Nick Hepler

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  • in reply to: First Full Suspension Bike #253597

    I want to second what Alvin said. Too much suspension is not a problem. Especially if you’re gonna travel to places with rougher terrain. My local shop talked me out of 150 mm front, 140 mm rear saying “you don’t want too much bike” and I regret it.

    Demo every bike you look at if you can. If you’re spending $3000+ you deserve to at least be able to take it for a spin around a parking lot, if not on a trail ride.

    in reply to: Fork, post, shock lube #251596

    You should definitely keep the stanchions (shafts) clean. Wipe the dirt and dust off with a clean rag. Forks have internal lubricant (like an engine) inside the lowers. You don’t need to apply any lubricant externally.

    Like others here have said that will just attract dirt and other abrasives and jam them into your lowers. When you do lower leg service (every 1-2 years) you replace/top off oil. I don’t recommend applying any lube to fork externals. Just a simple rag wipe down.

    in reply to: Disc Brake clean up and bleed #250362

    If you crashed hard enough to knock out the wheel and brake pad, you may have done some serious damage. Sounds like you might have busted a seal in the caliper hence the leaking fluid. You might have also bent your rotor disc, even if it looks straight. Fixing a seal in the caliper (assuming it’s even possible) would be costly if done in a shop which is probably why they suggested replacing it altogether. Sometimes rotors can be bent back straight but it all depends on the damage.

    I would verify that the seal is not compromised before attempting to bleed, otherwise you’re wasting your time. Likewise put the rotor on another wheel and make sure it’s not bent. If that’s the case, a simple cleaning won’t cut it and unfortunately you’ll need to replace. Good Luck!


    in reply to: New to the sport and backyard build #248303

    Seth Goodman? I thought his last name was Bike Hacks?

    in reply to: Advice for Climbing Technical Hills on a Trail Bike #245376

    Having strong core and legs will help but ultimately it comes down to bike handling skills. Having the seat high will maximize the amount of power and torque you can generate from your legs and is therefore important for climbing in general. You can compensate for the tipping feeling by standing up out of the saddle and moving your body weight forward and back as necessary. Just pedaling over stuff in the saddle probably won’t cut it, especially if it’s steep.

    When you approach rocks or roots stand up and shift your weight back behind the saddle. As you lean back try to pull our front tire up just enough drop it down on the rock/root. When your tire lands throw your weight forward to drive the rest of the bike over the feature. Depending on the trail conditions and the kind of tire your run, you may have to get back on the saddle as your rear tire clears to avoid spinning out. All the while try to maintain a steady pedaling cadence as your bike rolls over the feature. By shifting your weight forward and back you soften the blow on your front tire, and avoid the sudden stop, and can use your body weight to force your bike forward to maintain your momentum up the hill.

    I ride a 130 mm trail bike and this works well for me. It will take practice but proper body positioning/movement will improve your riding skills.

    Maybe her bike was in the shop and she just couldn’t wait for some singletrack bliss

    in reply to: Best time to buy a new bike? #244332

    Late Summer/Fall is good. A lot of shops have limited space and really want to get rid of current model year bikes. You can sometimes haggle yourself a really good deal. On that note keep a look out for current or previous model year bikes. They’re usually very similar if not identical to the next year’s models but go can go for at least 30% off. I’ve seen some online for up to 60% off.

    in reply to: Creaking noise #244127

    Probably something or other to do with your bottom bracket. It likely needs service of some kind. It might need re-adjustment but it could also be that you’ve got water/dirt inside that’s making the noise, especially if you ride through water or in wet conditions a lot. I’m not sure if that’s something you can ignore without damaging anything, or if you need to service it right away.

    There usually specific criteria that determines trail difficulty such as corridor width, trail grade (percentage), size of features.  If you want to increase the difficulty of your trails the first thing to do would be to add some technical features such as wooden features/skinnies, log piles, rock gardens, switchbacks/berms (if applicable). You can really get creative with what’s already around you in the woods. These can spice up your trails and can be done regardless of elevation, mileage, or other factors out of your control.

    My local trails are intermediate and we build these features to up the difficulty all the time. If you’re gonna build more challenging features, consider keeping a bypass or beginner line so advanced people can challenge themselves, but beginners can still use the trail. This is important because you only have 7 miles, you can serve a diverse amount of user groups.

    in reply to: Is it wise to buy a demo bike #241722

    A definite positive is it’s likely been serviced/maintained by a professional shop mechanic and not neglected. A big drawback is a lot of people ride demos really hard. You really have to ride it first. It could really go either way. Make sure to haggle at least 30% off the original sticker price.

    in reply to: Chris Farley's family sues Trek over fat bike name #241540

    I always thought the ‘Farley’ was a play on ‘Harley’ as in “Farleys not “Harleys” I know there’s the fat connection but it’s not like Chris Farley had anything to do with cycling/bicycles. It seems to be a bit of a cash grab to me.

    in reply to: New Fluid HT vs Used Fluid FS #241297

    Not trying to be a devil’s advocate here but if you have a XC background the hardtail might be better. HT’s are definitely capable on rocky, technical terrain and can be more efficient. Full suspension bikes have more moving parts and require more service and potentially more money to keep running. It’s always important to remember that when considering a FS. Also if it’s used you want to make sure the shock and all the pivots and linkage bolts are in good working order and have been serviced properly, that on top of other components. The HT you mentioned is new and at $1300 it’s probably pretty great. The FS is used and is a little more expensive. Just something to consider.

    Remember to consider your riding style and local terrain. That’s the biggest factor. Moto Bike Mike is absolutely right about FS bikes being fun. I love my FS and prefer it to a HT but my local trails and riding style call for that. There’s no right answer you just have to weigh the benefits and drawbacks and get what’s best for you.

    in reply to: First mountain bike? #241296

    Do plenty of research online. When I bought my first bike, I just walked into a bike shop and picked up one of the first bikes I saw (that I could afford)-Trek Marlin 6. While the bike was okay, I regret not doing more research and comparing different brands/components. New bike day seldom happens so take your time researching the best bike for you. Look for 3 or 4 brands in your price range and compare them to each other.

    Try to demo as many bikes as possible. Bike shops should let you demo or at the very least take a trip around the block. Manufacturers hold demo events at bike shops or trail systems where you can take their bikes out on trail rides so keep a look out for those. Actually riding the bike is very important in making a decision. You might realize the bike you had your eye on isn’t what you really wanted. For $800, you should be able to get hydraulic brakes. Look for a hardtail, full suspension probably isn’t necessary right now. As for suspension look for air sprung suspension as opposed to coil spring. I’m not sure if $800 gets you an air fork but keep an eye out. You might find a closeout bike with everything and then some. Good Luck!

    in reply to: Steel frame shipping damage. Can it be saved? #240873

    It sounds like the seller didn’t package it right and is being totally ridiculous by suggesting you ‘bend it back’ into place. I wouldn’t try to bend it back yourself. I don’t use ebay so I don’t know how they handle returns/complaints, but I would try to get a refund or replacement frame from the seller. If they don’t cooperate report them. There’s absolutely no reason a bike should be damaged in shipping unless something truly catastrophic happens. If they didn’t package it right, the damage is totally their fault- simply bending it back probably won’t cut it.

    I’d contact the manufacturer and ask if the frame is compromised. It might not be safe to try to fix. They might also be able to help you with a repair/replacement. If you don’t get anywhere with the seller or the manufacturer, you could try taking it to a machine shop that specializes in metal fabrication. I’m thinking if it’s steel it’ll be more malleable and maybe easier to fix. Not sure what the right answer is but these are just my suggestions. Good Luck!

    in reply to: Tubeless? #240611

    Do it! In addition to almost eliminating flats, it makes the bike feel lighter and more responsive. After converting I could instantly flick and corner the bike way easier. There was also a noticeable difference in tire resistance. Not quite like getting new wheels, but you should feel the drop in weight. If I remember correctly someone, Seth’s Bike Hacks or GMBN maybe, did a weight test and found that with rolling mass factored in, you can drop up to a pound in weight. Less weight and improved performance is a big improvement many people talk about. I believe it to be true now that I’m tubeless.

    Pitch flats are usually easy to avoid if you run an ultra high pressure but thorn punctures are almost impossible to avoid. It got to the point where I couldn’t ride certain trails with inner tubes. The amount of money some people spend on new tubes is more than what you would spend on tubeless supplies (sealant, tape, valves) or having a bike shop set it up for you so there’s really no reason not to try it if your bike has the right wheel and tire combo.

    I’ve only ever used Stan’s so I can’t really comment on sealant but that Slime stuff looks interesting.

    in reply to: I FINALLY DID IT! :D #240406

    Keep an eye on your moving parts. Make sure your pivot bolts are tightened with the correct amount of torque (don’t over tighten!) you don’t want them coming loose on a ride. Might seem obvious but many hardtail riders are not immediately used to this. Have fun!

    in reply to: Suggestions around WV, VA or PA? #238065

    I’d have to recommend my local trails, they fall within your range. They’re located within the tri-state area of southeastern PA, northern DE, and northeastern MD. We’ve got about close 200-250 miles of singletrack from flowy to rocky and technical.

    The local parks are Fair Hill state park in MD (80 miles, good variety of tech, also decent elevation for the mid-Atlantic), White Clay/Middle Run in DE (super flowy, skills section in White Clay with some North Shore, and there’s a new pump track in Middle Run) Iron Hill in DE (old mining pit with fun drops) & Brandywine Creek SP in DE (rocky technical with the highest elevation in DE, yes there is some elevation in Delaware).

    All of the above trails are close to 200 mi within a 40-45 min drive from each other. Definitely a great place to plant yourself for a great weekend. They are also mostly beginner friendly with some intermediate level challenges. There’s also great riding up near Philly (Belmont, Wissahickon) and Reading (Mt. Penn).

    in reply to: What makes a good MTB wheel? #236094

    I was the one who asked that question so I’ll have a go. I realize I was generalizing and exaggerating a bit. First off I haven’t used every wheel on the market and I’m not a pro mechanic with extensive knowledge on hubs, rims and spoke tension. The reason I asked was because the OEM wheels on every bike I’ve owned have been terrible. Some bikes were cheap so that’s to be expected but last year I bought a nice $3000 Niner full suspension. The shop salesman who sold it recommended upgrading the wheels right away which was kind of a bummer. I see now what he meant. After riding blue trails with small rocks and roots, the wheels are very wobbly/out of true. That specific wheel set is about $300, not ultra high end but also not Walmart range cheap. I think wheels (and suspension if you have it) have tremendous effect on your bike’s performance and are not something you should compromise on. Having spent $3000 on a bike, I kinda feel like I shouldn’t have to spend another $700+ on new wheels.

    What makes a good wheel is really 100% subjective and does involve priorities, riding style, and whether you race or not. There seems to be a weight vs. durability compromise but like Head over Handlebars I prefer a wheel that’s heavier but can stand up to the harsh demands of trail riding. This as opposed to lightweight parts that make your bike feel great but will eventually break and need replacement. If I can find a wheel that can handle rough terrain like it’s nothing but also doesn’t cost more than my car, I’ll be happy.

    in reply to: any tips to survive the upcoming summer heat? #236093

    I live in the Mid-Atlantic USA and although it’s not a desert, it still gets hot and bloody humid in the summer. I’m familiar with riding in the heat and I really hate it (I’ll take the winter temps any day for riding at least). Some of the things I’ll do are:

    -Ride in the early morning just before dawn until about 8:30/9 AM. Or late in the evening 6 PM til dusk. Also if you have legal night riding, do that. Try not to ride in the middle of the day at peak heat. I’ve never been to Israel, but even in the US deserts, it can get much cooler in the early morning/late evening.

    -Seek higher elevations and shade if you can.

    -Wear a lightweight long sleeve shirt. Might not seem logical but it will help with sweat evaporation which cools you and blocks your skin from absorbing sunlight and heating you up. Also prevents sunburn. Good Luck.

    in reply to: What confuses you about the mountain bike industry? #236086

    Why are stock wheels always total shit? (Even on the higher end bikes)

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 117 total)