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Old 12-11-06, 08:30 PM   #1
Hwy 40 Blue
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All of a sudden my chain is skipping

I try to maintain the bike, and clean it and stuff, but when I went out to ride yesterday my chain was jumping and skipping all over the rear cluster when I shifted, I mean. It never did this before. I'm not very technical. New chain? Clean everything up (again)? Stretched cable? Check all of the above?
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Old 12-11-06, 08:44 PM   #2
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Check to make sure your rear wheel is centered between the chain stays.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:03 PM   #3
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Hi Hyw 40 Blue, the same thing happened to me today. My derailer cage (the thing with the two toothed wheels that guide the chain) was stuck too far in a backward position. It got that way because I'd just fixed a flat on the rear wheel and I had moved the derailer cage by hand. To fix the skipping, I moved the derailer cage by hand back into its most normal forward position.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:17 PM   #4
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Check movement of shifter cable. I had new handlebars put on my Trek, and the putz that did the job didn't route the cable through the housing underneath the bottom bracket. Corrosion or foreign object may have the same effect. It's dangerous to ride if you don't get it fixed. Be careful!
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Old 12-11-06, 09:26 PM   #5
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What type of shift levers do you have? Is your rear derailleur securely mounted, or is it flopping about?
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Old 12-11-06, 09:58 PM   #6
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I presume you have index shifting. If so, it may be as simple as trimming your rear derailleur cable. You should have either a barrel adjuster, or an adjuster on your top tube that can tighten or loosen that cable. Because it's a bit colder, your cable may have contracted some and needs to be trimmed. However, it could be any number of other things, but most likely it's something caused by the cable being out of adjustment or hung up, etc.
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Old 12-11-06, 10:36 PM   #7
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I have index shifting, yes. Will check everything tomorrow under bright sunlight and, I hope, fix it. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-06, 08:49 AM   #8
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lotza things could be causing the issue.
assuming no real crosschain issues (not THAT crosschain, the OTHER crosschain...)
a simple way to see if it needs cable adjustment is to reach down to the downtube while ridin/pedalin lightly and while chain is skippin/doin its thang, and pull gently up on the rear shifter cable as if you were 'plucking' a guitar string. If a gentle tug clears up the skipping or reduces it, the cable is too loose. If the tug causes the chain to jump into the next higher cog or causes the chain to ride on top of the cog teeth, the cable is too tight. Use the barrel adjuster on the RD, one detent at a time to adjust. Turn clockwise to loosen cable, counter to tighten.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:57 AM   #9
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Check to see if your derailleur needs minor adjusment by doing the following. Shift the chain to one of the middle gears in the rear. Now get down behind the bike and look at the upper derailleur pully wheel. It should be centered directly under the cog on which the chain is resting. Even a slight variation to the left or right can cause your chain to dance around when shifting. Below are two sites that give a more detailed description with photos and/or diagrams. Good luck.


http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html
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Old 12-12-06, 10:25 AM   #10
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No new parts fitted so It sounds like adjustment.

Big problem is if you have fitted a new chain and it does not loke the worn cassette or front sprockets.

Definitely sounds like rear derailler adjustment but failing that- The bike sales are still on.
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Old 12-12-06, 02:09 PM   #11
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Be sure you don't have a sticky link in your chain. The chain bends going through the lower pulley, stays bent backwards and slips when it tries to mate with your cluster.

Use your chain tool to unstick the link.
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Old 12-12-06, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubi
Be sure you don't have a sticky link in your chain. The chain bends going through the lower pulley, stays bent backwards and slips when it tries to mate with your cluster.

Use your chain tool to unstick the link.
Bingo. That's the one I was going to mention. The last time I had a chain jumping around on the cassette, I adjusted, adjusted, and adjusted, only to end up finding out I had a tight chain link.
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Old 12-13-06, 08:48 AM   #13
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Over time the chain "stretches" and will inevitably start to skip. It should be replaced immediately or the cogs on your rear cassette and front chain rings will wear to match the "stretched" chain. If that happens then you have to replace the chain and the gears.

The time it takes to "stretch" the chain depends on many variables, but for my commute it takes less than a year. As a matter of fact, I should probably put a new chain on real soon because I know it is due to start skipping.
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Old 12-13-06, 07:22 PM   #14
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I just remembered another one that will cause skipping: Be sure the bolt which attaches the derailler to your bike frame is not loose.
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