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Trouble Shooting Question (possibly gear related)
#1
Hello and thanks in advance for your help.

Background

I recently bought my sister's bicycle so that I can start commuting by bike to work. My first attempt was riddled with issues that could be separate or may stem from one cause.

I don't know much about bicycles, and before I bring the bike to a repair shop I thought I'd field this community for some ideas on what the cause could be. My intent isn't to avoid taking the bike to the shop -- I just don't want to be completely ignorant before I bring it in for repairs.

Problems

1. When I pedal uphill, the chain makes a noise. It sounds like a crack or a pop.

2. When I pedal the bike, it's like I can't get any traction or momentum. The wheels spin, but I go very slowly. I am able to change the gear settings on the handle bars (although they are a bit sticky). When I change the gears, the problem doesn't usually go away. It did briefly stop when in mid gear for a bit, then came back after a minute or so.

3. During this test drive on my city's greenway, another cyclist pulled me over to say that he could tell that I was in the wrong gear for the terrain. However, when he looked at my gear settings, it was set to what he considered to be the correct gear. He said that the bike did not look like it was in that gear.

Thanks for your help. I'm looking forward to reading more about what you think the problem(s) could be and getting this fixed.
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#2
"My intent isn't to avoid taking the bike to the shop" = it is for most of us here.....

Pictures of the actual bike would be much more helpful than the link you provided.

GUESSING - sounds like the derailleur cables need adjusting at a minimum. I would probably replace them as a matter of course. The shifters may also need replacing - or just cleaning. The chain and freewheel may need replacing. If the LBS shop rates where you are, are similar to what they are in San Jose; all of the above would cost more than the new purchase price of the bike. FYI it is $20- cheaper at Wal-mart.
Nigel
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#3
Thanks for your prompt response and for all that great information!

(08-15-2013, 05:57 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Pictures of the actual bike would be much more helpful than the link you provided.

I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't know what to photograph. Suggestions?

(08-15-2013, 05:57 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  If the LBS shop rates where you are, are similar to what they are in San Jose; all of the above would cost more than the new purchase price of the bike.

Ugh that's irksome. I hope my sister spent that money on something worthwhile, because if I need to make all those repairs / get a new bike then that's the only thing that would make this venture a teeny bit worthwhile. I'll use that info as a jumping off point when I'm getting quotes. Thanks!

(08-15-2013, 05:57 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  FYI it is $20- cheaper at Wal-mart.

*and $40 cheaper than I paid for this piece of junk* Thanks for the heads up though. If I need to scrap this one, I'll check them out.

Thanks again for all your help!
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