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Thread: Ask the experts

  1. #9426
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    Feb 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by forty View Post
    no shits given on branding, but ive been less than impressed with bikes direct previously, they usually spec all the small bits with low grade parts which adds up to a less than fun experience in 6 months of use, also geo can be hit/miss
    I don't know about the road bikes, but the Bikes Direct mountain bikes all have super old-school geometry with (relatively) steep HA, super-long seat tubes, and, in many cases, laughably short top tubes. Diamondback has the same problem.

    I'm not sure whether road/gravel bike geometry has changed to the same degree, but I'd definitely look closely at the geo on those two brands before buying.

  2. #9427
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    Quote Originally Posted by mday View Post
    Iíve collected a fair number of spare parts from upgrading my Levo SL, and Iíd like to buy a used frame and assemble a bike for my 26 year old son. Heís a bit of a roadie and hasn't had an MTB since he was a kid. Iím thinking a trail frame would suit him and match the parts Iíve been pulling. Iím sure more issues will pop up once I really get into this, but right now Iím mainly struggling with how to identify a used frame that will work with the fork I have. I know this is going about it backasswards, but Iím trying to keep the cost down by re-using every last part on hand.
    The fork is a Fox 34 Rhythm, 150mm travel, 51mm offset. Because the head tube on my medium Levo SL is so short (95mm), the fork steerer tube is 5 7/8" measured up from the crown race. Ideally Iíd find a frame with boost rear hub spacing that shipped with a 150mm travel, 51mm offset and also has a 95 mm head tube, but I think thatís going to be pretty limiting. So I guess my questions are:
    • Should we limit ourselves to bikes that shipped with 150mm forks, or could we get away with frames that came equipped from the manufacturer with say 140mm or 160mm forks?
    • The reading Iíve done suggests that the difference between 51mm offset and 44mm offset is going to result in a bit quicker steering, but is probably not going to be noticeable to a novice rider. Any disagreement on this?
    • How much exposed steerer tube do we need? I have two 5mm spacers below my stem, and one 5mm spacer above it, and my math skills tell me that we could go with a 105mm head tube, and get rid of two spacers, and the fork would ďfitĒ. But do we need to have some minimum spacers in the stack above and below the stem?


    Any suggestions on frames I should look for on PinkBike, or better yet frames that someone here is getting ready to sell is appreciated.
    The riding will mostly be done in Marin in places like Tamarancho, China Camp, etc. and I donít really expect him to be riding anything too rowdy (at least for a while).
    How tall is your son?

    If you have a 5 7/8" steerer, that's about 150mm. Most stems are around 40mm, and a headset is probably around 10mm, depending on the specifics. So you need a frame with a 100mm headtube. If you really needed to, you could probably make it work with up to 110mm, but you'd need to buy a low stack stem.

    You'll have a bunch of options if your son is 5'5" and rides a small or maybe a medium. But if he needs a bigger frame, you're gonna need a different fork.

  3. #9428
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    How tall is your son?

    If you have a 5 7/8" steerer, that's about 150mm. Most stems are around 40mm, and a headset is probably around 10mm, depending on the specifics. So you need a frame with a 100mm headtube. If you really needed to, you could probably make it work with up to 110mm, but you'd need to buy a low stack stem.

    You'll have a bunch of options if your son is 5'5" and rides a small or maybe a medium. But if he needs a bigger frame, you're gonna need a different fork.
    He's 5'9" and typically fits a medium. I'm not 100% confident in my 150mm measurement. I measured from the lip of the crown race up to the top of the steerer. Since the current bike is 95mm head tube + 40mm stem + 15mm spacers, we're at 150mm without the rest of the headset. So maybe the correct measurement is closer to 160?

    In any case, there's definitely 15mm of spacers with the current 95 mm head tube, which is why I'm asking if a 105mm head tube (which would give us more choices) and a total of 5mm of spacers could work.

  4. #9429
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    This is mainly for Gunder since he’s mentioned he uses it:

    Zero Friction has added test data for Boeshield T-9 to their spreadsheet, and it’s… not great.

    https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/lubetesting/

    Pretty high wear rates all around compared to the top performing lubes, even in the initial ‘clean’ testing.

    Written report not yet up.

  5. #9430
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    Quote Originally Posted by mday View Post
    He's 5'9" and typically fits a medium. I'm not 100% confident in my 150mm measurement. I measured from the lip of the crown race up to the top of the steerer. Since the current bike is 95mm head tube + 40mm stem + 15mm spacers, we're at 150mm without the rest of the headset. So maybe the correct measurement is closer to 160?

    In any case, there's definitely 15mm of spacers with the current 95 mm head tube, which is why I'm asking if a 105mm head tube (which would give us more choices) and a total of 5mm of spacers could work.
    I bet you'll be able to find something without too much trouble. I guess it kinda depends how much you want to spend. Just from a quick look in the PB buy/sell, there's something like this Yeti 5.5, which is a bit overpriced, but would work with your fork (90mm headtube). Or this GG Trail Pistol for a more reasonable price, which would also work (100mm HT).

  6. #9431
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    Be careful with the GG, their geo-adjust and frame-specific headset cups are pretty tall.

  7. #9432
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    I bet you'll be able to find something without too much trouble. I guess it kinda depends how much you want to spend. Just from a quick look in the PB buy/sell, there's something like this Yeti 5.5, which is a bit overpriced, but would work with your fork (90mm headtube). Or this GG Trail Pistol for a more reasonable price, which would also work (100mm HT).
    Thanks. After our first pass through the frames on PB, we were hoping we could get away with spending in the $1,200 - $1,500 range (a bit less than the two frames you recommended). If we don't find anything that works though, the budget might have to go up.

    I still feel like I don't have the knowledge to make a semi-educated selection though.
    • What is the absolute minimum number/size of spacers we can get away with?
    • Is it OK to go up/down 10mm in fork travel from how the manufacturer builds out their frames?

  8. #9433
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    Quote Originally Posted by mday View Post
    Thanks. After our first pass through the frames on PB, we were hoping we could get away with spending in the $1,200 - $1,500 range (a bit less than the two frames you recommended). If we don't find anything that works though, the budget might have to go up.

    I still feel like I don't have the knowledge to make a semi-educated selection though.
    • What is the absolute minimum number/size of spacers we can get away with?
    • Is it OK to go up/down 10mm in fork travel from how the manufacturer builds out their frames?
    I bet that budget is do-able. I wouldn't hesitate to throw out some low ball offers on frames. That Yeti, for example - $1500 would be pretty fair for a 4 year old frame that's a bit outdated.

    Re: number of spacers - zero is fine. Sometimes a very thin (~.5mm) spacer under the stem can help keep things from creaking.
    Re: fork travel - depends a bit on the frame. Generally I'd be more inclined to go 10mm over than 10mm under. You can also change the travel of your fork for pretty cheap.

  9. #9434
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    I bet that budget is do-able. I wouldn't hesitate to throw out some low ball offers on frames. That Yeti, for example - $1500 would be pretty fair for a 4 year old frame that's a bit outdated.

    Re: number of spacers - zero is fine. Sometimes a very thin (~.5mm) spacer under the stem can help keep things from creaking.
    Re: fork travel - depends a bit on the frame. Generally I'd be more inclined to go 10mm over than 10mm under. You can also change the travel of your fork for pretty cheap.
    Sweet, thanks for confirmation. Do I understand you that I can go up and down in travel on the Fox 34 Rhythm? Are there some key words I can search for to educate myself on this?

  10. #9435
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    Quote Originally Posted by mday View Post
    Sweet, thanks for confirmation. Do I understand you that I can go up and down in travel on the Fox 34 Rhythm? Are there some key words I can search for to educate myself on this?
    Search for "Fox 34 air shaft" in the travel you're looking for.

  11. #9436
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    Here's a contender in your budget/size: https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/3454180/

  12. #9437
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    It's not an adjustment, you would have to replace the air shaft. So would require some tools and know how, or a trip to the LBS.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  13. #9438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    Here's a contender in your budget/size: https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/3454180/
    Thanks, that caught my eye too.

    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    It's not an adjustment, you would have to replace the air shaft. So would require some tools and know how, or a trip to the LBS.
    Know how? When I take on a project like this, my motto is: Ignorance is bliss.

    Thanks everyone, this place is great, and I learned a ton from the replies (I'm just a little concerned about the knowledge that all this information must have displaced)

  14. #9439
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    Apr 2020
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    Question - is my headset fucked?

    I have a zero-stack headset that was pre-pressed in a frame I recently built up. First few rides were creaky, so I took out the bearings, put a lot of grease everywhere, and put it all back together. Bottom bearing had seized to the cup, and I had to use a tire lever to pry it out. Looked over the bearing afterwards and it still looked good and rolled smooth, so I popped it back in. Now I'm having trouble with a perpetually loose headset. Sometimes it's fine at the beginning of rides, but almost always develops some play towards the end. I've gone so far as to torque the topcap to 10 Nm (!), which not only did not stop it from coming loose, but didn't even slow the steering like one would expect an over-tightened top cap would do.

    I ordered an entire replacement headset from Cane Creek when they had their 40% off sale, so hopefully this won't be an issue much longer, but I'm still curious why cranking down on the top cap had so little effect on this headset. Everything looked fine visually, and the stem was completely loosened before tightening and torqued to spec once tight.

  15. #9440
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    Quote Originally Posted by McShortyShorts View Post
    Question - is my headset fucked?

    I have a zero-stack headset that was pre-pressed in a frame I recently built up. First few rides were creaky, so I took out the bearings, put a lot of grease everywhere, and put it all back together. Bottom bearing had seized to the cup, and I had to use a tire lever to pry it out. Looked over the bearing afterwards and it still looked good and rolled smooth, so I popped it back in. Now I'm having trouble with a perpetually loose headset. Sometimes it's fine at the beginning of rides, but almost always develops some play towards the end. I've gone so far as to torque the topcap to 10 Nm (!), which not only did not stop it from coming loose, but didn't even slow the steering like one would expect an over-tightened top cap would do.

    I ordered an entire replacement headset from Cane Creek when they had their 40% off sale, so hopefully this won't be an issue much longer, but I'm still curious why cranking down on the top cap had so little effect on this headset. Everything looked fine visually, and the stem was completely loosened before tightening and torqued to spec once tight.
    Do you have enough spacers below the stem to allow for proper preload on the headset bearings?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  16. #9441
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    setting preload adj before tightening the stem bolts is all the top cap does, once the stem bolts are torked you could even take the cap off and theoreticaly and the stem should hold the bearing adj 99.9 % of the time

    but I'm wondering if you some how got wrong or bad parts, having to pry a bearing out sounds like something is broken or put togetehr wrong

    I have had a head set loosen off which I fixed with a headlock device
    Last edited by XXX-er; 12-03-2022 at 01:24 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #9442
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Do you have enough spacers below the stem to allow for proper preload on the headset bearings?
    This. And a spacer above the stem. Preload cap might just be bottoming out on the steerer tube.

  18. #9443
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    Is the bottom bearing installed the correct way? The chamfers are different on each side to match the race on the fork and the cup in the frame. I imagine installing it backwards could result in the condition described.
    Edit: check the top bearing too while itís apart

  19. #9444
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    Race face crank won't come off? It's on a Blizzard fat bike. Pulled the bolt and the drive side wouldn't budge? What am I doing wrong?
    Right after that fail I pulled the Dub 175 crankset and threw a new 165 on my Hightower no problem. I'm confused.

  20. #9445
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    Race face crank won't come off? It's on a Blizzard fat bike. Pulled the bolt and the drive side wouldn't budge? What am I doing wrong?
    Right after that fail I pulled the Dub 175 crankset and threw a new 165 on my Hightower no problem. I'm confused.
    Did the bolt come out when you unscrewed it?

    It shouldn't. The bolt is captured in an outer aluminum disc, which is the self extractor. Sometimes that extractor disc will come unscrewed, which defeats its crank extraction purpose. If that happens, squirt a little lube in there so the inner bolt will spin against the aluminum disc more easily. Then re-install that bolt / disc and try again. Note that the bolt threads into the spindle bolt the disc also screws into the cranks. So screw the inner bolt in first, then the outer disc.

  21. #9446
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    Thanks for the replies!

    I have a 15mm spacer under the stem and a 10mm one above... the clearance was a bit tight with the top of the steerer tube so I added another 10mm spacer on top and tried to re-tighten the headset. Same thing - no matter how much I torqued the stem cap bolt the headset did not compress. I also swapped out my Garmin mount stem cap for a normal one - no difference. I'm going to guess something is up with that bottom bearing but it's a little weird to me that it all feels fine until it comes loose on the trail. Thought if something was broken there would be more crunching/grinding. On the workstand the headset feels good after tightening the stem bolts - no movement when rocking back and forth with the front brake on and smooth rotation of the bars.

    Also just checked and the bearings were in the right orientation. That would be a mistake I could see myself making but in this case they were good. No play between the bearing cartridges and the cups either

  22. #9447
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    Is the crown race one of the split ones that just slides on easily? I've had issues with those sometimes.

  23. #9448
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Did the bolt come out when you unscrewed it?

    It shouldn't. The bolt is captured in an outer aluminum disc, which is the self extractor. Sometimes that extractor disc will come unscrewed, which defeats its crank extraction purpose. If that happens, squirt a little lube in there so the inner bolt will spin against the aluminum disc more easily. Then re-install that bolt / disc and try again. Note that the bolt threads into the spindle bolt the disc also screws into the cranks. So screw the inner bolt in first, then the outer disc.
    Ok. Yeah, the bolt came right out. I need to look at this again to understand what you're saying exactly. Thank you!...again!

  24. #9449
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Search for "Fox 34 air shaft" in the travel you're looking for.
    Not necessarily. Rhythm level forks use different air springs than Performance and Factory level stuff.

  25. #9450
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Did the bolt come out when you unscrewed it?

    It shouldn't. The bolt is captured in an outer aluminum disc, which is the self extractor. Sometimes that extractor disc will come unscrewed, which defeats its crank extraction purpose. If that happens, squirt a little lube in there so the inner bolt will spin against the aluminum disc more easily. Then re-install that bolt / disc and try again. Note that the bolt threads into the spindle bolt the disc also screws into the cranks. So screw the inner bolt in first, then the outer disc.
    The ring around the bolt doesn't look like it has any tool interface to install it. Those might need a crank extractor.

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