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  1. #1
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    Tiagra FD and shifter lever

    I have a stock Tiagra FD 4500 (2 rings). I've reported this problem before here
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-adjusment-OMG
    I still have the same problem and if the surface on which I'm riding it is not flat or downhill will not shift to the big ring no matter what.
    I heard that with this STI shifter you have to give it a big push to shift the ring but no matter how big the push is (until I break the shifter) will not shift if the road has the slightest incline angle.
    Could be the shifter itself? The bike is new though. I was told that this is a "normal" behavior but in my case I feel that it is abnormal. I tried loosening the H screw to expand the push length but it doesn't help much.
    The local LBS does not have another tiagra FD or 105 same with mine to try it out. I'm ready to buy myself another FD but I"m worried about compatibility. Should I try to open up the shifter and tthe ake a look inside?
    Am I out of ideas or out of options?
    Last edited by jb_alphamale; 07-20-10 at 08:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Check to make sure your right crank arm is properly attached to the bottom bracket and then make sure it is torqued to the proper specs. I would also recommend checking to make sure the bottom bracket is adjusted properly. It could be that the increased pressure on the cranks when you are on an incline are exacerbating a right crank arm or bottom bracket issue. Its worth checking out.

    if you open the shifter you may find it nearly impossible to put back together as they are not designed for easy overhaul.

    On another note:
    I don't agree with your shop mechanic (based on your previouse post you referenced) that STI wont shift chainrings when on an incline but this second round of postings seem to have you neglecting or rejecting sound advice given to you by multiple forum members. It is a bit counter intuitive to shift to the big ring while climbing...though not totally unheard of. In order to do so effectively one usually has to lighten the pressure they are putting on the pedals as the chain/drivetrain is under more tension when climbing. If you have applied this change in technique but are still having the problem then definately check your bottom bracket and crankarms as I suggest at the top of this post. If these things don't work then you need to go back to your shop and tell them they are full of ****e and talk to the owner about replacing your defective drive train.

    -j

  3. #3
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    Here is what I understand what you say:
    1. what reason would I have to change to the big ring while climbing?
    2. if I still want to do this then I have to lower the pressure on the pedals.
    I'll try to answer.
    1. I don't have any specific reason to do that but testing the new bike I came across with this issue which I didn't have before. I'd like to specify that this is my 1st bike with dropped bars.
    2. The only way to do that in my understanding is to lower spinning speed of the pedals while climbing. To be honest I didn't try that in purpose. Maybe I did it intuitively but for sure I'll do it tonight and I'll report back.
    I don't have tools to check the torque on the BB. I only have an 1/4 torque wrench. I'll do some reading on BB how to adjust and how to torque properly. I know s..t happens all the time but it is unbelievable how much trouble I have with a brand new $1200 bike.
    Thank for your advice.
    Last edited by jb_alphamale; 07-20-10 at 10:59 AM.

  4. #4
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    1. It does not matter the reason why you are changing to the big ring while climbing...if you want to do then do it. I am not questioning it...as I said it is just counterintuitive but not altogether unheard of.

    2. You were given advice when you posted about this subject in the past but apparently did not attempt to follow and report back any findings to help others on BF continue to assess your problem...instead you just posted your problem again.

    3. Based on your own admisssion, per your last posting, you have limited knowledge about your components and lack the correct tools to ensure proper installation. In this case it is best to take your bike to a quality bike shop and have them check out the bottom bracket and cranks for you. By quality bike shop I infer you either find a new shop that is empathetic to your problem or speak with the owner of the shop you bought your bike from and get him to be empathetic to your problems.

    4. It is good practice to ease up on the pedals any time you are changing gears while climbing whether you are shifting in the front or the rear. The drivetrain is under an increased amount of strain and damage is more likely when shifting under load. This does not specifically mean lower your spinning speed...but it does mean that you shouldnt be shifting your front deraileur to the large chainring while standing up and climbing a steephill. Just ease the force you are applying on the drivetrain from the moment you initiate the shifter until the chain relocates to the large ring.

    5. This is not a case of sh** happening all the time. This is a case of you not following the advice of folks who already chimed in on your stated problem. You just reposted the problem. Stop guessing around with this and follow some of the advice and then let us all know if it worked or not, or if anything changed. You now have two different courses of action to follow-up on...one being technique, the other being mechanical/component related.

    Good luck,
    -j

  5. #5
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    Sorry but I think you're being harsh and trying to teach me a lesson here and it is really not the case.
    Ref 3. A torque wrench is in between $100 and couple of hundreds bucks. I said I have a 1/4 one but not a 3/8 for the BB. I just don't have the money for that now. I've been to the LBS before and they didn't solve the problem. Twice. The bike is working and I ride it every day and another LBS is 40 miles away from me. In the other hand I'm trying to understand and learn so I won't need to go for everything to the LBS.
    Ref 2. I've got some help in my previous e-mail and also from you and I followed all the instructions and I reported back as much as I could. Thank you for that.
    Lowering the load on pedals while climbing is more a practical solution than a technical explanation of the cause and its solution.
    Ref 5.I re posted because initial topic was only related to the FD and I thought that also the shifter should be involved. You also came up with the crank set possibility.
    Reading your last answer I feel that I have to back up a little in asking for help here and this shouldn't be the message.
    I'm not at all technically challenged and I'm doing my homework but this is not as simple as a cable break or a crocked derailleur. It does have many components and this is what I'm trying to figure out.
    Solving the problem takes time and in this case when it is mainly coming from this forum then it needs inputs.
    Thank you for yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
    1. It does not matter the reason why you are changing to the big ring while climbing...if you want to do then do it. I am not questioning it...as I said it is just counterintuitive but not altogether unheard of.

    2. You were given advice when you posted about this subject in the past but apparently did not attempt to follow and report back any findings to help others on BF continue to assess your problem...instead you just posted your problem again.

    3. Based on your own admisssion, per your last posting, you have limited knowledge about your components and lack the correct tools to ensure proper installation. In this case it is best to take your bike to a quality bike shop and have them check out the bottom bracket and cranks for you. By quality bike shop I infer you either find a new shop that is empathetic to your problem or speak with the owner of the shop you bought your bike from and get him to be empathetic to your problems.

    4. It is good practice to ease up on the pedals any time you are changing gears while climbing whether you are shifting in the front or the rear. The drivetrain is under an increased amount of strain and damage is more likely when shifting under load. This does not specifically mean lower your spinning speed...but it does mean that you shouldnt be shifting your front deraileur to the large chainring while standing up and climbing a steephill. Just ease the force you are applying on the drivetrain from the moment you initiate the shifter until the chain relocates to the large ring.

    5. This is not a case of sh** happening all the time. This is a case of you not following the advice of folks who already chimed in on your stated problem. You just reposted the problem. Stop guessing around with this and follow some of the advice and then let us all know if it worked or not, or if anything changed. You now have two different courses of action to follow-up on...one being technique, the other being mechanical/component related.

    Good luck,
    -j
    Last edited by jb_alphamale; 07-20-10 at 12:03 PM.

  6. #6
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    You can buy a 1/2inch drive beam type torque wrench with a 3/8inch drive socket adapter from Autozone for less than $20...I think they sell them for between $10 and $15. This is assuming you are located in the US.

    The technical explanation is that a bicycle is not designed to easily accomodate shifting to higher gears between chainrings while under heavy load. You are taking somthing from a tensioned state and mechanically increasing the tension. you are also trying to push a load lateraly while it is under tension. The system is not designed to tolerate this well. That is the techinical aspect of this ordeal.

    BUT...you have stated this occurs no matter how large the incline which to me would indicate that it does not only occur when your are mashing the pedals as you climb but it happens when there is slightly more stress on the pedals than when you are riding on a flat surface or descending.

    Does the same problem occur if you are sprinting on a flat surface? or peddaling out of the saddle when you descending?

    Perhaps both times you took it to the shop you did not adequately explain to the mechanic what was going on. Or perhaps the shop you are going to is just ****e. Try a different shop. Get the mechanic to take your bike out for a spin where he rides and shifts the front derailleur while riding uphill to attempt to replicate the problem.

    Or...what ever dude.
    -j

  7. #7
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    Greenfieldja,

    I live in Canada.
    I got now the technical aspect of the problem.
    As far as I tested when I'm riding on flat surface or going down the hill no matter how much I mash the pedals it does the shift to the bigger ring. If the terrain becomes just a little inclined (very little) then it won't shift or sometimes if I force the shifter eventually it will but with a lot of complaints.
    I'll do tonight everything you suggested here. There is a 30 min trip biking to the LBS so I'll have plenty of occasions to test everything and then I'll ask them to test it themselves.
    I promise I won't open another post about it.
    Thanks again.






    Quote Originally Posted by Greenfieldja View Post
    You can buy a 1/2inch drive beam type torque wrench with a 3/8inch drive socket adapter from Autozone for less than $20...I think they sell them for between $10 and $15. This is assuming you are located in the US.

    The technical explanation is that a bicycle is not designed to easily accomodate shifting to higher gears between chainrings while under heavy load. You are taking somthing from a tensioned state and mechanically increasing the tension. you are also trying to push a load lateraly while it is under tension. The system is not designed to tolerate this well. That is the techinical aspect of this ordeal.

    BUT...you have stated this occurs no matter how large the incline which to me would indicate that it does not only occur when your are mashing the pedals as you climb but it happens when there is slightly more stress on the pedals than when you are riding on a flat surface or descending.

    Does the same problem occur if you are sprinting on a flat surface? or peddaling out of the saddle when you descending?

    Perhaps both times you took it to the shop you did not adequately explain to the mechanic what was going on. Or perhaps the shop you are going to is just ****e. Try a different shop. Get the mechanic to take your bike out for a spin where he rides and shifts the front derailleur while riding uphill to attempt to replicate the problem.

    Or...what ever dude.
    -j

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