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  1. #1
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    rear derailleur hard to shift

    Hi, I have a 1986 fuji palisade with stem shifters, the rear derailleur takes the strength of superman to shift, and I'm afraid I'm going to snap a cable. I just finished putting on new housing and cables and need to adjust the rear derailleur. The front one shifts fine. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Either you used cheap housing, did not lube, used wrong length of housing, cut housing wrong, or a combination. It's up to you to check each section of housing to see if the cable goes through easily. It appears from the picture that you bought that bike from some type of shop. Why not go to them with your questions?

    I don't think you understand how difficult it is to diagnose problems remotely, and you do not seem to work much on educating yourself, approaching things in a logical manner, or carefully listening to and following instructions.

    This venue is best for specific problems rather than "talking" you through an entire rebuild. No offense intended but not everyone is cut out to do bike repair - most people greatly underestimate the range of skills and knowledge that may be needed - including observation, logical problem solving, communication skills, mathematics, and physics, as well as underestimating the complexity of interaction in the multiple components of a bicycle.

    Before you ask more questions go to this page:
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...illeur-systems

    and then to the pages on cable and housing. Then check Sheldon's site as well. Google shift cable (or housing) install. Learn everything you can. There's nothing we can tell you that's not there.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the advice, I did not buy the bike from a shop, that picture is from my garage. I matched the housing to the same lengths it was before. The LBS sold me the housing, so im sure it is fine. It is not the feel of friction in the housing i speak of, it it the amount of force needed to move the derailer is far to great. Even when i push it with my finger. I have compared it to other bikes and it is just to "tight" is there an adjustment for this?

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    Did you replace the short length of housing which enters the derailleur? This is an area where rust and crud often builds up and causes binding. I second the comments regarding housing preparation above. Additionally, if you disconnect the cable do the derailleur and the lever each move smoothly and easily by themselves? Maybe it is as simple as the lever's clamp bolt being too tight or needing to cleaned or lubricated. Breaking the system down to its simplest components is the key to troubleshooting. Simplify the problem as much as you can.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun413 View Post
    . Even when i push it with my finger. I have compared it to other bikes and it is just to "tight" is there an adjustment for this?
    So that eliminates any issue with the cabling, next, replace the derailluer with a new one, re-lay the cables and adjust, and you should have work gears again.

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    Wait it actually does move ok with my finger. was i supposed to lubricate the housing or cables??

  7. #7
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Try disconnecting the cable from the derailleur and work the shifter to see if the drag is in the cable and/or housings. Further, there are several ways to "move a derailleur". First disconnect the cable and remove the chain from the rear derailleur. Now grab the derailleur at the face plate with your left hand and with your right hand grab the bottom of the cage. Now pull the bottom of the cage to your right; you should feel a good amount of spring pressure but the cage should move smoothly and snap back into place (this is where most derailleurs get mucked up). Next grab the derailleur on the left end below were it is attached to the bicycle. Again grab the bottom of the cage, but this time push the cage toward the bike; again you should feel a good amount of spring tension and the cage should move smoothly and snap back into place. Do these things and get back to us.

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    I have done that and they both feel fine. Maybe its because it is stem shifters?

  9. #9
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun413 View Post
    I have done that and they both feel fine. Maybe its because it is stem shifters?
    Who were you responding to? The issue is not stem shifters as they have a lot of leverage, but the shifters them selves may be gunked up inside. You need to eliminate areas. 1) Try disconnecting the cable from the derailleur and work the shifter to see if the drag is in the cable and/or housings; if the shifting cable moves freely, then you know it's the derailleur; if not you have eliminated the derailleur as a problem. Until you do this we will not be able to find your problem. 2) using the derailleur cable that is not loose, push some cable backwards at the stop under the down tube. This should cause the end of the derailleur cable pop out of the shifter. Once this happens, try moving the shifter lever and see if it moves freely; if not, than it is the shifter, if the lever moved freely it is in the cable and/or housings.

    BTW, it is not necessary to lube cables, but I am interested how you cut the housings..

  10. #10
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    The shifters and cables both mover freely, The derailer however does not move so freely. There is a decent amount of resistance that would make it hard to shift, although it does move smoothly. Also the front derailer makes a grinding noise when i move it.

  11. #11
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Sounds like a derailleur overhaul is in order. http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...lleur-overhaul

    there is usually not much to a front derailleur that a metal brush and a little oil won't fix..
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 04-12-12 at 05:42 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun413 View Post
    ...the amount of force needed to move the derailer is far to great. Even when i push it with my finger. I have compared it to other bikes and it is just to "tight" is there an adjustment for this?
    Quote Originally Posted by shaun413 View Post
    Wait it actually does move ok with my finger. was i supposed to lubricate the housing or cables??
    Which IT are you talking about? Below you say the derailleur does not move easily.
    As for lubrication it depends on the cable and housing. I believe most all cables other than stainless and some high-end systems should have light oil fed onto them as you feed the last section into the housing.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaun413 View Post
    The derailer however does not move so freely. There is a decent amount of resistance that would make it hard to shift, although it does move smoothly. Also the front derailer makes a grinding noise when i move it.
    ALL derailleurs have a spring that you have to work against to shift toward the center of the bike (lower gear in the case of the rear. There is no adjustment. If it's hard to shift it's generally due to friction. I don't agree that stem shifters are always easy to shift. It's an awkward position, even though it seems convenient next to the bars.

    Front derailleur grinding can be grit in the pivots. Flush it out well with lube or solvent.

    Once again, find someone local who can give you perspective on how hard the shifting is and what the problem is. A shop (especially the one where you bought $100 of parts) is not going to charge you for looking at the bike for two minutes, which is all the time it will take.

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