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  1. #1
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    Index gears: not enough clicks

    [Didn't search for this, but I really didn't know what to search for]

    I've got a mezzo folding bike that uses fairly standard parts. I've had it serviced by several different people, so when I had it serviced last time, the guy told me someone had put a 7 speed shift in despite having a 9 speed cassette I took him at his word. He told me he'd adjusted it to give me the 7 highest gears, which I had been ok with until I went to a hilly part of my city and had to get out and walk.

    So today I finally took a look at my bike. Both the derailleur and the shifter are original. I'm trying to sort this out with the help of Sheldon Brown - it's tricky - but something that isn't on his page: My 9 speed shifter only clicks 7 times. Basically, when I am changing down I have two cogs left, but only one click, if you see what I mean. How do I get my last click back?

    2008 Mezzo D9
    2012 Giant Avail 2

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    You need to tune your rear derailleur.

    Go to the Park Tool website for a good set of step-by-step instructions. My advice is to completely disconnect the shift cable from the derailleur and start from the very beginning as if you were installing the derailleur for the very first time. Follow the steps in order because that's significant.

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    If your lever has 7 clicks, then it's an eight speed. Look at the 4 knuckles on your hand. Put your finger on one, then shift to the others counting as you do so, 3 shifts for four knuckles and 7 clicks for 8s.

    Now that we have you up to at least 8s, it's possible that the genius who told you only had seven missed something. The only way check is to remove or slacken the cable and shift while tensioning the cable with your hand, then count. You start at the 1st gear and count clicks, 1 to 2nd,... 7 to 8th, 8 (hopefully) to the 9th.

    Once you verified that you do in fact have a 9s lever, you can proceed to set up the gears according to one of the many tutorials available.

    BTW - if you only have 6 or 7 clicks, then either your bike did come with the wrong lever set, or possibly there's an internal problem. Bring it to an LBS, not the same one as before to have the levers checked out.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 07-31-10 at 03:36 PM.
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  4. #4
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    I have the same problem, but I assembled the bike myself from 2 different bikes. I have 6 gears on the grip shift handlebar, 7 on the rear cog; but I only get 1-5 gears.
    I am peddleing too fast for my gears, I may try and get the 2-7 gears and be happy with that.

    S

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    What often happens is that the shifter was not in the correct position (all of the cable out) when the cable was attached to the derailleur.
    This would incorrectly eliminate the first click or two. Solution is to disconnect the cable from the derailleur. Activate the shifter to let all of the cable out while pulling on the free end of the cable. Then reattach an adjust as needed.

  6. #6
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    Actually if the shifter is not in the high gear (cable slack) position but in the next one up it would eliminate the LAST click, as the derailleur would hit the low gear stop first, but I agree you need to disconnect the cable and confirm that you get 9 positions or 8 clicks. Then reinstall and adjust properly. If you indeed do not have 9 positions then the lever is not working properly any more.
    Last edited by cny-bikeman; 07-31-10 at 03:45 PM.

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    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Are you sure you have matching 9 speed shifter and cassette? if you are re-adjust everything and double check shifter at the same time.
    Move the chain to the smallest cog
    Loosen the cable clamp at the RD clamp.
    Click the shifter all the way down to the smallest cog. (Check shifter now) click it up count click you should have 8 on a 9 speed shifter it it does you have a 9 speed shifter if not problem.
    If it does click it down till it stops.
    Turn in all barrel adjusters in.
    Pull cable with fingers tight and set clamp on RD.
    Remove slack if any with barrel adjuster.Shift up one gear if chain does not move up one turn barrel adjuster on RD counter clock wise till it moves up. (Turning Crank)
    Shift up one more it should shift up one more if not turn barrel adjuster a little more till it does or if its slow moving up do the same.
    Shift down it will go down one cog shift down once more it should be back on small cog.
    Now run thru the gears it will shift at this point.
    Simple process!

    Added Note: Do check limit adjusters both Hi and Low
    When you have cable loose set them by moving RD with fingers and looking from the rear and set limit screws so the jocky wheels line up with cassette on each end of the cassette.
    Last edited by JTGraphics; 07-31-10 at 02:44 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone, that's brilliant.
    The fixing could leave my bike in pieces, so I've found a local cycle group that has a maintenance night. I'll print out the relevant web pages and advice above and take them along. If I get in a bad state, there should be someone there to rescue me.

    I'll let you know how I go.

    (it is a definite 9-speed, the equipment is original to the bike. But I may be replacing it soon :-( )
    2008 Mezzo D9
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  9. #9
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    If it's ALL original to the bike then the mechanic was wrong about it being a 7 or 8 speed shifter with a 9 speed cassete. Detaching the cable from the rear and then pulling on it while upshifting as far as the shifter will go will tell you soon enough.

    With the cable pulled click on the shifter as many times as it'll go. But the key is to say "one" before the first lever click. Then "two", click, "three", click and so on. The first position before you click being "one" since there's no "zero" speed...
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    Easy enough test - shift to the smallest cog, disconnect the cable from the derailleur and click the shifter through its paces again. See if it still clicks just seven (meaning 8-speed) or if it reaches that eighth click (meaning 9-speed).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
    Easy enough test - shift to the smallest cog, disconnect the cable from the derailleur and click the shifter through its paces again. See if it still clicks just seven (meaning 8-speed) or if it reaches that eighth click (meaning 9-speed).
    Exactly, two minute job. Disconnect cable, then click,click, click. Return shifter to smallest cog position, attach cable, and you are there. A shop should be able to sort this out quickly.

    If everything is original, I can't believe shifter does not match cogs.
    Last edited by wrk101; 08-05-10 at 06:04 AM.

  12. #12
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    Update: I released the cable and got my 8 clicks back. Reattached and back to 7. The problem is adjustment, but I'm not having much luck with that. I will definitely be going to the local cycle clubs maintenance night, and I expect it will be sorted in a few minutes. And I will then by a skillful derailleur adjuster.

    Edit: Not taking it to a shop. I spend £150 with these guys (full service) that left it in this state. It's time I learnt how to service my own bicycle. I don't mind spending the money if the job gets done, but i want all my gears for that :-)

    Edit 2: Thanks for the help so far, and will report back when I have fixed it. If I didn't have the option to find someone to teach me, I'd spend more time on the park tools site, but so far it's been adjust .... oh, that's worse ... try to put it back the way it was. But I am happy I understand much more about derailleurs, and the state of the equipment on my cycle.
    Last edited by jefmcg; 08-22-10 at 12:52 AM.
    2008 Mezzo D9
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    Update: I released the cable and got my 8 clicks back. Reattached and back to 7. The problem is adjustment, but I'm not having much luck with that.
    Push at the derailer with your hand (while turning the wheel). Will it shift to all gears now? If not, then one of your limit screws is set wrong and needs to be backed out.

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    Use the instructions at www.parktool.com. Pay attention to all of the details. Do all of the steps in proper sequence.
    The bike needs to be set up in riding position when the adjustments are made.
    Last edited by Al1943; 08-22-10 at 08:25 AM.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for your help. I turned up to a maintenance night, and I did need help: I was never going to recognise that the derailleur was bent. We couldn't see what the problem was, but no amount of adjusting the screws would allow it to move onto the lowest gears. The general scuffed nature of outside indicated it has had a rough life (yes, at my hands mostly).

    Thanks for your help, I'm now derailleur shopping.

    joan
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    Thanks everyone for your help. I turned up to a maintenance night, and I did need help: I was never going to recognise that the derailleur was bent. We couldn't see what the problem was, but no amount of adjusting the screws would allow it to move onto the lowest gears. The general scuffed nature of outside indicated it has had a rough life (yes, at my hands mostly).

    Thanks for your help, I'm now derailleur shopping.

    joan
    Just the derailleur cage was bent? Seems unlikely. Hope you have a replaceable derailleur dropout as that will likely need replacing as well.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbfight View Post
    Just the derailleur cage was bent? Seems unlikely. Hope you have a replaceable derailleur dropout as that will likely need replacing as well.
    Thanks. It looks fine. And the damager to the derailleur is subtle. It also looks fine, and shifts smoothly between the top 7 gears. And when the damage occurred, I didn't notice it at all in handling. We just think it must be bent, as we can't see why it doesn't have it's full range of movement.

    But I'll have a good look at it before ordering the parts.
    2008 Mezzo D9
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    ...no amount of adjusting the screws would allow it to move onto the lowest gears.
    Even if you unhook it from the cable and push on it by hand?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    Even if you unhook it from the cable and push on it by hand?
    Yup, that's what we were doing last night. Then we unbolted the derailleur from the bike and just tried to "straighten" it. It wouldn't move past a certain point, and that point was about 2 gears from the bottom. At this point the Low gear limit screw was sticking out about 7mm, and it was definitely not impeding movement.

    thanks again.
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  20. #20
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    Or maybe the guy who mentioned "7 speed shift" meant that the derailleur only has a range for 7-speed. IOW, the wrong derailleur for the existing shifter and cassette.

    When you pushed the der manually, and couldn't get it onto the two largest cogs, did you happen to notice whether the derailleur or the pulley cage itself was hitting the second cog?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    Yup, that's what we were doing last night. Then we unbolted the derailleur from the bike and just tried to "straighten" it. It wouldn't move past a certain point, and that point was about 2 gears from the bottom. At this point the Low gear limit screw was sticking out about 7mm, and it was definitely not impeding movement.
    OK, then you've got a verified unusual fault with your bike. I haven't even had that when using bolt-on RDs.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
    Or maybe the guy who mentioned "7 speed shift" meant that the derailleur only has a range for 7-speed. IOW, the wrong derailleur for the existing shifter and cassette.
    Damn! thank you. That's probably it! I had a free service at work. Company paid for labour, we paid for parts. I wasn't that interested, just wanted to keep it running smoothly. They may have replaced the cogs with a fatter set than original.

    If that's right, I need to swap out the gears, not the derailleur. Damn, I want to replace it with a set with a higher high gear, but I believe this means a wheel rebuild.

    (My bike has 16" wheels. With the 11 tooth chainring gives me a maximum of around 20mph, so I'd like to opt for the 9 tooth, but I think that involves a new hub. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/capreo/index.html . It's a capreo derailleur)
    Last edited by jefmcg; 08-27-10 at 04:38 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
    Or maybe the guy who mentioned "7 speed shift" meant that the derailleur only has a range for 7-speed. IOW, the wrong derailleur for the existing shifter and cassette.
    IME even when using bolt-on der.hangers the der has always been able to reach all the way across, so I seriously doubt that this would be the case.

    Derailers aren't picky, particularly when staying within the Shimano family.

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