I just bought a 2020 Kona Lava Dome (the details of this bike/components are at the end of this question) and I can't use the low (small) front sprocket. Under any load (like a hill climb) the chain slips. This came up on my very first ride. It doesn't come off or change gears, it just slips. I've tried to find answers/suggestions online and other questions on here, but they all suggest the following:
- Replace worn components - not applicable, everything is brand new
- derailleur adjustments (front and back) - The bike was assembled by the shop, I independently re-set everything, and the bike shop inspected the drive train again when I brought this issue to them, no obvious misalignment/misadjustment
- Wrong/stuck link/worn chain - It had a brand new chain, the bike shop tried replacing the stock chain with a Shimano chain to see if it would fit their components better, it did not fix the issue.
- bent hanger - Again, the bike is brand new and the shop assembled it and later reinspected it when trying to repair this issue.
I tried looking around to see if this was a known issue on this particular bike or crank set and I couldn't find anything. The bike shop is going to contact Kona and Shimano to try and figure out a solution. For the time being, I'm stuck with only using the large front sprocket. With the bike/parts shortage going on right now, I'm worried I'm going to be stuck with this issue for a long time, especially if the solution is to throw parts at it and hope it works. (for those outside the USA, there is a nationwide bike shortage here in the states)
I'm hoping someone may have come across this before, maybe with this specific bike or components and might have a suggestion/idea what is wrong or something I can try to fix it.
The bike is totally stock; the full details are on the Kona website but the relevant components are:
- Shimano HG200 11-36t 9spd freewheel
- Shimano Altus shifters and front drive
- Shimano Alivio rear drive
- Shimano bottom bracket
Update: my bike shop's contact at Kona said he has never seen this problem on any of their bikes. When they contacted Shimano, they sent out a complete crank assembly (which hopefully includes the bottom bracket and bearings) to replace the one on the bike. I will report back once it arrives and the shop installs it to see if that resolves the issue.