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  1. #1
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    Anyone with a Specialized Dolce Elite, please......

    I need help. I have just purchased a Specialized Dolce Elite. This is a nice bike designed for a woman. I am having trouble learning how to shift. I don't understand and can't picture what I am doing, and don't want to be looking down at the sprockets, rings, chains etc. I desperately need to see a manual or diagram of the particular bike I have and the levers (shifters that I have) so someone can tell me exactly how and what to do. At this point, I believe that the right shifters (which control the back gears) (a long silver one, i am to use to put me into "low gears" so I can climb a hill, or ease up on the pedaling as needed) and the little black button lever to go into high gear or when I am going down a hill.

    then I believe that the left shifters (which control the front gears) I use just the opposite to do the same thing. I believe I use the little black button lever to shift further into high gear (but I don't know how many times I need to push on it, and the long silver one to go into the ultimate highest gear, but again don't know how many times to push on it.

    I am having a problem with the chain flying off several times during a ride. Typically what I am doing is when I come to more difficult pedaling to climb I start off with clicking on the right long silver shifter until I max that out, then switch to the left little black button to go to even lower gears, but don't know how many times I can push that. Then when I try to flatten out or back down hill, I get confused and don't know where to start to shift. I usually start with the long left shifter and then go to the right black one. When I am going downhill do I need to get back into high gear by starting with the left long silver one or instead start going into high with the right little black button one?

    I need step by step instructions on how to do this, as the chain keeps coming off.

    Sylvia

  2. #2
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    Please somebody who rides a Specialized Dolce Elite help out. Sylvia needs a real picture of what is happening with instructions, but basically, keep it simple without a lot of terminology.

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Chris L thinks that Sylvia should allow a little more than three minutes between posts to give people a chance to reply.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Here ya go: the basics...

    LEFT LEVER: shifts the front derailleur...the 3 rings in the front (or 2, if you're riding a double chainring). Big ring will be harder to pedal, carry you further. It's for fast riding over level or downhill terrain. Little ring (Granny gear) is for climbing/spinning at low rpms...i.e., hill work. Most ride in the middle ring (if you have one). KEY: you don't want an "extreme" combination of front ring to back ring alignment, where the chain runs at a diagonal from front to back. This can cause the chain to pop off in the front. Example: chain in big ring in the front, big ring in the back. Not good...too much stress on the chain. Another example: chain in little ring in the front, little ring in the back. Not good, same reason.

    RIGHT LEVER: Controls the back chain placement on the cassette rings...you probably have 9 rings back there, you may have 8. Tip: Think "Right=Rear", if that helps. Chain runs up and down these ring choices as you shift. The biggest chain ring in the back will make the bike pedal the easiest. Tip: Think "The BIG EASY" (New Orleans)...in other words, if you put the chain on the bigger ring, the bike will pedal easier. Got it?

    Best advice is to start out keeping your chain in the front middle chainring most of the time you are riding. Then just shift with the RIGHT LEVER up and down the series of chain rings in the rear cassette and get a feel for each setting. You will find one that you tend to stay in more than others to start.

    Never shift while NOT pedaling. Never shift both left and right levers at the same time. Never ride in those extreme chain positions as described above.

    If your chain keeps jumping off the front (or rear) rings, it could be that: 1. your chain length needs adjusting 2. your derailleur (front or rear) needs adjusting. If you're not comfortable with doing it yourself, take it to the shop and let them tweak it.

    Good websites to learn more: www.sheldonbrown.com and www.parktool.com

    There are excellent books (some published by Bicycling Magazines) that teach basic shifting skills. Good idea to pick one up....hope this helps! After a while you will not have to look down to see what is happening when you shift...it will become second nature to you.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  5. #5
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    Even simpler. For a week or so don't shift the chain rings in front (left control) while riding. If you have 3 chain rings, get the chain onto the middle ring & leave it there. Shift the rear derailler so that the chain is on the middle or next biggest cog. That is where you will spend the most time. Go for a ride on flat ground and practice shifting the rear to the next smaller cog, then one smaller still and then back to the starting cog. Do this repeatedly until you are sure of what will happen when you move your shifters, then try shifting 1 or 2 cogs larger and back. One of the mysteries of bike gearing is that you may have "27 gearings" but you don't have 27 different gears. There is a lot of overlap. If you are just starting to ride, you won't need to use your front derailleur much, the middle ring will do you fine. Once you are really comfortable with shifting the rear gears and are confident on the flat, start some hill work. Only after you are comfortable climbing and descending in the middle ring do you want to start shifting to the big ring on the flats and granny ring on the hills.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

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    Do you like everything else on the bike?

    Its on my list of bikes that i have been looking at. I road one last night, but everyone seems to think i'd be better off with a fuji Newest with 650cc wheels.

    How tall are you if you dont mind my asking

    -KL

  7. #7
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    One of the things I don't like about Specialized, especially compared to Terry, is their miserable manuals. I think they must have been advised to tell as little about the bike as possible so people will be discouraged from riding them and reduce their product liability claims. But since you bought a Specialized, you got it from a bike shop (I hope). Other than Saturday morning, most shops will be willing to spend some time with you teaching you how to do things like shift. After all, if you don't ride the bike they sell you, you won't bring it in for service, or buy tires, etc. Selling you the bike is just the first step in customer service. The difference between a mass merchant bike and a bike shop bike is that you shouldn't be afraid to go to your LBS and ask for detailed instruction on you bike. The bike shop wants to make you a happy customer.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  8. #8
    OMG! i'm a DURT gurl!!!! caligurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lachanck
    Do you like everything else on the bike?

    Its on my list of bikes that i have been looking at. I road one last night, but everyone seems to think i'd be better off with a fuji Newest with 650cc wheels.

    How tall are you if you dont mind my asking

    -KL
    i have a dolce elite.. i like it... i'm still very new though. i wanted a trek.. but didn't want to have the small wheels (700's are more universal and you can borrow in a pinch) and didn't want to spend the money for the top of the line wds on my first bike.

    also looked at the ocr1 and liked it.. but the bike shop ticked us off so we left

    i'm 5'2" and got the 51cm dolce.

    i'm having issues with the seat.. but i'm hoping it's just newbie pain...

  9. #9
    Senior Member mascardr's Avatar
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    I ride a Terry Symmetry. My bike fits me great and I'm quite comfortable on it except for one thing. It seems like I really work when riding. I have the small tire in the front. I have been riding for 4 years and feel like I'm in pretty good shape. But it just seems like I work hard to get where I'm going. I have tried to read all I can concerning the small tire in front and I see pros and cons on the subject. I was in my local bike shop a few days ago asking about a new bike. After getting all the info I could, I'm interested in the Specialized Dolce. I talked in length to the salesperson and she wasn't biased one way or another. She did mention that she thought it took more strokes to get from here to there with the small tire but admitted she wasn't that familiar with the Terry line of bikes. She gave me all the info on the Dolce but also suggested that I might just have the wrong gearing and maybe just getting new cranks might solve my problem. But boy that Dolce sure is pretty !!!! I liked the fact that you sit more upright on the Dolce compared to other WSD bikes.
    So I'm debating what to do. Any suggestions ???



    Quote Originally Posted by caligurl
    i have a dolce elite.. i like it... i'm still very new though. i wanted a trek.. but didn't want to have the small wheels (700's are more universal and you can borrow in a pinch) and didn't want to spend the money for the top of the line wds on my first bike.

    also looked at the ocr1 and liked it.. but the bike shop ticked us off so we left

    i'm 5'2" and got the 51cm dolce.

    i'm having issues with the seat.. but i'm hoping it's just newbie pain...

  10. #10
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mascardr
    I ride a Terry Symmetry. My bike fits me great and I'm quite comfortable on it except for one thing. It seems like I really work when riding. I have the small tire in the front. I have been riding for 4 years and feel like I'm in pretty good shape. But it just seems like I work hard to get where I'm going. I have tried to read all I can concerning the small tire in front and I see pros and cons on the subject. I was in my local bike shop a few days ago asking about a new bike. After getting all the info I could, I'm interested in the Specialized Dolce. I talked in length to the salesperson and she wasn't biased one way or another. She did mention that she thought it took more strokes to get from here to there with the small tire but admitted she wasn't that familiar with the Terry line of bikes. She gave me all the info on the Dolce but also suggested that I might just have the wrong gearing and maybe just getting new cranks might solve my problem. But boy that Dolce sure is pretty !!!! I liked the fact that you sit more upright on the Dolce compared to other WSD bikes.
    So I'm debating what to do. Any suggestions ???
    Wheel size is less of a factor than gearing range. Check out how many teeth on your front rings. Typical road bike is 52/42/30 on the front for a triple. Then check out the number of teeth in your rear cassette. If it's a 9 speed, of course, you'll have 9 rings, but it shows in a "range". Example: 12x25.

    You might compare the Dolce's specs with your bike's and see if they are comparable. If your gearing range is the same, or close, it is a non-issue re the wheel size. That's my opinion, limited though my expertise is. You might go to www.sheldonbrown.com and see what he says about calculating gear ranges. It gets complicated, but it might give you the info you seek.

    One of the bikes I ride, in addition to a road bike, is a recumbent with dual 20" wheels on it. It's gearing range is 23-113, coming off a 62/52/42 front and a 11x32 rear. Sucker flies. Here wheelsize is a moot point. It's the gearing that makes it go that fast. It's as fast as a road bike with dual 700cc wheels.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

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