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A big guy and a Vortex?(9 posts)

A big guy and a Vortex?litespeedchick
Oct 20, 2003 6:24 AM
My husband is worried about his new '04 Litespeed Vortex. He's ridden it 3 or 4 times, and is still having ghost shifting by as much as 3 or 4 cogs when he powers out of the saddle on climbs. At first he assumed the thing was not dialed in right, but now he is worried that the stays may be flexing.

He is 230-240 and extremely powerful. Litespeed says that the Vortex is super stiff, no weight restriction, and actually stiffer than the 3 year old Ultimate he traded for the Vortex.

Any big guys out there w/ experience on a Vortex?
No way...TJeanloz
Oct 20, 2003 6:30 AM
There is no way anybody is flexing any chainstays enough to ghost shift 3 or 4 cogs. Frame flex generally wouldn't manifest itself by a ghost shift of the cogs at all - it's more likely to cause chain rub on the front than at the rear.

I'm not a big guy, but there is absolutely no way that frame flex is the primary cause of a problem like that.
FWIW, I'm inclined to agree. It's something else...Cory
Oct 20, 2003 8:32 AM
I'm about your husband's size, even if it's been awhile since I'd describe myself as "extremely powerful." I flexed some frames in my day, though, and I can't see one bending enough to shift that far.
If he solves this, post a diagnosis. I'm sort of curious....
210lbs and no problem hereNASA Noddler
Oct 20, 2003 9:28 AM
My Vortex is rock solid.
Sounds like a shifter problem.bimini
Oct 20, 2003 10:04 AM
What kind of shifter? Is it a new bike and shifter unit?

I had a similar problem after I rebuilt my Campy Ergo shifter. Drove me nuts. Should have know I made a mistake since it started after the rebuild but it took mw a few weeks to come to the conclusion I did something wrong (It's a guy thing). I put the torsion spring upside down and it was causing ghost shifts when the cable saw even the slightest tension. Tore back into it with the diagram from the Campy Website, Doh! Flipped the spring over and it has been rock solid ever since.
Dura Ace, brand new, came on the bike (nm)litespeedchick
Oct 20, 2003 11:08 AM
Aaaah... there's the problem...No_sprint
Oct 20, 2003 11:43 AM
and the solution is easy. Switch to Campy and he'll be just fine. :)
Check your cable run from top to bottom...BowWow
Oct 20, 2003 12:59 PM
It sounds like the cable is acting up. I'd be very suspicious of the way the housing is seated in the shifter itself. Powering out of the saddle causes him to wrench on the handlebars, which, if the outer cables aren't completely seated, could cause the ghost shifting. Here's what I'd look at:

Is the outer cable completely inserted and seated in the shifter and the downtube adjusters? Is the outer cable from the chainstay to the derailleur completely inserted and seated at both ends? Does the inner cable run smoothly from the downtube adjuster, through the guide under the bottom bracket, and into the derailleur? You may also want to take a look at the outer cable ends (ferrules) to be sure the outer cable is completely inserted in the ferrule.

Shift the rear into top gear (smallest cog), and spin the crank to make sure the bike is in top gear. Is there any cable slack along the chainstay or downtube?

Tighten the cable as follows:

1. Turn the downtube cable adjuster clockwise until it stops, then turn counterclockwise 1 turn.

2. Turn the rear derailleur cable adjuster in the same way - clockwise until it stops, then counterclockwise one turn.

3. Loosen the cable clamp at the rear derailleur with an allen wrench, then pull the cable tight, eliminating any slack. Tighten the cable clamp.

4. Using the rear derailleur cable adjuster, trim the cable tension until it shifts properly. I check my shifting by starting in the small cog, then downshifting twice (9th to 7th), then upshifting once (to 8th), then down twice and back once, throught then entire cogset. Then I shift back to the smallest cog one gear at a time, making sure everything is smooth and quite in each gear. Usually the cable adjuster only needs to be tweaked a bit to get it right on. then use the downtube adjuster to do any final trimming while riding.

I'd also consider rubbing a dab of grease on the cable and guide under the bottom bracket. Sheldon Brown turned me on to that area when troubleshooting.

Good luck, and let us know what you find!

Oct 21, 2003 4:56 AM
My husband was thrilled w/ the info, is very appreciative of your trouble, and will report back when he has tried your suggestions.