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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on the verge of throwing my barely a week old Cannondale F5 through a window, or out of a moving truck, in front of a moving train, or hell anywhere.
Short run down here:
  • I test ride, feels good, shifts great, no problems.
  • Get it home, front derailleur is throwing the chain off the large wheel, chews up the crank.
  • Call LBS, they tell me how to adjust it, so I do exactly as told.
  • Throws chain some more.
  • Took the bike back yesterday, tech adjusts it, says its good, I take it for a spin in the lot, throws chain again
  • Tech adjusts it again, chain comes off again, this time wedging itself between the frame and the crank.
  • Frame now has nice battle scars.
  • LBS tech decides it needs front derailleur replaced so I leave the bike.
  • Pick it up today, Sram X5 replaced for Shimano Altus. (not sure what I think of this) Rides ok in parking lot (just shifted the front derailleur), I think its "done" (foreshadowing here if you can't tell)
  • Get it home, take it for a test ride, moved through a few gears and think its ok.
  • Run through all gears top to bottom, side to side, up and down, left and right, and the damn chain is grinding on the cage when the rear gears are in the lower 4.
  • Put the damn thing up and login here to slightly rant

To say I'm frustrated would be a slight understatement. Suggestions on what to do next?
:madman:
 

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Sounds like you are cross chaining. They should have taught you how to shift before leaving with the bike. The front derailleur cage is only wide enough to accept 75% of the rear gears and still be able to shift properly. Set-up properly, when the franot is in the small ring, only the first 5-6 big rings in the back will be usable with out chain rub. While in the big ring in the front, only the first 5-6 of the small gears will be accessible without grinding.

If you want to check it out, shift to the small ring in the front and the small cog in the back. Then stand behind the bike and look at your chainline. See how crossed over it is? not good. Learn to use the appropriate gears while riding and it'll make you one step closer to being a better rider.

Good luck, give the LBS mechanic a break. He probably only makes $7/hr now-a-days. Ask for the service manager next time.
 

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Like mountdoracycles said, that chain rubbing the front derailleur is perfectly normal for when you're in the bigger and smaller chainrings. A 27 gear bike doesn't actually have 27 usable gears, due to crosschaining, but there's a lot of redundancy, so you should be able to find what you're looking for by shifting chainrings.
 

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Newt Guy
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Whoa!!! Easy... I'll tell ya what to do.

First. Settle down. No biggie. The bike shop is OK. The bike is OK. You are great.

Now... you need to understand that there is a lot going on in a drivetrain. They are not perfect, and they do require a bit of finesse to operate confidently and comfortably. New drivetrains have to break in. This is especially true of the shifting cables. So how do we deal with the learning curve of both the rider AND the drivetrain?

This is what I suggest. Don't worry about the gears for now. Put the chain in the middle ring up front, and just shift around with the rear on a ride. Just ride the bike. Don't worry if you find suddenly that the rear doesn't shift well either. That is more cable stretch. I know it seems like the gears are an integral part of success when it comes to getting along, but they really aren't as much as one might believe. Use your legs! :D

After that, when you are in a better state of mind, take the bike back to the shop and have them tune the bike up for free due to the inevitable cable stretch. Buy a few packs of Sport Beans or something and head out for another ride. Don't worry about it as you will sort it as you experience it.

Ride the bike, don't let it ride you.

:thumbsup:

And stop cross-chainin! Get outta the big ring unless you are runnin' from a big dog while riding down a big hill.

 

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Well, if its any help, I helped my buddy buy a Cannondale F5 yesterday. Today we took it to the trail for 2 hours of riding rocky terrain and a little mild downhilling. It worked perfectly.

Why do I tell you this? Just to let you know its not the bike.

The bikes are usually built at the LBS. If they did a good job, then all should be a-ok. Also, bikes go thru a break-in period. Things will loosen up pretty fast after it gets home :)

Best of luck!

Bing
 

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i have broken every single middle ring on every single low end crank ive ever had. i broke a fsa velo (?) chainring in under 30 miles on my first road bike. my isoflow was ruined after a few rides. my crank on my OCR1 wasnt that cheap, but i killed the ring after a few weeks. even my girlfriends cheap rings didnt last her more than a few months, and she doesnt weigh much.

i wouldnt write off a bent ring, even on a new bike. bent rings toss chains. sometimes they're bent so little its hard to tell unless you're specifically looking for it.

when they were under warranty, i got the lbs to change them out and i paid the difference for an xt ring. shimano rings are a dirt cheap fix that lasts.

it definitely might just be adjustment too, but its something to keep in mind.
 

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I would be pissed, too. The replacement der. is definitely a downgrade. You should take it back and ask for either another x.5 or at least a deore if they want to use a shimano.

Then follow A from Il's advice. Learn to adjust it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
rlouder said:
I would be pissed, too. The replacement der. is definitely a downgrade. You should take it back and ask for either another x.5 or at least a deore if they want to use a shimano.

Then follow A from Il's advice. Learn to adjust it yourself.
It is a downgraded part?

:madmax:
 

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BoogB said:
It is a downgraded part?

:madmax:
No, it's not. Shimano Altus is on par with SRAM x.5. If it's working better, it's an upgrade. A front derailleur is a front derailleur for the most part.
I think you are just looking for reasons to hate the bike or the bike shop. Maybe you regret spending money? I'm a better mechanic than psychologist so you tell me. Why all the anger over something so simple?
 

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SeaBass_ said:
When shifting, remember:
No Big on Big
No Small on Small
Really? That explains a lot....

They should make a small book that comes with bikes with little jewels like that in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mount Dora Cycles said:
No, it's not. Shimano Altus is on par with SRAM x.5. If it's working better, it's an upgrade. A front derailleur is a front derailleur for the most part.
I think you are just looking for reasons to hate the bike or the bike shop. Maybe you regret spending money? I'm a better mechanic than psychologist so you tell me. Why all the anger over something so simple?
I'm not regretting my purchase too much at all honestly. I am slightly peeved and used this forum as a means of expression and also to seek advice. The guys at the LBS are nice and helpful. I am not knocking their knowledge or abilities if it seems like that at all. If I were not happy with them I'd list their name, but only after exhausting all other options. The points listed were just that, points with the history here. I never said the tech wasn't capable, as I fully believe the techs there are from what I've gathered from customers and friends that have purchased bikes there. The tech realized the issue and made a call to get a replacement derailleur after noticing the adjustments just were not working. It just so happens to not be on par (dollar wise apparently) with what came on the bike.

If the Altus part is a cheaper or lower end part then yes, I am peeved at that, whether it works as needed or not. (I do not know, hence my question on the subject) I didn't pay for a bike to have cheaper/lesser parts on it. If the part can not replaced with a new part, an equal or better quality part should have been used. You don't buy a speedboat and put a 5hp Mercury on it just because the out-drives failed and the Mercury works do you?

Thank you for the information on cross chaining. I appreciate it. It is something that I have never dealt with before and does explain some things I must say. However, when the X5 worked (for that very short period of time) when I tested the bike, I did not receive any chain chatter or grinding on the cage. I understand the concept and reasons behind cross chaining, but at the same time when a part worked (albeit shortly) with no issues it does raise and eyebrow.
 

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I hate to tell you this, but I would think about returning the bike and finding a new shop.

Front derailleur adjustments are some of the most difficult because there is several fine adjustments which depend on each other and are not so obvious.

And the real trick is when all the adjustments are right and it still doesn't work properly.

For example, my old boss, a master mechanic, bends cages regularly.

Ok, most shops don't have a 30 year mechanic on staff, nor do they need one. However, the problem with most junior techs is when to punt and call for assistance.

For example, before you dropped your chain in the parking lot, did the tech take your bike and test ride it extensively before giving it back to you? How would he know how well the bike was going to shift if he didn't test it himself?

Ok, so the tech is not that good. Probably a better mechanic on staff will look at it. Now they are recommending to replace the Altus, which is so/so, with a X.5, which is also so/so?

What a nice upgrade to a bike with a scratched-up frame.

How about they sell you a XT for cost?

See where I am getting at? Your shop might not be the best mechanics, but taking care of the customer is making him happy, even if the $$$ are not there.
 

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B A N N E D
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Cross Chaining = Derailleur Rub & Wear, Shortened Chain Life, Shortened Chain Ring Life & Shortened Cluster Life.



Correct Chaining = No Derailleur Rub, Longer Chain Life, Longer Chain Ring Life & Longer Cluster Life.

 

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Jason
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This may be an obvious question and may have been asked alread but... are you crossing the chain? Granny gear on front chain rings and top gear on back chainrings will cause the chain to jump. I don't have time this a.m. to read this entire thread but I've seen this problem before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
FrostyStruthers said:
Whoa!!! Easy... I'll tell ya what to do.

First. Settle down. No biggie. The bike shop is OK. The bike is OK. You are great.

Now... you need to understand that there is a lot going on in a drivetrain. They are not perfect, and they do require a bit of finesse to operate confidently and comfortably. New drivetrains have to break in. This is especially true of the shifting cables. So how do we deal with the learning curve of both the rider AND the drivetrain?

This is what I suggest. Don't worry about the gears for now. Put the chain in the middle ring up front, and just shift around with the rear on a ride. Just ride the bike. Don't worry if you find suddenly that the rear doesn't shift well either. That is more cable stretch. I know it seems like the gears are an integral part of success when it comes to getting along, but they really aren't as much as one might believe. Use your legs! :D

After that, when you are in a better state of mind, take the bike back to the shop and have them tune the bike up for free due to the inevitable cable stretch. Buy a few packs of Sport Beans or something and head out for another ride. Don't worry about it as you will sort it as you experience it.

Ride the bike, don't let it ride you.

:thumbsup:

And stop cross-chainin! Get outta the big ring unless you are runnin' from a big dog while riding down a big hill.

I went out for a bit this morning and did as the article PauleyD linked and it still dragged on the cage if I was in the middle chain ring (smaller 3).

Now if I followed what cobba posted, then it seems to be better. Which is a bit backwards and is essentially making it a 9 speed bike instead of the 17-19 listed in the other article.
 
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