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  1. #1
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    2014 Fuji wants to randomly shift out of gear

    I'm relativley new to biking, and have just purchased a Fuji Touring bike from a local bike shop. It came with a Shimano Deore rear derailluer. Since day one it will intermittently want to shift out of a gear, and sometimes actually shift to a different gear, the LBS has replace the end tube shifter and just recently the rear derailluer to a Tiagra. The problem happens very randomly I can ride 15 miles no prob. then it goes wonky, then smooths out and it might be 5 or 20 miles and happens again. it only happpens in the higher gers on the cassett (7th and 8th 90% of the time) It has never happend where the LBS has seen it, and he has been extremly obliging to me. Has anyone had or heard of this problem? Soultions? I bought the bike for health reasons, it is to the point where I dont even want to ride. When the bike is not wonky I LOVE it.

  2. #2
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    Weird it continues to do the exact same thing even after shifter and derailluer were replaced.

    Seems to me that would indicate something that would effect shifting beyond those items.

    I would hope the LBS checked for bent derailure hanger when they replaced it. I think I'd check for cable sticking pinch point and proper tension, possibly a slightly bent derailluer hanger, sticky chain link and chain wear/ even though it started when bike was new it could be substandard chain, slightly bent tooth on affected cogs since the cassette is still the original, slightly out of allignment on drop outs, maybe a slightly bent axle. Beyoud those suggestions I'm stumped.

    There are many more experienced here, and you will likely get other more precise advise, I am not an expert and do not play one on TV.

  3. #3
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    Intermittent problems are very difficult to diagnose, and the shop seems to have addressed some of the possibilities already. I need to ask about your description and your riding habits. When you say it's mostly in the higher gears do you mean the smaller rear cogs, and what chainwheel(s) are engaged at the time? If it only occurs on the large chainring and smaller cogs about what speed are you going at the time, or how fast (rpm) are you turning the pedals, and are you going at a steady speed or accelerating? If it occurs on the small chainring and small cogs you should not be riding that combo.
    Last edited by cny-bikeman; 07-16-14 at 08:51 AM.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member IcySmooth52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tumatan View Post
    I'm relativley new to biking, and have just purchased a Fuji Touring bike from a local bike shop. It came with a Shimano Deore rear derailluer. Since day one it will intermittently want to shift out of a gear, and sometimes actually shift to a different gear, the LBS has replace the end tube shifter and just recently the rear derailluer to a Tiagra. The problem happens very randomly I can ride 15 miles no prob. then it goes wonky, then smooths out and it might be 5 or 20 miles and happens again. it only happpens in the higher gers on the cassett (7th and 8th 90% of the time) It has never happend where the LBS has seen it, and he has been extremly obliging to me. Has anyone had or heard of this problem? Soultions? I bought the bike for health reasons, it is to the point where I dont even want to ride. When the bike is not wonky I LOVE it.
    Because it happens more at one end of the cassette, I'd bet money it's the derailleur hanger. I also bet the LBS doesn't notice it because they only turn the wheel and shift when it's in the stand, and bikes perform a little differently under pressure. The only other problems I could foresee would be the cassette not installed tightly, or the rear hub being loose (but those would be far more consistent in skipping).
    '15 Lapierre Xelius 200 "Layla" - '13 Marin Palisades Trail SE 29er "Matilda" - '11 Trek T1 "Voskhod"

  5. #5
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    its happens when Im riding at a constant speed approx 12-16 mph on flat ground (ohio and Erie canal). im using the middle front cog and the small gears 7 - 9.

  6. #6
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    The first thing I think of is cable tension and or friction. The next is chain and cassette condition, any link or tooth damage or looseness. Third is hanger alignment. Questions about the gear use and riding style is in there too (as mentioned, good point). Replacing the der and lever are rather far down my list though. Andy.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesRL View Post
    Very interesting, thanks. I just sent a copy of that to my LBS hope he takes it in the spirit in which it was given...as in I want my new bike to work right.
    Last edited by Tumatan; 07-16-14 at 11:31 AM. Reason: added thought

  9. #9
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesRL View Post
    This supports my first thought of cable friction.

    BITD when I had my own shop (great experience, won't do it again though in the classic retail bike selling style) there was a "club" of guys who adopted the Alu framed Itl. bikes that Ten Speed Drive imported. (All made by Alan but badge labeled). These were flexible flyers and most of the guys came from main line sports and as such didn't have the most supple spin. Many of these guys complained of auto shifting when on the rivet, sprinting or climbing. They were convinced that the gears needed adjusting or the chain/cogs were worn. One by one I showed them that it was the flexy frame and their pedaling style. I would detach the rear gear cable and run a short section between the cable adjusting barrel and the anchor bolt. A simple single speed resulted that removed the shift lever and frame from the system. They would go for a ride and be amazed that their auto shifting problem was gone. Some refused to change and continued to suffer, some moved on to stiffer frames (steel is still real) and others began to learn to pedal better. Andy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    This supports my first thought of cable friction.

    BITD when I had my own shop (great experience, won't do it again though in the classic retail bike selling style) there was a "club" of guys who adopted the Alu framed Itl. bikes that Ten Speed Drive imported. (All made by Alan but badge labeled). These were flexible flyers and most of the guys came from main line sports and as such didn't have the most supple spin. Many of these guys complained of auto shifting when on the rivet, sprinting or climbing. They were convinced that the gears needed adjusting or the chain/cogs were worn. One by one I showed them that it was the flexy frame and their pedaling style. I would detach the rear gear cable and run a short section between the cable adjusting barrel and the anchor bolt. A simple single speed resulted that removed the shift lever and frame from the system. They would go for a ride and be amazed that their auto shifting problem was gone. Some refused to change and continued to suffer, some moved on to stiffer frames (steel is still real) and others began to learn to pedal better. Andy.
    I have a Fuji Touring which is a steel framed bike. I do not think, although I may be wrong, that im exerting high torq as I pedal down the towpath, im 53 and have had a triple bipass so im not looking to set any speed records im riding for distance and pace. I dont think im flexing the frame, but how cool would that be!

  11. #11
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    I've had a similar issue with a salsa vaya with microshift 9sp bar ends, deore rear derailleur. Middle front chainring and the smallest rear cogs. It feels like there is excess play in the indexed bar end to me and I do plan on changing to Shimano bar ends. I've had the bike since new and it did it worse when new. The mechanic has been good about working on it at no charge. The der. hanger did need straightening from the factory and that helped a lot but hasn't eliminated it. It'll upshift under load or when I hit a bump, in smallest 4 rear cogs. I'll check out what the referenced article mentioned after I leave this page. What about cable tension as that hasn't been adjusted since new and I've got lots of miles on it now?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Two things I'd check:

    The first is the derailleur hanger alignment. My experience has been, when I bike doesn't respond to normal tuning, most times that's the problem.

    The second thing I would check is the shift cable housing ends. If you find stray cables sticking out of the housing stops, that's your problem.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  13. #13
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    I agree with others that the most common cause of this problem is a bent derailleur hanger. And other common causes are improper cable routing at the rear derailleur. Be sure that the cable is on the correct side of the pinch bolt and that the short housing loop is an acceptable length. Standard length is about 12 - 12.5 inches. A shorter housing can cause excess friction on the cable. Also check the entire cable route for anything that could cause abnormal friction or binding, like a kink.

    More information may help diagnose the problem. Are we to assume that this is a 9-speed system (9 rear cogs)?
    I'm curious as to why the LBS replaced the mountain type derailleur, Deore, with a road type, Tiagra. What are the sizes of the smallest and largest cassette cogs 27-27, 11-32, 12-34, other?

  14. #14
    Senior Member asmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Be sure that the cable is on the correct side of the pinch bolt...
    Which side is that?

  15. #15
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    cassette:Shimano Deore, (now Tiagra) 11-34T, 9-speed
    chain:KMC X9 w/ MissingLink, 9-speed
    crankset:Shimano Deore, 48/36/26T

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmac View Post
    Which side is that?
    There is most likely a groove for the cable on the correct side. The cable should be on its most direct path to the pinch bolt as it leave the housing. First compare the way yours is attached to other bikes with Shimano derailleurs. If there is a tab washer be sure the tab is not forcing the cable off course, this could change the derailleur's actuation ratio slightly, enough to cause the problem you are having (I've seen this recently).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tumatan View Post
    cassette:Shimano Deore, (now Tiagra) 11-34T, 9-speed
    chain:KMC X9 w/ MissingLink, 9-speed
    crankset:Shimano Deore, 48/36/26T
    The 9-speed Tiagra is rated for a 27 tooth maximum cog. It may be able to handle something larger, but a 34t is very doubtful. The Deore is a mountain type derailleur and can handle a 34. Your gearing combinations require a rear derailleur wrap capacity of 45 teeth (48 - 26) + (34 - 11). Depending on the exact models, the Tiagra RD is rated at 39t total capacity, and the Deore is rated at 43t. Clearly the Deore is the better choice. In fact with the Tiagra RD if you shift into the smallest chainring and smallest cassette cog I would expect the derailleur to bottom out and cause slack in the lower run of chain. And the Deore RD would probably have about all the chain it can handle.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    The 9-speed Tiagra is rated for a 27 tooth maximum cog. It may be able to handle something larger, but a 34t is very doubtful. The Deore is a mountain type derailleur and can handle a 34. Your gearing combinations require a rear derailleur wrap capacity of 45 teeth (48 - 26) + (34 - 11). Depending on the exact models, the Tiagra RD is rated at 39t total capacity, and the Deore is rated at 43t. Clearly the Deore is the better choice. In fact with the Tiagra RD if you shift into the smallest chainring and smallest cassette cog I would expect the derailleur to bottom out and cause slack in the lower run of chain. And the Deore RD would probably have about all the chain it can handle.
    Geeze, this is turning into a nightmare.....

  19. #19
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    LBS has replaced the chain and found a tip from the Sheldon Brown article (mentioned above), about greasing the bottom bracket. Since changes I have 22 miles on it with no problems. I wont feel comfortable that its fixed until I get about 75 milles on it with no problems.

  20. #20
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    Edit: nevermind. Didn't scroll all the way down before I posted and saw the problem was resolved.

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