I just began riding to work and back. I don't know much about bikes and I'm riding a friend's mountain bike until I can afford a road bike. The gears are not shifting so well, or I guess they are just sounding off track in certain gears. Where should I start? I'm going to go on a ride and see if they are specific gears that are sounding funky or all of them. Also, what can I use other than WD-40 for squeakiness? Anything I have around the garage or house already?
A little more detail would help a lot. I think most of us are against using WD-40 for much of anything except maybe loosening up a rusted bolt. It sounds like some shifter adjustments might help, but then again, lubricating the cables first would probably be best to ensure that the shifter is working properly. Tri-Flow lubricant works best I think, and you can get it down inside the cable housings easily.
After that then see if your shifting improves. BTW, are you handy with tools?
Yep, start with lubing the cable at all the housing openings. Tip the bike up so the lube flows into the housing. Shift the cable back and forth through the gears each time. Sounds like you want to do at least as possible since its not your bike. Yes again, use tri-flow. After that its probably just a matter of cable tensioning. Roll the barrel adjuster to tighten and loosen the cable. Either barrel adjuster on the shifter or derailleur will work. Your friend will be appreciate the improvements.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
theres no such thing as too much lubrication, just wipe up the mess when your done. (yes, im still talking about bikes). so try the lube, can't hurt and probably needed it anyhow. if it doesnt work, then try the adjustments.
Get on your bad pedalscooter and ride!