I purchased a Specialized Pitch 2017 basic model 1 1/2 weeks ago.

When I'm in gear 13 (most comfortable gear to ride on), and put extra pressure on the ride (standing up, pedal faster, harder) it feels like the rear gears have slipped a gear.

It makes the customary 'click' but I've checked both before and after and the chain is on the same sprocket. I have even turned it upside down but cant replicate it under pressure.

I know there are bedding in issues, but this shouldn't be the case under 5-6 weeks or 100 miles (160 km).

Would anyone know what the issue is? I have it booked in for a service next Saturday so will keep an eye on it this weekend and next week. Just hoping for a quick fix before I have to take it back to the shop.

  • "Gear 13" as the most comfortable - do you mean its the gear you find best for flat and smooth riding? Or its the easiest gear? According to specialized.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/trail/pitch-650b/118355 your bike is a 3x8 so normally gears are stated as ChainringTeeth/CogTeeth. That might be 44 or 32 or 22 for the chainring, and a number between 11 and 34 on the cassette. So the hardest gear is 44/11 and easiest is 22/34
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 21:21
  • How heavy are you? When I was 20 kilos heavier I could make lightweight bikes ghost shift purely by standing up and pushing.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


This is likely caused by your one of your derailleurs (probably rear) being very slightly out of alignment, which is not unsurprising for a new bike. Cables tend to stretch slightly* during the break in period on the bike and they're responsible for keeping the derailleurs aligned. This is a large part of the reason that bike shops will encourage you to bring the bike back in after the break in; it's expected that the breaks and shifters will need some tweaking at that point.

In the mean time, as long as it isn't ghost shifting and you aren't too bothered by the noise itself, I wouldn't worry myself about it. The bike will be fine for the few days until you get the service done.

*Interestingly, "cable stretch" is a bit of a misnomer. In fact, most of the change is caused by the cable housing compressing under load. The end result is the same, however, and describing it as "cable strech" is more intuitive to most people.


Most bike shops offer a free tuneup at the 4-8 week period. This helps resolve any minor issues like cable stretch or rattles, and is one of the advantages for buying from a traditional shop.

If you bought the bike on-line, then you'll have to do it yourself or pay to have a bike shop look at it.

Sounds like the low stop on the rear derailleur is not quite correct, and the RD needs to move a very small amount to the left.

If you're mechanically inclined this is straightforward. Suspend the bike from a workstand, or hang it so that the rear wheel is free to rotate and the pedals won't strike anything.

  1. Limit Screws Put the gears into the large cog, use a screwdriver to adjust the LOW screw, a quarter turn at a time. Your HIGH limit screw is probably OK since it allows the smallest cog.

    Be mindful that you don't want to put the moving parts into the wheel under load so don't overadjust.

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  1. Indexing This step moves all gear positions by tweaking the inner cable. You should be able use your right hand on the gear control, your left hand to pedal slowly in the workstand/air, and see the chain move up and down correctly.

    If you push to go up to a larger cog/easier gear, and it doesn't quite move far enough, then you need more tension, so back-out the cable adjuster a half-turn.

    Likewise, let out the cable tension a bit to move the gear selections towards the smallest cog.

    This can be an iterative step, but once you're right the gears should change from smallest to largest and back again accurately. Then change front chainring and do it all over again.

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  1. Finally Test ride it.

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