Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby DaveOZ » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:18 pm

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby rkelsen » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:06 pm

aldifan wrote:Woo Hoo Aldi have now advertised a dual suspension mountain bike with front AND rear disk brakes for $199.

Dual suspension, disc brakes and QR front wheel for $199... Why does that make me nervous?

Aren't 7-speed freewheels obsolete now? How/where are they getting them?
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby 1crem1 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:35 pm

Well, I'm going to go for it. No justification necessary.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Nobody » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:27 pm

aldifan wrote:Woo Hoo Aldi have now advertised a dual suspension mountain bike with front AND rear disk brakes for $199.
If you are looking at this sort of thing the previous installation I bought was a hard tail with only front disk brakes. Many naysayers have written these off as Bicycle shaped objects rather than bikes but I am reasonably happy with mine.
You make it sound like we know nothing of what we speak. I'm the guy who had the dual suspension Dunlop bike in my back yard for a while. I also have 3 rigid MTBs. One of which I ride on a trail 3 to 4 times a week (if possible).

aldifan wrote:Now for the advice:
1) Tighten everything that can be tightened
2) Adjust everything that can be adjusted - in particular the derailleurs and brakes will need adjusting.
3) take it for a 10 minute ride with a set of tools in your backpack. Tighten and adjust everything again.

Be prepared to do the occasional bit of adjusting.
Also get ready for an inefficient ride with a pogo feel. Your rigid bike may be OK, but a dually is going to be worse. The buyer may also have the privilege of owning a bike with automatic gears. If the buyer is not fussy about what gear he/she is in or how the gears sound as he/she rides, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

aldifan wrote:Be aware that the frame will have a a sticker that tells you this is a mountain bike that you can not actually use as a mountain bike but I have ridden mine around on the roads in and the fire trails around Canberra without losing any skin or much of my dignity - except on that really steep bit where I found myself going backwards as I was trying to pedal up hill :oops: . In short I would take it places where I would not have taken my old 10 speed racer but I would not take it places there you need a real mountain bike :mrgreen: .
I'd agree, this is usually just lawyer speak and the BSO we had didn't fall apart from some lighter MTB use.

aldifan wrote:The only thing that has gone wrong recently is that there was a bit of phantom shifting happening and I found that the twist grip shifters seemed to have worked a mm or two loose, and the only way to tighten them was to pull the grips back closer onto the handle bar(no tools required). :roll:
Can't see this getting any better long term.

In summary I'll give you an (admittedly good) example of the other option which is buying secondhand and building up:

Bought a mid '90s Avanti Baracuda of eBay for $30. It is a 6061 T6 alloy framed hard tail with STX/STX-RC 8 speed mix, and non lock-out Manatou fork.

Spent a total of about $150 on new parts, a rigid threadless fork and tyres I already had to fix it up.
New parts:
Chain (Connex 8 sp)
Cassette (Shimano 11-30 8 sp)
Brake/Shifters (Shimano EZ-Fire 8 speed)
Pedals (DMR V8)
Derailleur hanger.

Considering all parts on current value, I'd say it cost about $230.

Not that weight is usually a big issue for me but I suspect the Aldi dually wouldn't come near the 12 Kg of the Avanti (as weighed on bathroom scales by differential method).

It turned out so well, a friend who now rides it instead of the BSO said it was so much faster (with same tyres at same pressure) that it made the first ride on it the easiest trail ride he ever had.

So in summary, you can get the inefficient, heavy and less fun to ride Aldi dually. Or you can spend a little more and do some work to get a more enjoyable and reliable bike in the end.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Well said. You can get a better bike at a better price, but would it have essential Aldiness?

I must admit that the amount of gear they add to these bikes which is essentially unnecessary does amuse rather than tempt me. Even on my bike it is ultra simple (and a lot of fun) to lock up the rear brake and skid around for a bit. I have joked before that the main benefit of the front disk brakes is to keep the braking surface clear of mud and that it is working so well that I do not even have any mud on the tyres. The other benefit is to make the bike look butch.
The main purpose of the rear suspension is I fear to make the bike look butch and make riding over gutters more comfortable.

I paid $99 for my hard tail and it has given me a lot of fun for my money. Not least of which is getting a good laugh from this forum.
P.S. The phantom changeing seems to be fixed for now but I may invest in some propper changers when the waranty runs out.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby 1crem1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:02 am

I have got up early. I have stood in line. I have shouldered my way through the mob. I have sought aldi goodness - and got it!
I await the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or lycra. Whatever.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Nobody » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:18 am

aldifan wrote:You can get a better bike at a better price, but would it have essential Aldiness?
No, obviously it won't have that essential Aldiness. :)
Although your hard tail Aldi may work OK and can be upgraded, a dually is more difficult to make efficient. Yes, this thread is a bit of fun, but I just wanted to help the inexperienced with their choices. I used to windsurf a bit and a got my two piece mast stuck together (regular occurrence). A guy on a forum joking said to lightly jump on the mast to loosen it, and so I did. $300+ mast broken. :roll:
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby jet-ski » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:20 pm

If you get sick of the dually you can always rip it apart, add it to a donor bike and make a homebrew long tail bike...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemad ... -Bike-SUB/
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby CommuRider » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:29 pm

Saw only one mountain bike left for sale at the Aldi store I went to....if they only read this thread and realised how much work it takes to assemble it. I saw one man RUN to get the second last bike. Don't think there'll be any mountain bikes left by tomorrow....
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby MiG » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:08 pm

rkelsen wrote:Aren't 7-speed freewheels obsolete now? How/where are they getting them?

Nah, they're damn popular on cheap bikes and there are a lot of cheap bikes. I'm seeing new Shimano 7 speed freewheels all the time here in Korea.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby adaml » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:37 pm

Has Shimano discontinued Tourney? It still had a 7sd freewheel, but I've noticed that Tourney has dropped off Shimano's European website (the Aus one doesn't show anything below Alivio.) Anyway, someone still stamps out six-speed freewheels for K-Mart BSOs et al, so I doubt the 7 speeds will disappear any time soon.

As for the Aldi bike, I'm impressed that they've managed to spec brand-name shifters and front derailieur. Makes you wonder what they could do if the didn't have to pay for the pointless suspension
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:19 pm

I guess it doesn't matter what we say - the public wanted it. The dual suspension Aldi mountain bikes were all sold out this morning. So were the Large sizes of the gloves and pocket jackets. :shock: I really wanted another one of those jackets - mine always seems to get given to the person near me who is feeling the cold- whereas I am a big butch bloke who does not feel the cold (much :? ). You can tell I am butch because my bike has disk brakes. :wink:

Oh well at least I got a set of Aldi lights to go with my Aldi bike. The don't look particularly weather proof but they look like they could put up with a small shower and for $10 (batteries included) I am in no position to complain.They seem bright enough and well built enough and they go together well with the bike. For safety's sake I have my helmet covered with mini lights and I have slathered reflective tape all over the bike as well.
http://shop.ebay.com.au/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=mini+bike+light&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Why is it that rear lights have so many flashing modes? I wonder what the cumulative years of people's lives have been wasted cycling through the various flashing modes till they get to the off mode. This Aldi one has 5 modes (including off). I have one with eight modes - (is that a record?).

As a point of BSO comparison Big K are selling a large framed 700c "road bike" with old fashioned tyres, flatish handlebars and full shimano derailleurs and thumb shifters with adjustable angle handle bar bracket for the same price. By "road" I think they mean a bike for roads rather than a tour de france style road racing bike.

Have fun and be nice to each other.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby jet-ski » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:31 pm

Only really cheap back flashers have so many modes. Most of the nice ones (smart, blackburn etc) only have steady, flashing and off. So maybe if time = money the money you save from the time saved from pressing that stupid button on the lights makes up for the extra $15 or so for a decent rear light.

Worst is when you press,press,press,*lost count* and accidently cycle past 'off' !#$(AT)!!
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby 1crem1 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:58 pm

I bought the aldi dual suspension bike and got, I think, what I paid for. It is not light. The deraillieur components, though Shimano, contain a lot of pressed metal. The travel front and back is not great. It came with a prop stand which is now back in the box. But why should I want to soar with eagles when I can work with turkeys? I already have two much heavier bikes, but they come with electric motors and batteries, so this bike is an ultralight. So I'm happy. But I think I'll spend some time taking off all the crane decals. And save weight.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby weemac » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:26 am

Hi all!
I stumbled on this forum yesterday due to this thread...
I purchased one of the Aldi Montana bikes when thay were running them out (I think I paid $69 for mine) and as Aldifan said they are good value for money. I had just sold a Apollo Summit that was higher speced with dual disks etc but could not get comfortable on it, even after changing the bars, stem and saddle. It was a lovely bike but just did not fit me.
I brought the Montana on a whim (actually on my card...) It fits me quite well.
Here is my take on the quality:
The frame is really nice...
The forks are not the best, but there is worse for sure
Wheels and hubs are very good and well spoked for the money
Steel crankset is ok (would have been nice to had a sunrace alloy crankset or some other other entry level lightweight)
Tyres are sticky, round and lighter than some.
Rear "V" brake is very good
Brake levers are a bit bendy but good enough.
Saddle is quite good, however I have old favorite fitted to it for now.
Front derailleur is nasty falcon brand (as aldifan said) and perhaps could be upgraded.

There are 2 mods that will really improve these bikes..
1) Get a decent chain, A Shimano HG50 chain will work wonders on the geartrain and will result in the gears changing when you want them to.
2) Take off the silly self aligning front brake caliper and use it as a football... No matter how you try to preset it, when squeezed it sort of goes through this wiggle before it applies any pressure to the disk, it spluttered and squealed and had the braking performance of a wet caliper on a steel rim (Yes, even after bedding it in) Then the rubber alignment gromets will fall apart and it gets worse....
For $12 on ebay I got a better caliper (still promax brand) that could be adjusted and instantly got a better brake...

I have done some other mods but thats just my personal preferences:
The original 7 speed spin on is 14-28 and I did not like the feel of the sram grip shifters so...
I fitted a Shimano 6 speed spin on (still 14-28) and used my old pre-sram quickshifters (which have a much lighter action although you turn them twice the distance) It has a much more smoother and reliable change now...

"Hanna" Montana is my spare while my main bike is off road while being fitted with a Nuvinci hub...

So impressed with the Aldi special that I purchased two of the slighter cheaper ones ($49 steel frame) for my kids. With these ones the drivetrain was just about unusuable and I soon fitted Nexus 7 speed coaster hubs on velocity rims to them so the bairns could get up the hills around where we live (and there is plenty of them) I spent 3X the price of the bikes on these upgrades but these cheap bikes now ride really well and more importantly stop really well! (which is what you need to keep the kids interested).

I'd be happy to purchase another Aldi bike although I probably would not bother with a dual suspension one for my needs..

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:15 am

Nicely done Weemac
All your mods are the sorts of things I might get to later as I don't have a spare set of shifters in the shed. I did check my front disc calliper and it is screw rather than self adjusting so I guess there may be a bit of component variability in the production process.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby weemac » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:13 pm

aldifan wrote:Nicely done Weemac
All your mods are the sorts of things I might get to later as I don't have a spare set of shifters in the shed. I did check my front disc calliper and it is screw rather than self adjusting so I guess there may be a bit of component variability in the production process.


Thats the one! A screw with a red plastic adjustment thingmy. The self adjusting refers to the sliding bolt with the two rubber gromits on the bottom bit of the caliper. Probably works fine most of the time but mine refused to be a brake.
The new one works well.. It has that "Brain trying to exit via your nose" stopping power now....

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:35 pm

weemac wrote:
aldifan wrote:Nicely done Weemac
All your mods are the sorts of things I might get to later as I don't have a spare set of shifters in the shed. I did check my front disc calliper and it is screw rather than self adjusting so I guess there may be a bit of component variability in the production process.


Thats the one! A screw with a red plastic adjustment thingmy. The self adjusting refers to the sliding bolt with the two rubber gromits on the bottom bit of the caliper. Probably works fine most of the time but mine refused to be a brake.
The new one works well.. It has that "Brain trying to exit via your nose" stopping power now....

emac.


Oh well - just went out and pulled a few stoppies - mine seems to be working fine - The gromets are looking a little the worse for wear though - will keep an eye on it - Thanks for the heads up
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:51 pm

Now I realize what was going on - the jumping in the pedals was not phantom shifting - it was only doing it on the smallest cog in the rear gears and it was coming off and back on to the same cog - Skipping according to Sheldon Brown's terminology :? I think I was also confusing it with general laziness in the drive chain when it comes to changing gears.
Hmm - consulting Sheldon seemed to point to three possible causes - stiff links in the chain, worn out cog and chain and/or insufficient tension in derailleur. Given the lack of obvious wear and the floppyness of all links I thought it was probably lack of derailleur tension AND the derailleur fitted to the Montana does not have tension adjusting screws.

So I called the helpful lady at the company ALDI have contracted to provide a warranty help line and she asked me what parts I wanted. While I was at it I thought I had better replace the front disc caliper as the gromets really were falling apart and they are not easily replaceable and while they are not in themselves immediately critical they are there to stop the gunk from getting in to the bits of the caliper that hold the caliper bit straight as it clamps to the disc and to keep the lubricant from coming out. She has sent an email to the warehouse for a new rear derailleur and front brake calliper for me, after I emailed her a scanned copy of my receipt and a clear and detailed explanation of my problems. She did not seem to know much about bikes but was very helpful and pleasant to talk to. Here is the web site of the company she works for http://www.ingoodcare.com.au/igc/pages/index.php

In the meantime returning the travel adjustment screws on the derailleur to the factory setting (not allowing access to 7th gear) has solved the skipping problem in the short term.

I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am :wink:


References:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby weemac » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:24 am

Bare in mind with shifting problems on these bikes has a lot to do with the substandard chain...

"Get a decent chain, A Shimano HG50 chain will work wonders on the geartrain and will result in the gears changing when you want them to."

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:13 pm

Thanks Weemac - i will keep that in mind for when the warranty runs out, but for now I am having a great time going with the ALDI after sales service :wink:

I think I am testing the ALDI bike if not to destruction, at least to a point where I feel like I have fully tested ALDI and it's service with respect to bikes. I will leave the mods to componentry till after the 12 month warranty runs out or I get bored :roll:.

I must admit that the complete sell out of the duallys and the rest of the bike gear including the jackets gloves and helmets in such short time left me more than surprised, not to mention dissapointed in not getting another jacket. Interestingly someone is selling the jackets on Ebay for a $10 profit!!
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:53 pm

Helpful lady from the pram company has sent me a new rear derailleur, disc brake calliper and disc. Not too bad service considering I called her on Monday.

This disc brake looks much like the one weemac bought rather than the original Plus as an added bonus - the instructions were in engrish and not gelman. Unfortunately the instructions were for the original and not the later model - never mind - this one is manual centring and relatively easy to install. The other one was automatic centring and slid around on it's guide rails because the rubber grommets had perished- still clamped on to that disc OK but did tend to wear the outer pad more than the inner one. This one seems to work just fine after a little tinkering with the pad spacing screw. :mrgreen:

I will have to reserve judgement on the new derailleur till I have some time to adjust/fiddle with it some more but it seems to be only marginally better than the old one, if at all :D

The noise from the bottom bracket is getting worse - I may have to pop that baby open and see if there is something going on inside. :oops:
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:55 pm

:x Clearer now on source of occasional noise in bottom bracket, after adjusting, fiddling checking derailleurs, pedals, cranks, seats etc I opened the sucker up and found a few bits of gravel in the bottom end. While I need roughage in my diet I do not need it in my bottom end. Unfortunately I can not get the left crank off without a crank removal tool/puller so I may need to go to an LBS :shock: to get one and some bottom bearings. :x
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Cruiserman » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:08 am

Nobody wrote:
aldifan wrote:You can get a better bike at a better price, but would it have essential Aldiness?
No, obviously it won't have that essential Aldiness. :)
Although your hard tail Aldi may work OK and can be upgraded, a dually is more difficult to make efficient. Yes, this thread is a bit of fun, but I just wanted to help the inexperienced with their choices. I used to windsurf a bit and a got my two piece mast stuck together (regular occurrence). A guy on a forum joking said to lightly jump on the mast to loosen it, and so I did. $300+ mast broken. :roll:


HaHa I used to work in a sailboard shop (note windsurf is not the correct term sailboard is) one of the things I used to do was repair masts, and while really stupid your situation was not the only one of jumping on a stupid two piece mast to get the sand that had bound it firmly together out. (how this was ever going to work is another question). As with all things buyer beware this also goes for free advise sought on forums. Read digest think decide.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby m@ » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:48 am

aldifan wrote::x Clearer now on source of occasional noise in bottom bracket, after adjusting, fiddling checking derailleurs, pedals, cranks, seats etc I opened the sucker up and found a few bits of gravel in the bottom end. While I need roughage in my diet I do not need it in my bottom end. Unfortunately I can not get the left crank off without a crank removal tool/puller so I may need to go to an LBS :shock: to get one and some bottom bearings. :x

So how much has your $149 bike cost you so far? :wink:
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