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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Adjusting my front derailer

    This years winter maintenance involved replacing the rear derailer on my 99 Hardrock that wouldn't shift from 2 to 3 with a Deore derailer that shifts through all the gears. The chain is within spec, and the cassette was replaced last year. Front derailer is the shimano that came with the bike when I bought it. I was able to shift to the outer two chainrings and from all three chainrings before I replaced the rd, and now I can't get the front derailer to move far enough to clear all three chainrings. The h and l adjusters will change the location of the fd, but only to a point where continuing to turn the adjusting screw has no change in the location of the fd. I'm going to follow the Park Tool instructions on adjusting from the very begining tonight to try and get it to work again so I can resume riding, what other kinds of advice would any of you have to help me out here?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Sounds like there might be just a "skosh" too much cable tension, if it won't go to the smallest ring.

  3. #3
    Your mom
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    I see Kapaun thought you couldn't get to your granny ring. I get the opposite impression - that you can't hit the big ring. Either way, it's cable tension. If you can't shift down, your cable's too tight. If you can't shift up, it's too loose. I hate adjusting triple FDs. It's a lot of work, and I find that starting from scratch when something's bollocks-ed up is my only option. Follow Park's instructions from beginning to end and you're almost guaranteed to solve it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    I see Kapaun thought you couldn't get to your granny ring. I get the opposite impression - that you can't hit the big ring. Either way, it's cable tension. If you can't shift down, your cable's too tight. If you can't shift up, it's too loose. I hate adjusting triple FDs. It's a lot of work, and I find that starting from scratch when something's bollocks-ed up is my only option. Follow Park's instructions from beginning to end and you're almost guaranteed to solve it.
    I figured the tension had something to do with it. I can adjust it so I can use the middle and either the large or small chainring, but not both. I'm going to start again, this time doing just what you suggested. Thanks to both of you for the advice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I see HO's impression was opposite of mine.
    Either way, start from the basic adjustment.
    In a nutshell, with the cable disconnected, the Low limit screw should keep the chain from coming off the smallest ring. Pull the "slop" out of the cable and tighten the clamp.

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    Tellyho has a point. Adjusting FD's always works better for me if I disconnect the cable and start from step one. bk

  7. #7
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    I see HO's impression was opposite of mine.
    Either way, start from the basic adjustment.
    In a nutshell, with the cable disconnected, the Low limit screw should keep the chain from coming off the smallest ring. Pull the "slop" out of the cable and tighten the clamp.
    After getting the Park Tools directions and lowering the fd enough to get it to hold a penny between the large chainring and leading edge of the fd like it shows in the picture I'm unable to get the low limit adjusted correctly. Even with the cable disconnected, I can't get it to move close enough towards the frame - and can't get the low limit adjuster to turn in as far as the high limit adjuster. There should be another full rotation of the low limit adjuster, and it looks like that should be enough adjustment to get the fd to move close enough to the frame to allow the chain to shift down to the small chainring. I've lubed the fd pivots and the low limit adjuster too - would removing the fd and cleaning it be the next step?

  8. #8
    DOS
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    After getting the Park Tools directions and lowering the fd enough to get it to hold a penny between the large chainring and leading edge of the fd like it shows in the picture I'm unable to get the low limit adjusted correctly. Even with the cable disconnected, I can't get it to move close enough towards the frame - and can't get the low limit adjuster to turn in as far as the high limit adjuster. There should be another full rotation of the low limit adjuster, and it looks like that should be enough adjustment to get the fd to move close enough to the frame to allow the chain to shift down to the small chainring. I've lubed the fd pivots and the low limit adjuster too - would removing the fd and cleaning it be the next step?
    I am a bit confused. Tightening the low limit screw generally moves the derailleur away from, not towards the frame. Sound like its too tight and needs to be backed off some. With cable unattached, loosen the screw until you have 1.5MM gap beteewn the chain and the inside of the derailleur cage.

  9. #9
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    I am a bit confused. Tightening the low limit screw generally moves the derailleur away from, not towards the frame. Sound like its too tight and needs to be backed off some. With cable unattached, loosen the screw until you have 1.5MM gap beteewn the chain and the inside of the derailleur cage.
    I can get it to move away from the frame, but not close enough to shift the chain to the small chainring. I need to get it to move closer.

  10. #10
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Try adjusting the High limit-screw. Adjust with the chain on the large chainring just so it able to be on this chainring without being pushed over to the middle chainring. In other words - it is almost rubbing on the outer-plate of the FD. Then go back to working on the Low limit-screw. Be sure to check cable-tension.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  11. #11
    DOS
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    I can get it to move away from the frame, but not close enough to shift the chain to the small chainring. I need to get it to move closer.
    So still confused. When you turn the screw clockwise (tightening) the derailluer moves toward the frame? This is unlike all of my various derailleurs, where tightening the screw pushes the the derailleur away from, not towards the frame. I'm not familiar with designs that work the opposite way.

  12. #12
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    So still confused. When you turn the screw clockwise (tightening) the derailluer moves toward the frame? This is unlike all of my various derailleurs, where tightening the screw pushes the the derailleur away from, not towards the frame. I'm not familiar with designs that work the opposite way.
    The bikes at home and I'm at work so I can't verify this, but I'm remembering turning the L screw clockwise moving the fd closer to the frame.

  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    So still confused. When you turn the screw clockwise (tightening) the derailluer moves toward the frame? This is unlike all of my various derailleurs, where tightening the screw pushes the the derailleur away from, not towards the frame. I'm not familiar with designs that work the opposite way.

    +1 I'm with this guy. You might just be turning the screw in the wrong direction. If at all possible, look at the position of the screw against any stops, you want more gap, not less. Nothing beats visual verification.

  14. #14
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    +1 I'm with this guy. You might just be turning the screw in the wrong direction. If at all possible, look at the position of the screw against any stops, you want more gap, not less. Nothing beats visual verification.
    I needed to look at the bigger picture, and found that the fd was about as close to the frame as it could get - and the bottom bracket bearings were way too loose. Ad now onto the next problem.....

  15. #15
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    I needed to look at the bigger picture, and found that the fd was about as close to the frame as it could get - and the bottom bracket bearings were way too loose. Ad now onto the next problem.....
    And addressing the bottom bracket needs allowed it to be positioned so that the fd could be adjusted - now it will shift up and down without problem. Thanks for all the advice!

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