Full Suspension MTB: First Time User... Two Years Later.

Almost two and a half years ago in March 2012, and largely with the aid of a tax rebate, I purchased my first full suspension mountain bike: a Canyon Nerve XC 7.0.

I knew very little about full suspension mountain bikes, and so opted for what I hoped to be the best value for money. I spent just over £1300 GBP on a bike I had not test ridden nor ever even seen. I liked how it looked in the photographs and set the desktop background on my PC with a picture I spent too long staring at every day for two and a half weeks until it finnaly arrived all the way from Germany.

I felt completely bewildered when presented with the box. The suspension was completely airless and fully compressed. The peddles were not on. The handlebars were only attached by the gear and brake cables, and I didn't know how much air to put in the front or the rear shocks. My old bike I'd take to pieces in the blink of an eye, I'd never felt so apprehensive in front of a bicycle.

Then for the first few months I worried it would get stolen if I was seen out and about on it. I was scared of riding it incase something broke, too much dirt got in somewhere and eroded something. Too scared of having to replace this or that expensive part I couldn't afford to, having spent so much on the bike in the first place. When I brushed my hand over the annodized alluminium frame I perceived, from the hollow sound it made, that the frame was too insubstantial for the type of riding I wanted to be doing (when I had the time and money to travel to the type of locations where that type of riding was available that is).

So it was a few months before I really felt comfortable on it, and could enjoy riding it without these worries in the back of my mind.

So, over the past two and half years (almost), here is a list of parts I've replaced:

* Handlebars -  - upgrade - wider + flatter - improved rider handling.
* Stem -        - upgrade - shorter - improved rider handling.

* Wheels -      - irrepairable damage to rear + upgrade to UST rims,
                  sealed bearings in hubs, etc.

* Tires -       - upgrade for UST rims - improved performance (potentially
                  tougher or lighter, but not both)

* Rear shock bushings -
                - worn parts + upgrade for improved component performance
                  and durability

* Rear seatstay bearings (QR end) x 4 -
                - replacement of overly worn/rusted parts + upgrade for
                  improved component performance and durability

* Main radial pivot bearing (by BB) -
                - replacement of overly worn/rusted part, which seemed IMO,
                  due to missing o-ring (returned to Canyon for work, and 
                  charged for)

* Gear cables - - normal wear & tear replacement
* Brake pads -  - normal wear & tear replacement

* Hydraulic Dropper Seat Post -
                - upgrade - improved rider handling over trail obstacles.

[img:no info]

Seatstay Helicoil Damage

I've ridden this bike in all weathers, Summer, Winter, sun, rain, snow, mist, fog, drizzle. I've ridden it on the best trails Kent has to offer, as well as the bridleways and farm tracks in my area. It's been to the Surrey hills, and in Wales, to Brechfa Forest, Afan Forest, and Brenin Forest. Most recently it endured a six hour race around Stanmer park in Brighton (solo, eight laps, 5:57, 24th in male solo under forty).

It has certainly been a learning experience for me, this bike. I chose to carry out maintenance on the it. I purchased the right tools to do it in most cases. Made some DIY adaptions for bearing replacement. Almost ruined the rear seatstay trying to push a pair of bearings out without realizing there was a lip between them both.

Today I orderd some more new bearings - which I should probably have replaced at the time I replaced the others a few months ago earlier this year...

Currently I am in the process of replacing the main pivot arm bearings (which have now arrived), but am currently trying to decide what to do over a damaged HeliCoil in the seatstay, see image. This I believe came about through acidental over-tightening of the bolt which pulled the Helicoil slightly away from its intended position.


"Full Suspension MTB: First Time User... Two Years Later."

Was going to be a review but never finished it properly...

Journal entry - 22:54 Wednesday 17 September 2014

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.


this page last updated:19th September 2014 jwm-art.net (C) 2003 - 2017 James W. Morris

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