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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My chain was skipping badly on my Specialized. It was visibly stretched and no surprise given that it and the cassette had 6100 miles on them with many of the miles being in wet conditions as this is my beater bike.

My LBS replaced the chain, cables, cassette (went with an 11x28) and rear derailleur. I decided to not replace any chain rings (it’s a triple) because they were replaced last time. I first rode it last Saturday in cold conditions of 22 degrees. For the first 15 miles, it skipped just as badly as before. It then gradually got better so that towards the end of my 37 mile ride, it was only skipping under hard efforts standing.

I rode it again yesterday in 54 degrees. I again had problems during the first portion of my ride as it was skipping under even low efforts. But as with the previous ride, things improved so that by the end of my 58 mile ride it was not skipping in any chain ring under even very hard efforts while standing.

I called my LBS to get their take on the situation. They claimed that it should either work or not work and that the temperature wouldn’t affect things. They had no explanation for why after the first 10-15 miles of a ride, the performance dramatically improved. I plan to do one more ride tomorrow before making a decision about bringing it back to get at least the middle chain ring replaced.

Has anyone heard of this phenomena before? I can understand a new cable stretching so that an adjustment might be needed but this situation is one that the owner of the bike shop said he’s never heard of before.

Do you think that the problems at the beginning of a ride would be fixed by a new chain ring? Or should I just leave it as is and hope that it will continue to improve?
Thanks for any advice!
 

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That is a strange issue and I guess I would consider a problem with the indexing in your shifter. Maybe a tight link in the chain but that would be strange if it was occurring before the new chain.

I would not replace the chain rings. I've never had to replace a worn chain ring in 30 years of riding. That being said I don't accumulate real high mileage on a single bike but you should get 10's of thousands of miles out of a chainring. You can also just look and tell if one is worn, it will get a shark tooth pattern (not to be confused with some that have intermittent shark tooth shaped teeth for shifting performance).

Whose idea was it to replace the rear derailleur? Worn cogs can cause bad shifting but doesn't require a whole derailleur replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply.

The derailleur was the original one and had close to 20,000 miles. The LBS said that the cogs on it at least needed replacement because the teeth had become too pointy. When I last got the chain and cassette replaced, the shifting wasn’t great right from the start so I felt that I might as well just replace the whole thing at this point. It’s a Sora so didn’t cost that much.

I admittedly pushed the chain set up farther that I should have as it was my hope to get through the winter season before replacing it. The multiple chain skips probably did some damage to the teeth on the chain ring. I’ll take another look at it. Based on what you said, I would think that having just over 6000 miles on the chain ring would indicate it’s not a problem.

If it was an indexing issue, it’s hard to understand how that could be causing the chain skip early in rides because I don’t have problems shifting quite cleanly.

Thanks again.
 

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The only thing that comes to mind is you are in difference gears at different parts of the ride and only have problems with certain gears so you only experience it during certain parts of your ride when using them.
Do you, maybe, warm up for 15 miles in the middle ring then go to the big once you get cooking? Or something like that.
I'm with your bike shop on this one. I got nothing really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The only thing that comes to mind is you are in difference gears at different parts of the ride and only have problems with certain gears so you only experience it during certain parts of your ride when using them.
Do you, maybe, warm up for 15 miles in the middle ring then go to the big once you get cooking? Or something like that.
I'm with your bike shop on this one. I got nothing really.
No, my rides are generally the same from beginning to end with hills mixed in throughout. The biggest hill when I put the most pressure on the pedals is near the end and I had no problems. Maybe I'll have more clarity after tomorrow's ride. It's pretty frustrating.
This was yesterday’s ride profile:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18466924

Let us know if it is skipping on the chain rings or cogs~
I’m honestly not sure where it’s skipping. I would think I'd notice it on the chain rings and I haven't.
 

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I can't explain your skipping phenomena, but sometimes you just have to ride it more and just let things 'settle'. I'd be interested to know if the skipping goes away after a few more rides. Alternatively, it's possible that the chain length was botched when you went to a different cassette. You said you went to an 11x28 so I'll assume that you went from at least an 11x25. Maybe the chain is too long. You also said that the rear mech was replaced. While rare, maybe the mech was damaged some how or maybe it's a cable issue.

Does the chain skip over only certain cogs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't explain your skipping phenomena, but sometimes you just have to ride it more and just let things 'settle'. I'd be interested to know if the skipping goes away after a few more rides. Alternatively, it's possible that the chain length was botched when you went to a different cassette. You said you went to an 11x28 so I'll assume that you went from at least an 11x25. Maybe the chain is too long. You also said that the rear mech was replaced. While rare, maybe the mech was damaged some how or maybe it's a cable issue.

Does the chain skip over only certain cogs?
Instinctively that was my thought also about it settling in though my LBS denied that was possible. It would explain it working better as the rides progressed.

This is my fourth cassette on this bike. It originally came with an 11x23. My previous cassette was 11x27. This is my first time going with an 11x28. That thought also crossed my mind that they went with a chain that is a bit too long.

The chain was skipping on all cogs as much as I could tell but then when things improved later, it wasn't skipping on any.

I don't think it's due to a damaged derailleur because my new one has been shifting pretty accurately.

I definitely want to give the theory about it settling in at least one more ride to see.

Thanks.
 

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If you have a new chain and cassette on old rings i'd bet the rings are your problem. IME skipping under load is caused by wear. Since the chain and cassette are new that would them out as being worn. Depending on how badly worn your chain was the rings might not look as worn as they are.
 

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I've never had to replace a worn chain ring in 30 years of riding.
agree it's a rare thing.

usually, if i have replaced the rings on a new project, it's not because the old ones were too worn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I guess the third time was the charm. From the first pedal stroke to the end of my 42 mile ride today, the chain did not skip once. I used all three chain rings in front with many combinations in back and had no problems.

Today's temperature was 44 to start the ride so that would appear to having nothing to do with it. Apparently, the new parts did indeed need time and miles to "settle in". I made no adjustments to the set up. Once I felt confident that it wasn't going to skip, I purposely hammered and mashed up hills today to just make sure and had perfect results.

I guess this will just be a mystery but I'll be sure to give new set-ups time to settle in before drawing conclusions in the future.

Thanks for all the input, everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I talked with my LBS and informed them that the third ride had no issues. Their theory was that the chain had some kind of kink in it that was causing the skipping and that after sufficient miles, it's now been worked out.
 
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