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  1. #1
    Mr. nOOb
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    need help: front derailleur not shifting at all

    Hi all! I just received a new bike (a leftover Jamis) that I'm super-excited about. Unfortunately, the shop set up the front brake and front derailleur incorrectly (they're both controlled by the same integrated shifter...this is a shimano 105 STI). I got the brake taken care of (there wasn't enough cable tension, resulting in v. poor brake engagement and the shift lever flopping around). But I could really use some help w/ the derailleur.

    Symptoms:
    -it won't shift at all. Nothing. It was stuck in high gear & there was no response from the shifter
    -this is a possibly a red herring, but I wanted to mention it: the cable seemed abnormally tight and the barrel adjuster was under so much tension that it would not turn.

    So far all I did was release the cable-fixing bolt, at which point the derailleur shifted into low gear. That let me check on the barrel adjuster, which does work. So at this point, the cable is disengaged and I'm hoping for some advice on how to set it up properly. I'm a total noob when it comes to troubleshooting (though I am taking a class!)--I'd like to do this myself but could use some guidance!

    Thanks gurus!

  2. #2
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Before you released the cable fixing bolt you might have been able to loosen the high limit screw just slightly. This might have been your issue, as the FD shifter ratchet needs movement space to release the mechanism. But check parktool.com (repair) for directions start to finish

  3. #3
    Mr. nOOb
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpiuva
    Before you released the cable fixing bolt you might have been able to loosen the high limit screw just slightly. This might have been your issue, as the FD shifter ratchet needs movement space to release the mechanism. But check parktool.com (repair) for directions start to finish
    Thanks--I'll try that & check the site. I should be able to reposition the cable at the original spot since I marked it. I'll check back in in the AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Other thing you may want to check that gets overlooked is to make sure the head of the cable is seated right in the shifter

  5. #5
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Here's the Park Tool website proceedure (always a good place to start ;-)) for FD adjustments:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

    Follow the instructions carefully and do the steps in order.
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
    - Oscar Wilde

  6. #6
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    Have had this with Shimano brifters: cable is loose thus the end at the brifter is not seated in the hole. Shifter lever was moved and the end of the cable jambed in the thing. Would not shift. Fished out the cable and most likely if this is your case, needs replaced. Another thing I have seen. The cable is not threaded thru the brifter housing correctly and again will not shift.

    Follow the Park tool proceedure. I would go back to square 1 and totally thread the cable out of the brifter and start over if the cable end is OK. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4791
    Other thing you may want to check that gets overlooked is to make sure the head of the cable is seated right in the shifter
    This is a very easy mistake to make, as mtnbiker4791 points out. There was a good discussion of how to properly thread the cable through the brifter in this thread:

    Can't get my rear derailleur to work.
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
    - Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
    Mr. nOOb
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    Thanks--you guys are great. I'll start on this in a little bit and report back on what's happening

  9. #9
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Why not just take it back to the shop? There is no way it is acceptable to have a bike leave a shop in that condition.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    Mr. nOOb
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    Why not just take it back to the shop? There is no way it is acceptable to have a bike leave a shop in that condition.
    I would, but the shop's a real pain to get to & I'm stubborn enough to view this as a learning experience!

  11. #11
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    There is a lockout on the shifter. If one lever is pressed slightly, the other will not move at all. A partially moved lever can stick until fully cycled.

    Is the problem that the lever isn't moving, or that it moves normally but nothing happens at the other end?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  12. #12
    Mr. nOOb
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    OK! Getting somewhere! Now at least it shifts, albeit roughly. Here's what I did, for better or worse:
    1-loosened cable-fixing bolt
    2-adjusted derailleur height and alignment w/ chain (both were off a tad)
    3-down-shifted fully w/ the shifter, until I could see the cable end stop in the shifter
    4-positioned chain on inner (small) cog in front and outer (small) cog in rear
    5-turned barrel adjuster all the way clockwise
    6-reaffixed cable to derailleur
    7-minor adjustments via barrel adjuster
    8-tweaks w/ the high and low set screws

    This may not have been perfectly executed, but at least it's now working roughly. My next steps are:
    1-check barrel adjuster. It's pretty finicky, as in sometimes it doesn't seem to engage to take up cable tension (not x-threaded though)
    2-fine tune, probably by loosening the low screw. It shifts up to the big cog marginally well. But it hesitates and shifts v. abruptly into the small inner cog. It feels really clunky instead of the nice 'snick' I hope to get to eventually.

    Thanks for the reference to the other thread, cascade, and to everyone else for the park tool site and suggestions on the shifter/cable seating. The issue isn't totally resolved yet, so I'm still all ears! A good learning experience, but I agree with you Slowandsteady--it's ridiculous that the bike left the shop like this. Ugh.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wickedchicken
    I would, but the shop's a real pain to get to & I'm stubborn enough to view this as a learning experience!
    That, and if they screwed it up that bad the first time I wouldn't give them a chance to do more damage. If they didn't give it a test run to see if it, you know, *changed gears*, I wouldn't let them touch my bike.

  14. #14
    Mr. nOOb
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    So I ended up taking it in to my bike maintenance class, and the instructor was nice enough to help me troubleshoot it. We reran the cable, checked derailleur position, re-adjusted the set screws, and...NOTHING! Still wouldn't shift.

    The last thing he tried was to lube the bushings & pivot points in the shifter with a teflon lube. And that seemed to do it--it responded well, at least on the stand. After work I'll get out on the bike and road test it. Hopefully that'll be it.

    Thanks again to everyone--the derailleur was out of wack to begin with, so I'm glad I went through the steps suggested above. This is my first bike with STI shifters, and it didn't occur to me to try lubing them (especially on a brand new bike!) Live and learn. Hope someone else can learn from my headaches.

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