Wreckd ‘n Repaired

We all love a project, whether it’s upgrading your pride and joy or getting a tired old bike back to its best.. Join us this Autumn as we take on a brand new project, show you how to do it yourself and answer all your bike tech questions!

Find out more:

The Workshop

Welcome to the Chain Reaction Workshop! Shredding the trails can take its toll not only on you but the bike itself, so in this section we want you to keep rolling without the worry of a mechanical holding you back.

Drop your question below and join us back here next Wednesday when one of our tech experts will answer your troublesome tech queries.

Andy Ross
Andy Ross

Road bike guru

Paul Stewart
Paul Stewart

MTB & BMX Specialist

Nick Ryles
Nick Ryles

Expert in MTB bike maintenance

Adam Studholme
Adam Studhome

Genius in all things bike related

Your questions, answered!

Andrew from the tech team took time this week to answer your questions, keep sending us your questions and find the answers here every Wednesday.

I can’t remove my lock ring on my cassette, any tips?

It’s most likely due to the length of the levers on the chainwhip and the tool you’re using to turn the lockring tool. It’s very likely that 2 minutes the appropriate tools will get it off for you. Check that your tools have adequate leverage.

What bike would you guys recommend for a beginner MTB rider
who doesn’t ride a lot so doesn’t want to spend to much money?

Because of the numerous options available, making a first-time purchase can be challenging. There are so many different types of mountain bikes on the market these days that it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you. Identifying the terrain you will be riding on is often the best way to determine which bike will suit you best.

Hardtail mountain bikes combine incredible value with incredible simplicity. A hardtail is ideal if you are on a tight budget, want to challenge yourself, or want a bike with less fuss. Hardtail Mountain bikes are extremely cost-effective to manufacture due to the added simplicity provided by the lack of suspension linkages. This means you can get a great bike at a great price.

I would recommend the Vitus Nucleus 27 VR, which has fantastic specifications and is very reasonably priced.

I have a nucleus 2022 VRS (medium frame) and want to put a
dropper post in, what are my options?

I would recommend the Brand-X Ascend 31.6mm In relation to the drop required (125mm or 150mm). Dropper post sizing is based on a few points; the frame insertion depth and the length of the post outside the frame. Set your saddle to your preferred riding height and measure from the saddle rails to the top of your seat clamp collar.

This will give you an idea of what height/length required outside your frame. Then establish the maximum seatpost Insertion depth of your frame.

The Brand-X Ascend Dropper 125mm post has an overall length of 412mm. When slammed requires an insertion depth of 233mm, leaving approximately 182mm outside the frame from the dropper collar to the saddle rail when extended.

Can you advise the best brake pads to avoid screeching for
SRAM Level ult brakes? I am not worried how long they last I just
want a quiet brake for winter!

Squealing brake pads are usually caused by contamination. Because brake pads are porous, they absorb grease and oils easily, causing the brake pad to squeal and fail to function properly. Chain lube, bike polish, degreaser, and brake fluid can all get into your brake rotor and contaminate the pads. Contamination can be caused simply by touching your rotor or pads. I would recommend Organic pads. They are the least noisy option. They also provide sharper braking and do not require warming up before they begin to work properly.

On my gravel bike I have a compact on the front and 11/32 on rear all Ultegra. When changing to a 11/36 on rear do I have to lengthen the chain?

Generally, if you’re adding 4 teeth you should add 4 links to compensate. There are various online resources to help with chain length.

You should also check the maximum capacity of your rear derailleur. For example. a RD-R8000-GS rear mech has a maximum cassette size of 34t and a total capacity of 39T,

If your drivetrain has a 50-34 chainring on the front and a 36-11 cassette on the rear, then…

[50-34] + [36-11] = 41

This is outside of the capacity.

I have a 130mm travel at the front and 120mm at back can I
upgrade to 150mm front 140mm back?

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to increase the rear travel of because most bikes are built around a specific shock size. Depending on the model, you may be able to increase the fork’s travel.

The bike will, however, have a maximum fork travel. A longer fork, for example, will raise the bottom bracket and slacken the headangle, resulting in a negative effect on the bikes geometry.

Retro Hall of Fame

Share your favourite retro bikes and get featured on our Hall of Fame! Send us your pictures by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook!

Wreckd 'n Repaired - Specialized Rockhopper Comp

Specialized Rockhopper Comp – 1989

Lovingly restored by Chain Reaction’s Head of Customer Service, this is a 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp, converted to a budget gravel/bikepacking/randonneuring rig. It’s 1x narrow/wide ring up front, with a single friction shifter on the bars. Brooks saddle for comfort, and for ease of mounting saddle bags. Shimano SPD/flat combo pedals for short jaunts to the pub.

Specialized Rockhopper Comp

Wreckd 'n Repaired - Specialized Rockhopper Comp

Kona Cinder Cone

Wreckd 'n Repaired - Kona Cinder Cone

Classic Manitou Fork

Wreckd 'n Repaired - Classic Manitou Fork

1994 Orange P7

1994 Orange P7
Colin Scotson

Giant ATX 890

Giant ATX 890
Cam Munro

Specialized Stumpjumper 1989

Specialized Stumpjumper 1989
Bernie Schaale

Scrapyard Challenge

If you’ve followed us for a while you’ll know we love looking at the newest and greatest technology on the market today! So when we tasked Matt and Lauren to get two second-hand bikes and restore them back to their former glory, they had a challenge on their hands.

In our latest series, we take two bikes that have seen better days and show you how we got them back to a trail-ready machine. Lauren got her hands on a Giant Upland SE whilst Matt went with a classic Raleigh M-Trax.

Watch: MTB Scrapyard Challenge

Check out the rest of the series here

Wrecks in the Wild

Relive the carnage and wreckage at one of the world’s most iconic races – Megavalanche! Starting at the top of Alpe d’Huez, hundreds of riders descend down the dizzying height of 2600 meters in little over 37km to make Megavalanche the world’s longest and craziest mass-start enduro races!

Watch the carnage unfold, as bikes and humans are put to the test in the ultimate race of bravery.

Save your wreck

Check out our guides to upgrading and keeping your bike in top shape!

Wreckd 'n Repaired - Basic Bike Maintenance
Wreckd 'n Repaired - MTB upgrades for beginners
Wreckd 'n Repaired - Beginner MTB Setup Mistakes

Tom Adams

Tom is a bike enthusiast! Originally a mountain biker, Tom enjoys going fast on two wheels, whether it's on the road or on the gravel, mountain bike or commuting! Tom has been riding bikes for almost 18 years and loves nothing more than getting out on the roads or trails and testing out the newest and most innovative things on the Chain Reaction website!

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