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Gears | Tires & tubes


We'll add to this from time to time, so if there's anything you'd like to know, please ask us and we'll include it for others to benefit.

There's a wealth of good information on setting up your parts to be found in the packet with your owner's manual. Shimano changes their stuff so often that they usually provide all the setup specs in seven languages in the form of those black and white flyers.

Gear adjustments - the great majority of gear problems not arising from a crash are due to improper cable tension or dirt/corrosion in the cables and housings. Most of the rest are due to worn chains, cogs, and derailleur pulleys. None of them are ever due to those little screws on the derailleurs. Never touch the little screws on the derailleurs. Really. If you think you need to mess with those screws, we should probably have a look at it.

It used to be one of our pet peeves that so many mechanics replace entire rear derailleurs when all that's really needed are new pulleys. Now, with 9-speed mountain derailleurs, it's not so uncommon to need a new derailleur. Still, for 7 and 8 speeds, $15 worth of pulleys may stave off derailleur replacement for quite a while. Grab your rear derailleur by the cage and pull out, away from the plane of the wheel. Do you see a lot of slop in the parallelogram pivots? If so, replace it for improved shifting. If not, look to see how much play there is in the upper, guide pulley. It should slide in and out freely about 1mm, but not twist out of a plane parallel to that of the cassette cogs.

Tire and tube ideas - We fill small cuts in the tread with a drop of super glue. If left open, they pick up grit and glass that gradually works its way in. Any time you fix a flat, make sure there's nothing left in the tire to cut again. If the cut is only a cord or two, fill it and forget it. If it's bigger, up to 4mm or so, install a permanent boot and then fill it (probably two applications of super glue).

We have found that lots of presta valve rims have an inner valve hole just big enough to wear and cut on the tube until it leaks around the valve. If you have one of these that we missed, bring it in and we'll install a piece of rim tape over the hole. You can do this yourself with anything stiff enough not to get cut on the hole edge but thin enough not to cause a lump. We don't like to use the brass ring on the valve because it exacerbates the problem.






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165 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301-3061 (802) 254-8644