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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got the following bike, I am still doubtfully about my purchase. I would be riding on the pavements and trails, I was completely confused between an urban bike,hybrid and mountain.

Do you guys think its a good purchase for me since I will be riding on pavements and trails.

Since I never owned a proper bike(my first bike was a single speed years ago) I was wondering if there is a beginners complete guide how I should maintain my bike including cleaning after hitting the trails, changing a flat tire, maintaining the gears,lubrication and things to buy (I am buying the helmet,extra padding seats and water bottle cage)


Any help is really appreciated.
 

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From what I know and have read (second and third hand) the brakes need adjustment shortly after initial use and the wheels can be a weak point, make sure they are properly tensioned and true. I'm not sure of the exact components of the drive train but I'd guess for the pricepoint they'd be good enough for casual use. The tires IIRC are a mild trail/mainly street design. I think you'd be okay for what you want to do. I've heard of fork swaps, but at this point in the game, if you're just coming back into cycling and aren't jumping off the top of a building or serious single track, I'd just pedal on and be happy.

A good book to use is Park Tool's Big Blue Book, version 2. An easy read however, since it is put out by Park, they give instructions on which Park product to use as well. My tools are a combination of Park, Topeak and Pedro's. You don't have to be tied to Park. That begin said, I've heard that Zinn puts out a few great books as well. I had the previous version of Bicycling's Maintenance book and it was abhorrent, not sure how good the second one is.

Most of all, don't be afraid to post here. The community is very helpful and accomodating to novices, new riders and the like. I'm going to start frame-building at the end of this year, trust me, I'll be asking tons of questions here.
Best of luck!
 

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with in a couple of weeks of riding i had to adjust the front shifter cable as it had strached so much it would not work just had to unscrew it pull it tight and screw it back it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since I am completely new, I am not sure if the breaks need adjustment - how can I tell and can I tension by my self?
I am not going to jump off building etc lol, just trail and road use.

Thank you I will check out the book.
 

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I think your bike has a front disc and a rear linear brake. Disc brakes self-adjust when they are hydraulic, off the top of my head I can't remember about cable actuated disc brakes, someone else here may be able to answer that one. With rim brakes, it isn't only just cable tension, it's also the pad setting/location/toe-in. Again, this is easy enough to do once your read about it or see someone else do it. I'd suggest seeing if there's a Park Tool School near you or something similar; some shops even run their own courses if there's enough interest and $ in it.

Tensioning and truing a wheel isn't hard, it takes some patience though. I'd read a few books and ask first. It may be worth heading to your LBS and watching them tension and true it. This isn't something I'd dive into without a bit of research first, YMMV as well as others. Remember many fasteners don't need to be overcome with sheer force (minus some pedals).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
One more question. This might be too baisc or embarrasing lol.
I want to get cycling shorts but they are a bit expensive for me. I went to walmart (Toronto) and saw the athletic works boxer briefs and pants( like long johns but tight to the skin) they are made of nylon.

I'm confused, can I wear the boxer briefs for cycling or are they underware and if those long John pants can be worn for cycling.

One more difficulty I'm facing is when I change my gear from 1 to 2 or back when riding. some times it doesn't change say my gear i was in 1 and I change it to 2 the gear doesn't go to the second gear even though on my handle bar it's on the second or vise versa. Is it a problem with the bike or am I doing it wrong.

Thank you
 

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Did you look closely at the cycling shorts? Yes they are expensive but they have padding in all the right places. They make some cycling underwear with the padding that is cheaper and you can wear whatever over that. Less fabric is usually better.
 

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you DONTneed all that BS clothing to ride, just ride in your everyday clothes! DONT follow the sheep!
 

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trx you are right that you don't NEED the cycling shorts, but they are a LOT more comfortable than street clothes. This has nothing to do with sheep because riders like lots of different styles. First on my recumbent I do wear street clothes. The seat is such I don't need the padding in the key places. On my upright bikes, can I ride them?? Well yes but padding in the right places makes the ride far more pleasant. If it hurts, most will not stick with it.

Now what type of cycling clothing is up to the type of riding, the rider, and mostly personal preference. Many like the full bibs, but I never cared for them. Some like the tighter shorts, but I tended to favor the touring shorts or padded underwear and regular street shorts. Some roadies or pro cycling fans like to kit up in their favorite cycling teams kit. What ever works and yes budget is a consideration. You probably can spend as much or more for cycling clothes as you can a good suit. It's all about priorities and those can only be made by an individual.

I am a good time in life. I am old enough to know I will never be as smart as I thought I was at 15, and young enough to still do some things. Age has taught me when to have a healthy case of I don't give a flip. Not long ago I ran into a guy on the trail that made the comment that you don't need cycling shorts. Five minutes later he was complaining about an ache and pain. All that complaining about what you don't need, come to find out he had never tried them and had no clue what they could or couldn't do for a rider. It is all about what works.
 

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Since I am completely new, I am not sure if the breaks need adjustment - how can I tell and can I tension by my self?
I am not going to jump off building etc lol, just trail and road use.

Thank you I will check out the book.
Park Tool also has a very good web site with repair help.
 

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Not trying to be mean but if you are not sure of what and how each thing is and how it works then I would advise you go talk to your a local bike shop. They can explain the different parts, show how to adjust them and how to maintain your bike. They will be very helpful regarding both the tools you need, and also clothing issues. A good relationship with a local bicycle shop is as important as the bike you ride.
 

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my bike shorts I Paid $40 and I wear the every time I get on my bike because it makes the difference between a 3 mile ride and crying and a 12 mile ride and going anoteher 10 they may not be needed for everyone but that padding makes my day :) lol
 
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