Derailleur upgrade

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Like many Giant Suede owners I've struggled with a slow and reluctant gear change. When you change gear at the handlebar there can be a very long wait before anything happens at the back wheel. When it does eventually go there can be a huge clunk. Trying to encourage it by easing pressure on the pedals etc has no effect. I've replaced the stiff gripshift with a rapid-fire type changer, replaced the complete gear cable, and I keep everything well lubricated. All this has helped to a degree but it is still very sluggish.

The only other thing I can think of is to upgrade the low-end Shimano Altus derailleur to a something like a Tiagra. However I'm told that the Altus works perfectly well on any number of other bikes and should not be the cause.

Has anyone else had this problem with an Altus? Has an upgrade made a significant difference?
 
M

mk1

Guest
Like many Giant Suede owners I've struggled with a slow and reluctant gear change. When you change gear at the handlebar there can be a very long wait before anything happens at the back wheel. When it does eventually go there can be a huge clunk. Trying to encourage it by easing pressure on the pedals etc has no effect. I've replaced the stiff gripshift with a rapid-fire type changer, replaced the complete gear cable, and I keep everything well lubricated. All this has helped to a degree but it is still very sluggish.

The only other thing I can think of is to upgrade the low-end Shimano Altus derailleur to a something like a Tiagra. However I'm told that the Altus works perfectly well on any number of other bikes and should not be the cause.

Has anyone else had this problem with an Altus? Has an upgrade made a significant difference?
In my experience these derailleurs are pretty good and reliable. Does the derailleur move freely by hand when the chain is off?
Also it could be the way the cable is routed, any tight angles?

Martin
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
All Shimano derailleurs are noted for their slick changing, and the Altus is no exception. Something is wrong with the installation, and as Martin says, the cable is the number one suspect.

If the rear mechanism is freely operating, all the gears run correctly once they are engaged, and the cable has no kinks in the routing, it would be worth changing the complete cable to get smooth and rapid operation.
.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Thanks for those replies Martin and flecc. They support my suspicion that the Shimano Altus is basically sound. My local bike shop replaced the complete inner and outer cables and adjusted the gears a few days ago. It made no difference. There are no kinks, the derailleur seems to move freely by hand, and the gears run correctly once engaged.

I've just belatedly re-read the test report in A to B magazine (issue 51). They reported a similar clunky gear change which threw the chain off their test bike. However they blamed 'the spring-loaded torque-measuring thingey', (part of the pedelec system) so maybe I've been barking up the wrong tree. I know other Suede owners have reported problems with the chain being thrown off when gear changing and they, like me, have blamed the gears. Looks as though it could be the 'thingey' that is stopping the gears working properly. In that case I suppose we'll just have to live with it. At least your replies stopped me focusing on the gears to the exclusion of any other cause!
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
That's a pity Bob, not much can be done about that if it's causing the chain to thrash and snatch during gear changes. Giant should have stuck to what they did on the Lafree, fit hub gears, since that change type wouldn't be affected.
.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
As we have said before flecc, it was made to a price. I can happily live with it for now, though I would have dealt with the problem had it been possible. When this battery reaches the end of its life I'll buy an Aguttu or whatever seems best at that time.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
Yes, it would be good to have a high quality reliable bike, especially in the somewhat remotely situated location (from an e-bike point of view) that you are.
.
 

fishingpaul

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 24, 2007
871
85
my suede gears were also very clunky when changing.despite being well oiled and set properly.
 

chuck

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 25, 2007
11
0
My Suede chain also was sometimes getting out (mainly when I'ld change gear too quickly / directly from slow to high speed), until the rear wheel position was somehow changed (puncture in the rear tire chamber); at 1000km I put some better oil: it's special oil-spray for motor bike: now the gear changing is much smoother and no more chain going outside at 1700km! happy!

About the new battery: I ride 15km each day (windy, and some hilly parts) and there are still two lighted red leds; each day too I charge the battery, hoping to get more range with this way (inspired from what was said in the forum, in such a way as the Prius charges its NiMh battery.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
I too have found that the frequent and generous application of a good quality 'all weather' chain lubricant helps to the extent that the chain no longer comes off. On my bike it doesn't cure the delay and big clunks though. Also it makes for a lot of rear wheel cleaning! I've got some motor cycle chain oil lurking somewhere in the shed, maybe I should give that a try. With the NiMh battery I try to go as far as I reasonably can on each charge so as to keep the number of recharges to a minimum.
 
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keninNY

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 9, 2007
5
0
suede e chain

I'm thinking that if i glue a 1/2 wine cork to the underside of the chain guard, I can prevent that chain from jumping off. One of the most annoying things about that bike is the tendancy of the chain to come off at exactly the wrong moment.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
I'm thinking that if i glue a 1/2 wine cork to the underside of the chain guard, I can prevent that chain from jumping off. One of the most annoying things about that bike is the tendancy of the chain to come off at exactly the wrong moment.
I think I'd go for the quality lubricant option first if you haven't tried it already. I've not had the chain come off in over a year (risky thing to say!) but I suppose no two bikes are exactly the same.