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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting out and riding it is #1 but what kind of things do you recommend to do a brand new bike to protect it and customize it? Here I am thinking about things like protecting the finish from abrasion and the like. Also, what about things to lookout for during the first few rides? Things to insure that the bike was well constructed and that it really fits well?
 

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The best advice I can give right off the top of my head is DO NOT buy a new seat or seat cover until you've been riding for at least a month. Your a$$ is gonna be sore. But it's not the seat. Other then that pay attention to little things you do when riding. What I mean by that is when I bought my last bike I noticed that when I was riding that I would at times hold the handle bars with the tips of my fingers when on smooth straight-aways. What that equated to was I wasn't comfortable and was subconciously trying to get my posture to where my body really wanted to be. A new stem with more rise and a hair shorter and now I'm fine. Other then that....ride the hell outta your bike!
 

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Getting the bike to fit is very important.

Whether you pay for a fitting, just get the LBS where you bought it to get it close.

Best site for me was Sheldon Brown.

Grease up all the little cracks and crevices where water can get in etc.

Leennard Zinn and Art of Mountian bike Maintance.
 

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Freeriding Feline
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Take pictures and write down the serial number if it has one. Register it w/ the company...i.e. Santa Cruz, Specialized, etc.
 

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trailgrinder said:
Take a picture for insurance purposes and keep it filed with the reciept.
Definitely good advice! Also, make sure you write down or take a pic of the serial number too.

When my bike is new (or upgraded), I make/update a list of ALL of the components (manu / model, type, year, size, color, etc, etc) and accessories on my bike as well. May help ID it if stolen, but also is a handy & easy reference to use when I'm looking at doing upgrades later on ("Ugh, what size seatpost do I have again? Nuts, now the numbers are all scratched off..." You get the point...)

There's an infinite number of mods you can do to a bike. Your LBS may be able to recommend appropriate local-area-specific things to do to your bike also, based on riding conditions and your own riding style.

Cheers, Chris
 

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I don't worry too much about the paint.. which is good since I put huge scratches on my new left clipless pedal about five minutes after I had first put it on. I did add protection to the chainstay, though. It made a big difference between a ride where the chain was clanging on the chainstay with every bounce and a fairly quiet ride. I just went with an old inner tube cut into a long strip and wrapped tightly around the chainstay, then added some electrical tape and zip strips at each end.
 

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Double-metric mtb man
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I'd add a couple of things.

First, make sure the bar, levers, seat, pedal tension (clipless) and so forth are adjusted for you. Some shops do this, others let you figure it out. The layout and adjustment of many of these things is highly dependent on individual preference.

Second, if you've got disc brakes, break them in / bed the pads. It usually involves a little time at a flat location...ride up to some speed then hit the brakes (don't drag the brakes). Once things are fully bedded, the consistency and power of the brakes is much better.

Chainstay protectors are a good idea too....I used an old tube and a lizard skin (I've got awkward sized chainstays).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Super thread thank you all very much. Keep em coming if there are any more gems to drop....

I had to take my bike back to the shop already as the disk breaks are hydraulic and they locked up when I took the front wheel off to load it in my car. Got home and couldn't get the wheel on....I felt pretty stupid but this is my first disk break bike. I still don't know what the deal actually is on that.....
 

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Chris130 said:
Definitely good advice! Also, make sure you write down or take a pic of the serial number too.

When my bike is new (or upgraded), I make/update a list of ALL of the components (manu / model, type, year, size, color, etc, etc) and accessories on my bike as well. May help ID it if stolen, but also is a handy & easy reference to use when I'm looking at doing upgrades later on ("Ugh, what size seatpost do I have again? Nuts, now the numbers are all scratched off..." You get the point...)

There's an infinite number of mods you can do to a bike. Your LBS may be able to recommend appropriate local-area-specific things to do to your bike also, based on riding conditions and your own riding style.

Cheers, Chris
Once again, great advice.

Following the seatpost size, etc. thought, if it is possible, download the pdf version of the specs of the bike from the manufacturer's website. That provides instant answers and eliminates the frustrating wait of email responses and phone transfers and holds.

I usually don't worry too much about the paint...its gonna get knicked, but if you have serious problems (like cable rub) lizardskins also make sticker patches that are cheap and effective.
 

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1. Move the brake levers so they are inboard of the shifters so I can operate then with one finger.

2. Finesse the cable routing and length -- usually too long once you have moved the shifters.

3. Get the riding position dialled. Stem length, handlebar rotation (if riser), seatpost height, saddle angle, saddle fore aft.

4. Remove all the cheap reflectors and install a Planet Bike Superflash on the seatpost
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you all again for the most recent posts to this thread. The Brake FAQ was great reading - thanks for pointing that out to me. I have to go back and pick my bike up again - I guess they had to bleed the brakes or something to free them up. They felt bad about not telling what to watch out for when I remove the wheel. I have to ask a few more questions when I pick it up. It has been like -4?F here so riding is out - heck, breathing is almost out!
 

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pinkheadedbug said:
1. Move the brake levers so they are inboard of the shifters so I can operate then with one finger.
I do not like that but if it works for you ...

Cables will most likely stretch so gears will go slightly out of adjustment. Find instructions for adjusting your gears. It is not difficult.
 

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I always double check all nuts and bolts to insure proper tightness. I also go back over wheel to wheel after the first few rides. I hate unpleasant surprises. Have you ever seen how slammed with customers some LBS get? Not uncommon for someone to forget this or that.
 
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