Stuck in 5th gear

My bike workouts are stuck in fifth gear as I reported in Saturday's post on Tired Legs. This prompted a helpful and encouraging comment from Brad Feld, as well as a call from a close friend and marathoner John Sinclair. The takeaway seems to be that how I feel during a ride will include some degree of randomness, and that the rest periods are as important as the workouts.

Early on I had mentioned that I was experiencing gear slippage and my good friend Ken left a comment (anonymously because he couldn't get registered easily) suggesting the dealer look at the idler position. I have spoken to Scott Chamberlain at Wheelworks a couple of times about this because I have had continued problems, mostly in fifth gear. Scott suggested (a) making sure the gear mechanism was lined up and (b) tightening the control cable if needed. I had done both of these, and to no avail.

I visited Wheelworks yesterday because the Bacchetta folks were in town giving test rides and dispensing advice. Rich and Mike were both really helpful and patient - kudos to them and Bacchetta as a whole - and this is how the story unfolded.

I asked them to look at the gear problem. The first thing they found was that because I had tightened the cable so much the gear mechanism was not aligned. As they tried to back out of this (loosening the nut), they realized the cable itself was not seated properly into the gear switch control on the handlebar. Aha! Perhaps this was the problem. They pulled the control cable at various points to give it the needed slack, and reseated it. Off I went on a test drive ... but I still had the same problem. In fifth gear (pretty much only that gear, but maybe once in sixth), I experienced significant gear wandering (slippage?) for up to 30 seconds or so after changing into the gear. The Bacchetta guys were very patient and looked again. This time they observed the same thing and had no immediate solution.

So my bike is now at Wheelworks undergoing a tuneup to diagnose and fix the problem, and I am stuck in 5th gear for another day, looking forward to getting back on the bike soon.

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