General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike gearing question Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2013-07-17 10:42 AM

User image

Regular
287
100100252525
Levittown, PA
Subject: Bike gearing question
Ok, so I bought a bike from a friend a few months. Nothing special, its about a 10 to 15 year old Kestrel SCI model. After riding for a few months now I am starting to really get a "feel" for the bike. I am noticing that my comfortable cadence seems to be in between gears. Let me explain in my own terms. When I am riding on the small ring up front and I am up shifting so that it gets harder and harder to pedal, I have 2 gears left that I don't use because they start making noise. Not horrible noises, but all the other gears are dead silent. I also notice the reverse when I am on the big ring upfront, when I start down shifting and making it easier and easier to pedal, the last 2 gears start to make noise as well and all the others are quiet. Now I notice that the chain is not 100% straight in these gears, it is going for instance from the small ring (left side up front) to the furthest ring on the (right side of the back ring). I thought I read somewhere before that it is not good to ride in these gears because it stretches the chain. So I have 2 questions. Is it bad to ride in these gears because it will stretch out my chain? Second question is...... should their be noise coming from the chain or ring because of the way its "stretched"? I could really benefit from using these gears. The highest "quiet" gear on the small ring is not enough for me and the lowest "quiet" gear on the big ring is just a hair too much. I have 4 gears there that I'm missing out on right now because of fear that I may stretch the chain or that something is wrong because those gears make noise. Can this be fixed at a bike shop?

Sorry for the long post. I don't know bike terminology so i had to explain it as best I could in my own words. Thanks in advance for replies

Edited by spiderjunior 2013-07-17 10:49 AM


2013-07-17 11:35 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

User image

Champion
10265
500050001001002525
Puyallup, WA
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question

First, chains don't actually "stretch", but the pivots do wear, making the distance between links longer. It appears as stretching, but the material of the chain is not, in fact, stretching.

One of the situations you describe is called "cross-chaining", meaning using the big/big and little/little combinations. It will tend to wear the chain faster as it's being forced to conform to the extreme angle between the cogs and chainrings.

Likely the sound you're hearing is the chain rubbing on the front derailleur cage. You should have a "trim" stop on the shifter, an intermediate position between the two chainrings that will stop the rubbing. That, or the front derailleur needs to be adjusted. Not a huge deal, but it usually does take some one who knows what they're doing to dial it out.

2013-07-17 12:01 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Regular
287
100100252525
Levittown, PA
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question
Originally posted by briderdt

You should have a "trim" stop on the shifter, an intermediate position between the two chainrings that will stop the rubbing. That, or the front derailleur needs to be adjusted. Not a huge deal, but it usually does take some one who knows what they're doing to dial it out.




Thanks for the reply. Not sure what the trim stop is that you mentioned. Only thing I can think of is there have been several times when I switched to a different gear and it was almost like the shift didn't complete all the way and it was a loud noise. I tapped the shifter again and it sounded like the shift completed that time and the noise stopped. If that is what you are talking about, I have tried that before with the big/big small/small combination you mentioned and it did not stop the noise. I will check the front derailer to see if it is possible hitting that. If it looks to involved, then maybe it would be best just to play it safe and take it to the bike shop.

Edited by spiderjunior 2013-07-17 12:05 PM
2013-07-17 12:06 PM
in reply to: spiderjunior

User image

Champion
10265
500050001001002525
Puyallup, WA
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question

Okay, that's something different. If it's not quite completing a shift, then it could be that there is friction in the cable, or in the derailleur itself.

The "trim stop" is in the shifter for the front derailleur (if you've got combined brake/shift levers), an intermediate position to "trim" the front derailleur to prevent the chain from rubbing when you're getting to the extreme chain positions.

Taking the bike to the shop isn't a bad idea -- but ask to watch them do what they do, ask questions along the way, and learn.

2013-07-17 12:13 PM
in reply to: briderdt

User image

Regular
287
100100252525
Levittown, PA
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question
Thanks. great info. You made it very easy to understand. Since this is something that I feel like I am going to be into for awhile, it might be best just to to pay for the knowledge now and take the bike to the shop and have them "show" me what is going on. That way I have a better understand of how it all works. Appreciate it.
2013-07-18 12:04 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

User image

Extreme Veteran
634
50010025
Ajo
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question
What you describe is that your rear deraileur limit screws may need to be adjusted, then as well as the barrel adjuster, as well as the front deraileur. To me it sounds, depending upon the age of your components that you may ask your LBS to check the entire drive train. If your components are as old as the rest of the bike, and perhaps even the chain and cables, those should be replaced with new and then everything lubricated and adjusted. Your bike will ride much smoother, furthermore... I read that a badly maintained drivetrain could cost you up to 10 watts or greater, or up to a 1/4 mile per hour avg. speed. The drivetrain should really have no sound coming from it, except a quiet, lubricated syncopation.


2013-07-18 5:24 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

User image

Extreme Veteran
845
50010010010025
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question
After some adjustments, you may still find that those gear combinations make some noise. The simple solution--don't go big/big or small/small. Cross chaining creates friction and should be avoided. You're giving up 1.21 ^-1000 gigawatts!
2013-07-18 7:22 AM
in reply to: FuryUs

User image

Regular
287
100100252525
Levittown, PA
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question
Thanks for the replies all. I think I am just going to take the bike to the shop. Better safe than sorry. Definitely a bunch of helpful info and tips I recieved though. Gives me a much better understand of what is going on.
2013-07-18 7:52 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

User image

Pro
5156
50001002525
Subject: RE: Bike gearing question

Originally posted by spiderjunior Thanks for the replies all. I think I am just going to take the bike to the shop. Better safe than sorry. Definitely a bunch of helpful info and tips I recieved though. Gives me a much better understand of what is going on.

 

good choice.  it's likely that a good wrench will adjust it for better shifting in a few minutes.  And, identify the cause- which might be needing a new chain, cassette, cables.  Hopefully, you don't need new brifters (the brake/shifter things up front)- as they're more expensive.  

there's a continuous difference of opinion on whether you should fully cross chain your bike or not.  i.e. big chainring in front/big cassette cog in back, or small in front/small in back.  Obviously it's not optimal from an angle standpoint, and there's almost always a less stressful combination to choose.  But- I ignore that rule, and just got 4,000 miles out of my chain, and it was only 0.5 to 0.75% stretched (normal recommended replacement is between 0.75-1%).  -although I got a great deal on some new chains, so I replaced it anyway.  I dunno'.  I believe bikes are there to be used.  I take getting to put on new tires and chains as an enjoyable benefit of riding, not some cost that I'm trying to save.

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike gearing question Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

bike gears question

Started by boneyBP
Views: 737 Posts: 7

2007-11-23 7:44 PM boneyBP

bike gear questions

Started by chrisSellars
Views: 246 Posts: 3

2007-06-03 8:55 PM bikeboyaug

Bike Gear Question

Started by monkeyboy64
Views: 201 Posts: 2

2007-04-26 7:09 PM JohnnyKay

Bike Gear question.....

Started by ljk2171`
Views: 389 Posts: 5

2006-04-26 1:06 PM Mike 45

Bike gearing question

Started by zakk
Views: 517 Posts: 8

2005-02-23 2:48 PM charlie
RELATED ARTICLES
date : June 29, 2011
author : ahohl
comments : 3
Second in a series of three articles about the basics, the niceties and the luxuries
 
date : April 12, 2011
author : FitWerx
comments : 0
How should I be shifting gears on the front chainring and the rear cogs to cope with hills?
date : January 29, 2006
author : Rich Strauss
comments : 2
The most valuable thing you can do for your endurance training is to schedule a weekly 2-4hr long ride from now until the end of time. Simply make this “what you do” every Saturday or Sunday morning.
 
date : July 17, 2005
author : Iron MaYden
comments : 7
What to wear under the wetsuit? What to wear for the bike and the run? Good thing someone invented the wonderful trisuit, to which we’ve become accustomed. It’s supposed to make our lives so simple.
date : November 14, 2004
author : Glenn
comments : 0
I have seen cyclists go to a bike shop the day before a race expecting their problem to be fixed, only to be told the shop cannot complete the job in time.
 
date : October 31, 2004
author : chrisandniki
comments : 0
Getting fall discounts on triathlon equipment is more difficult than finding the Great Pumpkin, right? Well, I’m here to say it isn’t so. Deals for triathletes are plentiful - you just have to look.
date : October 17, 2004
author : chrisandniki
comments : 0
Fall's also the time to shop! In fact, now's the best time to retool some of your triathlon equipment for next year, right before the Christmas season begins to jack prices upward.
 
date : September 8, 2004
author : TriSports.com
comments : 0
Online triathlon superstore, created for triathletes, by triathletes. We carry the highest quality triathlon equipment, triathlon gear and triathlon apparel.