More help with gears, please.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Jo25, 20 May 2008.

  1. Jo25

    Jo25 Senior Member

    After stopping the problem I was having with the chain not getting onto the largest cog at the back with help from you guys (i.e. turn the screw on the low limiter - and turn it the right way!) I am now having another problem in that the gears aren't shifting properly.

    If I move up a gear I have to click the gears up twice to get it to shift one gear and then click down one (but the chain doesn't move down) so it is actually on the right gear - if this makes sense.

    The change of gears takes a few seconds and occassionally makes horrible clunking noises and even managed to make the pedals jump so much that my shoes came out of the clips!

    I don't have any problems with changing down gears.

    Any advice on how I can fix this?

  2. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    Your gear cable is too loose.
    Put the chain onto the second smallest cog and select the matching gear on the gear shifter, now try to change gear to a bigger cog by clicking the shifter and rotating the cranks. If the chain refuses to move to the bigger cog or rattles before it does, wind the barrel adjuster out (anti-clockwise) until it changes up slickly. Move the barrel adjuster out half a turn at a time until you can click up and down all the cogs.
    Hope this helps: good luck.
    You may need to devise some means of holding the back wheel off the ground.
  3. briank

    briank New Member

    Betty's advice is good, but I think you're confusing up and down here, Jo.
    When the chain climbs onto a larger sprocket at the back you're then in a lower gear.
    How come?
    Because of the naming convention, unchanged since from the Dark Ages, that a higher gear is one in which the output shaft - in this case your rear wheel - makes moreturns for each revolution of the input shaft - in this case, your feet. So if you change gear as you're riding along but keep your pedals spinning at the same rate and find you're now going faster, then you've changed up a gear -even though the chain has actually dropped down onto a smaller sprocket at the back!
    Any help?
  4. OP

    Jo25 Senior Member

    Thanks Briank for checking but I think I am getting it right. When I am talking about changing up a gear, I mean moving from a bigger sprocket to a smaller one at the back with the corresponding rise in the numbers on the gear shift lever - that's right isn't it?
  5. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Make sure the cable is moving smoothly - i.e. it isn't snagging, because it should shift to a smaller sprocket if you've had issues shifting to a bigger sprocket.

    As a rule - after checking the cable runs OK - select a middle gear, check it runs OK - then get down low and check that the top jockey wheel (on the mech) is in line with the sprocket. If not line these up by using the adjuster - clockwise to shift the mech outwards, anti-clock to move nearer the spokes. Just do half a turn at a time - spin the wheels and try changing up then down - adjust half a turn until it shifts OK.

    Do check the cables first and the mech itself - check the cables run free and that the mech isn't clogged up with crap.
  6. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    I might have the same problem as the OP...but what is/where is the barrel adjuster - I have a Spesh Sirrus, btw. Ta.
  7. OP

    Jo25 Senior Member

    Maz, the barrel adjuster is the black knobbly thing where you gear cable meets the derailleur (as I have learnt today!). see here for photo I found on the web

    I have adjust the barrel adjuster so that the gears now change properly (reversing what betty said as I was going from a larger to a smaller cog) and checked the cable and the mech as fossyant suggested which all seem fine..... and while the gears do change when changing up (i.e. to a smaller cog) the change is very 'clunky' but if I turn the barrel adjuster any further then it won't change back down (to a bigger cog). Is this normal or are there any other adjustments I can make?
  8. On my Sirrus there's one too where the gear cable meets the gear unit (or whatever its called) on my cheaper Ridgeback its only at the rear mech. Here's another bike being adjusted.
  9. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    That's a great pic, Jo, and mine is in the same place. OK - I have just adjusted mine as far clockwise as it'd go (less than 1 full turn, to be honest)...does this tighten up the gear cable? I guess this is only a way of making fine adjustments to cable tightness - otherwise you might as well loosen the hex bolt, pull the cable tight and re-tighten the bolt...I think.
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Have a good look at how the cable travels - one adjuster near the shift leaver (I usually ignore it) then another on the rear mech as the cable goes into the mech. You also have the option of undoing the allen bolt that holds the cable and pulling through more, then loosen off the adjusters before resetting the position.

    For shifting to a larger sprocket, you sometimes need to hold the lever in place as it shifts, then if will settle into gear - i.e. press it to just over the stop and it will shift - I'm using old STI's that are 7 speed on my MTB that still shift good, but you might just need to press and hold first.

    Have you lubed the shifter ?
  11. OP

    Jo25 Senior Member

    Sorry to be stupid but by the shifter do you mean the gear levers on the handlebars that you push to change gear?
  12. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    Yes the shifters are the gear levers on the handlebars.
    To confirm: winding a barrel adjuster in (clockwise) will loosen a cable and winding it out (anti-clockwise) will (surprise!) tighten it.
  13. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    oh bugger, i turned it the wrong way...i've gone and loosened the cable instead of tightening it...must re-adjust it before setting off tomorrow morning. :biggrin:
  14. You can always adjust it while riding, if you forget to do it before you set off. As long as you're confident enough to fiddle with your gears and avoid the other traffic at the same time.
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