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Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-15-2013, 11:53 AM Reply   
After spending the last few years doing more and more paved riding it was time to finally get into a road bike. I picked up a used 2011 Specialized secteur.

1. Shifting - my derailers need some adjusting but thats onyl part of the issue. Maybe I am not quite used to it, but shifting is deinifntely easier on my mountain bike. Do road bikers just not shift nearly as much? I find myself having to switch gears on the front cog more than I EVER have had to on my mountain bike, is this normal for being on a road bike?

2. Braking - There was definitely a few times where I felt a little skiddish in situations where I needed to stop. Regardless if I was up on the hoods or down low, it doesnt seem like the levers are very easily reachable. I didnt even look if there was a reach adjustment yet, but I dont think adjusting the reach would even help all that much. Any pointers?

3. Bumps and terrain - Keep in mind, I have never been on a road bike prior to now. But I kinda felt like I was doing something wrong or the whole bike was going to fall to pieces even going over the small transitions at a road crossing for example at speed. Is it super easy to damage something going over small bumps like this, or am i just not used ot the fact that a road bike doesnt absorb anything?

On another note, dang.. some things are so effortless and fun on a road bike. It is a whole new perspective railing corners and being able to climb with such little effort.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-15-2013, 11:54 AM Reply   
It has Shimano Sora components and Tiagra rear derailer if that helps with anything. I know its not a super high end component group, but it will have to work for now.
Old     (magic)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-16-2013, 9:40 AM Reply   
Shifting -- Your Mountain bike likely has a very wide rear cassette. Means you have a wider range of gear ratios to choice from without changing the front ring. I lot of road bikes will have cassettes very tightly spaced.
Example of a SRAM Road 12/26 10 speed cassette: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26
A similar MTB cassette might be 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 25, 28, 32 or 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36

Those hoods and brake levers are not adjustable (if I remember right). To increase braking you can:
Clean the rims and pads, you might be surprised how much this helps.
Adjust the pads so they are closer to the rims when not in use
Change the pads to new ones.

To smooth out the road bumps a bit on the same frame/fork/wheels you can put some wider tires on there and run slightly lower tire pressure. Put some 25mm tires on there if it has 23mm and run them like 90 front and 100 rear. If you are running 23mm at 120psi right now, try 100 front and 110 rear. Depending on your weight you might be able to go a little lower. I've been switching most of the tires we use from 23mm to 25mm. Only time 23mm wide tires now are on race wheels designed for that width tire, otherwise it's 25mm and a bit lower pressure.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-17-2013, 9:38 PM Reply   
Thanks for the tips Sean.

I did 20 miles tonight and everything felt way better.

I actually didn't realize that the stop on the rear derailer was making it so I couldn't even get into the lowest gear. That made a big difference. I didn't move into the small ring on the front until the way end of my ride when I was cooling down / riding much slower.

I have a much better feel for operating the brifter type of shift setup versus my mountain bike setup
Old     (bbr)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-17-2013, 10:09 PM Reply   
Sean is right about the tires. For reference I'm 180lbs and run my front tire at 95psi and rear at 100psi on my 23mm tires. Too low psi and you run the risk of pinch flats and too much, you'll have a rough ride. I plan on building a wheel set with 23mm rims and 25mm tires here soon, and that should make the ride even better as well.

As with changing gears on the front, if you're in the flats, 90% of the time you should be in the large gear on the crank. There is an unwritten rule that you should never go small/small or large/large as the drivetrain doesn't usually handle it too well.

Good luck and have fun.
Old     (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       07-20-2013, 12:59 AM Reply   
I believe that bike already runs 25s. I've got a '12 Secteur and really haven't had much problem with the Sora for as cheap as it is. I'd recommend taking it to your LBS and having them do a full tune if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.

Though I'm shopping a new road and tri bike right now as I've started to outgrow the Sectuer, it has been a great entry level bike and has held up well with my 3000+ miles a year over the last couple years.

I would also recommend changing the tires out. I went from the stock Specialized tires to the Continental 4000S and it has made a huge difference overall. Much less prone to puncture as well.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-21-2013, 8:58 AM Reply   
I have the rear derailer dialed in now... never mis-shifts and very crisp.

Yes it does have the 25's. I will have to play with the tire pressure a little.

Now I noticed that my rear rim is making a click noise, i found I have a couple loose spokes. I think the previous owner kept the bike mainly on smooth roads as where I am going on some stuff that may be a little bumpy. I guess I refuse to ride directly on the road if there isnt a designated path and sometimes those arent the smoothest.
Old     (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       07-21-2013, 1:41 PM Reply   
I ride some pretty rough stuff as well and haven't had many spoke issues, though this is a pretty easy fix. I run 120 most of the time in the tires, though if you aren't worried about speed, I have run 100 for a smoother ride.


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