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New cassette shifting hard

Old 10-13-14, 09:40 PM
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New cassette shifting hard

I just replaced my 9speed Shimano cassette that came stock on my Trek 7.4 FX with a Shimano HG80 9 speed cassette. I would have thought that this would be a pretty clean swap, but although everything remained the same and the new setup seems to work fine when shifting on my bike stand, once I get on the bike and apply pressure by peddling the shifts become very clunky and stiff. I am currently using the stock KMC chain that came with it. Should I be looking for a HG compatible chain?

The rear derailleur seems to be adjusted fine. I'm going to take the night off and look at it again tomorrow so I can go over in my head what I might be missing.
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Old 10-14-14, 12:13 AM
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Did you also replace the chain? and if not, how old was it?

Otherwise it could be as simple as a trim adjustment. All cassettes don't sit identically on freehubs, so changing cassettes often calls for small trim adjustments to match their position.
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Old 10-14-14, 06:04 AM
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I'm going to guess the chain may have 2000 miles on it. It's been well maintained with deep regular cleanings and lube. I'm going to spend a bit more time with it this afternoon and see if I can dial it in a little more.
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Old 10-14-14, 08:27 AM
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As Francis suggests, replace the chain. I'm no fan of KMC chains (although they do have their supporters) and would recommend either the SRAM or Shimano using a connector link. Then do a complete readjustment of the shift system. Limit range and SIS (cable tension). Often a different cassette is slightly more inboard or out board then the old one. Andy.
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Old 10-14-14, 10:18 AM
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+1 to the above.
I expect to have to turn the barrel adjuster a "bit" whenever changing a cassette.
1 turn isn't abnormal.

Another thing I've seen on some cassettes is the amount of rivet protrusion on the largest cog.
I've had to file the heads down on a low end Shimano 11-34 9 speed. I couldn't get good purchase on the lock ring until I did.

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Old 10-14-14, 01:07 PM
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Is the new cassette the same gearing as the old one?
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Old 10-14-14, 07:47 PM
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Thank you for all the help and suggestions. I spent another 1/2 hour with it today and I just can't get rid of the "clunk" between 2 or 3 gears. It just feels like it's hanging onto a tooth just a little too long and then slams into the next sprocket. Since chains don't cost that much I'm going to go and pick me up a Shimano chain to see if that helps. To answer one of your questions... I went for 11-32 to 11-28. I'm not sure how that would change much in the drive train adjustments but I'm always open for suggestion.
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Old 10-14-14, 08:26 PM
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Buying a new chain may help, but may not be necessary. Start by measuring your old chain for stretch, and if it's less than 1/4% (1/32"over 12") or fairly new, you shouldn't have to replace it. Often slight older chains are a bit more flexible, and more prone to "power shifting" under load (or even when not). This lets them force themselves deeper onto the sprockets during the shift than a new chain would.

Some break-in and you adjusting your "touch" as needed can resolve this by itself soon enough.

OTOH- if you measure the chain and it's near the end of it's service life (approaching 1/16" over 12), this is as good a time to replace as any.
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