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2020 Schwinn Axum 29'er

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    Well the new rear rotor is turning into a project. It made me decide to buy matching rotors. Well 2 packs were cheaper per piece than individuals. So I order a 2 pack of 180mm and a 2 pack of 203mm. So now since I'll have replacements on hand I grabbed some full metallic pads to see what they'll do for me.
    All completely unnecessary but oh well.
    I've never used full metallics so I don't know exactly what to expect. And if I don't like them then it's not a big loss.

    The stock 180mm rotor was making some very unsettling noises on a couple of really steep hills. And now I can't stop imagining horrible carnage if it shatters on a steep hill.


      Dropper came in today. Installing it now. Battery is charging so should be an evening test ride in fairly soon.


        Got the post installed and did one of my normal 20 ish mile rides. It was great, much better than the cheap spring one I had before. Should have done it as soon as I learned there was such a thing as a suspension dropper. I was actually able to run it maybe 3/4" higher than I ran the other one. Part of that is because it does compress somewhat with my weight on it and the rest is I'm more comfortable being that high when I know I can easily drop it. Not quite 100% used to it as far as remembering I can drop it yet but now that both bikes have one should be easy to get used to it.

        What did you want me to measure on it? I may start a thread just on these posts so more people know they exist and they are for old people just as much as hardcore trail folks. For those that didn't see it earlier its the PNW Coast suspension dropper with the Crank Brothers HiLine lever.


        • Dshue
          Dshue commented
          Editing a comment
          I wanted the measurement from the minimum insertion line to the seat rails with the post fully extended. But it's not super important and I definitely wouldn't want you to disassemble anything to measure it.

        • 73Eldo
          73Eldo commented
          Editing a comment
          I was thinking it would be easy to pull it out and measure but forgot that would require me to remove my battery and battery mount and bag to cut the cable ties to get slack in the cable. The post does have markings on it that I believe are CM to the max point so I measured that. I think fully extended and extended is 10 1/4".

        I got my spare derailleur hanger and it looks good. Tomorrow I'll see how it fits. The new rotors are coming so I figure I'll do it all at once.
        The brand is Pilo. I believe it's an Israeli company. The confusing part is there are two nearly identical hangers with the only difference being the spacing of the two screws that attach it to the dropout. One is 17.5mm spacing and the other is 18.7mm spacing. At least those are the figures that gives. My new hanger has a hole spacing of 18.08mm no matter how many times or what method of measure I use it's 18.08mm. It is listed as being 18.7mm spacing. And that's similar to what I get measuring the stock hanger on the bike.
        That .62mm is .024" difference.
        I can only assume that didn't accurately measure, because .62mm surely can't be production tolerance...
        If it fits it will stay on since it's black and the stock silver one will be the spare.


          Well the new Avid G3 clean sweep rotors arrived. While swapping them I pulled my head out of my ass and mounted a 203mm adapter the right way around on the rear and viola I now have 203mm front and rear.
          The full metallic pads haven't arrived yet so I think I'll finish off this set of semi metallics.
          I can't find any cracks in the 180mm rotor but it doesn't ring sharp when I tap it with a screwdriver.
          So the brake rotor upgrade saga has taken on a new chapter. I can't imagine any downside.

          I also installed the new derailleur hanger and it fits perfect.

          Tomorrow I'll bed the pads into the rotors. And I hope Saturday will be nice riding weather.

          Now for a cautionary tale. I love everything about this Axum and haven't found anything about it that seems inferior in quality. That is until I went to replace the derailleur hanger, the screws are delicate. Be aware that over tightening the screws for the hanger can cause the screw head to break off. The hex is sunk in so far that it reaches the thread and the two diameters are very close to the same size, this leaves very little material. I'm sure if I torqued it to an appropriate value for an m4 screw it wouldn't have broke.
          It's not a major issue for me since the new hanger came with screws.
          Click image for larger version

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            I want to reiterate for posterity that I really like the brakes as they came stock on this bike. But for an e bike they were a little lacking. That is the only reason for my brake upgrades. The real area they were lacking wasn't in stopping ability but in pad wear. And since these are single action calipers and they require tools to adjust for wear I wanted to prevent wear. And in going to larger rotors I have done exactly that. I've gone more than 124 miles without needing to adjust for pad wear. That's on a bike that weighed 38# stock and now weighs 75#+ ready to ride with a 250# rider for a total of 325#+. Imagine the Schwinn engineers probably spec'ed the bike for a 180# rider on a 38# bike. That's about 100# less than what I have it doing. So weight is one half more than stock or 1/3 of it's current weight and as I'll show later I've added 32% more brake leverage...

            The old semi metallic pads are bedded into the new rotors and all seems well. I can tell I'll really like the new larger rear rotor. And the front feels better as well, the last 203 front rotor was heavily scalloped on it's outer diameter which really reduced surface area.
            Now compared to the stock 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors, the front has 11% more brake leverage with the 203mm rotor and the rear has 21% more brake leverage with its 203mm rotor. In total the brakes now have 32% more leverage, and its a change that you can feel. I can feel the extra 11% that the new rear upgrade has given.

            A 203mm rotor upgrade is an upgrade that I would recommend for most e mountain bike conversions that have cable disc brakes and a good fork(I wouldn't reccomend it for cheap Amazon forks or for forks that come on cheap Amazon bikes)
            For hydraulic disc brakes I think it's best to find out from the fork manufacturer what their max rotor size is.
            All that's required are 2 rotors and 2 adapters. It can be done for under $60.
            Not only do you get more leverage but less heat build up in the rotor. And less pad wear, which saves time on adjustments and pad replacement costs.

            This latest brake upgrade is going to make it even harder get motivation to try the dual action calipers. Plus I now have full metallic pads to try with these, and I'm not sure if I'll wear this set of semi metallics out before the end of this riding season.

            Having a motor makes bedding pads in so easy. No more pedaling up and down a hill to do it.


              Had a short ride today and I love these new rotors.
              Zero warping. And another 20 miles on the pad adjustment. I'm now up to 154 miles since adjusting the pads, and they are still good. I feel like I was pretty hard on the brakes today, though the ride didn't include any of the steep hills that I normally encounter.

              Hoping for good weather again tomorrow. Today's ride was short due to a birthday party, but as it turns out just as the ride was done the rain started. It wasn't supposed to rain today. And it's not "supposed" to rain tomorrow.


                Did 40 miles today. Lots of hills and the brakes were amazing. Even when my reading glasses fell off of my shirt collar at 46.1 mph. I grabbed both brakes and squeezed 5hem hard to a full stop. The stopping distance wasn't very far and not a bit of protest from the pads or rotors. Luckily the only car that came along missed them. They were about 6" to the inside of the white line and me riding up the shoulder on the wrong side probably saved them. Not a scratch or bend.
                But that incident wrecked my hopes for a 50 mph run. The bike felt stable and smooth. But this is a hill that I've had acoustic bikes over 50 mph on. This bike is the most stable feeling bike that I've ever rode down this hill. Click image for larger version

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                The ride ended with the trip odometer at 194 miles. So it's been 194 miles since adjusting the pads. That's pretty sweet. And they still don't require adjustment.

                Now I'm thinking again of ordering a pair of tires. I'm happy with how the stock tires handle and they are at 335 miles and the rear is probably only going to last to 400 miles before the center tread is completely gone. I think I'm going with stock tires, at $16 each I won't complain. I really don't feel like spending 4x more to see if I can get more miles. And I don't see many tires with a cross country style tread that are a hard compound. Most are soft and I don't want to spend 4x more and end up getting less miles from a pair.


                  I picked up a plan B fork at a garage sale over the weekend since the stock one doesn't seem to be doing that much for me and seems to be leaking more and more of something. The new fork is a NOS rigid Surly. I have a rigid fork on my off road bike and its work fine for me so figure the street bike should be the same. With my weight and the quality of the stock fork I don't think I am getting much out of it other than more weight to carry around. While I was test fitting the wheel in the new Surly I noticed it didn't align well in that fork either. I just assumed it was the stock fork that was the issue so now seeing the same thing on a new higher quality fork I pulled out the dish gauge to make sure the wheel was built correctly and it was. Turns out the issue is there is so little of the axle sticking out that the chamfuered edge if the axle barely sticking out was landing on the chamfuered edge of the fork was causing it to not sit straight in either fork. A little re centering took care of it on both forks. I'm not sure if its a 1x1 or Krampus fork but it fit the 2.35 tire I am currently running with room to spare so it should work. I'm not going to install it till I have a reason to but at least I have it on the shelf.

                  And speaking of weight, I was shopping for a new car rack and wanted to know what my bikes weigh. The Axum pretty much ready to ride with the big battery is 75 pounds. If I remove all the fairly easy to remove stuff like battery, trunk bag, and water bottles I can get it down to 52. My Pugsley with a Wolf battery is about 65 and I think a Wolf weighs about 12 pounds so so pretty similar. Medium duty car carriers seem to be good for about 50 so that is pushing it. I do see some rated for 75 but not in the 1 1/4" hitch variety which I am kinda stuck with with a couple of my cars.


                  • Dshue
                    Dshue commented
                    Editing a comment
                    75 is about what my Axum weighs with battery and a light pannier load.
                    The rigid fork should drop 4 or more pounds off the total. And I think even 2.35 tires should give enough cushion to make up for no suspension.

                  I went on a short ride yesterday (Memorial Day), about 26 miles. I had a car pull out in front of me at while I was going downhill about 30 mph, I can report that braking in extreme emergencies isn't a problem...
                  Then I almost did an over the bars on a curb hop(Imanaged to land on my feet). Either I pulled up too soon or didn't get high enough, I don't know, my thigh leg broke the bar end mirror off, my right thigh bent the shift levers and some how I broke the magnet for the front brake sensor. Just the magnet, and it didn't hit anything...
                  So after that I decided it was time to head home. On a bike path/sidewalk I watched a runner come at me for about 100 feet, when I was about 8 feet in front of him he suddenly swerved my way and I just missed him. He was looking straight ahead the whole time...
                  I had more misadventure in this short little 24 or so mile ride than I have in the last 300 miles...
                  The shifter just needed minor tweaking, I have plenty of magnets laying around so the misadventures only cost me a mirror, I ordered 2 more. I have been doing a lot of road riding and the mirror makes me a lot more comfortable.

                  Above all I'm glad I upgraded the rotor size.
                  And since I'm on the subject of brakes it's now been right about 225 miles since I last adjusted them. And the rear is just about ready for an adjustment.


                  • Mike_V
                    Mike_V commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Phew. Dshue
                    Lot's more people on the road now and it is summer
                    Some don't belong on the road.
                    @ ~ 15 MPH this weekend : I almost ran right over top of a young kid on a small dirt bike riding out into the street from his parents' driveway.
                    If I hit him and lived, sincerely, I would own that suburban McMansion & be living in their place.

                  I rarely get over 20 unless its a stretch of road/path where I know there isn't any intersections. There is an about mile long decent on one of my routes I really like because of the no intersections so I will often bomb down that. I can cost down it and get to about 25 and yesterday even the path was clear so I pedaled a bit and got to 33. There is a park at the bottom that maybe 1 in 10 times there is a car coming in or out of and sure enough I was coasting down maybe in the low 20's still and a car was coming out and he wasn't looking even though I was coming in the normal traffic direction so I started fairly hard on the brakes but then he did see me and stopped before he was across the trail so I didn't have to loose all my speed.

                  I'm really getting used to and like the suspension dropper. I now usually remember to drop it at stop lights and signs which makes it easier to get your feet on the ground or get on and off the seat.

                  I think I am getting closer to needing some brake adjusting and its been a couple hundred miles since the last adjustment. I think my rears are squeaking slightly going backwards like out of the garage but I have not noticed anything going forward. My front squeak hasn't come back since the last inner pad adjustment which was a while ago now. I do like the tool less adjustment of both pads with the Avid BB7 mtns.

                  I was working on another bike that has a road BB7 on the rear which may be older. It doesn't have an outer pad adjustment and the inner needs a tool, glad that changed later and or for the mtn version. That bike also has a TRP dual piston road caliper on the front that seems to work pretty good and that has both inner and outer adjusters you can access with a 3mm allen through a hole. What I was doing was swapping from drop to flat bars and before the conversion the guy was asking for a TRP caliper for the rear which we could not find in stock anywhere but after the conversion the new adjustment with the new levers he said they were fine and that was going to go to the bottom of the list. I was just using standard Bafang levers which as I had hoped would work well with road calipers. That may be an option for some others that are looking to change brakes like in the case of an Axum like bike. Do the bigger rotors and road calipers like the TRP duals? There does seem to be more road stuff in stock at the moment than mtb.


                  • Dshue
                    Dshue commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I believe the road and mtb stuff is interchangeable. The key difference still being the cable pull. The bafang levers will work better on road calipers because they pull more than the required amount of cable. In many cases I'll bet the bafang levers will feel better than even some of the high end road levers as far as responsiveness. Many road levers have too little pull even and require the pads to be extremely close whether on discs or rim.

                  Got a flat yesterday. Never found the item that did it but it made a hell of a racket hitting the fender.
                  Luckily the slime pre glued patches seem to stick well to the inner tube that Schwinn uses. Even luckier for me is it happened in front of a gas station with a working compressor. What wasn't so lucky was the fact that before leaving home I realized I still had the old patched spare inner tube in my pannier, I guess I didn't look too close when I took it out and put it on a shelf. Turns out it was the new spare that I took out. But oh well the patch still seems to be holding more than 24 hours and 50 miles later.


                  • 73Eldo
                    73Eldo commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The glue on rubber patches seem to last as long as the tubes so I would not worry if your 'spare' has a rubber patch on. The stick on ones I would say are only good for months to a year then they seem to start to leak. The stickers also seem to do better if you are on the bottom end of the tubes size range since the stickers don't seem to have much if any stretch in them. In the case of the stock axum that seems to come with a 3" tube in a 2.6" tire you should be good.

                    I have been able to peel off the stick on ones and put a rubber one on later. Historically I only patched tubes when I was out on a ride but after seeing the cost of fat bike tubes and how hard they could be to find last summer I started patching again.

                    You don't carry a pump or cartridges? Or was it just lucky that you didn't have to work that hard or use an expensive cartridge?

                  • Dshue
                    Dshue commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Just luck on the air compressor. I have a decent 2 stage frame pump but it is so slow with these large volume tires.
                    I'm probably going to leave the patched tube in as long as it doesn't lose air.
                    I don't care for how poorly my pre glued patches stick to "the old patched tube" that was my previous spare, but the patch I did on the stock tube looked to adhere nicely.

                  Well I decided to buy a programming cable from Luna. When I ordered it Thursday it wasn't marked out of stock and it still isn't but they still haven't shipped it.

                  They lost me as a customer. I paid extra for shipping. Sorry Luna but due to a $27 order that you aren't motivated to ship you'll never see another cent from me. That's at least 3 business days of nothing.