Very stiff front shifting

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geomannie
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Very stiff front shifting

Postby geomannie » 14 Feb 2019, 8:58am

Hi

My sister in law has a new bike that has swept back bars and Alivio pod shifters controling a 9 speed cassette on the rear and a triple up font via a Sora front mech. The triple is a 48/36/26.

Rear shifting is fine but up-shifting the the front triple to a bigger ring is extremely hard work. It needs a lot of force and a very long lever action. My isiter in law's hands are not very strong and its causing her trouble. Even with strong hands I find it hard work.

My questions are as follows. is this just the nature of the beast or is it set up incorrectly? As far as I can tell the installation is fine. Could perhaps different componenets be used to make front shifting easier?

Thanks for your thoughts

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geomannie

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foxyrider
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby foxyrider » 14 Feb 2019, 9:03am

I'm sure an expert will be along shortly but the obvious thing is whether the Alivio shifter is compatible with the Sora mech. IIRC Shimano do flat bar Sora shifters for this sort of set up.
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Paulatic
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby Paulatic » 14 Feb 2019, 9:49am

Can some of the problem be due to the position of the hand on those bars? Imagine on a straight bar the thumb is pushing directly forward. On that position is it more of a side/ backway push with a little less leverage.
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geomannie
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby geomannie » 14 Feb 2019, 10:01am

Paulatic wrote:Can some of the problem be due to the position of the hand on those bars? Imagine on a straight bar the thumb is pushing directly forward. On that position is it more of a side/ backway push with a little less leverage.

Not really. Its simply very stiff.
geomannie

reohn2
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby reohn2 » 14 Feb 2019, 10:09am

Disconnect the cable from the mech and try the gearlever operation,it should be slick across the range and without force.
Then with the cable disconnected,try moving the mech by hand,this is done best with the chain off,mech operation should easily done by moderate hand pressure.

All that said I think you have a mismatch of a Sora road mech with an Alivio MTB shifter,an MTB front mech should cure it.
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iandriver
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby iandriver » 14 Feb 2019, 10:23am

I can't see well enough on my mobile to tell, but if the cable is attached to the wrong side of the bolt on the mech, shifting can become incredibly still with many Shimano from mechs. I'd check the tech docs for the exact model.
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slowster
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby slowster » 14 Feb 2019, 10:28am

Obviously if it's new from a shop, you could take it back and ask them to fix it. Alternatively, if no one on this thread is able to diagnose the likely cause as being associated with a component mismatch or the cable being clamped on the wrong side of the bolt that secures it to the front mech, I would be inclined to undo the bolt and see how stiff the shifter was without being attached to the front mech.

It might be something as simple as a sloppy cable installation, e.g. I presume you've already checked the cable is not incorrectly run under/through the bottom bracket cable guide, but the outer cable might be badly cut/missing a ferule etc. where it enters the shifter pod, and consequently the inner cable might be catching on an obstruction and/or has been damaged during assembly and is starting to fray inside the outer or inside the shifter.

If you can eliminate the cause being associated with the cable, then that would only leave the shifter itself, which might just be faulty. Could you or your sister-in-law pop into the shop/a shop and compare the shift action on a display bike of the same brand and model?

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Audax67
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby Audax67 » 14 Feb 2019, 11:03am

slowster wrote:Obviously if it's new from a shop, you could take it back and ask them to fix it.



This above all. If you touch it they'll be all "ah well, if you've changed it..."
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cycleruk
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby cycleruk » 14 Feb 2019, 11:53am

Unless things have changed then Alivio and Sora are a mismatch regarding front changers and mech's.
MTB front used to be 19mm per "click" and Road front was 12mm approximately. (Alivio = MTB & Sora = Road)
If that is still the case then the lever wants to move further than the Sora mech' requires. The mech' will be hitting its stop before the Alivio lever has chance to latch and will require excess force to latch.
If the above is the case then I expect to find that the cable is very slack when on the small inner ring.
It will shift easily onto the middle ring once the slack is taken up but then the middle to outer ring will be hard to latch.

As suggested above disconnect the cable at the mech' and see that the lever moves easily while pulling back on the cable just to hold tension.
If O.K. re-attach the cable and unscrew the "stop" screw that limits the mech' to the big ring. This should let the lever latch but, unfortunately, will cause the chain to overshift and drop off the big ring.

In theory you could change the front mech' to an Alivio, or other MTB equivalent one, but the diameter of the chainset rings could be an issue matching the arc of the Mech' ? MTB chainsets are usally smaller than road chainsets.
Another consideration will be the chainline as that is also different between MTB and Road. There is sometimes a problem with the MTB mech' hitting the downtube so restricting movement to the small inner ring. :roll:

Rear changing will be O.K. as Road and MTB rear mech's are a match. (untill 10 speed that is.)
Last edited by cycleruk on 14 Feb 2019, 12:05pm, edited 4 times in total.
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pwa
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby pwa » 14 Feb 2019, 11:59am

Audax67 wrote:
slowster wrote:Obviously if it's new from a shop, you could take it back and ask them to fix it.



This above all. If you touch it they'll be all "ah well, if you've changed it..."

That's it. It is their problem. It could be useful for somebody who knows how a lever should feel went along with the buyer to back them up when they say it doesn't feel right.

Brucey
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby Brucey » 14 Feb 2019, 12:11pm

I don't think that shifter and that FD are compatible. Need the model numbers of both to be sure though.

If they are incompatible in the way I suspect then symptoms will be

a) heavy shifting (high force at shift lever) and
b) very great effort to get into the big ring and
c) the FD will (if set correctly for the middle ring) either be set for an overshift on the big ring position or will have the cable unfeasibly tight and the FD hard against the stop when the big ring is selected.


So if as suspected, I think you need a different FD or an extension to the FD arm near the pinch bolt, so that the longer cable pull of the shifter will be accommodated.

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geomannie
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby geomannie » 14 Feb 2019, 12:44pm

Thanks folks, you are tending to confirm my suspicions about component mismatch. After looking very closely I have found the actual mech serial numbers.

The Alivio shifter is SL M4000
The Sora front mech is FD R3030

Can anyone comment on the specific compatibility of these? I hesitate to go back to seller without a clear idea of the issue as the bike was shipped to us from a dealer a long way away.
geomannie

peetee
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby peetee » 14 Feb 2019, 1:12pm

Given that there is a likely mismatch between these components I doubt the bike has had more than a cursory pre-delivery check and i would be sure to inspect the rest of the bike very thoroughly. A poorly assembled bike can deteriorate very rapidly and any future adjustments or replacements could be impossible if interfaces such as bottom bracket, seat post and stem are not greased.
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Brucey
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby Brucey » 14 Feb 2019, 1:33pm

geomannie wrote:Thanks folks, you are tending to confirm my suspicions about component mismatch. After looking very closely I have found the actual mech serial numbers.

The Alivio shifter is SL M4000
The Sora front mech is FD R3030

Can anyone comment on the specific compatibility of these? I hesitate to go back to seller without a clear idea of the issue as the bike was shipped to us from a dealer a long way away.


the compatibility charts for the shifter don't indicate compatibility with the FD and the charts for the FD don't indicate compatibility with the shifter.

http://productinfo.shimano.com/#/com/3.8?cid=C-432&acid=C-445

IME this doesn't guarantee that it defintely won't work but it does make it somewhat unlikely. If one of the FDs that is compatible with shifter is also a good fit in other ways (chainline, chainrign interval etc) then this would be a better approach.

For example these
FD-T4000-TS3
FD-T4000-TS6
FD-T4000-DS3
FD-T3000-TS3
FD-T3000-TS6
FD-M370-3
FD-M370-6
FD-M371-3
FD-M371-6

are listed for 3x9 transmissions with 12T middle to big intervals and big rings in the range 44-48T, so one of those might work well with your bike. However those FDs are also designed to work with an MTB chainline, which your bike might not have. Not many MTB mechs will handle a road chainline well.

cheers
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geomannie
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Re: Very stiff front shifting

Postby geomannie » 14 Feb 2019, 1:38pm

Brucey wrote:
geomannie wrote:Thanks folks, you are tending to confirm my suspicions about component mismatch. After looking very closely I have found the actual mech serial numbers.

The Alivio shifter is SL M4000
The Sora front mech is FD R3030

Can anyone comment on the specific compatibility of these? I hesitate to go back to seller without a clear idea of the issue as the bike was shipped to us from a dealer a long way away.


the compatibility charts for the shifter don't indicate compatibility with the FD and the charts for the FD don't indicate compatibility with the shifter.

http://productinfo.shimano.com/#/com/3.8?cid=C-432&acid=C-445

IME this doesn't guarantee that it defintely won't work but it does make it somewhat unlikely. If one of the FDs that is compatible with shifter is also a good fit in other ways (chainline, chainrign interval etc) then this would be a better approach.

For example these
FD-T4000-TS3
FD-T4000-TS6
FD-T4000-DS3
FD-T3000-TS3
FD-T3000-TS6
FD-M370-3
FD-M370-6
FD-M371-3
FD-M371-6

are listed for 3x9 transmissions with 12T middle to big intervals and big rings in the range 44-48T, so one of those might work well with your bike. However those FDs are also designed to work with an MTB chainline, which your bike might not have. Not many MTB mechs will handle a road chainline well.

cheers


Thanks a bunch. You have given me what I need to get back to the retailer. Make it their problem.

Cheers
geomannie