I‘m a heavy (260 pound) male rider using my 2011 NORCO 24 gear hybrid to commute to and from work. It’s a 6 mile trip each way with a +450 foot climb in the last 2-3 miles coming home. The ride is all on hard surfaces with an occasional curb. I have ridden this commute about 80-100 times.
I have been having issues with the rear-shifter and chain. Also with spokes on the rear rim. Started with the rear-shifter breaking off but despite three visits to the dealer’s shop and one to a different place, new cables, replaced spokes and so on I still have problems. After a couple of rides the spokes rattle and the gears go out of sync. The issues with the gears seem to happen when going up the hills (when I assume the most pressure is on the bike).
Two questions: If I assume the two repair shops are competent then what might be causing the gears from going out of sync 3-4 trips after I get them adjusted? What’s causing the spokes to loosen up? I suspect the strain on the bike climbing (taking in mind my weight). What type of bike would be appropriate considering the combination of climb and level riding plus the weight?
To answer some questions and some further info:
What do you mean by "the gears go out of sync"??: The gears don’t correspond to the setting I have. I gear but see the chain hasn’t moved. I might have to switch back and forth before I get the desired setting. Chain falls off the gears. There is also a lot of creaking and groaning (and not from me!).
Do you change the gears while climbing / fast pedaling? Not so much while fast pedaling but definitely while climbing. It’s not a steady climb so I try to gain as much speed as possible and then drop the gears fast while climbing.
have you replaced the chain and rear cluster yet? No. I probably need to change the chain. There is a chink in the chain after the last fail.
I’m ready and willing to replace parts if required. However if the cost start mounting I wonder if I’m better off getting a more robust bike.
Thanks for all the great suggestions and ideas! Since it’s a rather spread and open question I can’t really pick any one as best but I wanted to post one final question and my action plan: I will go back to the dealer and replace the chain and rear rim with higher performance items, plus have the bike overhauled. Think his mech is competent but will insist on talking to him directly. So yes – I intend to extend the life of my NORCO.
For my type of riding – paved roads, occasional curb, hill climbing… is the hybrid the ideal bike-form?