Bike Maintenance Advice

Any tips for a minor bike problem please.

I have my rear mech working crisply through the gears. Just one problem – when I go to shift the other way it takes 2 clicks before the gear changes. For example, when I shift through from the highest gear (small cog on the rear cassette) to the lowest gear, it indexes perfectly. When I go to switch back to the 2nd lowest gear the shifter clicks but the gear change dosent happen (the cable moves), then on the 2nd click it does go. It then will shift perfectly through to the highest gear, but as it is out of synch it jumps 2 gears when it gets back to the smallest cog again. The worst prob is when I am in say the middle of the gears and want to up 1 gear, then down 1 and so on, the problem means that any change in direction requires a 2-click shift.

What I’ve tried so far:
Cleaning and re-lubing the gear cable
Adjustment of gear cable
Checked alignment of rear mech (although I must confess its pretty difficult to tell the alignment between the rear jockeys and a 9-speed cassette)

Thanks in advance


  • When you have set up the gears was it in the very bottom gear position, if you have a rear mech capable of nine speed and only have eight speed on the bike I think you have to make sure that you have set it up for 8 speed and not 9speed. Try ressetting your gears from scratch making sure that when you are in the top gear on the bike that the changer can not click anymore also.

    I made this mistake with my front mech so I am assuming that you could make that mistake with the rear also but do not know for sure. Just an option to try.
  • That was my starting point, the highest gear, no more clicks. Its the way I usually set my gears up.

    All my components are 9-speed so no prbs there.

    I haven't come across this problem. I may go for overhauling the rear mech if it persists.

  • You need to look at the cable for the rear mech - it's just a bit out - there should be a knurled adjuster on the barrel where the cable enters the mech ?
    You need to tinker with that to bring the rear mech a tad closer to the wheel in order for the gears to catch. on the sprockets. Its easiest to do this with a bike stand so you can spin the wheel at the same time to get the changes.
  • Cheers coughie, if you mean the barrel adjuster at the rear mech, yup, tried that too. The gears are changing smoothly, its just they need 2 clicks when changing direction.

    I have a bike stand so maybe I just had a bad day with it.
  • SezzSezz ✭✭✭
    Are there any books on bike maintenance, along the lines of Haynes for cars?
  • Yep, I have a good book Sezz. I've just exhausted most options at the moment and am trawling for tips. I have a few more options so I'll have another crack at it next weekend, but first the dirty vixen needs to be ridden.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • SezzSezz ✭✭✭
    And the book is......?
  • Mountain Bike Maintenance Illustrated Manual by Mel Allwood.

    The servicing guides you get with components are usually pretty good as well, you should get these with your bike.

    I bought the Haynes manual years ago and it was carp, although have heard it's better these days.
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    No idea. Am I right that it's not shifting correctly when the shifters are letting cable out?

    If Cougies suggestions don't do it first guess would be your mech needs cleaning or the spring mechanism has lost springiness - you could try shifting and then manually pushing the mech into position and see if it's getting stuck. My second guess would be maybe the cable not running smoothly?

    Have you checked your chain to see if it's stretched or one of the links is coming apart - not that this should cause the problem but you never know.
  • Sounds like you know what your doing Gary and this is just a guess.
    You say the cable is moving when the selector clicks thou the mech isn't.
    Can you meaure how much the cable moves (bit of tip ex on the cable) when it isn't changing gear and compare it to when it is? Then you could at least rule it out?
  • Cheers for the tips,

    The mech moves and the gears are doing what they want its just the problem when they change direction that the problem arises.

    One of my guesses is what you say popsider and the rear mech needs a good old clean, but the other is that the rear hanger is a gnats cock out of alignment. I'm going to take it apart and give it a good old de-grease at the weekend.

    Good thing is that its still rideable.

    Cheers anyhow, I think I just had one of those bad bike days on Sunday.

  • Mountain Bike Maintenance Illustrated Manual by Mel Allwood.
    Anyone know if Gary T's book is worth getting for road bikes? Any other suggestions. Anythin I can find on-line boils down to "wash everything with a toothbrush"
  • I've got the book by Zinn, think it's called Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance - it's OK - not fantastic but worth the money unless anyone can recommend something better.
  • oly-tri - its a good book but I would not recommend it for road bikes. There is too much stuff on disc brakes, suspension and references to mud that you wont need.

    Some seem to rate the book popsider recommends, the Zinn series. The Haynes bike manuals got some good reviews on Amazon, they do enough car manuals to know what they are doing. It may be worth checking how specific it is.
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