Kids bikes and gears…

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  • Kids bikes and gears…
  • b r
    Member

    Is he also waiting too late to change down, ie pressure on the pedals?

    My son did this – and tbh I still do 🙂

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Is he also waiting too late to change down

    Dunno, he just doesn’t have the strength in his hand/arm to move the shifter down (going up, the spring tension pulls it). I put the bike in the workstand to show him how it all works. He seemed to understand it, but even with me turning the pedals, he just couldn’t change gear.

    email sent to Islabikes…

    Premier Icon transporter13
    Subscriber

    I had this same problem with my 2.
    Eldest had 7 spd cassette
    Youngest had a 6 speed screw on freewheel.

    I used eBay for a 6 spd thumbshifter and for a 7 spd sram shifter.

    Worked great and both kids can change gear as they please now.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Hmm, Practical Cycles have got some 7-spd indexed thumbshifters on their ebay shop. I’ll need a new mech, but I’m sure an upgrade to XT won’t be impossible…

    beefheart
    Member

    Mine struggled with Gripshift too, so I swapped it to a SRAM trigger shifter which he finds much easier.

    Premier Icon transporter13
    Subscriber

    What shifters have you got on your bike? If sram then see if he can manage to change your gears? That way you could save buying a new mech and just put a wanted up for the particular shifter you need?

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    What shifters have you got on your bike

    Rohloff, Shimano 105 and none.
    Not much use on an Islabike…

    (He can probably manage the Rohloff shifter, but I can’t really justify another speedhub!)

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    My 5-year old son has just got an Islabike Beinn20 (small) for his birthday. Its secondhand, but in immaculate condition.
    I’m trying to dissuade him from changing gears too much to start with but he does sometimes. Sometimes by accident, sometimes because he’s realised he can go faster if he changes up.

    The problem is, he can’t change down, leaving him a bit stuck when he stops. I don’t know if its the Sram 1:1 pull ratio, or what, but it is actually quite hard changing down. I’ve checked and the cables are free and easy, as is the gripshifter. It seems that the spring on the X4 mech is just very stiff. (mech bushings seem fine too)

    Can it be replaced with a weaker one? Are other gear systems more suitable for little hands and arms? I can’t believe Islabikes don’t have the best one for kids though…

    PTR
    Member

    I put Sram triggers on my boy’s Isla bike when he was 6, he says that he finds it easier.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Trigger shifters are the way forward.
    One of my kids has even decided that his ‘new’ xtr shifters from retrobike are better than his brothers x4…..

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Trigger shifters, or proper old-school thumbshifters?

    TiRed
    Member

    Mine was the opposite, gripshift were fine, but struggled to press the thumbshifters.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Hmm. I’ll properly strip and lube the cables and shifter again tonight, just in case…

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    OP – same prob. I properly stripped and re-lubed all with a light lube. It made just enough difference to make the downshifts work. Now he’s used to it, its all fine.

    pistola
    Member

    Same problem for my two on a Beinn 20 6sp – put in new cable with Middleburn oilers and lubed with GT85 every so often. Did the trick.

    flatpat
    Member

    Ha! My 7yo is now riding around the trails in 1st gear, so that he never gets caught out by hills. It is, however, preferable to the first habit he picked up on a geared bike of “turning it up to 6” at every opportunity and then moaning on every slight rise. We’ll get there eventually…

    tinsy
    Member

    I am from a time when the Sturmey Archer 3 speed ruled supreme on everything from the Chopper to low rent racers. I think a new lightweight verion of that with just a few gear choices would be well suited to a kids bike.

    Do they make a 3 speed Nexus?

    dyna-ti
    Member

    Gripshift 😕 Theyve only little wrists. Give him a hammer and 1000 3″ nails and he’ll be changing like a pro 😀

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    hub gears = heavy
    Islabikes = lightweight

    flicker
    Member

    Same problem for my two, changed them both to SRAM triggers and they rattle through the gears now.

    Premier Icon pedlad
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    Sounds a good plan as my boy doesn’t seem to like the grip shift on his new bike.

    So are 7spd SRAM triggers compatible with a shimano front and rear derailleurs?

    moniex
    Member

    My boys are older now, but never really got on with the grip shifts. Hard to change and accidentally changed when jumping their bikes too.

    captcaveman
    Member

    Change the gear cables, it worked for my boys Islabike and he can now change up and down. Even if the bike looks good, the cables may be mucky or rusted inside. 10 minute job and costs a couple of quid

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    I screwed the adjuster in to stop my lad shifting down too far.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
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    So, further investigation has shown that its the section of cable outer nearest to the mech that is causing the sticking issues. Pulled the cable out so i can give it a good clean, but the end is kinked from the clamp bolt and it won’t go back in. No problem, I think, I’ll just fit a new cable from my stock of spares.
    HOW CHUFFING HARD IS IT FIT A CABLE TO A SRAM 3.0 COMP SHIFTER?

    Very, it seems.

    Bike is now singlesppeeded whilst I source a (better) replacement shifter. Either Sram X3 from CRC, or old-school thumbshifter with an old XT mech I’ve got.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I stuck a 7 speed freewheel and an old thumb shifter from a hardrock onto my lad’s bike – worked much better than the gripshift.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Official response from Islabike is that the cable can be replaced.
    According to sram, its easy:
    4. Push cable up/out of the shifter and discard.
    5. Feed the new cable through the cable entry and out the barrel adjuster.

    this looks more useful though:

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Bicycles/Maintenance_and_Repair/Shifters/SRAM_Gripshift_3.0_’comp’_Cable_Replacement

    I’ll have another go this evening. If that fails, I’ll get an X4 shifter from CRC.

    PTR
    Member

    Gripshifts and cable changes, mmmmm…
    I ended up fitting a new gripshift, they come with the cable fitted. The end was frayed after the end cap fell off, I thought it would be a ten minute job to fit a new cable just to tidy it up. I was very wrong.
    Another reason to go for triggers.

    captcaveman
    Member

    yes i changed the cable. Cut the cable and push it into the shifter body while in gear 7? i think, the end pops out through a hole in the rubber, then just feed the end of the new one through – no need to take anything apart

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