All things bicycle.

lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The Trek brand doesn't have a corner on quality for the mass produced stuff so don't particularly limit yourself. I didn't see anything particularly attractive when I looked....
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Lots of good brands out there- I had never owned or ridden a Giant- this one had some fairly cheap hardware, but since it's compatible with aftermarket parts, that's no big deal. I have to say that I definitely prefer it to the Trek MountainTrack 830 in many ways- it has a front shock, suspension seat post and it's lighter. I like the geometry more, too.

Neither of these is mine- I removed the stupid decals from the Giant, too. I don't like that kind of stuff and they weren't needed to cover a bad paint job. As it happened, I paid the same for them but didn't do anything to upgrade the Trek.

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adk highlander

adk highlander

pessimistic optimist
How would I damage my knees with a 5 mm difference? A seat adjustment is one thing but when I ride a bike, it's for exercise, I don't race and I don't need to pay attention to so many things. If my seat isn't adjusted correctly, it can be painful- that I feel but really 5mm isn't even 1/4". If I'm standing, the seat can't be used as a reference and at 6'-2", 5mm is irrelevant WRT my crank's rotational circumference, IMO.

I saw the X-rays of my knee after I dislocated the patella- the cartilage was fine and the Dr even commented on how good it looked. Not bad for 64, at the time. I'm actually surprised- I have walked, stood, jumped, climbed stairs and knelt so much that I would have expected it to have some damage, especially after having Chondromalacia a few years ago- that's when the cartilage on the backside of the patella rubs on the femur and tibia, causing terrible pain, especially on stairs. Sounds like Rice Crispies when squatting. I would say the pain from that was worse than from the dislocation and any buckling, although the muscle pain when it buckled would give it a good run for its money.
If you ride a ton it would do damage or just mess up your hips compensating. Think if you walked around with one shoe taller than the other. Eventually it will cause issues. No matter. If you didn't feel it and it didn't bother you than who am I to say it was wrong for you. I have probably spent too much on bike fits and being overly analytical about my position on the bike. Especially for someone with as little natural talent as myself.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Lots of good brands out there- I had never owned or ridden a Giant- this one had some fairly cheap hardware, but since it's compatible with aftermarket parts, that's no big deal. I have to say that I definitely prefer it to the Trek MountainTrack 830 in many ways- it has a front shock, suspension seat post and it's lighter. I like the geometry more, too.

Neither of these is mine- I removed the stupid decals from the Giant, too. I don't like that kind of stuff and they weren't needed to cover a bad paint job. As it happened, I paid the same for them but didn't do anything to upgrade the Trek.

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Did you have the dorky bikes like you pictured? Over cushioned seats and sketchy ways of increasing handlebar height? No wonder you don't notice crank differences :)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Giant and Trek and Giant IIRC are largely made in the same factories. Some other brands too. Frame quality is a good thing, and on lower price point bikes while not horrible not particularly attractive....it's the components that makes the big differences. Dirt cheap components just have issues. Upgrading is an expensive process, so usually your best value in a new bike is buying a decent component group for your use to begin with. Good design/options for accessories are important. Mostly for the new consumer it's simply too much info/overwhelming as to where the value lies.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Did you have the dorky bikes like you pictured? Over cushioned seats and sketchy ways of increasing handlebar height? No wonder you don't notice crank differences :)
If you would read the posts, I wrote that I had that model of Trek and HAVE the Giant model in the other photo. I'm not spending a lot on bikes- lost four to bike thieves in the past and it didn't matter that they were locked or in a locked garage, either. I'm also not going to buy a high end bike in order to insult anyone else or feel like I'm better than someone else.

I'm 6'-2"- 5mm really isn't a big difference. I would like for someone to switch one of your crank arms without telling you- let's see if you notice.

Also, unlike someone whose handlebar uses spacers, I can change the height of mine without carrying spare parts.
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Giant and Trek and Giant IIRC are largely made in the same factories. Some other brands too. Frame quality is a good thing, and on lower price point bikes while not horrible not particularly attractive....it's the components that makes the big differences. Dirt cheap components just have issues. Upgrading is an expensive process, so usually your best value in a new bike is buying a decent component group for your use to begin with. Good design/options for accessories are important. Mostly for the new consumer it's simply too much info/overwhelming as to where the value lies.
Then, there's the issues that come with "The components are OK or decent, but if the bike owner doesn't maintain it or have someone else do it, they won't last". Some people create their own problems with component longevity.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Then, there's the issues that come with "The components are OK or decent, but if the bike owner doesn't maintain it or have someone else do it, they won't last". Some people create their own problems with component longevity.
Yep some maintenance is needed. IMO one easy one is simple chain maintenance, clean and properly lubed a chain can last quite a while....and that's part of the problem, they can last so long that the cassette and chainrings become useless to a new chain when finally replaced....when the chain stretches a certain amount it's time to simply replace it so you don't necessarily have to also change cogsets/chainrings at the same time, that can get pretty pricey. On my fancier lighter bike the cogset alone retails for $415 these days (SRAM Eagle X01 12sp)....the chain goes for about $60-90 depending if you want the fancier version or not.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Yep some maintenance is needed. IMO one easy one is simple chain maintenance, clean and properly lubed a chain can last quite a while....and that's part of the problem, they can last so long that the cassette and chainrings become useless to a new chain when finally replaced....when the chain stretches a certain amount it's time to simply replace it so you don't necessarily have to also change cogsets/chainrings at the same time, that can get pretty pricey. On my fancier lighter bike the cogset alone retails for $415 these days (SRAM Eagle X01 12sp)....the chain goes for about $60-90 depending if you want the fancier version or not.
I'll post the old chainrings from the Giant later- they're badly worn. Unfortunately, they're riveted to the crank. The chain that was on it is fine- the gauge doesn't show a problem. Not much of it had any remaining lube, although everything rotated smoothly and silently.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I'll post the old chainrings from the Giant later- they're badly worn. Unfortunately, they're riveted to the crank. The chain that was on it is fine- the gauge doesn't show a problem. Not much of it had any remaining lube, although everything rotated smoothly and silently.
Yeah the cheaper cranksets have riveted on instead of changeable chainrings....how are you measuring the chain? A lot of lube isn't necessary and there are various methods/lubes too....
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Yeah the cheaper cranksets have riveted on instead of changeable chainrings....how are you measuring the chain? A lot of lube isn't necessary and there are various methods/lubes too....
I use a chain gauge- it didn't fit and I compared the existing chain with a new one. Cleaned/lubed and quiet.

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Well, the bike chain was dry, so I didn't expect anything else to have been maintained. Also, the bearings were almost bare- only the BB was a sealed bearing the rest are caged. The races are in good condition, though- I just like to make sure everything is clean & lubed, since it doesn't take a long time and is good insurance against failures in the near future.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I use a chain gauge- it didn't fit and I compared the existing chain with a new one. Cleaned/lubed and quiet.

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Well, the bike chain was dry, so I didn't expect anything else to have been maintained. Also, the bearings were almost bare- only the BB was a sealed bearing the rest are caged. The races are in good condition, though- I just like to make sure everything is clean & lubed, since it doesn't take a long time and is good insurance against failures in the near future.
At least you're mechanically minded enough to go thru everything (and suspect you had most of the tools otherwise needed)...on a used bike that's a good start.

The chain gauges are okay, but removing the chain and hanging it and measure it over the length is a bit better IME. Bearings don't particularly need to be "sealed" (which of course aren't truly sealed anyways...but can help with ingress of crap). The sealed cartridge bearings are pretty common now, but some are better sealed than others. I take it it was a cartridge style square taper bottom bracket? Those are pretty much gone except on the cheapest bikes, outboard sealed cartridge bearing style cranksets are more the norm now (even with fancy ceramic bearings if you want), as well as in headsets and hubs.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
At least you're mechanically minded enough to go thru everything (and suspect you had most of the tools otherwise needed)...on a used bike that's a good start.

The chain gauges are okay, but removing the chain and hanging it and measure it over the length is a bit better IME. Bearings don't particularly need to be "sealed" (which of course aren't truly sealed anyways...but can help with ingress of crap). The sealed cartridge bearings are pretty common now, but some are better sealed than others. I take it it was a cartridge style square taper bottom bracket? Those are pretty much gone except on the cheapest bikes, outboard sealed cartridge bearing style cranksets are more the norm now (even with fancy ceramic bearings if you want), as well as in headsets and hubs.
In addition to AV work, I have also worked as a boat mechanic, trained in EFI, Multi-port injection, fuel systems and other areas of diagnostics, repair, setup, and the electrical side of it- after working on literally thousands of boats, I think I'm 'mechanically-minded' and the repairs ranged from assembly/component replacement to full tear-down of engines like Ford 351 and Chevy Corvette LT-1. I have rarely had leftover parts when finishing the work. :)

When I wrote that I compared it with another chain, they were hanging and if I didn't have the specialty tools, I bought them- not a fan of "I can get this to work" unless it's something like a hex nut/bolt. Also, comparing it with another part implies that the reference is within spec, and a quality gauge can remain 'in spec' as long as the reference chain isn't used on a bike. WRT sealed vs loose or caged bearings, sealed are usually more precise and because they don't allow that crap to enter, they last far longer. Yes, the BB is square taper, but as I wrote originally, the BB bearing is sealed and the bike is from 2001-2004, so a lot has changed since then. My Trek road bike's BB is a caged bearing, but that one is from 1984. I'm surprised sealed bearings took so long to be used for axles- zero adjustment and no need for someone to know how to set the preload.

I think a lot of people go for better components even though it will make zero difference in how well the bike will perform. Sure, a ceramic bearing can be 'better', but to what degree does it matter? If a caged headset bearing's friction is unnoticeable as it moves through the usual range (while riding) of maybe ±45 degrees, what's the point? Same for any other assembly that's relatively well-sealed from the elements- compared to what is needed to make it rotate, anything we or the road/path are doing to it is brute force. If a bearing assembly lasts for 30 years and its friction isn't noticeable to anything but a strain gauge (certainly won't be measurable using a torque wrench), doesn't that mean it's 'good enough for all practical purposes'? It's very similar to using a $300 power cord when the OEM part is definitely adequate- this isn't something that needs to meet ISO 9001 standards.

But bearings are about more than just lasting for 30 years and using less energy to move them- they need to be able to withstand a lot of shock and resist wear, so the purchase/use of better ones is a much better decision than just using price/longevity as a reason for not stepping up in quality.

I have read some of the debate about various bike lubes and for anything sealed, I'm not sure it will make much difference, especially when the bike is going to be regularly maintained. The chain, OTOH, needs to be able to shed the dust, mud and other abrasive contaminants in order to avoid grinding the chainring(s) and the chain, itself.

OTOH, I am definitely a fan of extreme precision and accuracy- I have always been fascinated by mechanical assemblies and one of the things I like most about working in AV and boats is looking for solutions to problems that were considered 'unsolvable' by others. When I hear "They said it can't be repaired" or "They can't find the cause of the problem", well, I just call that 'good, clean fun'.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
In addition to AV work, I have also worked as a boat mechanic, trained in EFI, Multi-port injection, fuel systems and other areas of diagnostics, repair, setup, and the electrical side of it- after working on literally thousands of boats, I think I'm 'mechanically-minded' and the repairs ranged from assembly/component replacement to full tear-down of engines like Ford 351 and Chevy Corvette LT-1. I have rarely had leftover parts when finishing the work. :)

When I wrote that I compared it with another chain, they were hanging and if I didn't have the specialty tools, I bought them- not a fan of "I can get this to work" unless it's something like a hex nut/bolt. Also, comparing it with another part implies that the reference is within spec, and a quality gauge can remain 'in spec' as long as the reference chain isn't used on a bike. WRT sealed vs loose or caged bearings, sealed are usually more precise and because they don't allow that crap to enter, they last far longer. Yes, the BB is square taper, but as I wrote originally, the BB bearing is sealed and the bike is from 2001-2004, so a lot has changed since then. My Trek road bike's BB is a caged bearing, but that one is from 1984. I'm surprised sealed bearings took so long to be used for axles- zero adjustment and no need for someone to know how to set the preload.

I think a lot of people go for better components even though it will make zero difference in how well the bike will perform. Sure, a ceramic bearing can be 'better', but to what degree does it matter? If a caged headset bearing's friction is unnoticeable as it moves through the usual range (while riding) of maybe ±45 degrees, what's the point? Same for any other assembly that's relatively well-sealed from the elements- compared to what is needed to make it rotate, anything we or the road/path are doing to it is brute force. If a bearing assembly lasts for 30 years and its friction isn't noticeable to anything but a strain gauge (certainly won't be measurable using a torque wrench), doesn't that mean it's 'good enough for all practical purposes'? It's very similar to using a $300 power cord when the OEM part is definitely adequate- this isn't something that needs to meet ISO 9001 standards.

But bearings are about more than just lasting for 30 years and using less energy to move them- they need to be able to withstand a lot of shock and resist wear, so the purchase/use of better ones is a much better decision than just using price/longevity as a reason for not stepping up in quality.

I have read some of the debate about various bike lubes and for anything sealed, I'm not sure it will make much difference, especially when the bike is going to be regularly maintained. The chain, OTOH, needs to be able to shed the dust, mud and other abrasive contaminants in order to avoid grinding the chainring(s) and the chain, itself.

OTOH, I am definitely a fan of extreme precision and accuracy- I have always been fascinated by mechanical assemblies and one of the things I like most about working in AV and boats is looking for solutions to problems that were considered 'unsolvable' by others. When I hear "They said it can't be repaired" or "They can't find the cause of the problem", well, I just call that 'good, clean fun'.
The ceramics can offer a tad less friction IIRC so if you're racing.....too much $ for me in any case. I have been known to splurge on Chris King headsets and hubs, tho.

My go to lube is Boeshield T-9

ps And for hanging chain you can use a good tape measure/ruler....
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
The ceramics can offer a tad less friction IIRC so if you're racing.....too much $ for me in any case. I have been known to splurge on Chris King headsets and hubs, tho.

My go to lube is Boeshield T-9

ps And for hanging chain you can use a good tape measure/ruler....
I have been using T-9 for quite awhile- it's a good way to protect woodworking machinery surfaces and blades, too. I have some Phil's Tenacious Oil but it tends to pick up dust and I don't like that when something is exposed.

One thing that I found interesting- freehubs/freewheels are greased when they're initially assembled, but the shops I contacted said they don't bother to disassemble for cleaning, they just use oil to add lubrication. What are your thoughts on this? I know that lubricants are supposed to be chosen based on the application and unless something is intended to be immersed in the lube, it's greased, not oiled. I look at their use of oil as 'get 'em in, get 'em out, take their money' service. If I service a boat and use oil where grease is supposed to go, things fail and it can be pretty ugly when that happens.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I have been using T-9 for quite awhile- it's a good way to protect woodworking machinery surfaces and blades, too. I have some Phil's Tenacious Oil but it tends to pick up dust and I don't like that when something is exposed.

One thing that I found interesting- freehubs/freewheels are greased when they're initially assembled, but the shops I contacted said they don't bother to disassemble for cleaning, they just use oil to add lubrication. What are your thoughts on this? I know that lubricants are supposed to be chosen based on the application and unless something is intended to be immersed in the lube, it's greased, not oiled. I look at their use of oil as 'get 'em in, get 'em out, take their money' service. If I service a boat and use oil where grease is supposed to go, things fail and it can be pretty ugly when that happens.
Never thought of using the T-9 on my woodworking stuff....will have to give that a try. I've used Phil's but prefer the dryer lube T-9 offers. On mtbr a long time ago ran into a guy who was marketing a product called Chain-L No.5 (New York) which I believe was some sort of repackaged heavy gear oil, a bit thicker than Phil's....while it worked okay it was a bit messy to apply to the chain and any excess attracted dirt/dust....I preferred it on the road bikes.

With freewheels adding lube rather than taking one apart for full servicing might be tempting, but I haven't had a freewheel on a bike since my first mountain bike. Seems you'd replace the freewheel more than you'd need to rebuild one. Couldn't really tell you if the cheaper stuff came poorly lubed or with inappropriate grease originally, tho. Seems adding lube alone was a way some of the racer boys got them to spin better, tho.

The freehubs I have generally need service infrequently, altho when needed I do it properly with the correct lubes as specified. I hung out at a good quality shop in the early days, hung out and rode with the mechanics, they weren't the shortcut taking type of shop. When I co-owned a bike shop we were at a mountain bike destination so we didn't see typical full service type stuff, more the emergency and get me back on the trail type stuff....and freehubs just don't need all that much attention in that situation, but would do it properly if needed.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Kinda like asking if a really cheap bluetooth speaker with 2" drivers will be fine for all my audio needs.
 
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