I posted some of this info in another thread in the Cyclocross forum about my new bike but I think it's now more appropriate over here. Sorry if that isn't the right way to do it.
I just bought my first bike in many, many years.
2004 Bianchi Axis
I think pretty much everything is pretty much original except the seat, wheels and as I've just discovered, the front derailleur.
The original came with a 105 31.8mm fd but now I have a Shimano Deore LX.
The shifters are 105 STI and the chainset is a Sugino XD500T 26/36/48T.
When I first got the bike the front derailleur simply wouldn't drop the chain down to the smallest ring. I have since tried to readjust the derailleur and can't get it to switch between all 3 rings. I've read Park Tools and SheldonBrown and it's always possible I just haven't been patient enough.
The guy I bought the bike from assures me that it used to cover all 3 rings. However I looked up the Deore LX and noticed that it is a mountain bike derailleur. I then did a search of these forums and some people seem to be saying that road shifters like the 105 STI's don't pull enough to shift mountain bike derailleurs. I don't know if this is true or not but I do tend to believe this guy that he had this thing shifting through all 3 rings.
Just to make sure I'm not missing something, is there a place which has a more visual way of describing the barrel adjusters? I'm not very familiar with these and on my bike the only one I can find for the fd is located on the back of the seat tube and is very hard to turn. Also I'm confused about which direction to turn it to tighten or loosen the cable.
The barrel sits on top of a stop through which the wire exits below and runs down to the front derailleur. The barrel can also be pulled up (toward and over the plastic housing) but naturally springs back down. Is this normal?
Also I'm scared of having over-adjusted the barrel. If I disconnect the fd completely does that completely zero out the effect of the barrel?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I love to tinker and want to learn how to do all this myself. If I am only able to use this fd for 2 rings then that's ok but I want to make sure I've tried everything.