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  1. #1
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    How do you know if gears are wore out?

    Hi, new guy here, great looking forum and to jump right in I have a problem that I hope I can get some help with.


    My chain slips when I pedal in all gears, even on the road with minimal pedal pressure.

    I spent an hour or so perfecting the rear derailler, setting the high/low perfectly, tightning up the tension screw and fine tuning the shifts with the barrell adjust...It shifts fast and true and no noise. I also put on a brand new KCM chain. Still it slips and it's so annoying... To me my gears look fine, but it's the only other thing that could make the chain slip as far as I can see.

    I could go out get a new rear cog, but ATM I don't have a lot of disposable income...I'm on unemployment benefits and it all goes to food and bills. I'd hate to waste money on something I'm not sure would cure the problem and I don't have money to have a pro fix it.

    My gears look fine, but is there a test I can do to see if they are truly shot or how should they look if good? I even tried taking three links out of the chain....it doesn't do anything...makes it worse in fact.....

    Please help and thanks.

  2. #2
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    BTW th ebike is two years old, with moderate trail riding and a good amount of road riding. Probably around once a week at least I would ride it either a trail or road(in the summer months) So I would hope the gears would last longer than that...

    What is the life expectancy of them? They are Sram cogs....8-speed.

  3. #3
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    Can you post some close-up clear pictures?

    Have you considered having a local shop take a look at it?

  4. #4
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    Yeah, a lbs would be able to take a look a it and tell you if they are ok for free... And pics would helps.

    Here's one of a really worn crank, look a the teeth that are almost gone or very tiny... And sharp. The big ring is shot, while the small one is kinda ok...

    David
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do you know if gears are wore out?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1317082528.867389.jpg  

    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  5. #5
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    Thanks, I'll try to get some close-ups tomorrow to post.

    The rear hanger looks like it may be tweeked, but not sure. The G-wheel and jockey wheel look out of line too.

    In fact I did wack it on a stump a while back....the whole thing looks bent to be honest, but it shift fine...I noticed the Jockey wheel wobbles and has a slight angle on the chain...causes some "biting" and jumping.

    I have a feeling my entire drivetrain may be shot, because I never kept the chain tite or maintained well....at all actually.

    crap.

  6. #6
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    If your hanger is bent it's not going to shift right no matter what you do with the barrel adjuster.

  7. #7
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    There's a tool, forget the name, something like roll-off or? Think it only measures shimano and not that good from what I've seen. The best way, that I know of, is to check how a new chain fits on there, then, if your still not sure, compare that to how it fits on a new cassette. Sounds like your cassette shouldn't be worn by now but who knows. Maybe sandy conditions, maybe lack of lube, maybe too much riding with worn chain? The best way to get your cassette and chainrings to last is to change your chain often, and keep it clean and lubed.
    Think, from the question mark in your tone, you should head over to lbs so they can figure it out. Maybe stick around so you can pick up some knowledge. could be something simple like a bent derailleur hanger. If that's not an option, watch a youtube vid on how to measure and cut your chain to length for your set-up since it sounds like your a bit iffy on that too. The chain being too long or too short will just cause you more $ problems. Hey there might even be a vid on how to measure for cassette wear and there's certainly some on derailluer adjustment.
    Oh, and welcome to the site.
    Last edited by theMeat; 09-26-2011 at 06:01 PM.
    Round and round we go

  8. #8
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    To detect cog/ring wear, look at the valleys. They should be smooth and symmetrical. If you see them hollowing out on one side of the valley, they are worn. Some characterize it as looking like sharks teeth. Also, teeth can get broken or bent.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  9. #9
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    Yepp, I would say mine are looking like sharks teeth for sure.

    I also note that my cage on the RD looks tweeked. The bottom Jockey wheel is wobbly and doesn't bite the chain straight on....it kinda rolls at an angle to the chain and causes a little chatter.

    I screwed up the installation of the new chain I think......

    Looks like my entire drive train is shot an dI don't have money to buy new stuff.
    I'll take the RD off and see if I can bring the cage back straight sort of and get the chain on right.

    This bike is my main transportation ATM due to a suspended license.....so it's kinda frustrating to have these bike problems right now.

    Thanks to all... I'll post pics in a couple of days of the rear cogs.

  10. #10
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    your 1st chainring look fine.. just your 2nd/3rd gear may need replacing. I had a similar issue, just mine was under heavy load, when the chain slipped.. all it was, was the Chainring being worn down.


    Make sure your derailleur is adjusted properly. this may also add to the chain slipping. 1 of my earlier faults of the chain falling in my case.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattlikestobike View Post
    your 1st chainring look fine.. just your 2nd/3rd gear may need replacing. I had a similar issue, just mine was under heavy load, when the chain slipped.. all it was, was the Chainring being worn down.


    Make sure your derailleur is adjusted properly. this may also add to the chain slipping. 1 of my earlier faults of the chain falling in my case.
    Are you talking about my pic I posted ?

    Be cause the OP did not posted any pic...

    And I know that those rings are shot Capt. Obvious

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  12. #12
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    Something you might try - go to the local bike shop and ask if they have any used parts you could get cheaply. They might have usable stuff that's in better shape than what you have.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  13. #13
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    Check to see if you have a local bike co-op where you can trade hours worked for parts.

  14. #14
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    Hate to say it but if you are getting bad slipping with the installation of the new chain then you are probably going to have issues with both the chainrings (middle/small if you use both) as well as the cassette. If you change only one of them your problem is unlikely to go away. I'll echo the rest; go to a bike shop.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  15. #15
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    I like the idea to look for used parts, I'll ask a couple of shops I know here if they can help out. I really have no spare money these days and like I said, my bike is now my main way to get around, which isn't a bad thing, but would be better if I could get her gears working again. Currently can run on the big chain ring and 4th on the rear cog KINDA doesn't slip much.

    Checking around on Ebay currently and craigslist for any parts I can get cheaply. I need a new Alivio Shimano RD, Sram 8 speed cassette and probably the chain rings too.

    Thanks, guys....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Hate to say it but if you are getting bad slipping with the installation of the new chain then you are probably going to have issues with both the chainrings (middle/small if you use both) as well as the cassette. If you change only one of them your problem is unlikely to go away. I'll echo the rest; go to a bike shop.
    I'll be headed to the bike shop later on to have him just tell me if the gears are shot....I know they are, but I want to make sure.

    I was hoping I could find a way to tighten up the chain so it would grab the teeth better, but I see no way to do this on a RD bike. I removed a link, but it doesn't do crud.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingAround View Post
    I'll be headed to the bike shop later on to have him just tell me if the gears are shot....I know they are, but I want to make sure.

    I was hoping I could find a way to tighten up the chain so it would grab the teeth better, but I see no way to do this on a RD bike. I removed a link, but it doesn't do crud.
    Yeah unfortunately that's not how it works. The reason the chain slips off is because the teeth have been worn into a wider valley. When the old chain was on there, each chain roller rode up against the face of the tooth and because the rollers were worn that meant the chain could sit down into the teeth better. The new chain doesn't sit well into the wider gaps between teeth and tends to just roll over the top of the teeth instead of hooking into the gaps.

    The derailleur doesn't provide enough tension to hold the chain down, it's only there to take up the slack needed for a geared bike. Be careful of just taking links out of the chain, you don't want to mess with anything else. Follow those lovely videos you can find on youtube to set your chain length. Too short of a chain can cause you to rip the derailleur off the bike in the wrong gear combos (granted, you shouldn't be using those gears anyway... but it's nice to have protection for accidental shifts).
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingAround View Post
    I'll be headed to the bike shop later on to have him just tell me if the gears are shot....I know they are, but I want to make sure.

    I was hoping I could find a way to tighten up the chain so it would grab the teeth better, but I see no way to do this on a RD bike. I removed a link, but it doesn't do crud.
    If you have sharks fins you may not be done yet...

    Fix the hanger problem, if you arn't getting chain suck and skipping keep riding...

    Course gotta keep it cleaned and lubed.

    A new chain will really skip, then wear in and stopp skipping, better off staying with the old chain, unitl you replace both.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Yeah unfortunately that's not how it works. The reason the chain slips off is because the teeth have been worn into a wider valley. When the old chain was on there, each chain roller rode up against the face of the tooth and because the rollers were worn that meant the chain could sit down into the teeth better. The new chain doesn't sit well into the wider gaps between teeth and tends to just roll over the top of the teeth instead of hooking into the gaps.

    The derailleur doesn't provide enough tension to hold the chain down, it's only there to take up the slack needed for a geared bike. Be careful of just taking links out of the chain, you don't want to mess with anything else. Follow those lovely videos you can find on youtube to set your chain length. Too short of a chain can cause you to rip the derailleur off the bike in the wrong gear combos (granted, you shouldn't be using those gears anyway... but it's nice to have protection for accidental shifts).
    I actually put links back onto the chain(a new KMC) that I took off then sized it Large to large with the power link on then added an inch. I noticed my RD jockey wheel is straight down rather than forward slightly. So I believe I followed the Youtube instructions well.
    I just hope the link pin I "re-installed" stays in there. I have a spare power link in my pack just in case though.

    It has to be the gears worn out....nothing else I read about can cause slippage. My RD jockey wheel looks slightly tweeked, bu tI don't think that is causing the slippage.
    I have to get this fixed soon, because with me doing a lot of road now, slipping gears are dangerous trying to cut across the road with cars coming. Had a close call a day ago. Car was coming fast so I cranked on it then it slipped like crazy. Had to jump off quick and run for it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingAround View Post
    Looks like my entire drive train is shot an dI don't have money to buy new stuff.
    it sounds like you need to change your priorities, something has to give and it sounds like the bike is not a point of compromise. where do you live? see if there's a bike co-op nearby, cruise craigslist, or bug some charitable local shops. at my shop, we generally don't sell "used" parts or give anything away for free, except for when a down-and-out dude comes in with what is obviously his main mode of transportation. most bike shops have boneyards of useable but worn parts they can give you. expect to pay a few bucks for parts and don't come in expecting help every day. people who come in to ask for free stuff are ok once in a while, but they over-stay their welcome very quickly and the shop employees grow to resent them..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    it sounds like you need to change your priorities, something has to give and it sounds like the bike is not a point of compromise. where do you live? see if there's a bike co-op nearby, cruise craigslist, or bug some charitable local shops. at my shop, we generally don't sell "used" parts or give anything away for free, except for when a down-and-out dude comes in with what is obviously his main mode of transportation. most bike shops have boneyards of useable but worn parts they can give you. expect to pay a few bucks for parts and don't come in expecting help every day. people who come in to ask for free stuff are ok once in a while, but they over-stay their welcome very quickly and the shop employees grow to resent them..

    In the bold, that's me.

    We lost a lot of work projects at my job and they simply had to lay people off.
    Been working at a laundromat and claiming unemployment for 4 months now. I'm hoping we'll get work soon and get hired back.
    I ride the bike 23 miles one way three days a week, I have a suspended license due to not paying my insurance(couldn't afford it) so no car for a while now. Besides gas isn't cheap anyways. So right now it's me, my bike and hope for better days. I am not complaining though, I enjoy the rides, because they let me think and it's just good mo-jo for the soul. I'd rather ride than sit in the house all day, plus I have more than a lot of other unemployed people...I'll be fine....

    I never expected to get parts for free..I'm just hoping they will have something that will work that I can get cheap.

  22. #22
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    I have a low milage Shimano 8 speed (11-30 tooth) cassette I pulled off of a bike as well as two 8 speed chains that both pass the chain wear indicator test. You can have them for the cost of shipping, which should fit in a USPS Small Flat Rate box.

    You will likely still need some chainrings and have that derailleur /hanger checked out from the sound of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcmark View Post
    I have a low milage Shimano 8 speed (11-30 tooth) cassette I pulled off of a bike as well as two 8 speed chains that both pass the chain wear indicator test. You can have them for the cost of shipping, which should fit in a USPS Small Flat Rate box.

    You will likely still need some chainrings and have that derailleur /hanger checked out from the sound of things.

    Wow, this is a generous offer and I thank you.

    I will ask around some places I know tomorrow, but will surely take this offer if I come up empty.
    My cassette is Sram 11-32, but I don't think that matters much. Still a Shimano freehub.

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    BTW, what's with the lady and big diaper picture on here?

    lol.

  25. #25
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    If you need to get by right now with out replacing any parts I think if you put your old chain back on it would work until you can find all the right parts. The new chain and the worn our sprocket is your problem right now. Your old chain is stretched to fit the worn out sprockets so it probably won't skip.

    I went through a similar problem as you. My GF's bike broke a derailer hanger on the trail so I took off her derailer and shorted her chain to make it a single speed to get her home. Bought a new derailer, hanger, and chain and installed everything. Couldn't get it to stop skipping in any gear. Replaced the cassette and front sprocket and problem went away. If I didn't shorten her old chain I could have reused that and been fine (for the time being, still would have needed to replace the worn parts but could have lasted alittle longer).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Are you talking about my pic I posted ?

    Be cause the OP did not posted any pic...

    And I know that those rings are shot Capt. Obvious

    David
    OPPSS im really sorry.. i didnt pay attention to the poster. really sorry.

  27. #27
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    It skipped with the original chain so I put a new KMC on it, but it still skips.

    Most likely it's the gears....I wanted to find a way to make them go for a little longer even if wore. I know they are not good fo rthe trail anymore, but for road....seems a way exists

  28. #28
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    have you looked to see if there is a bike co-op near where you live? where about do you live?

  29. #29
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    Were you able to get the cassette or any other used parts? What's the status of the problem now? I ask because I may have an LX derailuer you could have for the cost of shipping.

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    Curious if you got the problem fixed, too. I have access to a few spare parts that might could help out, if needed.

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    Thanks!

    It is fixed.

    I had a bent derailluer cage and worn out cassette and front rings. My crank was wore too, but didn't chuck.

    He had some stuff laying around and I got an Alivio deraillier from Ebay... Shifts and rides like a champ now!

    I also got a chain stretch guide tool.. I'll make a habit to check the chain now and then so I don't mess up all the other stuff.

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