help me how to make a cheap bicycle reliable please

turbodog

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my knees hurt so much when i ride im old and slow and can deal with pain but damn ouch

If knees hurt, then generally the seat is too low. You want your leg almost straight when the pedal is at the bottom.

Try goodwill... you'd be surprised what people donate. The local bike shop will have used bikes also.
 

LEDphile

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Yeah, that's why I tell people to avoid cheap department store bikes. Get a good used bike with decent components instead. Even if you spend a little more, you'll save yourself a lot of aggravation in the end.

Since raggie mentioned hills, single speed is probably out. His best bet in terms of ride quality and gearing range would be an MTB.
I'll add that an MTB (especially one with no suspension) with city tires (something without a knobby tread in the ~1.5" wide range) is an excellent choice for a multipurpose bike for things like commuting and general errand use. You get the wide gearing from the MTB, combined with the lower rolling resistance of street tires.
 

turbodog

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To specifically answer the OP question:

Cheap bikes can be reliable, but often suffer from poor assembly. It's like lights... the cheap bikes of today are better than expensive bike shop bikes from X years ago.

If you don't know how already, check youtube for video on how to adjust the most common items PROPERLY: brakes, seat, handlebar, shifters.

Keep the bike out of the RAIN.

Clean the chain/gears when they get 'gunky', when the oil you are using has turned to more or less grease.

It's fine to use motor oil on a chain/derailleurs. I ran nothing but motor oil for chain lube for 15 years on the same chain for over 10K miles.

The only special oil you really need it an oil can with a 'needle' spout for oiling INSIDE the cable housings. That will 1) keep cables from rusting and 2) keep brakes/shifting smooth.

If you have a choice, shifters by sram tend to be easier to keep working than shimano due to sram using more cable (2x) per shift... they are less picky about a little cable sticking/friction.

But a mountain bike with street tires, inflated to 60-80 psi is rugged, fairly comfortable, and fast.
 

raggie33

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ty everyone i got the bike cost me more then I was ready to pay right around 245 from Walmart
IMG_20220601_220723_444.jpg
 

orbital

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+

Disk brakes, nice!

With your components, keep your cable tension good & tight.
somewhat hard to explain in writing, but it's important.

You wouldn't want to play Stairway to Heaven with loose guitar strings....
hope that makes sense. 👍
 

turbodog

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ty everyone i got the bike cost me more then I was ready to pay right around 245 from Walmart View attachment 28402

I think you got a lot of bike for $245.

I see the shifters on the stem. If you shift so they have pull a lot of exposed cable, you can then put a few drops of oil on the exposed cable. Then shift so the cable goes into the housing. This will help shifting as the bike ages or gets rained on.

Also, try to get a few drops of oil into the housing where it goes curves down to the rear derailleur. That's where 95% of shifting problems happen... it's a long way from the handlebars and has a half bend curve in it.

Other than that I also put a tiny drop on the derailleur pivots, the hinges, where it swings back and forth. To quote Zohan, "make it silky smooth".
 

raggie33

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ty it wasnt easy to find due to i have no car so i had to walk to all stores and had to ride it home it came with very low air pressure. had to use walmarts pump to fill tires then the brakes wasnt good at all. tried to use them barel adjusters to get better brakeing. but that did not work. so had to adjust the cable but its fine now
 

KITROBASKIN

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We remember your bike accident. Take Care and consider some kind of rear view device, whether it is on your helmet, handlebar or glove.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Neighbor friend gave me this 90’s era Gary Fisher. Still need to get the chainring and chain squared away. Put this together last two days. Lots of torque for our rugged topography. Scary fast but lower levels OK.

81408856-C362-4C4B-A7CE-A3BF0FE926C3.jpeg
 

turbodog

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Neighbor friend gave me this 90’s era Gary Fisher. Still need to get the chainring and chain squared away. Put this together last two days. Lots of torque for our rugged topography. Scary fast but lower levels OK.

View attachment 28410

With the extra weight and speed... I would 100% swap the cantilevers for v brakes. Find a used set at the bike shop. They will bolt right up. Cable throw is a little off, but even with that they w/ still be better than cantilevers. Also, seat nose looks high.
 

raggie33

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between 6 am and 11 pm what time would you say is saftest to ride bike on the road? we dont have side walks
 

bykfixer

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Mid-morning my way Raggie. Traffic counts tend to be less and the sun is high enough in the sky to not be blinding.
 

chip100t

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I used to do a lot of commuting by bike.
Wear a hi viz cycling jacket with reflective strips so you can be more easily seen both night and day, and good lights that are angled down so as not to blind oncoming traffic.

Lots of people use blinking lights during daylight hours although I never did.
 

chip100t

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I don’t know how cyclists are viewed in the states but here in the uk lots of drivers hate cyclists and don’t see them as having equal rights on the road.
And don’t understand or accept that if I have the right of way, I have the right of way wether I am in a car or on a bike.

So always be vigilant as some drivers may not give way where they should or would have if you had been in a car because you are on a bike.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Yeah chip, here in USA plenty folks consider bicyclists as undeserving mobile obstacles. Arrogant bikers have given a bad name to all self pedaling 2 wheelers.

Thanks TD for the V-brake suggestion. I was told that one of NBPower/Niubo engineers in China did not want to sell me this (described as) 3000W direct drive hub without a disc brake configuration. I paid quite a bit more to get a (bluetooth) programmable controller that the engineer enabled ebraking at the factory. The controller also offers regeneration that actually sends electricity back into the batteries, but that would change the nature of the ride, making it even more unlike a regular bike. Right now, they programmed it to roll smoothly and accelerate on descents, without the electric motor throbbing from the magnets. At best, bicycle regen only yields about ~14% energy recovery.

Having it so rear-heavy really changes the feel from a regular bike, and not in a K. Kardashian way. It is not OK for public thoroughfare. There is a boatload of 18650 batteries in that pack; oodles of energy reserve with a USB jack, for endless flashlight recharging. If anyone can recommend some kind of adaptor to convert 72-84V to 12V I'd be obliged.
 

raggie33

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cool ty everyone i had day glow tshirt but only god knows where i put it lol
 
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