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Shifting issues with Schwinn S-25
Hello all,<br />
I recently purchased what I considered to be a more serious bicycle by throwing down nearly $300 for a Schwinn S-25 at Target. I know that it's no hardcore mountain bike but I just was looking for something good to take on roads and fairly simple trails.<br />
On my initial ride on the bike yesterday I noticed that not all of the gears were shifting properly. For instance when I tried shifting into second gear on my left (front) gears the chain seemed like it wouldn't catch.<br />
Also, when I finished my ride, with what I thought was the third gear on that side, I noticed that the chain was on the second front cog, which I believe means that it was actually in second gear.<br />
I don't really know anything about the intricacies of shifters but I assume this is either because Target did not properly assemble/adjust everything or I need to add proper chain lubrication since there didn't seem to be much on it when I checked it with my hand yesterday.<br />
If anyone has any information or suggestions please share because I would rather not have to take a brand new bike to a local bike shop for repair.<br />
Thank you for reading and any help you may provide.

Hi, have a Schwinn MTB, 1996 model, am also a newbi after getting off my last bike in 1951!. One thing I've learned is to NOT try to shift under a strain or pull. When approaching a hill always waited until the upgrade trying to shift into #1 on the front and had loads of difficulties. By trial and error, tried shifting under the coast down and it went effortlessly into 1st gear. Play w/it a bit and see if you can get the hang of it. BTW, the lubrication on the chain...does it seem thick? Post back any results.

Old Pat
Thanks for your reply!<br />
I will give that a try tonight if I have clear weather after work, or definitely tomorrow night.<br />
I'll have to double check on the lubrication but when I touched the chain yesterday it seemed like there was barely any lube on it.

An easy way to check the shifting: If you can raise the rear wheel off the ground just a little, then slowly turn the crank AND then shift first the front gear. Do not shift both the front and rear gears at the same time. Do not try to shift while wheel is just coasting, keep a little pressure on the crank. You can run them through the steps with wheel off of the ground. If you have no way to prop up the rear wheel, perhaps have a friend hold it up.

Old Pat
OK, so after a night of making other adjustments such as adjusting the V-brakes to have enough clearance from the rim and changing the saddle (although I still need to take a hacksaw and lower the seat post) I noticed that the gears do work, just in an odd fashion.
This is essentially what happens:<br />
Shifting from front gear 1 to 2 cause the chain to make noise but it doesn't actually shift, clicking that gear again to indicator 3 actually moves the chain over to the second gear and while the chain is a bit noisy here (perhaps from sliding against part of the front derailer cage) the gear does operate. To change it to 3, I have to shift again, past where there is actually an indicator mark on the display to get it to catch the third cog. However, when going from 3rd gear to 2nd gear, the chain doesn't seem to catch, so I have to go to 1st and then back to 2nd.
Certainly a little odd, and while I suppose I shouldn't expect much from a dept. store bike, it is a little annoying to have to fiddle so much with something you just spent $300 on.

No expert by a long shot, but something isn't right from what you're describing. Shifting should be a smooth and SILENT operation. IMO, think the best thing for you to do is take it to a LBS you can trust, preferably a Schwinn dealer, get an opinion and ESTIMATE for them to put it like it should be. Sorry I couldn't be bigger help to you. Let us know the outcome.

Old Pat
Hi newbie. Have you taken a look at Alex's tutorials on setting up and adjusting your bike? They may provide the help you need.

Yes, I'm going to call a trusted LBS in the morning and see what they would charge for something like this and hope to drop it off tomorrow so that I can have back to use this weekend when I'm not at work.<br />
Thanks for the suggestions.

Sounds very much like the gear cable stretched a little which is very common on a new bike. There is a little barrel adjuster where the cable goes in to the back of the derailleur. Try unscrewing that a 1/4 turn at a time to see if the shifting improves.

Instead of spending money to have it pro-repaired, considering I just bought it, I have been working on myself for a few hours over the past few days. I believe I have the rear derailer adjusted properly now and am working to properly align the height and angle of the front derailer cage.<br />
I spent a few hours on this last night and it certainly isn't easy to line up correctly. Hopefully I will be able to solve it tonight.

Just take your time with it, some of the adjustments can be very small and yet make a big difference. Be patient and if you get stuck review the tutorial. I think you'll be able to get it and you'll have learned something in the process.

I got it working! It's not 100 percent perfect as the chain slightly rubs in the highest possible gear but I can live with that. It was a pretty smooth ride for the 10 minutes I took it out tonight. Tomorrow I will double check all the bolts again and probably chop down the seat post a little more but it looks like I'll actually have something to ride.
Thanks for all the help guys.

Glad to hear ya got it working ok. You discovered the problem and if it occurs again, you can repair it yourself. Good for you!!

Old Pat

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