get some Avid Fr-5 or speed dial brake levers.
BlueSkyCycling.com - Avid FR5 Brake Levers
BlueSkyCycling.com - Avid Speed Dial 7 Brake Levers 2011
...ebay has this stuff too 24/7.
Look for sales.
Crankwise...unless you need a shorter length crankarm, this is a pretty nice cheap priced set with the bottom bracket included.
BlueSkyCycling.com - Race Face Ride XC X Type Crankset w/ Bottom Bracket
...just my .02.
Avid BB5 disc brakes (around $30) are pretty good too...but remember nothing is as good as BB7s mechanical disc brake speaking. Check for 32mm Rock Shox forks. BlueSky has some. The Recon is good.You will prolly like the recon solo air.
...check on ebay.The Manitou Match Comp fork is good too.(ebay and performancebike.com among others have them). Be careful handling discbrake rotors.Very sharp!
I realized I never said thanks for all the previous help
Ok! Just popped in to see if anyone has thoughts on a couple vintage forks I found. Are they all worth around $100, and would they work for a clyde? Oh, also not sure if I mentioned it, but I need 100mm or less travel. My frame was made for a 60mm fork, and the LBS guy who specializes in Haro said I can stick something up to 100mm on it and not mess up the frame geometry.
Marzocchi Bomber z3 (from the UK, I expect shipping to be MASSIVE.)
Marzocchi Bomber Z3 Light Suspension Forks 1 inch steerer Retro Excellent Cond. | eBay
Marzocchi Bomber Superfly Z2
RARE Marzocchi Bomber Z 2 Fork Super Fly Made in Italy | eBay
Marzocchi Z3 QR20
Marzocchi Z3 QR20 100mm Fork | eBay
As you can see, I went on a Marzocchi spree after finding stellar reviews on older forks. All of these have good reviews that date to before 2005, but I am not sure if they still stand up to modern forks in ~$200 price range, and there was nothing about large riders.
In terms of modern forks, I have narrowed it to two.
One is what Zarr recommended, the Mantiou Match Comp:
Manitou Match Comp Rim/Disc QR Fork 2012 at Price Point
And the other came from another Clyde thread (and due to price, if all is equal, is what I would go for) Rock Shox Recon Silver:
BlueSkyCycling.com - 2011 Rock Shox Recon Silver R Coil Fork OE (but the red clashes with my frame!! /girly moment)
Hmmm... LBS guy said coil shocks are a pain in the ass to maintain. He said I should stick to air if possible. What do you guys think? Anything worthwhile in my price range and considering my size, or should I stick with coil?
What's your price range for a fork again? Sorry... I didn't go back and read the entire thread.
Air is superior, but my stepson is riding a Rockshox Tora coil fork and it's fine so far. I would imagine the cheaper coil forks that don't have the parts availability like Rockshox may be difficult, but no problems with ours.
$200-$300, i have no problem with nos items or light/ responsible used. But if there is little diffence between them in that range, I would rather go cheap, spend the extra on something else, and upgrade later.
Originally Posted by NYrr496
that is a nonsense statement. If a LBS guy told me that [and wasn't kidding], I'd probably slap him.
Originally Posted by Bikemaya
Coils require less maintenance than air - there are no pressure seals.
Was at work and missed it before it was picked up :/
Originally Posted by NYrr496
I looked for more, and found one on bid. Not expecting much luck, but I will give it a shot.
However, a bit of poking for other models in the same line found a 2008 Manitou Minute RTC on bid. Looks like a better fork from what I read! And I have no problem with NOS, so I may get a good deal on this
Now, as for the LBS guy and what he said about coil shocks. The long version is he told me they are expensive and a pain to tune in, since you have to take it apart to do so each time you need to adjust. If it needs maintenance, it has to be taken apart and is expensive and time consuming. He did also say they need maintenance less often than air shocks. He went on to say that air shocks are a breeze to dial in since you just pump them, and maintenance, though yearly, is cheap with fast turnaround. He made it quite clear he is a firm believer, and a huge fan, of ~$700 range Fox air forks and thought they are worth the investment. I pretty much stonewalled him and told him I don't need that kind of travel and performance as a beginner. I was curious what bikes they had in the slightly below $1000 range, and he pretty much no-sold me on everything, pointing out what I was missing out on by not going up in each price range. He used a Specialized Stumpy FSR 29er basically as an example of a 'real' mountain bike without all sorts of big flaws. I think he is one of those who thinks any mountain bike below $2000 is just a toy, because that is how he was shrugging some of them off. That kind of stuff makes me feel silly and embarrassed for being poor and interested in an expensive hobby, you know? :/
When it came to road bikes, he was actually less biased. He basically said if I just need something for a nice ride (commute and cardio workouts), get something with an aluminum frame to save money, but spring for the carbon fork so the ride is smoother. He said the $1200 range would probably keep me quite happy. That was the bit of useful info I got from him, and will help me out when looking at some used ones next year
I think he was a bit of a fork snob. At least he didn't laugh at me when I said I ride a steel full rigid! He looked impressed, actually.
Needless to say, the visit reinforced my original plan of building with an LBS guy who cares, and buying a nice road bike used. I won't be swapping out parts as soon as I get the bike, so I think in the long run it is a better investment, even if initially it costs more. I have more control over where the money is spent initially too, so I have more money for upgrades on a select few parts I skimped on for now instead of having an overall 'meh' build that isn't worth building up with me. As I have done the math in my head, I figure this build will cost me around $1200, and probably cost close to that much if I tried to buy it off a rack. However, no one would ever build a bike like this and stick it on the rack. I wouldn't get the upgrades where I need them, and have (cheap) bling where I don't (I am looking at YOU, crappy cheap mechanical discs...) Of course, there is also the added bonus of knowing every single component on the bike, and having researched all of them before purchasing, I know enough about bikes to make smart upgrades and future purchases that will work with my riding preferences instead of what an LBS guy says
Most of what that dude told you was snobbish, and... well wrong, or at least only partially true.
1: tuning a coil fork can be more expensive than an air fork, because you have probably will have to replace the coil (since we're on the clyde forum, I think it's safe to assume we're all too heavy for the stock, medium spring). However, a reasonably intelligent person can guess the correct coil on the first guess, and changing it, on every coil fork I've used involved removing one bolt (threaded cap, but still). That's not "taking it apart" in my book, that's 15 seconds with a socket.
2: servicing a coil fork is the same amount, if not slightly less than an air fork. you have to take them apart to the same level.
3: if you want a plush ride, it's really hard to beat coils. Rock shox dual and solo air setups are the only ones I've tried that come close, without compromising spring rate/mid stroke. If you want to ride with a lot of preload, as an XC racer guy might, then yes air is the way to go.
but honestly, it's time to find a new LBS. If it were me, I'd explain to the owner or manager what that dude said, and why I'd never buy anything at his shop, never setting foot in there again, and will tell everyone you know how horrible his employees are. You just don't tell a customer that they need to double their budget to get a bike you think is good enough. If I owned a shop and had an employee acting like that, I'd probably punch him in the nuts before I fired him.
I had a few experiences like this when I started riding - it's a big part of why I haven't set foot in an LBS in 17 years.
A friend of mine just got a GT something or other from performance for around $700; hardtail with Deore components, hydraulic brakes and a RS XC28 fork. I wouldn't have a hard time riding a bike like that and enjoying it; and it's considerably better than the bike I paid $3000 for 18 years ago.
You absolutely don't need a $2000 bike to enjoy riding.
Shimano Deore M590 Triple Chainset | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com
Do you have a crankset yet? I picked one of these up for a low buck build I'm doing for a buddy with three kids. Haven't seen a better value yet.
Previously in the thread I posted an LBS rant. Same LBS, and I believe same employee. I went back because I broke my saddle, which had a 90 day warranty on it. I couldn't find my receipt but they exchanged it with no questions. The rest of the guys there seem cool, but for some reason I am always pawned off to this airhead (pun intended!) when I have questions. Maybe he is 'the mountain bike guy' and I am asking about mostly mountain bikes? Anyways, I haven't given them any more business, and only would in a dire emergency/ as a last resort. I found two great places, one where I will buy a nice used road bike next year (they are REALLY busy right now, town is in season. They rent out bikes, and most people are rich old folks who want safe road bikes, so they have a good selection of those.) and the other one has the owner who is going to build my mountain bike. They also are clear across town, takes 40 minutes to get to them.
Originally Posted by Joules
As for the crankset, I keep hemming and hawing about what to get, so I threw it on the backburner until I could decide or something really stood out. I made another thread for it Raceface Atlas Cranksets-- Which Model/ year is best? I am so afraid of ****ing up some cheap ones, there is major flex, suck, everything wrong with the no name junk on my crappy bike. It inspires zero confidence, and when I descend, I keep seeing in my mind something snap when I go over a big rock or bumpy section. I take it off the occasional curb to give myself more confidence to try some more difficult skills, even though I know it is a horrible idea for the pot metal components. Maybe it is some sort of subconscious attempt to break something so I REALLY have an excuse to yell at my bike?
Anyways, I am trying to be hard on the bike without hurting myself, because I kind of want SOMETHING major to break so I have an indication as to where I need to focus the money spent on the new build. But the ****ing thing groans, whines, skids to a slow stop, doesn't roll, drops chains no matter how i adjust it, shifts into only whatever gears it feels like (though I have managed to get the rear derailleur dialed in and quite reliable, the shifters have just lost their 'click' and slip easily), everything to indicate the parts are cheap and not doing me any favors, but nothing is actually breaking! Damn steel and it's durability! The brakes have been the main thing stopping me from really trying to bomb it. I replaced the cantis and have spent HOURS trying to tune them in. I don't have a repair stand so I can't easily remove and replace the wheels, making the adjustments an even bigger nightmare. I wrenched with them some more today, I hope I got them dialed in this time... The upside of having fail brakes is it got me over my descent fears really ****ing quickly, because I have to just blow through everything. The brakes only make things more hairy on the way down
So, anyways I moved past that choice and have kind of left the cranks until I know how much money I have left. If I spend $300+ on the fork, I will go for a sub $100 crankset (I also have looked at the raceface rides, which can be had for $50. Would you recommend the Deores over those?). But if I get the fork for <$200, I think I might just get the raceface atlas, and run the BB into the ground until it needs replacement (people ***** about it and say you should replace it when you get the set, but maybe I am still a beginner so it will do fine for me for a few years?)
Please excuse my walls-o-text, I like to think out loud on forums. It helps me work out problems so I know where I am going wrong
Personally, I wouldn't buy any race face crank unless it was really, really discounted. The BB issue... that's such a basic engineering thing that's so obviously wrong, it makes me wonder what else they screwed up that's less obvious.
I don't mind paying for quality, but I don't buy expensive stuff unless I can see why it's worth more; I've concluded that there is no better crank at any price than Shimano SLX.
Shimano SLX M660-10 Oe Crankset > Shimano OE | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
which doesn't include a bottom bracket, so figure another $40, but still a bargain
Shimano Deore M590 Oe Crankset > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
I'd get that over anything Race Face. It doesn't look bling, so if that's valuable to you...
yeah, stick with shimano cranks. strong, light, shift great! this is coming from a rider that currently has both raceface and shimano cranks.
BTW if you are looking to save money those Deore cranks above are an absolute steel of a price. I have them on my commuter bike and love them
I am going for a 9x3 setup. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do need to order a crankset specifically for a 9-speed, correct?
Originally Posted by Bikemaya
Not really, 10s rings will work ok on a 9s system. You can always replace the 10s chainrings with 9s versions as they wear out if you want- the rings are the difference between a 3x10 and 9.
Shimano, Sram and every other crank manufacturer will tell you need to match speeds though. Hasn't been my experience.
Alright! Then the next question is, if I grab a 10 speed crankset for for my 9 speed setup, will both a 3x9 and 3x10 front derailleur work as well? Or do I need to match the front derailleur to the whatever the crank is?
I think I might pick up those SLX. The best price I could find on 9 speed SLX is around $140, so that is an amazing deal!
I poked around and found the SLX with bottom bracket for $90 Will grab after work, no time right now!
Any 3 speed shifter and derailler combo will work on the 3 ring crankset.
X7 3x9 along with an x7 derailleur and an SLX front derailleur will work great for not too much money.
Originally Posted by Bikemaya
mind telling us where? At least after you have yours on order? That's the kind of thing I think about stocking up on for future bikes.
The cage on a 9s front derailleur is slightly wider than 10s. You can make either work (provided the number of speeds matches), but it will be easier to get a 9s version to run rub-free in more gear combos when using a 9s chain.