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Old 09-23-11, 04:27 PM   #1
Williams99
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brand new bike and the shifter won't shift to large sprockets

Link for New bike from Walmart

I just assembled this bike, and most of the parts were already connected, so was very easy. It is a 21 speed, 3 gears up front and 7 in the rear. Both shifters will not move the chain to the largest gear. I have the instructions and have adjusted almost every adjustment screw there is and still no-go. I counted each adjustment and have returned them all to their original setting.
I am considering taking the bike to an expert to make the adjustments, but am on a tight budget and did not want to have to do that. Anybody have an idea of what might be wrong, and how to fix it?
By the way, I love the bike and want to make it work.
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Old 09-23-11, 04:39 PM   #2
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You need to adjust cable tension.
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Old 09-23-11, 05:43 PM   #3
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Yes, unless the limit screws are incorrectly set, I'd say you have a cable tension issue. I'd start over by checking to see if you have all of the slack out of the cable (i.e. loosen the pinch bolt and reset the cable). Make sure you derailer is in the correct position when you do this. Then run it through the gears & check the alignment & turn the barrel adjustes as needed. Or, just hit up you-tube for a tutorial. Step 3, take it to a shop.
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Old 09-23-11, 06:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
You need to adjust cable tension.
+1 If your limit screws aren't preventing the shift, then your cables don't have enough tension. What's happening is that you're running out of cable pull before you can make the shift. Tighten the cables, and you should be OK. If you're using index shifting (and I'm assuming that you are), getting the cable tension adjusted properly can take a little time, but it's really not difficult. If your instructions don't explain adequately how to do it, Park Tool has a website that explains it in great detail. See http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...nts-derailleur and http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...ur-adjustments. Or check out Sheldon Brown's instructions at http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html.
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Old 09-23-11, 08:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by strock View Post
+1 If your limit screws aren't preventing the shift, then your cables don't have enough tension. What's happening is that you're running out of cable pull before you can make the shift. Tighten the cables, and you should be OK. If you're using index shifting (and I'm assuming that you are), getting the cable tension adjusted properly can take a little time, but it's really not difficult. If your instructions don't explain adequately how to do it, Park Tool has a website that explains it in great detail. See http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...nts-derailleur and http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...ur-adjustments. Or check out Sheldon Brown's instructions at http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html.
I've been dealing with triple crankset bikes for 25+ years and still have to follow the Park Tool directions once in a while to get the front shifting to work right.
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Old 09-23-11, 09:59 PM   #6
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There are a number of good free tutorials on the net, both text and pictures, and video. Do a search and since they're free review a few of them until you get the picture. All derailleur systems are basically the same, so don't sweat whether the tutorials are for your exact system, you just want to get a good understanding of the basics.


Here's one trick that will help you know if it's a limit screw or cable tension problem.

When you can't shift to the end of the range. Forget the levers for a moment and put them in the slack position. Now adjust the limit screws shifting by pulling the bare wire away from the down tube like a bow string. That will allow good adjustment of the limits, and confirm that the derailleur is capable of the shift. Now it's only a matter of setting the cable tension. I do this using the shift form the 2nd sprocket to the third and back, so the limit can't be a factor. Once the 2-3 shift is right all the rest follow, though you might end up making some very tiny fine tuning adjustments.
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