New to the sport.. A couple basic questions.

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by DamianT, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. DamianT

    DamianT New Member

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    So, I'm a newbie and just got a cheap Mongoose XR100, admittedly not the best, but I didn't see the point in going all in right off the bat not knowing any more than I do. Anywho, I've heard complaints from other XR100 owners of saddle comfort or lack thereof and crank arm integrity. I've already fixed the saddle problem along with the stem (too long, effectively "locking out" the rear suspension). But what would be a decent crank arm replacement? I'm not looking for best of the best stuff, just something sturdier than stock (Prowheel 3# 170mm). Also I'm fairly long legged, 34" inseam and I'm only 6' 0", would a 175 maybe increase comfort along with leverage? Lastly, what would be a good dérailleur system, front and rear, the Shimano is very jerky, maybe just loose, but it feels bad. But any brand and model names would be very helpful, as I have no idea where to start searching and what are quality parts. Thanks, and good riding.
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    You may simply need to lube & adjust the cables + grease/oil the derailleur pivots.

    You will definitely benefit by getting cranks with 175mm arms ...

    Shimano makes components across the entire price spectrum ... only the least expensive Shimano components should be ignored.

    I'm a big fan of Shimano's OCTALINK BBs. The Octalink is a little dated in this world of external BB bearings, but the Octalink BBs are very reliable, IMO. ISIS may seem to be comparable, but I don't think the ISIS BBs are as reliable.

    If you lube-and-adjust your cables & subsequently determine that the current Shimano derailleurs are not functioning properly then "plain" DEORE will suffice. But, if you go to eBay you should be able to get an "old" XT (750) in very good condition for about $30 ... so, that's what I would recommend.

    If you are looking for "new" then Shimano's SLX is an excellent choice, but I think it is only available as a Rapid Rise derailleur (reverse pull ... it has its advantages) & it will cost $50+ (more at your LBS).

    The difference in Shimano front derailleurs is mostly cosmetic, and changing your current front derailleur may not yield a mechanical improvement.

    Remember if you are a wise shopper than most of what you buy for your current bike can often be moved to a subsequent bike in the future ...

    The Front Derailleur clamp size may not be the same on a future bike frame, and that is another reason to NOT buy a replacement front derailleur unless you absolutely need to.
     
  3. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    I, too, started mountain biking on a cheap, dual suspension Mongoose bike. I rode the hell out of that bike on all the local trails, adjusted it frequently, and soon realized its limitations. It was heavy, the front and rear shocks were terrible, shifting was sloppy, and the wheels needed truing every 2 weeks. It was a cheap bike that served a purpose - it got me hooked on cycling.

    I never upgraded or spent any additional money on the bike past the purchase price. I highly suggest that you not spend any money upgrading your bike either. To replace the crankset and derailleurs, even with used or cheap components, could easily cost you $100 not including any labor. Instead, ride the bike you have, learn maintenance procedures, acquire cycling knowledge, and save your money for a better bike. After that, consider buying a used bike like this Specialized Rockhopper near you in Batesville, Arkansas.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. That used Specialized Rockhopper is a good looking bike for the asking price ... BUT, I reckon the particular bike actually has a SMALL frame (based on the angle of the top tube & where it meets the seat tube as visually gauged by the rear tire) rather than having a LARGE frame (the listed size) ...

    The OP should probably choose a MTB whose virtual top tube is between 58cm-to-60cm (i.e., either-or) ... so, he/everyone should consider bringing a tape measure when buying a bike (new OR used).

    BTW. The philosophy of not buying new parts for an inexpensive bike is a valid approach to marshalling one's finances, but as I said, if the person chooses carefully then most of those parts can be transferred to another bike in the future ... maybe, not right away ... but, eventually!?!

    Also, less than $100 for parts & tools will usually be less expensive than a reasonably good used bike which is in GOOD condition.
     
  5. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    That $120 Mongoose weighs about 45 pounds, doesn't have a single good component on the frame, and is not a candidate for upgrades. Ride it until it dies and then use it as a boat anchor. Period. End of discussion.

    As for alfeng guessing the frame size of a bike by looking at a few pictures - give me a f*ck*ng break already.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I guess you haven't looked at too many Hardtail frames.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    You are certainly correct if you -- or, anyone else -- don't know how to choose, to buy & to install components yourself.
     
  8. DamianT

    DamianT New Member

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    Thanks to both of you for your help. Like Scotty_Dog's, my bike will probably only serve the purpose of introducing me to the sport, as I'd rather have a road bike. After some fairly thorough assessment, a road bike would probably serve me better in this area. But I may keep the MTB, as I don't have a boat to anchor it with lol. All jokes aside though, I probably will keep it for if and when I want to ride some trails. But I probably will upgrade it slightly because of strength issues. And as alfeng mentioned, if I buy smart I cam transfer any purchases to possible future MTB's. But weight isn't my issue on either bike, biking is a conditioning and mild strength program for me (extra weight can't hurt either cause there). But anyways, thanks to both of you, both opinions actually helped me a lot.
     
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