Break-in period for new bike
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  1. #1
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    Break-in period for new bike

    Gentlefolk;

    I know in car and motorcycle fora, mention "break-in" and the old hands run for the exits, one sees emoticon of dead horses being beaten and generally heavy sighs heard all over the message boards. Along with rather distainful responses of "search is on the forum for a R E A S O N !!!"

    I, however, knowing all this, will, in joyful ignorance, press on.

    Not so much about what if any break-in procedure there may be for a bike, but rather what is considered a break-in period?

    In my case, this is a Raleigh Cadent FT3 with front Shimano R453, a rear Shimano Tiagra, a Shimano R440 9-speed shifter.

    The reason I am asking is that in the higher gears (large front sprocket and mid-to small rear sprockets) I am getting some rubbing in the front. I am watching for cross-chaining, and that is not happening.... THAT much I have learned at least.

    Now, I just got this beast, with a massive 10 miles on it, and I am assuming that there is a loosening/settling-in period before I need to go back to my LBS for adjustment. Or is there?

    And while on the newbie questions, this bike has paddle-shifters, or whatever the correct term is. My other bike had grip twist shifters, so I am seeing some differences.

    I assume that to shift you apply a gentle, constant pressure until the shift occurs, rather than a more forceful, sudden push?

    Ohhh..and on the topic of gearing.... WHY are the shifters ass-backward, in the sense that my left fore-finger downshifts the rear derailleur, but the thumb on the right hand downshifts the front sprocket. Why isn't it consistant? Fore-finger of either hand to up-or downshift, thumb control to up- or downshift either sprocket?

    I have to come up with their wierd memnomics to keep it sorted: Pull the trigger and drop the hammer to downshift.... which I know will become second-nature in a few more miles, but vexing now.

    OK, I am shutting up now.

    Thanks again, folks. You are a wonderful resource!!!

    Don

  2. #2
    Cheese is my copilot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadent
    Now, I just got this beast, with a massive 10 miles on it, and I am assuming that there is a loosening/settling-in period before I need to go back to my LBS for adjustment. Or is there?
    Since they're new your cables will probably stretch. Your gears will get noisy or shifting will get slow, particularly from a smaller cog to a bigger cog. That's when to bring it in for a quick tune up.

    On the shifting, push quickly so the shifter clicks. When it does the chain should bang right onto the next cog. If it doesn't, see above.
    Life is better in the big ring.

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  3. #3
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    It works the other way around.

    Everything should be perfect to start, then as cables stretch you might need an adjustment.

  4. #4
    Still On Steel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadent
    Ohhh..and on the topic of gearing.... WHY are the shifters ass-backward, in the sense that my left fore-finger downshifts the rear derailleur, but the thumb on the right hand downshifts the front sprocket. Why isn't it consistant? Fore-finger of either hand to up-or downshift, thumb control to up- or downshift either sprocket?
    Not that it matters, but don't you have your left and right reversed? On drop-bar road bikes, the right hand shifts the rear der and the left hand shifts the front. (Just curious ... I have virtually no experience with flat-bar bikes or MTB bikes.)

    With STI- or Ergo-type levers, one mnemonic is that the physically bigger lever shifts to a physically bigger chain ring or cog; and vice-versa. Don't know if visualizing it that way would work for you.
    Allez Rouge

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allez Rouge
    Not that it matters, but don't you have your left and right reversed? On drop-bar road bikes, the right hand shifts the rear der and the left hand shifts the front. (Just curious ... I have virtually no experience with flat-bar bikes or MTB bikes.)

    With STI- or Ergo-type levers, one mnemonic is that the physically bigger lever shifts to a physically bigger chain ring or cog; and vice-versa. Don't know if visualizing it that way would work for you.
    I could be wrong, but I think he has a flat-bar bike with trigger shifters like a MTB. So I don't know how those go. In any event, as we all know, it takes no more than an hour or two of riding for those things to become second nature.

  6. #6
    Still On Steel
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia
    I could be wrong, but I think he has a flat-bar bike with trigger shifters like a MTB. So I don't know how those go.
    Yes, I know he does. My first 'graph wasn't worded as clearly as it could have been. Sorry about that.

    I don't know how those go, either, but I'm thinking they must follow the left-for-front, right-for-rear convention ... surely? There are just too many riders that ride both kinds of bikes, and it seems to me swapping sides with the shifters would mess with their brains something awful.
    Allez Rouge

  7. #7
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    Left shifter - turn the barrel adjuster out a full turn, maybe two. Should be good now.

    Your shifters work just like all other MTB and road shifters... You push the bigger lever to work against spring tension (ie: to the bigger ring both front and back), and push or pull the smaller lever that uses derailleur spring tension to move the chain down the cassette on the back and to smaller rings on the front.

    If your rear derailleur were a Crapid-Rise, then you would have that perceived bliss of having both shifters do the same things - ie: Push for hard, pull for easy. The caveat is that many mechanics call it Crapid-Rise for a reason...
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

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  8. #8
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    Thanks, all...

    I don't know what the current convention is, but the Cadent is a flat bar, with the left shifter controlling the rear deraillure and the right shifter controlling the front. I 'spose I can have them reversed, but if I have to learn how the shifters work, one orientation is the same as another for me now.

    So, on shifting... when moving UP the rings, using the thumb controller, do you depress the shift lever ALL the way to the stops, or depress until there is a solid shift?

    I can see why single-speed bikes are gaining popularity again...

    Thx!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadent
    Thanks, all...

    I don't know what the current convention is, but the Cadent is a flat bar, with the left shifter controlling the rear deraillure and the right shifter controlling the front. I 'spose I can have them reversed, but if I have to learn how the shifters work, one orientation is the same as another for me now.

    So, on shifting... when moving UP the rings, using the thumb controller, do you depress the shift lever ALL the way to the stops, or depress until there is a solid shift?

    I can see why single-speed bikes are gaining popularity again...

    Thx!
    Unless somebody built your bike backwards while taking hits of acid, smoking PCP, and shagging an armadillo, left is always front and right is always rear. Same for brakes, unless you're in some odd European country. It is physically impossible to use the shifters if they themselves are reversed, so hooking up the cables wrong is the only other option. In which case, you would only have 3 poorly-working rear gears and 5-6 non-existent front ones.

    One click = one shift.
    One full push of the rear (right) shifter shifts 3 gears (if I remember correctly)

    Shifting a bike is generally of the same level of difficulty as taking a piss...don't think about it too much. Just ride, shift, click, explore.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  10. #10
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    Plat...

    Well, now you have me questioning my rememberer, which HAS been known to get upgemixed.

    Raining today, I was gonna ride, but whimped out.

    Will be back with the _definitive_ info on how my bike is configured.

    thanks, all!

  11. #11
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    The break-in period on a new bike has nothing to do with how many miles you've ridden or how many times adjustments are made. The real criteria for judging break-in is when you get your 1st scratch or dent. Then, and only then, you can say, "Yep! It's broken in now."
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  12. #12
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    Aint that the truth. I have known people to take hammer to a new car just so they can get over the initial pain, and not worry about it.

    BTW: I am an idiot. The board here is correct...my front derailleur is controlled by the left paddle, and the rear by the right.

    The odd thing -- or rather the useless thing -- is that the shift direction is indicated by two arrows: < on the left side and > on the right side, but neither indicating which paddle controls what direction. I guess if you have to ask, you shouldn't be using the bike...

  13. #13
    rebmeM weiveRekiBdaoR
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    Mostly you will get a little cable stretch. If you hear some clicking,
    when you not shifting, that could be head set or BB. I would ride around
    about a month, and shift through the whole range every time you ride.
    And, then take back to the LBS for an adjustment. Let them know if you
    think you are getting clicking form the head set or BB. That usually
    only happen when you on the bike, not on a stand.

    After that, you may need to adjust the cables a few times a year.
    More if you live some place where the temp changes a lot. Here in
    Va, 0 in the winter and 100 in summer.

  14. #14
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    Well, I found the source of my earlier self-diagnosed "front derailleur rub" -- there is a plastic sticker on the front derailleur indicating "1mm" and "3mm" -- apparently indicating appropriate clearance of some type. The chain is rubbing against this sticker.

    I would _ass_u_me that I can remove this sticker? NBD, just sounds kinda card-in-the-spokes-ish in some gears right now.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadent
    Well, I found the source of my earlier self-diagnosed "front derailleur rub" -- there is a plastic sticker on the front derailleur indicating "1mm" and "3mm" -- apparently indicating appropriate clearance of some type. The chain is rubbing against this sticker.

    I would _ass_u_me that I can remove this sticker? NBD, just sounds kinda card-in-the-spokes-ish in some gears right now.
    You can remove the sticker. It's a reference for the installer that the clearance between the chain guide outer plate and the large gear is 1 - 3 mm.

    Here's the tech doc for the FD. It covers operation of the trim function as well:
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830684411.PDF

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadent
    Well, I found the source of my earlier self-diagnosed "front derailleur rub" -- there is a plastic sticker on the front derailleur indicating "1mm" and "3mm" -- apparently indicating appropriate clearance of some type. The chain is rubbing against this sticker.

    I would _ass_u_me that I can remove this sticker? NBD, just sounds kinda card-in-the-spokes-ish in some gears right now.
    One of my pet peeves.... bike shops that don't remove that sticker. That and shops/bike owners who leave the plastic covering on headtube badges and rear derailleurs. "It'll protect it!" No it won't. After a year heat and sun will bake it on so that your badge/derailleur look like crap and will never, ever clean up.

    When a bike comes into my shop that has any of the above mentioned stickers; I remove them. I'll save your bike from you if I have to!
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  17. #17
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    Thanks, all...I will remove the sticker with the assurance the derailleur won't fall off.

    In defense of my LBS, he is a startup in a small town, the bike was ordered in, delayed a bit in receving it, got it in late on a Friday and had to build it for me. It was promised by noon on a Saturday, but I suspected this would be optomistic. I did get it by 6 PM on a Saturday, but if ANYTHING is put together perfectly by 6PM on a Saturday, I have yet to find it. If one sticker is missed, I am getting off easily.

    But, he promises life-time free adjustments and free installs on any toys I get for it, and simply the fact that he is starting a shop but already seems to have a following makes me want to work with this guy.

    But here is the thing I have noticed about bike shops...LOTS of people hang around, FEW every buy....

    I would say the hardest part of owning a bike shop is knowing you have to be attentive to the hangers-on, keep up the warm-fuzzies in the event someone actually does buy something at some point, but knowing that your time is being sucked up that could be used in more productive activities.

    The flip side of this is people who, having bought a bike from a guy a year or two or three or five years ago assume they are now entitled to an eternity of premium service.

    (And having operated a few small businesses in the past, none of these issues are unique to bike shops....)

    Don

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadent
    Thanks, all...I will remove the sticker with the assurance the derailleur won't fall off.

    In defense of my LBS, he is a startup in a small town, the bike was ordered in, delayed a bit in receving it, got it in late on a Friday and had to build it for me. It was promised by noon on a Saturday, but I suspected this would be optomistic. I did get it by 6 PM on a Saturday, but if ANYTHING is put together perfectly by 6PM on a Saturday, I have yet to find it. If one sticker is missed, I am getting off easily.

    But, he promises life-time free adjustments and free installs on any toys I get for it, and simply the fact that he is starting a shop but already seems to have a following makes me want to work with this guy.

    But here is the thing I have noticed about bike shops...LOTS of people hang around, FEW every buy....

    I would say the hardest part of owning a bike shop is knowing you have to be attentive to the hangers-on, keep up the warm-fuzzies in the event someone actually does buy something at some point, but knowing that your time is being sucked up that could be used in more productive activities.

    The flip side of this is people who, having bought a bike from a guy a year or two or three or five years ago assume they are now entitled to an eternity of premium service.

    (And having operated a few small businesses in the past, none of these issues are unique to bike shops....)

    Don
    Describes my life perfectly, yes.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

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