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Old 01-10-13, 03:30 PM   #1
Steve Sawyer 
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Looking for drive train suggestions

I picked up a Trek Navigator hybrid a couple of years ago. My only complaint has been the wide low-pressure tires and the drive train. I replaced the tires with skinnier 80-lb tires that has worked out nicely, but the drive train is still an issue.

The LBS where I bought it couldn't quite get the derailleurs adjusted to a) run quietly/smoothly or b) keep the chain from slipping off a cog so as to lose motive power entirely. My solution was to have the shop adjust the front derailleur to only use the two larger chain rings, as I seldom used the smallest of the three, so I'm now riding a 14-speed instead of a 21-speed bike.
It's my assumption (based on nothing objective) that cheaper bikes (I think this bike went for about $425 or so) cut corners on the components, so I'm wondering if I couldn't spring for a better set of drive train components that I might be happier with. The current gear ratio is also a little low, causing me to "run out of gears" occasionally when running downhill.

I was kinda looking at the Shimano Alfine 11-speed hub, but the reviews seem to be sufficiently mixed that I'm not that enthusiastic about dropping that kind of cash on something that may not be reliable or perform significantly better than something more conventional.

I'm pretty much a warm-weather, paved surface rider, and like to go moderately long distances - never less than 12 miles, and I really like rides of 20 miles and up (hope to get a metric century under my belt this year).

Open to suggestions on what options I should consider.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-13, 03:52 PM   #2
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A hybrid positions a rider more upright so they catch more wind for resistance. You either need a more aero position or a bigger engine.
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Old 01-10-13, 04:05 PM   #3
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A hybrid positions a rider more upright so they catch more wind for resistance. You either need a more aero position or a bigger engine.
Or to find a shop that can set up the triple crankset properly....
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Old 01-10-13, 04:12 PM   #4
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You either need a more aero position or a bigger engine.
Hmmm....

Kinda confused here. Not sure how less drag (or more powerful pedaling) will make the drive train smoother, or give me a larger chainring (or a smaller sprocket) to increase my top speed...
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Old 01-10-13, 04:13 PM   #5
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There is that ^^^ . you will not be as fast , just because you are sitting up higher ..
with the summer day being longer, a 60 ish mile day is reasonable, just start earlier ..

I did many on my camping bike tours , and I only average 7~10 Mph.

Maybe a Sram Dual Drive , the triple crank is inside the hub , and the cassette is on the outside.

and the Internal 3 speed downshifts when nearly stopped , which a front derailleur struggles to do.
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Old 01-10-13, 04:14 PM   #6
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Or to find a shop that can set up the triple crankset properly....
I kinda wondered if it was a problem with the components, or the mechanic adjusting it. Like I said, I suspect the quality of the components - maybe I should suspect the competence of the mechanic??
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Old 01-10-13, 04:22 PM   #7
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a competent bicycle mechanic should be able to fix your drivetrain concerns. shop around a little, maybe check the regional forums (the "Great Lakes" section) and ask about top quality bike shops in your area.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 01-10-13 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 01-10-13, 04:27 PM   #8
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you will not be as fast , just because you are sitting up higher ..
with the summer day being longer, a 60 ish mile day is reasonable, just start earlier ..
Well, I can usually average a good 15-16 MPH on level ground, 13-14 MPH if you throw in some hills (both up-and-down ) or some headwinds.

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Maybe a Sram Dual Drive , the triple crank is inside the hub , and the cassette is on the outside
Interesting - I wasn't aware of those. That might be an alternative, but as I posted above, I'm wondering if maybe the componentry is ok, just not adjusted properly.
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Old 01-10-13, 04:28 PM   #9
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maybe check the regional forums (the "midwest" section) and ask about top quality bike shops in your area.
Good suggestion. I'm new 'round here, so I'm still learning all the resources available.
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Old 01-10-13, 07:00 PM   #10
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According to Bikepedia, the Trek Navigator has grip shifters. Maybe you could use an Acera front derailleur? http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=6288 and new shifters? Falcon friction shifters http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=418214 or Shimano Acera 7 speed shifters http://www.ebay.ca/itm/524122-New-Sh...1#ht_500wt_665
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Old 01-10-13, 08:34 PM   #11
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There are a bunch of good shops in your area. The bike really isn't worth a new drivetrain and the labor to replace it all. For what you'd like to do, you may be better off with a more appropriate bike. PM me and I can give you the name of my shop if you'd like to try another shop.
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Old 01-10-13, 09:10 PM   #12
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According to Bikepedia, the Trek Navigator has grip shifters. Maybe you could use an Acera front derailleur?...and new shifters? Falcon friction shifters...or Shimano Acera 7shifters
Man, I really don't know. I'm realizing just how ignorant I am!
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Old 01-10-13, 09:35 PM   #13
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Even many crappy department store bikes can be made to shift properly. Certainly your Trek Navigator should be unless something is broken.

Either way, any halfway competent mechanic should be able to sort it out. Get a new mechanic.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:02 PM   #14
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Man, I really don't know. I'm realizing just how ignorant I am!
I disagree with people saying some bikes are too cheap to fix, just replace. If the bike is comfortable for you, I think it may very be worth it to upgrade some parts. The Shimano quality levels...
Tourney
Altus
Acera
Alivio
Deore
and other levels or Deore

I linked you to both Falcon friction shifters which gives you the "old style" shift by ear kind of shifting. With this, you won't have to go to a bike shop every day. The other are rapidfire Acera shifters. You just push a button to change gears. I linked you the highest quality you'd have in 7 gears (unless you can find really old Deore DX or whatever). If you changed both front derailleur and shifter to Acera and it still won't shift right, then I'd suspect the crankset. Or, like people say here, the mechanic. Actually, I don't know what kind of frame you have so that's why I didn't link you to an Acera rear derailleur.
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