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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:40 am
 


Guy_Fawkes wrote:
Im giving serious thought to the specialized, as for repairs I would be more than willing to teach myself, as well I know a few guys at work who should be able to give me a hand.


It's not hard for anybody mechanically inclined. The main thing to learn are how to adjust bearings. I do my own work, it just takes me longer than a bikeshop mech. OTOH, I don't produce some of the horror stories they do because they're usually young kids who don't give a damn, or are being pushed for speed by the owner.

Make sure the Specialized fits you.

1. Stand over the bike. Can you do so with at least an inch between the top bar and your nuts?

2. Adjust saddle height: while sitting on the bike put your heel on the pedal at the furthest downstroke (6 o'clock) - you should be able to just reach the pedal with your leg straight and without straining. That means when you put your toe on the pedal there will be a slight bend at the knee at the longest extension. Having the saddle too low can cause as much problem as too high - very bad for the knee. If the seat post has to be pulled up too high for a good fit, the bike is too small for you. Seat posts have a line on them to show they should not be pulled out of the seat tube further than that. (you can buy seatposts with longer extensions, but as I say that probably means the bike is too small for you).

This applies to riding on road and path. In difficult terrain you may want to drop the saddle a bit so you have more room to absorb bumps with your legs

3. Saddle fore and aft. Lots of discussion on this. The usual recomendation is KOPS - knee over pedal spindle. Ie when you have your foot on the pedal at it's most forward point in the rotation, the front of your knee should be over the middle of the pedal. But there's quite a bit of leeway here for what feels right for you. For road racing, the idea is that on short races you want to be on a higher saddle, further forward, on long races you want to be lower and further back. It's also an individual thing. Set it up like I suggested, then experiment in making very slight adjustments to see what feels better.

4. Saddle tilt. Start with saddle level (parallel to ground) and then consider tilting the nose up a degree or two. It can feel weird at first, but it does kind of lock you in place on the saddle so you don't slide forward. Takes pressure off your arms and shoulders.

5. Now look at the reach to the handle bars. You should be able to maintain a slight bend at your elbows. If your arms are straight or even worse your shoulders rounded as you stretch to reach the bars, you will really suffer on any longer ride. If the reach is too short, your arms and legs will probably interfere with each other. You can buy a different stem (part that connects bike to handlebar) for 30 bucks. You could go about an inch in either direction with a new stem. If it takes more than that for a good fit, the bike is not the right size for you.

6. Bar height. Newer bikes don't have much adjustment for bar height. You can flip over the stem or take out some spacers to lower the stem a bit. Raising it from current position is usually not feasible. But stems come in different rises - ie how much the angle up - so you can buy one with a different rise if you need to come up a bit. You can also buy steerer tube extensions to raise the whole deal. But if you have to go that route the bike is probably too small for you. As you raise the handle bars, you would usually also reduce the reach (length) of the stem, since your back would be straighter and further away from the bars.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:08 pm
 


I took a look at the link the guy gave for the original bike.

I think he may have a different fork than stock on the bike. It should come with RS "Sid" but what's written on the fork leg looks more like "Dart" to me (hard to read) which is a much lower level fork. Probably he replaced the original because it blew out. (Edit: just took another look at the pic of the original bike, and no way this is the orginal fork - it should have legs painted in the same color as the bike, ie red)

His front derailer is LX where the bike originally came with XT (better). Yet his rear dr is XTR (best) which is much more important. The funny thing is that rear derailers usually go much faster than front ones (they do a lot more shifting). Maybe he decided to replace the rear with same quality but save a bit for the front one, which would be a smart thing to do.

Can't tell anything about the wheels from the pic, but if he's replacing components, the wheels might not have much life left in them either. Run your finger along the rims to see if they are getting hollowed out (ie concave), cause that means you'll soon need new wheels, and if you ignore it, the rims can break and send you flying. The hubs might also be ready to pack it in - you can try wiggling the axles to see how much play is in them.

This bike is 9 years old. It looks like you'd be getting a well used, but possibly well maintained bike, but you'd have to be ready to spend some money in the near future replacing parts. Parts bought at the bike store cost a lot more than what the bike manufacturer pays for them, so it can bet expensive. I'm not trying to put you off this bike, just warning you that with your sort of budget you could easily wind up spending a lot more on keeping the bike in good repair. At least with this bike you'd be getting a very good quality frame, and as long as it hasn't been damaged, it's at least worth it to hang new parts on it as needed. But whenever you buy a bike, you always have to spend more than you thought.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:12 pm
 


How much more do you think I will have to drop into it? With it being winter right now, it wouldnt be much of an issue saving and have the bike in pieces for a bit.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:24 pm
 


I talked to the guys at work and this is where they go for their parts and such.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:28 pm
 


Guy_Fawkes wrote:
How much more do you think I will have to drop into it? With it being winter right now, it wouldnt be much of an issue saving and have the bike in pieces for a bit.


I can't say. The bike looks very clean. Maybe he's replaced parts as needed, and you're good to go. This is the kind of thing you actually need to look at the bike in person for. If he's replaced some of the parts with cheaper ones, but they're all in good shape, you're still way ahead of those other bikes you've listed.

Ask him about the wheels. A decent set of wheels will set you back at least $300, and that's at the low end. Unless of course you can find a good deal for lightly used ones on Kijii as well.

Does the bike shift easily from gear to gear? Any noises while pedaling?

How do the teeth on the crankset look - if they're all worn out (not very tall with a very broad valley between teeth, maybe look at a new crankset to compare) chain rings will cost you about $100 for the set. The rear cogs you can also look at, but those are an item that needs to be replaced on a regular basis anyway, and 9 speed cogsets aren't too expensive. If you're replacing chainrings/cogsets you also have to replace the chain.

I think with only $250 to spend, you'd have to luck out to get a bike in good shape that will just run for a while. Ie somebody who doesn't know the value of what they're selling, is in a hurry for money, or the bike is stolen. Otherwise it's quite likely you'll have to put out some more cash to get the bike up to snuff. But maybe, as this guy says, he's not riding anymore, the bikes just been sitting around, and he kept it in good shape when he was riding. So maybe you'll luck out on this one.

Remember, don't buy it if it doesn't fit right - you'll just regret it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:32 pm
 


Guy_Fawkes wrote:
I talked to the guys at work and this is where they go for their parts and such.


Can you take one of the guys at work to look at the bike with you? Might be helpful.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:26 pm
 


andyt wrote:
Guy_Fawkes wrote:
I talked to the guys at work and this is where they go for their parts and such.


Can you take one of the guys at work to look at the bike with you? Might be helpful.

Was planning on it, one of my old neighbors did an overhaul on his bike about a month ago.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:44 pm
 


andyt wrote:
Guy_Fawkes wrote:
Im giving serious thought to the specialized, as for repairs I would be more than willing to teach myself, as well I know a few guys at work who should be able to give me a hand.


It's not hard for anybody mechanically inclined. The main thing to learn are how to adjust bearings. I do my own work, it just takes me longer than a bikeshop mech. OTOH, I don't produce some of the horror stories they do because they're usually young kids who don't give a damn, or are being pushed for speed by the owner.

Make sure the Specialized fits you.

1. Stand over the bike. Can you do so with at least an inch between the top bar and your nuts?

2. Adjust saddle height: while sitting on the bike put your heel on the pedal at the furthest downstroke (6 o'clock) - you should be able to just reach the pedal with your leg straight and without straining. That means when you put your toe on the pedal there will be a slight bend at the knee at the longest extension. Having the saddle too low can cause as much problem as too high - very bad for the knee. If the seat post has to be pulled up too high for a good fit, the bike is too small for you. Seat posts have a line on them to show they should not be pulled out of the seat tube further than that. (you can buy seatposts with longer extensions, but as I say that probably means the bike is too small for you).

This applies to riding on road and path. In difficult terrain you may want to drop the saddle a bit so you have more room to absorb bumps with your legs

3. Saddle fore and aft. Lots of discussion on this. The usual recomendation is KOPS - knee over pedal spindle. Ie when you have your foot on the pedal at it's most forward point in the rotation, the front of your knee should be over the middle of the pedal. But there's quite a bit of leeway here for what feels right for you. For road racing, the idea is that on short races you want to be on a higher saddle, further forward, on long races you want to be lower and further back. It's also an individual thing. Set it up like I suggested, then experiment in making very slight adjustments to see what feels better.

4. Saddle tilt. Start with saddle level (parallel to ground) and then consider tilting the nose up a degree or two. It can feel weird at first, but it does kind of lock you in place on the saddle so you don't slide forward. Takes pressure off your arms and shoulders.

5. Now look at the reach to the handle bars. You should be able to maintain a slight bend at your elbows. If your arms are straight or even worse your shoulders rounded as you stretch to reach the bars, you will really suffer on any longer ride. If the reach is too short, your arms and legs will probably interfere with each other. You can buy a different stem (part that connects bike to handlebar) for 30 bucks. You could go about an inch in either direction with a new stem. If it takes more than that for a good fit, the bike is not the right size for you.

6. Bar height. Newer bikes don't have much adjustment for bar height. You can flip over the stem or take out some spacers to lower the stem a bit. Raising it from current position is usually not feasible. But stems come in different rises - ie how much the angle up - so you can buy one with a different rise if you need to come up a bit. You can also buy steerer tube extensions to raise the whole deal. But if you have to go that route the bike is probably too small for you. As you raise the handle bars, you would usually also reduce the reach (length) of the stem, since your back would be straighter and further away from the bars.

Hope that helps.


That's some helpful stuff. Thanks, Andy!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:48 pm
 


Someone hacked into andyt's account. 8O 8O 8O 8O

:wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:35 am
 


Regina wrote:
Someone hacked into andyt's account. 8O 8O 8O 8O

:wink:


:lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:06 am
 


Well the hope is that if some tightie rightie is more comfortable on a bike, they might relax a bit, care more about their fellow man and the environment and come to see reason. It's a long shot, I know, but seems worth a shot.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:21 am
 


I had no idea I was a 'tightie rightie' :? .


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 am
 


Guy_Fawkes wrote:
I had no idea I was a 'tightie rightie' :? .


You're not. Its andy's fall back position whenever he feels uncmfortable. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:23 am
 


Gunnair wrote:
Guy_Fawkes wrote:
I had no idea I was a 'tightie rightie' :? .


You're not. Its andy's fall back position whenever he feels uncmfortable. :wink:

I thought he was talking about nuts and seat position again.
:wink:


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