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  1. #1
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    SRAM Apex shifter / 105 FD - can't get it dialed in

    Today I swapped out the SRAM Apex front derailler on my wife's bike for a Shimano 105 FD. Should be fully compatible I"m told. The problem with the Apex FD was trouble getting it to shift from the big to small ring.

    I'm having trouble getting this new setup right. I'm going about it the same way I do with my bike with 105 shifter/FD (triple).

    Shift into big cog in back, small ring in front, loosen the FD cable, adjust the stop, tighten the cable, shift through the gears in back and into the big ring in front, set the stop on the front.

    Bike seems to shift ok on the stand (except it requires a lot of force to go from small to big ring). But when I get out on the road and try to go through the gears / rings to see if everything seems good is when I run into problems. The latest try, I couldn't' even shift from the small to big ring -- even though I had just done it fine on the stand.

    I feel like I must be doing something basic wrong. Is there something different about SRAM shifters that I don't know (in terms of setting up the derailler/shifting?). I'm going to give it another try in the morning - but if it doesn't' work I'll have to take it to the shop. Very frustrating.

    And - is it normal with Apex front shifters to require a LOT of force to go from small to big ring?

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    If it requires a lot of force you probably have the cable routing wrong - I'd double check that. They can be finicky about where the cable enters the FD bolt.

  3. #3
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    TH - good call on cable routing/issue. When I went down to take one last crack at it this morning, I put the fd on the small ring with the cable loose but secured to the fd bolt. Reset the LL, checked alignment and height by pulling on the derailler cable by hand...and that was when I noticed the "creak, squeak, creak" noise whenever I pulled hard on the cable.

    So, to cut to the chase -- the cable comes down the back of the seat tube then loops through a black disk / anchor (I'm sure there is name for these things - I've never seen one before)...and that's where the creak was coming from. The cable was hanging up inside that disc!!! I didn't want to take the thing apart because I have no idea what's under there...so for now I just squirted a little triflow in and the creak was gone and the cable ran smoothly - and within a few minutes I got the FD setup and dialed in as well as it's ever been on this bike. The 105 FD seems to shift into small ring better than the Apex did...but maybe the Apex would have been fine if I'd fixed my cable issue...doh!

    Thanks TH for suggesting I check the cables. We have a triathlon tomorrow - my wife would have strangled me if I couldn't' get this setup right.

  4. #4
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    &^%#*%# - after an hour ride it won't' work right. When there is any reasonable pressure on the pedals it won't go from small to big. The pressure required to move the lever to shift small to big is excessive. F this...I got it adjusted enough for tomorrow. After this I'm done with SRAM, at least the Apex group.

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that but also check the connection point on the actual der... i know on my SRAM der there's a sort of tab that looks like it's meant to hold the cable in place but you actually need to run the cable OVER the thing. I did it wrong once and the shift effort was enormous compared to what it normally is. it doesn't look like the Shimano FD has anything special going on in that regard though

    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830696762.pdf

    God luck with your Tri.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
    &^%#*%# - after an hour ride it won't' work right. When there is any reasonable pressure on the pedals it won't go from small to big. The pressure required to move the lever to shift small to big is excessive. F this...I got it adjusted enough for tomorrow. After this I'm done with SRAM, at least the Apex group.
    You've already discovered where the problem lies, and it has nothing to do with the groupset.

    Go ahead, switch it all over to shimano, and when you have the exact same problem, you can declare you'll never use it again either.

  7. #7
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    double post
    Last edited by billyymc; 08-04-12 at 09:26 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Sorry to hear that but also check the connection point on the actual der... i know on my SRAM der there's a sort of tab that looks like it's meant to hold the cable in place but you actually need to run the cable OVER the thing. I did it wrong once and the shift effort was enormous compared to what it normally is. it doesn't look like the Shimano FD has anything special going on in that regard though

    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830696762.pdf

    God luck with your Tri.
    Bingo! Doh!! I was pretty sure it was something simple and stupid that I was doing wrong. Thanks SO much THorse.

    Nerull - yeah, I was just frustrated as h-ll. The more you do something (wrong), the closer you get to a deadline, and the harder it gets to think about what's happening.

    What was really throwing me was that it would work for a little while, on flat terrain, but after a few shifts or when climbing it just went to crap.

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