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Old 10-22-10, 11:36 PM   #1
MijnWraak
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Bicycle noob here! Shifting issues, not sure what's wrong.

Hi! I bought my first real bike (a 1980's Miyata Road Bike, pic at bottom) second-hand off some older gentleman. Been commuting daily since June. It has "Sora 7 speed" STI shifters, seem a few years old. So here comes the problem. It's kind of hard to explain, so let me just do an example of shifting into top gear.

Start in the highest gear, click once, chain sometimes decides to go into second, sometimes doesnt. Second click always gets into second. Third click, third gear. Fourth click, fourth gear. Fifth click, *clack clack* noise deciding between 5th 6th and 7th. I never know which one it'll hop on. Now everytime I upshift from say 4th to 3rd, I have to trim it each time, it never goes on perfectly.

When I switch into the larger chain ring in the front, it makes the chain/whatever scream, making a grinding noise.

So, which component is at fault? Is the derailer bent? Does it just need to be adjusted? Are my shifters and detailer not compatible? Is my chain not long enough? Is the rear cog's teeth too worn down/damaged? What components would be a good upgrade to buy to make riding smoother and more enjoyable?

Sorry for so many question, appreciate any answers!

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Old 10-22-10, 11:48 PM   #2
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What type of derailleur is that? If it is not a Shimano derailleur from ~1988 or later then the shifter and derailleur are incompatible. It is hard to tell from the picture, but it does not look like a modern Shimano indexed shifting derailleur.

Also, make sure it is a hyperglide compatible modern freewheel or cassette - look closely at the teeth on the rear gear cluster. When viewed from the side, the gears should have 'features' built in like little ridges and slightly differently shaped teeth. If all the teeth are sthe same shape and square then the rear cluseter is also incompatible.

One last thing is that the shift cable housing really should be 'compressionless' shift cable housing - the type where the wires that give the housing its stiffness, right under the plastic, should run lengthwise, not spiral wound.

If someone simply slapped STI shifters onto an old bike then these things would generally not be compatible unless they were changes also.

Luckily, a new derailleur that will work with that shifter and with a 7 speed hyperglide gear cluster costs as little as $15.
Or you can find a set of friction bar-end shifters and not change the derailleurs. You should also replace the brake levers if you go this route.

Also, the front derailleur should be a modern Shimano road derailleur to work properly, but as I recall Sora front shifting is always tough to get perfect. Bar end shifters and new brake levers are the best way to fix this.

Other things may be worn out or need replacing but this is all I can suggest based on the information you provided.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for all the info! Yeah I think he offered to slap the downtube shifters on when I offered to buy the bike, so he must have just put the sti's on there. It seems like the best route would be to get bar end shifters. From what I've read they're very reliable and good for touring and such, but how are they compared to an STI setup? My commute is only 4 or so miles each way, but I end up shifting a lot due to the altitude changes where I live. I'll try to get more info on the derailer and cassette tomorrow and weigh my options. Right now it's taking a vacation with a flat and no replacement tube.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-10, 12:23 AM   #4
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hmm i am a newbie too
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Old 10-23-10, 01:22 AM   #5
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The easy route would be to buy a new more modern rear derailleur made by Shimano. Then it would be SIS compatible. Any of the current road Shimano rear derailleurs would be fine.

And if the cassete is not a Shimano or other brand known to be compatible then you would want to get a new cassete. Or, more likely given the age of the bike, if this is a freewheel then you want to get a new Shimano or Shimano SIS freewheel so everything is compatible.

Do these two things at the rear wheel and then your Sora brifters will be able to stay and work well.
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Old 10-23-10, 08:38 AM   #6
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A new derailleur would fix it, but friction bar end shifters are soooo much easier, and available in higher quality versions than the Sora shifters currently installed... and would be more 'period correct' for the bicycle (not that it matters).

Here is a set of very nice shifters:
http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...end-kit/17-089

You couls also get a set of 7 - speed indexed SHimano shifters used off EPay, but to use the indexing you would need to insure compatibility of derailleurs, cassettes, chains, and cables, just like with the Sora ones.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:36 AM   #7
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I really only keep my hands on the hoods when I bike, so I think I'm going to stick with STI's for now. I got a few pictures taken, and I appear to have a "Suntour Cyclone" front/rear derailer. The cassette does appear to have square heads. Can't find any more info on the cassette/freewheel, and to be honest know very little about them in general (I'm more of a computer guy myself ). How would I go about replacing them, what tools would I need? Can you link to some specific models of derailers, cassettes, and freewheels you guys would recommend? I get really confused on compatability, and Nashbar only has a few Shimano derailers all at $80+

As for the compressionless cable housing, the housing says "Shimano SIS SP 41" if that's any help!


Last edited by MijnWraak; 10-23-10 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-23-10, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
A new derailleur would fix it, but friction bar end shifters are soooo much easier, and available in higher quality versions than the Sora shifters currently installed... and would be more 'period correct' for the bicycle (not that it matters).

Here is a set of very nice shifters:
http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...end-kit/17-089

You couls also get a set of 7 - speed indexed SHimano shifters used off EPay, but to use the indexing you would need to insure compatibility of derailleurs, cassettes, chains, and cables, just like with the Sora ones.
+1 My thought exactly. Having dragged my feet about changing to bar ends, I know what a pain bad shifting can be. Mine was FD, but the switch to bar ends and Tektro 200 brake levers made all the difference in the world!

I also ride mostly on the hoods, and still do, only moving my hands to shift as necessary. It was a short learning curve, and I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner!

There is a set of 8spd bar ends on the site linked by LarDasse74, that would probably solve your 'issues', for $82.
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Old 10-23-10, 03:02 PM   #9
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That front derailleur is a mid 1980s Suntour, not a good sign. Same with the rear derailleur. Those parts were never meant to be compatible with the SORA brifters. Nothing wrong with Suntour Cyclone, but I have had problems with them indexing with Shimano shifters.

Forget about Nashbar if you are thrifty. The low price new stuff is at Niagara Cycle, something in the Tourney product line. Niagara sells a Tourney RD for $13. Or go to fleabay and pick up some nice used derailleurs. I have had good luck picking up Shimano 105, RSX and RX100 derailleurs off ebay. They should all work fine. Make sure the clamp on the front derailleur is the right size.

Sounds like the former owner just came across those shifters, bolted them on and called it good. Its going to take more work and $$ to get them right. MAKE SURE the rear cassette is either Shimano or Shimano compatible, and not a Suntour cassette or freewheel. I can't see that well enough in your pics, and with the blue special effects, its even harder to pick out details. Given the derailleur situation, I would not be surprised if he has a Suntour freewheel on that bike. Suntour spacing is different than Shimano and will not index with Shimano.


You might be best served going to a shop and having them sort it out for you, or find a local flipper in your area to upgrade it for you. If you do it yourself and order parts on the internet, be prepared to buy some stuff you won't need. Its really part of the learning curve. No special tools will be required until/unless you need to change out your freewheel or cassette. They take a special tool, there are dozens of styles, a local shop can do the removal for you for just a few dollars.


Note, as others have mentioned, a switch to friction barcons would be a good solution as well. You should be able to find them on ebay or wherever pretty reasonably priced. Then you can sell those seven speed SORA brifters and have a little money left over. Making those brifters work is going to require some serious $$ as most of the rest of the drivetrain is not compatible.

Last edited by wrk101; 10-23-10 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 10-24-10, 12:12 AM   #10
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Since pretty much every person mentioned going barcons is an easy alternative ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivbike
Your Order
----------

1 x #17-089 at $92.00 each -- Silver Shifters Bar End kit

1 x #20-177 at $25.00 each -- German Mirror

1 x #16-086 at $5.00 each -- Hemp twine

1 x #22-676 at $27.00 each -- 100% wool balaclava hat (blue)

2 x #16-069 at $5.00 each -- French cloth tape (Dark Blue, ONE ROLL)

1 x #31-038 at $8.00 each -- Phil Hand Cleaner

1 x #31-002 at $4.00 each -- Beeswax in a cup
I'll buy some regular brakes in a few weeks then sell the brifters if I enjoy the barcons

Thanks again guys!

Though, I still wonder why the drivetrain makes so much noise on the larger front cog?
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Old 10-24-10, 12:18 AM   #11
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The Suntour Cyclone is pretty desirable stuff... problem is that it was not designed to work with indexed shifters.

Barcons (friction) would make for a lovely and period correct set up and they are pretty much bombproof... with those Cyclone parts you'd enjoy some very smooth shifting.
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Old 10-24-10, 06:20 AM   #12
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trust sixty fiver
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Old 10-24-10, 08:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
The Suntour Cyclone is pretty desirable stuff... problem is that it was not designed to work with indexed shifters.

Barcons (friction) would make for a lovely and period correct set up and they are pretty much bombproof... with those Cyclone parts you'd enjoy some very smooth shifting.
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trust sixty fiver
Looks like I made the right choice then

Did I mention this is probably the most helpful forums I've encountered? You all deserve a cookie for your help!
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Old 10-24-10, 09:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
The Suntour Cyclone is pretty desirable stuff... problem is that it was not designed to work with indexed shifters.

Barcons (friction) would make for a lovely and period correct set up and they are pretty much bombproof... with those Cyclone parts you'd enjoy some very smooth shifting.
If it was my bike, that's what I'd do too. Think low maintenance. It's great for commuting and touring. You can shift using just your pinky fingers and never have to take your hands off the bars.
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