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Old 04-26-12, 08:41 AM   #26
rydabent
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Just remember that putting on an apron and standing by a bike stand does not make a good mechanic. Every shop should have at least one good mechanic. But a lot of shops have just young racers that work there for free stuff.
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Old 04-26-12, 03:15 PM   #27
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If your pic shows pulled in, braking position then your set-up looks as though it would be fine for me

The literature on 7.2FX shows brakeset as:
"Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes w/ Shimano EF51 adjustable-reach levers"
I see yours is a much higher end Shimano Deore

Do you have a picture of how close you have the pads to rims?
Do you have a measurement of how close they are in mm's or inches?

I can't get to other shop till next week, but I am going to go to the big city...

Regards, Reid

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I still believe the brakes are setup badly, with too much clearance between the pads and rim. Here's a photo of my brake lever with V-brakes and a similar setup:



I mean really, are your fingers that large?
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Old 04-26-12, 03:32 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by treidm View Post
If your pic shows pulled in, braking position then your set-up looks as though it would be fine for me
That's pulled-in slightly so that the pads touch the rims. The physiology of the hand is such that you get best squeezing-power and modulation-control when the fingers are coiled-in almost all the way. That's why the modern levers have the bent-in shape towards the bars compared to the straight-across levers of previous decades. On those old levers, you'd have to extend your fingers out almost straight to engage the brakes. On those systems, you want to have lots of cable slack so that the lever moves halfway in before they engage the rims.

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Do you have a picture of how close you have the pads to rims?
Do you have a measurement of how close they are in mm's or inches?
It comes down to the type of riding you do and how often you true your wheels. With perfectly straight rims and these 2-finger levers, you can get away with about 1-2mm of gap between the pads and rims. For more trouble-free riding, I would use 2-3mm of gap. In races under cornering, your wheels can actually flex enough to rub the pad and slow you down. So I prefer 3-4mm of gap on my race bikes.


Now, there's actually two adjustments you can make that are inter-dependent. First, let's check the lever-reach from the bars:

#8 is the reach-adjustment screw. Turn it in and out all the way to see the reach-adjustment change. Then set it at maximum-reach for your big hands.

The next adjustment is the cable-tension which determines the pad-gap and how much the lever moves before engaging the rim.

Unscrew the barrel-adjuster (A) so it comes out of the lever-body to tighten the cable and narrow the gap between pads and rim. Next, screw in the lockring (B) so it's tight against the body to lock the barrel-adjuster in place. Adjust so it gives you adequate clearance to the pads don't rub all the time, but tight enough so the lever doesn't pinch your fingers against the bar.
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Old 04-26-12, 04:52 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by treidm View Post
If your pic shows pulled in, braking position then your set-up looks as though it would be fine for me

The literature on 7.2FX shows brakeset as:
"Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes w/ Shimano EF51 adjustable-reach levers"
I see yours is a much higher end Shimano Deore

Do you have a picture of how close you have the pads to rims?
Do you have a measurement of how close they are in mm's or inches?

I can't get to other shop till next week, but I am going to go to the big city...

Regards, Reid
Reid, before you go to that much effort, I hope you do go back to the local shop and see if they can actually adjust the brakes properly. I'd even go so far as to ask for the owner/manager and/or an actual mechanic to help me instead of the sales guy if that's who you've been dealing with. Like someone else said, bike shops are full of people who really don't know much, but there's almost always someone there who does. I'd go through the effort and give them another chance because it sounds like a significant effort for you to shop elsewhere. And, if you do find someone who can actually help you, in the future you'll know just to deal with them instead of the know nothings.

With a nice straight wheel and properly positioned brakes, you can adjust the pads to within a small fraction of an inch to the rims - without measuring, I'm thinking 1/8". Certainly 1/4" is easy to do. It is a simple thing, but it does involve getting the brakes and pads themselves properly installed, a nice straight wheel and then installing the cable properly, finally fine tuning it with the barrel adjuster at the brake lever. This is standard, absolute basic new bike set up, and exactly why you buy it from a shop rather than mail order when you're new to the sport.

Anyone who has ever tinkered at all with a bike should be able to do it. I'm just shocked that whoever was helping you didn't have even that tiny amount of know-how. Unless I'm missing something, that is.
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Old 04-26-12, 08:53 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Reid, before you go to that much effort, I hope you do go back to the local shop and see if they can actually adjust the brakes properly. I'd even go so far as to ask for the owner/manager and/or an actual mechanic to help me instead of the sales guy if that's who you've been dealing with. Like someone else said, bike shops are full of people who really don't know much, but there's almost always someone there who does. I'd go through the effort and give them another chance because it sounds like a significant effort for you to shop elsewhere. And, if you do find someone who can actually help you, in the future you'll know just to deal with them instead of the know nothings.
It is a small town shop with just a few employees
I have dealt most with the number 2 mechanic/salesman
On another visit dealt with the head mechanic/salesman also
On another visit I dealt with the owner/salesman also
On the other occasion I dealt with just a young salesman
That covers the four days I spent down there
Each day I was there for at least 2 hours, 4 hours one day, but that was when I was testing different bikes, then I finally got fitted for the 7.2FX
There is no one there above the head mechanic, that I can deal with on this issue
He said the same thing about moving levers is the only way to help

I get the feeling they do not want to go much further talking about this issue with me as they have made it clear, they cannot be adjusted the way I want and what they will do is move the levers an inch in for me.

Is there a certificate I should be looking for to know a mechanic is certified or licensed?
If so, what is it's acronym?

Regards, Reid
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Old 04-26-12, 09:09 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treidm View Post
If your pic shows pulled in, braking position then your set-up looks as though it would be fine for me

The literature on 7.2FX shows brakeset as:
"Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes w/ Shimano EF51 adjustable-reach levers"
I see yours is a much higher end Shimano Deore
Yes, that is with the lever pulled all the way. Not sure how close I set the pads to the rim. Basically I set them just far away enough that they do not rub. Probably less than 1/4" gap.

As far as the Deore group, that is irrelevant. I've ridden a friend's 7.2FX, braking is exactly the same. Have another bike with Tektro V-brakes, same story there.

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Is there a certificate I should be looking for to know a mechanic is certified or licensed?
Doubt it. Not sure if such a thing even exists for bikes. If it does, I'd be surprised if anyone is actually licensed. Really sounds like these guys you're dealing with have no idea what they're talking about, but I'd still like to see a picture (out of curiosity) of how far the brake lever on that bike is being pulled back.
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Old 04-26-12, 09:42 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I'd still like to see a picture (out of curiosity) of how far the brake lever on that bike is being pulled back.
I didn't take a camera with me to the store, but I can describe...

If all my fingers are above lever and I pulled it to full braking, the lever didn't touch the handlebars, but was approx. 3/8" to 1/2" from it. (travels a long stroke)
If two finger method is used...
It is close enough to pinch my fingers where I can't put full braking into affect

I am leaning towards trying a different shop in the big city, then I might be able to rule in or out the mechanics knowledge
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Old 04-26-12, 10:04 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treidm View Post
If all my fingers are above lever and I pulled it to full braking, the lever didn't touch the handlebars, but was approx. 3/8" to 1/2" from it. (travels a long stroke)
That's definitely poor setup. I wouldn't buy a bike from that shop.

Really sucks when you want to support the local businesses but they are incompetent.
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Old 04-27-12, 06:18 AM   #34
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I have a tough time believing that 4 people are all incompetent enough to not be able to adjust brakes properly. It just seems too easy to blame the shop.

Your two fingers used to brake should be on the end of the levers. You shouldn't be able to squeeze your fingers between the bar and the lever when your fingers are in the correct position, no matter how misadjusted the brakes are.

Make the trip to another shop. There's something funky going on and another shop may be able to help clear it up for you.
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Old 04-27-12, 06:34 AM   #35
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have you tried any other bikes? how are the brakes? similar problems?
or is it only that one specific bike? do the other bikes have the same
brake setup?

can you find one of the bikes where the brakes are comfortable?

ask them to set your bike up the same way....either adjust 'zackly
the same or change out the components.

you could also consider switching the combined brake/shift pod for two
separate components that you can adjust separately.
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Old 04-27-12, 06:47 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
That's definitely poor setup. I wouldn't buy a bike from that shop.

Really sucks when you want to support the local businesses but they are incompetent.
Having the brakes engage at about the half way point is the way that many people and shops set up their brakes. They, mistakenly, think that this gives more braking power because you can squeeze harder with a closed fist than with extended fingers. What they fail to realize is that by setting up the brakes this way, the fulcrum of the lever is shortened and you actually lose braking power. There may even be method to the madness because if the brakes are set up to engage on a short lever throw, the possibility of the customer going over the bars is increased and so is the possibility of a lawsuit.

You can adjust the brake pads inward yourself, treidm. DannoXYZ provides all the information that you need.
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Old 04-27-12, 03:20 PM   #37
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I found time to go to another bike shop in the big city today

I looked at 7.2FX, same model as my towns shop
Big difference!!
Two of the bikes were set-up on floor where I had no problems
One the right lever was fine, but the left lever was like other store
The guy had no problem adjusting it for me, took a few minutes but it was fine
He also said if I needed more adjustment, he could remove the spring loaded thing (forget what he called it) that goes into the front brake at wheel and replace it with a non-spring loaded one that would give even more adjustment
The pads looked to be about 1/8" from the rims

I am distressed that I may need to go an hour from home and make my buy instead of using my local shop

I have wondered about going and talking to the owner of local shop about this issue, but can't think of what to say, so he wouldn't get bent out of shape with me
Just wondering if they knew how to, but for some reason didn't want to take the time to do it before a buy is made?
I do find it strange two different mechanics said the same thing about not being able to adjust and only be able to move them in on handlebars

If they really didn't know, how could I trust them on later possibly more intricate adjustments?
Should I talk to owner or just buy from other store and leave it be?

Regards, Reid
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Old 04-27-12, 03:35 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by treidm View Post
If they really didn't know, how could I trust them on later possibly more intricate adjustments?
I guess this was what I was trying to get at before. A brake adjustment to 'fix' the problem you were having would only take a skilled mechanic a minute or two. You could probably learn how to install, setup, and adjust V-brakes in an hour or so.

If you are looking to learn about bike mechanics/maintenance then go ahead and buy from the local shop. But if you plan on trusting them to handle all adjustments and fix things that break I would go to the far away shop. The local shop has already proved (from my point of view) that they are incompetent based on you asking them several times to fix a very very simple problem.
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Old 04-27-12, 03:37 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
Your two fingers used to brake should be on the end of the levers. You shouldn't be able to squeeze your fingers between the bar and the lever when your fingers are in the correct position, no matter how misadjusted the brakes are.
I was able to make it happen, don't know what to tell you...
The tip of lever is bent forward, so you CAN'T get fingers to the end of lever
There is a designated area/space on lever where your fingers can comfortably go
It would still catch my ring finger and pinch/mash it
I guess I could have done the "Spock" live long and proper splitting of fingers to make my ring and pinky fingers stay farther out, but I prefer this new shops set-up where I can do it all naturally and it works fine

Reid
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Old 04-27-12, 03:38 PM   #40
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shops have just young racers that work there for free stuff.
Nope still have to pay for the stuff. at least what the distributor charges the shop.

it's the Pros.. they get paid to ride the stuff they're handed, and win.

to Look Good, & make the rest of the cycling community think
the parts made them faster.

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Old 04-27-12, 03:58 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Having the brakes engage at about the half way point is the way that many people and shops set up their brakes. They, mistakenly, think that this gives more braking power because you can squeeze harder with a closed fist than with extended fingers. What they fail to realize is that by setting up the brakes this way, the fulcrum of the lever is shortened and you actually lose braking power. There may even be method to the madness because if the brakes are set up to engage on a short lever throw, the possibility of the customer going over the bars is increased and so is the possibility of a lawsuit.
You can adjust the brake pads inward yourself, treidm. DannoXYZ provides all the information that you need.
This is my guess. For everyone in the shop to say the same thing, it is probably a policy set by the owner either due to a previous incident or fear of a future one.
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Old 05-01-12, 04:00 PM   #42
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I decided to go back to local store and talk to the owner
He had helped me one day, but the brake lever problem was only discussed with the two mechanics on different days

We sat down and I explained what was wrong with lever situation, what I had said and what the mechanics said and did

I noticed immediately he was surprised and not happy, the way he looked in the direction of the shop area

He immediately stated it was a very simple procedure to do and he would personally do the set up on bike
I hope he doesn't hammer the mechanics and just instructs them
Don't want them to be mad at me for going to the owner on this
He will set bike up to 3mm pad to rim with a slight toe-in, then he can do any fine tuning needed when he fits me for bike

I decided to give them my business and have him do my work
He didn't have the Navy color in my frame size, so he ordered it today

Glad I went back down and talked to owner and got to the bottom of problem

I also want to thank all of you for your comments
It helped a great deal and helped me think through what was wrong and what I needed to do

Regards, Reid
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Old 05-01-12, 05:53 PM   #43
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... by setting up the brakes this way, the fulcrum of the lever is shortened and you actually lose braking power...
You are mistaken. THe fulcrum is always in the same place - it is the pivot of the lever. ANd the length of the lever arm you squeeze (the blade) is always the same length. I suppose there might be some minor changes to the effective length of the other lever arm - the distance from the pivot to the cable anchor measured perpendicular to the line between the pivot and the cable housing stop, but I would think this arm would actually get slightly shorter which would, when combined with the constant length of the blade, give an increase in power. I doubt the increase in power from the slightly different leverage would make up for the loss of power caused by trying to mash the other two fingers against the grip
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Old 05-01-12, 09:23 PM   #44
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The 7.2 might have a front noodle with a "safety feature" -- in the ferrule above the noodle itself where the cable feeds in, there might be a spring, which supposedly helps riders avoid jamming on the front brake, giving more progressive brake application. This could be messing up adjustability on the front brake and the shop is merely trying to get front and rear to match. The 7.5 does not have this feature, which is why the brakes feel a lot better...
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Old 05-02-12, 12:49 PM   #45
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Great observation, mconlonx! I looked at the photo of the 7.2 on the trek interweb pages and even though it does not mention it in the specs, there appears to be some sort of larger diameter barrel at the top of the brake noodle in front, which is probably one of those damned spring loaded noodles!

To Treidm: Call the shop and tell them that if the bike comes equipped with some sort of 'power modulator' or other spring loaded power reduction device on the front brake, that you would like it removed and a proper 'noodle' put on. THe only reason those power modulators would be useful is if you train your helper monkey to actuate your brakes for you. Or maybe if you have suicidal thoughts while riding and wish to eliminate the temptation.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:25 PM   #46
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Thank you, I will call them tomorrow...

Regards, Reid
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Old 05-02-12, 09:07 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Having the brakes engage at about the half way point is the way that many people and shops set up their brakes. They, mistakenly, think that this gives more braking power because you can squeeze harder with a closed fist than with extended fingers. What they fail to realize is that by setting up the brakes this way, the fulcrum of the lever is shortened and you actually lose braking power.
I don't think so. You're not moving the fulcrum at all, you're just changing the amount of throw the lever requires to actuate the brakes. It doesn't take any more or less power to actuate the brakes this way.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:42 PM   #48
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Good you talked to the owner, and I appreciate you posted the results.... what a lot of us expected would happen when you talked to someone with even a tiny modicum of competence - really, this is just super basic stuff. It's always easier to deal locally than drive an hour to get stuff done on a new bike. Be sure to have him school you on brake and derailleur adjustment when he fits you. It is regular tweeking, and so easy anyone can do it.
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Old 05-05-12, 02:22 AM   #49
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Picked up Bike late yesterday
Got everything adjusted and the spring taken out of noodle
Just taking it out made a major difference in the feel and length of play before braking started
Wasn't mushy anymore and didn't travel so far that it would squish my ring finger
Have some more work later today before it's ready
Mounting cadence sensors, mounting GPS, Mounting Seat pack with my emergency accessories, mounting headlight & taillight set
Got everything weighed last night
Bike was weighed at shop, so I can add the other weights to that
Then I can take my first ride after that later today

So excited, I'm up at 3:30am...

Regards, Reid

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Old 05-06-12, 11:20 AM   #50
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Hey Reid-

I was in a similar situation (albeit a sight younger) a few years back after a knee injury put a stop to my running and I decided to reexamine the cycling world. I too started with an fx--and coming up from vintage steel bikes, I know that thing feels like a speed demon and if flat bars are what you're looking for, then by all means they're great bikes (though perhaps consider a used model, they're respectably durable--I just sold my 2010 fx at only a 38% depreciation from MSRP ).

However, the fx is as much a city/commuter/cul-de-sac cruiser as it is a rodie (though really, more the former): the bike is a fine machine, but just isn't very serious, you know? -If you want your $500 to go its farthest, you might consider a used roadie. I see your in Kansas--where I'd imagine there isn't as lush a used bike market as we've got on the west coast, but as an example: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/2996827327.html , http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bik/2998600464.html . or in your neck of the woods: http://topeka.craigslist.org/bik/2979236972.html, http://ksu.craigslist.org/bik/2986823877.html, http://lawrence.craigslist.org/bik/2958950485.html ....etc, etc.

If you could entertain the possibility of going for a roadie in lieu of a fusion you stand to get a lot more bang per buck. Also speaking as someone who bought their fusion bike while living in a rural area, which I know most of Kansas is, you should REALLY consider--because having a nimble upright city bike in a big open place, is kind of boring. Go to some lbs' -try a few different styles of road bikes, figure out what fits you, what you like, etc. Then when you find something on the used market, try and get it looked over by a bike mechanic (this can be super important when buying a nicer bike with some miles and you're not 100% what you're looking at), and chances are you can walk away with a lot more than what you'd get with a new $500 bike. PLUS, if you're not buying from new, you won't ahve nearly as much depreciation from purchase, so if you decide after a while it's not for you- you can sell it on at a much smaller net loss.

Hope my rant's been of help to you!
-Ben

Edit: your last comment showed up after I wrote the above...so, yeah- disregard that, congrats on your purchase & have a blast!
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