Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A question about Adelaide...

Stripes and Bikes

Last several times I have ridden Adelaide it has been hard. Like really HARD. Especially on the way home where there are some hills. Adelaide has not always been the easiest on hills, but I have managed in the past. Now she is downright impossible. Like when I need to start after a stop, and happen to be on a small incline, pushing her pedals down seem like a herculean task. This is all in the lowest gear, mind you.

I wonder if when Adelaide got her new shifter, something was tweaked so her low gear is not so low. Is that even possible? My technical knowledge of these things is very limited.

I fully admit that it is possible that I, and not Adelaide, am the likely problem. It has been a while since I have ridden consistently so I am all sorts of out-of-shapeness. Maybe I should just ride Betty Foy around for a while and build up some of the ol' bicycling muscles again.

If it is a mechanical thing, I should get it checked out. But I thought I would ask you guys first, before I embarrass myself at the bike shop.

Any thoughts?

20 comments:

Marissa said...

Sorry, no help here...but it doesn't sound 'right' to my uneducated ears, either.

kateohkatie said...

You know I'm no expert, but have you checked to make sure that your brakes are adjusted correctly? I had some problems with Holly, and found that my brake was rubbing against the front wheel ever so slightly (just enough to give some friction and make it harder to go). But like I said, I probably don't know anything :-P

Jeff said...

I have an idea: Take Adelaide to three different bike shops and have three different bike mechanics look at her and diagnose any problems. Tell them you're a novice and that you're going to write a blog post about what you discover. It will be informative for your readers, make you a better bike owner, and who knows, you might even meet one (or three) sexy bike mechanics.

KnitPastis said...

I might not know about bikes but you have a sharp looking bike there! I miss having a basket on my bike. Those were the good ole days!

CassiLou said...

I'd just take her back and tell them something just doesn't feel right. Who care what these guys think, right? And if they give you guff find another bike shop. I know that there are tons of shops in Utah that are really good. Shucks, I wish we lived closer, I would offer my husband up to fix your bike. He loves tinkering with all of ours. Speaking of which, I need him to tune up mine.

Elisa M said...

Check to make sure that your back wheel is not rubbing against the frame. That happens often and it usually causes that issue. If it was just the shifter and not the derailleur that was changed, it should still shift correctly. If it was the shifter, it would be hard to move from gear to gear.
Check to make sure the chain looks right as well. Sometimes it can get a little janky and make it hard.
If none of those, take it back and tell 'em to fix it up!

caknitter said...

Just a suggestion here... If you ride Betty up the same hill and do not experience the same problem then it might be Adelaide's brakes. It sounds like Adelaide needs a mechanical adjustment. I'm not an expert, but it seems to be the most logical or at least that's what the voices in my head are telling me, lol. :-)

Krysta said...

I think getting help from the bike shop is important but do some trouble shooting first. If you find that when you are riding on a flat ground in the lowest gear and still having trouble then check that the wheel is not rubbing the frame and check your brakes. I can't remember if you got a grip shifter but if you do there may be a problem with it shifting to the lowest gear and it can need adjustment (from a mechanic). That is a fairly common problem and can be fixed quickly. I think it is really important to find a bike shop/mechanics that are helpful and really listen to your problems. To bad you are not in Provo! My husband is a bike mechanic and would be glad to help you out!

Lynne said...

Yes, this sounds like a loose shifter cable. If it is too tight, it won't go into higher gears, if too loose it won't go into the lower gears. It is a really easy problem to fix and you can probably do it yourself -- I do. Do check for brakes rubbing on wheels and if that is not the problem, try shifiting into all (5?) gears. Does it shift into all of them? Can you definitely feel a change at every shift? If not, the cable is the problem.

Carolyn said...

I'm totally useless in this area, but I doubt that your fitness level has changed that much to make such a big difference. It's probably worth getting checked out. Feel better soon, Adelaide!

Jacey said...

I was just going to comment that I can't help, and that you're cute, but after reading the comments, I have to vote for Jeff's idea!

ali said...

no clue, but you look fantastic, and hey- that's half the battle right there.

inspiredcyclist said...

Did you take it to the shop where you bought the bike? They would probably have a good idea of what is going on. I'd try that, good luck!

knitseashore said...

I have no clue either, but what other people have suggested re: brakes and gears sounds like it might be right. The bike shop should be willing to look at it again for you too. You'll have to let us know what you find out!

naturallycyclingmanchester said...

Hey lovely Kara! btw I too love Jeff's advice :)

I had a similar issues, but the opposite to yours: my gears all loosened up! It was simply due to cycling daily on really bumpy roads, full of potholes (oh the joys!).

I took it to my local bike shop and they sorted it out in no time!

Re: bike shops, I have two favourite ones I always go to as I the staff is lovely. I have been in bike shops where staff is so patronising and I just walked off, they certainly don't deserve my custom. While a good bike shop should always offer advice and help no matter how daft a question may sound. My two favourite ones always welcome me with a huge smile on their faces, and I am happy to describe 'problems' in simple lay-man terms, no need for techy words etc, and they always understand what I mean.

I am sure you will have a couple of good bike shops to choose from! Good luck :D xxx

Anne said...

I have had the same trouble with my Pashley ever since my bike shop replaced the shifter. 1st gear seems higher and there's not as much of a space between the 5 as there used to be. I don't have the new shifter like you yet, but when I've asked them to adjust the gears, it's only made it a little better and not like it used to be.
This has been making me consider getting a faster bike like a Betty because I feel so slow on the Pashley!
Good luck and I hope your shop can help you out!

Erin said...

Ugh. So sorry Kara. I know this is the last thing you want to deal with. I would take it back to the shop as it is clear something changed when they adjusted it.

Anonymous said...

Hello there. I know you have probably done this already, but just in case, have you checked the tire pressure? Perhaps try pumping the tires up to maximum pressure again....and see if that makes a difference?

Velouria said...

Definitely sounds like a problem with the shifter and/or cable; take it to the bike shop and insist they investigate. This is not uncommon with the new shifters.

Shannon said...

I'm with the combination of advice you've gotten here, which is to first check and make sure there is no inappropriate rubbing and then assuming it passes the test I'd take it to a qualified professional and make them sort it out. Whether or not you are a little out of shape I think you still know the acceptable ratio of mechanical error to tired legs and if you think there's a problem then I'm sure there's a problem. Then again I totally tweaked my knee riding my bike yesterday, so it's entirely possible that I know exactly nothing on the subject.

And Ali's right. You do look great.