Gear selection problem after servicing - what is cause?

Slowclimb_Rog

New Member
Hi, I had my Boardman Comp serviced at Halfords and they replaced rear cassette and chain, Ist time out was missing gears and I had to drop 2 or go up a couple to get a gear and then selector was on wrong gear and had to deselect to match selector and actual gear. Back to Halfords and 1st 'Technician' said was okay but I should not be using bottom 2-3 gears? or top gear - basically said all bikes do that! Is that right?
I have had bike for over a couple of years and love it and have never had that problem - up until now always also been happy with service from Halfords. Left Bike with them and have now had call from another Technician saying gears are fine and the issue was the SRAM chain they put on was 114 links and would not go up to big cog, said they have now put on a Shimano chain with 116 links to allow it go onto big cog - but that I should not use that gear at all anyway as will wear out cog and chain - and again said no-one should use biggest cog!
Am very confused as bike has been fine using all gears for 2-3 years now - although I am not the most ardent of cyclists I do get out most weekends for couple of rides of anywhere between 15 and 40 miles per trip and would like the bike to be back to what it was.
Am being fed a load of Bull.... or does what I am being told ring true to anyone? Would like some advice from any more experienced cyclists or technicians.
RThanks
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I think you've found out what many on here already know, with Halfords sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.
Sorry Rog, and :welcome: to the forum.
 

Darius_Jedburgh

Looking for the lost chord.
To a degree Halfords are right in saying that you shouldn't be in those gears, but....they should still be available to you. The fact that you can't choose them is because the set up is wrong.
Yes, a too short chain may make selecting your very bottom gear difficult, but which competent mechanic puts a new chain on without checking it for length against the old one?

Sorry but you have just fallen foul of the curse of Halfords. You have three options
1) Pester the hell out of them until it is right.
2) Bite the bullet and take it to a decent LBS.
3) Learn bike maintenance yourself, then you can make routine adjustments as and when needed and not wait for one big service.

Only you can decide which way you want to jump, but don't have your next service done there.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
Am being fed a load of Bull....
If they said what you said they said then yes. There are situations that you should avoid, such as using the big ring at the front and big cog at the back (and same for small-small) as this means the chain is running at quite a severe angle between them, but even this should still be possible, even if not advisable.

To simply say “don’t use all the gears” is ludicrous, especially if it was working ok before you took it in. It sounds like the gears need properly indexing and the cables need to be checked for free movement.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
Also worth mentioning that working adequately on a workshop stand doesn’t always mean it’ll be perfect in use. It pays to take a look at some YouTube videos even if you’re not doing it yourself so you know what they are saying. Park Tools do some good videos on numerous maintenance activities. Then, if you feel confident, you might be able to fettle it yourself, even if it’s just a quick tweak on a cable adjuster or limit screw.
 

Big John

Veteran
Hi Rog and welcome. Sorry you've had such a bad experience with Halfords.

Firstly, I'm not a Cytech qualified mechanic but I am a volunteer mechanic at a local bike charity. In my opinion, and in answer to your question, yes I think they're giving you a pile of bull. I'd be mortified if I'd done a job for a customer only for them to come back with their bike not working at it should be. If they've done the job right it wouldn't be jumping. A new chain and cassette is fitted usually to stop that happening. I'd be giving them grief until the bike was working as it should be. Once it's working properly then I'd suggest never using them again for servicing/maintenance jobs. If you have a LBS handy I'd give them a try in future or learn to do your own repairs, as Darius suggests. With the internet we've never had so much free information readily available 👍
 

MntnMan62

Über Member
Location
Northern NJ
Hi, I had my Boardman Comp serviced at Halfords and they replaced rear cassette and chain, Ist time out was missing gears and I had to drop 2 or go up a couple to get a gear and then selector was on wrong gear and had to deselect to match selector and actual gear. Back to Halfords and 1st 'Technician' said was okay but I should not be using bottom 2-3 gears? or top gear - basically said all bikes do that! Is that right?
I have had bike for over a couple of years and love it and have never had that problem - up until now always also been happy with service from Halfords. Left Bike with them and have now had call from another Technician saying gears are fine and the issue was the SRAM chain they put on was 114 links and would not go up to big cog, said they have now put on a Shimano chain with 116 links to allow it go onto big cog - but that I should not use that gear at all anyway as will wear out cog and chain - and again said no-one should use biggest cog!
Am very confused as bike has been fine using all gears for 2-3 years now - although I am not the most ardent of cyclists I do get out most weekends for couple of rides of anywhere between 15 and 40 miles per trip and would like the bike to be back to what it was.
Am being fed a load of Bull.... or does what I am being told ring true to anyone? Would like some advice from any more experienced cyclists or technicians.
RThanks
If your bike worked fine before taking it in for service and after taking it in for service it didn't work fine, that means the service was less than stellar. And for them to tell you not to use the large cogs is rubbish. That's just an excuse for their inability to fix the bike properly. I'd demand they fix it and fix it right or demand your money back and take it elsewhere. After that experience where you've given them plenty of chances to rectify the issues, and they just repeat the same garbage, I wouldn't go back. I will say however that it is common for bikes to develop issues with the chain skipping at or near the large cog. But it can be fixed by a competent bike mechanic. Yes, you've been fed a load of bull.
 
OP
S

Slowclimb_Rog

New Member
If your bike worked fine before taking it in for service and after taking it in for service it didn't work fine, that means the service was less than stellar. And for them to tell you not to use the large cogs is rubbish. That's just an excuse for their inability to fix the bike properly. I'd demand they fix it and fix it right or demand your money back and take it elsewhere. After that experience where you've given them plenty of chances to rectify the issues, and they just repeat the same garbage, I wouldn't go back. I will say however that it is common for bikes to develop issues with the chain skipping at or near the large cog. But it can be fixed by a competent bike mechanic. Yes, you've been fed a load of bull.
Thanks MntnMan62 - Seems like everyone is in agreement. I will be looking elsewhere in future and educating myself I think!
 
OP
S

Slowclimb_Rog

New Member
Hi Rog and welcome. Sorry you've had such a bad experience with Halfords.

Firstly, I'm not a Cytech qualified mechanic but I am a volunteer mechanic at a local bike charity. In my opinion, and in answer to your question, yes I think they're giving you a pile of bull. I'd be mortified if I'd done a job for a customer only for them to come back with their bike not working at it should be. If they've done the job right it wouldn't be jumping. A new chain and cassette is fitted usually to stop that happening. I'd be giving them grief until the bike was working as it should be. Once it's working properly then I'd suggest never using them again for servicing/maintenance jobs. If you have a LBS handy I'd give them a try in future or learn to do your own repairs, as Darius suggests. With the internet we've never had so much free information readily available 👍
Thanks, sage advice - I will be looking to do things myself in future I think.
 
OP
S

Slowclimb_Rog

New Member
If they said what you said they said then yes. There are situations that you should avoid, such as using the big ring at the front and big cog at the back (and same for small-small) as this means the chain is running at quite a severe angle between them, but even this should still be possible, even if not advisable.

To simply say “don’t use all the gears” is ludicrous, especially if it was working ok before you took it in. It sounds like the gears need properly indexing and the cables need to be checked for free movement.
Thanks for reply - opinion seems pretty unanimous that I was being at best misled...
 
OP
S

Slowclimb_Rog

New Member
To a degree Halfords are right in saying that you shouldn't be in those gears, but....they should still be available to you. The fact that you can't choose them is because the set up is wrong.
Yes, a too short chain may make selecting your very bottom gear difficult, but which competent mechanic puts a new chain on without checking it for length against the old one?

Sorry but you have just fallen foul of the curse of Halfords. You have three options
1) Pester the hell out of them until it is right.
2) Bite the bullet and take it to a decent LBS.
3) Learn bike maintenance yourself, then you can make routine adjustments as and when needed and not wait for one big service.

Only you can decide which way you want to jump, but don't have your next service done there.
Thanks Darius, Think a bit of self learning is definitely in order. Used Halfords because that is where I bought the bike originally but hey you live and learn!
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Boardman Comp serviced at Halfords and they replaced rear cassette and chain, [indexing not done right]. Back to Halfords and 1st 'Technician' said was okay but I should not be using bottom 2-3 gears? or top gear - basically said all bikes do that! Is that right?
Left Bike with them and have now had call from another Technician saying gears are fine and the issue was the SRAM chain they put on was 114 links and would not go up to big cog, said they have now put on a Shimano chain with 116 links to allow it go onto big cog - but that I should not use that gear at all anyway as will wear out cog and chain - and again said no-one should use biggest cog!
Screwed up the first time - for a really straightforward new cassette/new chain.
Chain now right length, to allow you to shift large/large by accident (eg at night).
What they were attempting to communicate is that 'you should not use that gear at all', which is correct. You should not ride large/large. The same ratio is available on small(inner ring)/21t sprocket (say). When on the large chainring, avoid the 2-3 sprockets on the cassette nearest the spokes.
"no-one should use biggest cog" when ON the large chain ring.
 
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