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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    2009 Fuji Silhouette Chain problem: HELP!!

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    I purchased the 09 Fuji Silhouette at the end of January and have had a considerable amount of trouble with the front derailleur/chain/front crank set.

    When getting a bike fit 2 weeks ago I was told my chain was worn out. Impossible! I dont ride that hard and haven't put anywhere near 2000/3000miles on it. It was in fact worn out.

    My chain has gotten jammed a LOT this season when shifting from the large ring to the small ring. I of course thought it was me, and my inability to shift properly.

    All these mechanics have tried many different ideas to fix it- to no avail. Yesterday someone else came into the bike shop with the same problem. Same bike.

    I NEED MORE FEEDBACK!!!! Anyone else out there have this bike? Any problems? Help!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    101
    From google: "Crankset: FSA Gossamer..."

    That's a big part of the problem right there. You're not the problem. FSA shifting is infamously worse than the industry benchmark, Shimano.

    I'd see if the shop will install genuine Shimano chain rings or crankset.

    Edited to add: If the shop deals with many road bikes, they already know about this problem. They've dealt with it numerous times before. They might even have gotten credit from Fuji to help pay for the Shimano chain rings or crankset. Nearly every bike brand that specs non-Shimano chain rings ends up with a load of complaints and has a strategy for dealing with them. If you follow the strategy to the end (jump through all the hoops about special adjustment, special shifting technique, special chain, etc., etc.) it always ends with "replace crank with Shimano" and a happy rider.
    Last edited by dianne_1234; 08-25-2010 at 02:37 PM.

    '09 Trek 7.3 FX hybrid / Jett 155mm
    '09 Cervelo P3 TT / looking
    '11 Cervelo S3 road / Selle Royal Seta 155mm
    Ischial tuberosities: 140mm center to center

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    355
    Might I add: chains are cheap, relatively speaking. They wear out frequently, regardless of how "hard" you ride. Replacing them frequently keeps your drivetrain happy and keeps other parts from wearing out prematurely. Replace it every year if you ride a moderate amount, every six months if you ride a lot.

    I ride a FSA Gossamer crank and have never had any issues with it. I ride an FSA carbon crank on my mountain bike and have never had major issues with it, although I do occasionally experience "chain suck" (whereby the chain wraps around the smallest chainring and gets jammed between chainring and the frame) if I shift into it under a lot of load. Shimano cranks have fancy ramps that do help with shifting under load in certain conditions and chain suck probably happens less frequently as a result, but FSA makes fine cranks and I wouldn't hesitate recommending them.

    If you are shifting to your small ring from your large ring under load, let up a bit on the pedals while this shift happens, and you will have a lot fewer issues with jamming or chain suck.

    Don't get worked up over a chain. Just replace it. And try a different brand if you are convinced it is causing problems (Shimano chains, indeed, are pretty flawless). it is a simple, inexpensive fix (or should be!), and should happen on a regular basis regardless of any issues you are having with shifting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    983

    2009 Fuji Silhouette problem;Help!

    I definitely AGREE with Luna... the drivetrains of today are much more user friendly BUt you definitely wear them out fairly quick. There are lots of other drivetrain companies out there, and in reality, they are all pretty good! Campy, FSA, Truvativ, Sram, etc... if they weren't then they still wouldn't be around because there is LOTS of competition. I would NOT hesitate to replace the chain, chain rings generally last at least a couple of seasons.(depends on the brand and quality) IF you want to check this yourself, then either buy the Park tool to measure chains or measure out 12'' of your chain with a ruler, measure from the center of the pin to center of another pin. If the ruler does nOT hit exactly in the center of the pin, then it's time to replace your chain.

    Good luck with all of this!

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3
    I had the chain replaced as soon as it was confirmed to be worn out. During this maintenance a whole load of other adjustments were made, mainly tweaks and minor things, but a LOT of them. I have been to 2 main shops. The bike was purchased new from Performance and I have a great relationship with their mechanics. I had a professional bike fit and maintenance performed at a triathlon specific bike shop.

    2 days after my chain was replaced, the professional bike fit was complete, and all the updated mechanics were done, my chain jammed during a triathlon race, at the base of a climb. I was not driving hard on the crank, nor was the grade of the road very steep at this point.

    I just can't imagine that me (5'1, 120lbs) am putting such a load on the crank that it is jamming so consistently. It has been about 3 months worth of the same issue, and it just isn't adding up to me.

    This week we replaced the small chain ring with a new small chain ring and the problem has completely flip-flopped. The chain is dropping down without problem and NOW will not transition from small to large fluidly. Again- I consider first, what I might be doing incorrectly. I went through a check-list
    -am I shifting hard enough to move the chain completely
    -am I applying too much pressure to the crank at the time of shifting

    The only thing that allowed a smooth transition was switching to a near-coasting position and slowly rotating the chain into place. Ugh!

    Keep sending ideas!!! I really appreciate the insight!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    This is not a criticism--just an observation.

    It seems to me like you might have a heavy shifting style. It's like a clutch in the car--it doesn't matter how much you weigh; if you don't do it right, you'll wear out things like clutches and chains.

    One has to soft-pedal when one shifts. Andy Schleck didn't do that, and that's why he dropped his chain, potentially costing him the Tour.

    I've learned to soft pedal to shift and haven't had a problem in the 25+ years I've been riding bikes--and I've had lots of bikes, from crappy ones to perfect ones (thanks, Margo!)

    What if you ride another bike like you normally do and see what happens?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3
    I assumed the exact same thing, with the same analogy as a manual vehicle. The first few time this problem occurred, I also received the same advice, confirming the probability that it is my operation of the machine, not the machine itself.

    Then this problem continued, even when I was being cautious, changing my stroke, 'easing up'.

    Preposterous! my mechanic friends said. Bike technology has come a long way, and the drive train should function so that you can ascend a hill, without losing cadence, or slowing down. I heard wacko accounts of a man standing up, while shifting both front and back, in the middle of a hill and having no problem. If that kind of technology exists, this issue still isn't adding up to me.

    SO, a few of us have started asking around. One woman has come forward with the same issue on the same bike. Like me- she thought she was at fault. Maybe we are too quick to assume we are at fault, and expect too little from the manufacturers.

    Im sure a balance exists here. I have soooooo much to learn about cycling and technique but I also want to make sure I am holding the engineers accountable as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    Unless you've changed it this bike came with a compact crank. Because there is a fairly large difference between the sizes of those front rings you do need to treat it a little more gently - and yes getting it to shift from the little ring to the big one can take some finesse. A little less performance is the price you pay when you take equipment out towards the edges of its limitations. While it shouldn't be impossible to shift the bike and you may be able to tinker with it to improve the shifting, it will likely never be as smooth, easy or abusable as a quality standard double - which you may be comparing it to (mr can shift both rings, up a steep hill and not drop the chain...).

    Keep in mind that it will shift differently under a load, so even if the shop guys get it perfect on the bike stand it may still require some tweaking in actual riding conditions. In a perfect world they'd road test it, but I can understand why they may not - at least with my bike - which is a 44cm and may be rather difficult for a tall guy to ride....
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,321
    +1 on compact cranks being a little more finicky.

    Have you replaced the derailleur cable? Having difficulty shifting into the large ring now suggests to me that the cable isn't tight enough. Unless the shop loosened it when doing the other things, then that might mean that the cable is near the end of its life. That's because after the cable becomes fully seated in the housing soon after install, it shouldn't get slack. When it does (when you suddenly get the need to tighten it many months down the line), then it is fraying somewhere and will soon snap.

    It's less likely but also possible that they changed the FD outer limit. Another possibility is that you are cross chaining in the rear when shifting to the large ring. Many compacts are more fickle about needing to have a straighter chain (from the rear cog position) when shifting in front in order for the shifting to be smooth.

    I have always used compact cranks (FSA and Shimano), and I always ease up chain tension when shifting between rings.

    I have some more chain drop on one bike with longer chainstays (and a longer chain) for some reason. I'm not sure why that affects it, but it seems to. On that bike, I will keep the lower limit on the FD set a little bit tighter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6
    I have that exact bike. I did break something in at the beginning of this season and I couldn't shift up front from big to little at all. (I am not sure what exactly broke, but they replaced a part on it with a part that they had just got in to fix someone else's bike. The other person had a loaner bike, so they fixed mine first.)

    Then after I got it back, I had about a month of dropping my chain every other ride. I wasn't hard pedalling, sometimes I was going downhill. Then I finally realized I was cross chaining, and as soon as I started paying attention to that, I haven't dropped a chain since.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3

    I have the same problem

    I had the same problem but I think I've got it solved.
    Is the tail end of the front derailleur a lot higher above the big ring then the front end of the derailleur like the picture below? This is BAD!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    101
    Yes, that's a little more gap than typical.

    Some of that gap is due to the front derailleur having to also work with larger "standard" chainrings. Not easy to do much about that. I set the front derailleur height per Shimano's service instructions, 2~3mm from the top of the tallest tooth. Service Instructions here:
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830651777.pdf

    The rest of that gap is unfortunately due to the front derailleur poking into the frame's slot where it mounts!

    SRAM makes a little angled shim that fits between the front derailleur and frame, that tips the tail down a bit and helps improve shifting. Alas, I googled but couldn't find an image of it! My google-fu must be getting weak...

    Can you ask at a bike shop if they have the SRAM angled shim? Maybe they'd special order it...

    This mismatch is just one of several other factors in shifting the chain onto the frame, but doesn't hurt to address this one too!

    '09 Trek 7.3 FX hybrid / Jett 155mm
    '09 Cervelo P3 TT / looking
    '11 Cervelo S3 road / Selle Royal Seta 155mm
    Ischial tuberosities: 140mm center to center

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,321
    Quote Originally Posted by Renae McClung View Post
    I had the same problem but I think I've got it solved.
    Is the tail end of the front derailleur a lot higher above the big ring then the front end of the derailleur like the picture below? This is BAD!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	02-11-11_1657.jpg 
Views:	197 
Size:	58.0 KB 
ID:	12659
    I think the entire derailleur was installed too high, and/or the clamp looks to be rotated towards the rear of the bike.

    FWIW, I run standard Shimano FDs with compact cranks, and they never flare out that far at the tail end. You should only be able to fit about a penny thickness between the teeth of the big ring and the bottom of the derailleur cage at the front end when the derailleur is shifted to the big ring--just move the derailleur to check this, don't pedal and move the chain. I think it's easiest to see in the trimmed position.

    Having the derailleur installed too high will cause a lot of shifting issues.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3

    Front Derailleur washer

    They call it a washer instead of a shim. I you google sram front derailleur washer you will get a ton of results. Thanks for your lead

    http://www.amazon.com/Braze-Front-De...8497594&sr=8-1

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3
    The picture was taken after a bad shift so the derailleur has moved. The derailleur was installed with a 2mm gap between the large chain ring and the front of the derailleur. It is impossible to adjust the angle of the tail end of the derailleur without a shim/washer.

    Note: The derailleur is a braze on and can not rotate.

 

 

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