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Gears messy?

Old 10-01-08, 08:33 PM
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BikeGk
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Gears messy?

I just got a Trek 7.2FX. I'll admit that I haven't owned a bike since I was a kid so I really don't know what it should feel like.....okay, when I shift gears, should it be smooth and silent? Mine sometimes is smooth, sometimes it seems to miss a little bit but I almost always hear it shift. Any advice is appreciated, I'm learning....
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Old 10-01-08, 08:39 PM
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Sounds like your derailler is a little off. On new bikes the cable will stretch some and muck up the shifting. You can either learn to handle it yourself (good info on the Park Tools web site) or take it back to the shop after 100 miles for an adjust.
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Old 10-01-08, 09:05 PM
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Is the bike new or used? If used, maybe you just need a cleaning.
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Old 10-01-08, 09:38 PM
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Brand new.
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Old 10-01-08, 10:10 PM
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Takes time for the cables to break in. Might need to adjust once or twice depending won how many miles it takes to break them in. Expect the brakes (cables) to need adjusting sometime in the future too!
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Old 10-01-08, 11:59 PM
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Bookmark these:

http://bicycletutor.com/
http://www.parktool.com/repair/

Learn 'em, love 'em, live 'em.
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Old 10-02-08, 03:56 AM
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It may be that the problem is that the poster may not be releasing the pressure on the chain whilst shifting. If he has not ridden since childhood this may be the cause.
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Old 10-02-08, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
It may be that the problem is that the poster may not be releasing the pressure on the chain whilst shifting. If he has not ridden since childhood this may be the cause.
May be! Teach me please..


Also, when peddling through turns, occasionally it feels like the gear "slips" and I peddle freely/no resistance for a second and then it picks back up.

Last edited by BikeGk; 10-02-08 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 10-02-08, 07:23 AM
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Bookmark this site too. It is the technical docs for all things Shimano.

http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp

You can look up your components, and download detailed installation, tuning and trouble-shooting docs for your Shimano components.
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Old 10-02-08, 09:44 AM
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Most LBS's will include a free tune-up at the 100-200 mile mark or within a reasonable time from date of purchase. This is needed b/c cables stretch a little and settle into place and there's probably other causes, too.

Sounds like it's time to do that! Get in touch with the folks you bought it from and I bet they'll get you fixed right up. I'd do that before taking on adjustment yourself, at least for the first round.
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Old 10-02-08, 11:07 AM
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I did not mention that it is only the 3rd time that I rode the bike. Maybe it's my technique or not broken in yet?
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Old 10-02-08, 01:54 PM
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Since you're getting s slight skip going through turns it's likely a small adjustment issue. Doubtful that anything's broken. Just get a tune-up. If it's inconvenient to get it in, then take a look at the links that others have posted.

Technique could be an issue, but not if your getting some slippage just peddling along. While shifting you should keep the pedals rotating, but ease up on the pressure a bit. The chain needs to be able to move from one to to the other and it can do that easier when you're not hemmering the pedals.

Get the issue taken care of. Getting even a small slip while tackling a hill can be a real pain, especially if you're up on the pedals!
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Old 10-02-08, 03:09 PM
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It is a little inconvenient to go to the shop, and I'd like to attempt it myself.
I read and watched the tutorials on rear derailleur adjustments, however I'm not sure what I need to adjust to prevent the "slipping" when peddling through a turn. Can anyone offer advice?
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Old 10-02-08, 03:23 PM
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Good choice deciding to do this yourself. The first time I tried adjusting my own derailleur I messed it up royally. Fortunately, you can just try again until it works, usually with no worse consequence than a thrown chain.

I don't have an answer for you about the slipping while turning, except maybe, "don't do that."
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Old 10-02-08, 03:29 PM
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Maybe give us a bit more detail on when this happens?

At times my rear d gets out fo adjustment and the chain will jump off the gear for about 1/4 turn of the crank. I can't say it was specific to turning. Maybe you've got the same thing going on and it happening in turns is just coincidence.
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Old 10-02-08, 06:53 PM
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Maybe.... I'm going riding now, so I'll pay more attention to it and report back. I just adjusted my brakes, and brakes/shifters on the handle to accommodate my hands better. I have not ridden in ages so maybe I did something wrong.
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Old 10-02-08, 07:55 PM
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Ok, just got back. It only happened when I was peddling really slow, a gear suddenly changed/or slipped. It was also a little sloppy to switch gears at very slow speeds (I'm talking very slow, equivalent to walking speeds). Seems like it is functioning better overall, could it be that it is breaking in?
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Old 10-02-08, 08:03 PM
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This site has the perfect solution to your gear problems:

http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html
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Old 10-02-08, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeGk View Post
Ok, just got back. It only happened when I was peddling really slow, a gear suddenly changed/or slipped. It was also a little sloppy to switch gears at very slow speeds (I'm talking very slow, equivalent to walking speeds). Seems like it is functioning better overall, could it be that it is breaking in?
Hmm, interesting; yes, the slipping could just be an adjustment thing.

Keep in mind, too, that it takes longer for a shift at slow speeds. Both the chainrings and the cassette (especially true with a SRAM OpenGlide cassette and its missing teeth; which shifts nicely on my bike, BTW) have sections that kind of "encourage" the chain to shift more easily, whether it's with teeth that are a little stubbier, or ramps machined into the side of the cog, or even the pins that you'd usually only see on the big chainring.

The chain will shift, but it'll want to shift on its own at a certain point in a revolution of the wheel. When you're going really slow, then, it just takes more time for the wheel to make a whole revolution.
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Old 10-07-08, 08:27 PM
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Ok, have been breaking it in. I went on a 5mi ride tonight. It performed well and everything was going well except toward the end of the ride I was pedaling and all of a sudden it started shifting in and out of gear until it finally got settled. I didn't even try to shift it...just sorta happened. I want to make some adjustments to the rear derailleur, but I'm unsure which screw to mess with. I guess I have to re-watch the tutorial on bicycletutor.
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Old 10-07-08, 09:21 PM
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The Hi and Low (H& L) screws set the limits of how far the derailleur can travel.

The barrel adjuster where the cable housing terminates at the derailleur will fine tune shifting and probably needs a slight adjusment. Don't go crazy with it. Try a 1/2 turn at a time and keep track of how far and which direction you have moved it (so you can always go back if you make it worse). Chances are, 1 full turn counter clockwise will take care of it.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64.....scroll down to "Checking the Rear Indexing Adjustment".
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Old 10-07-08, 09:59 PM
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Two more things that could affect shifting --

1) A slightly bent derailleur hanger. Unless you're good with working metal, I'd let the shop guys do it.

2) A derailleur hanger that's actually loose. This happened somehow with mine, and I only needed to snug down the screws holding it to the frame. Easy-peasy.
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