Madone 5.2 triple shifting problem..&..need advice on switching to double?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Sensei, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. Sensei

    Sensei New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi folks,
    I picked up a '07 Madone Ultegra Triple when they were on sale a few weeks ago....love the bike but a problem has surfaced after about 80 miles. When I'm in the middle ring in front and the largest cog in back, the chain wants to dump to the smallest ring in front. My lbs coudn't fix it, said it's a Trek problem, and said going to a double is the only way to solve this issue. Is this a known issue among Treks?

    Another question: I like the idea of switching to a double. I found I never used the smallest chainring in front anyway....granted I haven't been on any big climbs yet, but I was wondering if I do switch, should I get a compact? I'm in Boulder CO and I love going up the canyons. I'm getting back in decent shape again after hurting my knee last summer by pushing the big ring in front w/too low a cadence. So I want to keep my cadence up there on climbs. Is a compact strongly advised for me, or would a regular double do the job...? I'm not 100% up on compact cranks but any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
    Tags:


  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    39
    Sounds like the LBS is just trying to get rid of you. Tell the LBS you want your new Trek to shift right....they are responsible to fix it. If they can't fix it, it's a Trek problem, it's covered by warranty. They can have Trek replace the bike.

    You're in Boulder CO, have knee problems, and you're thinking of giving up the triple? Believe the first time you take to the mountains you'll appreciate the gearing.
     
  3. mskaufman84

    mskaufman84 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    I completely agree with DKH2. There is no reason your brand new bike isnt shifting right. A triple sounds great for a guy in your situation, but you have to understand that shifting a triple well is an artform. There are all kinds of trim adjustments you can make to limit the amount of rubbing you are getting on your fd. If you cant get the problem fixed and want to switch to a double, i would recommend a 50-34 compact, and the bike shop should do it for free (or just the increase price if there is one). Good luck, and happy biking.
     
  4. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your bike very well could use some adjusting, but it also sounds like you are cross chaining. Just because you have 30 gear combinations does not mean that you can actually use them all....
    Trying to use either extreme in the back with your middle in the front will likely produce bad results on a triple and this is completely normal - nothing is wrong with your bike. The smallest cogs in the back are not coompatible with the smallest chainring in the front, same with the large ones. (a double is more forgiving, but you still shouldn't use the extreme combos)
     
  5. Sensei

    Sensei New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input folks. If this is an 'extreme' gear combo the lbs sure didn't tell me that....seems like that would have been the fastest way to get rid of me. Instead the mechanic adjusted the fd 3 times and I bought it back each time. I don't think he can adjust it any better....he blamed the issue on Trek. And while it does look a little crazy it worked on this bike for a while, and it works fine on my Canondale R500 (old and worn, granted). If this is indeed a bad gear combo then I think I'll go compact....are all people with triples avoiding this combo? Maybe I'll take it to another Trek dealer here in town and see what they say. I know they move a lot of Treks....if they have an issue they will know about it.
    Thx,
    Steve
     
  6. unicos

    unicos New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just adding to what everyone else said. Its not a Trek problem or a Shimano problem its an adjustment problem. There is an art to adjusting a tripple. Its much eaiser to adjust a double. It may take a little fine tuning as you go. There is only one guy at my LBS that can really do a tripple properly. Once it is adjusted well on a stand it may still take some very small changes once on the road. The other thing is to stay away from extremes. Small front ring - small cassette cog, Large front ring - large cassette cog etc.
     
  7. chainstay

    chainstay New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have never heard anyone call using the middle chain ring in front with any of the cassette cogs in back an "extreme combo". If this is true, I missed the news bulletin!:rolleyes: In my humble opinion, your bad shifting results are not a Trek problem or an Ultegra triple problem; but rather an incompetent mechanic problem. Find a mechanic that knows how to adjust and trim an Ultegra triple. There should be some good mechanics in Boulder somewhere. In my experience, when properly adjusted, triples work great---at least they have worked great on some 8 and 9 speed triples that I own or have owned in the past. Eventually, I would recommend experimenting around with some information from do it yourself websites like Sheldon Brown to learn how to keep that triple adjusted yourself. It isn't rocket science.

    If you switch to a compact, don't forget that you will be giving up gearing options on both the high and low ends of the gearing spectrum. If you want to go as fast as possible down some of the mountains outside of Boulder, you will miss your big chain ring immediately, or if you want to climb the road to Estes park at the end of a long day and you are running out of gas to keep up the cadence, you may miss that little ring option. On the other side of the equation, it may indeed be a little simpler to keep the front derailleur adjusted on the compact, and it will save you roughly a paltry 88 grams in weight. JMO.
     
  8. tafi

    tafi Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    17
    Yes triples do work but not as well as doubles. I have worked on several madones which have had shifting trouble. They all seem to have ultegra. Never seems to be a problem with DA or Campagnolo.

    Anyway... the FD should be a low as you can get it without it fowling on the chainrings. That usually improves things and triples need to be adjusted methodically and accurately at every step.
    You might also consider that the cable will have stretched a bit since you bought it (though any mechanic worth his salt should have checked this) Cable stretch is a pain on most derailleurs but on a front triple derailleur its really shit.
     
  9. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use a standard double these days, but back when I did have a bike with a triple it just couldn't be adjusted to accomodate every rear cog with the middle ring and not rub somewhere. If I remember properly it would start to grind and chatter if I tried to use the smallest cogs with the middle ring (a 42). If I adjusted the front derailleur to not rub at that point it would be difficult to impossible to shift into the largest ring in the front. I always considered it to be a limitation of using a triple.
     
  10. chainstay

    chainstay New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 9 speed DA ST-7703 shifter has numerous trim positions, even more than the newer Ultegra ST- 6603 10 speed triple shifter. It has two extra trim positions when in the little ring, one extra trim position when in the middle ring, and one extra trim position when in the big ring, so altogether there are seven different front derailleur positions---3 plus 2 plus 2. Most of these trim positions seem to come naturally in the course of shifting if your derailleur is well adjusted.

    The Ultegra ST-6603 10 speed triple has one extra trim position for each chain ring, so there are a total of 6 front derailleur positions---2 plus 2 plus 2. It seems to me that one trim position for each front chain ring should be plenty, but I haven't tried the 10 speed Ultegra ST-6603.

    I had problems three years ago trying to mix and match a 9 speed Ultegra ST-6510, double or triple compatible Ultegra shifter, with a 9 speed DA 30-39-53 crankset. The Ultegra triple cranksets were all 30-42-52 three years ago. The 9 speed Ultegra ST-6510 has a trim position for the little and middle chain rings, but no trim position for the big ring, and I was having trouble using an acceptable number of cogs in the rear without rubbing when I was in the big ring in the front. First I tried switching out my front Ultegra derailleur with a DA derailleur, thinking that it might work better with the DA crankset. This didn't solve the problem, but then I put on a left DA ST-7703 shifter, which had that extra trim postion on the big ring, and this solved the problem. After that I could use 8 out of 9 cogs in the back with no rubbing while in the front big chain ring. I may have even be able to use all of the cogs in back with no rubbing, but simply don't try this "extreme" cross chain, big ring-big cog combination because I know it wears the cassette badly. So all in all, this largely DA, 9 speed triple setup ended up working great when I stopped mixing and matching the gruppos.
     
  11. Sensei

    Sensei New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm interesting stuff. Chainstay thanks for speaking up about it not being a bad gear combo. I'd like to keep the triple and get it working right for the reasons you mentioned!
    Tafi: interesting, thanks for speaking up and for the tips....much appreciated.

    The interesting thing here is that when I'm in the middle ring in front and shift to the largest cog in back, the chain dumps to the smallest ring in front, even when the fd is adjusted so that it is not touching the chain....maybe something's bent? I'll look for a bent tooth on the middle ring maybe....
     
  12. chainstay

    chainstay New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know what would be causing this problem, but imo, you should be able to use the middle chain ring and the big cog in the back with no problems. I regularly use that combination for climbing on all my triples. It may be one of my most popular gear combinations altogether, whereas my small chain ring is mostly a safequard for extreme grades or for extreme, long climbing days where I might be running out of gas.

    FWIW, I noticed that there are three shops in Boulder in a list for the top 100 retail bicycle shops in the USA: Boulder Cycle Sport, Full Cycle, and University Bicycles. Maybe one of those shops has a mechanic worth giving a try? I can understand that you want the shop where you bought the bike to solve the problem and get it right, especially since they should do this for free as part of the sale, but they can't seem to get it right. A mechanic at a second shop just might be able to solve that problem in a few minutes while you wait for a very minimal charge. You never know. I have had that kind of result happen to me more than once, and it just might get you back out on the road enjoying riding your new bike more quickly. :D
     
  13. skammer

    skammer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    This sounds like bad chainline to me. if the chain is dumping to the granny gear on its own, that is clearly not right.
     
  14. mongooseboy

    mongooseboy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    my mountain bike does this, HOWEVER not when pedaling forward or just coasting, only does it when i pedal backwards...

    which means i need to order a 110mm bottom bracket. The chainline is just a little bit off, and since i rarely use the big chainring on the crank, i might as well make it work for the gears i need. Ill be honest though, I built up my mountain bike and kinda took a shot in the dark about which bottom bracket i needed, got advice from a bike forum that said with my LX components the 113 should work, but alas, its just a bit off. i know the 110 is only going to make 1.5mm difference per side, but that should fix it and leave plenty of clearance.

    is there a way to fix such problems with ultegra systems of today? my BB is still square taper (all my bikes are)...im behind on times! :)
     
  15. Sensei

    Sensei New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been planning on going to a different shop for a while now, but in the meantime I thought I'd gather some opinions. University Bikes moves a lot of Treks so I will go there first.
    I also expected to spend a lot of time in that gear combo, esp on climbs. So I'm guessing that the middle chainring on a triple must have a different positional relationship to the cassette that the small ring on a double?
     
  16. skammer

    skammer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes this is a correct assumption, and the essence of my chainline argument. One question to ask, and sorry If this is a duplicate...is this all stock equipment or was there an upgrade done to this drivetrain?
     
  17. skammer

    skammer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    In looking at the specs on Treks site, I am convinced this is a chainline issue. I think these newer cranks/BBs push the chainlines out a bit at a glance. I am still running square tapers on my MTB with Raceface Turbines if that gives you any idea how far behind the times I am, but back in the racing day, chainline was critical for the middle to bottom shift. My wifes bike has an XTR derailluer so that it will shift properly, I could not get XT to work....
     
  18. Sensei

    Sensei New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    To answer your previous post, the bike is 100% stock. Except for the saddle and tires. Ultegra cranks/fd/shifters, DA rd.
    I don't have enough experience to decipher the specs based on history, but it does seem like bringing the chainrings a tad closer to the BB would solve the issue (and create others?....). I wonder how I could accomplish that.

    Steve
     
  19. chainstay

    chainstay New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    It sounds like you and skammer are on to something with the poor chainline theory. Four or five years ago I had a problem and was able to get some information directly from Trek. I don't know whether this phone number still works, or whether they would be any help now, but I have 1.920.478.4678 written down in my address book. I also have an Email address for Trek at [email protected].

    Please let us know how you finally resolve the problem.
     
Loading...
Loading...