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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got an el cheapo street bike with derailleur shift.

How do you check to see if your shift lever on handelbars is in correct position or not ? I guess what I'm asking is timing of the shifter....

I'm sure there's some simple way of telling if it's right or not.
 

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First get us the brand of bike, and model. Next go back and look on the rear of the bike and the derailleur should have a make and maybe model on it too on the part that moves the chain from gear to gear. Are you having a problem with comfort or function???
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK. Bike is a Huffy 56294K / 04B. Embossed in the frame where pedal are is KK04B07632. The only thing on the shifter is FIS / Falcon Index Shifter. The derailleur has 6 different size sprockets on it.

I'm just an old guy trying to fix these el cheapos up. I'm changing the chains, and wondered if I need to fix the shifter. Don't know if it's doesn't work or not. The chains are rusty, so got a chain breaker, and need to replace. In case the shifter is not working right, I would like to know what to do to it.

Tires have wx rot (big time), too. So, am replacing those.
 

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First of all, there is a lot more going on here than you expect. Bicycle maintenance is not as simple as it once was. The FIS Falcon Index Shifter means this is an indexed shifting, which is both good and bad. The good is that when you click the shifter knob on the handle bar, the system knows just how far it needs to move to get it into the next gear. In years gone by, you just moved the lever till the gear shifted. After a while you got good at it and it was easier to maintain, but there was a big learning curve. Indexed eliminated all that. Click the lever and it should go into the right gear. The down side is that there are a number of different places for adjustments, and cable stretching means fine tuning from time to time, but when they work right they are a joy to ride.

First to check and see if it is frozen, either get someone to hold the rear wheel off the ground and turn the pedals about a rotation per second. Then try to shift. Bikes do not shift unless the wheels and pedals are turning. Does the shifter move? Does it actually shift? Does it make funny sounds? ect Is there more than one cog on the front by the pedals? These are called chain rings and have a separate derailleur to shift the chain between those. Two gears on the front and 6 on the back gives you a 12 speed bike. The back gears shift with the right hand and the left shifts the front gears. Both will need attention.

Changing the tires is smart. IF the chain is badly rusted probably not a bad idea with that too, but a Huffy isn't a high end bike. It is easy to run up a bill large enough that a better idea would be to get a new bike. That being said, there is something to be said for fixing one up. What I am about to tell you, you probably will not like. I would suggest you get a pro to help you get this tuned up right the first time, and ideally find one that will teach you what he is doing and why. Will you eventually figure it out? Probably, but the time, cussing, frustration, and in general just getting ticked off at your bike is not good for your long term riding enjoyment. Getting established with a pro will go a long way toward your riding experience. If its sounds like I have been there and done that, you win the door prize because I have.

Two more things. Check the brake and gear shifting cables. Bikes subject to weather these cables tend to rust and over time and at some point break or make that bike that was in adjustment one ride out of adjustment the next. If you think its worth changing the chain, it probably is worth changing he cables.

When you change the tires, two more things to do. If the tires are weather checked, its a good time to do two other things. First after the tire is off, the wheels should have a tape like material called rim tape that covers the spokes. That tape is to prevent flats and without it the spokes going through the rim can puncture brand new tubes. Some of my wheels actually have double rim tape, but its probably over doing it. The other thing that you might consider is a tire liner. Bike tires have come a long way and some are made of Kevlar now days. Makes flats far less likely, but they cost. Another option to consider is called a tire liner. It is a piece of plastic type material that goes between the tire and the tube. The sharp rock that would have cut both the tire and the tube, now has something to protect the part that keeps you riding instead of fixing a flat road side.

Others please chime in. I don't find anything for that specific Huffy. Anyone else know more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your thoughts. Lots of good advice. I will take it to the shop for the shifter.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.
 

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Let us know what you find out when you get it working right. I think you will find that the wrench will help you a great deal and if you have other questions just ask. Lots of folks here know a great deal.
 
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