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Old 06-23-09, 06:48 AM
  #8  
FBinNY 
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

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It doesn't matter if the cable is frayed where it hangs loose after the pinch bolt on the dreailleurs, bit if there's frayed cable near the levers, or along the length, it will affect the shifting performance.

Other things that could cause your problem are poor derailleur adjustment, and/or a worn chain and cassette. Check your chain for wear as follows: Lean your bike against a wall in a corner with the front wheel against the other wall. While pressing firmly on the pedals to tension the chain use a 12" ruler to measure a section of the chain.

On a new chain the pins will line up evenly every half inch, but as chains wear, each pin will be a bit beyond where it should be with the pin at the 12" mark visibly beyond the mark. If it's less than 1/16" beyond you're OK, more than 1/8" it's definitely toast, possibly your cassette too. Between 1/16" and 1/8" is a gray area and a judgement call, but your cassette is probably OK if you don't wait much longer to replace the chain.

Given that you're new to this, I suggest doing the chain check first, and then visiting a good LBS, preferably a smaller one run by active cyclists, and having them check and adjust the bike, and hopefully show you the basic adjustments you should do yourself from then on. Expect to pay, but from then on, you can start doing the simple stuff yourself, and building your knowledge over time.
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