please help me pick my first mtb- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32

    please help me pick my first mtb

    So I really would like to spend < 800 if possible. I want a 29er hardtail. I don't need any luxuries or bells and whistles. I don't necessarily need lightweight. I can handle medium weight. But I just want to make sure I get quality metal on the frame and drivetrain. I don't even need perfect comfort. I just want quality and reliability. If you can't suggest me a specific bike; can somebody at least tell me which companies make the best frames, components, etc, that I should look for when I'm in the lbs. My lbs rep thinks I should get the gt karakoram 2.0. Anbody got an opinion on on that specific bike?

    So the thing that is bugging me is people keep telling me that I need to upgrade to these more luxurious components in order to get quality. For instance, they say to spend more money so you can get disk breaks..... but as far as I can tell.....disk breaks are just a more luxurious feature(easier to squeez, doesn't mean its better quality). Wouldn't the more practical thing be to just pay more for a higher quality v break? That's what I'm looking for...... high quality reliability in more basic (less luxurious) components.
    Any information you can give about buying a bike or specific components(metals, brands) would be great!

    In conclusion...... I am a simplist. I want the most simple more primitive (less luxurious) products. I want my money to go towards quality in products.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: firehand10k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    20
    I prefer Trek but that's just personal opinion. Their quality has never disappointed me. At 260Lbs and with fairly abusive riding habits I call any bike that can handle me pretty good construction. I rode a 2007 Trek 4300 disc for over 2 years with no indication of any weakness in the frame even after a head on collision that bent the fork. Now I use the Trek Gary Fisher collection Marlin. Its a 29er in your price range (less than $700 really).

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...r_29er/marlin/

    Many people will tell you to upgrade the parts but there is really no need until they wear out on you. This bike has almost the same parts as were originally on my 4300 and they lasted me over 2 years with very poor maintenance habits. Unless you have specific plans or needs use up the old parts before you worry about upgrading. It make take years if you take care of things correctly.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    You could certainly do worse than the Karakoram. I think Alivio doesn't get enough credit as a component group - my bike came with the rear derailleur, and it lasted a few seasons; it was when I fell on it that it stopped working. (Go figure.)

    If you ride off-road, get the nicest bike with a price tag you can stomach. Or, really commit to being a minimalist. Get a rigid singlespeed. All you really need to go mountain biking is a bike that goes, stops, and has fat tires. Spending less than your real pricepoint doesn't make you a minimalist, but it probably does make you buy another bike in a season, or bolt a whole bunch of random "upgrades" to your new bike over the course of this one.

    I think you're confusing quality of production and quality of design a little bit. There are well-executed and poorly-executed V brakes, and well-executed and poorly-executed disc brakes, both mechanical and hydraulic. A so-so hydraulic disc easily outperforms V-brakes in pretty much any conditions, and BB5s outperform Vs on wet days. The same sort of thing is true of most other components.

    I generally try to keep my riding more about riding than the bike. But I have to admit that I've put a certain degree of thought and expenditure into the current build of my bike. I have to mess with my brakes maybe once a year now, to change out the pads; I burned through pads in my previous set sometimes in a single race, if it was muddy enough. The bike fits me well and shifts reliably. The suspension fork moves when it's desirable and not when it's not, and that's a surprisingly high standard in suspension. If these are luxuries, fine. I'm glad to have them - I lose much less ride time to mechanical problems.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,348
    I second the Trek Marlin. You could also look at a Specialized Hardrock 29er. I like the Marlin better though. I like Trek's G2 geometry.

    Ignore your friends and their upgrade suggestions. Buy the bike. Ride it. Sooner or later something might annoy you. Then you will know what to upgrade. I think you could ride the Marlin a long time before anything annoyed you though.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zjenni01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    119
    It wouldn't hurt to check out the Giant Talon 2 either. I haven't ridden one, but I've never heard anything bad either.
    I'LL FUNK ANYTHING THAT GROOVES

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crclawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    886
    When I first started riding, I thought just like you. I can tell you that I rode v brakes for the first two years of riding and then switched to hydro disk and I feel like and idiot for not going to them right off the bat. They just work better (no cable strech and better stopping). I also rode a entry level bike and really didn't know what I was missing until I upgraded to something better. I ignored my riding buddies that told me to "clip in" and go disk breaks. Now I cant ride any other way. My first bike cost $250 and the last bike I just bought was $3000. Not saying you have to spend that much, but when you go from a $500 bike to one thats about $1000, you can tell a big difference. Anyways good luck and happy riding with what ever you get.
    When the **** did we get ice cream?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838
    Pet peeve... "brakes", not "breaks". You want to stop the bike, not destroy it. Only reason it's a pet peeve of mine is because I use to work at a company called "Aircraft Braking Systems Corp" and sometimes we'd get mail addressed to, "Aircraft Breaking Systems Corp."

    What kind of conditions are you riding in? Mechanical disc brakes will stop better in wet weather than rim brakes. They will also stop better is muddy conditions.

    Rim brakes weigh less than disc brake setup. If you're looking for the lightest possible setup, rim brakes are your best bet.

    With that being said, I've have several bikes and several different types of mechanical disc brakes. Avid BB7, Avid BB5, Tektro Aquila and Performance Bike disc brakes (rebranded Tektro IO disc brakes) All of these, when setup correctly are great brakes when the weather or the track get sketchy.

    My wife's hybrid (GT Transio 2.0) came with Tektro Auriga Comp hydraulic disc brakes. They are OUTSTANDING. I should have skipped the mechanical disc brakes and went directly to hydraulic. The hydraulic brakes give immediate gripping, there's no cable slack to take up. No matter how you set the mechanical, you can lessen the slack, but never eliminate it.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Thank you for all your comments! Sorry for the mispelling of "breaks". While that is a completly anal thing to call someone out on..... I understand why it might annoy some people , especially if you have the aircraft breaking co in your past (which was hilarious btw). I apologize if I'm coming across as a total d-bag beginner that wants a "magic bike". I just don't really understand how the industry works quite yet. In all my other hobbies.....(fishing, shooting, snowboarding, guitar), my philosophy (best quality stripped down product with no pretty luxurious features for least cost) has worked out well for me.

    So in the mountain bike industry, it kind of sounds like I'm dreaming about something that doesn't exist. I guess I was just hoping that there was one well known simple bike that is considered the ultimate good buy for long lasting quality and reliability. One that almost every rider would say is an all around go-to bike. Sort of like a must have all purpose bike that will last forever(with maintenence and occasional component replacement). One that that you would trust to be as reliable as your $3000 bike, but just not as comfortable and luxurious. No bells and whistles, or luxurious features/components. Just a good strong old fashioned rugged bike that will never let me down. From what I'm hearing though it seems like the only way to get real strong reliability/quality, I need to buy all the fancy luxurious components. (I.e, any disk brake is going to have better long lasting reliability than any v brake)....

    Here is what I'm thinking I will do based on what I've heard. I will buy a $800 bike who's frame is made out of the toughest metal that $800 can buy. Maybe it won't have the best components/tires (but it will have the compatibility to be able to support them later). Then I will slowly replace all components (as they wear out) with top shelf quality (aka luxurious) components.

    Based on this idea, what bike should I buy as my base (strong frame ) bike? Remeber I want a 29er hardtail cross country style.

    I have a feeling that im going to be told that I'm an idiot and that I will never find such a bike that has an awesome frame unless I buy the "whole package" bike for $3000.

    help a cheapskate out

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838
    Take a look at the 2011 GT Karakoram 2.0 29" Mountain Bike

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400327
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838
    I have this & love it. It currently has X.7 shifters.

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400327
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    It's not that it doesn't exist. You're just lowballing a little on the figure.

    A lot of people say the sweet spot for a hardtail mountain bike is at around $1500. The bike companies are all very competitive with each other in terms of what you get for that, so while a little comparison shopping is not a bad thing, when I'm just looking for a quick idea of what you get for $XXX, I usually glance at the Specialized site. For $1500 from them, you get a Rockhopper with hydraulic disc brakes and mostly SLX drivetrain. The fork, while a little heavy, has a tunable spring rate and tunable rebound - my standard for suspension that's actually an improvement over a rigid fork - and Specialized claims that the hubs are well-sealed.

    Sooner or later, everything taken off-road will break. But the service life of the parts at the $1500 level is really good, and while there are a couple features I really like that crop up on more expensive bikes - name-brand hubs, fancy rims, suspension forks with fancy dampers - diminishing returns start to really set in.

    If $800 is your real pricepoint, buy the Karakoram or another $800 bike, ride it, and be happy. If your real pricepoint is higher, get over it and spend more. Performance bikes are a luxury good, it's true, but no more than your guitar or snowboard. And shoes and pedals are a lot cheaper than boots and bindings.

    The strongest metal production bikes are made in is 4000-series chromoly steel. (Including Reynolds and Columbus.) But the ubiquitous aluminum-framed bikes will last just as long. The designers have already addressed aluminum's lower tensile strength, and it has enough lower a density that an equally-strong aluminum frame is lighter. It's really more about the design of the frame that what element it's made out of. Bike frames are usually warrantied for at least five years, sometimes for life.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    So the karakoram is kind of a perfect example of the point I'm trying to make(which I'm sure you guys love hearing about). Because it comes in 3 different models (the 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0). The 1.0 being the shiny luxurious model and the 3.0 being the dull stripped down model. Apparently underneath all of the components, the bike is basically the same bike... i.e, same frame and same drivetrain. The quality of the metals (and design) in the frame and all of the sprockets,cogs and derailluers are the exact same no matter if you choose the 1.0 or the 3.0.

    Right now, I'm leaning toward the karakoram 3.0 because it is the most stipped down version. It has v brakes (but ready to accept disk brakes). Plus it comes in satin black which makes it look like the B2 stealth bomber of mountain bikes. I might decide to go for the 2.0 model since it mas mechanical disk brakes and everyone swears that disk brakes are going to be better quality (i.e, last longer and take more wear and abuse) and not just easier to squeez.

    I know you guys think I'm a fool (which I admit, I might be) by claiming I don't want these luxuries, but that's because you don't understand my philosphy in life. If I wanted all of these luxuries, I would just go buy a mercedez benz and hire a butler to drive me around in it. To me, the purpose of riding a bike is because it give the rider the thrill of doing something more primitive. it takes you back a couple centuries and gives you that caveman feel. It's like when guys claim they want to "bow hunt", and then they go out and buy these technologically advanced "bows" that are more effective than a freakin gun! completely defeating the caveman like reason you wanted to bow hunt for in the first place. I'm seriously rambling about bow hunting? wow, I need to shut up.

    I realize that I'm not a true minimalist, because a true minmalist would not be caught dead on machine so advanced as a bicycle. OK back to my question.

    So based on my whole thoery about buying the 3.0 model because it's the same bike underneath..... is there better bike out there (trek, cannondale, specialized) that you think this same theory would hold true for? In other words, a better bike out there that offers a lower end stripped down model. I feel like trek is a more renowned company than GT. ???

    AndrwSwitch,

    do you think that if I buy the karakoram 3.0 and replace all of the components to more expensive, more luxurious components as they wear out, that eventually in the end I will have a bike that is as good as if I had just bought a $1500 "sweet spot" bike? BTW... that was really helpful to hear that there is a "sweet spot" price. That is kind of what I'm looking for here. If you think that buying a "sweet spot" bike is going to get me a better frame and drivetrain, then I will just jump up to that 'sweet spot' price. I jwant something that's going to be my baby for life.

    All, thank you for actually reading my novels. I appreciate it!!!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SwampDonkeyDisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    284
    Might think about looking at a used bike....the bad economy is causing many to ditch their bikes to buy food and diapers. You might get a deal.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zjenni01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    119
    I don't have anything to say other than I like that post. One of my friends asked me why I don't upgrade to hydraulics and an air fork when I upgrade (to nice mechanical discs and a nice coil fork) and I told him if I wanted that crap I'd buy a dirt bike with a motor and make my life easier. Besides, there's more maintenance and work to be done.

    I know why people own those things, but if I'm not racing or entering a pissin competition, I don't need them.

    I like your philosophy. Don't listen to the haters.
    I'LL FUNK ANYTHING THAT GROOVES

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838
    If you want a minimalist approach, go with the model with mechanical disc brakes.

    My philosophy for bikes is the same as computers. I buy as much as I can for the amount of money I have at the time. I know it will go out of date sooner or later and buying as much as I can at the time puts time between replacement.

    Out of date does not like saying, "you can't get replacement leather seats in your BMW" It's more like saying, "You can't get a stock replacement alternator for your car so you'll have to find something else and hopefully they still make something that is compatible."
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Quote Originally Posted by package81
    AndrwSwitch,

    do you think that if I buy the karakoram 3.0 and replace all of the components to more expensive, more luxurious components as they wear out, that eventually in the end I will have a bike that is as good as if I had just bought a $1500 "sweet spot" bike? BTW... that was really helpful to hear that there is a "sweet spot" price. That is kind of what I'm looking for here. If you think that buying a "sweet spot" bike is going to get me a better frame and drivetrain, then I will just jump up to that 'sweet spot' price. I jwant something that's going to be my baby for life.
    I still have a hard time reading "luxury" as descriptive of mountain bike parts, although I also have to admit that it's accurate with regard to some stuff. My brakes, for example, are the stripped-down version in their class, as I understand you - they're hydraulic disc brakes, but they don't have features like an external reach or pad contact adjustment. My mechanic and I talked about it when I decided to buy a set, and it didn't sound like I'd be able to tell the difference without looking at the extra little fiddly knobs, so I saved the money and have no regrets. I wouldn't consider my current brakes a luxury since they do require a lot less screwing around than the previous set and continue to function even packed with mud, but I get what you're saying about some extra fiddly bits being unnecessary.

    I still say, buy the most expensive bike you can stomach. At least, assuming we're still looking at sub-$1500 pricepoints. If you get the Karakoram 3.0 and try to upgrade it piecemeal, you'll have spent quite a lot extra bringing it to the level of one of the fancier models vs. buying that in the first place. GT pays much less for components than you do, even if you have a pretty good hookup, and they charge you much less for components than other sellers unless you have a pretty good hookup or you're willing to spend a lot of time watching EBay. (Which is another thing - if you're trying for bang for the buck and know what you're doing, buying used can be a great way to get more for your money.)

    Whether the $1500 bike has a better frame than a less expensive one is kind of a crapshoot. Some companies don't want to spend extra on developing a cheap frame, so they stick a mid-price frame on everything. Others spec. inferior materials and have someone figure out how much more material is needed to make a safe frame, then build that, giving you a heavier ride. The drivetrain on a $1500 bike is always better than the one on a cheap bike, though. There are real, functional differences in shifters and derailleurs at least up to the SLX level.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    i know what I'm going to do now. I think I'm just going to fix up my $75 walmart bike. It's a schwinn sidewinder. The frame seems decent, but all of the rear cogs (except for 1) are broken free from the hub, which makes them spin freely and they won't turn the rear wheel. The rear derallier is also shot to hell. It doesn't even move when I turn the rear gear shifter. That might actually by a problem with the shifter itself. I think the shifter works though because when I turn it, I see the cable move. The derallier just doesn't move much.

    That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna get an expensive rear cog set and rear hub.........and some new shifters or a rear derallier (whichever I find out is the culprit). Then I'll be back on the trails in no time.

  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    OK, now you sound like you're trolling.

    Price all that stuff, price some used bikes, and get back to us.

    How do you plan to go about replacing the rear hub?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    I was sort of trolling. But I did want to bounce it off you guys and see what you guys thought.

    Is replacing the rear hub extermely diffficult or something? I guess I don't really know what a rear hub is then. can't I just buy a cogset that comes with a new hub and screw it into the same place as the old one? I guess I figured it just screwed in and out. Am I wrong? I guess If it's a huge pain in the butt I won't even try. I was planning on buying the best bike maintenence book that I could find.

    Obviously if I resurrect the $75 walmart special bike, I'm not going to be able to do any serious trails, but I could still do some recreational riding and eventually pass it down to my wife who would only want to ride down to the park on flat pavement anyway. I could maybe even just convert it to a fixed gear bike. I don't know, I'm just spitballin here. Does this all sound ludacrisly ridiculous? Please let me know, cause I'm seriously thinking about trying to replace that rear cogset and hub and maybe a shifter in order to keep the bike around as a rec bike. I mean the frame and the wheels seem like decent quality.

  20. #20
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    You need to figure out what the cogs are mounted on. If it's a freewheel system, you need a new freewheel. $10-$20 part, no biggie. If it's a cassette on a freehub, you probably need a new freehub. That's a $30 part and installation's a little more of a pain in the butt. But many cheap hubs have zero availability of maintenance parts. Then you need a new rear hub. So you need to rebuild your rear wheel with the new hub. Usually that means new spokes, and building wheels, while not rocket science, is time-consuming and hard to do without the proper (expensive) tool.

    As a thought experiment, a blogger I like proposed lining up the number of $75 beach cruisers from Wal-mart that he could buy with what his high-end singlespeed lists for, and seeing which $XXXX gave him more miles. While he admitted that it probably came out in favor of the Wal-mart bikes, it's hard to stage ten Wal-mart cruisers in the middle of nowhere, so they'll be where you need them when your bike breaks. The time I might spend walking back to my truck with a broken bike is worth something to me, and I most likely gave up the opportunity to do something else I care about in order to be out on trails, miles away from my truck or the nearest bus stop.

    I sometimes budget bike stuff in terms of pay - is it my day's pay, my week's pay, more? If I balk at the idea of spending four hours pushing road cases to afford the part, I look for something cheaper. I like a commuter bike to fit inside of a day's pay. Because it'll ruin my day if it's stolen, no matter how much it's worth, but if it's worth more than a day's pay, I'll be a lot more bummed out. Bikes I take more seriously are typically more like 40 hours' pay, although since I'd just moved when I started racing 'cross again, that one came out a bit more by that measurement. I've had one of my bikes for 11 years, and my oldest is probably 25 years old, with a lot of original parts. The second bike I rode in high school is still functional, and only needs its tires inflated to take it for a ride, although as a hybrid, it does have its limits. Get it right, and these things can give you a very long service life. I read somewhere that bikes from big-box stores average 75 miles from the store to the dump.

    A friend of mine once commented that $400 carbon fiber handlebars seem like an insane expenditure until you consider that you're going to spend three and a half hours with your hands on them, a couple times a week, for years to come. I still wouldn't spend that much, but I also don't ride as much as he does.

    Think about how much time you would like to spend doing this, and what you'd like to accomplish with cycling. If it's nothing much, that's a good place for your budget too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    838
    On the Karakoram 3.0... one question, does it come with disc ready wheels? Meaning, if you upgrade to disc wheels, will the wheels take the disc? If no, you'll have to replace them. That means that you'll need to fork out more $$ to get the discs up and running. Just a thought.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    107
    I just got a Trex Marlin for $544, love it!!
    2011 Trek Marlin
    Shimano SLK Crank set
    Nashbar Pedals
    Avid BB5 brakes

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    I have heard that the trek marlin 29er is not nearly as reputable as the marlin 26er. I don't quite trust it. I definitely want a 29er. Anybody else ever heard this?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    AndrwSwitch, Thanks for the info about replacing my rear hub. you are a wealth of knowledge. I think I might understatnd what you said, but I'm still not 100% sure about a couple things. I am pretty sure that I have a casette on a "free hub" because I can definitely see that the cogs/casette fit into these little notches in this big circular girthy looking metal hub sticking out from my rear hub. Here is another problem...... the center cog no longer locks into the "freehub". It just spins freely which means I can't be on that cog in order to get the rear wheel to spin. I'm guessing it must have broken because it's crappy metal or something. I think this also might be related to the fact that all my rear cogs clank and jangle around independant from each other. They still lock into the notched girthy piece but they clank aroudn against each other when the chain is not on them. I think both of these problems might be a results of the little bolt that is supposed to run through all of the cogs to keep them together being missing (it must have broken when i tried to tow my 60lbs kayak on the back of my bike the last time I rode it). Which brings me to another quick question..... is a bike supposed to be rated for towing things? because I plan on towing my kids behind me in one of those little trailers for exercise once I actually grow the cohonees to procreate.

    Anyway, back to the rear cog situation.......so are you saying that I'm probably not going to be able to find a new freehub that is compatible with my rear hubl? and therefore I will have to rebuild my entire rear wheel (for the purpose of putting in a new rear hub) so that I will be able to use a freehub that would otherwise not be compatible? That would suck. Let's hope that I can find a new compatible freehub and the matching cogs/casett to go with it. Hopefully I can get better quality replacement parts than the ones that came with the bike, since they apparently suck bad. I might just buy a whole new rear wheel, new freehub, and new casette. That would work right? I bet I could get all that for $100.
    Last edited by package81; 04-25-2011 at 10:41 PM.

  25. #25
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    There's an important distinction between a freehub and a freewheel. In one of them, the cogs come as a unit, including the ratcheting mechanism. In the other, the cogs slide onto a splined thing, the freehub body, and then either the smallest cog is threaded or there's a lock ring that threads onto the freehub body. It sounds like you have the latter - a cassette and a freehub. Which is good, because it's a stronger, more reliable system, and there's probably nothing wrong with your hub.

    Is your smallest cog threaded? The threads could be on the inside surface of the big hole in the middle, or on the outside, if there's a rim that projects toward the wheel. Wherever they are, if they're undamaged, they should thread onto the freehub body. If they're damaged, you need a new small cog. It's probably easier just to replace the entire cassette, but it's about a $30 part, maybe even a little less, on a 7-speed bike. You can torque it on with the chain and the crankset, once the wheels mounted again. If it's a lock ring, which is a little more common especially on higher-end cassettes, you need the special tool. It's about $4 and you use a crescent wrench to turn it. I think it's a pretty good chance that whatever part is supposed to be threaded is damaged, though.

    Finding a new freehub that's compatible with your hub depends on the brand of the hub. If it's Shimano, chances are good. If it's an unbranded hub from a mystery manufacturer, common on $75 bikes, chances are a lot less good. The problem is more likely due to installer laziness or ignorance than crappy metal, but both are possible.

    A new rear wheel would already have a freehub. And yeah, you can get a rear wheel and a cassette for $100, but any time a repair costs more than the original purchase price of the bike, you gotta ask yourself if that's the direction you want to take.

    I'd say if your legs are rated for towing a kayak and whatever you use to connect it to the bike is well designed, the bike is fully capable.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    apperently it's confirmed.... I have a "freewheel" and NOT a freehub. I guess I am actually pretty happy about this because it's a cheaper easier repair. And now I know that I need to stay off any rough trails since freewheels are shotty.

    I figured this out by reading a review on walmart.com... go ahead and take a look if you want.

    http://answers.walmart.com/answers/1...uestion=312711

    I'm pretty happy. I basically just need to buy a new freewheel now and screw it on. Hopefully my axle isn't all jacked up from towing my kayak.

    Anybody got any ideas on why my deralliuer isn't moving very much when I shift? I can see the cable move, but the deralliuer itself does not move very much. It moves really far when I turn the gear all the way up (passed the lowest number). It's almost like the shifter was designed to go passed that lowest number in case you really wanted to force the deralleur to move all the way to the left. I call that "panic mode". Using this "panic mode" is about the only way I can get some decent movement out of the deralliuer, which moves the chain over to the largest cog..... but then as soon as I let the shifter go, the deralliuer comes back to the smallest cog, as well as the chain.

    Does it sound like the problem is with the shifter, derailliur, or the cable? or all 3 maybe?

  27. #27
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Cable too loose, derailleur full of gunk.

    check out parktool.com for well-illustrated repair instructions. Check out sheldonbrown.com for tons of general information, including pictures of freewheels and freehubs so you can figure it out for yourself. Or just post a shot. (Or trust some guy you've never met writing a review on the Wal-mart site. No better or worse than us on the forum, really.)

    You do need a special tool to get a freewheel off. It's not the same for every freewheel, so this is a good thing to take to the shop.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •