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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-20-08, 05:45 PM   #1
mpete69
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Problems with the New Bike?

I've put about 15 miles on my new Trek 7.3 FX since I got it on Friday. I have what I'm sure is a very Noob question: many times when I shift gears, especially the rear, I get a loud clanking or grinding type sound from the gears that persists until I shift again. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to get into a smooth, quiet gear.

Is it possible that my rear derailer needs an adjustment already? I read through Sheldon Brown's column on the topic but am very reluctant to make any adjustments until I know what's causing the noise. My fear is that my uber-Clyde size (370 lbs.) is putting pressure on the drivetrain and causing the noise. I will not be able to get the bike back to the LBS until next weekend, and am not sure if I should be riding it in the meantime. I apologize if this is a common question - I'm just worried about my new bike. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-20-08, 05:54 PM   #2
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That shouldn't be. And it shouldn't have gone out of adjustment in only 15 miles of riding. Something is definitely wrong. It may be simply an adjustment, or it may be a defect or damage. In any case, I think you shouldn't ride until you find out what's causing the problem...you may cause damage.
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Old 07-20-08, 05:57 PM   #3
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Did you take it out for a ride through the gears before you bought it? I like to assume that it should work as it should, too, but I still look under the hood when I take a test drive and put a few miles on a car that's been 'pre inspected' or 'certified' or whatever they want to call it. I hope they are happy to adjust it for you as part of a new purchase, bring it in within X time type of warranty (some of the smaller shops I know do this).
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Old 07-20-08, 06:04 PM   #4
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i have the same bike and it worked fine from the getgo....my lbs set it up and tuned it when i got it and before i took it home, i rode it to make sure all was ok....since then it's been no problem; rather dependable actually. i had 12 months free adjustments as well. most lbs are good that way.
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Old 07-20-08, 06:09 PM   #5
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I own an 06 7.3 and have never had a minute's worth of trouble with it in 4000 miles of use.
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Old 07-20-08, 06:10 PM   #6
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the shifters that come on that bike are a bit quirky .. got the same ones on my kids bike .. and it will sometimes take him 2 hits of the lever to get it to shift to the next gear ...

mostly it just has to be adjusted .. both the shifter and the derailer ... to get them to work in sync ... i got his rear one working, but the front one is still giving fits when going to the smallest front ring.
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Old 07-20-08, 06:15 PM   #7
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Try turning the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur 1/2 turn and see if that helps.
It's right where the cable housing seats in the RDER.
Try CCW first. Keep track of where you start, so you can get back there in case it's NOT the problem.
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Old 07-20-08, 07:12 PM   #8
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My front derailleur on my 7.2fx is acting similarly. It's been fine for the past three months or so, but two weeks ago it started acting up. As I don't really need to shift the front derailleur on my way to work, I have just let it be. Now that I have a second bike, I will try to fix it myself. The store I bought my Trek from (a sporting goods store - Scheels) only offers a 30 day tune up, so I am on my own unless I want to shell out the cash on it.


If you go to bicycletutor.com there are some pretty decent video tutorials on many topics of bike maintainance, including both the front and rear derailleur. It's a very useful site.
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Old 07-20-08, 08:04 PM   #9
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I suspect you're running into the 2 clicks issue. 2 clicks to shift, right? The mid click is for trimming the semitrailers.
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Old 07-20-08, 09:28 PM   #10
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It can definitely happen. I had to have the deraileurs adjusted on my LHT after about two days of ownership, and a riding buddy had a race bike built up with high end stuff, and had shifting gremlins on his second or third ride. Cable stretch is a fun thing, take it to the shop and have them show you how to adjust it. It's not hard, but having a "pro" show you makes a huge difference.
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Old 07-20-08, 09:32 PM   #11
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sometimes, finding a 'pro' that can adjust it properly is a challenge ... heh the one at the lbs i got my kids bike from ... just said 'thats how they are, sorry' ... and i had to figure it out on my own ...
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Old 07-20-08, 09:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Devil- View Post
sometimes, finding a 'pro' that can adjust it properly is a challenge ... heh the one at the lbs i got my kids bike from ... just said 'thats how they are, sorry' ... and i had to figure it out on my own ...
This is very true. Also, in all honesty, derailleur tuning is time consuming and a pain. To get it "perfect" you have to be willing to spend some serious time on it, or do what I do - go friction!
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Old 07-20-08, 11:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdinger View Post
This is very true. Also, in all honesty, derailleur tuning is time consuming and a pain. To get it "perfect" you have to be willing to spend some serious time on it, or do what I do - go friction!

These guy are subpar mechanics! You turn the barrel till it hits the next biggest cog, then turn it back about 1/16 of a turn, should be set close to purfect. Takes about 1 minute to do this, another to get it purrfect. I've done it on the road for bus that had new cables, several times.

To the OP, new cables go out of adustment randomly. Sometimes one mile into the first ride, sometimes after 200 miles, varies!

And your Uber clyde super strength should naot affect the drivetrain while shifting because if you know how to shift properly, you will know to back off the pressure on the pedals while shifting. Shifting while full throttle is only asking for trouble! PLus use your transition cogs while shifting to improve shifting smoothess while avoiding throwing the chain!


I had a bud tellme the shop guy said to go Dura Ace and upgrade the Ultegra. That's why they make DA cause it's beeter than Ultegra. That's stupid! I adjusted the derailleur for hij. Hasn't had another problem in 3 years.
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Old 07-21-08, 12:00 AM   #14
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Another note, if you ever see a good mechanic installing cables, he'lll grab them, pull on them as if trying to prestretch in order to prevent premature adjustments.
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