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Old 03-31-09, 10:36 AM   #1
wristwister
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Click-to-shift: How good SHOULD it be?

Hey folks, I recently picked up a new Specialized Sequoia, and this is my first bike with click to shift. Really slick, I flick the brake levers to shift up and flick a thumb lever to shift down (or visa versa, don't remember). This seems like quite an improvement from the "old school" I'm used to, where you fiddle with levers till she stays in gear and quits clattering and skipping.

I bought the bike from a very reputable shop, and they supposedly adjusted everything to perfection before I picked it up. But I'm curious about that shifting. It isn't perfect! Usually the click is rewarded with a quick precise shift to the next sprocket, but often it doesn't hit quite right. Either the shift doesn't happen, or it shifts but skips teeth and clatters till I shift back and forth a bit.

So my question is, should I expect perfection here? Should I march this bike right back to the shop and demand that they re-adjust the derailers? Or is this just typical of click-to-shift? Is it just the nature of the beast that I hit occasional mis-shifts and that's as good as it gets? Or is there perhaps something I'm doing wrong in my shift technique?

Any advice would be most appreciated, thanks.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:48 AM   #2
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Looks like the sequoia has brifters. What level Sequoia do you have? If it's base, it has Sora... they're workable, but may require some tweaking to get "just right". I suggest taking it back to your LBS and do your best to describe to them what issues you're having rather than fooling with it yourself at this point.

I will say that my experience with Sora is that the back can be dialed in reasonably well, but the front I've found match your description.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:51 AM   #3
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Probably just the cables stretching after the install. Properly set up and with good shifting technique on your part, the STI setup should shift smoothly.

As for "march this bike right back to the shop and demand that they re-adjust the derailleur?" How about bringing in a 6 pack and ASK! Most bike shop employees react much better to beer and courtesy than demands. Although your post implies you may have already burned some bridges. Good luck...
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Old 03-31-09, 11:18 AM   #4
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A lot of shops will do a free adjust within the first couple months. Common practice since new cable housings will wear in and throw off the adjustment.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:34 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. A little more info: I just picked this bike up and only have 20 or so miles on it. It's the base model, not the Elite. Yes, the shop said bring it in after a couple months for adjustment, but this shifting issue has been pretty much out-of-the-box. And no Eric, I haven't burned any bridges, This is a very reputable shop, and I have no doubt they will bend over backward to make things right (no beer required!).

My primary question is whether I should expect the shifting to be smooth and perfect every time or whether these "brifters" normally require occasional fussing during shifts to get things right. So far from the responses, it sounds like a little mis-shifting is normal, but I might be seeing a bit more than a little. My big concern is the teeth skipping that sometimes occurs. I can shift and all seems well, but occasionally a tooth will skip. I can fix it by fiddling with the shifter, but that tooth-skipping can't be good for the bike, especially when I'm under power.

Thanks for the quick advice, and keep it coming!
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Old 03-31-09, 11:42 AM   #6
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If it's properly adjusted, it should pop right in and stay there. That's the whole point of indexed shifting. If it's improperly adjusted, it's inferior to friction shifting because, as you know, you'll just wiggle the lever to get it perfectly on the cog.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:49 AM   #7
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I think that when you have returned for re-adjustment, you will find shifting greatly improved. That still depends on the rider of the bike. Even the best shifting is only as good as the "shift-er".

Remember that when you shift gears, you are physically moving the chain from one ring or cog to another. Like in stick shifting a car, that can only happen if the chain is moving. Many new cyclists expect the chain to shift by simply moving the lever. You have to ease off the pressure on the pedal while still pedaling, and wait for the chain to complete its change before resuming pedal pressure. Also consider the fact that the front shift moves more chain onto a vastly different size ring than the rear shift, so it may take 1/2 second until your chain teeth have meshed with the new chain ring.

That means practicing shifting. "Reading the road" and shifting in advance of the road codition. For example, if you see a big hill coming up, don't wait until you are on the hill, feeling resistance to get off the big chain ring. Shift in time to meet the change in hill with the right gear. (Just in case you weren't aware of the "art" of shifting).
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Old 03-31-09, 11:57 AM   #8
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Talk to your shop. This isn't unusual (and not a big deal) and it's one reason to use an LBS. (Think of it as you and your shop working together.)
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Old 03-31-09, 12:08 PM   #9
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I have a Giant I purchased recently with Sora brifters. It shifts perfectly in all the different combinations. No slipping, skipping or fiddling required. Your lbs should take care of it. I would go there and ask them if it's normal for the bike to do what you describe. They will fix it on the spot most likely.
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Old 04-01-09, 04:22 AM   #10
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I have a lot of experience with all kinds of bikes and shifters.
I find if I dont make a firm press on shift levers of road STI and some MTB rapid fire that it miss shifts.
so maybe practice shifting in a park with no traffic. so you can look at whats happening
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