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congrats on taking the plunge, Sarah! As a newbie myself, I was told when I bought my bike to take it back 4-6 weeks later for re-tightening of cables, which stretch naturally, so need resetting. Could be that?


  • DOtriHarderDOtriHarder Posts: 307
    Welcome Sarah

    I would get the shop to check that the gears are set up properly; with todays mechanisms they should just jump to the next gear with only a thunk[:)] The only time you could make it grind is if you are moving to a bigger sprocket of chainring and push the lever slowly or not far enough.

  • sarahb193sarahb193 Posts: 11
    I'm doing my first triathlon in August - the London, Olympic. Training's going well, once I swallowed abandoning all social life, and I'm really enjoying it. I swim and run anyway - but still getting my head round serious biking. I've succumbed and bought myself a new Allez, which I'm having fun playing with - but I'm terrible at the gears. They crunch and grind. Anyone got any good tips? it's a lovely bike and i'm worried I'm doing it damage...

  • sarahb193sarahb193 Posts: 11
    Thanks for that. I'll do that. It's definitely more than a satisfying clunk - scrapey rattling noises and worrying that the chain will come off. And I doubt it's stretched cables yet, though I'll definitely take it for a 6 week checkup.

    - Any firm Do Nots with the bike, anyway? - Anything stupid I should avoid doing? Teach yourself biking's a lonely business...

    thanks! great to have somewhere to help navigate these obstacles!

  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    Actually (as I'm recently guilty of this) even if your gears are perectly set up you can still make them grind and clunk. Typically this is caused as your trying to change gear when your still peddling at full effort. Just before you change in future try easing off, change the gear, listen for it the clunk and 'feel' it (you know what I mean I hope, you can normally just feel through the bike when the gear hops in neatly) then you can return to peddling normally.
  • sarahb193sarahb193 Posts: 11
    that makes sense. - so would switch down well ahead of an uphill? I think my tendency's to try to take hills in too high a gear and change down late...
  • DOtriHarderDOtriHarder Posts: 307

    The biggest DO NOT with cycling is Do not fall off[8D]

    Talk to some of the guys on here about clipless pedals[:D] Try always to release your foot before the bike stops moving[:)]

  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    Not necessarily, ideally you want to try maintaining a good cadence, so this means gradually shifting down to maintain the same cadence. That may take some practice to judge, but swicthing down to early will leave your legs spinning & wasting momentum (precious commodity on a climb). It only requires a second (if that to shift) down through your rear cogs so easing up slightly in each shift shouldnt cause a problem. Changing from your big ring to the smaller on the front may be more problematic but again it can be treated in the same manner as a rear gear shift with practice.

    I think a couple of copies ago 220 mag had a good article about gear shifts that could be worth a read,but it I dont remember it recalling the actual how, just the when (hills and corners etc).
  • sarahb193sarahb193 Posts: 11
    [:)] getting there with not falling off, anyway...

    Thanks, BonusB. Useful advice, and I'll work on it. - Will see if I can dig out that copy of 220 mag, and build more technique work in.

    Just scouting about here, it also sounds as though it might just be bad combinations of gears, front to back. Guess I need to play around with it all. - Difficult, at the moment, to tell what's just New and Strange, and what's Wrong...
  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    And for reference I have never, ever fallen out of clipless pedals...

    Maybe off the bike and then inadvertently kicked out of the clipless once I hit the ground [:-]
  • CenzoCenzo Posts: 91
    Hi Sarah,

    Think the guys have got it spot on so far, I would hazard a guess that if you're new to cycling & tri that you're almost definitley pedalling too slowly in too hard a gear.

    Get yourself in the gym & find a cadence between 90-100rpm, you'll drop naturally into a rythm & then try and take that out on the road with you.

    When on the road, try to keep that cadence steady by using the gears & learn to change up before the effort kick in when hit by wind or hills.

    Overall tho' it's all practice, but also get those gears checked in a shop!

  • guv001guv001 Posts: 227
    Riding in the extremes of the rings will produce a rattle noise while riding for example smallest ring at the front and smallest ring at the rear same goes for largest at the front an rear. The sound is your chain clipping the front mech and this will stretch damage youir chain (it will not damage it in one go it will reduce its life span).
  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    This is true.

    General advice I've heard is if your in the small ring on the front then avoid the last two (smallest rings) on the back.

    When your in the big ring on the front avoid the first two gears on the back (largest).

    Some micro management of the shifters is possible to reduce rattling and thus wear and tear.
  • After the event, just wanted to say thanks to you all for this advice a while back. I followed it - and it all made sense - and I really got into the biking during the long hot evenings in July. I did the London triathlon olympic on Sunday - my first - in 2 hrs and 42 minutes, with 1hr 17 on the bike, which totally astonished me. And I think I'd have given up on improving on the bike, and just tried to get it done, without some kind support here, so thank you. - Glad to see some of you had a good time of it too!

    Needless to say I'm now hooked and will be back for more.

  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    1hr 17 for the London tri? Thats an awesome time. Congrats!
  • [:D] Thanks. Have a feeling I might now spend my life trying to do better and failing. But what the hell. Sounds like you had a good time of it too in the end, BonusB!

    I've just signed up to do the South Coast Sprint distance in a few weeks. any tips for that?
  • Whereas on the olympic you may have found a comfortable rhythm on the swim bike or run, with the sprint you really want to keep pushing hard cos the distances are over so quickly in comparison.

    South Coast does laps for the bike and run so you can use them to gauge your speed and work out if you are set to get your target times and alter accordingly. I'm racing down there too so good luck with it.

  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    Sorry for the late reply! Only just saw the post.

    I actually went swimming at Seaford where the swim will be for the South Coast, the water was pleasantly warm, the only challenege you will have is with the waves, swimming out there is cimpletely different. It was quiet choppy when I went out, meaning you had to climb up waves then got to surf down them, huge fun, but you do get slapped around physcially by some of the bigger rollers out there. And you'll have to contend with other swimmners. The long and short of it is that you shouldn't be suprised to find that getting into a rythm is quiet difficult. Great fun though! Oh and depending on which way the tide is running be prepared to find one leg of the swim harder than the other; find out before hand so you can adjust your pacing accordingly. I found the swim in easier, though I was swimming when there was no tide (Or rather noticable current).

    Most of all have fun! Wish i could be there for it as it looks like a great place for a race. I'll be off dragon boat racing!

    The bike and run look like they will be quite flat (I'd guess flatter than London) but outside of that I cant tell you much I'm afraid.
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