Andrew Crooks
Owner and Mechanic
NYC Velo
64 2nd Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Streets)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 253-7771

Cable Stretch

Some cables stretch more than others. With some, you can “pre-stretch” the cable when installing, but sometimes it doesn’t make a difference. Because the cable will most likely stretch, riders will have to undoubtedly re-adjust the derailleurs (a service that nycvelo does at no charge for folks who bought their bikes here). Cable stretch is also evident when you can’t get to the largest cog but it takes 2 clicks to get out of the smallest. You will need to undo the cable fixing bolt on the derailleur and pull the cable tight (when shifted into the small cog). Sometimes, you will need to further micro-adjust the tension with the derailleur barrel adjuster.

My chain won’t go into my smallest cog. What the heck?

It’s pretty easy to tell if you are lining up the pulley wheels with the individual cogs when the bike is on a workstand. When you cant get down to the smallest cog it typically means that there is too much friction in the cable (thats why the SRAM Red groups all come with Gore-Tex low-friction cables). When shifting to the small- est cog, the spring in the rear derailleur is at it’s weakest and can have trouble overcoming the friction in the line. The solution: lube or replace the derailleur cable.

What if I’m dropping the chain on the top or bottom chainring?

Check the limit screws. Once the limit screws have been set, they’re pretty much set unless you change the cas- sette and/or hub.

Why does my chain slip sometimes when I put torque on it?

This could be from a worn chain/cassette (more likely) or stretched cable.

What’s causing my chain to hop or bind slightly when I’m freewheeling?

You may have a free-hub issue which would require a professional mechanic.

What if the shifting just kinda sucks all around?

Make sure the chain or cassette is not worn out. Park Tools makes a great little tool to check this. Check the alignment of the derailleur hanger. It may be bent from a fall. ? Also, make sure the chain is clean but with the right amount and right kind of lube.