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  1. #1
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Front derailleur Lube

    I had a 105 double front derailleur that was sticky and slow to shift. After determining that it was the derailleur and not a cable/shifter problem I removed it from the bike and thoroughly WD40ed it. Spraying and working it back and forth in my hands has freed it up. It's smooth now.

    So do I just put it back on and ride or should I lubricate it with something else?

  2. #2
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    WD40 is mostly kerosene and is not a suitable lubricant. Use a high quality light mineral-based oil. Don't use 3IN1 as it tends to oxidize and gum up pretty quickly.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    There's a lot of lubes that would do the job.
    Tri-Flow, Silcon sprays....

  4. #4
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    WD40 makes anything work well - for a while. Long time ago, when I knew next to nothing about bike maintainance, I lubed my chain with it. Wow! Silent and smooth, I took off. After about 10-15 miles, the chain started getting noisy...

    WD40 is great for cleaning a derailleur, just follow it with something like TriFlow.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    There's a lot of lubes that would do the job.
    Tri-Flow, Silcon sprays....
    +1 on Tri Flow -- in liquid form with the long applicator tube.

    Precise control of location and amount applied. Works great!

    Just remember to shake it a bit prior to use to get the best results.

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Spraying an FD once in a while with WD40 is not a bad thing to do. More appropriate than using it on a chain. Lube requirements of an FD are pretty minimal.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  7. #7
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I also like Tri-Flow on derailer pivots
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  8. #8
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    given the application and it's actual lubrication needs, WD-40 is plenty adequate. While it's mostly solvent, there's enough light oil mixed in to serve the needs of FD or RD pivots.
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  9. #9
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    given the application and it's actual lubrication needs, WD-40 is plenty adequate. While it's mostly solvent, there's enough light oil mixed in to serve the needs of FD or RD pivots.

    It doesn't hurt to add a light lube like triflow or epic lube.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben4345 View Post
    It doesn't hurt to add a light lube like triflow or epic lube.
    While tri-flow is fine, I'm not so sure about Epic. The one thing you want to avoid on these light action spring activated pivots is anything that thickens, dries, or becomes gummy. The OP reported that the mechanism was sticky and needed to be loosened up, odds are that was the effect of a dried sticky lube. Almost anything provides enough lubrication for derailleur pivots, but a overly thick product can be overkill and counter-productive, causing sluggish action.
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  11. #11
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    +1 a FD doesn't need much lube.

    Surprising to hear of one getting stiff; never seen it except on negected POS bikes.

  12. #12
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    While tri-flow is fine, I'm not so sure about Epic. The one thing you want to avoid on these light action spring activated pivots is anything that thickens, dries, or becomes gummy. The OP reported that the mechanism was sticky and needed to be loosened up, odds are that was the effect of a dried sticky lube. Almost anything provides enough lubrication for derailleur pivots, but a overly thick product can be overkill and counter-productive, causing sluggish action.
    epic ride lube is just a synthetic light lube. You're probably thinking of clean ride lube which is wax based.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    cable issues, not the FD.

  14. #14
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    ^ re-read post #1, sentence #2
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  15. #15
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    I've had the same issue with my 105 front derailleur. Mine gets full of grit from the road and becomes difficult to move from small ring to large ring.

    Yesterday, I cleaned mine with a citrus based cleaner and a little methanol. After it was cleaned, it worked beautifully. I'm going to try running it with little or no lube and see what happens. I believe the lube causes grit to accumulate in the mechanism.

  16. #16
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    I believe the lube causes grit to accumulate in the mechanism.
    Prolly a good call, IMO

  17. #17
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    My best guess is that very fine sand got into it from riding in the rain in Central Florida and it took awhile to get into the pivots. Probably should hose the bike down next year before returning. I just wiped it off with rags. I was amazed at how bad the chain and rear derailleur got down there in just a week's riding.

    Epic ride lube is what I used first. That actually made it worse. It may have reacted with the Clean Ride I use on the chain. That's when I decided to take it off and wd40 it. I like the idea of having some dry lube around. I'll check out an auto supply store later as an LBS is an hour's drive away. (at least one that doesn't have a part time High School Kid as a "mechanic") I though about using spray graphite but it discolors stuff and my experience with silicone spray is that it doesn't last long exposed to the elements. If they have spray teflon I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the responses.

  18. #18
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    Most shifting problems come from cables. Once you've cleaned up a stuck derailleur it will probably stay free if kept in use. Perhaps try it without lube first.

  19. #19
    Dough Mestique
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    This is me saying the emperor is naked. Derailer pivots do not need to be lubricated. In fact, if you try to lubricate them, the oil just goes everywhere and attracts dirt and grit into the pivot points and you end up with a situation like the OP has.

    Instead, just keep them clean. Hose it down with WD40 or simple green and use a clean-ish toothbrush to get as much of the crud out of it as you can. You should lube the rear derailer pulleys, but not the pivots.

    BL


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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Normally I would agree that it's usually the cables or shifters that get "sticky". But last year my 7 year old Campy Record FD got really sticky. I tried everything else first and then finally disconnected the cable from the FD and I could not believe how hard it was to move the FD. I took it off and soaked it in mineral spirits and worked it loose. Immediately it started shifting as good as new. Still don't know exactly what caused it.

  21. #21
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    prolink on my front D- It flushes out the gunk and lubes it just right.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    I also noticed that many riders put on lubricants that are way too heavy for what a bicycle would need. The shear stresses on bicycle components are so much less than what you might encounter on machinery or automobiles, and considering most cyclsits cannot even produce 1HP at the crank, you are better off using a lighter weight lubricant and cleaning it off and renewing it more regularly instead of putting something on that's so heavy and sticky that it grunges up your drivetrain very quickly and makes cleaning and re-lubing such a chore that you just end up not doing it enough, so the contaminated, gritty, sticky sludge on your drivetrain ends up wearing out your components quicker.

    Chombi

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