Tech SRAM Apex on Trek 2.1

bustee

Cruising
Sep 24, 2013
31
6
18
42
#1
Hello fellow cyclists :tup

I have a question concerning a recent problem with my 2012 Trek 2.1.

Backstory:
I was having a flat tire last week and missing any tools at home brought it to a bike shop to have it fixed. When I picked up the bike, I rode it back home but immediately realized that something was strange with the gears. It somehow felt like the bike would shift into lower gears on the back wheel by itself.

I immediately went back to the mechanic and inquired about it. It seemed like the front right shifter does not pick up the wire anymore, so pushing the lever doesn't move anything and the rear derailleur is fully extended to the back (as the chain is in the lowest gear now).

My Japanese isn't good, so it was a bit of a hassle, but it appeared that he didn't know why this has happened. We agreed that he keeps the bike and asks the manufacturer about it and then tells me the result.

Today he called me and explained that he'd have to replace the lever and that this will cost 24000 yen plus taxes.

I told him that I'd contact him on Monday to tell him if I want him to fix it.


Now to my questions:
1) Is it by pure chance that this happened right after he replaced the tire? Or can this actually happen when doing some mistake? (The mechanic said he wasn't responsible, but it is a bit strange that it happened right after leaving the shop.... :()

2) Assuming that it was by pure coincidence, is the price alright? It seems to be pretty steep in my opinion, I wouldn't have to pay that much more to exchange the whole gear, and, as far as I understood, we are talking only about replacing the right shifter.

3) Would it be possible to repair the shifter? Can you open, repair and close Apex shifters with normal tools? I'm obviously a layman, but with this pricetag, I might at least give it a shot before having it replaced...

I'd appreciate any feedback I can get!:tup

Thanks for reading :glasses: and possibly replying :love: to this long question,

Basti :tup
 

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,613
1,192
143
Setagaya
#2
Sounds like a scam, whether malicious or bumbling. What shop is it?

If you have the time, get some advice from your local town hall (if you are in Tokyo they should have advice in English), your local police station, or your bicycle/home insurance coverage on what to do next.

If you don't have the time for that, and don't care about the money hit, get the bike back and either get advice here like TCC says or take it to a reputable bike shop for proper maintenance.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#3
Yeah exactly.

Let us help you with the technical stuff. Between us we know everything there is to know about bikes.

Get your bike back immediately.
 

George5

Maximum Pace
Oct 16, 2014
385
141
73
46
#4
I think the shop dude screwed up your bike. If you can't fix a puncture I think anything more might be outside your comfort zone. Where are you?
Get your bike back and then take to a shop we can recommend based on where you live. By the time you buy tools, buy replacement parts to cover your mistakes it's going to be cheaper to get a professional to do it. What is the shop you took it to?
 

bustee

Cruising
Sep 24, 2013
31
6
18
42
#5
Wow, thanks for the many quick and helpful replies.

I picked up the bike today and I also think that something was fishy. At least it looked like the guy was really happy to have me out of the shop. At least he didn't say anything when I saw him and said that I just want to pick up the bike.

The shop, btw, is ProTech in Gotanda (http://www.protech-kk.co.jp/shop.html) and I thought that it was a decent shop, not a mamachari one. But maybe I was wrong.

Concerning my skills with fixing bikes. I am not too skilled, the most I did was adjusting brakes and changing tires, but that worked fine. I never dared to do anything with gears, because I thought I could screw something up. The main reason I didn't do the tire myself was that I didn't have any tools at home and I thought that a shop does it better than I could do anyways.. When I picked up the bike the first time (before I knew about the damaged shifter) I bought a bike tool set, just in case (http://www.topeak.com/products/Mini-Tools/hexus2), so I have some tools now, but not sure if that would be enough.

Concerning the bike:

I checked the gears today again and everything shifts properly if I pull the wire by hand.. Just the lever picking up the wire does not seem to work.

So, if you think that I could repair it by myself, I'd be happy to try and send pictures and whatever you request. If you think that it is too technical for me or that I need much more tools, then I'd be happy if you could tell me a good bike shop not too far from Togoshi (that is where I live) where I could bring my bike to.

Many thanks!

Basti

PS:

TCC:

Not having tools to fix a puncture is ridiculous. What do you take with you when you are riding?
-- Well, I mainly ride to and from work or to sports, so never more than 10-15 km at a time... So I bring nothing (which might, indeed, be stupid)

Aside from that...

1. Was the puncture on the rear wheel? If it was, and your bike now magically doesn't shift on the rear, after you left it with the bike shop, this looks very suspicious.
-- Yes, it was on the rear wheel, that's also what made me suspicious.


2. What kind of bike shop? If it was a Mamachari shop, they mainly don't have a clue what they are doing and probably the guy has shagged your bike, despite denying it.
-- ProTech in Gotanda (http://www.protech-kk.co.jp/shop.html). They have many fine bikes there, so it is not a mamachari one (I suppose).


3. If 1 and 2 are yes, I would get your bike back from the guy immediately and figure out the problem yourself, with help from us on this website.
-- Thanks, I did that now ;)

GrantT:

Sounds like a scam, whether malicious or bumbling. What shop is it?
-- See above

If you have the time, get some advice from your local town hall (if you are in Tokyo they should have advice in English), your local police station, or your bicycle/home insurance coverage on what to do next.
-- I cannot prove that it worked before, so I guess I have to live with it...
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#6
Pulling the cable by hand moves the rear mech?

When you click through the gears on the lever, does it start shifting eventually, or is there no shifting at all?

Also, when you pull the cable by hand, does it feel like it is rooted inside the shifter somewhere? It would have to be to enable you to make the rear mech move.

I reckon this; the shop is a scam. They saw how little you knew and thought they could make some money from you. They undid the bolt that attaches the cable to the rear mech, let a load of cable through then tightened it again.

Get some photos of the rear mech, where the cable connects and post here.

This could be as simple as pulling more cable through.
 

bustee

Cruising
Sep 24, 2013
31
6
18
42
#7
Okay, thanks!


Pulling the cable by hand moves the rear mech?
Yes, the last photo shows how far i can pull the cable without too much strength and the third photo shows how much the rear mech moved in that case.

When you click through the gears on the lever, does it start shifting eventually, or is there no shifting at all?
There is no shifting, i do hear a clicking sound, though, as if it would shift wdown, but it doesn't get to the point where it clicks again (indicating that it would shift up)

Also, when you pull the cable by hand, does it feel like it is rooted inside the shifter somewhere? It would have to be to enable you to make the rear mech move.
Yes, the cable seems to be firmly attached to the lever. I can only pull the cable coming from the rear side.

 

bustee

Cruising
Sep 24, 2013
31
6
18
42
#8
I reckon this; the shop is a scam. They saw how little you knew and thought they could make some money from you. They undid the bolt that attaches the cable to the rear mech, let a load of cable through then tightened it again.

Get some photos of the rear mech, where the cable connects and post here.

This could be as simple as pulling more cable through.
This might actually be true.. I searched for an old picture I took of the bike right after buying it and it looks like the end of the cable point to the lower right, while now it points upwards (see the other pictures). Maybe this also happened accidentally, but it does support your assumption.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#9
OK, here is what you do.

1. Click the DOWN shift on the shifter, until it is definitely at the lowest position. Click it about 50 times, just to be sure.

2. Undo the bolt on the rear mech.

3. Pull all the loose cable through until all the slack it taken up.

4. Tighten the bolt.

5. Try shifting now. Let us know what happens.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#10
Oh, and after step 2, but before step 3, screw IN the barrel adjuster on the rear mech all the way, so that light coloured metal inner barrel part is all the way inside the outer black plastic part.

I seriously think they have been messing with this. If they have, and are trying to scam you out of money to fix it, that is absolutely unacceptable.
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,537
1,207
433
Miura, Japan
#13
For reference, when I bought this bike - maybe 4 year ago now, it had 150 miles or so on it. The original owner claimed to have had a back injury at work and unable to ride it. I know the owner of the shop where it was purchased, so I called and verified it was legit and not stolen. He told me the guy bought it and talked a big game, but seemingly never road it. When I bought it, he claimed to have put maybe 200 miles on it, however the original tires show "No Wear" at all. Slightly discolored on the center line where it was ridden in a less than clean parking lot?

Since I had bought it, it was bike #3 for me. I dropped at most 2000 miles on it. So when it left my hands it was still in pretty much perfect order and barely broken in.
Not knowing how much you rode it - there is absolutely no reason I can think of for a failure of the shifter. Assuming you never abused it, I lay it at the hands of that shop as others have suggested.
I just want to point out the low mileage the bike was when you took ownership. It simply pushes even more toward the shop doing something suspect or a hell of a coincidence.

As I said in the post above - if you make it down to Zushi - I will give you a hand replacing cables.
I also have some spare housing around, so we can extend that front brake housing!!!
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,537
1,207
433
Miura, Japan
#15
Nope - it is a bike I actually owned.
Those wheels are from my old Scott CX Team Pro. Ultegra hubs and 32 spokes.
And when we met, he was a tad taller than me, so were flipped the stem - hence the stress on the front brake housing.
We rolled back the bar tape a hair to give it some relief.

BTW - that color is bad ass in person.
Actually - @TCC - when you were at my place in Chinatown, it was on the wall!
 

bustee

Cruising
Sep 24, 2013
31
6
18
42
#16
Hey,

sorry for not replying earlier. I tried to do what TCC recommended, but have not the right size of tools, so I get some tomorrow and try to do that then.

Just one more thing I realized: The gear is stuck in the 2nd lowest gear. I tried to shift down, but it didn't work, so I tried to just put it by hand, but the chain moved back into 2nd lowest gear when i spun the pedals.

I'll get some more tools tomorrow and then try to do it after work.

One more thing I found suspicious in retrospect (but was a bit ashamed to admit :/):
When I returned with the bike and asked about the gear, the first thing he did was to loosen the screw at the shifter cable (the one at the place where the shifters on old bikes are). I then asked him what might have happened and he said that the he doesn't really know, but the shifter isn't picking up the cable. Now comes the embarrassing part: I wanted to check whether I feel any torque on the cable connecting shifter and gears, so I held the cable and tried to shift. The embarrassing part here is that I held the cable for the brake, not for the shifter. And he didn't tell me that that was the wrong cable.. I think anyone else would have just told me that that is the wrong cable to hold (I suppose),

Thanks for the help!
Basti

PS: Hey bloaker :D

Yeah, it is your old bike, and I have to add, I really like it also the color is cool (in a fresh and minty way). Was awesome of you to sell it for that price... So you moved to Zushi? Great place in summer :tup. Thanks for the offer of helping me to fix it!

Concerning the mileage, I maybe rode it for another 2000km, but def not more, as I more or less only use it in the city. I also never experienced any problems while shifting, so it came as a big surprise after visiting the shop.

If you can, inspect the shift wire in the brifter. I had similar, but not to the extreme @bustee is experiencing. Turns out the wire was frayed in the brifter and felt like it was seized up. Pulling the wire would cause the dérailleur to shift.
Thanks! How do I inspect the brifter? I see a screw if i roll back the rubber on the top, but since I don't know what itis for, I didn't dare to just unscrew it.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#17
sorry for not replying earlier. I tried to do what TCC recommended, but have not the right size of tools, so I get some tomorrow and try to do that then.
You don't have a 5mm allen keyt?!?!

Come on mate, sort it out.
 
May 22, 2007
3,595
1,422
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#18
These symptoms sound very much like the time I had a cable disintegrate inside the brifter. And like the other time I had a cable rust solid inside its housing.

I strongly suspect that after some swearing and some snipping away of bits of cable, eventually it will all be fine. But then I've never worked with SRAM components so maybe there's a special voodoo dat deydoo.

You will learn a lot from this process... and build a slightly more robust toolkit.
 
May 22, 2007
3,595
1,422
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#19
Can you undo the bolt I've circled in red? If so, undo it and detach the cable completely. Does the rear mech now shift down to the lowest cog?

How about if you remove the cable completely from the barrel adjuster I've circled in green. (If you yank on it, the crimped green cable cap will come off. That's OK. Pull it all out.)



We will work backwards up the cable to find the root of your problem.