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.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Question about gear shifting

    Hi there

    I have a 2013 Camber Comp 29. My only complaint so far is that I sometimes have a hard time shifting from the front small chain ring to the larger front chain ring. It just seems that I have to really push it to get it to shift, and it occasionally slips back down to the smaller ring. I do not have any problems going from the big chain ring down to the smaller chain ring, and shifting on the back chain rings is fine as well.

    Does this sound like I need a simple adjustment of my front derailleur, or do you think I need a new/better derailleur? It is SRAM X-7.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The cable tension probably just needs a little tweaking. New cables will 'stretch' a bit as the housing settles into the housing ends. This is completely normal, a new bike will need some adjustment after a 'break-in' period. Turn the cable tension adjustment on the front shifter to the left (counter-clockwise). The adjuster will be backing out of the brake, this may seem like it is loosening it, however, turning the adjuster counter-clockwise will increase cable tension. Try small adjustments, 1/4 of a turn at a time. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdkeys View Post
    The cable tension probably just needs a little tweaking. New cables will 'stretch' a bit as the housing settles into the housing ends. This is completely normal, a new bike will need some adjustment after a 'break-in' period. Turn the cable tension adjustment on the front shifter to the left (counter-clockwise). The adjuster will be backing out of the brake, this may seem like it is loosening it, however, turning the adjuster counter-clockwise will increase cable tension. Try small adjustments, 1/4 of a turn at a time. Good luck!
    +1 Sounds like good old fashioned cable stretch!

  4. #4
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    You may also need to adjust the screw on your derailleur which limits the travel when it shifts into the larger ring. Being able to overshift a little can help complete the shift.
    Also make sure there isn't any play in your crankset. Any play that may have developed can change the position of your rings when trying to shift. Tap on one side and the other with a rubber mallet or piece of wood.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you may need to increase the cable tension a bit. The tighter the cable pulls, the further out your front derailleur sits. It sounds like your derailleur isn't moving far enough out when you shift. There should be a barrel adjuster where the cable exits your shifter. You want to unscrew the barrel adjuster (i.e. counter-clockwise) so that it pushes on the housing and increases the path length of the cable. Do this in half turn increments until you can shift into the big ring without problems, and then check that you didn't overdo things by making sure you can still shift back down to the small ring.

    IF the barrel adjuster is already unscrewed fairly far out, you might need to unclamp the cable where it connects to the derailleur and pull it a bit tighter there (screw the barrel adjuster back in first so that this adjustment becomes useable). There is nothing stopping the barrel adjuster from completely unscrewing, and if it is hanging on by only a couple of threads, those threads can strip under pressure and the adjuster can pop off. So, when you are unscrewing it, always make sure it remains screwed in at least a few rotations.

    And finally, IF you are increasing the cable tension and the front derailleur is not moving out in response, then you probably have to adjust your limit screws. The limit screws set hard limits on how far your derailleur can travel in either direction, in order to protect you from pushing the chain completely off of the chain rings on either side. If the limit is set too conservatively, the it will not allow the derailleur to move out far enough for your shift.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Oh, and to answer your other question, you almost certainly don't need a new front derailleur. They are pretty simple devices and you don't gain much by upgrading.

    If the bike has seen a fair number of miles this year it is possible that you could need a new shift cable+housing, but I would try the advice suggested above first. If by increasing the cable tension just enough to get into the big ring you are then unable to shift back down into the small ring, this is usually caused by excess friction in the cables/housing and is a telltale sign that they should be replaced.

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