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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend has a 2015 Felt ZW5 with Shimano 5800 components. She has been complaining about squealing while riding and noisy shifting. Since I wrench and do tuneups for folks on the side she asked me to help her out. I cleaned the chain and lubed it as well as lubing the derailluer pivots and so on. I measured the chain and both sides dropped in easily, I was sort of surprised as I doubt she has 2,000 miles. The cassette didn't look particularly worn at all. She is a masher on the pedals I suspect.

On the stand the shifting was fine up and down the scale. On the road testing however it was hesitating in the middle of the cassette and wouldn't drop into the smallest sprocket while riding, though it would on the stand.

My question, when you suspect a worn chain for shifting issues, does it manifest itself in the smallest cogs area by chance? I plan on releasing the cable and starting from scratch just to rule that out.

Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Both the .5 and .75 sides of my Park tool chain checker dropped in easily.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Both the .5 and .75 sides of my Park tool chain checker dropped in easily.
Pull out a good machinist's ruler and do a 12" test. Then check the roller pitch with a digital caliper (ref value is 0.200").

Chain checkers are a crapshoot of inaccuracy and imprecision.
 

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Pull out a good machinist's ruler and do a 12" test. Chain checkers are a crapshoot of inaccuracy and imprecision.
^this...

just measured my chain...no detectable wear after 6300 miles.
 

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I know you lubed the pivots, but when my derailleur shifts badly like that, in the middle when the springs' forces are more evenly balanced, it is usually cured by spraying the springs with WD40 to clean all the dirt out, then lithium grease spray or other spray lube. At least its nearly free to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know you lubed the pivots, but when my derailleur shifts badly like that, in the middle when the springs' forces are more evenly balanced, it is usually cured by spraying the springs with WD40 to clean all the dirt out, then lithium grease spray or other spray lube. At least its nearly free to try.
Sounds good to me, thanks
 

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A wheelist
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Throw the "chain checker" in the scrap bin and measure with 13" cut from a $1 Store measuring tape.
Remove the shift cable at the derailer and push the derailer by hand. Do all the gears engage? Then it's sticky cable, too tight cable or shifter problems.
If not, then adjust the derailer stops, tension cable and adjust the indexing.

 

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Is she an experienced cyclist or not? If not, could it be that she doesn't understand the trim settings for the front derailleur and also might be cross-chaining too much?
 

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On the stand the shifting was fine up and down the scale. On the road testing however it was hesitating in the middle of the cassette and wouldn't drop into the smallest sprocket while riding, though it would on the stand.
I'd suspect cable/housing issues with that behavior. Inspect, clean, lube, replace if necessary.

And I second Mike's suggestion to trash the chain checker and just use a ruler.
 

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"squealing"
Check the pulley wheels.


A new chain is about $18. just replace the friggin thing.
This ^
My experience is the stock Felt chains on the lower tier Z models are not long lasting, have a short life. They are not KMC or Shimano.
Chains are like tires - not all created equal.

I would replace the chain with a shimano 6800 11 speed chain and kmc 11 speed link.
Also maybe talk about wiping the chain with a rag and re-lubing occasionally?
Also +1 on the pulleys - clean and relube.

I would pull the rear shift cable, clean with alcohol in the bar and rear area, and inspect for frays.
You can do this without unbolting the cable at the derailleur. Remove the rear wheel, shift to smallest rear gear, push in the derailleur and unhook cable housing from stop on rear stay. This gives you slack front and rear to clean lube inspect inner cable.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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I'd suspect cable/housing issues with that behavior. Inspect, clean, lube, replace if necessary.

And I second Mike's suggestion to trash the chain checker and just use a ruler.
This.

That Park Tool chain checker seems to come up with random results. As others have said, use the good old humble ruler.

That being said, a worn chain won't necessarily cause shifting problems because as the chain wears, it "marries" the cassette. My most likely guess for poor shifting is the cables. Run the shifter cable between your fingers. Does it feel smooth or rough?

As cheaper quality galvanized cables age, they oxidize, become rough and stick inside the housings causing poor shifting. You need those cables to slip and slide inside the housings! Replace them with good quality stainless steel cables that won't oxidize. And depending on the mileage on the bike, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the housings too.
 

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I'd suspect cable/housing issues with that behavior. Inspect, clean, lube, replace if necessary.

And I second Mike's suggestion to trash the chain checker and just use a ruler.
Yep, on both counts - pull the cable out and see what it looks like - replace it and the housing will probably fix it - lagy shifting to the small cogs for me has always been an indication it's time to change the cable.
 

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Russian Troll Farmer
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I suspect that in today's world, chains are not as strong as they used to be. It used to be that in a car engine, a timing chain would nearly always last the life of the engine. Today, there are a few cars with timing chains where they recommend replacing the chain at 100,000 miles, barely longer than the life of a timing belt, and a MUCH more expensive procedure. Audi A8 V-8 engines come to mind....
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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I suspect that in today's world, chains are not as strong as they used to be. It used to be that in a car engine, a timing chain would nearly always last the life of the engine. Today, there are a few cars with timing chains where they recommend replacing the chain at 100,000 miles, barely longer than the life of a timing belt, and a MUCH more expensive procedure. Audi A8 V-8 engines come to mind....
Not the greatest analogy. Bike chains are much narrower today in order to accommodate more cogs. Naturally, these skinny chains won't last as long as old 5 and 6 speed chains.

Audi A8 V8? Isn't VW the parent company? Nuff said!
 

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To add to my earlier suggestion, cleaning out the derailleur freed up the motion to near-new.
The other condition that produced the middle-of-the-cassette mushy shifting was a frayed cable attachment to the head at the brifter.
Both those things cleaned up the RD shifting right away.

Whenever cables were dragging, shifting in the small cogs were imprecise or just too draggy for the springs. I could get away with oil or grease on them for a little bit, until the cable housings were replaced.

All routine maintenance, and pretty cheap too, cheaper than a new RD (which of course I bought first, and is for sale NIB) :).
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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The other condition that produced the middle-of-the-cassette mushy shifting was a frayed cable attachment to the head at the shifter..
Do you mean a frayed cable as in about to break? Very common with Shimano rear shifters as they tend to chew up cables.

All routine maintenance, and pretty cheap too, cheaper than a new RD (which of course I bought first, and is for sale NIB) :).
Derailleurs seldom if ever go bad. And when they do, a simple squirt of WD-40 on the spring to free it up does the trick.
 
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