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Just got a new bike! Looking for any and all tips and advice.

Hello! I am new to this page and ready to get back into cycling!! I just bought the CTY 1.1 and I am ready to learn all the tips/tricks of getting started with my bike and maintaining it as well! Please share anything and everything you know about it! 

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14 Replies

@egus0422 - Ah! I just love that new-bike smell!

Congratulations!

Get a tire repair kit together and learn how to use it. This will keep you riding even if you get a puncture (like I did yesterday). 🚴

Also, get a good floor pump to keep your tires properly inflated.

And put some lube on your chain every now and then - more if you live in a dusty place. Your local bike shop can get you set up with the right stuff.

And wear that new bike out!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@egus0422 

I just wanted to circle back with you and see how your cycling is going! When I was first getting into riding bikes, a friend of mine recommended a multi-tool like the crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool. I still have it to this day. Between that multi-tool, a patch kit, a pump, and some tire levers, and I can get myself out of most situations and back on the road/trail in good enough shape to get home safely. Once you have the kid you need, you'll definitely want to make sure you know how to get your tire off and back on the rim again. It's a simple enough process to think through, however, you don't want to be learning how to do it on the side of the road, miles from home, as the sun is going down.

I always try to remember the Adventurer's Credo: 'Don't the first time be the first time.'

Hopefully you're enjoying your bike and getting some miles in. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have more questions!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hey John! It’s going great! My boys and I have been on so many bike rides already this year!! I now have a bike trailer to tote around my youngest and he loves it just as much as I do!

Also I went into my local REI store and they got me all hooked up on gear/necessities!

I do think I need to take my bike in to get it inspected or tuned or something. The chain seems noisy. Any ideas?

My local store is 45mins away so not as easy to take it in often.

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@egus0422 wrote:

I do think I need to take my bike in to get it inspected or tuned or something. The chain seems noisy. Any ideas?



I would check to see if the chain is rubbing on the front or rear derailers. It is possible it needs to be adjusted if cables have stretched a bit. I think REI still give the first tune up free for this reason. 

But also check that you are not "cross chaining" too much. That is basically the chain making too much of a sideways angle from the front to rear. Like if you are on the Largest front gear and also largest rear gear they might not be lined up causing the chain to rub on the next smaller gear. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-gears-and-shifting.html

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-gears-and-shifting.html


@egus0422 wrote:

I do think I need to take my bike in to get it inspected or tuned or something. The chain seems noisy. Any ideas?


Have you been cleaning and lubricating the chain?  Chains become noisy if they are neglected.  I use a white terrycloth towel to check if the chain is dirty.   It should pass the white glove test after a clean and lube.    If the chain is gunky, I bet the cogs and chain wheels are too.   Get a brush and some clean towels and work on it until the towels stay white.   

If you ask what is the best chain lube everyone will tell you a different product.  They all have pros and cons.  

As for adjustments.  Yes, all new bikes need to go back to the shop after the first few hundred miles of break-in.

I took some repair and maintenance class through REI and also Park Tools and did all my own maintenance for the first six years I had my bike. I finally took it into a shop for "professional" tune up, including replacing some drivetrain parts. When I rode it for the first time after the maintenance, it felt like I was riding a new bike! I will probably have it professionally tuned up again  in another five or six years. But between those tune up, I regularly clean and lube the chain and occasionally clean and lube the rest of the bike.

aka "Boonerelli"


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Chain noise might also be what is called "cross-chaining". It's when you have the chain in the biggest ring up front and the biggest in back - or just the opposite, smallest to smallest. The links then come into the cogs at an angle and rub against the sides. If you google cross-chaining you can probably find all manner of videos and diagrams to better illustrate the situation.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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@TomIrvine wrote:

Chain noise might also be what is called "cross-chaining". 

 

Yes "cross chain" is basically "operator error" and easy to fix, just don't do that.  But there are machanical things that do need to be fixed

1) indexing.  anybike made inthe last few decades will have indexed shifting wherethe shifter works in "clicks".  on abrand new bike this gets out of adjustment as the new cable takes a stretch or the housing compresses.   It is easy to fix if you know how

2) gunk on the chain and cogs reduces the flexibilty of the chain then it does not raide well over the cogs and makes noise.  You just have to keep up with the clean and lube.  Every couple hundred miles or every month or so, whichever comes first.   Unless you are a fanatic, then after every ride.   heck the chain with a clean white towel to see it is is dirty and needs cleaning.

 

As siad in another post, Park Tool has a very good set of bike maintance tutorials that cover basics like how to wash a bike to advanced topics that few owers will ever do themselves, like wheel building or a complete teardown and rebuild.

Of this, yes bikes do need to be periodically overhauled.  some times, maybe yearly, a partial take arpart and inspection, cleaning and re-adjenet and every few year a complete disassemble and rebuild with new parts as required.  It all depends on how much toy ride.   I do about 80 miles a week and about 18 months between overhauls and tire replacments.   My bike is old enough that EVERY part has been replaced except the frame.  But I'm seriously in need of repainting the fram.   A bike can last for decades and still ride like new.

Watch the Park Tool tutorials.  REI sells the tools so you may as well buy there and get the 10% rebate deal.


 

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I hope it is unnecessary to suggest that you also have a good, certified bike helmet.   I also found some sort of rear view mirror was helpful, either mounted on the handlebar or on my glasses.  Bee sure to have a water bottle an cage on rides of any length.

The preceding posts about tire care are absolutely correct

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.