Another newbie with a new bike - help me!

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by SilverTongue, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. SilverTongue

    SilverTongue New Member

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    Hi yall, I need some serious help from you know-it-alls!

    I just got me a new Barracuda Thriller for £210 (around $350). It's got 21 gears, and dual suspension. First of all, is the brand ok? The welding seems pretty solid. Also, was I ripped off, and if so, badly?

    Anyway, I've ridden the thing a few times, and all is good. I think the problems arose when I started adjusting things without reading the instructions :rolleyes:

    The back suspension squeaks like hell, although it didn't do it at first. Every time I sit on the thing, it squeaks, and over every little bumb now. Why is it squeaking, and what can I do to stop it? Oil was my best guesse, but dunno where to apply it.

    Also, adjusting the gears is just torture. I just cannot get it right. With the front cogs, I need to give the thimbshift and extra push to get to a bigger cog, although it downshifts ok. And the back cogs, when I'm shifting quickly up (say 3rd biggest cog down to the smallest), the chain just goes past the cog and jams. It does shift cleanly between the gears either. Anything I do, it then falls off the biggest cog. I've tried using the adjusting screws, as the instuctions say, but I cannot find the balance. Help me!

    It also got a front disk brake, with rear calipers. I think that combination is the best. I'm impressed with the front brake, it doesn't jam the wheel to a stop like calipers do, and I feel safe using it. It also works fabulously with the rear for slowing downhill aswell. I'm not going into a false sense of security now though am I? It's not gonna one day send me flying is it? But if I had a disk brake on the back aswell, I think I'd have trouble slowing down. The combination of rear pads, plus front disk I think is the best.

    Another problem I have is ground clearance. Whenever I go over a sharp bump the height if 2 bricks laying flat, the pedals catch, and stop me in my tracks. Do I just have to practice getting the pedals horizontal, or is it a design flaw?

    What are clipless pedals by the way? And why does NOT having them make a bike go faster, I do not understand how that would affect speed! I think mine are clipless, as there are no clips on them. Just a pedal to put feet on without clips to secure your feet (not that I want these, I still need to stick my leg out sometimes to stop me falling!)

    Also, it says the frame is made of Alloy. Well, alloy of what? Also, is this alloy lighter/better than steel or even aluminium? Is it likely to rust?

    Sorry if this is long, but it would really be great if yall could help me!
     
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  2. XC Racer

    XC Racer New Member

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    Hi
    You don't have clipless pedals, your just have the standard flat ones.
    The ones you are thinking about are called straps, and totally suck, but the ones 70% people use are called Clipless.
    There are special shoes with "Cleats" on them, and they clip into the special pedal.
    Steel is much heavier than Alloy, but I don't know about aluminuim.

    Also, there should be no insecurity about using the front brake, as most people use it more often.As long as you keep your weight back a little, you with have no probs.

    Last of all, It sounds like you got an alright deal.
     
  3. SilverTongue

    SilverTongue New Member

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    Thanks a lot XC, but come on guys! Help me out! There are still unswered questions. Ok, if it's just 1 question, answer the one about the squeaky back suspension. Thanks.
     
  4. rek

    rek New Member

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    It sounds like a typical price for a low-end recreational dual suspension MTB. Fine enough for riding trails and the like, but probably won't last too long if you start doing jumps and all that sort of stuff.

    Hmm, not sure on this myself.. best people to ask would be the people you bought the bike from.

    The derailleur cable tension is probably off, because the shifter cables have stretched (all bikes do that when they're new.) Most bike stores will give you a free one-month checkup at the least, so that the gears can be adjusted once the cables have had a chance to stretch. If you're on your own, you can do it yourself as it's not that difficult. There is a really good help guide here:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQindex.shtml

    Look at the "Rear derailleur- limit screws and index settings" and "Front derailleur- limits screws and index settings" guides.

    One big advantage of disk brakes is that their power can be modulated and controlled far more precisely than rim brakes.

    If you jam the front lever really hard it will! :) As you ride the bike, you'll learn by 'feel' how to stop the bike safely and effectively.

    Two things you can do: first of all, yeah, keep the pedals horizontal (one at 3 o'clock and the other at 9), or else try to "bunny hop" over the bump. This takes practice, and is much easier with clipless pedals.

    Confusingly enough, they're pedals with little clips in them :) They work like a ski binding; the shoe has a little cleat that clips into the clipless pedal to keep you securely on the bike.

    Clipless pedals make you faster, as you can utilise the whole pedal action, and not just the downstroke. When I went from platform to clipless pedals my average speed went up 2 or 3 km/h (there was a recent forum topic on this about the differences between tyre types, and clipless pedals.)
    The other benefit is that it's easier to lift the back half of the bike up if you need to bunny-hop over anything. It can be done with normal platforms, but I'm hopeless at it! ;)

    What you're thinking of are called toe-straps, and yes they are bad, annoying, and generally evil.

    Good question; I have no idea. Aluminium frames won't rust, steel ones can if they are left out in the rain etc.
     
  5. SilverTongue

    SilverTongue New Member

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    Thanks a lot rek, good help and info :D

    I think I got the back suspension sussed now. I think it's the piston squeaking on the rubber seal. I think I just need to put some grease on it, though I'll have to remove the spring. If that don't work i'll conatact the shop.

    Thanks in particular for the cable stretching info! Coz I got the adjustment nearly right, but it slowly got way off again! At least I know what's up, thanks.
     
  6. Gimli

    Gimli New Member

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    I've just ordered on of these's MTB's... and was just wondering what your opinion was of it now that you've sorted out your teeting problems
     
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