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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Accuracy of Index Shifting

    I'm running a set of Shimano DuraAce 9-speed bar end shifters on my Cross Check. They are mounted on Paul Thumbies. The right shifter is mated with a Shimano LX 9-speed rear derailleur. On certain shifts, the chain rattles just a bit against the next cog. A micro adjustment of the lever within that index position corrects it. This happens with every shift on two cogs: the second smallest and the second largest. I've tried adjusting the rear derailleur several times, but cannot eliminate these rattles, so I think it's an issue with the shifter itself. My questions are:

    1. Is there normally a tiny bit of "play" within index positions, or should the shifts be solid every time?
    2. If the the shifts should be more accurate, is this a sign of the shift lever beginning to wear?
    3. Could the thumbie mounts be responsible? Are shifts less accurate with them than with standard bar end plugs?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brennan View Post
    I'm running a set of Shimano DuraAce 9-speed bar end shifters on my Cross Check. They are mounted on Paul Thumbies. The right shifter is mated with a Shimano LX 9-speed rear derailleur. On certain shifts, the chain rattles just a bit against the next cog. A micro adjustment of the lever within that index position corrects it. This happens with every shift on two cogs: the second smallest and the second largest. I've tried adjusting the rear derailleur several times, but cannot eliminate these rattles, so I think it's an issue with the shifter itself. My questions are:

    1. Is there normally a tiny bit of "play" within index positions, or should the shifts be solid every time?
    2. If the the shifts should be more accurate, is this a sign of the shift lever beginning to wear?
    3. Could the thumbie mounts be responsible? Are shifts less accurate with them than with standard bar end plugs?
    It's much more likely that your RD and cable tension need adjusting. Also, have you checked your derailleur hanger?
    Rick T
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    It's much more likely that your RD and cable tension need adjusting. Also, have you checked your derailleur hanger?
    Hmm, I can try adjusting the derailleur again, maybe starting over from the beginning. I haven't checked the derailleur hanger. I assume you are talking about proper alignment? It's a brand new frame. Is it common for a hanger to require alignment on a new frame?

  4. #4
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    While this is most likely a rear DR cable tension adjustment issue, It is very possible that the hanger alignment is a off even on a new frame. In any case you should be able to get smooth quick index without shifting without chain rattle on this setup.

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    Be certain that you are making your adjustments very gradually, especially as they are getting close; often less than a quarter-turn of the adjuster will make the difference between "perfect" and "not so great". It is very easy to overshoot the ideal adjustment. The suggestions that you check the hanger alignment are right on and this should be done first. Also ensure that the shift cable housing ends are cut or ground flat and square and that the appropriate ferrules are installed.

  6. #6
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    My derailleur hanger on my Salsa Vaya was bent from new. It wouldn't stay in certain gears on the small gears of the cassette. That's fixed but the Microshift bar ends have a fair amount of play which allows for some trimming but have been thinking of switching them for some Shimano Dura ace 9sp.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brennan View Post
    I'm running a set of Shimano DuraAce 9-speed bar end shifters on my Cross Check. They are mounted on Paul Thumbies. The right shifter is mated with a Shimano LX 9-speed rear derailleur. On certain shifts, the chain rattles just a bit against the next cog. A micro adjustment of the lever within that index position corrects it. This happens with every shift on two cogs: the second smallest and the second largest. I've tried adjusting the rear derailleur several times, but cannot eliminate these rattles, so I think it's an issue with the shifter itself. My questions are:

    1. Is there normally a tiny bit of "play" within index positions, or should the shifts be solid every time?
    2. If the the shifts should be more accurate, is this a sign of the shift lever beginning to wear?
    3. Could the thumbie mounts be responsible? Are shifts less accurate with them than with standard bar end plugs?
    1) they should be solid every time.

    2) could be. how many miles you got on them?

    3) could be. everything must be within tolerances.

    it's interesting that the trimming is only necessary when shifting to two of the cogs. it could be an accumulated error in the spacing of the cassette cogs vs shifter pull per shift distance. if it's an unmodified Shimano 9 speed cassette, then probably not. unless those 9-speed Dura-Ace shifters/cassettes used different 9-speed spacing than other Shimano 9-speed shifters/cassettes. there was a time when there were more than a few incompatibilities between Shimano Dura-Ace components and the rest of the Shimano line.

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    I have the dura ace 9 spd dts and after two years they now have slight play in the
    mechanism so i cannot adjust them correctly for index so I have to use them in friction.
    I assume the internals are the same as the barends.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blamester View Post
    I have the dura ace 9 spd dts and after two years they now have slight play in the
    mechanism so i cannot adjust them correctly for index so I have to use them in friction.
    I assume the internals are the same as the barends.
    two years wear on Dura-Ace shifters and worn out?

    shame on you Shimano...

  10. #10
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    Brennan, How the cable housing enters the RD is important on 9S+ drivetrains. Generally the housing is cut a little longer to create a larger loop to keep the housing's entry into the RD straight no matter what angle of the RD position. The high limit screw is very important as it defines the starting position for the shifter. The jockey wheel on the RD should also have some lateral play, or wobble to allow the cog to pick up the chain more easily. For comparison the tension wheel has no wobble.

    Brad

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    step 1 is hanger alignment, hangers on new frames are not aligned. make sure cables are clean and new, check bb guide for crud and lube it. make sure cable is anchored in the proper position

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    1. Whenever I encounter a rear shifting issue that doesn't respond to normal tuning, the FIRST thing that I do is to confirm the derailleur hanger alignment. Most of the time, that solves the problem. With the close cog spacing that's required by 9+ cassettes it doesn't have to be very far off to screw up the shifting.

    2. You can forget about the thumbies being a source of the problem. All they do is to keep your shifter from dragging on the ground.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blamester View Post
    I have the dura ace 9 spd dts and after two years they now have slight play in the
    mechanism so i cannot adjust them correctly for index so I have to use them in friction.
    I assume the internals are the same as the barends.
    this doesnt sound right to me

    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    two years wear on Dura-Ace shifters and worn out?

    shame on you Shimano...
    dont believe everything your read on the internet huey

  14. #14
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for your helpful responses. I'm going to take it all in and see if I can't work out a solution. It's interesting that bradtx mentioned the housing loop that goes into the rear derailleur. I was already thinking it was a little short, so that is one thing I will address from the start. Unsure about the age of the shifters as I bought them used on ebay, but cosmetically, they look pretty pristine, so I'd be surprised if they have had a lot of use. Regarding hanger alignment, is this something that's easy enough for the home mechanic to accomplish? Any special tools necessary?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brennan View Post
    Regarding hanger alignment, is this something that's easy enough for the home mechanic to accomplish? Any special tools necessary?
    Park has a tool for aligning derailleur hangers. I don't know what they cost today because mine is almost 20 years old. I can eyeball the hanger well enough to get a 7-speed to index pretty well but I need the tool to get the precision required by a 9-speed because the cogs are closer together.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    this doesnt sound right to me



    dont believe everything your read on the internet huey
    I am using the shifters every day and there is play between the shifter mechanism itself and the
    lever.So while the mechanism works fine the lever position doesn't corespond with the index position.
    And It's not some atempt to discredit Shimano its a fact.

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