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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sure would appreciate some advice. I recently upgraded my nine year-old to a brandnew 24" columbia mountain bike. The bike has a front triple and seven cog rear. The drivetrain is all shimano except for MAX grip shifts.

Everything seems to work well but my son has a lot of difficulty in shifting for both the front and rear. He says he can't get the shifters to twist and when riding next to him, I see him struggling. He's experienced with the shifter as his previous 20" specialized six speed was similar where he had no shifting problems.

I can't figure out what's wrong. The routing looks fine with no binding or tight spots. I've tested and even folded myself up for a spin around the block and found no problem. For me it shifts fine but I'm significantly bigger and don't consider my effort a fare comparison.

Is there something I should look at or should I investigate another shifter. I've found 7 speed shimano STX trigger style shifters that I thought might shift easier but then I'm starting to wonder if the problem could be the dérailleurs and maybe these are what I should look at replacing or maybe the entire drivetrain.

Anyway, my son was excited to try and ride some trails but is now disappointed with this bike. I would appreciate suggestions.

Thanks,

Doug
 

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Replace the shifters, cables.....

and housing. I work at a shop and we sell Columbia bikes as a "Walmart fighter" line. They're okay and when professionally set up work better, but not by much. The MAX shifters are very inconsistant as far as operation goes. Some are effortless, others take a fair amount of effort to move. Plus the cable and housing used on these bikes is less than stellar when it comes to quality and smooth operation.

I would suggest picking up a set of SRAM MRX Comp shifters (they come with cable installed) and pick up sufficient housing and ferruels to replace the stock stuff. The shifters should only run you $18 or so, and just go with bulk housing from the LBS. The MRX uses a direct pull system (the cable isn't wrapped around the inside of the shifter) and the action is very light. While replacing the housing pay particular attention to the cable stops. If the seat for the ferruel in a stop isn't quite centered with the cable openning it can create a drag point for the cable. A little work with a jewlers file or dremel tool can solve that type of problem. Not likely but have seen it before. From there if the problem persists it may be the derailleures. Usually the d's on the Columbias move pretty easily though. So try the shifters and housing first and go from there.

Good Dirt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for the advice Squash!

I'll get the MRX Comp shifters and some new cable housing and ferrules. I also appreciate the tip on observing the cable stops and how to fix if the cable isn't centered. :thumbsup:

Doug
 
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