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  1. #1
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Just picked up a Specialized Carve Comp 29... not happy

    How high end am I going to have to go to get a bike with a set of rear gears that shift OK when applying power?

    It has a shopping list of problems, all directly attributable to improper setup, so I suppose I should give it a chance but I've taken an immediate disliking to certain aspects of it. I like the lightness of it, the rear brake works great, and the rear shifter works adequately. It's geared a bit too low for my liking.

    One of the perplexing issues is, the front brake disk is loose. Shouldn't it be installed with loc-tite? I'm concerned about my LBS but my family has been going to them for 60 years so it's not like they're new in town or about to go out of business.

    I'm going to return it and ask for a refund.

    My last bike was really low end Specialized but I really liked it. It was 10 years old, back from the glory days of Grip Shift. lol! Anyway, I really liked that ultra-low end bike but it always bothered me that I couldn't shift while giving it power. There were lots of hills and sand pits I could have climbed without getting off, had I have been able to shift and stay on the power. That bike was stolen and it's just as well because I would have used it for 20 more years, otherwise. Anyway, I've always coveted the idea of a bike I could shift while climbing.

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    Good luck on that one. Have them help get it dialed in and say thank you and give the guys some beer.

  3. #3
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    I have a modest high-end (ish) drive train (SRAM PG990 cassette, X9 rear der. and XT chain) and I still don't apply a lot of power to the pedals on shifts. It will shift under load, but it's really not good for any drive train to do that. Have your LBS help you get it dialed in. It could be that you need to practice slightly better shifting technique by applying power, backing off to make the shift then reapplying power.

  4. #4
    turtles make me hot
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    When I've ever tried shifting under any real power, I end up with a broken chain.
    Have the shop tune the rear derailleur-shifter-cable and swap on an 11-36 cassette to address your gearing issue.
    I like turtles

  5. #5
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    My wife rides a Kona Lisa HT and it can shift smothly while applying power. I haven't ridden it much, as it's pretty small for me, but I've taken it for a couple of spins. I've never tried hammering the peddles while shifting but I haven't tried that with this Carve Comp, either. Her bike shifts beautifully and doesn't make a bunch of noise while doing so. It's blissfully quiet.


  6. #6
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    Um, like how much power are we talkin here

  7. #7
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    Back off the gas when shifting.

  8. #8
    Is that Bill rated?
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    No drivetrain I have tried will shift under my power. Smaller, lighter riders may have better luck with that search.
    Well, it was a good try.

  9. #9
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    Nice looking HT but as a XC setup if you want to go up hill the shifter is weak as "Shimano Alivio" The best mod would be to upgrade those and keep the DERAILLEUR as is.

  10. #10
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    If you want to shift while you're cranking up a sandpit or steep hill, get a Hammerschmidt. Otherwise, learn to back off the power for a nano-second while the gears move.

    It's not your bike, it's biking 101. Take the Carve back to the shop and give them a chance to correct the REAL issues with the bike (loose rotor and whatever else) and then enjoy the ride if you can.
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  11. #11
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Wow, thanks OP - probably is a 29er issue - thanks for the 'heads-up'!
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  12. #12
    bt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brown View Post

    Any recommendations?

    drop 50lbs

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brown View Post
    I've always coveted the idea of a bike I could shift while climbing.
    Gear systems will shift under moderate load but if you are applying full power AND trying to shift then expect trouble. You need to spin the bike up a bit faster, back off the power and THEN shift.

    I don't think you should be blaming Specialized either, The components are Shimano which will give you the same experience across many, many bikes.

  14. #14
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    cost of time spent hassling with returning and buying another bike = untold hours
    cost of learning basic bicycle mechanics with the help of a $20 book= priceless

    45 seconds with torx wrench will fix that disc issue....seriously? learn to work on your own bike.

  15. #15
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    wrong forum

  16. #16
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    Wow, thanks OP - probably is a 29er issue - thanks for the 'heads-up'!
    I doubt that is the case. It seems to me, each of the issues I'm having, and it's a lot, can be down to how the bike was built up at the dealer. The only issue that might be a defective component is the noise coming from the bottom bracket. It makes high pitch clicking noises like it's got a grinding gear in there.

  17. #17
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    45 seconds with torx wrench will fix that disc issue....seriously? learn to work on your own bike.
    I'll learn how to work on my own bike when you learn how to read. lol!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Back off the gas when shifting.
    Seriously, this is correct. Back off for a second or two while shifting then start pedaling. If you can't, step off and walk it until you can get back on.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  19. #19
    bt
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    shouldn't all this be in the beginner sub-forum??

    There has to be a way to keep these people out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by R+P+K View Post
    I don't think you should be blaming Specialized either, The components are Shimano which will give you the same experience across many, many bikes.
    I didn't mean to blame Specialized. Perhaps I've worded my posts poorly.

    The goal of this thread was to find out the best gears for climbing and what bike would have those gears. I was hoping an upgrade would solve my issues.

    I hear you guys telling me the chain jumping is a fact of life when changing gear under power, and that's good information to hear, but my wife's Lisa changes pretty smooth. She can be rolling up a pretty good hill and she just presses the buttons like it's a video game.

    As for how much power, that's tough to quantify. I will say the drop 50 lbs comment is not without merit. lol! I'm 6'3" and 225 lbs.

    I'd say that if we were climbing a 5% grade on asphault and applying enough power to maintain speed, it couldn't take that but my wife's bike would shift smoothly and I wouldn't even know she had changed, except for hearing a click from the hand control. My bike would have a bunch of drama and the chain would undoubtedly jump but, to be fair, it will take a whole lot more power to get me up the hill since I weigh twice as much.

  21. #21
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    And your wife has probably learned - whether formally or just intuitively - to ease off the power stroke for just a second in order to shift. She may not even realize she's doing it, while it sounds like you just refuse to learn this lesson and insist that there must be something wrong with the bike and not your technique.
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  22. #22
    Tigers love pepper...
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    Listen to the advice. Back off when shifting. I'm your same size and the last time I tried to shift late under full load, I snapped the chain AND folded over two rings on my rear cassette (X9).

    All it takes is letting off for a split second.

    Your wife may be able to do it, but I'm guessing she's not 225! Clydes need to take it easy on bikes, we tend to break things most people don't.

    And the point of this not being 29er related is valid. Poor shifting technique is the same no matter the wheel size.

  23. #23
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Thanks for the responses. Even those of you who think I'm an idiot who has never seen a bike before. I'll take this up with the LBS on Monday.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    When I've ever tried shifting under any real power, I end up with a broken chain.
    Have the shop tune the rear derailleur-shifter-cable and swap on an 11-36 cassette to address your gearing issue.
    11-36 would make the problem worse but I appreciate the idea of swapping the gear cassette.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    If you want to shift while you're cranking up a sandpit or steep hill, get a Hammerschmidt. Otherwise, learn to back off the power for a nano-second while the gears move.

    It's not your bike, it's biking 101. Take the Carve back to the shop and give them a chance to correct the REAL issues with the bike (loose rotor and whatever else) and then enjoy the ride if you can.
    That Hammerschmidt is a neat idea. It's a bit pricey but might be a cool upgrade once it's been in the field a while. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    And your wife has probably learned - whether formally or just intuitively - to ease off the power stroke for just a second in order to shift. She may not even realize she's doing it, while it sounds like you just refuse to learn this lesson and insist that there must be something wrong with the bike and not your technique.
    This type of comment is not lost on me. It sounds like this is the state of a contemporary bike.

    How come my road bike from the mid-1990s shifts so much better under power? I can be cooking along and bump it up/down a gear without a bunch of drama.

  24. #24
    Is that Bill rated?
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    Tom, to be indelicate: how much does your wife weigh? I would wager it's a fair sight less than your 225. My riding partners who are lighter do have better luck shifting under load, but as a big dude, I just don't even bother anymore. A heavier rider must have more tension on the chain in order to maintain their speed against a hill, moreso offroad where most hills are steeper than on the road. That higher chain tension will make it harder to derail the chain, regardless of level or manufacturer of component.

    Dedicated doubles do seem to mitigate this a bit compared to some of the triples, largely related to shifting from a larger front ring than would be found on a triple. Keep in mind that the same ratio of gears, but using a larger front and rear ring (say 42f:28r versus 36f:24r or 33f:22r) will mean lower chain tension without a change in pedal pressure resulting in easier shifts under load. (Edited to add this)This is also part of why your road bike will shift better under load, you likely have a 50 tooth or larger front ring to shift out of, your chain tension will therefor be much lower for a given level of pressure by your legs.
    Well, it was a good try.

  25. #25
    tl1
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    The best gears for climbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brown View Post
    It's geared a bit too low for my liking.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brown View Post
    The goal of this thread was to find out the best gears for climbing and what bike would have those gears. I was hoping an upgrade would solve my issues.
    ...are generally the lower gears that you're already not happy with.

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