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  1. #1
    Junior Member satellite2000's Avatar
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    Help installing an Ultegra Triple Shifter with FSA Compact Crank

    After reading all the good stuff about compact cranks I decided to try one and bought the affordable FSA energy compact. I have an Ultegra Triple shifter & FD, I had no problems installing a triple crank before but when I tried to set it up for my compact - I had problems; not shifting right, cables are loose when I shift to smaller chain ring, etc. Im confused. I followed the same installation process when I was using a triple crank - so I thought the 34t in the compact is the equivalent of the 30t, the 50t is the new 42t and the 52t is a dead click. How do I install it right?

  2. #2
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Going from a "standard" triple (e.g. with large chainring of 52 or 53) to a compact double (with large chainring of 50), you will have to move the FD down a little bit. You'll also have to make some minor adjustments to the cable tension and limit screws. I'm assuming you are still using your existing triple-compatible shifters. Here's what I would do:

    1) With the compact installed, reposition the FD. Article at http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75 with info. Basically you want about a dime's thickness gap between the chainring and the FD.

    2) Shift the shifters into the lowest ("granny") setting. Basically just push your small lever 'til it don't click no more

    3) See article above about setting the Low limit screw

    4) Take out any slack in the cable that results from moving the FD downward. It should be a small amount; might be able to get by with adjusting headtube adjusters if you have those; if not you'll need to loosen the pinch bolt on the FD, pull the slack, then re-tighten the pinch bolt.

    5) See article above to adjust the High limit screw; the new High position will correspond to the old "middle" position of the triple. Basically what you are doing is setting the limit screw on the FD so that it's not possible to get into the former highest position of the shifter, e.g. "dead click" as you say. No adjustment is necessary to the shifter itself; when the FD screws are properly set it will take care of it.


    Good luck; adjusting FDs is not terribly difficult but it can be very frustrating.
    Can you pass the test?
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  3. #3
    Mostly riding...mostly NM-NewRoadie's Avatar
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    good instructions 'nother. I got good stuff from sheldon browns site, and got my compact setup "close" but still had a few issues with it. I later took my bike in for something else, and the crack mechanic there was able to get it shifting great!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satellite2000
    After reading all the good stuff about compact cranks I decided to try one and bought the affordable FSA energy compact. I have an Ultegra Triple shifter & FD, I had no problems installing a triple crank before but when I tried to set it up for my compact - I had problems; not shifting right, cables are loose when I shift to smaller chain ring, etc. Im confused. I followed the same installation process when I was using a triple crank - so I thought the 34t in the compact is the equivalent of the 30t, the 50t is the new 42t and the 52t is a dead click. How do I install it right?
    I have an Energy crankset with 9-speed Ultegra STI shifters. (9-speed Ultegra uses the same shifter for double or triple cranksets.) I use an Ultegra double front derailleur.

    I get four different positions with my shifters. I have two shift positions for each front chainring. I'm pretty sure that's the way Shimano intends because I use a Filght Deck computer and it indicates the correct chainring in all four positions.

    If you get shift cable slack in the lowest gear position, you didn't set it up properly. Check out the Park tool website for step-by-stap directions.

  5. #5
    Junior Member satellite2000's Avatar
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    Working now

    Thanks for the help! I did it right last night, followed the Park Tool instructions for setting up the FD, I figured out my error - I installed the bottom bracket cable guide in the wrong position - it was not centered (rushing things because of excitement)- I think that really messed up the cable tension. After that, it only took me 15 minutes to install and adjust cables and it is now shifting smoothly, and the rear shifting improved. We learn by our mistakes. I do like the compact gearing and simpleness of a double, made my bike a little lighter.

  6. #6
    Junior Member satellite2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    I have an Energy crankset with 9-speed Ultegra STI shifters. (9-speed Ultegra uses the same shifter for double or triple cranksets.) I use an Ultegra double front derailleur.

    I get four different positions with my shifters. I have two shift positions for each front chainring. I'm pretty sure that's the way Shimano intends because I use a Filght Deck computer and it indicates the correct chainring in all four positions.

    If you get shift cable slack in the lowest gear position, you didn't set it up properly. Check out the Park tool website for step-by-stap directions.
    Now that it is working, I do have the same four shifter positions as you indicated. Thanks!

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I did this last night...


    Took me a bit to get the tension right - after screwing around with FD position. Also looks like I'll be replacing cables soon - noticed the FD cable is frayed as it comes under the BB.


    Wondering if I should replace my triple FD for a double? Would a double have less travel?
    Shifting is close to being right on... I'm getting some FD / chain scrape that I can't get rid of. I also get 4 clicks, but 1 is useless on the large ring - it doesn't really do anything for me.

    [edit: I'm using a Ritchey Pro compact, 50 / 34]

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike
    I'm getting some FD / chain scrape that I can't get rid of.
    Are you sure the scraping is coming from the derailleur? If you're in the small chainring it's common for the chain to rub the inside of the big ring when you're in the smallest cog or two. I put a 2mm spacer behind my bottom bracket to sweeten the chain line but I still get a little rub. I use that as an audible signal that it's big ring time.

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