Sports FAQ
Home / Bike Maintenance

2009 Fuji Silhouette Chain problem: HELP!!

Karen D2011-01-19 19:21:24 +0000 #1
I purchased the 09 Fuji Silhouette at the end of January and have had a considerable amount of trouble with the front derailleur/chain/front crank set.

When getting a bike fit 2 weeks ago I was told my chain was worn out. Impossible! I dont ride that hard and haven't put anywhere near 2000/3000miles on it. It was in fact worn out.

My chain has gotten jammed a LOT this season when shifting from the large ring to the small ring. I of course thought it was me, and my inability to shift properly.

All these mechanics have tried many different ideas to fix it- to no avail. Yesterday someone else came into the bike shop with the same problem. Same bike.

I NEED MORE FEEDBACK!!!! Anyone else out there have this bike? Any problems? Help!!!
dianne_12342011-01-19 19:35:21 +0000 #2
From google: "Crankset: FSA Gossamer..."

That's a big part of the problem right there. You're not the problem. FSA shifting is infamously worse than the industry benchmark, Shimano.

I'd see if the shop will install genuine Shimano chain rings or crankset.

Edited to add: If the shop deals with many road bikes, they already know about this problem. They've dealt with it numerous times before. They might even have gotten credit from Fuji to help pay for the Shimano chain rings or crankset. Nearly every bike brand that specs non-Shimano chain rings ends up with a load of complaints and has a strategy for dealing with them. If you follow the strategy to the end (jump through all the hoops about special adjustment, special shifting technique, special chain, etc., etc.) it always ends with "replace crank with Shimano" and a happy rider.
lunacycles2011-01-19 20:01:12 +0000 #3
Might I add: chains are cheap, relatively speaking. They wear out frequently, regardless of how "hard" you ride. Replacing them frequently keeps your drivetrain happy and keeps other parts from wearing out prematurely. Replace it every year if you ride a moderate amount, every six months if you ride a lot.

I ride a FSA Gossamer crank and have never had any issues with it. I ride an FSA carbon crank on my mountain bike and have never had major issues with it, although I do occasionally experience "chain suck" (whereby the chain wraps around the smallest chainring and gets jammed between chainring and the frame) if I shift into it under a lot of load. Shimano cranks have fancy ramps that do help with shifting under load in certain conditions and chain suck probably happens less frequently as a result, but FSA makes fine cranks and I wouldn't hesitate recommending them.

If you are shifting to your small ring from your large ring under load, let up a bit on the pedals while this shift happens, and you will have a lot fewer issues with jamming or chain suck.

Don't get worked up over a chain. Just replace it. And try a different brand if you are convinced it is causing problems (Shimano chains, indeed, are pretty flawless). it is a simple, inexpensive fix (or should be!), and should happen on a regular basis regardless of any issues you are having with shifting.
ridebikeme2011-01-19 20:30:59 +0000 #4
I definitely AGREE with Luna... the drivetrains of today are much more user friendly BUt you definitely wear them out fairly quick. There are lots of other drivetrain companies out there, and in reality, they are all pretty good! Campy, FSA, Truvativ, Sram, etc... if they weren't then they still wouldn't be around because there is LOTS of competition. I would NOT hesitate to replace the chain, chain rings generally last at least a couple of seasons.(depends on the brand and quality) IF you want to check this yourself, then either buy the Park tool to measure chains or measure out 12'' of your chain with a ruler, measure from the center of the pin to center of another pin. If the ruler does nOT hit exactly in the center of the pin, then it's time to replace your chain.

Good luck with all of this!

Good Luck!
Karen D2011-01-19 21:16:47 +0000 #5
I had the chain replaced as soon as it was confirmed to be worn out. During this maintenance a whole load of other adjustments were made, mainly tweaks and minor things, but a LOT of them. I have been to 2 main shops. The bike was purchased new from Performance and I have a great relationship with their mechanics. I had a professional bike fit and maintenance performed at a triathlon specific bike shop.

2 days after my chain was replaced, the professional bike fit was complete, and all the updated mechanics were done, my chain jammed during a triathlon race, at the base of a climb. I was not driving hard on the crank, nor was the grade of the road very steep at this point.

I just can't imagine that me (5'1, 120lbs) am putting such a load on the crank that it is jamming so consistently. It has been about 3 months worth of the same issue, and it just isn't adding up to me.

This week we replaced the small chain ring with a new small chain ring and the problem has completely flip-flopped. The chain is dropping down without problem and NOW will not transition from small to large fluidly. Again- I consider first, what I might be doing incorrectly. I went through a check-list

-am I shifting hard enough to move the chain completely

-am I applying too much pressure to the crank at the time of shifting

The only thing that allowed a smooth transition was switching to a near-coasting position and slowly rotating the chain into place. Ugh!

Keep sending ideas!!! I really appreciate the insight!
tulip2011-01-19 21:34:18 +0000 #6
This is not a criticism--just an observation.

It seems to me like you might have a heavy shifting style. It's like a clutch in the car--it doesn't matter how much you weigh; if you don't do it right, you'll wear out things like clutches and chains.

One has to soft-pedal when one shifts. Andy Schleck didn't do that, and that's why he dropped his chain, potentially costing him the Tour.

I've learned to soft pedal to shift and haven't had a problem in the 25+ years I've been riding bikes--and I've had lots of bikes, from crappy ones to perfect ones (thanks, Margo!)

What if you ride another bike like you normally do and see what happens?



Other posts in this category