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New Bike/Rider Trouble

Old 07-31-19, 01:45 PM
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NewCyclist1
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New Bike/Rider Trouble

Hello, I am brand new to cycling and I just bought my first bike. I am coming off a motorcycle accident and using cycling to stay fit while I recover. After a lot of research and coming to the realization that I cannot afford a bike from a bike shop, I bought a Walmart bike. I know this was a bad idea but I really needed an entry level bike for under $200. I bought the Kent Nazz 700c. Iíd classify it as a gravel/adventure bike it has thin tires but they have some tread too. My issue is that my disc brakes are really squeaky when braking, the brakes donít really stop the bike too well, and I think the brakes are rubbing. When I roll the bike I can hear the front brake making a quiet rubbing noise. Being a new bike I am a little disappointed. Is there a fix to this issue other than not buying a bike from Walmart? I really am enjoying my first day of ownership and I am going to start commuting 2 miles to work and 2 miles home each day. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-31-19, 01:52 PM
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Old 07-31-19, 02:02 PM
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You might check to see if your rotors are true.

Just put a pencil or something near the rotor and spin the wheels.

Make sure all the bolts are tight, then use an adjustable wrench to gently bend the rotor until it is true.
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Old 07-31-19, 02:10 PM
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Been a wrench in a shop since 1982, and my advice is to return the bike, get your money back, and buy a bike with regular brakes. Cheap disc brakes are nothing but garbage and will become a pia overnight. Is there anyone you know that can guide you to a good, solid, used bike shop brand bike? Even a vintage bike with friction shifting will be better than what you have now.
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Old 07-31-19, 02:19 PM
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Did you bed-in/break-in the pads/rotors?
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Old 07-31-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Did you bed-in/break-in the pads/rotors?
No. Iím not sure how to do that. I rode it up town and back about 4 miles. Considering returning it and looking for a cheap used bike but Iím really not sure what the best move is.
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Old 07-31-19, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by NewCyclist1 View Post
Considering returning it and looking for a cheap used bike but Iím really not sure what the best move is.
Where are you? There are a lot of people on these forums who enjoy helping folks look for good used bikes in their area. If we know where you are, the type of riding you're likely to be doing and generally how tall you are, forum members would be able to look at what's available on your local Craigslist and steer you towards some decent alternatives.
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Old 07-31-19, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldguyonoldbike View Post
Where are you? There are a lot of people on these forums who enjoy helping folks look for good used bikes in their area. If we know where you are, the type of riding you're likely to be doing and generally how tall you are, forum members would be able to look at what's available on your local Craigslist and steer you towards some decent alternatives.
Iím located in North East Illinois right on the Wisconsin/Illinois border. I typically use the Kenosha, WI craigslist. Iím 6í1 195lbs. I do a lot of riding on hard packed gravel and sidewalks.
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Old 07-31-19, 03:07 PM
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As advised, you're best off looking for a used name brand bike. Try to find some local bike clubs. A lot of us have way too many bikes on our hands. I typically give the older ones away to gain bike karma.
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Old 07-31-19, 03:15 PM
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Return the Walmart bike. I suggest finding a local bike coop. Usually decent bikes can be had for decent prices at a bike coop. E.g. a Trek Single Track, blue hybrid is $175.00 at my local coop. And most coops will make any issues you find with the bike right and/or teach you how to fix the issue.
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Old 07-31-19, 03:17 PM
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There may also be an element of just habituating to the difference between heavy high speed motorcycles and lightweight low speed bicycles.
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Old 07-31-19, 03:38 PM
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Used bike shops Kenosha

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_des...=Kenosha%2C+WI
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Old 07-31-19, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by NewCyclist1 View Post
I’m located in North East Illinois right on the Wisconsin/Illinois border. I typically use the Kenosha, WI craigslist. I’m 6’1 195lbs. I do a lot of riding on hard packed gravel and sidewalks.
You don't have a big selection in the Kenosha craigslist. Here is the best one I found

Diamond Back - Topanga - $50
- It needs a cleaning, new hybrid tires and the saddle adjusted. I don't know how the brakes and gears are. It is a 22-23" frame (not 32"). The 3rd photo is a different bike.

If you are willing to drive a bit:

Trek 7.5FX - $125
- By far the best deal I saw if you can get past it being a women's bike. However, I don't think it is a 22.5in frame as the seller claims, looks like a 17". You need at least a 19" and probably best on a 20"+ frame.

Specialized Hard Rock - $59
Diamond Back Outlook - $20
Bianchi Osprey - $90
Gary Fisher Wahoo - $100

All the above rigid mountain bikes should have hybrid style tires for what you describe, some have them already. Of each I listed, they are all around the same component level. I'd choose based on distance, condition, and price.

These are the better ones

1991 Trek 930 = $220
1986-87 Stumpjumper = $200

Personally I'd negotiate and go with the Trek 930 (if not too far) as it has been modernized and looks ready to go, but the color is not for everyone. You may also want to add more road oriented tires. The most important thing is that the bike fits you. A 21" frame is in the ballpark for someone 6'1".

I stayed under $220 for my suggestions.

Last edited by katsup; 07-31-19 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 07-31-19, 05:03 PM
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NewCyclist1
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Wow! Thank you for doing that I greatly appreciate it. What a great community. I am glad to be a part of it.
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Old 07-31-19, 05:16 PM
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Those are some great choices katsup found! Return the Wally bike while you can
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Old 07-31-19, 05:23 PM
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It would help to have a clue how big you are for size.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...946403065.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...946315081.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...943077922.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...925729964.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...940581278.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...937616468.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...937913997.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...938770366.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...932155557.html
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Old 07-31-19, 05:51 PM
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It just happens that I have a 1993 Trek 930 that I got for free recently. I looked at the pictures for the one on CL (https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/b...945047422.html) and that one seems to have a lot of component changes on it some not for the better. It came with Shimano rapid fire shifters with integrated brake handles and now has twist grip shifters and separate brake handles. The size also does not match any of the sizes listed by Trek. Sizes: 15, 16.5 18, 20, 22" If the owner changed out major components I would wonder how many miles are on the bike. MSRP brand new was $499 so $220 for a 26 year old bike seems a stretch. Bicycle Blue book lists the price for one in good condition at less than $100. You can take BBB prices with a grain of salt but that looks like a big difference.
It helps if you know a little about bikes. There are a few old bikes on the Racine CL that look nice and are surprisingly cheap. Then there are the overpriced dogs like this 70s Motobecane Mirage priced at $180. It was the lowest grade bike Motobecane made in the 1970s https://racine.craigslist.org/bik/d/...932204905.html. I know because I owned their most expensive model made in 1973. I wouldn't pay more than $20 for a 70s Mirage.

Last edited by VegasTriker; 07-31-19 at 05:55 PM. Reason: removed link to Trek 820 - it was overpriced
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Old 07-31-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
It just happens that I have a 1993 Trek 930 that I got for free recently. I looked at the pictures for the one on CL (https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/b...945047422.html) and that one seems to have a lot of component changes on it some not for the better. It came with Shimano rapid fire shifters with integrated brake handles and now has twist grip shifters and separate brake handles. The size also does not match any of the sizes listed by Trek. Sizes: 15, 16.5 18, 20, 22" If the owner changed out major components I would wonder how many miles are on the bike. MSRP brand new was $499 so $220 for a 26 year old bike seems a stretch. Bicycle Blue book lists the price for one in good condition at less than $100. You can take BBB prices with a grain of salt but that looks like a big difference.
The Trek 930 has SRAM 9.0 (shifters are 5.0), 9.0 is mid/high level SRAM components. It is higher up than the stock Shimano Atlus, plus it is has v-brakes which are easier to adjust over cantis. The front derailleur is still the stock Atlus and the crank is Shimano STX which is also higher than Atlus.

The frame is 20" and I believe it's a 1993. At 6'1" he is between 20"-22" frame size.

Edit: I can't tell if the hubs/wheels are original. The hubs look like Shimano Exage from that era.

Last edited by katsup; 07-31-19 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 08-01-19, 11:02 PM
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Would anyone recommend me to buy a bike off amazon? I saw a video saying the following bikes are good entry level in the $250 price range:
Schwinn Volare 1300
Schwinn Phocus 1400
Vilano R2
Vilano Tuono 2.0

My concern would be that I donít ride on the street, only sidewalks, bike paths, and hard packed gravel so Iím not sure if the skinny tires are for me?
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Old 08-02-19, 12:29 AM
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I don't think your troubles stem from buying an inexpensive bike from Walmart. And no, Its not a bad idea for many folks. They sell 10's of thousands of them every year with many happy customers. It has more to do with buying an inexpensive DISC brake bike from them. Some folks have spend 2 - 3x as much on brand name bikes and had the same problem with disc brakes, Which is why I avoid them. Bring it back and try one of their standard bikes with wide tires, at least 38mm for the terrain you ride on. No disc brakes, No suspension forks, etc.

Expecting a disc brake or suspension forks to work well on a low end bike, Even brand name ones IMO is asking for trouble.

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Old 08-02-19, 08:22 AM
  #21  
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If you're buying a cheap bike, it's better to go with tried-but-true components rather than poorly-working facsimiles of higher-end stuff.

Most mechanical disc brakes work by moving the outer pad and deflecting the rotor into the rear pad. That means they're deliberately bending the rotor. Nothing good can come from that, and the low-end ones on a department store bike are even worse because they have poor provisions for adjustments.

A used name-brand bike is still your best bet, something simple with rim brakes and no suspension. Amazon is just a big online department store, so no improvement over WalMart or Target.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NewCyclist1 View Post
Would anyone recommend me to buy a bike off amazon?
The simplest, oldest tech bike you can find may be OK. The majority will likely give you similar issues as your Kent (bad shifting, bad braking, broken spokes, loose bolts, etc...).

You will do much better with a bike shop bike, even when they are 30-40 years old.

Last edited by katsup; 08-02-19 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:47 PM
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Like TiHanero, while you can get a new bike cheaply from Walmart in general they aren't worth it. You can also get more than your money's worth from your local Craig's list. Since you probably don't know anything about sizing or recognizing a good from bad bike try to find a local bike club member to help you or find a local bike shop that sells used bikes. If he sees you as a starting cyclist that may be a future customer he can be very helpful.

I road raced motorcycles for a number of years but motorcycles can get very fatiguing. You get no exercise on them and everything about them is designed to drain the money from your wallet. Bicycles are so much more fun I can't tell you. Not to mention the health additions. I'm now 75 and have the heart rate and blood pressure of a 30 year old.
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Old 08-03-19, 05:05 PM
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New Cyclist,
Take the Wal-Mart bike back. I've been a mechanic on bikes since the mid 70's and work a bit in our local co-op. North side Chicago should have a couple of co-ops available to you, so look into that. I did a full restore on a Giant Hybrid bike this last spring and it sold for $200. The guy that bought it was ecstatic that he found a good bike for a great price. He commutes to work every day about five miles each way (and he looked me up to thank me for recommending that bike to him). His first bike was crunched in and auto accident that left him bruised and battered but he got back in the saddle with the Giant and loves it. The co-ops are generally a great deal for cyclists. Smiles, MH
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Old 08-03-19, 05:50 PM
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I am also a motorcyclist. Ducati guy since 1998. Many more before that. It would never occur to me to buy a moto or bicycle from Walmart. You cannot buy a $200 bike from a chain and expect it to be reliable or functional.
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