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I'm relatively new to cycling so this question may be obvious to some of you.

When I get into certain gears my chain or drive train makes a noise that I can only to compare to the noise a rollercoaster makes when it starts going up the first hill. (That analogy will either make perfect sense to you or you won't get it at all)

It happens specifically when I get into higher gears on the rear rear cassette.

What could be causing it to make this ungodly noise?

  • Are you on the small gears at the back and the small gear at the front when this happens? – David Richerby Sep 27 '16 at 13:51
  • It usually happens when I am in the middle gear at the front and the smaller gears in the back. – npsantini Sep 27 '16 at 13:59
  • Do you hear the same noise when you're in your biggest ring and the same rear cogs? If not the chain is probably rubbing the large ring and/or the front derailer. – Jamie A Sep 27 '16 at 14:41
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    Your best bet is to get the bike up into a stand, or failing that have someone lift the back wheel up while you pedal, and try to isolate by ear what part specifically is clicking. Pay attention to the derailers and places the chain might be rubbing the cog next to it. – Jamie A Sep 27 '16 at 16:05
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    I'm going to guess it's your front derailleur rubbing on the chain, and the solution is to shift the left hand shifter one click - not enough to shift onto the bigger chainring, just enough to move the derailleur slightly and stop the chain hitting it. – Móż Sep 27 '16 at 21:40
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As per the answer by @ian above, not all combinations are viable. Generally speaking you are advised to not use large - large and small - small combinations.

When using both large rings you risk the chain rubbing on the front derailleur and the rear one could be pulled tight enough to cause some catching too.

When on both small rings the rear derailleur can fold right back and cause the to jockey wheel to catch on the chain as it runs underneath.

It's a dark art but check the angle of the front derailleur. If it's fish-tailing out then it could do with some re-aligning. The height above the chain ring could also cause a bit of an issue if it's too high.

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It sounds like you may be cross chaining?.. A bike with a double chain ring setup and, lets say, ten rear cogs, or gears, may be called 20 speed but not all those combinations are usable. When on the big chainring, depending on the line the chain takes between the chainrings at the front and the cassette at the rear you can usually only use the smallest rear cog up to perhaps the 4th largest rear cog. If you try to use a bigger cog ( ie, lower or easier gear) the chainline is too extreme and you may hear a rubbing noise as a result. Best to shift to your smaller front chainring. With the small chainring you should be able to use the biggest rear cog down to perhaps the 3rd or 4th smallest rear cog. Hope that makes sense! Sunshine and tailwinds bro!

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