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New bike (radon) problems

thropethrope Posts: 69
edited June 2011 in MTB beginners
Hi all,

I got my new bike this weekend - mail order Radon ZR Team 6.0.

It seems to be OK but I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed, primarily with the gears and the brakes.

The gears work OK in the harder cogs of the rear cassette, but as I change to the easier ones they seem to mash, slip and not change properly (especially when going uphill) and even when it gets in gear it makes a noise. I suspect this is a setup issue but still I thought it would be setup properly from the factory.

But the thing I am most worried about is the brakes - they just seem really censored . They work but I have to use tremendous force on the lever to get any stopping power. They are Hayes Stroker Ryde, and again I have to assume they came set up correctly from the factory.

My point of reference is my old cannondale M500 setup for commuting with Deore V's (and levers) and Koolstop dual compound pads. Basically I can stop a lot quicker on that without hurting my hand!

As an example, if I stand by the bike and compress the front brake lever with my thumb (hand on the bar) and try to turn the front wheel with my left (non dominant!) hand, basically I am not strong enough to compress the lever enough so that I can't move the wheel. That can't be right surely?

I thought the hydraulic did more force amplication so less pressure was needed at the lever?

I'm completely new to mountain biking so not sure if this is normal or not.
Are they just censored entry level breaks or should they be better than that? (Ie should I be able to lock the wheel to the point of one handed turning with a single finger on the lever and not much force? - thats what I expected)

Otherwsie not that impressed with the setup as received. I dont think the bike had ever been built - the stem wasn't aligned properly (although in the documentation they say not to touch the stem/headset mounting), the end of the cable from the rear derailler was sticking into the spokes... just minor things that I thoght if any one had taken any care over it wouldnt be like that.

But I suppose thats why its relatively cheap.

PS I really wanted to get a Canyon yellowstone but waiting list was 12 weeks or something and I didn't want to miss the summer. This seemed the next best thing but not so sure now.

Sorry for the long post but someone please cheer me up!

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Where did you buy it from? All bikes go through a period of bedding in and need readjustment, especially gears. Most shops offer a free check up.
  • thropethrope Posts: 69
    PPS

    Not sure if it might be a "burning in" thing... but I have an extremely steep 150 vertical meter hill between my house and work so I game them a good workout on the way home (they got really hot, started to make noise, rotor has got a tarnished color now) but it doesnt seem to have made any difference to the force I have to put on the lever.

    (but I haven't yet let them cool properly to try again, not sure if thats necessary).
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    yes gears often need setting up. they will also need resetting as the cables stretch. The brake will need to bed in before they work correctly.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    edited June 2011
    thrope wrote:
    PPS

    Not sure if it might be a "burning in" thing... but I have an extremely steep 150 vertical meter hill between my house and work so I game them a good workout on the way home (they got really hot, started to make noise, rotor has got a tarnished color now) but it doesnt seem to have made any difference to the force I have to put on the lever.

    (but I haven't yet let them cool properly to try again, not sure if thats necessary).

    so you did not read the manual? sounds like you have cooked them now.

    http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/wp-conten ... ishWeb.pdf
    Burnish
    Disc brakes require a special burnish period to achieve maximum braking power.
    This burnish period last for about 30-40 stops. During this period some noise may occur.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • thropethrope Posts: 69
    supersonic wrote:
    Where did you buy it from? All bikes go through a period of bedding in and need readjustment, especially gears. Most shops offer a free check up.

    Bough direct from the internet - they are only available that way.
    I have a colleague at work who will be able to help a lot and can do a bit of stuff myself (mainly new to disc brakes, hydraulics and shocks) but unfortunately hes on holiday at the moment.

    Its the brakes I'm more concerned about...
  • thropethrope Posts: 69
    nicklouse wrote:

    so you did not read the manual? sounds like you have cooked them now.

    http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/wp-conten ... ishWeb.pdf
    Burnish
    Disc brakes require a special burnish period to achieve maximum braking power.
    This burnish period last for about 30-40 stops. During this period some noise may occur.

    I did read it... I should have said I did 40km on the flat yesterday and did the 30-40 stops as I was testing the bike out.
    But today someone told me about the burn in - to be honest I didn't do that much different to a normal descent of the hill which is always going to get the brake hot. What does 'cooking' them mean.
    In any case, the cooking would have been just now on my way home and the power problems have been before that.

    I really just want to get some bearings on whether I should expect less force required at the lever than with my old v-brakes (I did expect that to be the case)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    You haven't got any oil on the pads or rotors?
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    thrope wrote:
    I really just want to get some bearings on whether I should expect less force required at the lever than with my old v-brakes (I did expect that to be the case)

    Yes, they should be more powerful for less force.

    When you were bedding in the brakes did you do it properly: i.e. pedal up to speed and stop HARD?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Got a link to the bike - not one I've ever heard of.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • thropethrope Posts: 69
    Thanks for the replies.

    I don't think I have oil on it - it was brand new and I had a good look at the rotors and the pads (I took the pads out as I had trouble initially with the rotor rubbing so pushed the pistons back in as I'd read online).

    I guess for my stopping and starting I wasn't going really fast... probably slowing tow path speed - 15 to 20 kmh but I was stopping as hard as I could (I commute a lot on my other bike and am used to stopping hard using only the front brake so that was what I was doing to test).

    But it is interesting that it could just be an issue with the pads... it seems to be such a large difference in performance that I assumed something must be wrong. If I have cooked these I guess replacements are only €10 or so so not the end of the world and a good learning experience! Also I will see tomorrow if the burn in from going down the hill has made any difference.

    This is a link to the bike. They are direct sales with very competitive pricing for the gear you get and a pretty good reputation. A bit like Canyon. (ie direct sales cheaper cube). I am living in Germany at the moment and they seem to be pretty well known and quite respected (same level as canyon, just a bit more expensive for the same but canyon tend to have long wait times).

    Here is a link to the bike:
    http://www.radon-bikes.de/xist4c/web/ZR ... 15285_.htm

    and in English (but the english part of the site seems to be a little out of date - at least the offer there is not running any more)
    http://www.radon-bikes.de/xist4c/web/ZR ... 11241_.htm
  • nozzacnozzac Posts: 408
    Maybe you've accidentally glazed the pads. It can happen. You can see it easily enough if you remove the pads. If so, you can give them a quick sand to take the shine off and bed them in again.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Looks like a decent bike for the money
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
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