The main problem that stands out to me is - as strong as Commencal's bikes are - when you slacken the head angle and add more weight to the front end, especially simultaneously, you are putting a ton of stress on your head tube which is likely designed around a specific travel fork. As you could imagine there's already a ton of stress on the head tube as it ...
I see a late 2000's MTB of decent quality, or an early 2010s bike of medium quality.
The wheels are 26" and while there's nothing wrong with them, more modern MTBs moved toward larger wheels.
Disk brakes - a low end bike would have still had rim brakes.
Fork stanchions are bare - the lack of covering boots shows the front suspension is ...
The beauty with friction shift levers is they're compatible with almost every derailleur.
The greatest challenge is to get the rear shifting dialed in with the closely spaced rear cassette cogs on 10, 11 and 12 speed setups. But your Hilltopper was probably sold with 7 or 8 speeds in the back which will work perfectly for friction shifters. If one over or ...
Yes, QR axles can be replaced at will with solid axles for all standard axle hubs. (Standard axle means a hub that can accept a generic third party axle. Many hubs are not.)
Be mindful that the common toothed type axle nuts are good at tearing up aluminum and carbon frames. Use washers and grease the threads.
Instead of rebuilding a new hub to your rim, it will probably be most cost effective to get a new rear wheel with one of the louder freehubs or you could even go for a complete set of wheels so the front & rear wheels have the same spokes & rims.
BUT, Shimano XT hubs are excellent and yes Shimano is noted for making quiet freehubs. I have wheels ...
As Argenti Apparatus already mentioned, the sound comes from the hub. There are various kinds of springs and ratchets in different hubs. You can use this Youtube playlist with hub sound checks as a guide when selecting your hub. The videos also contain explanation commentary for the features of the sounds.
It's the freehub rachet mechanism in the hub that makes a rapid repeated clicking sound when you stop pedaling. The cassette is not involved as it slides on the splined freehub body and has no moving parts. (Older technology freewheels combined the sprockets and rachet mechanism on on unit though.)
Silent or quieter hubs are usually considered an upgrade. ...
This answer is admittedly not all that different from Nathaniel's and David's, but I'll try to be a bit more specific, and to build off the point Michael made in the comments.
First, bikes are actually quite complex objects. I realize that high-performance bikes can seem very expensive. It may seem absurd to spend $5,000 on a high-end bike. You can ...
Dunno where I first heard it, but I used to use the phrase, "the best bike is the one you've got," all the time at the shop.
To answer your questions:
Will it hold up?
No - and no bike will if you're riding it. Every bike, regardless of what you spend initially, will require regular maintenance. From my many years as a mechanic I've come to believe that ...
Is my bike any good?
It depends on what you mean by "good".
There are many definitions of the word "good". Definition 2.3 and 2.4 in the dictionary are a good fit for this situation.
2.3 Useful, advantageous, or beneficial in effect.
‘a little sun is good for you’
2.4 Appropriate to a particular purpose.
‘this is a good month for ...
You need a 3/8"x26tpi (threads per inch) axle nut. For decades they've all had 15mm wrench flats. (I believe that is something where you can find other examples in very old American, British, and probably other inch country bikes, but that is here nor there.) Bike shops have them.
3/8x24 is usually only for internally geared and coaster brake axles. ...
Black stripes on the disks usually means contamination. Disks should look shiny and clean.
This could have been picked up from the road e.g a splash of oil or diesel, or the callipers are borked and leaking fluid or oil depending on what Clarkes use.
Take the callipers off the bike and examine them. They will be dirty but shouldn’t look “wet” behind the ...
If the choice is between buying a bike that is too large or waiting for the right sized bike then the best choice is to wait.
Much has been asked and answered on this topic on Bicycles Stack Exchange:
How can I tell if the size of a bike is right for me?
Choosing the right bike size
Riding wrong size frame
Would this be unsafe/unpleasant ...