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Old 10-02-10, 02:30 PM   #1
San Rensho 
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Using a level to align derailleur hanger.

I was having problems with hanging shifts, both upshifts and downshifts, with my Shimano 105 9 speed drivetrain. I had gone through everything else, cables, cassette, chain but it still wasn't shifting right. The only thing left to do was to align the derailer hangar, and I was just about to take it to the shop when an idea struck me. Since the hangar has to be in a plane that is parallel to the plane that the seat tube is in, all I have to do is use a spirit level to measure.

So I put the bike in the stand, put the spirit level on the seat tube and shimmed up the stand until the seat tube was vertical. Then I laid the spirit level on the derailer hangar, and sure enough, it had been pushed in. So I used my BFAW (big f@cking adjustable wrench) to grasp the derailer hangar and bend it out. Now it shifts perfectly, at least on the stand. Tomorrow I'll try it on the road.
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Old 10-02-10, 02:44 PM   #2
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Unless I'm missing something, you have aligned it in only one of the two dimensions.

10 speed bikes are even more picky about this alignment, I bought a hanger alignment tool years ago, best $50 I've ever spent. With the flimsy replaceable aluminum hangers these days, it is easy for them to bend a little and your shifting is screwed. I check the alignment every couple of months.
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Old 10-02-10, 03:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by merlin55 View Post
Unless I'm missing something, you have aligned it in only one of the two dimensions.

10 speed bikes are even more picky about this alignment, I bought a hanger alignment tool years ago, best $50 I've ever spent. With the flimsy replaceable aluminum hangers these days, it is easy for them to bend a little and your shifting is screwed. I check the alignment every couple of months.
True, I just eyeballed the other dimension. Looking down over the cassette, its easy to see if the der is lined up with the cogs.
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Old 10-02-10, 03:44 PM   #4
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A spare rear wheel will thread into the hanger. 10mm by 1mm pitch. The extra wheel can be used to bend the hanger until both are parallel.
I have the tool now, but I have used the other method and it works.
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Old 10-02-10, 06:05 PM   #5
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I bought a hanger alignment tool years ago, best $50 I've ever spent.
I suggest doing it your way then doing the right thing and buy the 'right tool for the job' and verify if your method is easier and does the job as well. If it does as well in both then sell the derailer hanger on ebay and be happy. But then you will know. IMO if your into bicycling and care about shifting you need a derailer hanger alignment tool!
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Old 10-02-10, 06:24 PM   #6
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The proper tool makes a quick job of it..
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Old 10-02-10, 08:36 PM   #7
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having the Park Alingment tool also makes you the Bike Expert among your friends, but don't let them see you using the tool...preserve the juju black magic and they will be more impressed and bring you 6 packs of expensive beer
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