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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 08-24-09, 05:20 PM   #1
TheNoumenalDave
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Gearing Challenge

So, i just got a brand new USS Challenge Hurricaine that i orderd through Angletech and i was so psyched to get it as ive been waiting of course for it to get here. Now that its here it looks great and everything but my front derailleur (shimano ultegra tripple) is giving me serious problems and im SO frustrated!! i just want it to work right so i can get to some propper riding. my front chain rings are a 60t a 42t and a 34t so of course going from a 60t to a 34t you could understand why there would be an issue. the problem is that no matter how i adjust the derailleur i can not get up onto the 60t at all. Whats more than that is even shifting between the other 2 rings is difficult. i have bar end shifters and i feel like i have to pull wayyyyy too hard to get it to shift, i just cant figure it out. maybe this combo just wont work at all and i need to change the gearing but what i dont get is that the standard rings on front are supposed to be a 60 a 42 and a 32 so why would that be standard if it doesnt even work? as an attempt to prevent some of this issue i even had the 32 changed to a 34 as Kelvin at Angletech called me and said that would make it work better. the rear derailler is nice and smooth and doesnt have issues with a 9-34 cassette but this trouble with the front is quite upsetting... especially considering the cost of this bike i would expect it to be in propper working order in all aspects when its brand new. If anyone could help me out i would really appreciate it.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:53 PM   #2
BlazingPedals
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Twenty-eight teeth from granny to big chainring is a huge range, possibly more than the derailleur can handle. Take the chain off and try to shift the derailleur up to the 3rd ring. It should center laterally over the ring and should have about a mm of clearance between the tops of the teeth to the derailleur cage. Too much gap and it will shift the chain off the outside, too little and the cage will hit the chainring when you try to shift. You may have to loosen the clamp at the shift tube and slide the derailleur up or down the tube to get it positioned correctly. (Also make sure the cage is straight along the chainrings.)

If that's OK and after reinstalling the chain, it doesn't shift, you might need a larger *middle* ring. Derailleurs can only shift so many teeth at once, and 18 is likely too many. Get a 46T ring, tha'll only require a shift of 14 teeth up and 12 teeth down, which will be much easier.

Before taking that step, though, shift to the granny ring and verify that the chain doesn't drag on the bottom of the derailleur cage. If it does, you'll either need a larger granny or a smaller big ring. Adjust the size of the middle ring as needed so that it's halfway between the largest and smallest.
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Old 08-25-09, 08:04 AM   #3
gcottay
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What a bummer.

Angletech has a good reputation. I'd suggest another call or two or three until your great new ride is shifting like butter.

You might also want to seriously play around with the height, angle and stops of the derailleur. Sheldon Brown wrote some good stuff on this as did BlazingPedals.
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Old 08-25-09, 08:30 AM   #4
BKXray
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Shifter

There is a chance that your bar end shifter is set up wrong. There is a piece that is there to change from shifting for a double or triple chainring that may be in the double configuration which doesn't give you enough travel. I'd like to be able to give you great quick advice on how to change it but I always have to fool around with it for awhile to get it right myself!
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Old 08-27-09, 04:49 PM   #5
TheNoumenalDave
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thanks for the input guys, it looks like im just going to have to change the chain rings. There are no bike shops around here so i have to get everything online and do it myself. anyone know a good place for ordering this kinda stuff?? i was also thinking i might just bite the bullet and buy a rhollof but i cant find anywhere to get a 20'' rhollof wheel built and shipped here besides places in europe that want to charge like $160 just for shipping. any ideas as far as that goes??
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Old 08-28-09, 06:40 AM   #6
BlazingPedals
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Maybe before you do anything rash, you should call Kelvin and see what he has to say. It seems like you've got an insane gear range going, especially for a 20" wheel. A more common chainring combination for 20" would be something like 39/52/60. If you're considering a Rohloff, have you considered a SRAM 3x9 coupled with a double chainring?
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Old 08-29-09, 01:32 PM   #7
purplepeople
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Sounds like you could really have enjoyed having an LBS assemble the bike for you.

In an case, it appears you don't have the front derailleur mounted far enough from the bottom bracket. Installation difficulty is coupled with the fact that out of the box the derailleur is set up for low gear. Take the chain off the bike, reposition the derailleur so that when it swings onto the large ring, the cage misses by about 5mm. Look from above and makes sure the cage alignment matches the plane of the rings.

Note that the jump from 34T ring to 60T ring is only 26 teeth and something that most rear derailleur with long cages can handle.

:)ensen.
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