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flipstah
05-13-2009, 05:31 PM
Hey everyone!

I was wondering if some dedicated cyclists can help me out here.

I recently purchased a new Dahon Jack from the US (http://files.dahon.com/images/bikes/large/unfold/jack-us.jpg) and brought it all the way to Canada (Ridley's and Bowcycle could order it for me but it would take weeks and I have little time since school commuting will start.)

However, this is my first time buying a bike of this magnitude and would like it to last as much as possible.

My questions are:

- What do you do after you have purchased an assembled bike; what do you check for etc?
- Do I need to oil the chains regularly? If so, would you recommend WD-40? If not, what are some alternatives?
- Since I plan to C-Train from the NE to the University daily, can someone recommend a good set of light generators?
- Is it worth upgrading the bike to a disc brake system (if applicable of course)?

Just so you know, it was purchased through an Authorized Dahon dealership (Safety Cycle Shop in LA), was built while we were driving from Vegas to the store and was test-driven by moi a couple of times and seemed to be in tip-top shape!

Please help a fellow n00b out and with your knowledge, my bike can hopefully last through whatever Mother Nature throws at it.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

98type_r
05-13-2009, 06:26 PM
There is a lot to check after assembly, key ones are the brakes are in good working condition. Shift if through all the gears to make sure it doesn't skip between gears.
Don't use WD-40, it's much too thin of an oil. Go to a bike shop, or even MEC for suggestions on chain lube. It all depends on the conditions you ride in.
As far as disc brakes, if you didn't get them with the bike, it'll cost you a lot to upgrade if your hubs aren't disc compatible.

ipeefreely
05-13-2009, 06:35 PM
Donít ever use WD-40 on a bike chain! It isnít a lubricant! :eek: Buy some dry/wet lube from MEC (http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_listing.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302693891&bmUID=1242260496324) to oil the chain. Use a chain cleaner every once and a while when your chain get dirty then lube after.

You can also pick up some cheap (battery powered) lights at MEC if youíre just biking in the city.

Your cables will stretch in the first few weeks so youíll need to get them adjusted at a shop if you donít know how. You probably donít need disc brakes if your bike is just a commuter... but they are nice!:thumbsup:

Check out Pink Bike (http://www.pinkbike.com/) if you want to learn more about bikes.:clap:

Iíve never heard of a Dahon Jack whatís special about it that you wanted to get it? It looks really wacky to me!:nut:

flipstah
05-13-2009, 07:33 PM
NO WD-40. Gotcha.

I will check out MEC for some proper bike oil and learn more about maintenance at the link provided.

Thanks for the help so far!


Originally posted by ipeefreely
Iíve never heard of a Dahon Jack whatís special about it that you wanted to get it? It looks really wacky to me!:nut:

The fact that it does this:

http://files.dahon.com/images/bikes/large/fold/jack-us.jpg

:thumbsup:

Cword
05-14-2009, 01:23 PM
another handy maintenance source is the Bike Root
http://bikeroot.ca/

While you're at MEC check out the LED based lighting.

Drop by http://bikecalgary.org

Afrodeziak
05-14-2009, 01:29 PM
wd-40 is a degreaser as mentioned above.
you will find dry or wet lube, either will work for Calgary. When you oil a chain, hit all links and shift through all gears to get all the cogs in the back and rings in the front. My own personal ways are to oil about every 10-15 rides. If it's rainy or mucky, and you clean the bike, oil after cleaning as you've likely washed away most of what was there.

You do not have any disc brake "mounts" on your frame or fork so you can't upgrade even if you wanted to. If you put a front shock on, you could, but thats a whole new ball game and not worth it for your application.

MEC does have a bike service department, I am sure that a tech will be cool with doing a quick adjustment on your brakes and gears after the first few weeks. If not it would be a low cost adjustment.

to make the bike "feel right":

undo the brake lever bolts and move them more vertical or horizontal depending on what feels right for you.

flipstah
05-14-2009, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Cword
another handy maintenance source is the Bike Root
http://bikeroot.ca/

While you're at MEC check out the LED based lighting.

Drop by http://bikecalgary.org

Thanks for those websites! I saw on one of the articles a rechargable LED light and it's at Bowcycle for 189.99. Is it worth buying that or just stick with regular battery-powered LED's?

D'z Nutz
05-15-2009, 01:34 PM
So is it okay to hose the bike down with a pressure washer as long as you degrease and relube the chain afterwards?


Originally posted by flipstah
[b]The fact that it does this:

That's so cool! How much did it set you back? Were you planning on biking from the NE to the U of C or taking the train part way? I'd actually like to bike that but any of the routes I've seen look pretty nasty or unnecessarily long...

flipstah
05-15-2009, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by D'z Nutz

That's so cool! How much did it set you back? Were you planning on biking from the NE to the U of C or taking the train part way? I'd actually like to bike that but any of the routes I've seen look pretty nasty or unnecessarily long...

It cost me the same as a normal mountain bike when you convert it from USD which is actually quite cheaper than ordering it from both Ridley's and Bowcycle. I also didn't have to wait for four weeks.

I actually biked this morning from the NE but took the train to the U. I still don't know how to get from the NE to the U of C on bike alone.

When you're free, you can come by and check it out! :thumbsup:

mazdavirgin
05-15-2009, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by D'z Nutz
So is it okay to hose the bike down with a pressure washer as long as you degrease and relube the chain afterwards?

You don't want to pressure wash your bike... There are some parts you really don't want to get water into like the hubs/bearings/shifter assemblies.

z24_wheels
05-15-2009, 02:19 PM
Where in the NE? I used to bike from 20th and Center St NW to 32nd and 32nd NE and might be able to offer a route.


I actually biked this morning from the NE but took the train to the U. I still don't know how to get from the NE to the U of C on bike alone.

flipstah
05-15-2009, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by z24_wheels
Where in the NE? I used to bike from 20th and Center St NW to 32nd and 32nd NE and might be able to offer a route.



I live in Taradale so I'm pretty close to Westwinds.

D'z Nutz
05-17-2009, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by flipstah
I actually biked this morning from the NE but took the train to the U. I still don't know how to get from the NE to the U of C on bike alone.

I think good point to get to is the path by the zoo on Memorial. From there you can get to a lot of places. I think if I can find a way to get from the NE to the zoo/Memorial, I can figure out a way to get to the university:

- zoo/memorial to downtown,
- through Eau Claire/Prince's Island heading towards Edworthy,
- up along bow trail/memorial towards the Children's Hospital

from there, getting to the university would be pretty easy I think. Now I just need to figure out how to get to the zoo without getting on the c-train, since they're not going to let you take the bike on there during rush hours...

mazdavirgin
05-18-2009, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by flipstah
I actually biked this morning from the NE but took the train to the U. I still don't know how to get from the NE to the U of C on bike alone.

Safest way to get to the UofC via a bike from the NE is to bike over to the 64th street bridge. Ride across on the sidewalk then make your way up 64th ave until you get to the intersection with 14 st nw. Take the bike trail down 14st nw until you get to John Laurie. Then take the bike trail that runs behind John Laurie all the way to Charleswood. Take Charleswood down to the UofC.

Alternatives are to cross 32nd/McKnight or 16th both of which are unacceptable in my views due to the traffic. There is however a pedestrian bridge just past 16th and you can also consider taking the 8th ave ne bridge that goes over Deerfoot.

flipstah
05-18-2009, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by mazdavirgin


Safest way to get to the UofC via a bike from the NE is to bike over to the 64th street bridge. Ride across on the sidewalk then make your way up 64th ave until you get to the intersection with 14 st nw. Take the bike trail down 14st nw until you get to John Laurie. Then take the bike trail that runs behind John Laurie all the way to Charleswood. Take Charleswood down to the UofC.

Alternatives are to cross 32nd/McKnight or 16th both of which are unacceptable in my views due to the traffic. There is however a pedestrian bridge just past 16th and you can also consider taking the 8th ave ne bridge that goes over Deerfoot.

The 64th St Bridge to John Laurie is actually the route I go to by car and I have to find that bike trail that you speak of...

The alternatives that you mentioned, like that bridge, is quite tricky and quite farther I think. Plus, last time I biked across Deerfoot, I broke my jaw. :nut:

urban.one
05-19-2009, 08:07 AM
A great resource for bike repair on the net is: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
The site may look amaturish but its full of great info.

Another good resources is: http://www.parktool.com/repair/

As others have said, keep WD-40 away from your bike. Buy a biodegradable chain degreaser and some good chain lube for the conditions your riding in.
Get a chain cleaner. Something like this:
http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/maint_clean_drivetrain_3_p.jpg
Clean and lube your chain often. It will extend the life of the chain itself but also the chainrings and cogs.

If you want to learn about bike maintenance and repair, heres a coop type place at Eau Claire: http://www.eauclairemarket.com/

Bow Cycle also offers maintenance and repair courses: http://www.bowcycle.com/bc09/service/service_school.shtml
This could be money well spent if you want to wrench on your bikes yourself.

flipstah
05-19-2009, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by urban.one
A great resource for bike repair on the net is: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
The site may look amaturish but its full of great info.

Another good resources is: http://www.parktool.com/repair/

As others have said, keep WD-40 away from your bike. Buy a biodegradable chain degreaser and some good chain lube for the conditions your riding in.
Get a chain cleaner. Something like this:
http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/maint_clean_drivetrain_3_p.jpg
Clean and lube your chain often. It will extend the life of the chain itself but also the chainrings and cogs.

If you want to learn about bike maintenance and repair, heres a coop type place at Eau Claire: http://www.eauclairemarket.com/

Bow Cycle also offers maintenance and repair courses: http://www.bowcycle.com/bc09/service/service_school.shtml
This could be money well spent if you want to wrench on your bikes yourself.

Thanks! I was recommended by BowCycle to get a chain cleaner, to which I did and he also said a simple mix of soap & water would suffice.

I also got some tire levers and a chain tool "just in case." I already have me multi-tool, an allen wrench and a rag in my bag so I think I'm okay for emergency situations.