Runners Forum - Kick Runners banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I haven't been around here for a while, but I need some advice, and y'all are the best!  So, my bike has had some issues, and I took it in to a reputable LBS, and they looked at it and replaced the chain, even though it was brand new (had another shop look at it a month ago who put on a new chain and cassette).  It didn't fix the problem, and I was back the next day.  They apologized profusely and put my old chain back on and refunded my money for the parts AND labor.  Great shop!  Then, they spent a while trying to diagnose the problem.  They put a new wheel and cassette on (even thought the cassette was new), a new rear derailleur, checked alignment, everything.  Nothing fixed the problem.  The problem is that it makes noise in the middle gears of the cassette and will often slip out of those gears.  No matter what I do, it just never locks in like it should.  So, they concluded that I need new shifters.  UGH!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I bought my bike used about 3 1/2 years ago.  I think it was 3-4 years old when I bought it.  I've put 5-6K miles on it, and I'm sure it had AT LEAST that many on it when I bought it.  It is a 9 speed Shimano 105.  It now has a brand new chain and a brand new cassette on it.  I've put aerobars on it, but it is a road bike.  I love it, as it's a steel frame Guru, and the color is awesome.  I don't plan to ever get rid of it, but I would like to eventually get a tri bike (probably carbon).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, my dilemma is that I can't just replace the shifters with what's on there because they aren't made anymore.  I either have to replace them with Tiagra 9 speed shifters ($250) or I have to switch out everything to 10 speed.  I'm leaning toward the latter.  I'm also considering SRAM Apex instead of Shimano 105.  It would be slightly cheaper, and the ergonomics are a little better for my small hands.  I can get the 5 piece SRAM group for $500.  I have a friend who is a bike mechanic who will install it all for $40.  OR I can go with Shimano 105, which will cost me a bit more, though I might not have to replace everything since I currently have Shimano, just 9 speed.  I thought about also putting on Shimano 105 10 speed shifter and getting the Shiftmate, but that would just be temporary and would cost me more in the long run.  Whatever I choose, it is a lot of money, so I want to make sure I make the right decision.  I don't want to throw money away, though.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If I was closer to buying a tri bike, I would just find some used Shimano 105 9 speed shifters and put them on this bike.  Right now, I'm not close to getting my tri bike, though, so this is the bike I'll be using for a while for everything, including racing.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sorry this was so long, but any thoughts?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Kelli</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,279 Posts
<p>I know little about bike mechanism.  But I just have to ask - did they check cable/housing?  They probably did but I just try to pretend I know what I am talking about <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif" style="width:16px;height:16px;" title="">. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,108 Posts
<p>If you've  been happy with 9 speed, I'd stick with trying to find a 9 speed replacement set. You're already out a chain and cassette - so $60-80 dollars? - and they should have a bunch of mileage left on them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You're looking in the wrong place to shop though. Try some european online mail-order places. You can get 9 speed Ultegra shifters for $275 shipped (Wiggle); or 9 speed Tiagra for $170 or if you want to go budget (if trading up in 1-2 years) - Sora for $118 (Ribble).</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,108 Posts
<p>Also - some place called bikewagon has a right 9 speed Tiagra shifter for $93 shipped (seeing as that's really the only one you need).</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.bikewagon.com/Tiagra-ST-4400-Right/Shifters-Derailleurs/ShifterBrake-Levers/Road-BrakeShift-Levers-p9104311.html" target="_blank">http://www.bikewagon.com/Tiagra-ST-4400-Right/Shifters-Derailleurs/ShifterBrake-Levers/Road-BrakeShift-Levers-p9104311.html</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Reg.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
<p>If your just looking to replace the old parts with similar parts, I would head over to Slowtwitch and post in the classified section. They have a lot of stuff available. I'm sure someone will have a set of 105 or ultegra 9 speed laying around. I have a cassette and I don't even own a 9 speed bike anymore. PM me if you want it. It's Ultegra or DA (not sure which) 12-25.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If you really want to go new, then I would highly suggest you go with nothing lower than 105, or if your looking for SRAM, Rival. I have a Rival road and it shifts great. The shifters are very adjustable and IMO better than the Shimano. YMMV. You can probably get them petty cheap on Performancebike.com. Just wait until they have a 20% off sale or something.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>BTW, it sounds a lot like you have a bent rear D hanger. That would explain almost all of your issues. Or your cables are stretched beyond repair. It's pretty rare that shifters would cause jumping and grinding. Cable stretch or a bend R D hanger would be/should be the first thing you look at. You're gonna need new cables anyway, so it can't hurt to put new ones on and see if that fixes the issue. New housing too, but that's a given, right?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>CS</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
<p>CS nailed it.  Golden rule of troubleshooting ... test/replace cheapest stuff first.  It's very straightforward for a shop to test for bent hanger (did you wreck or drop bike to potentially tweak the derailleur/hanger?) and relatively cheap to replace cables/housing.  Especially if you hanen't done this since you've owned the bike.  I'm struggling to see how shifters themselves could be the culprit ... smells like unnecessary work unless new cables/housing don't solve the issue.  I would suggest: 1) check hanger for straightness 2) replace cables 3) address shifters (only if absolutely necessary)... Pls report back and let us know how you make out ..  if shifters are the source of the problem, i'd like to know what could go wrong to cause these issues.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>good luck!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>Yes, the hanger was checked.  They said it was perfectly aligned.  I actually had that problem a year or two ago, and it was bent back to be in line by my other LBS (the one super close to my house that closed last spring).  I haven't wrecked or anything, so there is no reason that would be bent.  I know my right shifter cable was replaced last year because it broke.  They replaced a cable/housing this time as well with the chain, but I'm not sure which one.  In fact, they offered to put the old cable back on when they put the old chain back on and refund my money, but I told them it probably needed to be replaced.  They also replaced one of my pulleys on my RD and offered to put the old one back on, but I told them to leave that too..  So, all that has been done.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>CS-  The cassette they put on is Tiagra, and the chain is SRAM, so it only cost me about $50 for both.  I can probably sell the cassette on CL since it won't have many miles on it.  You think I should go to Rival, huh?  That will jack the price up a bit from the Apex.  Hmmmm....  It would make sense to go for the good stuff, though, if I'm going new.  I'll have to price it, though.  Isn't Rival more in line with Ultegra?</p>
<p>I can't wait too long for a sale.  I have a HIM on Oct. 17, so I need to get this fixed, then I'm also planning to get a bike fit before that race.  I want a good week or so to adjust.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Reg- Ultegra 9 speed shifters aren't made anymore either.  Do they have new ones on those sites??  If I can find new 9 speed shifters (either 105 or Ultegra), then I'd just buy them and have them put on.  It would be nice to go to 10 speed, but I really don't have the extra cash laying around right now.  We just did a huge house renovation, plus we had to replace our fridge and water heater all in the past few months!  UGH!  If this had happened in January, I'd be in better shape and wouldn't be in a hurry because of a race.  Sigh.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Spin- The way is was explained to me (by 2 different bike mechanics) is that the little "gears" inside the shifters get worn down.  So, when you try to go into a certain gear, it isn't perfectly calibrated with the derailleur or something like that.  Apparently, the fact that is only happens in the middle and not on either end makes sense because those gears are used most and you go back and forth over them.  Believe me, I questioned it. I made the guy at the bike shop explain to me why the shifters would cause this problem, even though he said they checked everything else.  He said the things they did and checked would fix the problem 99% of the time.  They pretty much did everything except the shifters.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Kelli</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>By the way, I'm getting a second opinion.  My friend who owed the bike shop near me that closed is going to take a look at my bike this weekend.  I just have to get through a 4.5 hour ride on Saturday, which could prove to be VERY frustrating.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,108 Posts
<p><a href="http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Shimano_Ultegra_6510_STI_9_Speed_Road_Lever_Set/5300001757/" target="_blank">http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Shimano_Ultegra_6510_STI_9_Speed_Road_Lever_Set/5300001757/</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Reg.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,312 Posts
<p>I'll second CS's recommendation to not go lower than Shimano 105s.  There are Shiamano Sora and Tiagra components on my road bike now and I hate them.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>Thanks, Reg.  I found them!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Cak- Don't worry.  That's why I'm considering going to 10 speed.  I don't want Tiagra shifters.  My cassette that was just put on is Tiagra, but the shop I took it to didn't ask me (I'm not a fan of that shop, but I didn't know it at the time).  This second shop I took it to was great.  They even gave me my old parts after they took them off so I could see what was wrong with them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My biggest concern with putting 9 speed shifters on is finding 9 speed parts in the future.  It is going to be harder and harder, and I don't want to have to settle for inferior parts later.  I know I'll need a new RD soon.  Anyway!  I know it is more money to spend now, but I think switching to 10 speed might be the best thing to do for the long run.  If I was going to ride for a few years then replace this bike with something else, I'd make a different decision, but I don't plan to get rid of this bike, even if I do get a tri bike.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,689 Posts
<p>Having a bit of trouble following things--If you have a Shimano cassette, a Sram chain might be the problem.  Ruby gave me all sorts of trouble with that combo.  Put a Shimano chain on her and no more problems.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also agree that Sora and Tiagra aren't very good.  Good for getting on an entry level bike, but don't work very well the way we ride.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<p>Nope.  Tried that.  They put a Shimano Ultegra chain on, and it didn't fix the problem, so they put my SRAM chain back on.  It had this problem BEFORE the SRAM chain was put on.  I had a Dura-Ace chain on the bike before that.  It was worn, so they replaced it.  They also replaced the cassette at the same time.  The problem didn't go away.  The second shop put another new chain on -- Shimano Ultegra.  Still didn't fix the problem.  SRAM and Shimano should be compatible (according to 3 bike mechanics I know), though I know some people have problems.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, in case you can't follow, here's what has been done:</p>
<p>2 new chains</p>
<p>new cassette</p>
<p>checked alignment of D hanger, front and rear derailleurs, etc...</p>
<p>replaced cable and housing (all cables checked)</p>
<p>replaced top pulley on rear derailleur</p>
<p>put new rear derailleur on (didn't work, so they took it off)</p>
<p>tried ANOTHER new cassette on a shop wheel</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think that covers it.  There isn't much left to try.  I really trust this shop.  They are small and have been in business forever.  My bike was originally bought there.  They haven't stayed in business because of their prices.  I can guarantee that.  They do the best bike fit, so I'll be going there.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,205 Posts
<p>You can disconnect the shifter from the mech and use the limit screws or your hand to move the cage over and the chain should either skip or not.  All the shifter does is pull a set length of cable with each click, so it's either right or not.  The chain and sprockets need to be 9 speed, which sounds like they got right.  Soemtimes the B screw on the rear mech is in need of sdjustment.</p>
<p>I s</p>
<p>uspect the problem can be solved without throwing all these parts at it.  Shifter generally get gunked up and fail, yours seem to be working fine.  Sure the frame is not broken or bent?</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<p>I'm pretty sure the frame is fine.  I haven't done anything that would have done anything to the frame.  I'm lost on disconnecting the shifter.  Sorry.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The shifters work, but when I shift, it's as if I didn't shift completely.  You know how new cyclists won't push the lever hard enough, then it is kind of in between and doesn't engage?  So, it clicks and makes all kind of noise.  Well, my bike will do that, but I know I'm shifting completely.  I can shift up and down a few times and eventually get it to go in the gear I want without too much noise.  It sometimes takes several tries of fiddling, then I'm ready for another gear anyway!  UGH!  I wouldn't say the chain skips.  Maybe it does.  It is so hard to tell.  It will be sort of in between gears, then eventually it will go into some gear.  Sometimes it will just shift on its own.  Low gears and high gears are fine, but all the ones in the middle are horrible.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm pretty sure they adjusted the screws to try to get the noise to go away, so I really doubt it is a simple as a screw.  I've had 2 different bike shops look at it, both of which replaced parts.  Neither worked.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm taking it to my bike mechanic friend in a few minutes.  I'll let you know what he says.  This will be sort of my 3rd opinion.  ;)</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,205 Posts
<p>it does sound like perhaps a shifter problem.  You can remove the shifter and spray a can of carb cleaner through them or toss them in a solvent tank for a while, it will often bring them back to life.  You can find 9 speed used on ebay or get a single right hand lever from some crap group that still uses 9 speed, or switch to 10 speed which means new shifter, chain, rear mech and cluster, which is a lot of money.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hopefully the solvents and compressed air will un gunk it for a while.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<p>Thanks JR.  I really do think it's the shifters as well.  Thanks for the tips on cleaning them.  I'm not sure if I want to do that to get a little life out of them or just replace them.  I know I can get 9 speed shifters, BUT I'm just not sure that's the best choice in the long run with everything going to 10 speed.  I know it's expensive now, but I think in the long run I'll eventually have to do it anyway.  As much as I don't want to spend the money now because I'd rather save up for a nice tri bike, I think it might be the right thing to do.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My bike mechanic friend has the bike right now (I dropped it off yesterday into his dining room next to 4 other bikes!!  LOL).  He's going to take a look and let me know what he thinks.  He'll be honest.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm leaning toward switching it all out for SRAM Apex.  I know the Rival group is a bit better, but I've been fine with the 105 on this bike, so I think the Apex would serve me fine for a long time.  Eventually, I will get a tri bike, and I'll go for better components.  I don't think it's worth the extra $150+ I'd have to spend to upgrade to the Rival on this bike.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'll update once I make a decision and get it fixed.  Thanks for all the replies!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,205 Posts
<p>I would just fix the problem with a new or used 9 speed RH lever or blade and run the bike the rest of the way in to the ground.  Buying those parts at retail is pretty expensive and the 9 speed equipment is still supported OK.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When you buy a new bike it will have all the 10 speed stuff no matter what and it's so much cheaper for them to sell it as OEM parts rather than one at a time</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
<p>I agree with JR. Don't drop bucks on a whole new drive system. You rally aren't going to get the return on that investment, In other words, you won't be any happier with 10 speed and you can potentially save  a crap load of money. My LBS has boxes of parts, I'm sure they have a 9 speed Shimano shifter. I'll call them tomorrow.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just one more thought. Do not go Apex. I will guarantee that you will not be happy. Rival is the 105 equivalent.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>CS</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<p>OK, I'll try to get a shifter.  I know I can get new Ultegra 9 speed shifters (a pair) for $260.  I was just thinking for twice that I can get all 5 pieces., BUT I trust you.  When I get ready to switch out the rear d, do you think I can find a 9 speed Ultegra?  That would be nice if I go with the Ultegra shifters.  I do already have a new cassette and chain, and my front derailleur is fine (do they EVER wear out?).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I know they SAY Rival is the equivalent of 105, but I've heard that it's really better than that -- more along the lines of Ultegra.  I've talked to several people who have Shimano and SRAM on different bikes, and that's what they tell me.  I've read the same online.  I know everyone is different, though, as far as what they notice.  I was thinking it would be nice to have the 11/28 cassette since I do live in Austin with hills.  Right now, I have 12/25 9 speed.  I handle the hills pretty well, but a little lower gearing would be nice.  I have a compact crank, BTW.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks for checking on the parts for me.  I worry about a used shifter, as I found some, and they were still $100 (for a pair) on ebay.  Not knowing how long they will last makes it hard to spend that much money on it.  I guess I can buy a pair and keep the left one until the left one fails, huh?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I really need to get this done soon.  If it's just a shifter, that's probably something I can do, though??</p>
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top