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Road Bikes More Affected by Grime?

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Road Bikes More Affected by Grime?

Old 10-30-15, 07:02 PM
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Road Bikes More Affected by Grime?

Hey folks,
After a 7 year hiatus from cycling, I'm picking the hobby back up. In the past I've always ridden mountain bikes, and old road bikes with friction shifters. As part of picking the hobby back up, I picked up a Fuji Sportif (All Sora components) from Performance. I picked it up last Saturday and I've got about 60 miles of greenway paths on it now.

The bike started shifting terribly a couple days ago, and for the life of me, I couldn't get it shifting correctly. It was inconsistent, sometimes not shifting, sometime doubling or tripling, etc. It wasn't really dirty, but tonight I decided to give it a good cleaning before heading out in the morning for a longer ride. After a good scrub and lube, it now shifts amazingly.

What gives? I've ridden filthy mountain bikes for years and never really experienced a bike that was finicky about a little grime. Is this normal for a road bike? Is it because it's Sora?
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Old 10-30-15, 07:28 PM
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Well friction shifting is auto correcting for cable friction. Indexing shifting not so. Also I suspect that the cog to cog spacing on the current Fuji is far narrower then that of your old ATBs. This would make any off centering of the rear der even more noticeable compared to the wider spacing between cogs of older systems.

This is true for all bikes independent of type or use intentions. This is true for all grades of cable controlled systems. The more costly systems wear at a slower rate for many of the components, although the skinnier cogs, rings and chains wear faster then those of older and fewer "gears" systems.

For a STI equipped road bike that starts to have shifting issues as you describe I would first look at the rear der cable friction at the BB cable guide and the last casing loop from the stay to the der. The guide is in the direct line of fling off from the tires and the rear casing loop has the tightest curve and often a seat stay routed inner cable which feeds water and grime into the casing loop Andy.
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Old 10-30-15, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FlatFender View Post
After a good scrub and lube, it now shifts amazingly.

What gives? I've ridden filthy mountain bikes for years and never really experienced a bike that was finicky about a little grime. Is this normal for a road bike? Is it because it's Sora?
As noted, 9 speed systems are a lot more finicky than 6 or 7 speeds. Sora is a perfectly good group that will shift great for many miles assuming it is tuned and maintained appropriately (this goes for any group). If simply cleaning and lubing cured your shifting issues, it sounds like you got some gunk stuck in the rear derailleur that caused one or more of the pivots to bind up. It's happened to me on both front and rear but is a rare occurrence.

Due note that as everything breaks in you will need to make some minor tweaks to keep things shifting smoothly. Usually at around a few hundred miles, the rear derailleur needs a 1/2-1 turn to add some tension and possibly the same for the front depending on usage. After that, you'll be good to go for a while.
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