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Beginners MTB repair (forks, gearing)

kelronkelron Posts: 6
edited November 2015 in MTB workshop & tech

I've recently bought a hybrid to replace my old MTB as my main bike, which is great as I'm usually on the road, but I miss having something that can handle rocks and mud with better grip (and without damaging the bike). I'm looking at getting my old bike back into a rideable condition, but I'm not sure whether the bike is worth repairing or if I'd be better off buying something 2nd hand in good condition for the same money.

The bike is a 2006 Mongoose Tyax. The front forks were never very effective and now totally seized, so I'd like to replace them. What sort of price am I looking at for something worth putting on there? I don't want to spend a fortune but I get the impression a lot of low end forks are pointless extra weight.

Aside from the forks it's mostly functional, but last time I was using it regularly the chain had been slipping or struggling to change gear a lot. Adjusting it seemed to help for a couple of rides, then I'd start having problems again. I can't see any obvious damage but it is coated in years worth of dirt (I never looked after it very well). Is it worth trying to take the derailleurs and cassette off to clean them thoroughly or just do what I can with them on the bike?

Alternatively, would fitting a different derailleur (or other parts of the drivetrain) give a significant improvement in reliability and ease of shifting? Sorry if this is a bit vague but I'm not experienced enough to know if the issues here are poor maintenance/adjustment or the quality of the parts. I did take it into my local bike shop who didn't see any damage and adjusted the stop screws, but again the adjustments only helped for a short time.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    A decent set of forks can be had from about £60 ie Suntour XCR, though is worth paying more for a Rockshox XC32 or Recon.

    Yep, I'd give the drivetrain a thorough clean, and look for stiff links in the chain. Replace all cables too.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    Based on the age, it would be worth looking at some used ones I'd say.

    You can pick up a semi decent air fork for around £70-80.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • mac_manmac_man Posts: 918
    A good clean up will certainly help. If gears are still slipping try adjusting the tension on the rear gear cable. There's plenty of youtube videos on this. If still not right, get the chain checked for wear. If it's badly worn you'll need a new chain/cassette and maybe even a middle chainring. The derailleur jockeys may well be goosed as well... if they look like ninja stars then they're gone, but can be replaced as well. I've had to do all of this recently on my bike. It's a few years old but runs like new now.

    The Costs...? less than a new bike if you can do the work yourself. and you'll need some tools to get the cassette off. But if you're replacing the fork as well it's possibly getting in to decent second hand bike territory. But the Mongoose was a pretty decent bike if I recall. Has it got V brakes? If you buy another fork make sure it has the right mounting points.

    8 speed cassette around a tenner on Ebay, chain for £8, jockey wheels £8, chain ring £10. Basic toolkit about £35. And a bike stand £35... makes working on it much easier. The toolkit and stand and some basic skills will save you £££s in the long run. Worth getting even if you buy another bike and look after it next time ;-)
    Cool, retro and sometimes downright rude MTB and cycling themed T shirts. Just MTFU.

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  • Thanks for the advice. I'm keeping an eye on local ads anyway but I would like to learn to do more maintenance than oil a chain. I'm going to try stripping it down to clean first then see what needs replacing.
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