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Idiots Guide To Bike Maintenance - Please help

[mtbsmyth][mtbsmyth] Posts: 13
edited October 2008 in The workshop
Ok first i would to explain i have not got a clue about bikes or how to look after them but i am very very keen to learn.
In Feb 2008 i bought my first decent bike (Giant Boulder) previously i have had cheap (hunks of lead) from halfords, My new bike was such a difference, smooth cycling light and the shocks where great for commuting from home to work.

On this bike i have: -

SR Suntour XCT Forks
Shimano 8 Speed gear/Brake lever
Acera Schimano (rear geras - I dont know if this means anything to anyone)

Now 7 months from purchasing my bike some things have changed the gears don't seem to be changing as efficient and my brake cables seem to have streched so much so that if i want to stop the brake lever hits the handle bar.
My Main problem is with the shocks/forks, Recently i have noticed a banging noise or slight cracking noise every time i slow to stop or ride down a low curb/bump . this has concerned me so i decided to try and investigate and i turned my bike upside down and seen that water was pouring out of the left fork and when i pumped fork more water streamed from the fork... once i was confident all the water was out i checked to see if the problem was relieved but it hasn't.. i also recognised when the bike is upright i can lift the front end of the biike about 2mm on the forks without the wheel lifting... this is where i think i am getting this bang from... is this a spring problem? do i have to tighten the spring? how do i repair this? is it repairable?... sorry a lot of questions but i really am a beginner .. i would also love some advice on tightening brake cables and gears.... please help! please! ( i will add pics)


  • MyWheels002.jpg
  • Hi, I had no idea to start with, but I just went ahead and started tinkering.
    however I wish I'd found this site first - it would have made things easier, and saved a lot of time and experimentation. And explains things very clearly too.
    Non-Sexist, Non-Racist, Non-Violent Egalitarian Chess: 32 grey pawns all on the same side
  • Thanks Fairweatherbiker! does anyone have experience with SR Suntour XCT Forks?
  • I can't help you much with your forks, I'm afraid. But it sounds like you need to adjust your brakes - and right now before you fail to stop, and get hurt.

    Your brake cables may have stretched, and your brake blocks may have worn, but you need your brakes to be working efficiently. So, here is a YouTube video (on a page of brake-related video tutorials) that will help you out:
  • Also, Suntour have a decent amount of info on their site:

    First, a pdf of an exploded view of your forks is available on this page: ... il&tnid=14

    And secondly, there is a suite of technical support videos: ... tingID=108

    Good luck. If these links don't help, try the MTB forums, as there will be a lot of people there who know about suspension forks.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    re the forks. suntour are not the best and the play in the top out could well be totally "normal" but it could be something coming lose.

    a trip to the LBS to get them checked that they are safe.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Laughing boy your a legend! thank you!
  • Nicklouse.... ok im dumb but what is LBS????
  • Local Bike Shop.
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
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