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Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3

    Is it the bike or the rider?

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    I purchased a new 2009 Fuji Finest 2.0 last spring (2011) and have used it for 2 seasons. I use it mostly for 10-15 mile rides and have completed two supersprint tris on it. The gears have had shifting issues since I purchased it - they click, rattle, and sometimes shift while I'm peddling. Every time I bring it in for an adjustment, the gears are out of whack again.

    I'd like to move to a sprint tri next year, but I've got to go faster on the bike (avg 15-17 mph during supersprint). I'm a pretty in shape person, but I feel like I can't get the bike to go faster - is it the bike or me?

    I'd like to ride faster and easier, without spending $1500 on a new bike. I'm petite (5'1") and most bike stores (Chicago) don't have many small frames for me to try out at any time.

    - Does it seem like something is wrong with my current bike, i.e. because the gears consistently don't work smoothly? What can I do about it?
    - Is the inability to go as fast as I'd like because of me or the bike?
    - If I were to upgrade to a new bike, does anyone have any suggestions on a good bike for petite women (under $1500)? And, any suggestions for working with biking stores that cater to men and/or taller women?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Find a new mechanic. If you continually take it in and they continually don't or cannot fix it, find someone who can. You might also want to look into learning how to fix your bike yourself, but that's a longer term project.

    I don't know anything about your model bike, but I assume it should work since it's not a WalMart bike. Fuji makes some nice bike (my first racing bike was a red Fuji waaaaay back in the 80s).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    it does seem like your gears aren't working right. i wonder about your mechanics! do you always go to the same guy?
    i agree, it really is hard to find bikes when you are shorter. I Just bought a bike (on here!!) for my 5 foot tall sister. :-)
    welcome to TE!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    834
    Make sure you take it in for tune ups, cables stretch,etc. and things can get out of wack(also if you are putting it up against other items in storage or in a car you could be moving the rear derailleur around without knowing it)

    On the speed, I would say train more. 10-15 mile rides aren't a ton and your speeds for the short distance seem pretty good for such little training being put into the bike.

    I would be riding a lot more and focusing on event specific intervals to help you reach your goals.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I take it to the mechanics at Performance Bike - where I purchased it. They have a 100% guarantee, so I emailed them and am hoping they actually mean it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    329
    Quote Originally Posted by jules8605 View Post
    I purchased a new 2009 Fuji Finest 2.0 last spring (2011) and have used it for 2 seasons. I use it mostly for 10-15 mile rides and have completed two supersprint tris on it. The gears have had shifting issues since I purchased it - they click, rattle, and sometimes shift while I'm peddling. Every time I bring it in for an adjustment, the gears are out of whack again.

    I'd like to move to a sprint tri next year, but I've got to go faster on the bike (avg 15-17 mph during supersprint). I'm a pretty in shape person, but I feel like I can't get the bike to go faster - is it the bike or me?

    I'd like to ride faster and easier, without spending $1500 on a new bike. I'm petite (5'1") and most bike stores (Chicago) don't have many small frames for me to try out at any time.

    - Does it seem like something is wrong with my current bike, i.e. because the gears consistently don't work smoothly? What can I do about it?
    - Is the inability to go as fast as I'd like because of me or the bike?
    - If I were to upgrade to a new bike, does anyone have any suggestions on a good bike for petite women (under $1500)? And, any suggestions for working with biking stores that cater to men and/or taller women?

    Thank you!
    Please try a different bike shop! This should be adjusted satisfactorily in one visit!

    On the bike versus engine dilemma- at a given fitness obviously any given rider will go faster on a top of the line carbon etc...bike. That being said- my road bike is a 30 yr old Schwinn and my favorite road game is holding 18+ mph on the Garmin- The main time I really notice the cheap antiquity of my bike is downhills- top speed in the drops I can only hit 37.

    Sprints, intervals, hill repeats all help with speed (:

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    Quote Originally Posted by tealtreak View Post
    Please try a different bike shop! This should be adjusted satisfactorily in one visit!
    +1, find yourself a reliable bike shop.

    In addition to working on the engine, as tealtreak suggests, maybe a lighter set of wheels will make you happier. In an old, cheap, bike, I replaced the stock wheelset with a Mavic Aksium set (Mavic's entry level wheelset) and my speed went up by about 1mph. This morning, I took a new set of wheels on my current bike and I am pleased because I felt the difference.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
    Posts
    1,067
    Since you can't spend a lot on a new bike, I'd start upgrading the one you have. Maybe start with new gears and shifters.

    My bike has been an evolutions of parts, which originated as a used bike my husband bought for himself. It was a lower end Cannondale, $750 I think. He upgraded the gears, the brakes, the wheels . . . pretty much everything a little at a time as he had the money to do it, then he finally upgraded the frame. Eventually it became my bike, only we swapped out the frame. And then it continued to evolve. The only thing left on it that was on it when I got it are the Dura Ace brakes, and that's only because DH hasn't gotten around to putting the SRAM Red ones on he bought like two years ago!

    It went from a $750 bike to one that would cost as much as $10,000 brand new in a retail store, though we didn't pay anywhere near that. The Cannondale SuperSix frame was new, but "blemished", so he got a great deal on it and surprised me with it and SRAM Red shifters. I have no clue where the blemish is and told him not to tell me. He and his buddy had to search a long time to find it themselves. That same buddy patiently watched Ebay for all the parts he wanted for his dream mountain bike. He always bid low and lost many bids, but eventually won enough auctions to build his dream bike for a fraction of the cost of an already built one.

    My husband does all our bike maintenance himself now, but used to take our bikes to the LBS to have them replace components, etc. You can do the same and end up with a sweet bike over time.

    And yes, I'm SURE it's your bike holding you back and not you!!! (Seriously!)
    GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!

    2009 Cannondale Super Six High Modulus / SRAM Red / Selle San Marco Mantra

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NW Ohio...for now
    Posts
    124
    I had a similar problem with my bike. I was holding the shifter lever too long. I thought I had to hold it until I heard it shift. But I have now found that I just need to give the lever one little movement and let go...shifts now smooth as butter. If you don't think that is your problem, I suggest taking it to a shop who will put the bike on a trainer so you can ride and shift gears while they check out what is happening. Good Luck!
    Don't cross the river if you can swim the tide...

    2011-Cannondale Synapse Alloy5 WSD with 105 and BB30!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,074
    Quote Originally Posted by jules8605 View Post
    I take it to the mechanics at Performance Bike - where I purchased it.
    Ah. With all due respect to Performance, I'm sure there are wrenches at there who are good. It's just that I personally don't know of them, my encounters at Performance they have not seemed the best. I've met many who had bike purchase and maintenance issues from them.

    I agree with others: find a another shop.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
    Posts
    1,067
    I'd also like to mention to make sure your brakes are not rubbing on your tires and that your tires are fully inflated. You should be pumping your tires every time you ride.

    I did a century once where I was just miserable for the first half. I couldn't keep up with people I should have been able to keep up with. I was struggling and depressed and literally cried. Finally it occurred to me that my front tire was low. Turned out I had a slow leak. After I fixed it, I was going faster, but still seemed to be having some issues. I then realized my brake pad was rubbing. OMG!!! After that I was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! My over all time was not nearly what I had hoped for and knew I was capable of, but I was SO happy!!! I just kept saying, "I don't suck!!!"
    GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!

    2009 Cannondale Super Six High Modulus / SRAM Red / Selle San Marco Mantra

 

 

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