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Old 09-27-10, 06:33 PM   #1
christina7689
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New bike problems...

Hi there,

I bought a bike this summer, first one since i was a kid. I feel like i am having issues with it. I got a bike at 14 and had it for 15 years, never had a single problem or adjustment... Now with this new bike, I've been back to the store again and again with issues.

It's a cypress R (Giant) bike. I was told when I bought it that it would need to be adjusted as i rode it (since it was new) but, I've been back to the store about 5 times now, and ridden it 100s of kms over the summer...and it doesn't seem to be "settling" into just plain working.

It seems like every time i ride it, one gear or another starts rubbing someplace and it makes noise. When i bring it in they just adjust it for me and don't say that anything else is wrong.

I am not sure how picky is should be about noise. I realize it is a mechanical thing, so it is going to make some noise... But it seems to me that it is too loud for a brand new bike. I feel like clicks and clacks keep popping up and going away.

Could it be because i take the back wheel off to put it in my car that it is getting messed up?

I really just don't know ANYTHING about bike mechanics. At the moment, when i take it in they don't charge me, since i have one year's free service. But i am worried that when my service is up next summer, I am going to be stuck with a bike that needs to be adjusted every day, and i will be the one who has to pay for it then.

Anybody know what might be going on here? Or might I just be being too picky in thinking that all the gears should work (except for crossed of course), all the time?

Also, do i have any recourse if i don't like the shops service? I know I have a Giant warranty, but i can't find a phone number, email, or anything for their customer service.

Thanks so much bike savy friends

Christina
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Old 09-27-10, 06:42 PM   #2
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My rear derailleur seems to become misadjusted on my road bike when I take the wheel off and put it in my vehicle. Usually a couple turns one way or the other on the barrel adjuster seems to fix it.
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Old 09-27-10, 06:54 PM   #3
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Removing the back wheel does create opportunities for problems.
Was your first bike multi-geared with front and rear derailleurs? There are certain complications inherent in these kinds of bikes - learning about the mechanics of the bike - how it works and how to maintain it - might help you enjoy it more. Sounds as if the bike shop isn't offering you any helpful information. No other Giant dealers within driving distance?
Perhaps you would be happier with an internally-geared bike?
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Old 09-27-10, 06:58 PM   #4
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The warranty that Giant provides is for the materials and construction. Generally, shifting and brakes are the responsibility of the shop where you bought it and the free adjustments they are giving you are part of the 'service warranty.'

It can be frustrating, but new bikes often take more than one return visit to the shop to get everything sorted out. Five visits is more than average, but not unheard of. Ask the shop next time you bring it in if they can show you what was wrong and how they fixed it.

The good thing about bikes is that they are actually damn simple... when you shift through the 8 or 9 cogs on the back, or throught eh 3 chainrings in the front, all that is happening is the cable pulls the derailleur to one side, or the cable loosens and allows the spring in the derailleur to pull it the other way... and the derailleurs push the chain from one gear to the next.

If the derailleurs are not adjusted properly then the chain can rub on the next cog (in the back) or on the plates of the derailleur itself (in the front). If the chain is making a noise when you pedal, you can often hang up the bike by the front of the seat and turn the pedals by hand and look and listen for where the rubbing comes. This will give you the option of (i) calling the shop and saying "my chain is doing X," or (ii) calling the shop and saying "do you sell allen keys because I am going to adjust the derailleurs on my bike."

The other option would be to call around the different LBSs in your area and ask if they would take a minute to check out the bike as you have been having problems and the shop where you bought it does not seem to be able to permanently fix it. Many will gladly take the time for no charge in hopes of gaining a repeat customer, others will charge you a few $$ for minor adjustments... just make sure you ask what the cost will be before you drop the bike off. Also ask if they can show you what is wrong if they find anything.

Also - if you are frustrated with the shop where you bought the bike, please fight the urge to talk trash about them to the other shops (although you seem to have been more than fair with your description of your interactions in your post). Remember that everyone makes mistakes.

Good luck!
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Old 09-27-10, 06:58 PM   #5
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Running to the bike shop every time you need a gear adjustment is going to be a real pain. Learning how to adjust gears yourself is really not that hard. Just Google "adjust bike gears", and look for some videos that will show you how. I've found that learning how my new bike works and maintaining it myself is just as fun as riding it. Well, almost.
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Old 09-27-10, 07:46 PM   #6
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If you're removing the wheel for transport then there's a couple of simple things you need to do each time to avoid issues.

First is that when you place the frame into the car you need to be careful to set it in so the rear derrailleur isn't carrying the weight of the bike and is not underneath. And do be careful to not bump it hard when putting the frame into or out of the car. The hanger that the derrailleur mounts to is strong enough but sadly is one of the more easily bent items on a bike. And it sure doesn't take much to nudge it out of place and make the shifting move on you. If you just can't fumble the bike in and out without risk of some serious hits or forces to the derraileur then a trick that would help is to have a plywood disc or plate with a screw and wingnut that fits into the dropout where the axle fits that is large enough to act as a guard so it protects the derraileur from hits or will accept the standing up loads.

Second is that assuming you have quick release skewers with a lever to lock the wheel on then you want to only do it up half way while the bike is upside down or while you fumble around Once sort of in place sit the bike upright and then loosen the lever so the wheel settle solidly into place in the dropouts. THEN lock the lever fully. If you have not figured it out by now the "dropouts" are the plates at the end of the chain and seat stay tubes that the derraileur is hung from and that the wheel axle fits into. The idea is that you want the axle to seat fully into the mouth of the dropouts each and every time exactly the same. Letting the weight of the bike do this for you is the easiest way.
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Old 09-27-10, 08:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by christina7689 View Post
Could it be because i take the back wheel off to put it in my car that it is getting messed up?
I'd put money on this being the cause. How do you handle the bike with the rear wheel off? Do you just shove it into the trunk or back seat? How do you reinstall the rear wheel?

The rear derailleur has nothing to protect it with the rear wheel off and if you are careless or harsh on your treatment of the bike, that will guarantee repetitive shifting problems.

Remove the front wheel instead of the rear and be sure to position the bike with the drive side up if you lay it on it's side. I'll bet the problems go away.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:50 AM   #8
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There can be a few clicks and clunks if your shoe-laces flop around and occasionally hit on the plastic guard on the front chainrings. This has fooled me a few times until I realize what's going on.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:20 AM   #9
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Absolutely no reason to take the rear week off to put my xl giant rapid into our Ford focus which isn't the largest of cars. Take the front wheel off only.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:25 AM   #10
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Most riders remove the front wheel for transport.
The rear dérailleur is a delicate item and needs to NOT be Bumped.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:25 AM   #11
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Have the LBS show you the best way to put your bike in the vehicle. Let them know how you pack it in the car and see if they think that it may be causing the problem.
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Old 09-28-10, 11:41 AM   #12
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There can be a few clicks and clunks if your shoe-laces flop around and occasionally hit on the plastic guard on the front chainrings. This has fooled me a few times until I realize what's going on.
That happened to me as well. And like you it took me a few days to find the cause because it was on my platform pedal short errand bike and of course it only happened with certain shoes. It was definetly a palm to the forehead "DOH!" moment when I figured it out....
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