1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
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  1. #1
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    help shifting issues

    So I had to take my back tire off to change a tube and now my shifting is all messed up. The shift lever is on 2 but cassette is on 3rd gear so basically when I shift to a gear it shifts to next smallest cog on cassette. No clue what I did but any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    help shifting issues

    First, did you install the wheel back properly? Sometimes when we put the rear wheel back it's not up all the way on the dropout. Check that first before any adjustment.


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  3. #3
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    Yes that was the first thing I checked. I will check it again just to be sure.

  4. #4
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    So double checked tire and it is on the whole way but I noticed something else to. The chain is also hitting the derailer. The top cog closest to the cassette it's hitting the cage where that cog connects.

  5. #5
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    Sorry don't have enough posts to put up pictures yet so hopefully my description is enough.

  6. #6
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    Go to the Park tool site or youtube ,might help . From your description I can't tell you how to fix the problem.But if the chain is changing cogs it is uselly that the cable tenison is off.

  7. #7
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    I am sensing that you may have bent the hanger.

  8. #8
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    I triple checked everything and can't see that anything is bent. Checked park tools site and watched a couple YouTube videos so tomorrow evening I'm going to follow park tools instructions and try adjusting it and if that doesn't solve it I'll be paying my lbs a visit.

  9. #9
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    Do what RangeRiderDave says -- play with the barrel adjuster. Removing the wheel should not affect this of course but maybe you bumped something. Or the screw holding the cable to the derailleur is loose and something slipped (make sure it is tight). Or maybe it was installed incorrectly before you removed the wheel, and now needs to be adjusted for proper mounting.

    Your barrel adjuster needs to be screwed out I think (tighter cable). If there isn't enough adjustment, you will need to adjust the cable attachment.

    The top cog closest to the cassette it's hitting the cage where that cog connects.
    "top cog closest to the cassette" -- sorry, I don't follow you. All of the cogs are part of the cassette. Do you mean the derailleur cage hits the biggest cog? That is adjusted with the B-screw. Or your chain is too short if it does it only while on the biggest front ring (shouldn't be cross-chaining like that anyway, though). Do you know if it did that before or not?

  10. #10
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    at this point, take pics and post them there. Try taking wheel of and re-assembling. problems caused by wheel removal makes me think you didn't assemble correctly. I would be very hesitant to adjust your system you might throw it all out of whack. No worries if you have, the best way to learn how it works is to fix it when it's broke.

  11. #11
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    Also check that you didn't pop the cable housing out of one of the stops when you did the wheel removal. Gage hitting Cog is sometimes a B-screw problem, Did the B-screw slip past he stop on the hanger or get messed with.

  12. #12
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    Also check that you didn't pop the cable housing out of one of the stops when you did the wheel removal.
    +1 happens all the time.

  13. #13
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    Once the wife gets home gonna go try and figure out what's wrong. Thanks for all the help so far. I'll post pictures if I don't figure it out so I can give more info.

  14. #14
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    I know you said you checked it already, but if it was working when you pulled the wheel out, and then buggered after re-installing the wheel, that strongly suggests the wheel is not all the way into the dropouts. This would also be consistent with the top cog hitting the cage of the derailleur. Before making any other adjustments, I would be absolutely certain that the axle is seated all the way down into both of the dropouts. If you make a bunch of adjustments and then discover the axle isn't/wasn't fully seated, then things will be more difficult to get back to normal.

  15. #15
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    So quadruple checked and tire is all the way onto dropouts. After reading everyone's advice and following park tools guide for adjusting the derailer it definitely appears to be a cable tension issue. I can make the problem worse and make it slightly better but cant fix it. So just going to have to call bike shop tomorrow and see what they can do for me. Again thank you everyone for helping a noob who broke his bike doing something that's suppose to be simple. Definitely nice to know I have a place to turn for help.

  16. #16
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    Think you just need to take up the slack in the cable a little more than the barrel adjuster is capable of doing. Try this - put the barrel adjuster all the way into the derailleur/shifter, so you create a bunch of slack in the cable. Make sure the shifter is on the highest gear, and make sure the derailleur is on the smallest cog. Go to the derailleur, loosen up the bolt that holds the cable, pull the slack out out of the cable, re-tighten the bolt. This might help a lot; you'll need to fine-tune with the barrel adjusters and maybe mess with the clamp again to get it just right.

    Give it a shot, there's plenty good detail online. If you can't get it quite right, when you bring it to the shop, see if you can watch them adjust it so you'll get a better idea of how to do it next time. Adjusting derailleurs is an extremely useful thing to know how to do.

    Oh, and this is something you really want to do with your bike on some sort of stand, so you can pedal while going through the gears when you're trying to get things dialed. A couple 2x4s screwed to a work bench or something at the right width to hold up your frame will do in a pinch, or if you have a car rack that your bike hangs from and you won't hit the trunk turning the cranks, that works pretty well too.

  17. #17
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    That was my biggest issue I think was not having a repair stand and the way I had it rigged wasn't working very well. So I was just getting irritated with seeming like I almost had it fixed then nope still not right. I might try again tomorrow evening because I'm stubborn and really want to know how to do it my self. If I do take it to the bike shop definitely will see if I can watch how they do it.

  18. #18
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    You can make a bike stand pretty easy ,check the tools forum or google . You could also turn the bike upside down . Sometimes you need to preload the cable to get the right tension,what I mean by preloading is that you grab the cable with some pliers and pull to get a little tension on it ,the cable hold down bolt is loose enough so the cable moves .

  19. #19
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    I don't have a stand either. There are several cheap and good alternatives.

    When turning the bike upside-down, I put hollow foam swimming noodles that children use at the lake over the handlebar grips. Slit the wall so it slips over the grips easily. This keeps my computer and the tops of the shifters and brake reservoirs off the ground.

    A good way to adjust the derailleurs is to put a broom handle between two chairs, and hook the nose of the seat over it.

    What I do most is just hand the thing up with a loop of rope -- I hook one end on the hook in the ceiling of the garage where the bike lives, and the other over the nose of the seat. Or, just hang it by its front wheel.

    A few hints on what I have found to make adjusting the RD easier. I don't do it quite the way Park says.

    First of all, loosen the L limit screw to get it out of the way. It really doesn't adjust anything -- it just keeps you from shifting too far towards the spokes.

    Then I adjust the barrel adjuster (and the cable attachment as slaphead so well described) so it works well in the middle gears of the cassette. If it works well here, it should work well in all gears. If not, there is something else wrong and cable tension and limit screw adjustment isn't going to fix it. Make sure that the position of the shifter corresponds to the position on the cassette. In other words, make sure that when the shifter is in the lowest-gear position that the chain is on the big cog.

    Now adjust the H limit screw as described by Park. Finally, shift into the biggest cog and tighten the L screw until it just touches the cam, then back it off slightly.

    You're basically done!

    I do adjust mine while riding for quickest and smoothest shifts both up and down. It seems to behave a little differently under tension than on the stand. Also, a new cable will stretch. I just replaced my cable, and have tightened the barrel adjustment about a turn in 75 miles or so. I suppose temperature has an effect too.

  20. #20
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    Bicycle Maintenance: How To Adjust a Rear Derailleur - YouTube
    Note the 4:00 point.
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830606897.PDF
    Note Step 4, adjustment of B tension screw. It almost sounds as though it needs adjustment.

    A bike work stand would be advised.

  21. #21
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    Just wanted to let everyone know my problem is resolved. It was definitely a cable tension issue and with all the advice and videos you guys gave me I was able to fix it myself. It actually shifts better now than it did before I broke it. Go figure. So again thank you all so much for helping me figure out and fix my first major issue on a mountain bike. Here's to many more years of wrenching and riding. This sport has me hooked.

  22. #22
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    Congrats man. Keep fixing your own stuff; know-how will save you a long walk home at some point. Can even pay off in free beer on occasion if you play it right.

    As Dennis said, new cables/housings will always stretch/compress for a few rides when new, so you can expect something similar every time you change them out. Which will probably be one of the next first things you learn to do. Rear derailleur cable is also one of the most important things to keep lubed and working smoothly; some roughness can really mess with your shifting.

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