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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I wanted to get into biking, mostly trails around where i live (austin Texas) so I'm on a very low budget, but who isn't right? Anyways, I went to academy and picked a cheap bike than I think I'm regretting now, and I'm not sure what to do because I dont want my drive to be diminished by set backs. I read the post about dept store bikes and all. I got a 26" huff caged full suspension wich sucks btw and I'm not sure does anything but more harm.

So I rode a little of barton creek greenbelt and walnut creek park if anyone's familiar with the area. Nothing to crazy, if it was too crazy I walked it. Well in those two rides, I managed to bend the rear wheel, not bad but none the less bent. And the front disc brake caliper is cocked to the side and rubs on the disc create a noticeable amount of drag. I've adjusted it multiple times, can't move it anymore to not rub. Considering taking it off but I think ill need it.

Anyways, two of my friends go out and buy $500 bikes for the LBS and their awesome. I unfortunately don't have that kind of money. So now I feel like I made a mistake trying to enter the sport and wasted money. Everyone on craigslist is proud of their old torn up, hard ridden bikes and wants a fortune. I guess what I'm asking is for encouragement. Could I upgrade some parts on this bike at reasonable price, so it could last through my.learning curve and money saving or is it just not even worth it.=\ thanks on advance
 

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It might be worth taking the bike to a shop and having them do a tune up on it. In additon to making it run as well as it possibly can, it will make sure the nuts and bolts are tight so important things don't fall off and hurt you. Don't upgrade anything else on that bike, it's not worth it. Look for a used hardtail bike (not full suspension unless you're willing to spend over a grand) and look for something from a big name manufacturer that's at most 5 years old. Save your pennies and be patient, ride what you have until you can afford to get something nicer.

Riding a crap bike is better than riding no bike at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for fast response. Really. I found some trek's on Craigslist, and a gt mountain hybrid I think is what its called, both hardtail, not sure the years, would either of those be.south looking into? I apologize for all the questions, but is it possible or would it be hard to change a grip shift I think its called to the trigger kind? Because both of those I found are the twist kind and so is the bike I own, and for some reason I always manage to twist it accidently going up incline or something, and messing myself way up. Again thank you so much.
 

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Unfortunately mountain biking can be an expensive sport. Some random thoughts.

Bent rim: Make sure you have adequate tire pressure at the start of every ride. Eventually you will want to learn to true your own wheels, but spend some time reading up on it or get someone knowledgeable to show you how to do it right. It's easy to make things worse!

Grip shift to trigger shifter: How many gears do you have? Some of the 8-speed stuff is getting hard to find. There's also 2 major manufacturers, Shimano and SRAM. I think that grip shift is SRAM only, but both make trigger shifters that mostly only work with their own derailleurs.

Full suspension vs. hardtail: Cheap full suspension is generally not worthwhile. Sorry. It is usually possible to find a decent inexpensive hard tail if you're willing to spend time searching.

Hope this helps. Hang in there! Use your time to arm yourself with knowledge, MTBR can be a great resource. Just remember that you don't need the most expensive equipment to have fun!

Walt
 

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best bet is to post the bikes you find on here for CL and see what people say. i know its probably too late but some big box type stores (unfamiliar with Academy as i live in Canada) have a very generous return policy, maybe check with that.

Also check pinkbike.com for their buy/sell section

probably going to be easier to find a bike with trigger style then buying the parts and swapping it, just my opinion tho.
 

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Just a thought. My LBS offers 1 year no interest financing. I ended up buying a better Road and Mountain Bike that what I expected since I had a year to pay for it. This may or may not help you if your LBS even offers it.

Point #2: I know my LBS doesn't think much of department store bikes. They will work on them but one or two paid trips to the LBS plus the cost of the bike could hit the $500 mark pretty quick. Since I bought my bike from them I get a yearly tune up free. I think his posted priced is over $100 for this. They also do minor repairs usually while I wait usually for free as well.

Point #3 HELL YEA it's worth it. My only regret is I waited so long to get back into riding. Find something you can afford and get out and ride.
 

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Don't sweat your bike. I have a buddy who rides with my group on a walmart Mongoose FS. He does fine and I am willing to bet if he buys a better/nicer/fancier bike we will not be able to keep up with him.
Good advice above, take it to your LBS and get a tune up. They will fix any isues. When you have saved some coin, get a used name brand bike.
Have fun!
 

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BrokenFoot said:
Thanks for fast response. Really. I found some trek's on Craigslist, and a gt mountain hybrid I think is what its called, both hardtail, not sure the years, would either of those be.south looking into? I apologize for all the questions, but is it possible or would it be hard to change a grip shift I think its called to the trigger kind? Because both of those I found are the twist kind and so is the bike I own, and for some reason I always manage to twist it accidently going up incline or something, and messing myself way up. Again thank you so much.
Hybrid bike means that it's made more for dirt roads and pavement, it makes for a poor off road bike. I would stay away from it if it truly is a hybrid bike.

Yes, you can switch from grip shift to triggers, just make sure you get the right parts. There are two types of shifters, one that works with grip shift and one that doesn't. Bike shops will know which is which.
 

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Bollocks
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i would imagine both of the issues you mentioned should be covered under warranty? if nothing else, at least get the bike you bought working correctly. i know if it was me, i would be back at the store demanding a refund...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't return, I'm positive no warranty lol. Is there an article/video/tutorial somewhere to true wheels? Any suggestions on what I should do about the front brake dragging other than just removing it. I set the tire pressures to 40psi because that's what the outside of the tire said. I haven't had much time to search this forum as I'm at work and on my cell phone is there a section for sizing? I'm 5'9 and about 230lbs, wich will hopefully change, another motivation to ride, on top of loving outdoors, other aspects if mountain biking trail riding. I'm kind of intimidated by my LBS I don't know why, just am. I feel like they wouldn't want to give me the time of day since I can't afford to drop fat cash.
 

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A good LBS will be pretty welcoming to you, no matter what you're asking them to help you with. Sometimes they won't have anything good they can tell you or do for it, which is too bad, but there it is.

Truing wheels is not especially difficult but it takes a couple of tools - a spoke wrench and a truing stand. One of our members, Mike T., has a home wheelbuilding guide that includes some alternatives to truing stands if you don't want to buy one. They're pretty expensive; zip ties are not.

http://miketechinfo.com/new-tech-wheels-tires.htm#wheel truing stand

Park Tool has a well-photographed site, including instructions for almost all bike repairs.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/wheel-and-rim-truing

If you're on a really tight budget, decent-quality used is better than new from a department store, and simpler can be a good way to save money. A late-80's fully rigid bike can be a serviceable option, for example, although a front-suspension hardtail from the last five years is certainly easier to learn on, and lends itself to faster riding. I'm willing to spend a pretty good chunk on my "fun" bikes, but I ride to school on something I picked up for $100, and while I've spent some on maintenance for it, by sticking with 1:1 replacements for damaged parts, I've managed not to have to do anything really pricey.
 

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Bollocks
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what kind of store has no warranty on their merchandise?

that trek looks like it would be way to small. i'm the same height as you and i ride a medium [17 - 17.5 inches].

heres a wheel truing video: http://bicycletutor.com/wheel-truing/

i know what you mean about the lbs. i often get the impression they look down on you unless you're a pro-rider or spending $2k on a new bike...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I was just fixing to post that I read in haste and didnt notice the 14" frame way too small. Well a friend of mine bought a bike same time I did, same store and had to go through 6 managers and way to much hassle before they would take it back, and considering I already fell off this one so I'm sure even with a clean wouldn't be worth them taking back.
 

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Bollocks
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BrokenFoot said:
Well a friend of mine bought a bike same time I did, same store and had to go through 6 managers and way to much hassle before they would take it back, and considering I already fell off this one so I'm sure even with a clean wouldn't be worth them taking back.
its still worth a try! the worst they can do is say no... clean it up, explain to them you have only ridden it on the road, off a curb or two and you're disgusted with the quality/safety of the bike. if its damaged already, what else is going to go wrong with it, etc...
 
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