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Old 01-16-13, 02:23 PM   #1
ruirui
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Help: how to adjust front derailleur cable without barrel adjuster?

on my roadbike, i'm going to be swapping out the 53/39T to the 50/34. but my FD doesn't have any barrel adjuster on my Scott Addict.

i check youtube and found a lot of vids on how to adjust the cable then fine tune using the barrel adjuster, but for me i don't have that option.

so how to go about in doing it? any vids on how to do that?

please help.. thanks~
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Old 01-16-13, 02:49 PM   #2
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If the limit screws are properly adjusted, with cable clamp bolt loose, chain in the small ring (default) and the shifter in the small ring position, you pull the cable with pliers to just take up the slack and tighten the cable clamp. It should work OK, but do some shifting with the bike on a stand to see if anything settles, in that case correct.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:15 PM   #3
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hi reynolds, thanks for the tip. so even if i have to move the FD mounting lower, since it was for a 53T before and now a 50T, your adjustment tip will still work?

also, what gear should i shift to for the RD? or keep in the same spot?
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Old 01-16-13, 03:23 PM   #4
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The cable clamp bolt.. adjusting it is dealing with slack in the cable, do it directly.

the cable adjuster may need to be added inline for future convenience.
isn't there one where the housing stop is, on the frame?

there are adjusters to add at that point, if Not.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:25 PM   #5
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It is inexpensive and simple to add an inline barrel adjuster. You will then be able to easily fine-tune your derailleur without needing to mess with your clamp bolt, which is kind of a hit-or-miss method.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:33 PM   #6
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man... when the LBS that routed the cable for me.. he said not to use a inline barrel adjust for the front becuase it's only a double not a tripple. plus it will give more headache down the road then without.

i find that very odd... so they didn't install one.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:52 PM   #7
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There is a Bike Shop Tool Called a 4th hand. it combines a cable grasping jaw ,
and a arm that is pressed against .. the place with the cable clamp Bolt,
and squeezing the pliers like handle, Pulls the slack out of the cable.

perhaps others can google-fu a picture..
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Old 01-16-13, 04:34 PM   #8
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4th hand.. i have that tool. will give that a try tonight.
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Old 01-16-13, 06:26 PM   #9
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Shift rear cog to lowest gear (biggest cog on cassette), shift FD (Front Derailleur) to smallest ring. Dis-connect FD shift cable from FD. Loosen FD clamp and manually move FD cage to the big ring position and lower FD to proper position. Bottom of cage should be about 4mm to 5mm above big ring, make sure cage is inline with ring set while looking down at top of FD, then tighten FD clamp. Re-connect FD shift cable to FD using needle-nose pliers making sure cable is tight. (not SUPER tight, but tight). Shift rear cassette to middle cog. Then shift chain to larger ring. Shift to smallest rear cog and check for chain rub and FD cage distance from chain on big ring. Adjust if needed. Then shift rear cassette to middle cog, shift FD to small ring. Shift to largest rear cog on cassette. Check for chain rub and proper distance of FD cage from chain. Adjust if needed. Use adjustment screws on FD to position FD cage when needed. YouTube should help with most of this for instructions. You will not be able to make fine adjustments later on. You will only be able to use the screws on FD. As stated above, installing an inline barrel adjuster is easy and cheap. Ask your LBS for one, they usually have some spares laying around. You will most likely need another FD shift cable anyhow because it may too short since you are moving the FD down lower.
Cheers,
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Old 01-16-13, 07:03 PM   #10
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strong grip
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Old 01-17-13, 09:43 AM   #11
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I've never seen a FD cage that requires a 4-5mm gap between the cage and big ring. Usually it's 1-3mm.

There is a way to increase the cable tension, without using an in-line adjuster. I owned two LOOK 585 bikes that have no frame mounted cable adjusters and never resorted to installing an in-line unit. Shift the bike to the largest cog and little ring. First, properly adjust the limit screw to eliminate any chain rub and produce no more than 1mm of additional cage to chain clearance, without the cable attached. After that, deliberately turn the low limit screw CW about 1/2 turn. Use pliers to grab the cable, pull it tight and tighten the cable clamp bolt. Then turn the limit screw CCW, about 1/2 turn, so it's back to it's original setting.

What this does is swing the end of the lever arm down, while you attach the cable. This will increase the cable tension, when the limit screw is returned to it's normal position. The exact amount to turn the screw take a bit of trial and error. The amount will be greater with a brand new cable, than it would be at some later point, when the cable tension needs a slight tweak.
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Old 01-17-13, 03:18 PM   #12
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hi all.. using the 4th hand.. all i had to do was drop the FD to mount lower, tighten, then reattach cable and then done.

had to adjust a bit of H limit, but that's it.

thanks for your help~~
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Old 01-17-13, 10:00 PM   #13
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Yep, i stand corrected, it is 1mm-3mm gap.
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Old 01-17-13, 10:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruirui View Post
man... when the LBS that routed the cable for me.. he said not to use a inline barrel adjust for the front becuase it's only a double not a tripple. plus it will give more headache down the road then without.

i find that very odd... so they didn't install one.
he's actually kind of right. if you set the stops correctly, and have the cable snug (use the 3rd hand tool), you shouldn't need to barrel adjust on the front.
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Old 01-17-13, 10:09 PM   #15
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I also have a Look 585 and installed an inline adjuster for the FD. Yes, you can initially adjust the cable when you install it, but the adjuster is nice to have when a new cable stretches a little -- always at the worst time.
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Old 01-17-13, 10:20 PM   #16
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It's also possible to get an indexed RD set without a barrel adjuster, but not the most fun thing ever. Just takes a little more time to set up.
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Old 01-17-13, 10:48 PM   #17
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Speaking from a mechanics point of view. I will always put a in-line adjusting barrel on a modern indexed shifting system. Although you are using a double chainring the cable will eventually stretch. All cables stretch. You will save yourself time and money by putting a in-line adjusting barrel on the front derailleur. On my personal bikes that do not have adjusting barrels on the frame I install in-line adjusting barrels for both front and rear derailleurs.
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Old 01-18-13, 01:03 PM   #18
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TLCFORBIKES: thanks for the tip... now just need to find a youtube vid on how to do that.
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Old 01-18-13, 01:33 PM   #19
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No Indexed FD , No Problem.. the post shift trimming is just too easy to do with a friction lever..
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Old 01-18-13, 05:11 PM   #20
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Go in-line adjuster. After new cables, you will get stretch on the road at the wrong time. The 10 grams and $1.50 pay for themselves very quickly at that point.
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Old 01-19-13, 09:11 AM   #21
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BTW, if you do decide to install an in-line adjuster, try to find one with detents. I've had a number that simply screw in and out and these tend to lose adjustment pretty quickly. I've recently gotten some with detents that stay put. In the pic below, the one installed on the cable is one that loosens on its own. The two I'm holding have detents.

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Old 01-19-13, 09:14 AM   #22
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With a double chainring, you only have two basic front derailleur positions. Since to shift a double you pretty much just pull it until it stops, there's no real necessity to have an adjuster. They're only really needed when you have indexing, in order to line up the shifter positions with the chainrings.
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Old 01-19-13, 09:21 AM   #23
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With a double chainring, you only have two basic front derailleur positions. Since to shift a double you pretty much just pull it until it stops, there's no real necessity to have an adjuster. They're only really needed when you have indexing, in order to line up the shifter positions with the chainrings.
Shimano's left-hand double brifters have a third position for trimming, would the barrel adjuster not be useful for adjusting exactly where the trim position puts the derailleur?
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Old 01-19-13, 03:08 PM   #24
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Shimano's left-hand double brifters have a third position for trimming, would the barrel adjuster not be useful for adjusting exactly where the trim position puts the derailleur?
IME they are. Also IME, the trim is not necessary. I have a LeMond Zurich with compact 105, and do not get the chain rubbing when in the big ring in either of the trim positions on any rear cog. In the small ring the trim is helpful if using the smallest 4 cogs, but I don't do that.
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Old 01-20-13, 05:40 PM   #25
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Many but not all bikes will benefit with a indexed shifter with a trim position. Depending on a few things like gearing/bike geometry/size you may not need trim capabilities. But for the masses it should be standard procedure. On my Sram bikes the front derailleur doesn't need a trim position on the big chainring but does need a trim position on the inner chainring. On my Shimano and Campagnolo equipped bikes I really like having a in-line adjuster on bikes that do not have them mounted on the frame. Makes my job much easier to get the shifting perfect and this help make my equipment last longer.
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