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Old 05-30-09, 07:02 AM   #1
bcoppola
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DIY derailleur alignment & dropout alignment tools?

Any plans out there for these specialized & pricey tools?
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Old 05-30-09, 07:14 AM   #2
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I'm not sure what you're asking, but .... I'm a big fan of the Park Tool DAG-1.

Sadly/happily, there seems to be a DAG-2 out, now ... that actually looks like an upgrade with a lower price.
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Old 05-30-09, 07:21 AM   #3
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Any plans out there for these specialized & pricey tools?
You can get away with threading in a 10x1 solid axle wheel into the back and eyeballing it. The more gears you have in the back, the less likely this will give an acceptable adjustment. Just buy the tool if you're bending hangers a lot.
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Old 05-30-09, 07:30 AM   #4
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for derailer hangar... I just use a 10in adjustable wrench.
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Old 05-30-09, 07:42 AM   #5
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for derailer hangar... I just use a 10in adjustable wrench.
That's a good way to deform the derailleur hanger threads.
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Old 05-30-09, 07:49 AM   #6
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You can thread a rear wheel into the derailer hanger. You can see if the hanger is aligned, but you can't really use the wheel to bend the hanger.
If you cut an axle in half, you might be able to bolt both pieces into the dropouts to see if they were parallel, but I've never tried that.

em
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Old 05-30-09, 10:10 PM   #7
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something you can try...

if you can find a cheap derailleur (or if you have one), thread it in there and eyeball it. pull/push on it until it lines up. you'll probably bend the derailleur a little bit too, so you can swap in your good one and see how it looks.

no one else will probably recommend this, but it's something cheap you can try.
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Old 05-30-09, 10:56 PM   #8
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I tried making one from an axle and piece of 1 inch square tubing. Big waste of time....I bought a Park tool and it has paid for itself many times
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Old 05-30-09, 11:01 PM   #9
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I'm not aware of any cheap or easy ways to make decently reliable and accurate tools like that. Sometimes, it really is best to take your bike/frame into a properly equipped shop and pay them a few bucks to have it checked/fixed properly. Makes more sense than dropping a couple hundred on tools that, for most people, rarely get used.
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Old 05-31-09, 12:24 AM   #10
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I can vouch for the Park Tool DAG-2 - recently released. It a breeze to use and bend the hanger into the proper position. Any decent shop should have something like this. But the DAG-2 is low enough in price to afford by individuals. Take a look:


http://www.parktool.com/products/det...=48&item=DAG-2



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Old 05-31-09, 09:20 AM   #11
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I'm not aware of any cheap or easy ways to make decently reliable and accurate tools like that. Sometimes, it really is best to take your bike/frame into a properly equipped shop and pay them a few bucks to have it checked/fixed properly. Makes more sense than dropping a couple hundred on tools that, for most people, rarely get used.
Though I agree with the principle, the derailleur alignment tools, by Park, are in the $50 range.

For me ... if it's $15 to have the LBS do it ... and I can see needing it two or more times ... I'd rather buy the tool.

Lot of cyclists in my subdivision. Lots of opportunities for me to use the DAG, now
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Old 05-31-09, 09:46 AM   #12
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something you can try...

if you can find a cheap derailleur (or if you have one), thread it in there and eyeball it. pull/push on it until it lines up. you'll probably bend the derailleur a little bit too, so you can swap in your good one and see how it looks.

no one else will probably recommend this, but it's something cheap you can try.
You might be able to use a derailer as a lever to bend the hanger, but it's you can't tell when it's correctly aligned. The spec is that the difference between the alignment tool and the rim at the top and bottom needs to be 4mm or less. that means the position of the lower wheel of the derailer needs to be accurate to about 1 mm, but there's no reference to measure to.

em
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Old 05-31-09, 09:51 AM   #13
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Though I agree with the principle, the derailleur alignment tools, by Park, are in the $50 range.

For me ... if it's $15 to have the LBS do it ... and I can see needing it two or more times ... I'd rather buy the tool.

Lot of cyclists in my subdivision. Lots of opportunities for me to use the DAG, now
I always like to make my own work arounds for specialized tools.. A spare wheel works fine to measure alignment, and a lot of times I find that the alignment doesn't need to be adjusted. The Park tool is easier to use, but it's not necassary at all.

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Old 05-31-09, 10:13 AM   #14
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OP-

If you just don't want to pay a shop, I really don't know any decent work-around or DIY for derailleur hanger or dropout alignment.

If you ride MTB a fair amount (and I mean offroad), the Park DAG is the only way to go. I have one and it has certainly paid for itself in correcting the almost guaranteed occasional misalignment of the hanger for the inevitable crashes.

Dropout alignment is a much rarer need. If you really just love having specialized tools, then go ahead and treat yourself. I have rarely needed one and just pay the shop to do it.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:13 AM   #15
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I always like to make my own work arounds for specialized tools.. A spare wheel works fine to measure alignment, and a lot of times I find that the alignment doesn't need to be adjusted. The Park tool is easier to use, but it's not necassary at all.
Meh.

To me, that's like the torque wrench argument: some people really do have a good feel. Many of those people, though, are off by 20+%.

Some people probably DO have a great eye for alignment, but ... if I were guessing ... it's few, and ... of the ones who THINK it's them ... many of them are probably wrong, too
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Old 05-31-09, 10:20 AM   #16
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Some people probably DO have a great eye for alignment, but ... if I were guessing ... it's few, and ... of the ones who THINK it's them ... many of them are probably wrong, too
The number of cogs on the cassette makes a big difference. Eyeballing derailleur hanger alignment on a 7-speed is a piece of cake. 9-speeds and 10-speeds are considerably more picky about having perfect derailleur hanger alignment.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:33 AM   #17
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^

Excellent point.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:48 AM   #18
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Meh.

To me, that's like the torque wrench argument: some people really do have a good feel. Many of those people, though, are off by 20+%.

Some people probably DO have a great eye for alignment, but ... if I were guessing ... it's few, and ... of the ones who THINK it's them ... many of them are probably wrong, too
As a lifelong finish carpenter, my eyeball is calibrated to a very fine degree...and I still use the DAG-1.

I'll have to check into the DAG-2. Looks like they've fixed a couple minor issues.
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Old 05-31-09, 03:39 PM   #19
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As a lifelong finish carpenter, my eyeball is calibrated to a very fine degree...and I still use the DAG-1.

I'll have to check into the DAG-2. Looks like they've fixed a couple minor issues.
Finish carp here, too.

Sometimes looks can be deceiving, esp. on a bike with with lots of bits and surfaces out there in space- don't forget poss. error in parrallax view.

DAG is accurate, reliable and makes no guesses. It also makes it A LOT easier for me!
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Old 05-31-09, 04:17 PM   #20
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Meh.

To me, that's like the torque wrench argument: some people really do have a good feel. Many of those people, though, are off by 20+%.

Some people probably DO have a great eye for alignment, but ... if I were guessing ... it's few, and ... of the ones who THINK it's them ... many of them are probably wrong, too
No one can "eyeball" derailer alignment. The hanger is just too small for that. OTOH I can easily measure the alignment using an ordinary wheel threaded into the hanger. The only inaccuracy is caused by whatever small amount the spokes of the 2 wheels are not paralllel, and even that can be measured if you think you need to. If I need to adjust the hanger, it's a little harder to do with a wheel, but it's still possible. If I had to do that job more than once in a while, I might buy a WAG1, but so far I haven't needed one.
This thread is like every other tool question here. It pretty quickly divides into those who think you shouldn't do anything until you get the exact Park tool (including a workstand), and those who have reasonable work arounds to avoid buying costly tools that will rarely be used.

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Old 05-31-09, 04:39 PM   #21
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This thread is like every other tool question here. It pretty quickly divides into those who think you shouldn't do anything until you get the exact Park tool (including a workstand), and those who have reasonable work arounds to avoid buying costly tools that will rarely be used.
And I would split THAT hair, too

I don't think the ends of the argument are as far apart as you imply.

Example: I have a $650 Lupine Edison headlamp. I think it's probably 20% better than any other HID lamp on the market.

I KNOW it costs a FEW HUNDRED dollars more, though.

That sets out the needed info for people to make a VALUE judgment -- a very personal thing.

Der alignment, IMHO, really IS like the torque wrench argument:

Method................Accuracy...........Relative Costs
Feel....................+/-35%..............1
Torque wrench......+/-25%..............1-1/2
Turn-of-the-nut....+/-15%..............3
PLI washers..........+/-10%..............7
Bolt elongation.......+/-3-5%............15
Strain gauges..........+/-1%.............20

My point was similar: a DAG-1/DAG-2 tool is < $50, and will get you pretty much dead-nuts on with your der alignment.

What we NOW need, and what you're now trying to provide, is the relative accuracy of the extra-wheel/other method.

My point is that it's likely to be only about as accurate as the "feel" method, above.

It would be interesting to get a number of people to first do the alignment your way, and then stick the DAGs on them to see how close the former came.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:46 PM   #22
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hands and eyes. the cheapest.
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Old 06-01-09, 03:28 AM   #23
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And I would split THAT hair, too

I don't think the ends of the argument are as far apart as you imply.

Example: I have a $650 Lupine Edison headlamp. I think it's probably 20% better than any other HID lamp on the market.

I KNOW it costs a FEW HUNDRED dollars more, though.

That sets out the needed info for people to make a VALUE judgment -- a very personal thing.

Der alignment, IMHO, really IS like the torque wrench argument:

Method................Accuracy...........Relative Costs
Feel....................+/-35%..............1
Torque wrench......+/-25%..............1-1/2
Turn-of-the-nut....+/-15%..............3
PLI washers..........+/-10%..............7
Bolt elongation.......+/-3-5%............15
Strain gauges..........+/-1%.............20

My point was similar: a DAG-1/DAG-2 tool is < $50, and will get you pretty much dead-nuts on with your der alignment.

What we NOW need, and what you're now trying to provide, is the relative accuracy of the extra-wheel/other method.

My point is that it's likely to be only about as accurate as the "feel" method, above.

It would be interesting to get a number of people to first do the alignment your way, and then stick the DAGs on them to see how close the former came.
It's a pretty simple measurement problem, and AFAIK the spec is that there can be a 4 mm difference top to bottom or front to back. I can easily measure that using another wheel as the reference, and it doesn't even need to be a straight wheel. The weak part of that method is that it's difficult to use the wheel as a lever to straighten the hanger.
The OP was was looking for a way to avoid buying tools, and I showed him one.

em
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Old 06-01-09, 04:28 AM   #24
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Seems like it might be up to you to go and build one, then put your instructions up for the rest of us.

Sounds doable in theory, measure the threads on derailer hanger, find matching long shoulder bolt at hardware store.
For the lever you'll need something solid, how about a portion of steel tube cut from an old frame? Carefully drill as perpedicular as possible a hole thru the tube for the bolt to fit through.
Then you'll need some sort of reference point at the opposite end for measureing against your rim. If all the wheels you're using this on are the same size it may not even need to slide along the arm; just find a reasonable point to drill a hole, then maybe stick a metal rod through it.
Secure it with something adjustable like an elastic band, or if you want to be complicated drill another hole in the arm perpedicular to it and thread a machine bolt thru so it applies friction to hold the rod in position.
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Old 06-01-09, 05:41 AM   #25
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The OP was was looking for a way to avoid buying tools, and I showed him one.
Which I think is totally cool, btw.
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