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Having gear problems... should I get a single speed?

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Having gear problems... should I get a single speed?

Old 03-10-19, 05:11 PM
  #1  
morgothaod
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Having gear problems... should I get a single speed?

I have a Trek Mountain Track 800 and I was having problems with the bike sometimes getting in between gears. I had a bike mechanic look at it and he tightened the spring of my derailleur. He said that I'll eventually need a new derailleur but thought it would be ok for awhile. Anyways, I'm still having problems. When I'm in gear 2-5, the bike sometimes goes to 2-6 (It'll be in 2-5 for like 10 minutes and then go to 2-6). So, would a new derailleur keep me from having the issue of being in the wrong gear or being in between gears for awhile like a few years? Because if I can expect gear problems again then I think maybe I should just get a single speed? What should I do, get a new derailleur or get another bike? Thanks.
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Old 03-10-19, 05:48 PM
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Did the mechanic check the condition of the chain and cogs? Those parts wear out with use.
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Old 03-10-19, 06:09 PM
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Sticky cables can also allow a delayed upshift. When's the last time they were cleaned/lubed/inspected for fraying?

I'd guess your mechanic is a doofus or isn't and you really do need a new RDER.
Likely an inexpensive Shimano Tourney would do the job.
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Old 03-10-19, 09:56 PM
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The reason you go to a single speed is because you prefer that type of cycling. Having a mechanical problem is a poor reason to change over (unless your RD breaks and you shorten the chain to make a temporary fixie to get home).

Did the mechanic say WHY the RD would need replacement?

I'd verify that 1) the chain wasn't worn/stretched, 2) the rear cassette cogs are in ok shape - no hooks worn into them, 3) the RD cable is tight when the chain is in the smallest sprocket, and the barrel adjustment has been made so that the chain is dead center on the sprockets. If that's ok, I'd check the derailleur for wear or play, including the jockey wheels. I'd then have the RD hanger checked to ensure it's not bent.

Depending upon the age of the bike I'd then check, clean, and lub (or just replace) the shift cable and housing.
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Old 03-11-19, 12:10 AM
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Whenever you can add another bike, do so. Get the single speed.
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Old 03-11-19, 06:43 AM
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I am skeptical of the “new rear deraileur” answer Unless your RD is really cheap dept store crap, that is almost never the root of the problem, and if your RD really IS that worn out, you would likely have worn out a bunch of other things that should be checked and replaced first.

Number one thing: did they check the derailleur hanger alignment? I don’t mean eyeballing it. I mean with a tool?

Two: did they try replacing (or at least thoroughly check the condition of) the cable/housing?

What about chain and cog wear? Not likely to be the problem, but you never know.
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Old 03-11-19, 01:01 PM
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The Trek 800 is their bottom of the line mountain bike*. I'm not saying it's crap, but it's certainly not going to be as durable as slightly more expensive bikes. The components may just be suffering from wear and tear, especially because they're cheap.

You can probably replace parts and get it working better, but depending on how much you ride, you might want to think about replacing the bike with something better. The replacement could be either a new mountain-style bike, single speed, cruiser, road bike, whatever, it really depends on how you're going to be using the bike. I'm sure there's a sticky on one of these forums to help you choose a bike. Or you can start with your local bike shop.

edit:
* and it looks like they haven't made it for at least fifteen years. Probably any repair is going to cost more than the value of the bike itself.

Last edited by Geekage; 03-11-19 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 03-11-19, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I am skeptical of the “new rear deraileur” answer Unless your RD is really cheap dept store crap, that is almost never the root of the problem,
That's what I think too.
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Old 03-11-19, 01:34 PM
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Replacing the derailleur, cable, housing, chain and freewheel with similar quality to OE would cost ~$60 or so (15 each for freewheel, chain, derailleur and cable/housing). It will work like new.
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Old 03-11-19, 01:42 PM
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1=2 & 3=4

I think maybe I should just get a single speed?
Then, your other speed is walking the bike..

3 speed hub = tail wind 3rd, head wind 1st , JRA, 2nd.





.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-16-19 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 03-11-19, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Sticky cables can also allow a delayed upshift. When's the last time they were cleaned/lubed/inspected for fraying?

I'd guess your mechanic is a doofus or isn't and you really do need a new RDER.
Likely an inexpensive Shimano Tourney would do the job.
Just to clarify, I am not changing gears. I stay in 2 (on the left side) and 5 (on the right side). When pedaling, I'll be in the correct gear and then after like 10-20 minutes, the resistance gets more difficult and I notice that I am in the 6th gear. Here is a video that shows what I am talking about. Hope it is helpful.

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Old 03-11-19, 06:00 PM
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Might be your shifter - many of those grip shifters don't have a way to adjust the friction, and as they wear out that kind of behavior is possible. Rear derailleur is probably fine.

Microshift grip shifters on Amazon

Shimano Thumb Shifters on Amazon
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Old 03-12-19, 12:30 PM
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I'd be just as suspicious of the sticky cables or shift lever. But a gummed up DR is just as likely too.. Maybe just needs to be cleaned really good. Make certain your mechanic explains exactly what it is about the DR that might be bad.

While the mechanic probably could disassemble and clean the DR, a new one probably doesn't cost more than the time the mechanic would have to spend cleaning your old one. Add to that the possibility it may actually have wear that requires something else, then from a shop standpoint it is better to recommend a new DR.
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Old 03-12-19, 03:01 PM
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I believe he said a new deraiuller plus labor would be like $25. Would I be able to upgrade to a better model for the derailer?
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Old 03-12-19, 03:39 PM
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Just to be clear, when you say the bike shifts from 5th to 6th gear, is the shifter still in 5th, or does that change as well?
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Old 03-12-19, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
I believe he said a new deraiuller plus labor would be like $25. Would I be able to upgrade to a better model for the derailer?
It's a pretty old bike. I don't know what's out there as far as new or better DR's for your bike. Seven speed rear isn't it?. Even so, my 11 speed Shimano 105 rear DR is only $34.00 more or less brand new.

That's just a price example. You won't want to try using an 11 speed DR on a seven or eight speed bike. Discuss with your mechanic what exactly it is they want to get you and ask them if there is better. IMO, you are probably limited in what new stuff can be had for that bike with out changing other stuff.

Not certain you can get new original equipment DR. Even so, what ever is still available is probably good enough.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-12-19 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 03-13-19, 10:23 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Might be your shifter - many of those grip shifters don't have a way to adjust the friction, and as they wear out that kind of behavior is possible. Rear derailleur is probably fine.

Microshift grip shifters on Amazon

Shimano Thumb Shifters on Amazon
I don't know of any Sram Gripshifts that don't have on-shifter cable adjustment. You can see the barrels clear as day in that video.

@morgothaod I'd replace that cable run first. Sometimes it can be hard to find a place that will change cables in that era Gripshifts. Replacements come with a cable loaded so lazy techs usually want to replace the shifter. The replacement Gripshift MRX shifters aren't as nice as the Gripshifts on that bike, however.

I'd be somewhat tempted to go singlespeed, unfortunately that bike has vertical dropouts, so you'd need a tensioner or to find a magic ratio.
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Old 03-13-19, 10:31 AM
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maybe

Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
I believe he said a new derailleur, plus labor would be like $25. Would I be able to upgrade to a better model for the derailer?
Come up with the increased difference in cost for the parts, and the labor charge should be the same,
to fit and adjust it.. ...
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Old 03-13-19, 10:47 AM
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Well I went back and had another mechanic look at it. He lubed the chain and changed the derailleur cable.
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Old 03-15-19, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
Well I went back and had another mechanic look at it. He lubed the chain and changed the derailleur cable.
Did it fix the problem? Suggested in post 3.
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Old 03-15-19, 12:11 PM
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That bike looks like a good candidate for Single Speed.

SS= stone hammer simple=durable=reliable.
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Old 03-15-19, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Did it fix the problem? Suggested in post 3.

The new DR cable did fix the problem but I now have another problem. When riding I noticed a minor creaking sound, it wasn't too bad at first but all of a sudden it got a lot louder.


1) When walking the bike there is no creaking

2) When sitting on the bike and not pedaling there is creaking

3) When riding the bike there is creaking

4) When lifting the bike in the air and pedaling by hand, no creaking


Should I take my bike back in and ask for a tune up?


Here is a video:


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Old 03-15-19, 02:07 PM
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Try a fixed gear

I'm sure your shifting problem can be solved with adjustments, or a new chain or cable. But if you have another multi-geared bike to use when you need gears, you might want to try converting this bike to a fixed-gear just to enjoy all the simplicity, feel of the road, and leg strength exercise you get with every ride.
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Old 03-15-19, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
The new DR cable did fix the problem but I now have another problem. When riding I noticed a minor creaking sound, it wasn't too bad at first but all of a sudden it got a lot louder.


1) When walking the bike there is no creaking

2) When sitting on the bike and not pedaling there is creaking

3) When riding the bike there is creaking

4) When lifting the bike in the air and pedaling by hand, no creaking


Should I take my bike back in and ask for a tune up?


Here is a video:


https://youtu.be/RXyPRUQmUno

I'd guess one of your hub bearings is toast. Try rolling just the front wheel, then just the rear wheel to try to isolate which one it is. If you're lucky, you just need a repack. I'd do it with fresh bearings. Usually that sound indicates that a bearing cage has deteriorated.

I'd go ahead a preemptively repack the other hub's bearings, bottom bracket, and headset bearings also.
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Old 03-15-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I'd guess one of your hub bearings is toast. Try rolling just the front wheel, then just the rear wheel to try to isolate which one it is. If you're lucky, you just need a repack. I'd do it with fresh bearings. Usually that sound indicates that a bearing cage has deteriorated.


I'd go ahead a preemptively repack the other hub's bearings, bottom bracket, and headset bearings also.

Not sure if I did your test correctly but the wheels sound normal to me. What do you think?


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