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New MTB Tips Please!

gsdgsd Posts: 114
edited September 2009 in MTB beginners
Hello all,

I just got my first mountain bike! It's still in its box but I can't wait for the weekend! I went for a Scott Scale 30 (top frame, can upgrade all the components later)
http://www.kudubikes.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_09SCALE30SALE
(although I think it's last years model)

I know my way round a road bike pretty well - where can I learn about MTB-specific things like:
- Disc brakes? Help! Hydraulics? Do I need to bleed them?
- Front suspension? Hmmm? Do these need much attention? Do they have grease inside them?
- Cleaning a mountain bike? I strip my road bikes down completely every month or two but can I jet wash a MTB if I avoid the hubs? What do you all do?

Thanks!
Scott (yes, I did get a Scott bike! Haha!)

Posts

  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Disc brakes are supplied ready bled. They will need to be bedded in to achieve full power. Do not get any grease (even fingerprints) or oil on the pads & rotor, you will have to buy new pads if you contaminate them

    Suspension: read the manual for how to set up & how often to service. You need a shock pump for the Fox F100 forks to set the sag to the correct weight for you (start @ ~25-30% sag)

    Cleaning: do not use a jet washer near any bearings, (hubs, BB, Headset etc) you are likely to wash the grease out if you do use a jet washer use it at low power or from a good distance away. I use a hosepipe rather than risk any jet-washed issues.

    www.parktool.com is a very useful website.
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  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    As above. The brakes can be bedded in by half-a-dozen hard but (not emergency) stops. Let the brakes cool in between stops.

    Cleaning - never clean it. Not because of any wannabe hardcore MTBr pretences but not only is a total waste of time, those bike-friendly cleaners will remove every gram of grease and lubrication from every bush, pivot and bearing on your bike. Just wipe the fork and shock sliders and keep the drivetrain sterile with dry lube. If you have to clean your bike, a watering can and cold water does the job.
  • gsdgsd Posts: 114
    Great - thanks!

    I didn't know I needed to bed in the brakes or tune the forks. I can't ride it until the weekend so I'll read the manual (can't believe I'm admitting that!)

    Interesting comments about the cleaning. What lube do you recommend then - is "dry lube" a wax based one? I tried these on my road bikes once but wasn't too impressed to be honest. I guess off road they won't pick up anything like as much dust and dirt though...
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    gsd wrote:
    Interesting comments about the cleaning. What lube do you recommend then - is "dry lube" a wax based one?
    The distinction has been blurred somewhat by wax-based dry lubes. Although a lot of people use wet lubes because it makes the chain look as though it's lubricated, for me they simply attract dirt and result in lots of black gloop being transported very efficiently all around the drivetrain which then requires 'proper' cleaning to get it all off. As you know, dry lube attracts a lot less dirt and the last few months I've been using Squirt from www.in2dust.co.uk. Although it doesn't like rain, it sheds dirt easily, doesn't build-up and keeps the drivetrain spangly clean.
  • gsdgsd Posts: 114
    I've just been reading up on Squirt and am quite impressed - I think I'll give it a go!. I tried wax-based stuff while cycle touring and I just needed to apply too often (~50-80 mile days for several months).
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    .blitz wrote:
    Cleaning - never clean it...a total waste of time, those bike-friendly cleaners will remove every gram of grease and lubrication from every bush, pivot and bearing on your bike. If you have to clean your bike, a watering can and cold water does the job.

    Rubbish.

    Not cleaning your bike is the quickest way for it start falling into disrepair and disintegrate. A quick wipe off with a damp rag might suffice in summer, but winter cleaning is absolutely essential, especially if you've been anywhere near road salt.

    Good quality well adjusted and maintained bearings will last for longer than those which are ignored. A good cleaner such as Muc-Off is excellent and won't affect bearings at all, in fact it isn't even that good as a degreaser.

    Don't be tempted to jet-wash your bike though - this is a surefire way to destroy bearings. The best way to do it is with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, then rinse off with clean water. Shake the heavy water off then relube chain, gears and cables.

    A good clean also means that you are more likely to spot problems and rectify them before they get any worse.
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  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    dave_hill wrote:
    Rubbish.
    In your opinion.
    dave_hill wrote:
    Not cleaning your bike is the quickest way for it start falling into disrepair and disintegrate. A quick wipe off with a damp rag might suffice in summer, but winter cleaning is absolutely essential, especially if you've been anywhere near road salt.
    Simply not the case in my experience but then again I don't ride a MTB on the road.
    dave_hill wrote:
    Good quality well adjusted and maintained bearings will last for longer than those which are ignored.
    I never said anything about neglecting maintenance.
    dave_hill wrote:
    A good cleaner such as Muc-Off is excellent and won't affect bearings at all, in fact it isn't even that good as a degreaser.
    Disagree. It is pretty good at removing everything.
    dave_hill wrote:
    Don't be tempted to jet-wash your bike though - this is a surefire way to destroy bearings.
    The only part of your post that isn't useless.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    In the winter I clean my bike about 3 times per week, otherwise by the end of the week it would be 10lb heavier.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
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