Road bike buying advice for newbie

Alex321

Well-Known Member
Location
South Wales
Yep, true. Although it seems that to go hydro I’m looking at an an extra £400-500 which is well out of budget.
The Triban RC520 is hydro-mechanical - which means the pistons are hydraulic. I haven't tried those, but reports I have seen suggest they give very close to the same level of control you get with fully hydraulic.
 
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AdamD1

Member
Went for the Cannondale Synapse Tiagra in the end and am delighted with my purchase - absolutely love it and wish I'd switched to road biking sooner.
However, one small issue I am finding is chain noise in most gears (mostly on the big chainset) - I can't quite put my finger on precisely the noise is but it is like a catching noise, as if the chain is constantly rubbing against the big sprocket. Any ideas? I've only used it about 10 times and it was brand new so needless to say I am not delighted with this aspect. I need to pop in to the shop soon but just thought I'd ask the question here in the meantime.

Also, see below picture which shows marks on the inside of the sprocket (do correct me if the terminology is incorrect!). Could this be the chain rubbing?
 

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stalagmike

Enormous member
Location
Milton Keynes
Sounds like you might need to adjust the tension on the front derailleur a little. You can do this using the barrell adjuster on the gear cable (left one for the front). Only adjust it a quarter turn either way and see if it improves. Bit of trial and error required to see which way it goes to tighten or loosen (I can never remember!)
 

Paul_Smith SRCC

www.plsmith.co.uk
Location
Surrey UK
Went for the Cannondale Synapse Tiagra in the end and am delighted with my purchase - absolutely love it and wish I'd switched to road biking sooner.
However, one small issue I am finding is chain noise in most gears (mostly on the big chainset) - I can't quite put my finger on precisely the noise is but it is like a catching noise, as if the chain is constantly rubbing against the big sprocket. Any ideas? I've only used it about 10 times and it was brand new so needless to say I am not delighted with this aspect. I need to pop in to the shop soon but just thought I'd ask the question here in the meantime.

Also, see below picture which shows marks on the inside of the sprocket (do correct me if the terminology is incorrect!). Could this be the chain rubbing?
That looks like you may have been using the small chainring and small sprockets at the back? If yes the chain will often touch the outer ring and would make that "catching noise" you referenced.

In reality you don't use all the rear sprockets in each chainring, you need to keep the chain as straight as you can, larger/outside chain ring, smaller outside sprockets, inner/small chain ring. The below illustrates what is often known as 'Cross Chaining' showing the combinations you shouldn't be using, in your case fig.1 the chain could well be actually touching the larger ring and causing those marks.

613422

How many of the rear sprockets you can actually use will vary, chainring and sprocket sizes, chainstay length, chain length all influence how many you can effectively use. Yes as in your case it is normally possible to shift into every combination, but as rule of thumb on say a 10 speed double set up 50/34 chainrings with an 11-34 cassette you will probably be OK on the larger/outside chain ring using the smallest 7 rear sprockets and the inner/small chain ring using the largest 7 rear sprockets; slightly more than the example on the left picture shown below but hopefully that picture helps illustrate.

613427

There are a few examples of Cross Chaining on you tube that may also be worth viewing.
 
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Alex321

Well-Known Member
Location
South Wales
It may not be the tension, it could be that the limit screw is set to high, so the chain doesn't go quite as far as it should.

You also get what sounds like rubbing sometimes when the chain needs lubrication - though that wouldn't leave the marks you are seeing on the chainring, those only come when it is actually rubbing.

There are a number of videos around on Youtube for adjusting front derailleurs, they will explain which limit screw is which, and how to get the tension right - but limit screws should be checked first.
 
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AdamD1

Member
That looks like you may have been using the small chainring and small sprockets at the back? If yes the chain will often touch the outer ring and would make that "catching noise" you referenced.

In reality you don't use all the rear sprockets in each chainring, you need to keep the chain as straight as you can, larger/outside chain ring, smaller outside sprockets, inner/small chain ring. The below illustrates what is often known as 'Cross Chaining' showing the combinations you shouldn't be using, in your case fig.1 the chain could well be actually touching the larger ring and causing those marks.

View attachment 613422

How many of the rear sprockets you can actually use will vary, chainring and sprocket sizes, chainstay length, chain length all influence how many you can effectively use. Yes as in your case it is normally possible to shift into every combination, but as rule of thumb on say a 10 speed double set up 50/34 with 11-34 cassette you will probably be OK on the larger/outside chain ring using the smallest 7 rear sprockets and the inner/small chain ring using the largest 7 rear sprockets; slightly more than the example on the left but hopefully that picture helps illustrate.

View attachment 613427

There are a few examples of Cross Chaining on you tube that may also be worth viewing.
Fantastic reply, very helpful. Yes it looks like I’ve been cross chaining and so appears to be my fault that the marks are there - darn! I’ll have a read and look at YouTube, as per your recommendation.
 
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AdamD1

Member
It may not be the tension, it could be that the limit screw is set to high, so the chain doesn't go quite as far as it should.

You also get what sounds like rubbing sometimes when the chain needs lubrication - though that wouldn't leave the marks you are seeing on the chainring, those only come when it is actually rubbing.

There are a number of videos around on Youtube for adjusting front derailleurs, they will explain which limit screw is which, and how to get the tension right - but limit screws should be checked first.
Thanks, I’ll check out the videos.
Shouldn’t a brand new bike have a lubed chain or am I being naive? I definitely need to clean it as it has accumulated a bit of black gunk already (I’ve only had the bike for 10 days and probably done 10 rides (only two relatively long at 43km and 34km) - should it be cleaned and re-lubed that often?

I’ll check the limit screws and videos. But is this something that should be done so soon, or do I have right to go back to the shop and ask what is going on?
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
Even if you're avoiding cross-chaining, a black anodised chainset will pick up marks at some point just from changing gear (with the odd clumsy one inevitable) so don't worry about those too much.

Shouldn’t a brand new bike have a lubed chain or am I being naive? I definitely need to clean it as it has accumulated a bit of black gunk already (I’ve only had the bike for 10 days and probably done 10 rides (only two relatively long at 43km and 34km) - should it be cleaned and re-lubed that often?
Yes it'll be lubed, but only lightly when it comes out of the shop. It's a good idea to give it some more oil after no more than a couple of rides.
If there's black gunk there it needs a clean and a re-lube, give it a good wipe with an oiled rag. Your lubing job will be more thorough than the one done in the factory or shop, that's mainly just a delivery thing, they don't want to drip oil all over a new frame so it's a cursory / light coating.

I’ll check the limit screws and videos. But is this something that should be done so soon, or do I have right to go back to the shop and ask what is going on?
You can by all means take it back to the shop, most shops expect (or they should) that the cables will give a bit and everything will settle in, and that throws out the indexing a bit. They most often provide you a free "check up / service" a few weeks or months after purchase to sort out those minor niggles, so yes, get back to them and they should perfect the indexing for you.
 

DRM

Guru
Location
West Yorks
Sounds like you might need to adjust the tension on the front derailleur a little. You can do this using the barrell adjuster on the gear cable (left one for the front). Only adjust it a quarter turn either way and see if it improves. Bit of trial and error required to see which way it goes to tighten or loosen (I can never remember!)
Possibly this, mine did this, a little tweak and all was well, it’s easy to see if the chain is rubbing on the front derailleur
 
Location
Cheshire
Went for the Cannondale Synapse Tiagra in the end and am delighted with my purchase - absolutely love it and wish I'd switched to road biking sooner.
However, one small issue I am finding is chain noise in most gears (mostly on the big chainset) - I can't quite put my finger on precisely the noise is but it is like a catching noise, as if the chain is constantly rubbing against the big sprocket. Any ideas? I've only used it about 10 times and it was brand new so needless to say I am not delighted with this aspect. I need to pop in to the shop soon but just thought I'd ask the question here in the meantime.

Also, see below picture which shows marks on the inside of the sprocket (do correct me if the terminology is incorrect!). Could this be the chain rubbing?
Hope it gives you many miles of smiles ^_^
 

battered

Guru
Thanks, I’ll check out the videos.
Shouldn’t a brand new bike have a lubed chain or am I being naive? I definitely need to clean it as it has accumulated a bit of black gunk already (I’ve only had the bike for 10 days and probably done 10 rides (only two relatively long at 43km and 34km) - should it be cleaned and re-lubed that often?

I’ll check the limit screws and videos. But is this something that should be done so soon, or do I have right to go back to the shop and ask what is going on?
A new bike will have chain wax. That's OK for starters. Use a lube of your choice, it will go black very quickly as aluminium wears off the chainrings. Wipe off excess lube with a tissue. Don't overclean it, you need oil on the moving parts, not shiny dry metal.
 
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AdamD1

Member
Took it the shop, they adjusted the limit screws. Fixed it for half an hour then it went back to being noisy and clunky. Very odd, very disappointed.
 
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