NEXT Avalon Commuter Upgrades

These are bikes that work well on the road for recreational riding or trips to the store and also work for paved or well groomed bike trails, rails-to-trails and around the block.
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NEXT Avalon Commuter Upgrades

Postby twa318 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:45 pm

So I just picked up a NEXT Avalon Mens comfort bike from Wallyworld on the cheap. This is going to be my daily commuter bike for a 13 mile round trip on flat pavement five days a week. The bike is going to live its whole life outside, due to the fact my workplace and apartment have no indoor bicycle storage.

I can already tell that the brakes will need to be upgraded. Does anyone have experience with the bike and can offer any upgrade options or problem areas to watch out for? While its going to be a beater bike I would like to keep it as serviceable as possible for as long as I can.

This is the bike in question:

Image

Any advice or tips are appreciated.
twa318
 
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Re: NEXT Avalon Commuter Upgrades

Postby Tomcat65 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:23 pm

Sharp bike! I always wondered what difference that lil rear suspension cushion made
An every day bike is going to need bottom bracket upgrades, shifters and maybe wheel upgrades. When you do maintenance on the bike, you'll be needing a good marine flavored grease.
Things that will wear out, grips, pedals, tires, brake pads, seat. And you'd be well off to just go ahead and buy a few extra inner tubes and a mini pump that attaches to the bike somewhere. Flats are going to be your new enemy.

Personally, I'd be looking at new brake levers, and experimenting with different brake pads. Some will work better than others, but none will impress you when it's wet, until you get a real good feel for the difference in a higher quality pad and a WalMart replacement pad. I always like alloy pedals better than plastic, a broken pedal will drive you nuts. Chain lube is great too! The stuff WalMart sells isn't bad. It's a dry lube that goes on wet and dries, leaving a slick wax-like film. Forget replacing that fork for a while, 1" threaded suspension forks are getting harder to find. Keep yours oiled and clean, it should last quite a while.

Have fun with it! As you ride, it will tell you what's wrong lol.. You just have to pay attention :)
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Re: NEXT Avalon Commuter Upgrades

Postby Falkon45 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:19 pm

Tomcat hit everything right on the head. Thankfully, that bike uses a 3 piece crank, but I can't remember if it uses steel crank arms or aluminum crank arms. Weight is a bit of a concern, but not much.

Pedals: yes, replace those. Next want very up to the task of using great pedals.

Brake levers: again, something next was very good at picking out. Some avid levers are a good starting point. If you dig around, you can probably find a whole set for a decent price. Brake pads (good ones) usually come with the set also.

Tires: get some and keep them on standby. Go ahead and kill the stock ones first. For Street riding, they'll do fine. Stay close to the max pressure to keep rolling resistance down.

Bottom bracket: keep it greased out change it. Next uses caged bearings. The cages are the weak point. I know this from experience. To keep service on the low side, go ahead and swap to a sealed cartridge BB.

Shifter: use it until it dies. It will. Not sure when, but it will. After it dies, look into something a little better. SRAM comp and SX series shifters are good.

Derailleur: use it until it dies. There's a few really good options that will work for you afterwards. I'll add those later.

Fork: don't worry about it too much. Like tomcat said... Keep it clean, keep it lubed.

Stem: it's perfect

That's about x all I can think of for now.
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Re: NEXT Avalon Commuter Upgrades

Postby twa318 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:53 pm

From a few web searches I keep seeing people having issues with the rims, which apparently don't stand up well to any kind of abuse. I've also seen multiple mentions of weak bottom brackets, so I'll keep my eyes peeled on ebay and craigslist for any deals. There are a few brake lever/pad kits on ebay for $30, it makes me wonder how quality they are for such a low price though.

Thank you both for the detailed replies. I will absolutely keep this post updated with any upgrades and all maintenance performed.
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Re: NEXT Avalon Commuter Upgrades

Postby Falkon45 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:29 pm

Sunrace has some great sealed BB units for around $12-18. Most of the guys here use the shimano un25 or un55. Their prices are $15-25. Honestly, if you're looking, go ahead and look for a full set. Bb, and crank arms together. I'm not sure what your spindle length is, though.

The wheels I didn't know about. But, next is known for using crap ($99 bikes will do that). My old next shocker did okay with its wheels, and I beat the ever loving mess out of that bike with the stock wheels. If you look around, you can buy some slightly stronger (but still single walled) wheels for around $58. They still take a freewheel and come in cool colors. I had a green and black set on my shocker.
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