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Old 08-31-08, 08:00 AM   #1
Wilsonc
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Trouble adjusting front derailleur

I have a bike that is a triple and could not get to the biggest gear on the front. I tried to follow a guide and adjusted the low gear limit, but no matter what I do I cannot get the high gear limit to let the highest gear not rub the chain against the cage. Ive tried following the steps from a few different guides but cannot get it to work. Can anyone give me some tips on what I could be doing wrong?
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Old 08-31-08, 08:53 AM   #2
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Does it rub regardless of the position on the rear cogs?
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Old 08-31-08, 09:13 AM   #3
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It seems to rub on the lowest two cogs. The front shifter also needs to click twice in order to go onto the middle ring, and does not want to go on the largest ring no matter how I adjust it.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:52 AM   #4
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Is the derailleur hitting the stop screw when it's all of the way out?

I'm an old school downtube shifter sort of guy, so I'm not experienced with those indexed shifters. That said, I've read that a lot of problem with indexed shifters are due to incorrect cable tension. You might try tightening the cable adjuster, making the cable casing a little longer.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:55 AM   #5
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You may have too much slack in the cable. Try pulling the cable firmly by hand while turning the crank and see if the derailleur will shift to the largest chainring. If it will, then the high limit screw is ok but the cable needs to be tightened at the barrel adjuster or at the fd's cable anchor bolt.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:13 AM   #6
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I can get it on the highest chainring by pulling on the cable.

How do I adjust the cable tension? I tried turning knobs near the shifter but it doesn't seem to be tightening the cable. I have a 105/ultegra mix if it helps.. everything 105 except rear derailleur.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilsonc View Post
I can get it on the highest chainring by pulling on the cable.

How do I adjust the cable tension? I tried turning knobs near the shifter but it doesn't seem to be tightening the cable. I have a 105/ultegra mix if it helps.. everything 105 except rear derailleur.
It may be that the cable tensioner is at its maximum. In that case you will have to undo the cable clamp on the FD and start from the beginning. I suggest that you follow the instructions at Park tool.com to the letter.
Take your time and do not miss out any steps given. Indexed front shifters are a real pain and your comes with a trimming position so it's important to follow the instructions exactly.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:24 AM   #8
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From your second posting ("The front shifter needs to click twice...") I believe you have STI brifters, is that right?

As a first step, click the inner lever several times to get the cable as relaxed as possible and the chain on the granny (smallest) chainring. Then screw the downtube or headtube cable adjuster all the way in and back it out one turn.

Then loosen the cable anchor bolt on the derailler, pull all of the slack out of the cable and tighten the bolt. That will get all of the excess slack out of the cable.

Finally, try shifting to the middle and big ring. If the chain won't shift easily, unscrew the cable adjusting barrel (which tightens the cable) in 1/2 turn increments until the shifting is accurate.
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Old 08-31-08, 06:42 PM   #9
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I had a similar problem on my 3x, did every thing you've done over and over eventually I couldn't even get into the large ring. After a talking with a MTBer (they use 3x and get thier bikes prety meesy) he suggested that I clean out the STI and replace the cable. Dried lube and grit get into the works and keep the rachets from holding and a steched worn DR cable dosn't help. Everthing is working fine now and I wish I'd cleaned it all in the first place would ahve saved hours of frustration.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:40 AM   #10
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I've tried following the park tools guide word for wor,d the problem seems to be even if i remove the cable attached to the front derailleur and move it by hand manually, it doesnt seem to clear enough to get on the biggest chain ring without the chain rubbing on it.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:20 AM   #11
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Well, I relubbed everything and i can get it on the biggest chainring now by hand and with less rub. It seems if I could tighten the cables it'd be fine, how do i do that? I have brifters but can't seem to find anywhere to tighten it.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:29 AM   #12
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Either at the attachment point on the derailleur, or, the barrel adjuster.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:31 AM   #13
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I'm not trying to slam you, but, if people would put their hometowns on here, they might find someone willing to show them how to do things.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:40 AM   #14
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Does anyone have a picture of what they are talking about for adjusting the cable?

That's where I tightened it on the lowest gear setting (smallest chainring, largest cog) but it still isn't tight enough I think.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:48 AM   #15
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If you haven't already tried this my advice is to start over at the very beginning. There are several adjustments that affect front derailleur performance and each adjustment affects the others. My experience has been that once a front derailleur adjustment has been screwed up many mechanics tend to pile one misadjustment onto another in an attempt to compensate.

Go to Park tool dot com. Completely disconnect your shift cable. Start at step 1 with the position of the derailleur on the seat tube. Do the steps in order because that's important.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:51 AM   #16
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If you haven't already tried this my advice is to start over at the very beginning. There are several adjustments that affect front derailleur performance and each adjustment affects the others. My experience has been that once a front derailleur adjustment has been screwed up many mechanics tend to pile one misadjustment onto another in an attempt to compensate.

Go to Park tool dot com. Completely disconnect your shift cable. Start at step 1 with the position of the derailleur on the seat tube. Do the steps in order because that's important.
I have tried a few times from start to finish. Each time the problem is that no matter how i set the high gear limit, it wont shift to the largest chainring itself. I can do it manually, but the cage rubs against the chain.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:56 AM   #17
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I have tried a few times from start to finish. Each time the problem is that no matter how i set the high gear limit, it wont shift to the largest chainring itself. I can do it manually, but the cage rubs against the chain.
How close are the chainrings to the right chain stay?
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Old 09-01-08, 09:18 AM   #18
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Uploaded some pictures to help:

http://i33.tinypic.com/wilf0h.jpg

It's less than an inch away from the farthest away part of the chainstay.

I'm trying to get pictures of the derailleur to show you guys the settings I have it on, but my camera is being difficult. I'll upload as soon as I can. Thanks for any help given.

edit: Right now, the screw for the high limiter is really really far up in comparison to the low one.

Last edited by Wilsonc; 09-01-08 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 09-01-08, 09:29 AM   #19
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Did it just start this?? Did you have a fall?? It sounds like maybe the entire fd may have rotated slightly on the tube......
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Old 09-01-08, 09:30 AM   #20
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I had a small fall when first using clipless but it's been like this for a little while I think.

http://i34.tinypic.com/2qn8p6x.jpg

Pic of what it looks like on the top derailleur. The left side of the derailleur rubs when im in second and try to shift to the top, but it wont go up unless I pull on the cable some more.

Last edited by Wilsonc; 09-01-08 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-01-08, 11:59 AM   #21
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Hmm... it almost looks to me like the front deraileur is a bit too far up... If I remember from the Big Blue Book of bicycle repairs correctly, it suggests that the maximum clearance between the bottom of the deraileur and the teeth of the largest sprocket (ie, when the deraileur passes over the teeth) at the closest point should be between one and two millimeters. It looks to me in your last pic like it is more.

Also, make sure that you are in the highest gear (smallest sprocket on the rear wheel) when you adjust it. Finally, you will want the chain to run more or less parallel to the sides of the front deraileur.

In my experience, this usually is enough to get it to shift properly (although getting the tension right in the cable can be a pain).

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-08, 12:02 PM   #22
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If I remember from the Big Blue Book of bicycle repairs correctly........
I didn't check, but I think Sheldon suggests getting the fd as low as possible without hitting the big ring.......
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Old 09-01-08, 02:09 PM   #23
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I'll add my little bit of info, I've not played with racer shifters (new to road bikes) but I've sorted enough gears out in my time.

Let’s break this issue down a little further.
The cable is not tight enough.
Either because there is slack that needs to be taken up, I normally put my shifter in the smallest gear and then adjust the cable relative to this. Slight adjustments can be done using the mini adjusters on the side of the levers.
Larger adjustments need the cable to be loosened from that bolt on the FD and then the slack taken up and then re-tightened.

If the cable is fine when in the smallest gear (no slack, not even a little) then maybe your shifter is damaged? It could just not be pulling the cable to the correct tension to obtain the large gear? Does it move with every click?

Apart from that there isn’t much more too it, you have already ruled the upper and lower limits using the blocking screws (not sure on their real name).

Last edited by jsatan; 09-01-08 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 09-01-08, 02:35 PM   #24
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I would start by-
1. Place chain on middle ring and turn in the low limit screw a full turn.
Ride bike and try to shift to the small ring. It shouldn't shift to the small ring. IF it does, repeat step 1 by another turn.
Bike will now NOT allow a shift to the small ring-
2. Turn out low limit screw in TINY increments (1/8 turn) and ride, trying to shift to the small ring.
Repeat until it shifts to the small ring AND the chain doesn't rub.
3. While on the small ring, loosen cable and pull ALL the slack out of it & retighten.
4. Test.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 09-01-08 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 09-02-08, 03:09 PM   #25
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Wilsonc, I went through all your doing now, for 6 months I adjusted and readjusted, removed and reinstalled way more times than I can remember. I even bought a new FD to no avail. But I never thought to clean the brifter nor replace the cable. These are 2 cheap and fairly quick and easy jobs that will eliminate posable malfution of the shifter and cable. I cleaned out my sti with an aresole (not wd40 but I heard that works) and replaced the cable. The first install and ajust and everytrhing worked fine. give it a shot can't hurt.
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