Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Chain don't wanna go uphill

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Chain don't wanna go uphill

Old 05-27-21, 10:00 PM
  #26  
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,920
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1813 Post(s)
Liked 1,692 Times in 973 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickmeister
Which brings me to another question: Could this all be due to bad technique...like maybe putting it under load too soon after shifting? During today's test ride I would shift just before the hill, then give it a split second or so before putting it under load...I'm wondering if that's why I haven't been able to reproduce the issue.
That is a possibility. Just like a car with a manual transmission where you have to use the clutch as you change gears you have to ease up on pedal pressure as you shift, especially if you shift the front derailleur which is controlled by your left hand. You should not apply full pedal pressure until the chain has settled fully onto the sprocket you have shifted to. Since you have never used a bike with derailleur gearing before it may take a bit of practice learning to shift. All this is true only if there is no defect in your bike
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 05-27-21, 10:54 PM
  #27  
MAK
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,695

Bikes: Yes, I have bikes.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 276 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 65 Posts
I just read an article that said that a loose chain ring lock (the piece that holds your cassette together) can cause slipping if it's loose. Take the wheel off the bike. Hold the largest chain ring and with your other hand see if there is any movement when you hold and try to jiggle the smaller rings. It should feel like a solid piece with no give at all. If there is movement, you'll need a cassette tool (+/-$10.00) and a YouTube video on point or a quick bike shop adjustment.

The Dick's employee was likely not a trained mechanic who didn't know to check for necessary adjustments.

Good luck.
MAK is offline  
Old 05-27-21, 11:00 PM
  #28  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,090
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1034 Post(s)
Liked 1,289 Times in 743 Posts
Originally Posted by gringomojado
I will give you a brake on the spelling!
gm
Ironic.
phughes is online now  
Likes For phughes:
Old 05-28-21, 08:07 AM
  #29  
Advanced Slacker
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 6,210

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2761 Post(s)
Liked 2,534 Times in 1,433 Posts
I am confused. Does this ONLY happen right after you shift?
Kapusta is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 08:44 AM
  #30  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,138

Bikes: 2 many

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1266 Post(s)
Liked 323 Times in 169 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickmeister
I'm getting chain slips when I go uphill. Shifting into low gear seams to work okay, but after I'm pedalling uphill a little bit the chain will do a violent shift...like it's disengaging/re-engaging. The bike is a brand new Aggressor Pro; I've recently had it looked over and tweaked by a local bike shop and the tech said he test rode it and all was fine (though I'm not sure whether he rode up any hills).

I came across this video this video where a guy with the same bike and derailleur increases the derailleur tension by turning a screw (you can see the screw at the 2:28 point in the video). I wanted to see if that would help, so I gave it a quarter turn and did some loops around a big parking lot that has a little uphill stretch. All was good on the uphill stretches the first three times, but on the fourth pass the chain slipped. So I tried turning the screw another quarter of a turn. Three more tries with no problems, but then on the fourth uphill stretch the chain completely dropped off the front derailleur.

So...I don't know...do you think maybe I should tighten that screw some more, or is something else going on here?
Does this happen after shifting? It sounds like a front derailleur issue. One needs to soft pedal when shifting. You need to shift before you get to the hill. The front derailleur is more difficult to shift (needs more time soft pedaling) or almost impossible to shift when going up a hill. You shift the front derailleur long before the hill.
2manybikes is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 09:10 AM
  #31  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,942

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6169 Post(s)
Liked 4,784 Times in 3,302 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickmeister
Well, here's the history:
- Bought the bike from Dick's Sporting Goods a few weeks ago
- Tried it out...seemed to be doing weird things - pedals would lose resistance for a split second or so, then re-engage
- Took it back to Dick's...a tech put it up on a stand and shifted gears up and down...said everything was fine (he didn't test ride it though)
- Tried it out again...still didn't seem to be working right
- Took it into a local bike shop. He did some tweaking to the drive train then said all was fine...he said he had test ridden it for twenty minutes
- Did a bunch of test rides in a big parking lot that has a few steep inclines. It's working fine until I go uphill...then I get the chain issues detailed in my OP.


So to answer your question, I assume the problem was there from the start...but I've only started learning shifting and hill climbing a few days ago, so who knows. The thing that makes this such a huge pain is that this is the first time I've had a bike in fifty years...and the first time I've had a multi-gear bike - so I'm trying to learn shifting and diagnosing drive train issues at the same time. I don't even know what's normal and what's not (though I'm pretty sure my chain isn't supposed to jump ship when I go up hills!)
So why didn't you go back to the LBS mechanic and tell them it is still happening?
Iride01 is online now  
Old 05-28-21, 11:36 AM
  #32  
Senior Member
 
autonomy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Boston Roads
Posts: 975

Bikes: 2012 Canondale Synapse 105, 2017 REI Co-Op ADV 3.1

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 507 Post(s)
Liked 237 Times in 133 Posts
There is too little information to go on to troubleshoot this over the web. OP, you didn't even say where the mis-shift happens, at the front or rear derailleur? If at the front, why are you trying to adjust the screw in the rear?
If this is an actual problem, there's very likely going to be a way to consistently replicate the issue; try to figure out the exact procedure and then describe in detail or make a video.
autonomy is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 12:33 PM
  #33  
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,800

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1943 Post(s)
Liked 2,163 Times in 1,322 Posts
Since there is a chance this is a shifting technique issue, especially since the LBS mechanic rode it uphill without issue, I’d just ride it and enjoy.

It is important when going uphill that you plan your shifting. If you get caught in the wrong gear, try to get a couple strong strokes, back off and shift, before your legs are gone.

Depending on how far off you are, you might be able to stand up and stair step up the hill. You need to be in a little higher gear to do this since you’ll be turning the cranks so slowly.

Good luck and have fun.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Likes For 70sSanO:
Old 05-28-21, 01:28 PM
  #34  
Senior Member
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 7,349

Bikes: RSO E-tire dropper fixie brifter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2,941 Times in 1,904 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil
like a car with a manual transmission where you have to use the clutch as you change gears you have to ease up on pedal pressure as you shift
I'd hope many can still understand this in today's times.

Another example is like using the front brake on a bicycle. You just don't squeeze it will all your might initially. The brake needs to be modulated to the conditions. If the rider does not control the influence of strength applied, over the bars you go.
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Likes For Troul:
Old 05-28-21, 03:27 PM
  #35  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
So why didn't you go back to the LBS mechanic and tell them it is still happening?
I may still do that...but at this point I'm still trying to find out if there's really a problem or it's just my technique.

Originally Posted by Kapusta
I am confused. Does this ONLY happen right after you shift?
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Does this happen after shifting? It sounds like a front derailleur issue. One needs to soft pedal when shifting. You need to shift before you get to the hill.
Originally Posted by autonomy
If this is an actual problem, there's very likely going to be a way to consistently replicate the issue; try to figure out the exact procedure and then describe in detail or make a video.
I tried to rig a setup to get a video but it proved to be easier said then done...I'll try to describe what I'm doing: I'll be cruising along a flat stretch, with the left (3 speed) shifter in 2nd gear and the right in one of the mid gears. As I'm about to get to a steep uphill stretch, I'll first shift the right shifter into a lower gear (first or second I think), then put the left shifter into first. I'm pedalling during this time, but not under load. Once I'm in the low gears I'll start pedalling like crazy for a little bit since I'm still on flat ground...then as soon as I hit the hill all seems normal.

This is where the nasty stuff sometimes happens. A few times there was a violent slippage of some sort, and grinding - and I was sure the chain had completely disengaged from the gears. But then I stopped and checked and all looked normal. Another time the chain had completely slipped off the front chainring.

But yesterday I looped around the parking lot and hit the uphill stretch eleven times in a row with no problems...that's why I'm wondering if it's a technique thing and I'm just getting better at it. I've always known enough not to shift under load, but now I'm wondering if in some of my earlier attempts I was putting it under load to soon AFTER shifting, and maybe the chain wasn't yet seated properly.

I should also mention that I've never had any problems on level ground or slight inclines.
Mickmeister is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 03:42 PM
  #36  
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,800

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1943 Post(s)
Liked 2,163 Times in 1,322 Posts
You might not want to go into the small chainring and pedal like mad because it is too low and you end up wasting energy you’ll need later.

If you are in the middle chainring keep up a steady pace and as you start to go up maybe drop to the low chainring or go one cog lower in the rear. You want to try and match an increased load with a lower gear rather than spin yourself out until the gear matches the incline.

You’ll need to figure out the right pedaling cadence that will work, but as you ride, and climb more, you’ll get stronger and won’t need to spin as much to keep going.

The kiss of death is losing momentum on a climb.

John

Last edited by 70sSanO; 05-28-21 at 03:45 PM.
70sSanO is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 05:37 PM
  #37  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,138

Bikes: 2 many

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1266 Post(s)
Liked 323 Times in 169 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickmeister
I may still do that...but at this point I'm still trying to find out if there's really a problem or it's just my technique.







I tried to rig a setup to get a video but it proved to be easier said then done...I'll try to describe what I'm doing: I'll be cruising along a flat stretch, with the left (3 speed) shifter in 2nd gear and the right in one of the mid gears. As I'm about to get to a steep uphill stretch, I'll first shift the right shifter into a lower gear (first or second I think), then put the left shifter into first. I'm pedalling during this time, but not under load. Once I'm in the low gears I'll start pedalling like crazy for a little bit since I'm still on flat ground...then as soon as I hit the hill all seems normal.

This is where the nasty stuff sometimes happens. A few times there was a violent slippage of some sort, and grinding - and I was sure the chain had completely disengaged from the gears. But then I stopped and checked and all looked normal. Another time the chain had completely slipped off the front chainring.

But yesterday I looped around the parking lot and hit the uphill stretch eleven times in a row with no problems...that's why I'm wondering if it's a technique thing and I'm just getting better at it. I've always known enough not to shift under load, but now I'm wondering if in some of my earlier attempts I was putting it under load to soon AFTER shifting, and maybe the chain wasn't yet seated properly.

I should also mention that I've never had any problems on level ground or slight inclines.
Hold the shift lever over until the chain is completely on the next chainring or cog. Don't just tap the lever. It sounds like you are getting better with you technique.
2manybikes is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 05:47 PM
  #38  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,138

Bikes: 2 many

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1266 Post(s)
Liked 323 Times in 169 Posts
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Hold the shift lever over until the chain is completely on the next chainring or cog. Don't just tap the lever. It sounds like you are getting better with you technique.
Also shift the front rings first. It takes longer. It is easier to shift the back if you are close to the hill. Don't make a huge rear shift (many cogs), and then do the front. that alone could send the chain off the front.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 05-29-21 at 10:43 AM.
2manybikes is offline  
Likes For 2manybikes:
Old 05-29-21, 09:38 AM
  #39  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,942

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6169 Post(s)
Liked 4,784 Times in 3,302 Posts
Don't over think or over do the easing up on the pedaling pressure as you shift. It's not as much as you might think or others try to make it sound.

In fact, if you aren't a masher and instead always pedal a gear that take little effort to move you along, then you may not need to relax any pedal pressure as you shift at all.

If however you do pedal a ridiculously hard gear and go to shift, that's going to require some but not much momentary relaxing of the effort you are pedaling. technique.

Regardless of the above, I still tend to think your issue is an adjustment or something bent or out of whack issue.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 05-29-21, 10:58 AM
  #40  
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,920
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1813 Post(s)
Liked 1,692 Times in 973 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickmeister
I may still do that...but at this point I'm still trying to find out if there's really a problem or it's just my technique.







I tried to rig a setup to get a video but it proved to be easier said then done...I'll try to describe what I'm doing: I'll be cruising along a flat stretch, with the left (3 speed) shifter in 2nd gear and the right in one of the mid gears. As I'm about to get to a steep uphill stretch, I'll first shift the right shifter into a lower gear (first or second I think), then put the left shifter into first. I'm pedalling during this time, but not under load. Once I'm in the low gears I'll start pedalling like crazy for a little bit since I'm still on flat ground...then as soon as I hit the hill all seems normal.

This is where the nasty stuff sometimes happens. A few times there was a violent slippage of some sort, and grinding - and I was sure the chain had completely disengaged from the gears. But then I stopped and checked and all looked normal. Another time the chain had completely slipped off the front chainring.

But yesterday I looped around the parking lot and hit the uphill stretch eleven times in a row with no problems...that's why I'm wondering if it's a technique thing and I'm just getting better at it. I've always known enough not to shift under load, but now I'm wondering if in some of my earlier attempts I was putting it under load to soon AFTER shifting, and maybe the chain wasn't yet seated properly.

I should also mention that I've never had any problems on level ground or slight inclines.
This is a technique problem. You should not change both front and rear derailleurs to easier gears. Change the front derailleur first to the small ring. Turn the pedals a few revolutions to let the chain settle onto the small ring. You might then find the gear you are in to be too easy and have to change to a harder, not easier gear in back. If the hill steepens you can change the rear derailleur into easier and easier gears a step at a time. Modern rear setups can change the rear gears under some load, all you have to do is ease up for half a second as you shift. I do this all the time when I start up a hill, front change to the small ring and rear derailleur 2 or even 3 gears harder which puts me in a gear very close to what I was riding before. Then, as the hill steepens I use the rear derailleur to gradually accommodate the steepening grade and my slowing speed
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 05-29-21, 12:03 PM
  #41  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Hold the shift lever over until the chain is completely on the next chainring or cog. Don't just tap the lever.
I've just been giving it a quick flick...I'll try the holding thing.

Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Also shift the front rings first. It takes longer. It is easier to shift the back if you are close to the hill. Don't make a huge rear shift (many cogs), and then do the front. that alone could send the chain off the front.
Originally Posted by alcjphil
front change to the small ring and rear derailleur 2 or even 3 gears harder which puts me in a gear very close to what I was riding before. Then, as the hill steepens I use the rear derailleur to gradually accommodate the steepening grade and my slowing speed
These are all good suggestions...I'm going to do some more practice runs then hopefully I'll know whether or not there's a mechanical issue. Unfortunately it's supposed to rain all weekend; I won't be able to get back on the bike until at least Monday afternoon.
Mickmeister is offline  
Old 05-29-21, 11:21 PM
  #42  
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,800

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1943 Post(s)
Liked 2,163 Times in 1,322 Posts
Don’t fret over hold or quick tap stuff. People have been shifting rear (and front) derailleurs for decades with components that were far less precise and not as well made.

Before index shifting there were downtube, bar end, thumb shifters that needed to be used to downshift on steeper climbs than you are riding, sometimes with loaded touring bikes, and people managed. And a lot of it was pre-hyperglide/pre-ramps.

I’ve moved on from friction, but nothing felt better to hit those shifts seamlessly. Like shifting a manual transmission without using the clutch.

It is a learned technique. You can practice on flat ground and it does become second nature where all shifts have a very slight pause/back-off.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 05-31-21, 11:13 AM
  #43  
jbf
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This ...

Originally Posted by Noahma
Stick with me here. Are you sure its the chain? Do you actually see it skipping?

The reason I ask this. I had an issue with my Trek Checkpoint where the pawls in the rear wheel hub were not engaging or slipping. And it was MUCH worse under load. It took several videos while I was riding to nail down what was happening, And they replaced the wheel under warranty. And the problem has not been a problem since then. The symptoms were exactly as you were describing.
jbf is offline  
Old 05-31-21, 07:57 PM
  #44  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 144

Bikes: CoMotion Tandem (Rohloff), Surley LHT,, Bike Friday, Specialized Vado

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I'm pretty sure it is in the hub. The Freewheel is defective. take it back and get another (replacement). They do wear out, but I would guess they are not manufactured or else assembled correctly.
Bill Abbey is offline  
Old 06-01-21, 09:29 PM
  #45  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
So I've done a bunch more riding in the last few days and haven't been having this issue any more...at this point I'm pretty much convinced that the bike is okay and this was a technique issue. Again, this is the first riding I've been doing in fifty years, and my first time on a multi-gear bike - I think there's definitely some learning involved. I'm now thinking that the problems were due to putting the bike under load immediately after shifting...before the chain was fully seated in place. Lately I've been waiting a brief moment after the shift before powering up, then easing into it rather than pouring it on suddenly. Seems to be working.
Mickmeister is offline  
Old 06-01-21, 09:55 PM
  #46  
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,800

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1943 Post(s)
Liked 2,163 Times in 1,322 Posts
It is not easy learning something new that is feel based after 50 year break.

Good for you to hang in there.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Likes For 70sSanO:
Old 06-02-21, 06:48 AM
  #47  
Senior Member
 
spelger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: reno, nv
Posts: 2,296

Bikes: yes, i have one

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1134 Post(s)
Liked 1,179 Times in 686 Posts
And now you can start having some fun.
spelger is offline  
Likes For spelger:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.