Newbie to fixing bike. Any help appreciated.

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Lorne Kates, Jun 6, 2003.

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  1. Lorne Kates

    Lorne Kates Guest

    About a month ago I picked up a cheap bicycle so I wouldn't have to drive to school every day. It's
    been serving me well until this week when I started to experience the following problems:

    Front gear won't shift to lowest gear (the smallest set of spokes... I think that's the lowest?) I
    just clicks clicks clicks and sometimes falls into place if I'm lucky.

    Front gear has trouble shifting to highest gear (I need to push HARD on the lever, and if I push too
    hard, the chain flies off and I need to spend 10 minutes getting it back on).

    Of course, those I could live with. The problem is with the rear tire. Little by little I've felt
    the back tire giving more and more resistence. It got harder to peddle, and the bike would slow down
    instead of coasting on some downhill slopes. The the rear handbrake became very loose, and if I
    pressed it, the brakes wouldn't release.

    So I get it home today (walked it home... ick) and began poking and prodding around the bike. here's
    what I found:

    1) The rear brake line was loose. After doing some tightening, I managed to fix that, which
    conversely fixed the loose handbrake. Sort of.

    2) The rear brakes still won't release properly. I think this is because the entire brake clamp is
    loose. IE: Where the two arms join, and it screws onto the frame of the bike... I can't get that
    tight enough, and it keeps pivoting. So when I hit the brake, instead of both clamps coming
    together, the whole clamp just shifts.

    3) Along the ways, I noticed that the rear wheel looked like it was wobbling, but it was on tight.
    I turned the bike upside down and spun the wheel, and after a rotation it stopped. I spun it
    again, and it stopped in the same place. Sure enough, there is a buldge in the rim that keeps
    hitting the brake pads, even if they aren't engaged.

    So, I guess my question is:

    4) How do I properly secure the rear braking unit to the frame of the bike?
    5) Is it possible to overcome the tiny dent/bulge in the rear rim by widening the distance between
    the two brake pads? If so, how?
    6) Is it worth replacing the rear tire? I paid $50 Canadian, which is ~$37USD, for the whole
    bike, compared to the ~$120 Canadian (~$80USD) a new one would have cost. So, if a new rear
    rim won't be all that costly, I won't mind paying to have it replaced. I just don't want to
    get ripped off. =)

    I'm hoping to get the bike up and running again soon, since otherwise I have to drive to school and
    either pay for parking, or park way the hell away from the campus. Plus, I'm really enjoying biking.
    I haven't owned a bike in over 12 years... and the last one I had was one of those old ones that
    doesn't even have handbrakes or gears!

    Thanks in advance for your help, Lorne
     
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  2. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On 6 Jun 2003 00:45:59 -0700, [email protected] (Lorne Kates) wrote:

    >So, I guess my question is:
    >
    >1) How do I properly secure the rear braking unit to the frame of the bike?
    >2) Is it possible to overcome the tiny dent/bulge in the rear rim by widening the distance between
    > the two brake pads? If so, how?
    >3) Is it worth replacing the rear tire?

    A good place to start would be:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/

    You'll find articles there on brakes, wheels, and tires.

    Another place to look would be:

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

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  3. Wiscottsin

    Wiscottsin Guest

    You have a couple of choices:

    If you have a local bike shop that has a decent repair department, you can spend $30 or so to get a
    full bike tune-up. They will adjust your brakes, derailleurs, and check your bearing assemblies.
    They will also true the wheels. Before they even get started, they can probably tell you right away
    if the bike needs more repairs than just a tune up ( which it probably does by the sound of things
    ). Then you may be looking at more like $60-$100 for a complete overhaul ( new cables, possibly
    chain and cassete, etc..).

    If you want to perform maintenance yourself, you will need to invest some $$ in a few tools and some
    lubricant. You'll also need to get your hands on a good repair manual like Barnett's or another, and
    READ it carefully. The main problem here is that you use the bike for transportation - do you really
    want to be practicing your skills on your main ride to work?

    In addition, some of the repairs that will be needed if the bike has been neglected are beyond the
    beginner mechanic, in all likelyhood. If you get a complete tune up at a shop, they would be happy
    to sell you the basic tools like chain lube and a pressure guage ( and show you how to use them )
    once the bike is back in decent running order.
     
  4. lupis-<< Then you may be looking at more like $60-$100 for a complete overhaul << ( new cables,
    possibly chain and cassete, etc..).

    Yikes where can you get a complete take apart of the bike, including the hubs, and clean/lube
    reassemble for $60-$100, something that takes about 4 hours??

    Can a bike shop charge $15 to $25 per hour labor rate and stay open??

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  5. Wiscottsin

    Wiscottsin Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > lupis-<< Then you may be looking at more like $60-$100 for a complete overhaul << ( new cables,
    > possibly chain and cassete, etc..).
    >
    > Yikes where can you get a complete take apart of the bike, including the
    hubs,
    > and clean/lube reassemble for $60-$100, something that takes about 4
    hours??
    >
    > Can a bike shop charge $15 to $25 per hour labor rate and stay open??
    >
    >

    Well, most BB's are sealed nowadays ( cannot be rebuilt ). And a decent mechanic can do an overhaul
    ( including BB if necessary ) in a lot less than 4 hours. More like 2 without interruptions.

    Now if the bike is in major disarray, I'm sure that the bill would go over $100. At my prior shop,
    we would always charge extra if excessive cleaning or de-greasing was needed. Or if any major unseen
    problems popped up ( pitted cones, races, bad cogs, etc....).
     
  6. Wiscottsin

    Wiscottsin Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > lupis-<< Well, most BB's are sealed nowadays ( cannot be rebuilt ).
    >
    > Doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken out, the threads cleaned, the cups
    tapped
    > off, cleaned, relubed and reassembled.
    >
    > << And a decent mechanic can do an overhaul ( including BB if necessary ) in a lot less
    than
    > 4 hours. More like 2 without interruptions.
    >
    > I would wince if somebody overhauled my bike in two hours. It takes 30
    minutes
    > just to true the wheels properly...Think I'm a pretty 'decent' mechanic
    and it
    > takes me more than 2 hours.
    >

    30 minutes to true a wheel? You must have a fleet of several hundred mechanics on staff to handle
    all the wheel truing then. At my prior shop, which was not super big, we would get 30 day checkups
    and basic tuneups all the time, sometimes 8-10 a day. If our guys spent 5 hours just truing wheels
    on 10 tuneups we'd have been out of business years ago.

    Our price for an overhaul was $100 when I moved on about 5 years ago. I suppose they have raised the
    price, and we are in Wisconsin - so maybe COLA is less.
     
  7. fid

    fid New Member

    Joined:
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    4) How do I properly secure the rear braking unit to the frame of the bike?

    ***Brakes are not that complicated to maintain but as the bike sounds like it has a couple of things that need attention take it to a bike shop to get it checked out - just to be on the safe side. Also the parktool.com web site is an excellent place to learn about maintaining your bike and it has pictures which make it easy to follow.

    5) Is it possible to overcome the tiny dent/bulge in the rear rim by widening the distance between
    the two brake pads? If so, how?

    ***Don't do this.

    6) Is it worth replacing the rear tire? I paid $50 Canadian, which is ~$37USD, for the whole

    ***You probably wont need to do this. Most likely you have a broken spoke that needs replacing - just for now I would suggest getting this checked out and done at a bike shop - try to pick one where the staff focus on one thing at a time. This will probably cost you about $10 maybe a little more.

    I haven't owned a bike in over 12 years... and the last one I had was one of those old ones that
    doesn't even have handbrakes or gears!

    ***Good for you Lorne, a similar thing happened to me and I'm really glad I persevered with my old bike because now it absolutely flys and is a hoot to ride. It's a journey in lots of different ways - stick with it.

    Best Regards
    Rob.
     
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