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My 'new' bike (Carrera Gryphon)

Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
edited July 2013 in Commuting general
I finally got a proper bike for the road. I put in a cheeky low offer, not really expecting to get it, but I eventually did. For £50. I was quite pleased. It's not mint, but it's in working condition. The spokes need tightening up. One of them is completely loose. I thought that was why I was able to get it for such a good price.

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But I just got it home and noticed the M sticker. Then the sinking feeling... I thought it was a large (advertised as 20.5" which would correspond to large). I checked over the whole bike as best I could, but I think I missed the most obvious thing :oops:. It did feel quite small when I sat on it. But I thought that was because the seat was adjusted so low and I was not used to a skinny road oriented bike. Then I realised I just bought a bike from a guy in a car park... Now I'm on a downer starting to think about if I've just bought a stolen bike. I got a good vibe at the time and there was a completely plausible and convincing reason for doing it. Now I'm home I'm starting to question it.

Not even sure if I should be pleased with my new bike. What do you think?

Posts

  • folsom1folsom1 Posts: 24
    I actually bought the V-brake version of this bike for the exact same price a year ago, and had the same second thoughts...except I went to the sellers house. Mint condition with the original tyres looking like it's been for no more than a few miles. I think people buy bikes like these from Halfords with all the best intentions of riding, then it ends up in the garage until the original price/value is forgotten.

    Mine's still going strong 3000 miles later on the original wheels, despite hitting some pretty nasty potholes. Seems like a decent bike in my limited experience! The cable routing tends to wear the bottom headset seal from constand rubbing, so it's a good idea to wrap a bit of inner tube around the cable at that point. I've also replaced the last section of rear derailer cable outer a few times as it tends to pick up grit and stick.

    From what I've heard, it's better to adjust a small frame to fit you rather than the other way around. You did good!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    How tall are you, If it fits, then it's the right size! (5'9.5" and on a medium frame).

    I ride a disc braked Gryphon built up from a 'pre-loved' bare frame, currently weighs in at 9.75Kg before adding the rack....

    As for stolen, they get sold from homes as well as a mate found out to his cost...
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    Ah nice, that's even a better bargin than I got! I'm feeling better about the bike being legit today. The serial number on the frame is intact. I spent ages today cleaning and checking it over. So I've seen it's warts, and I can see how the £50 price fits. But it's already looking decent (and more expensive) after a thorough, deep clean. The cassette started off blackish, now it's shiny silver. I got out all that foul muck that builds up in the jocky wheels. I tried to clean everything, even the QR skewers.

    Now onto the bad bits. The rear tyre is warn down to the canvas in several places. The frame has quite a few little chips in it, exposing the shiny aluminium. It looks like the rear wheel somehow made contact with the chain stays at some point, making 2 shallow cuts into the frame. Some of the fittings and bolts (such as the bottle cage, handelbar stem and crank arm bolts) look quite rusty. The spokes are getting slightly rusty. The handlebar grips are terrible. They are strangely sticky, like they are disintegrating. As I turn the handlebars, it starts off all slick and free, then as I approach the limits, there is resistance. Not sure if it's the cables being dragged or pulled? Or something to do with the headset bearings, I dunno.


    I'm 180cm tall (5'11). I measured the frame carefully. Seat tube=51cm (20.1"), top tube=57cm (22.4"). This is measured from the centers of the bottom bracket and headstem, not the edges. So that doesn't sound too bad. What do you think?

    It clearly doesn't line up with the official numbers on the Halfords website...
    - Medium 19" frame specs: Seat tube=480mm (18.9"), top tube=557mm (21.9").
    - Large 21" frame specs: Seat tube=530mm (20.9"), top tube=580mm (22.8").


    9.75KG sounds light. I thought they were more like 11KG (steel fork). If you have the address you can at least give that to the police?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    All used bikes need some TLC! Just replace what you HAVE to first and then what you WANT to later!

    The Gryphon has been around since 2006, it would be unusual for them not to have messed with it, mine is 18" (near enough) for the seat tube.

    The marks on te chainstays are probably caused by a slightly buckled wheel, the clearance is very tight!

    9.75 isn't bad, as I built it from a bare frame the only standard part on that is the headset, the rest is all bespoke, I run it 1x9 (so no left shifter, cable or mech, but it does have a chain guide), using a track 46T crankset, alloy forks (off a Marin Hybrid) it has a bikehut forged stem and carbon bars, gripshift for the X9 rear mech (11-26T cassette) and runs fairly light 26" wheels shod with 1.5" slicks. Brakes are Clarkes CMD-8 (very light) using CX crosstop levers operating on alligator discs.

    Address gone to the Police, bike to owner, he's still out £300 though....
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    OK, so I'm a bit stressed because I'm thinking I bought a bit of a dog. It feels like I've passed the TLC stage and am heading into the restoration stage.

    There is a problem with the gears. I can't select 1st. I can't even get it lower than 5th or so. I don't really know what to do with it :( It has SRAM X5 gears. I've not used these trigger shifters before. I've also found the plastic has broken around where the cable enters the shifter. I'm getting out of my depth here. Some advice about how I should fix this would be very much appreciated.

    A couple of quick noob questions too... There is this little round brass thing on one of the front wheel spokes. Is that a weight for wheel balancing? Or what is that thing? And the wheel spins freely, but if I take the wheel out and try turning the axel by hand, it's a bit stiff and lumpy. How smooth and slick should it be?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Go to Parktools.com and go through their tutorials, nearly everything is fixable, best to post specific enquiries in the workshop section, one enquiry at a time.

    The thing on the spokes sounds like a magnet for a cycle computer, remove and bin.

    Should be smooth to turn, but when using your fingers a little uneveness isn't uncommon, would suggest stripping it down, cleaning out the grease, checking the bearings and rebuilding with fresh grease, 20 minute job.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    Mr.Duck wrote:
    OK, so I'm a bit stressed because I'm thinking I bought a bit of a dog. It feels like I've passed the TLC stage and am heading into the restoration stage.

    There is a problem with the gears. I can't select 1st. I can't even get it lower than 5th or so. I don't really know what to do with it :( It has SRAM X5 gears. I've not used these trigger shifters before. I've also found the plastic has broken around where the cable enters the shifter. I'm getting out of my depth here. Some advice about how I should fix this would be very much appreciated.

    A couple of quick noob questions too... There is this little round brass thing on one of the front wheel spokes. Is that a weight for wheel balancing? Or what is that thing? And the wheel spins freely, but if I take the wheel out and try turning the axel by hand, it's a bit stiff and lumpy. How smooth and slick should it be?

    Don't panic too much. I don't think you've bought a complete dog. For the money it sounds reasonable, but yes, you're probably going to have to spend a little bit of cash getting it back to fully working. I wouldn't want to spend a huge amount of money, as you'll be into diminishing returns fairly quickly. You'll need to fix the shifter first -- how handy are you with glue? (Photos?) If it's not repairable then a replacement would be in order; from memory Shimano and SRAM will have the same "pull ratios" so they'll be interchangeable.

    The round brass thing on the spokes is likely to be a magnet for a cycle computer.

    The wheel should spin fairly freely, and it's fairly likely the wheel bearings are a bit "graunchy" and will benefit from re-packing with grease. Have you checked the braking surface of the wheel rims for wear?

    (edit): Whereabouts are you? (Roughly). Have you got a helpful LBS?
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    Ah, thanks. I've taken off the little brass thing attached to the spoke. I'm sure you were right, it is a magnet. I'll save the stripping down of the wheel hubs for another day. I'll have to buy cone spanners and grease, anyway. The wheel spins ok, but if I take the wheel off and then turn the axel by hand, it's a bit graunchy. Disc brakes so no need to check rim wear.

    I've seen some people say Shimano and SRAM are compatible, other people say they have different pull ratios. 1:1 for one of them 1:2 for the other.

    My nearest LBS is Halfords, 3 miles. The 'real' bike shops are about 6/7/8 miles depending on the shop. It's good to learn how to fix it myself though.

    I've made another thread as per The Rookie's recommendation: viewtopic.php?f=40038&t=12933184
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Front shifter/mechs are interchangeable between SRAM and Shimano, rear are (well may) not*! Many SRAM equipped bikes come with a Shimano front mech.

    *SRAM make shimano compatable shifters as well as their own compatable stuff.
  • Often if you have a bike that needs a bit of TLC, just changing the brake and gear cables can make a world of difference to how well it works.
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    When you change the cables, do you change the outer hose too? Or do you get the same results by just changing the cable on it's own?


    I tried to loosen the clamp on the saddle rails. I put so much force into it, that I rounded off the corners of the allen key and ruined it!! I used some penetrating spray stuff first (even though it didn't look corroded up at all), but it wouldn't budge. I had the bike upside down, so looking down at the underside of the saddle, I was turning it anti-clockwise. That's right isn't it? I don't know what else I could have done to get it undone...
  • folsom1folsom1 Posts: 24
    In the case of this bike, it's definitely worth changing the inner and outer, especially the last piece of housing near the derailer. It gets filled up with road censored as the cable is so open, and stops you shifting into the highest gears as the return spring isn't strong enough to pull against the gummy cable.
  • Often you can get away with just changing the inners, but if the bike has been neglected or the outer cables are kinked then it might be worth replacing them as well.
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