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How wrong can a n00b get it?

monkeylizardmonkeylizard Posts: 155
edited June 2010 in MTB workshop & tech
I'm having a problem with my gears - not shifting when I want them to, shifting when I don't want them to, etc. Despite not being blessed with a particularly mechanical mind, I'm (almost) happy to read some of the guides on the web and the maintenance book I have to see if I can get it sorted myself rather than just asking the LBS - I figure that as well as saving some cash it will be a good learning experience, too.

The only thing that concerns me is could I do more harm than good if I get it wrong? What's the worst I could do if I start tampering without really knowing what I'm doing?

Posts

  • dogboy73dogboy73 Posts: 440
    Well, if your on the verg eon taking the bike to the LBS then I'd say have a crack yourself first. Worse that can happen is that your gears won't shift properly ...... which they're not anyway! So what the hell. Check out this vid;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzvfCaIbyQ


    EDIT: I should add that out of all the jobs I did whilst building my bike this was the one that I most needed a workstand for. Trying to set-up geears without one is a right pain in the censored !
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    IME its is best to start with clean cables before making any other adjustments. Put the rear shifter in the top gear (small cog). Push the rear mech by hand to towards the big cog, so that the cables go slack and then unhook the cables from the frame. you can then slide the sleeves to one end. Then rub the cables down with some rubbing alcohol, brake cleaner or if you have to wd40 to clean them. Squirt Teflon lube in to the cable sleeves to clean out the dirt and lube them. Put back in to place and repeat for front.

    Only once your cables are clear from clag should you even think about making other changes.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    If you get it really wrong, your bike could catch fire, and kill all Llamas within a 50 mile radius.
    Also, you might end up going backwards whilst pedaling forwards.
  • monkeylizardmonkeylizard Posts: 155
    If you get it really wrong, your bike could catch fire, and kill all Llamas within a 50 mile radius.
    Also, you might end up going backwards whilst pedaling forwards.

    Oh well... LBS it is, then!

    :lol:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Well, last time I got my gears wrong (and I'm an expert, I INVENTED the 23rd gear - before then, it used to go 21,22,24,25,26,27) I accidentaly set off that volcano in Iceland.
    And we all know how that went :oops:
  • monkeylizardmonkeylizard Posts: 155
    Well if that can happen to an expert, having to live with dead llamas on my conscience may be the least of my worries :shock:

    I just can't risk it... :(
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    :lol:
  • T1beriousT1berious Posts: 438
    There are some pretty good guides on the web (parktools has a good one), but there are some things that make the whole process easier. bike stand etc.

    But, once you've set it up, you'll be able to sort it out on the trail when things go wrong and that's priceless! especially if your miles from the nearest LBS :)
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    If its the gears then you can't to too wrong. Badly set up gears probably just strain the chain a bit more but as you're just gently spinning the chain while tuning the gears it'll be fine. If you really mess up wait till LBS sort it out before riding you don't want to snap a chain or send your rear mech into the spokes.
  • mcj78mcj78 Posts: 634
    I'd risk severe llama damage & give it a bash yourself - I set my gears for the first time (properly, not just twiddling things randomly until it all sort of worked) recently & found some of the videos on youtube really helpful - so are the park tools guides which you can print off & go through step by step, cable tension is more important that I first thought - yours may only need quick clean & 5 mins playing arouind with the barrel adjusters, either way i'd definitely give it a bash yourself before shelling out (it's also rather satisfying if you persevere & work it out)

    Enjoy!
    Moda Issimo
    Genesis Volare 853
    Charge Filter Apex
  • monkeylizardmonkeylizard Posts: 155
    jairaj wrote:
    send your rear mech into the spokes.

    That's the sort of 'how wrong' I was thinking of...

    Thanks for all the tips - I think I'll spend some time reading up and give it a bash :)
  • BorisSpencerBorisSpencer Posts: 786
    diy wrote:
    IME its is best to start with clean cables before making any other adjustments. Put the rear shifter in the top gear (small cog). Push the rear mech by hand to towards the big cog, so that the cables go slack and then unhook the cables from the frame. you can then slide the sleeves to one end. Then rub the cables down with some rubbing alcohol, brake cleaner or if you have to wd40 to clean them. Squirt Teflon lube in to the cable sleeves to clean out the dirt and lube them. Put back in to place and repeat for front.

    Only once your cables are clear from clag should you even think about making other changes.

    + A pound of King Edwards.
    Anything you do without first cleaning/replacing the cables will be a waste.
    Change to largest cogs front and back whilst turning cranks, then shift to the smallest cogs without turning the cranks. The cables will now have gone slack and you can slide the outer out of their stops.
    Whilst your cleaning check for kinks in the inners and outers, Frayed inners or splits in the outers.
    The cables are about the cheapest thing on your bike to replace, and can make a massive difference to the shifting experience.

    Edit - Don't adjust the High and Low screws yet, if nothing else has changed they won't need moving.
    Northwind wrote: It's like I covered it in superglue and rode it through ebay.
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