Over the past year, everything worked smoothly until now. The front shifter cable for no apparent reason was making the bike unable to shift. So I removed it front the anchor bolt and discovered that wire was ceasing underneath, the bottom bracket I believe its called. After freeing the cable, I reattached it with the anchor bolt. It would shift to the middle gear but not the third. So I replaced the cable with a brand new cable only to have the same result. The shifter travels to its extreme to achieve this. Which I believe is a clue to the actual problem. Its just that I don't know precisely what that is.
Its a Falcon front derailleur.
I have tried searching for hints, but I haven't found any solution.
Couple of possibilities... Assuming you have not touched the limit screws or tried to re-position the DR, it should be good. Remove the cable. Work the shifter until you're sure it's on the "low" gear position. If you hold on to the cable when you do this, you should feel it move "out" with each stroke of the shifter.
Make sure you're getting movement with each stroke; that the cable isn't binding or catching somewhere.
If that's OK, again make sure your shifter is in the "low" position and re-attach the cable. It should be pretty close at this point. If it still won't shift onto the big ring, then the "high" limit screw might have gotten tweaked. Loosen it no more than a quarter turn at a time and see if she'll climb onto the big ring.
No, I didn't touch the front derailleur or the limit screws. I did some more testing and there isn't any friction in the shifter for the first 1/4 which is obviously the problem. I was thinking perhaps how I have the shifter cable routed to the anchor bolt might be a factor.