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Old 06-12-11, 07:08 PM   #1
xanthochrome
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How big of a deal is this broken bit on my rear derailleur?

First off: I'm a total n00b. I was cleaning a bike that I got from my mommy, and noticed a cracked bit on my rear derailleur. It seems to be shifting fine, but I'm (perhaps unjustifiably?) worried that this will cause all sorts of problems. The Altus LT doesn't match the rest of my groupset anyways (Shimano 600) -- is this a good excuse to get new derailleurs? Or can I hold off for a while?

Thanks!

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Old 06-12-11, 07:25 PM   #2
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That looks to me to be a decorative cover over the cage spring. Is it plastic? If so, it probably should be fine unless it got broken due to a more serious underlying issue. If the cage rotates and springs back properly and doesn't have excessive play in and out, it's OK.
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Old 06-13-11, 04:58 AM   #3
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It is made out of plastic. And from what I can tell, everything is working okay, but I don't know much about how it's 'supposed' to feel. Time to visit the LBS?
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Old 06-13-11, 05:29 AM   #4
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I don't think it matters. Visit the LBS if it breaks.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:25 AM   #5
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the plastic piece is not structural; it just keeps dirt out of the spring. your derailer is very old (early 1980's I think) but if it works fine keep using it. if not, it's very easy to find a cheap replacement in the leftovers bin at a bike shop or bike co-op, since your system is not indexed.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:35 AM   #6
robert schlatte
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Is there a bike co-op in your area with a lot of older spare a parts bins? I have purchased serviceable replacement RDs just like the one on your bike for as little as $3.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:37 AM   #7
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Good guess there! The bike is from mid-80's, but for some reason the derailleurs are a bit older. I'll probably just keep an eye out for the Shimano 600 ones and replace when I find a good deal.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
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Old 06-13-11, 11:13 AM   #8
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I had an old Shimano Z-series derailleur with a similar part that cracked. One day in the driveway I heard a "PING" as it shattered and the chain went slack. It seemed like that part had a function related to keeping the spring wound up. I never found any other part so I think that cover is actually important. Based on that experience I think you are on borrowed time and should probably get a new derailleur.
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