A hard lesson learned.

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by NewRiderMan, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. NewRiderMan

    NewRiderMan New Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Hiya Gents.

    I've backed out of the forum a bit lately. I managed to get run over by a cage operator (no injuries, except to my bike, and my wallet. You don't have an engine, you're going to eat the fees when bad stuff happens!!!) Today, I took the opportunity to replace my bike.

    At first, the tinkerer in me said "dude! sounds like a perfect candidate for a..... REBUILD! New forks. lighter wheels. better tires. powdercoat. comfy seat. better pedals!!!!!!" Hmmmm, nope. As optimistic as I am, I knew she was too far gone. I did her a personal favor and sold her for (gasp) scrap. A fitting end; her body was made from metal that was recycled from a scrap yard, she should spend her final effort in making an offspring; Thunder, part two!

    Enough about my old crapper (single speed, red, cheap.)

    I took a trip to a very well established cycle shop, with a few qualifications, and a budget. I'm wanting a basic, barebones, utility bike that I can build up, tinker, and enjoy. I would be completely bummed out if it worked like I wanted it to right out of the shop, as it'd be screwing me out of the chance to make it work right. I'm telling ya, I'm a tinkerer.

    So, I walk in there, and it is like turning a hungry infant loose in the middle of a topless bar. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Parts in the back, accessories, and bikes even hanging from the ceiling! Tacky, nice. I came out with a dandy, under budget, lowest price I'd seen, and it would fit well with what I wanted; a project bike to have fun with. I do some trailing (ok, ok, a LOT of trail riding) so I got an MTN Bike, just because they seem to work a little better for me. I tried to believe a SS was better, but I can't deny it; I like geared dirters better. Not as streetable, but they work well, and are durable for whatever I'll throw at them.

    (I'll make a post elsewhere about the bike, this is more about what happened next.)

    Ok, so I get it home, and start feeling it out, getting it "set" to me. seat Height, Bar adjusted, etc. Tires A Ok. Yay.

    Hopped on and started feeling it out personally. Gentle turns, running the gears, getting the feel for what I had. Looking for problems to fix too.

    I decided to get stupid and do some manual wheel lifts. No pedal, just get some speed, and yank it back hard to hop the front wheel. This can tell me a LOT about the front suspension and how she is going to bounce out on the trail. If it is going to shimmy, shake and wiggle like a wild thang, I need to get that fixed before I'm out jostling over roots, ruts, and unkept ground.

    I lifted the front whel, and at that exact moment, the front whell DROPPED OUT! I stubbed the front end, went backside over elbow, and I was fortunate that it was performed on dirt, as concrete would have wrecked the bike. (didn't even bend them BTW).

    Further examination of the bike showed a total of 11 fasteners that were finger tight at best!

    Guys, Gals, Ladies, Gents: Personally verify that the fasteners holding your bike together are sufficiently tight! I called up the shop guy and he was very apologetic "I forgot to tell you to check all that stuff, I'm sorry!" Yep. And his "sorry" wouldnt have bought me a new bike had it bent the front fork! Nor would it have paid my hospital bills had the front wheel decided to drop out while I was riding on the roads and laid me down in front of a cager!

    Today, I learned to trust nobody except myself. As I'm the guy at risk, and my standards may be higher than some kid making $5 and hour to put bikes together! I'm assuming yours will be too.

    I'm sure some of the more experienced riders on here already knew this, this post is for the newbies who might be buying a bike. I always checked the tightness on a Walmart bike, but I never guessed I should from a bike "pro" shop. I had faith in something I did not personally verify; please don't make the same mistake.