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Gears won't shift.

Old 06-18-10, 12:09 PM
  #1  
buzzkill87
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Gears won't shift.

I have a ladies Sears Robuck Free Spirit 10-speed road bike. My chain kept slipping so I put it back and adjusted the back derailleur screws. Now though my gears won't shift. I'm going crazy and have no idea how to fix it. When I ride it, I put a lot of force into peddling and the bike rides really really slowly. It's impossible to ride to work. Before all of the chain slipping the bike rode just fine but there was a lot of racket whenever I shifted gears.

Does anyone know what's wrong and how I can fix it? If not, do you know of any problems associated with Sears bikes? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

P.S.

I don't know very much about mechanics so any article with a lot of technical bike words in it will be very hard for me to understand.
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Old 06-18-10, 12:26 PM
  #2  
shouldberiding
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The screws you adjusted were probably derailleur limit screws. There is a high and low limit, you adjust them so that the chain doesn't slip off the front most or rear most cog on the cassette. I think what you did was torque them both down so far that the derailleur will not move out of the position it is in.
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Old 06-18-10, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzkill87 View Post
I don't know very much about mechanics so any article with a lot of technical bike words in it will be very hard for me to understand.
You adjusted the most sensitive part of your bike without knowing what you were doing.
Now you will have to take it to a shop and pay someone that does.

Enjoy
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Old 06-18-10, 12:46 PM
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buzzkill87
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This may be a stupid question but how do I know how much to adjust the derailleurs?
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Old 06-18-10, 12:49 PM
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You learn first hand from a mechanic or read a book with a lot of technical bike words, and practice.
Or, in your case, take it to a shop and don't worry about it.

Enjoy

Last edited by powers2b; 06-18-10 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Because I am the dictator of my posts
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Old 06-18-10, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzkill87 View Post
This may be a stupid question but how do I know how much to adjust the derailleurs?
It really isn't hard. String the bike up with a rope from the garage rafters under the saddle, or turn it upside down.

Then watch this video. Once the two limit screws are (re)set, it's usually only cable adjustment. Re-attach the cable with the chain on the smallest sprocket and the shifter on the highest number. Your shifter may be different to the one in the vid.


Last edited by snafu21; 06-18-10 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 06-18-10, 01:10 PM
  #7  
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+1 Those screws do not adjust the shifting, they just keep you from dropping the chain. Study first, wrench second. Derailleur adjustment is very well explained on the Parks Tool site. If that does not make sense to you, then go to a shop. They should be able to sort it out for you for $30 or so.
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Old 06-18-10, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
They should be able to sort it out for you for $30 or so.
Which is exactly 6X what the bike is worth.

Enjoy
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Old 06-19-10, 01:08 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
Which is exactly 6X what the bike is worth.

Enjoy
^^^^

What is it with you? Three unhelpful and sarcastic posts in this topic, a dismissive reply to Buzzkill in another. You got some sort of elitist attitude over people buying and trying to fix budget/older bikes on a low income?

The poster in a previous similar post has already said that they are on a tight budget. If you can't be helpful, why not just shut up instead of posting bile?

Buzzkill87, you need any more help with that bike, come back on here or PM me. We're not all aggressive sneering bullies with a downer on older bikes.

Back out both limit screws until the gears shift. Don't ride the bike like this or the chain could come off and damage the frame or the wheel

Then watch the video twice.

Last edited by snafu21; 06-19-10 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 06-19-10, 03:35 AM
  #10  
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Other posters have already suggested some nice resources for the key issue, so I'll target something else instead.

Originally Posted by buzzkill87 View Post
....do you know of any problems associated with Sears bikes?
You need to be aware that while there are plenty of different names displayed on the frames, the actual functional bits are very much generic, and always from a 3rd party supplier. Saying it's a Sears bike its a bit like saying that you're having trouble with a McDonalds soft drink.

Originally Posted by buzzkill87 View Post
....I don't know very much about mechanics so any article with a lot of technical bike words in it will be very hard for me to understand.
There are plenty of people here who'll be glad to help, but I advise you to make an effort to pick up as much of the terminology as possible. www.sheldonbrown.com is a great place to start. Without the proper words it just gets really difficult to know if we're talking about doing the same tweaks to the same parts.
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