BICYCLE OWNER’S MANUAL

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for purchasing a Staran Cycle mountain bike!  We are committed to ensuring that your new bike provides you with the highest level of performance and satisfaction.  

Although your new bike is capable of slaying the meanest trails, that doesn’t mean you are.  Mountain biking is a physically demanding sport that requires focus and attention from the rider.  Ride within your limits, practice your skills, and enjoy your sweet new ride.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please call or email via our contact page.  We’d love to hear your feedback.

GENERAL WARNING:

Mountain biking is a physically demanding sport that involves the risk of injury and damage to your body, others around you, your bike, and the property around which you ride.  By choosing to participate in this sport you are assuming responsibility and accept this risk and the potential consequences.  This risk can be mitigated, to some degree, by riding within your skill limits and carrying out routine maintenance on your bike.

For your safety and that of other riders, it is imperative that you follow trail markings and practice good trail etiquette.  Failure to do so may result in injury or death to yourself or others.  If you are unware of standard trail etiquette, or need recommendations on local trails in your area, we recommend joining a local riding club.

Throughout this manual, failure to follow the recommendations are typically cautioned with the consequence of injury or death.  This is the reality of mountain biking and a risk you accept every time you mount your bike. Mountain bikes are used on a wide variety of terrain, from busy city streets, to trails along cliff edges, to large gap jumps.  On a significant number of these trails, falling off your bike can result in serious injury or death (e.g.  falling off a cliff or into traffic).  Always ride with caution and be aware of your surroundings.  You and you alone are responsibility for your safety on the trail.  ­­

Because it is impossible to anticipate every situation or condition that can occur while riding, this manual makes no representation about the safe use of the bicycle under all conditions. There are risks associated with the use of any bicycle which cannot be predicted or avoided, and which are the sole responsibility of the rider.

This manual contains frequent use of the word WARNING, followed by description of a potentially hazardous situation.  If this warning is not followed serious injury or death may result.

Note: Your bike is intended for off-road use and does not come equipped with lights, reflectors, or a bell.  These may be legal requirements if you ride your bike on public roads.  Consult your local legislation for further details before riding your bike on public roadways.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

Step 1: Bike Fit

A proper fitting bike is not only required for your comfort and performance, it is also a safety requirement.   An improper fitting bike may cause you to fall off your bike, resulting in injury or death.  Before you ride, take the time to go through these basic fit checks:

WARNING: Always wear an approved helmet when riding your bicycle.  Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for helmet fit, use, and care.

Standover Height

The standover height is the distance from the ground to the top of the frame at the location where your crotch is when straddling the frame.  Straddle the bike wearing your riding shoes.  If your crotch touches the frame when you are flat footed, the frame is too big.  Do not ride the bike.   For off-road cycling we recommend a minimum standover height of 5 cm.

Saddle Height

The correct saddle height will depend on the style of riding you do and terrain.  The saddle height has a large influence on your riding comfort and performance.  Generally speaking, a lower saddle height is more appropriate for steep and technical terrain, while a higher saddle height offers more efficient pedaling at the expense of rider maneuverability.

Your Staran Cycle bike comes equipped with a dropper seat post that allows for easy on the fly adjustment of your saddle height.    We recommend that the seat post be adjusted such that in the fully extended position, the saddle height is set for pedaling efficiency.

 To set your saddle height:

  1. Sit on the saddle
  2. Place one heel on a pedal
  3. Rotate the crank until the pedal with your heel is in the down position, and the crank arm is parallel to the seat tube.

In this position, raise or lower your seatpost (the insertion into the seat tube) until your leg is straight.  The end result should be that while seated on the saddle with the dropper post in the fully extended position, you should be able to just touch the ground on the balls of your feet.

WARNING: It is important that the seatpost be inserted at least until the “minimum insertion point” marked on the seatpost.  Failure to do so may cause the seatpost to break.

Saddle Position

Your saddle can be adjusted forward or backward along the mounting rails.  The fore/aft saddle position can have a significant impact on your riding comfort and performance.  To move the saddle, loosen the clamping mechanism on the seatpost and adjust the saddle position.  As a starting point, your saddle should be adjusted such that with the pedals in the 3 o’clock position, your knee is directly over the crank arm spindle.

The saddle tilt can also be adjusted.  The seat angle can be adjusted by alternating between loosing and tightening the front and back bolts on the seatpost clamping mechanism.  If you are unsure of your preferred positon, we recommend starting off with the saddle in a neutral position or with a slight negative pitch.

Note: Small adjustments to the saddle pitch and forward/aft position can have a major impact on rider comfort.  Adjust the saddle in small increments.

WARNING: the saddle rails are clearly marked with the limits of where the seatpost clamping mechanism can safely attached to the saddle.  Clamping the saddle to the seatpost beyond these limit marks may result in failure of the saddle rails.

Handlebar height and angle

Your bike comes with a threadless headset.  The stem attaches to the steerer tube using a clamping type mechanism, adjusted by two screws on the outside of the stem. A star nut inside the steerer tube and a top cap secure against vertical movement of the fork.

The handlebar may be raised in height to suite rider preference.  The fork steerer tube has been cut to accommodate 30 mm of spacers.  To raise or lower the handler bar, simply unbolt the top cap and slacken the two clamp bolts on the stem.  The stem (with handlebars attached) can then be removed from the steerer tube, and the headset spacer position adjusted.

WARNING: Be sure to tighten and torque the stem clamp bolts progressively in an alternating fashion.  Failure to do so may result in under-torqueing of the bolts.  An under-torqued stem clamp bolt may loosen with time and compromise your ability to steer the bike.  Always ensure that the stem clamp bolt is correctly torqued.

Control Position Adjustment

The lateral location, and pitch, of the brake levers/shifter and dropper post remote can be adjusted.   To adjust the position of these controls, simply loosen the clamp bolt, and adjust the location to suite your preference.

Brakes

Brakes are setup with the rear brake located on the right side of the handlebar and the front brake on the left side.  If you are unfamiliar with this setup and would like it reversed, consult the brakes owner’s manual or a competent mechanic.

The brakes on your bike include a feature that allows for the tool less adjustment of the brake lever reach.  BEFORE YOU RIDE YOUR BIKE, check that you can comfortably reach the brake levers.  If you cannot, turn the reach control dial on the brake lever until you can comfortably reach the lever.  Your brakes also have a contact point adjustment.  Use this adjustment to change where your brakes engage in the level pull. Refer to the brake owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

Your bike uses hydraulic disc brakes.  If you notice a reduction in brake stopping power service may be required.  This service may include bleeding of air from the system, replacement of the brake pads, or replacement of the rotors.  Bleeding may be required when the brake lever is pulled and the brake lever feels spongey or there is insufficient braking force to rapidly stop the bike.  Pads must be changed when there is less than 0.5mm of thickness remaining.  Consult the brake owner’s manual or a competent mechanic for further details.

WARNING: Hydraulic disc brakes are very powerful.  Always test their power and modulation in a controlled setting until you are comfortable with their performance.  Stopping distance can increase in inclement weather (i.e. rain) or when the braking system has become wet (i.e. riding through standing water).

Wheels tightened

Your bike is designed with removable through axles on both the front wheels.  This system allows for the bicycle wheels to be easily removed for transport.  The front axle is a “quick-release” style axle and the rear is a hex wrench.  The front and rear axles should be tightened by hand until firmly snug.  There should be no lateral play of the wheel when tightened.  Periodically check the wheels for lateral play and re-tighten if required.

WARNING: Unsecured wheels may disengage from the bike during riding.  Before every ride, it is critical to ensure that your wheels have been securely attached to the frame.

Setup your suspension

Your bike comes equipped with front and rear suspension, both which use an air spring in the compression circuit.  The suspension spring rate is adjusted by changing the air pressure in the fork and rear shock. 

The correct amount of air pressure in the front and rear suspension is determined by your style of riding.

The table below provides the recommended starting pressure for your fork.

Suggested Starting Points for Setting Sag

Rider Weight (lbs)

Rider Weight (kg)

Fox FLOAT Pressure (psi)

X-Fusion Sweep RC HLR
Pressure (psi)

X-Fusion Sweep RL2
Pressure (psi)

120-130

54-59

58

55

60

130-140

59-64

63

60

65

140-150

64-68

68

65

70

150-160

68-73

72

70

75

160-170

73-77

77

75

80

170-180

77-82

82

80

85

180-190

82-86

86

90

90

190-200

86-91

91

95

95

200-210

91-95

96

100

100

210-220

95-100

100

110

105

220-230

100-104

105

110

110

230-240

104-109

110

110

110

240-250

109-113

114

110

110

 

If your bike is equipped with a Fox Float X rear shock, start by setting the shock air pressure (in psi) to match your body weight (in pounds).  For XFusion rear shocks, start by setting the shock air pressure (in psi) at 80% of your body weight (in bounds). 

For All Mountain type riding we recommend that the front and rear suspension sag be set at 25 – 30%. Adjust the air pressure in 5 psi increments as required to achieve the desired sag.  Be sure the rear suspension compression adjustment is set in the fully open position when measuring the sag.    Refer to the suspension owner’s manual for details regarding sag measurement.

Your front suspension may offer high speed compression, low speed compression, and rebound adjustment.  The rear suspension may include compression and rebound adjustment.  Consult the suspension owner’s manual for further details on these adjustments.

WARNING: Failure to maintain, check and properly adjust the suspension system may result in suspension malfunction.  Consult the suspension owner’s manual for recommended suspension service intervals

Step 2: Mechanical Safety Checklist

It is important to check the condition of your bike BEFORE EACH RIDE.  Take time before each ride and check that your bike is in good riding condition.  Failure to do so may result in injury or death to the rider.

Itemized below are the minimum inspection requirements to be completed before each ride:

  1. Nuts, bolts, screws, and fasteners – Even properly torqued bolts can shake loose with time. Before you ride, inspect your frame linkages and the bolts holding the various components to the bike.  These include handlebar, stem, saddle, seatpost, and wheels.  A visual inspection and quick wiggle of each component will help identify if anything is loose and needs tightening.  Note that a more thorough inspection including checking the bolt torque is recommended every 20 hours of riding.
  2. Make sure nothing is loose – Squeeze your brakes and rock the bike back and forth. The bike should feel solid. If there is any clunking or movement of the bike (except as a result of suspension compression) your headset or rear suspension linkages may be loose.  Pick your bike up a few inches and bounce it on the ground, listen for abnormal clunking sounds.
  3. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Your correct tire inflation pressure is determined by your weight, trail conditions, and tire setup (tube vs. tubeless).  Your bike comes stock running Stan’s tubeless setup.  Stan’s recommends a starting pressure of the rider weight (in pounds) / 7, less 1 psi for the front tire and plus 2 psi for the rear tire.  For a 185 lb. rider, that sets the front tire at 25 psi and the rear tire at 28 psi.
  4. Check that your disc brakes aren’t rubbing. Spin each wheel and listen for any contact of the rotor with the disc brake pads.  If there is contact, it may be the result of a warped rotor or a sticking piston in the brake caliper.  Refer to your brake user manual for further details regarding adjustment of the caliper piston.  A bent rotor can be bent straight, or if severely damaged, may require replacement.

 INTENDED USE OF YOUR BICYCLE

It is you, the rider, who has control over the terrain and features you ride.  It is therefore your responsibility to ensure that you understand the type of riding that your bike was designed for.  Using a bike for a style of riding that it was not designed to withstand may result in serious injury or death to the rider. 

Your bike was designed for what is commonly referred to as the All Mountain style or riding.  This is considered “Condition 4” riding under the ASTM F2043 standard.  Your bike exceeds the performance criteria categorized by Condition 4 of ASTM F2043. 

What does this mean?

Your bike is intended for riding technical trails.  Technical trail includes climbing, fast and flowy single track, and rough/aggressive descents.  Your bike will comfortably handle aggressive riding of steep, technical, and rough terrain.  Your bike was designed to handle jumps and drops up to 6’ in height.   The speed at which you can progress down a trail is significantly dependent on the terrain, rider weight, and your skill level.  We therefore do not specify a maximum speed for the bike.  Instead, we recommend that you build your speed on the trails progressively, and monitor the bike performance as you increase your speed. Continuous bottoming out of the suspension is a good indication that you are riding too aggressive for the components on the bike. 

Your bike was NOT designed for freeride, downhill, or dirt jumping riding styles.  The forces exerted on the bike for these more aggressive styles of riding are much greater and unpredictable than that of All Mountain riding.  Use of your bike for these styles of riding may results in failure of the bike, causing serious injury or death to the rider.

WARNING: The maximum rider weight is typically limited by the wheelset.  The Stan’s Arch Mk3 rims that come with the FSM-140 are rated to a maximum rider weight of 104 kg (230 lb.).  The maximum weight limit for the frame is 136 kg (300 lb.).

Bicycle Lifespan

While we have gone through great lengths to construct your bike with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship available, nothing lasts forever.  Mechanical components wear and ultimately fail.  That is a fact.  With time the components on your bike will wear and will eventually need to be replaced.  Continuing to ride your bike with broken or worn components may result in serious injury or death.

The service life of bicycle components varies significantly with the riding conditions, rider weight, frequency of riding, and level of routine maintenance carried out.  Use of your bike in competitive events, riding aggressive terrain, aggressive environmental conditions, trick riding, commercial use, and jumping can significantly shorten the service life of the bicycle and its components.

As the rider, you have full control and knowledge of the amount and severity of use your bicycle has experienced.  It is therefore your responsibility, and yours alone, to ensure that your bike is inspected for damage and maintained in a manner appropriate for your riding style. 

Included in this manual is a mechanical inspection checklist (see Step 2: Mechanical Safety Check).  We recommend that this Mechanical Safety Checklist be completed before every ride.  It is good practice.  You don’t want to be that person who ran into mechanical issues 15 km into your ride, and have to hike out of the trails, or worse.  Take the time before each ride and check your bike is in good working condition.

Fatigue of Metals

Your bike frame is manufactured from a high grade aluminum alloy.  Metals exposed to cyclical and repetitive forces undergo fatigue.  The accumulated damage resulting from repetitive or cyclical loading is called fatigue.   This phenomena occurs in all metals - even those used to construct aircraft and automobile structures.

For your bike frame, under normal use, this damage is on the microscopic level.  Any microscopic cracks will continue to grow with continued loading.  At some point, the damage may become observable to the naked eye in the form of cracks. Once the frame has begun to crack its integrity has been compromised, and failure is imminent.  The fatigue life refers to the duration of time which an object can endure repetitive loading before failure due to fatigue occurs.

Your bike is warranted against frame failure from workmanship for a period of 10 years.  Does this mean that the service life of your frame is only 10 years? No – the actual service life of the frame and components will vary significantly form rider to rider.  Impact with hard objects and exposure to high stress scenarios will reduce the service life of the frame.

It is therefore important to periodically inspect your frame for damage.  After any major crash, where the frame has been struck by a solid object at high speed, the frame should be inspected by a competent person for signs of damage.   For general riding we recommend that the frame be inspected for signs of fatigue and damage on an annual basis.  The table below provides some guidance on this inspection:

What to look for

Description

Resolution

VISIBLE CRACKING OF THE FRAME

Once a crack develops it will continue to grow at an exponential rate.  Any crack in a component or frame is dangerous, and will only become more dangerous with continued use.

Replace the cracked component immediately.  Do not ride the back if any component is cracked.

CORROSION

Corrosion of metal weakens the structure and can lead to premature failure of a component.  Inspect your bike frequently for signs of corrosion.

Keep your bike clean, well lubricated, and protect your bike from a corrosive environment.  If you are biking in winter conditions, remove salt from the bike immediately following each ride.

DEEP SCRATCHES, DENTS, AND GOUGES ARE PRIME LOCATIONS FOR CRACKS TO DEVELOP

Cracks, dents, and scratches create local weak points in a structure.  Stresses will typically concentrate at these weak points, resulting in failure of the component.

Do not scratch, dent, or gouge your bike!  Not only because it is a beautiful work of art, but also because this damage will directly reduce the strength of the damaged component.  If your bike does happen to experience such damage, monitor the area frequently for signs of cracking.

CREAKING NOISES

Sometimes bikes creak because of loose components (e.g. bottom bracket, loose seat post).  Sometimes bikes creak due to movement of damaged components.  A creaking bike may signal that there is damage to the component or the frame.  A well maintained bike should not creak.

If your bike is creaking it's time to complete a thorough mechanical check.  Inspect that all bolts are properly torqued.  Inspect the frame for signs of damage.  A creak indicates something is loose or damaged and needs to be promptly addressed.  If you cannot locate the source of a creek, we recommend that you bring the bike to a professional mechanic for inspection.

 

Composites

Composite materials behave much differently than metals. Carbon fiber has become widely used in the bike industry due to its high strength to weight ratio.   While carbon fiber is very strong and light, it fails much differently than metal.

Why is that?

For one thing, unlike metal, carbon fiber is an anisotropic material.  This means that its properties differ in each dimension.  Engineers lay and bond the carbon fibers in specific directions and patterns to achieve the desired directional material properties.  This allows engineers to strengthen the material properties in the direction that forces are applied, allowing for improved performance characteristics and reduced weight.  While this is great for shaving weight off the bike and improving a few other things (e.g. vibration dampening in handlebars), it can also mean that the component will more easily break (relative to its metal counterpart) if loaded in a manner that was not accounted for in the component design.

Secondly, carbon fiber is not ductile.  There are two basic properties that are used to describe how a material behaves – elasticity and ductility.  Elasticity refers to the ability of a material to deform under a given applied stress, and return back to its original shape following removal of that applied stress.   The yield point describes the applied stress at which point a material no longer exhibits elastic behavior.  At an applied stress beyond the yield point, the material either undergoes permanent plastic deformation (if ductile), or breaks (if not ductile).   Metals are ductile and deform when loaded past their yield point.  Carbon fiber is not ductile and will suddenly break when loaded past its yield point.

I just want to ride my bike, why the science lesson?

The important takeaway here is that when loaded beyond their design limits, metals bend then break, and carbon fiber snaps.  Understanding the materials your bike is constructed of and their behavior will ultimately improve your safety.   The better you understand your bike and its components, the better you will be to manage your riding risk.  If you are a risky rider and are looking to push the boundary of what a bike can handle, understand how your components may fail before you take that risk.

Since carbon can break in an abrupt manner, it is imperative that you regularly inspect any carbon components on your bike.  Thoroughly inspect a carbon component for signs of damage immediately following a severe impact, before getting back your bike. Deep gouges or scratches in the carbon surface, delamination of the carbon fiber layers, or deformation of the part are indicators that the carbon has been damaged.  A damaged carbon part must not be ridden.  Either replace the part or take your bike to mechanic for inspection. 

MAINTENANCE

Your bicycle is a high performance machine.  To maintain a high level of performance, ongoing maintenance of your bike is required.  Some of this maintenance can and should be performed by the Owner, and requires no special tools or knowledge beyond that presented in this manual.

Note: This manual is not intended as a comprehensive service or repair manual.  Please consult the component manufacture instructions for the detailed maintenance requirements for each component.  Always consult a competent bike mechanic if you are not experienced or unsure of how to properly care for your bike.

It is recommended that the following service be carried out by the Owner:

  1. Your bike requires a break in period. The break-in period is typically 5 hours of hard off-road use.  During this period the rider may notice a change in the mechanical performance of their bike as a result of initial wear and seating of components.  Following the initial break-in period, adjustment of some mechanical components may be required (e.g. adjust shifter due to initial cable stretch).  Refer to the component user manuals on www.starancycles.com/manuals for the detailed maintenance instructions for each component on your bike.  If you do not feel comfortable carrying out this maintenance, take your bike to a competent mechanic. 
  2. Before every ride, carry out a basic mechanical safety check (Step 2: Mechanical Safety Checklist)
  3. After every ride;
    1. Use a soft cloth and mild detergent to wipe off grease and dust from the fork stanchions and rear shock. Take care to wipe off grime accumulated around the seals.  DO NOT use a pressure washer to clean the fork and shock.  Doing so may drive water past the seals and damage the components. 
    2. If your ride was through dusty or muddy conditions, clean your bike when you get home. Excessive mud build up will reduce your bikes performance and potentially result in premature component wear. It is OK to wash your bike with a garden hose – just be careful not to blast high pressure water directly on the suspension components.  After washing your bike, lubricate your chain.  Take caution NOT to get lubricant on disc brake pads or rotors.
  4. It is normal for your shifting to go out of tune with time due to cable stretch. Consult the shifter and derailleur owner’s manual for detailed instructions regarding the adjustment of the shift action.
  5. After every 20 hours of riding;
    1. Squeeze the front and back brake levers and rock the bike. If you notice a clunk when you rock the bike, your headset or rear suspension linkages may be lose. Check that the top cap and frame bolts are torqued correctly.
    2. Degrease and lubricate your chain. The frequency of cleaning your chain will depend on your riding conditions. After 20 hours of riding (minimum, more frequent is better) remove your chain and soak it in degreaser.  A clean chain is one of the most important things for smooth operation of your drivetrain.  A dirty and poorly lubricated chain will severely impact the performance of your bike.  A clean chain = a happy bike. 
    3. Check your spokes. Spokes can loosen with time for a variety of reasons.  Squeeze adjoining pairs of spokes of either side of the rim between your index finger and thumb.  Do they feel similar?  If one feels looser than the other, have a mechanic check your spoke tension and wheel for trueness. 
    4. Check the tires for excessive wear or cutting. Replace as necessary.
    5. Check your rims for signs of damage – deep scratching, denting, deformation, etc. Replace as necessary.
    6. Inspect the frame, handlebars, and stem for signs of wear. Cracking, deformation, discoloration, and deep scratching are signs that the component has stress-caused fatigue and needs to be replaced.

 WARNING: Wheels and tires are what connect you to the ground.  Excessive wear can cause handling problems or even failure resulting in injury or death.

WARNING: Should you or your mechanic notice any problems with safety critical components (e.g. brake pads) they must be replaced with genuine replacement parts to ensure compatibility and integrity of the system.