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  1. #1
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    A Few Questions

    How expensive is it to maintain a bike, with repairs and such? Also, a LBS has a bike I'm interested in, but it's still in the box. Does this mean that they will assemble it, or do I have to? And, what is the best book about mountain biking repairs and such for a complete beginner?

  2. #2
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    Standard Maintainence Costs:
    $50 a year if you really abuse it. Cheaper if you do your own work. This does not include parts upgrades.

    Bike in box:
    Most bike shops will assemble each bike completely and professionally. Dicks, Wal-Mart, or Sports Authority are NOT bike shops. I think your LBS would actually insist on assembling it, since they stand behind the bikes they sell, and they can't warranty your work.

    Best Book:
    Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintainence by Lennard Zinn. Zinn gives you all the details you need to know, and it's easy to read and follow the steps. It covers basic stuff, like changing tires and lubing chains, and more complex stuff, like drivetrain tuning and suspension fork overhauls.

    Since you're a beginner, I'm assuming you've never worked on bikes before, so I would have your LBS set up your bike for you. They can help adjust the bike for proper fit, and tune it professionally.

    -MrMook

  3. #3
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    Thanks MrMook.

    Anyone else have any advice?

    I am considering a Specialized Hardrock Sport. Is this a good entry level bike? My LBS sells the bike, but they only have 2 of the 4 colors it comes in. Would a bike shop order the bike in a particular color for you at no extra cost?

    I am about 5'6" and 120 pounds. A 16" bike seems to be a good fit. Any idea how much I would have to grow to outgrow the bike? And, how can I tell if a bike fits, such as, how my arms should extend on the handlebars, etc?

  4. #4
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    A Specialized Dealer is absolutely required to assemble a bike before selling it...they could lose their dealership if they don't. So it will be assembled properly.

    As far as the color you want...if Specialized still has any in the color and size you want (50/50 chance at best this time of year...they stopped production on 2007's six months ago at least) then your shop should be able to order it for you. They may or may not charge you shipping depending on their level of commitment to Specialized (if they have ordered enough bikes from them, then they get free shipping).

    And yes, the Hardrock is legendary for its durability for an entry level bike and is a good choice.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by frazier193
    Thanks MrMook.

    Anyone else have any advice? I am considering a Specialized Hardrock Sport. Is this a good entry level bike? My LBS sells the bike, but they only have 2 of the 4 colors it comes in. Would a bike shop order the bike in a particular color for you at no extra cost?
    The Spesh Hardrock Sport is an excellent choice for a starter bike. The frame is exceptional for such a low-cost bike, and can be upgraded as you learn and improve. The LBS I work at will order a bike at no extra cost so long as it's a brand they carry upon a customer's request. They also let customers take all but the most expensive bikes for a full-day test ride. Ordering a bike from an LBS is an excellent idea, because any bike shop worth anything will take apart shipped bikes and grease everything that needs grease, because the factory skimps on grease horribly.

    If the LBS gives you crap about having to special order a bike, just go to a different shop.

    As MrMook said, Dick's, Walmart, and other department stores are not bike shops. They don't do anything but throw the bike together without grease or anything and you would have to take it apart and do all this if you don't want future repairs to become impossible and parts to fail.

    Good Luck!
    Tim
    I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

  6. #6
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    if Specialized still has any in the color and size you want (50/50 chance at best this time of year...they stopped production on 2007's six months ago at least
    When do 2008's come out? And is there any reason why I should not get this model instead of a 2008 model?

  7. #7
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    Late Summer to Early Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by frazier193
    When do 2008's come out? And is there any reason why I should not get this model instead of a 2008 model?
    Generally the 2008's come out late summer to early fall (August to October)...I would say pick up the 2007 because you'll waste most or all of the summer waiting for 2008's

  8. #8
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by frazier193
    How expensive is it to maintain a bike, with repairs and such? Also, a LBS has a bike I'm interested in, but it's still in the box. Does this mean that they will assemble it, or do I have to? And, what is the best book about mountain biking repairs and such for a complete beginner?
    Also for DIY maintenance issues, Park Tools webstite is unbeatable.

  9. #9
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    Another book I really like besides Zinn is Mountain Bike Maintenance by Mel Allwood. Mel is short and to the point, and there are plenty of step-by-step pictures.

    Allwood is the book I turned to this morning when I remembered just before a ride that my front derailler needed adjusting. It took me about 60 seconds of reading after finding the correct page to get the adjustment info that I needed. Five minutes and a few rides around the driveway later and I was good to go.

    I have Zinn also. He goes into more detail. I turn to Zinn whenever things deviate from the "happy path" that is Allwood. For example, I was tearing apart a front hub the other day and a seal would not come loose. Allwood never mentions that possibility. Zinn does, and tells you what to do about it.

    I find that the two books compliment each other. I go to Allwood first to get the quick, 411. Then it's Zinn when I run into a snag.

  10. #10
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    Does Zinn have everything Mountain Bike Maintenance has? For just a beginner, which book would be the most beneficial? Also, what seems to be the best multi-tool?

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