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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to cycling, have 150 miles this month logged on a new bike (Giant FCR 3) bought at LBS. The only thing I've changed out are clipless pedals.

Specs: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/women/1254/29455/

I've noticed for the last 50 miles or so that shifting up or down into specific gears seems to cause them to "hang" (for lack of a better term) then lunge when they finally catch.

I have no idea what the correct terminology is, but here's my best description of what's happening:

I'll be in the middle gear of the crank (2 on the left shifter), and I'll want to shift up or down into 3 or 4 on the right hand shifter. It will often make a chan-ga-chan-ga-chan-ga-chan-ga noise when I attempt this specific gear range. I can lightly press on the right hand shifter to drop it down into an easier gear, click up to a higher gear, OR if I don't change the gear, it will continue to make noise then spontaneously lurch into a lower gear throwing my cadence off or worse (dangerous riding when not in control of the pedals).

This results in me doing a changa-change shift up down up down lurch dance when going up hill. Not fun.

Is this a mechanical issue that my LBS can fix, or user error on my part not properly shifting? If I hear that changa-changa noise, does that indicate something is wrong?

Thanks for the help.
 

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since you just bought the bike from a local shop, don't they have a free 30 day tune up?

If not, what you describe sounds like you may need a little more cable tension. The cables stretch a little when new. you can try and give the rear barrel adjuster a turn out 1/4 - 1/2 turn and see if that solves the problem. Here's where you need to turn, see the picture.

also Park tools has all kinds of useful info on bike adjustments.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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Sounds like a derailer adjustment issue. Take it back to the LBS and describe it to them. They may take it out for a spin to duplicate. If they can duplicate the noise see if they will let you watch them adjust it so next time it happens you will know how to fix it.
 

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Your LBS should check that out at no cost. I agree that your derailleur cable has stretched and the shifting will improve with a turn of the barrel, but go to the shop and have them show you what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you!

Yes, I do get free maintenance for 1 year, and they did ask that I bring the bike in after 2 months, but since it hadn't been that long, I thought maybe it was ME.

They have been wonderful with me so far. I'll take it in and have them look at it.
 

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Loraura said:
They have been wonderful with me so far. I'll take it in and have them look at it.
That is why LBS are so good. If you are new to the sport or have limited wrenching skills, the service after the sale of a bike is worth more than the on-line discount IMHO.
 

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That is why LBS are so good. If you are new to the sport or have limited wrenching skills, the service after the sale of a bike is worth more than the on-line discount IMHO.
Just sayin....

I could have paid for a LBS to completely disassemble and reassemble my online bike three times with money left over from what I saved buying online.
 

· Shirtcocker
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Loraura said:
Thank you!

Yes, I do get free maintenance for 1 year, and they did ask that I bring the bike in after 2 months, but since it hadn't been that long, I thought maybe it was ME.

They have been wonderful with me so far. I'll take it in and have them look at it.
I know this is a beginner forum, but how about trying the adjustment yourself? A 1/2 turn or so on the barrel adjuster will have your bike shifting fine within seconds. If you turn it the wrong way you'll know right away because the shifting gets worse. Either way, this is something you need to learn how to do yourself. Cables can stretch quite a lot on a new bike and you really don't want to be taking your bike in for something so simple to fix.

tutorial

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html

really this is about all you need to fix your issue:

Fine adjustments are accomplished according to the following principles:

  • Shifting to larger sprockets is accomplished by tightening the cable;
    if such shifts are slow, the cable is not tight enough--
    turn the barrel counterclockwise to tighten it.
  • Shifting to smaller sprockets is accomplished by loosening the cable;
    if such shifts are too slow, the cable is not loose enough--
    turn the barrel clockwise to loosen it.
 

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nealric said:
Just sayin....

I could have paid for a LBS to completely disassemble and reassemble my online bike three times with money left over from what I saved buying online.

Right, but if you were new to the sport and didn't know a quick release from a barrel adjuster, you would be paying $$ every time you needed anything done. Plus, this might carry over to your other bikes. My wife bought me a mountain bike for Christmas and when a car hit me a few weeks ago, the shop didn't charge labor when they went over my Merlin for possible damage and fixed some minor stuff. It good to be in tight with the local shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I took a tip from here and used a ladder as a makeshift bikestand, and took a couple of guesses at turning each of two screws on the rear deerailer 1/4 turn to the right or left (one adjustment at a time, 4 total adjustments checking between each one).

It still jumps a gear. But it does seem maybe a bit better. i was still able to ride to work this morning without any more annoyance than normal.

I may have more time tonight to try again. If I can't get it right by Saturday, I'll take it to LBS to show me how.

Thanks for the tips here. I really appreciate it! I'm learning...
 

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Loraura said:
I took a tip from here and used a ladder as a makeshift bikestand, and took a couple of guesses at turning each of two screws on the rear deerailer 1/4 turn to the right or left (one adjustment at a time, 4 total adjustments checking between each one).

It still jumps a gear. But it does seem maybe a bit better. i was still able to ride to work this morning without any more annoyance than normal.

I may have more time tonight to try again. If I can't get it right by Saturday, I'll take it to LBS to show me how.

Thanks for the tips here. I really appreciate it! I'm learning...
No No. Not those two screws, those are the limit screws, and if the low limit is off, you could put the chain off into the spokes and cause a lot of damage when shifting to the lowest gear. (probably not with just a 1/4 turn, but just wanted to make you aware) What you needed to turn was the barrel on the cable housing. the housing loops from the frame chainstay (beneath the chain) to the derailler. Where it enters the derailler is the barrel. I would think you shouldn't shift into your lowest gear (biggest cog in the back) until you have it checked out by someone with more experience, just to be sure you don't overshift it into the spokes.
 

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Loraura said:
Crap.

OK. So that means stay out of the "1" or the "8" on the right-hand shifter?
yup...or at least test it while on your makeshift stand before riding


this is what you need to turn--see the arrow pointing to the little black barrel adjuster behind the derailler.

 

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Loraura said:
Crap.

OK. So that means stay out of the "1" or the "8" on the right-hand shifter?
actually both 1 (low) and 8 (high) while you're riding, you could also overshift into the frame (high gear), but that wouldn't be as bad as into the spokes

you could also check it out on the stand while pedaling it on the stand and see if it overshifts (as was mentioned by the previous poster), but don't do it while riding it.
 
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