For the Giant Sedona, 2020 has been a roller coaster year. However, it has been mostly lows since August.
The Sedona started 2020 off on a positive note, with its fresh new Schwalbe Marathon tires successfully being ran tubeless with the “Ghetto Tubeless” method. However, things started going awry in February when the axle in the stock rear wheel snapped.
A month later, I was back on the road. However, the repair seemed to be for nothing as in May I noticed two spokes in the stock rear wheel had snapped free from the hub, which isn’t good. Also, one of the Marathon tires had a small hole torn into the sidewall by a long nail.
In May, I was able to replace the stock rear wheel with a beefier Velocity CliffHanger wheel. I also purchased a new Marathon tire to replace the torn one, along with tubes (the new wheel was drilled for Presta valves), and a cassette.
The bike ran fine with minimal issues until August, when I returned to my university. A couple weeks after returning, one of the chainrings mysteriously bent. And later, a gnarly blowout took out the new CliffHanger wheel.
Fast forward to today. Over this past week I’ve went on a couple lengthy rides (6 and 9 miles long) and have pushed the Sedona. While it has been riding “good enough”, it still needs some work.
When talking about the Sedona’s issues, let’s start at the worst of the problems right now – the “drivetrain” or mechanical parts of the bike.
Ever since one of the chainrings bent, the Sedona has not been running very well. The bike likes to randomly shift when riding, especially on hills. The chain also slips off sometimes – both on the front/crankset, and the rear cassette.
The crankset and chain both need to be replaced. Unfortunately, my parts supplier has been sold out of the replacement crankset I need. While the chain still seems to be in decent condition, I’m going to replace it just to be on the safe side.
It also appears the rear derailleur needs to be dialed in a little bit more. While the chain slippage is likely due to the damaged chainring, the rear derailleur being out of adjustment likely contributes to it – and likely is causing the shifting problems.
Tires – “Winter” Tires
From the drivetrain, the tires have also been an area of concern – as always.
The front tire (which is the new Schwalbe Marathon tire that replaced the damaged one in May) had a blowout recently, with a large slice in the sidewall.
Thankfully, I saved the damaged Marathon tire from May. After making a jury-rigged tire boot from a piece of an old inner tube and some Gorilla tape, the old Marathon tire was back in service. The boot appears to hold fine at 40-45 PSI, and I regularly check the hole to make sure it isn’t growing.
The boot and damaged Marathon tire is more of a temporary measure. I hope to eventually purchase a new tire to replace it. While the subject for a future entry, I’m looking at possibly going with the Continental DoubleFighter III tire instead of another Marathon tire.
Speaking of tires, I brought back two relics from the Huffy Superia days to possibly “winterize” the Sedona for better riding in wintry conditions such as snow and slush.
After scrapping the Superia in 2015, I salvaged one of the rims and two tires. One tire is the stock, “No-name Special” tire that came with the Superia from the factory. The other tire was a Bell/Innova tire that was purchased at Walmart to replace a damaged stock tire.
These tires are knobby, which I’m not a fan of. When riding on pavement, they make a lot of noise and tend to slow you down. However, in snowy conditions, the knobby tread combined with the lower inflation pressure make for additional traction.
I mounted these tires one day and went for a ride on them. It was probably the first time in 5+ years the tires have been mounted on a wheel and inflated. They seemed to ride fine, although the “No-name Special” tire, which I installed on the rear, seemed to be more worn-in. Parts of the tread was cracked and some of the knobby portions were about to fall off. The “No-name Special” tire is also slightly worrisome to inflate, as the bead looks like it’s dangerous close to popping off the rim. However, it handled 40 PSI. (It doesn’t appear to have that same problem on the Sedona’s stock front rim.) The other Bell/Innova tire doesn’t have any problems.
These tires are rock hard and don’t require a lot of air. They slightly alter the appearance of the bike, as these tires look like “an old, hard, knobby off-roading tire you’d find on an old beater pickup truck mostly used for off-roading.”
These tires will only see action on snowy days where the ground is covered in snow or slush. Otherwise, the Schwalbe Marathons will be installed.
When riding in the winter, the roads are often covered in slush from melting snow and ice. The tires will throw this slush all over you, especially in the most embarrassing regions of your clothing.
They sell mudguards to counteract this, but I don’t have one. Therefore, I decided to try to make my own to use at least temporarily.
Using some old inner tubes and part of the basket, I was able to make a “DiWHY” rear mudguard for the Sedona. This should at least stop slush and other things from getting thrown into the rear of my pants. So at least it fixes part of the problem. While it doesn’t look pretty, it appears as though it may work. We’ll have to wait for another snowfall to see.
However, the front is still a problem – and unfortunately won’t be fixed until I can purchase a pair of actual mudguards, which I plan on doing at some point in the future.
In 2021, I hope to fix the Sedona’s problems, and hopefully make it more reliable and stable. Stay tuned as I chronicle the process here on my blog.
Addendum – 12/31/2020
I forgot to mention one thing in this post, and I decided to add it on the very last day of 2020.
Earlier this month, I got a puncture on my rear tire. It was a relatively slow leak – it took about 5 hours for the tire to drop 30 psi. However, it was quick enough to warrant a patch.
Patching tubes is something I’ve had mixed success with. Earlier this summer, I patched one of the Continental tubes I was running with 100% success, although I was using a vulcanizing patch kit – the old style with glue and sandpaper. That tire held pressure as well as it did before the puncture.
With the glueless “stick-on” or “Skabs” patches, I’ve had mixed success. Sometimes they work well enough to get you home, but a week or so later you discover the tire is flat and the patch is wrinkled. I call the glueless patches “stickers” because that’s essentially what they are.
I lost the vulcanizing patches I have, but I still have the glueless patches. In fact, I have two varieties of glueless patches to pick from – one which came with my Huffy tool kit, and the Slime “Skabs” which I’ve reviewed before.
The Huffy patches are a lot thicker and seem to be heavier than the Skabs, so I applied one to the puncture in the tube. I installed the tube back in the tire, inflated to 60 PSI, and went about my business.
The next day, though, the tire had lost some air. It still had a slow leak, this time much slower (lost about 20 psi overnight.) I pulled the tube out and couldn’t find a leak audibly or by feel, so I dunked the tube in some water and noticed another tiny puncture adjacent to the first puncture I patched.
Using one of the Slime Skab patches, I patched the second puncture. The nice thing about the Skab patch is due to its thinness, I was able to get it to “contour” and overlap the first patch.
It’s been over two weeks since I patched the tube, and it has been holding air fine since. I haven’t inflated the tire since patching the tube and it seems to have only lost about 20 psi, or about 1 psi a day. Which is normal, at least in my experience.
In 2021 and going forward, I plan on trying to patch tubes instead of throwing them out and replacing them over the smallest puncture. It’ll save them from going to a landfill, and will save me money.
(On a side note, my local Walmart has been sold out of the 26×2.1-2.4″ Presta tubes I’ve been using in the rear tire. Hopefully they make a return soon or I’ll have to return to ordering my tubes online. I’ve been riding without a spare, which I don’t like.)