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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Allez Comp w/Apex. I cannot justify a new ride and was mulling over the option of upgrading to Force components. I'd like to know honest thoughts. I've already upgraded the wheels.

I have an issue with the Apex. Chain jumps, already measured, not stretched. Skips on down shifting, always has. I've had the bike adjusted quite a few times, always seems to come back to the same issues.

I figure this way I can also pick up a frame down the road and transfer the better equip to that and have my own "custom" bike along with a rain bike.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Herbie, not many know the reference.

I am conflicted. I would like to add some upgrades, and a good friend of mine is a bike mech who suggested the groupset. He's riding a Tarmac and upgraded his to Force and swears by it. When I was speaking with the LBS, they are trying to push me into another ride. So, getting a fair assessment is beginning to wear on me. I want the issues resolved with the Apex, but if not, I have to do something.
 

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I have an issue with the Apex. Chain jumps, already measured, not stretched. Skips on down shifting, always has. I've had the bike adjusted quite a few times, always seems to come back to the same issues.
Could you expand on the mileage of the setup, and more about when the problem occurs. I don't fully understand what you meant by
Skips on down shifting
You mean on certain cogs? Under load or not? etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For mileage, I'm at 3k+, original chain.

As for skipping on downshift, lets say I'm coming to a hill and setting up for lower/easier gear, I push in lever and it'll skip 2 cogs. Happens more often than not. Its frustrating as then I'm spinning more than I was going for and lose momentum.

The chain issue happens on same cogs. I've noticed it on both under load and spinning. I've brought in for maintenance, is good for about a week, then it starts up again. I adjust on the fly when it happens, but only comes back. Maybe it really is just about the adjusting, or the LBS can't get it right. I don't know and I should learn more about all the adjustments myself, but I haven't.

LBS said the cassette looked fine.
 

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For mileage, I'm at 3k+, original chain.

the LBS can't get it right. I don't know and I should learn more about all the adjustments myself, but I haven't.

LBS said the cassette looked fine.
Upgrade your LBS. 3k on a SRAM (or Shimano) chain is very high. I'd be shocked if it wasnt worn. that said though even if it wasn't the chain they should be able to identify and fix the problem. The problem isn't inherent in the group set, it's that something is wrong and they need to find it. Let's say the problem is a bent derailure hanger....that'll suck to find out after buying a new group set. Don't do anything until someone is able to tell you what the problem is.
 

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I'm not qualified to comment on SRAM shifting. I can say that having a misaligned RD hanger is very common. And yes 3000 miles on a chain is a lot, although much depends on the riding conditions. Does not sound like OP is complaining of a typical worn chain skip though.

Agree on the LBS. If you have a problem like this, and the answer is to sell you a new group, then the LBS is the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@ Jay, I appreciate the advice. I'm thinking I will go back and have them do a thorough inspection, including mentioning a possible bent hanger. I'll also upgrade the chain. Any recommendations on chains?

@ bikerjulio, to be fair to the LBS, I had gone in asking about the groupset as a friend of mine had suggested it. Although, talking to them about the possible upgrade, they were quicker to look at pricing for a new bike.
 

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3k on a chain is a lot. I'd suggest a SRAM PC-1091R chain. Makes for nicer shifting and less noise. I have the same setup as you, Felt F6 with APEX and all I have changed is wheels and upgraded my compact S150 crank to a standard Force crank and that made a world of difference. Less weight and better gearing because I was maxing out my compact.
 

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this may sound stupid, but you do realize when shifting to a lower gear as you described, you can intentionally shift more than one gear at a time. (3 clicks rather than 2) So when you say it skips do you mean that it will not seat on a gear, or that it shifts across 2 cogs and seats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@ Herbie Not stupid, and I know exactly what you are referring to. I've noted when I engage the lever too long it will multi shift. The issue I'm seeing is noticeably different. But thanks for pointing that out.

So, update to my direction. I went back to LBS and explained my dilemma. There was a different mech I've not seen before and he really went over the bike with me. Really knew what he was talking about. There is chain stretch and cassette is worn. Also he advised I should replace the cables, especially the rear der yearly. So I've decided to go this route along with a thorough service, check everything. While we were going over everything the owner came in. After talking for a while he offered a pro fitting for free, so I'm taking them up on this as I've not had one done either. So new chain, cables, cassette, bar tape, service and fitting under $300. If this resolves my issues, I'll be a happy rider.

On a side note, the owner brought out his Project One Domane 6.9 for me to demo. He just got it last week. WOW! Sweet ride.
 

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replace the chain and check the rear derailleur hanger. When the chain won't stay on the sprocket/moves in between two sprockets I've found it's often the tension adjustment in the rear derailleur.

I don't know about other people, but after I set the derailleur limits and b-tension, I usually have to put the bike on a stand and fiddle with the tension until the jumps from cog to cog are nice and smooth with no noise in any gear.

I wouldn't spend money to upgrade apex to rival or tiagra to 105 or whatever. Groupsets are really expensive and a properly setup lower lever groupset shifts great. I have ancient tiagra/105 9 speed (from the 90's with a bunch of miles and it's even a triple) on my wifes bike and I have that stuff dialed in so it shifts super smooth, just as well as my dura ace bike and rival bike.
 

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OP, sorry you were let down by the people doing your maintenance.

I think it's to the benefit of every cyclist to learn to watch his own chain wear, and also to be able to tune the derailleurs on his bike. Here are a couple of articles.
Chain Maintenance
Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Rear Derailler Adjustments (derailleur)

I usually get about three chains' wear to a cassette, but it may be too late for this one. Good chain cleaning/lube habits can go a long way toward stretching this out. I'm not too into the major ritualistic cleanings, but I do try to wipe my chain with a dry rag after every ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Wim, I wouldn't say they are "playing" me but rather trying to right a wrong with a customer. I don't see whats wrong with that in fact that's what businesses should do.

@Nater, yes, they replaced the housing's as well.

@AndrwSwitch, I agree I should learn more about derailleurs and maintaining them. As for the chain, I had assumed, bad thing, that last tune up they had measured it. I do clean after every ride and lube as well. I'll chalk it up to not following through more on my part and a lax mech on LBS part.

Had all the tasks done from above and will see if these items make the difference.

As far as groupset, I will wait and upgrade bike if I get to that point. After all the advice and thought I believe this will be a smarter option for the future.

Thanks for all the assistance!
 

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I suspect that chain wear does something nonlinear. It would take me a couple years of ritualistic measurement to get any data on this, so I'm going to leave it at a suspicion. But I think I stay out of trouble if I measure my chain at least once a month. I'd have to ask my cycling friends to slap me if I dropped my bike for a tuneup that frequently.

Good luck with your next one. You're finding out why a lot of people support the idea of starting on an inexpensive bike for people with the means for a fancy one too.
 
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