toba bike gear shifting issue

Denise

New Member
For someone that wants to follow my first e-bike journey, here's my first thread:
http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/quebec-e-bike-shopping.591/#post-6757

I purchased a Toba Edwin this summer and it suits me according to size and maneuverability with the rear weight issue (battery and motor), because it's a low entry frame.

But I've been having problems with gear shifting that's bizarre and new to me. I'll report it on this thread and hope to get some knowledgeable feedback.

Shifting from 2nd to 1st is not reliable - the chain keeps getting stuck. And this may happen in a downward slope.

The pedal is blocked from moving forward and I have to stop and get off the bike and after a while walking with the bike, I can get back on and the pedal moves forward - bizarre


When I'm not so lucky, the chain becomes loose. The rear of this bike is too heavy (with motor and battery) to lift and try to get the chain back on my own. I cannot fix it until I get somebody to help me, which is usually my husband who has to drive to where I'm stranded.

I took the bicycle back to the store and I quickly reproduced the problem in front of them (riding it downhill). The person who sold it to me, looked at it and said the rivet is defective, and cannot be fixed and I can only ride on 1x7 or 2x7 or shift first from 2x8 down to 2x7 before going to 1x7.

Not being satisfied with his explanation, as I've never had this problem with previous bikes (Bacchetta Bellandare 27-sp, B. Giro, Minelli hybrid 21-sp, etc.) I decided to write the bicycle company.

He basically agreed with the Bike Shop salesperson:


...avoid riding both gears which were opposed (small gear on the back and small gear on the front)

I can confirm, what they (bike shop salesperson) said was right. Having your chain crossed like this may damage the derailleur and the sprockets faster and also give a bad shifting.

This is not specific to the Toba bike, it’s the same situation for every bike on the market.

Here is a draw of shifting that you should avoid:

image003.png

It’s always better to have your chain as straight as possible from back to front gears.

As a distributor, we don’t provide direct service on products sold, it’s the bike store’s job to fix the situation.

I have a feeling they synchronized their answers.

I'm feeling frustrated at this point, because I followed advice to shop locally to get a better customer service, but I cannot even get a bike replacement, to see if this one was just a dud. Makes me wonder if all their bikes have this issue.


Maybe I should have gotten an e-bike from Costco or Walmart, since I know from experience, they honor their return/exchange policy.

Unfortunately, I cannot transfer the Bion-X kit to my old bike, that does not have shifting problems, because it's not a low entry frame and tilting it to get my leg over the top might make it fall, since there is so much weight in the back. Also, the wheel is a different size.

I'm not a bike mechanic, and this has been mind boggling. So I'm exposing this here to hopefully get some answers from more knowledgeable bike mechanics/experts.

Thanks for reading.

Denise.
 
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JoePah

Well-Known Member
How many gears on the freewheel? Is it possible you have the wrong chain size, maybe one that is meant for a 6 speed freewheel, so the links are too wide for your gearset?

2nd possibility is that the wheel isn't dished properly and the freewheel is too far towards center.. Is the wheel centered in the rear forks?

Lastly do you think both derailleurs are properly set up? Straight and aligned?
 

Denise

New Member
How many gears on the freewheel? Is it possible you have the wrong chain size, maybe one that is meant for a 6 speed freewheel, so the links are too wide for your gearset?

2nd possibility is that the wheel isn't dished properly and the freewheel is too far towards center.. Is the wheel centered in the rear forks?

Lastly do you think both derailleurs are properly set up? Straight and aligned?

Most of what you said is alien to me. I have no bicycle expertise - I've been riding bicycles since I was 8 y/o, that's all. I wish someone like you, or a neutral party, could have a look at it, ride the bike, make his or her own expert opinion, so I could get this fixed before the warranty runs out.

But for sure, I would like confirmation, if the bike company explanation (that every 3x8 bike has this problem) is true or false. Because if their explanation is right, then why are 3x8 bicycles being manufactured and sold, if they're prone to this gear shifting failure?

Does anyone here with a 24 speed bicycle, have to gear down from 2x8 to 2x7 before getting to 1x7 or there will be issues?
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Well I have two bikes with a 3x9 gear set, a Fuji mountain bike and a Stromer, and never had a problem jamming the chain.

I checked the specs on your bike and it has the Shimano Alivio rear derailleur.. I've owned that model and it worked fine for 8000 miles.

The bike shop who sold you the bike should absolutely be able to fix this problem without any compromise on your part.. every gear should work without you getting stuck. The warranty should absolutely cover this problem.

I would check the consumer protection laws in Quebec and find out what your rights are.

Contact the bike shop owner directly and explain the problems with the bike and demand that it be fixed under warranty, or give you a new bike. Take your husband with you, as there is strength in numbers!

I would then call Toba at (418) 835-1685 and explain your problem and that the shop told you to live with it. Follow up with an e mail or better yet a letter... they do not need this kind of negative press.
 

Denise

New Member
I would then call Toba

I did say I contacted Toba, in my first thread.

First, they didn't answer my E-mail and when I called about it, the person on the phone told me there was no way of knowing who received it - mmmm... probably the person in charge of reading mails sent to info@tobabikes.com? Then, finally, I received an answer from Mr. Alain Rouleau from the distributor company - cycleslambert.com - basically agreeing with the bike shop and that I should expect this problem with every 24 speed bike.

I was not impressed with their customer service.

Bion-X has a better customer service so I do recommend them, just not with a toba bicycle. Buy the kit and have a good bicycle mechanic install it in your bike of choice.

I was not impressed with the bike shop service either (sports4saisons.com) - the double leg kickstand they installed, came off during one of my rides.

I agree with you, and I should pursue this further and not settle for the explanation they gave me. I'm not a bike expert, but it just does not make sense what they told me.

Thanks for your input and support.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I did say I contacted Toba, in my first thread.

First, they didn't answer my E-mail and when I called about it, the person on the phone told me there was no way of knowing who received it - mmmm... probably the person in charge of reading mails sent to info@tobabikes.com? Then, finally, I received an answer from Mr. Alain Rouleau from the distributor company - cycleslambert.com - basically agreeing with the bike shop and that I should expect this problem with every 24 speed bike.

I was not impressed with their customer service.

Bion-X has a better customer service so I do recommend them, just not with a toba bicycle. Buy the kit and have a good bicycle mechanic install it in your bike of choice.

I was not impressed with the bike shop service either (sports4saisons.com) - the double leg kickstand they installed, came off during one of my rides.

I agree with you, and I should pursue this further and not settle for the explanation they gave me. I'm not a bike expert, but it just does not make sense what they told me.

Thanks for your input and support.

Ah I saw that you did contact the bike company, but you ended up talking the distributor? Do not accept the word of the distributor they are not responsible for the bike.. He in effect admitted the bike design is defective.

Suggest you write the bike company an actual letter, and have the mail registered... Quote the consumer protection laws in your province and use the appropriate language that this bicycle is completely unsatisfactory.. So they either repair it properly or replace this defective bicycle.

I would also write a letter to the bike shop who sold you the bike and say basically the same, and state if they do not repair it satisfactorily or give you your money back, you will file with the Better Business Bureau, if you have that in Canada.

The reason I persist is that I had a problem with my A2B Metro, multiple problems.. they ended just giving me a new bike.. I wouldn't go away.
 

Pace

Member
It is correct that it is better to avoid using the opposite chain ring/rear cog because of the angle on the driveline. On most bikes this will not cause a jam though, it just is harder on the chain and the teeth of the chainrings and cassette, so it should be avoided. It's probably worse to do this on bikes with three front chain rings vs 2, and it's probably more like to jam if this is done in conjunction with not letting up slightly on pedal pressure when shifting. Some more info on that: http://www.bicyclechainrings.com/crosschaining.html

Having said all that, I don't understand this:
The person who sold it to me, looked at it and said the rivet is defective, and cannot be fixed

What rivet ?
 

Denise

New Member
Update: I returned to the store to have the bike fixed (again). This time it was the owner that listened to me and he is going to upgrade the crankset from Suntour to Shimano.
The shifter, front and rear derailleurs and the chain are all Shimano already. Hope this works.

I just got a lemon. Maybe not all Tobas have this problem, but I advise to try it first, shifting those gears up and down on a downward slope.

I remember now, when I first tried the e-bikes they had in store. I tried 2 Velecs of different sizes, with no problems and then I tried the Toba demo and the chain became loose. I just thought it was an accident and did not make a big deal out of it - in hindsight, that should've been my first warning.

But since I purchased the Toba demo, the issues have been happening on a downward slope. There's no way this should happen on a downhill, when gravity is moving the bike.

The person who sold it to me, looked at it and said the rivet is defective, and cannot be fixed.
What rivet ?


Never mind that. He also said it couldn't be fixed and couldn't be replaced with another crankset, which is incorrect, as the shop owner explained to us.