Crunch Time – so good we’ve reposted it!

Crunch Time – so good we’ve reposted it!

My bike is making an awful crunching noise when I change gears. It’s a fairly new, top-end set of wheels. What’s going wrong?

When people complain that their gears are noisy we often find they’re ‘crossing the chain’. This is when your chain is in a diagonal line, either sitting on the biggest chainring – or cog – at the front and the biggest rings of the cassette at the back, or the smallest chainring at the front and the smallest rings of the cassette at the back.

This can result in that unpleasant noise you mention, as the chain grinds on the front derailleur cage. It’s also a great way to prematurely wear your chain, cassette and chainrings. With a Shimano 105 groupset, this could see you looking at replacement parts totalling around £125.

Changing gears gradually will help you to avoid clunking, keep your chain from falling off and prevent your gears from skipping. No one expects their car to go from 2nd to 5th gear in five seconds, so why subject your bike to such abuse? Ideally you should change gears gradually, one click at a time while still pedalling, but go easy: the more pressure you put on the pedals whilst shifting increases your chance of crossing the chain – or dropping it off entirely.

That said, if you are riding a bike with hub gears – such as a Brompton or a Boris Bike – you actually need to pedal backwards, or not at all, when shifting gears

If the crunching continues, or you’re still worried about your bike’s performance, book a service and we’ll make sure your wheels are fit for the road. Book online or via email.

Got a question for August’s newsletter? Get in touch, @havebike or info@havebike.co.uk.

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