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Old 03-04-14, 09:35 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Depends on the length of your chainstays. The whole cassette should be accessible from the middle ring on a touring bike, IME. Race bikes, it's usually 8/10 for the small ring of a double before the chain hits the big ring, never mind the FD.
Mine was a 58cm, so I guess chainstays on the longer side. This Trek is a different year than mine (I have the grey/blue color scheme), but if he's like me, it's only 8s in the back, so I was saying 6-7 out of 8, not out of 10. Regardless, I was never able to get all 8 from the middle. But maybe I"m a crap wrench.
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Old 03-04-14, 09:38 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Mine was a 58cm, so I guess chainstays on the longer side. This Trek is a different year than mine (I have the grey/blue color scheme), but if he's like me, it's only 8s in the back, so I was saying 6-7 out of 8, not out of 10. Regardless, I was never able to get all 8 from the middle. But maybe I"m a crap wrench.
Pretty sure the crapness of your wrenching isn't a factor, unless you go messing with your chainline at random
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Old 03-04-14, 09:43 AM   #28
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Pretty sure the crapness of your wrenching isn't a factor, unless you go messing with your chainline at random
I just always got annoyed trying to adjust FD because its height/angle when the clamp is loose is different than when I screw it tight, so I have to always guess at where to put it when I can put it, then tighten it up, see that I don't like where it is, loosen it again...etc etc.
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Old 03-04-14, 09:46 AM   #29
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Yeah, I way prefer braze-ons. But a braze-on using one of those cheaper carbon adapters (dunno about the expensive ones) is even more of a hassle than a crap clamp-on...

Obviously the trick is to try and gauge which way it goes when you tighten the bolt in order to predict it, but nailing that is easier said than done.

Failing that, you can try moving it in the direction you want when you loosen again, but keeping the position steady can be tough.
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Old 03-04-14, 10:05 AM   #30
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you should blame George Bush and Dick Cheney (it works for Obama)
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Old 03-04-14, 10:52 AM   #31
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Certainly the middle chainring looks like it's done enough miles, but that does not explain the problem reaching the largest chainring. You've heard from a lot of the more experienced members here without a clear resolution. I think it's time for an in-person evaluation. You're in the Bay area - you have an outstanding selection of both bikes and co-ops to go to so that's what I'd recommend at this point. Please get back to us with the solution, because there has to be one.

I don't see how the anchor bolt could be the problem given that shifting is fine on the stand, but a pic won't hurt.
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Old 03-04-14, 12:02 PM   #32
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i wont be able to make it in time to my lbs (their opinion i really value) until the weekend. until then, i will post a close up of the anchor bolt and ring teeth and see if i can solve this with the help of the forum members. thanks again fellas, i will be sure to post those pics later tonight.
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Old 03-05-14, 01:23 AM   #33
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here are more pictures of the chain rings and anchor bolt. im really starting to think the sloppy shifting is being caused by the chain rings being worn out. i tried fine tuning it today, it now shifts under load, but it is still a struggle. the sloppiness is still there and it takes a good amount of force to move it ascend it from smaller ring to bigger.



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Old 03-05-14, 01:37 PM   #34
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I'm late to this discussion. I apologize. One thing I've found with older STI is that too much cable tension can prevent the front shifter from complete throw to the final click. It's tough to explain, but assuming that the cable is routed over the little tab at the fixing bolt, that's the thing that I would try. Let out a 2-3 mm ov cable from taught, and then retighten the bolt. This extra slack is needed...

Anyway, I've found this to be true sometimes. I hope that it's helpful. It costs the OP nothing to try. Phil
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Old 03-05-14, 02:30 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I'm late to this discussion. I apologize. One thing I've found with older STI is that too much cable tension can prevent the front shifter from complete throw to the final click. It's tough to explain, but assuming that the cable is routed over the little tab at the fixing bolt, that's the thing that I would try. Let out a 2-3 mm ov cable from taught, and then retighten the bolt. This extra slack is needed...
+1 I've had this problem before.
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Old 03-05-14, 04:42 PM   #36
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When we attempt to assist from afar we are dependent on accurate info in both words and text. The last pic appears to show a significant wear ridge on the inside of the derailleur cage (circled) and possibly a derailleur that is mounted too high. The cage also looks like it might be bent back, so that the forward part is much further away than the rear, but again the angle makes it impossible to determine. We still don't have a pic from the side of the bike directly across from the derailleur, so I can't tell the height for sure.

From my earlier post: Poor positioning - the front derailleur must be at the proper height and rotation above the chainrings before adjustment is attempted. I also think this is not the cause, due to the OP's extensive experience, but positioning is easily found with a search for adjust derailleur.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg front der.jpg (81.6 KB, 21 views)
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Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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Old 03-05-14, 05:21 PM   #37
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as i looked at these pictures at work this morning, it does look like the cage is floating just a bit higher than it should be, but looking at it dead on in person, it looks to be at proper height. i will have to double check that once i get home today and report back. that could be my issue. from the picture, the cage looks like its got some wear line on the inside, but i noticed it too, and it seems to be shaped into the cage. ill also try to take a closer picture of it.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:31 PM   #38
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So, looking at the picture, I was struck by the relative distance between the cage and ring heel and toe.

Is it possible that you have a compact or mtn cage or FD with rings bigger than the design limit? If not, it's possible that the cage or FD is bent bringing th heel forward and down from where it belongs. This could have happened if the prior owner allowed the heel of the cage to snag on a tooth. It also happens on older derailleurs where the inner plate gets worn at the height of the ring, forming a ledge or overhang which traps the rising chain during the shift.
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Old 03-05-14, 07:11 PM   #39
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thanks for looking at the pics, im on my way home now. im going to get some calipers and figure out exactly how much the cage is clearing the big ring. i will also check the heel/toe you mentioned.
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Old 03-05-14, 07:20 PM   #40
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Dunno if somebody said this but probably he wont be able to dial that thing ever, it is the nature of the beast, low end stuff from shimano doesnt have a trimmer built, in a matter of fact the front lever has like 3 positions and thats it, if it bothers you that the chain is touching the cage with some combinations there is nothing you can do, it is what it is.
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Old 03-05-14, 10:19 PM   #41
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here are more pics. the deraileur does seem too high, i usually try to keep it around 3mm clearance. the thing that's weird is that if you look to the inside of the cage, it doesnt seem as if the deraileur should be lowered any more than its current position because the chain would now sit too close to the top of the cage when the chain is in the biggest ring. i tried to take a picture of this but dont know if it translates well to what im describing. as for the last post, i disagree, i have successfully tuned many shimano SIS, sora and tiagra deraileurs and got them to work very smoothly, just as i have with my XT and ultegras on my other bikes.

here is the pic of the inside of the cage.






i didnt realize how far the bottom of the cage was from the teeth, when i looked at it initially, it looked as if the cage could not push the chain effectively if i lowered the deraileur any more than where it currently sat. i am going to lower the reraileur, re-tune and see what happens. thansk again for all the responses. i hope someone with similar issues finds this thread b/c there is a ton of good info on it.
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Old 03-06-14, 09:27 AM   #42
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To the OP:

I would like to remain polite here, but I’m having a difficult time with your responses on this issue. When asking for expert help the least one can do is to give full, accurate information, especially when specifically requested, and to follow requests meant to isolate the problem. Finally, an apology for misleading or inacccurate info, or a specific thank you for accurately identifying the problem/solution is always welcome.

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Originally Posted by LONO100 View Post
... here's one more tidbit i forgot to mention: it seems to shift fine when the bike is on my bike stand, but when it is being ridden, that's when it seems hard to shift, and also shifts very sloppy.
Why would a major difference in the problem behavior be a tidbit? This first oversight was not a big deal, but others might take note that full information makes for a quicker diagnosis. No piece of info was as important as this one for eliminating other factors.

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The difference between stand and road shifting confirms that cable tension and routing are not the cause…The greater demands of shifting on the road can expose problems that don't show up on the stand, including:....
Poor positioning - the front derailleur must be at the proper height and rotation above the chainrings
before adjustment is attempted. I also think this is not the cause, due to the OP's extensive experience, but positioning is easily found with a search for adjust derailleur.
Pivot wear -
Most pivots are not adjustable, and after years of pushing a chain they can wear enough to develop play. When one shifts to a larger ring pressure is exerted on the inside-front of the derailleur cage. If the pivots have play the cage will be rotated slightly away from the chain, degrading shifting.
Cage wear - Every shift involves the chain rubbing against the inside of the derailleur cage. Over time that produces wear, and more importantly can create ridges that resist upward movement of the chain as it shifts to the larger chainrings..
Two of the three items above have now been confirmed as factors – we still don’t know if you have manipulated the derailleur to see if the pivots have play, but that’s irrelevant as noted at the end of my post.

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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Wear in the inner cage plate might affect it's ability to wedge the chain upward...
Another note to check that item

Quote:
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
I see no indication that you checked any of the items I mentioned... Please check the derailleur pivots and inner surface of the cage. Thanks.
…and again

Quote:
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
The last pic appears to show a significant wear ridge on the inside of the derailleur cage (circled) and possibly a derailleur that is mounted too high. The cage also looks like it might be bent back, so that the forward part is much further away than the rear, but again the angle makes it impossible to determine. We still don't have a pic from the side of the bike directly across from the derailleur, so I can't tell the height for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LONO100 View Post
as i looked at these pictures at work this morning, it does look like the cage is floating just a bit higher than it should be, but looking at it dead on in person, it looks to be at proper height. i will have to double check that once i get home today and report back. that could be my issue. from the picture, the cage looks like its got some wear line on the inside, but i noticed it too, and it seems to be shaped into the cage.
Why did you keep supplying pics taken at odd angles when we specifically mentioned height above the chainwheels – best seen from the side, and parallel position - best seen from directly in front or behind? You knew enough to look dead on, so why not do the pic the same? So you noticed the cage wear (when?) and decided it was shaped into the cage then did not supply that info, after I specifically noted that a ridge on the inside of the cage was a concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
So, looking at the picture, I was struck by the relative distance between the cage and ring heel and toe.
Is it possible that you have a compact or mtn cage or FD with rings bigger than the design limit? If not, it's possible that the cage or FD is bent bringing th heel forward and down from where it belongs. This could have happened if the prior owner allowed the heel of the cage to snag on a tooth. It also happens on older derailleurs where the inner plate gets worn at the height of the ring, forming a ledge or overhang which traps the rising chain during the shift.
Here FB is reinforcing my observation about wear and the cage distortion, although it turns out from your last pics and measurements that it was the angle of the shot that made the derailleur look like it was nose up (.2 mm is not significant at all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by LONO100 View Post
i have inspected the cage of the front deraileur and it looks pretty normal. like i said in my original post i have inspected the deraileur and it looks physically proper, maybe i should have specified that i found the cage to be at a proper height and parallel to the largest chainring.
Except it isn't the proper height - it's hard to imagine you could not see a 6.5 mm gap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LONO100 View Post
here are more pics. the derailleur does seem too high. I didn’t realize how far the bottom of the cage was from the teeth, when i looked at it initially, it looked as if the cage could not push the chain effectively if i lowered the deraileur any more than where it currently sat. i am going to lower the derailleur, re-tune and see what happens. thanks again for all the responses. I hope someone with similar issues finds this thread b/c there is a ton of good info on it.
If you could not initially lower the derailleur to the right position that would have been helpful info. The derailleur is old, the cage is worn, the pivots are likely worn, and you stated the inner cage may interfere with the middle chainring - it may not even be the right derailleur. It's time for a new derailleur, which is what I would have told you a long time ago had you supplied better info.

The most useful aspect of this thread is that it shows the importance of providing full information in order to be a partner in solving a problem.
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Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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Old 03-06-14, 07:10 PM   #43
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if you are having a hard time with my descriptions, just stop reading and replying to this thread. ive tried to be as polite as possible in asking others for opinions, i appreciate everyone chiming in, ive even taken multiple pictures many times during this week from as many angles as i can. as for most of your questions, ive already stated that i have checked the inside of the cage, and even tried taking pictures of it. the inside of the cage looks good, i said that the cage height in relation to the biggest ring looked higher than normal but upon further inspection, i noticed that the deraileur cannot be lowered any more without the chain rubbing against the top end of the inner cage, ive even tried to look for any markings or wear on the seatpost where the deraileur may have once sat at a proper height, but it looks to have been in the same place since it was first assembled.

the phrase "another tidbit" is said in jest, im sorry i do not use expressions approved by you. again, if you dont find me to be descriptive enough to your approval for help, then just stop replying. i am asking for help, i am not demanding it, or paying you for it so just leave the thread alone, the other posters dont seem to have an issue. instead you write a giant post listing things that you are saying that i have failed to provide info on, and it looks like you took a more than a few minutes out of your day to get your point across. i hope you feel better about yourself, otherwise those 10 minutes or so you spent trying to break down that my pictures arent good enough for you will be for nothing. i appreciate the help, but if im not providing you with enough descriptive information just stop replying, there are other members than have been nice enough to suggest solutions to my problem. so please, stop replying, you sound like you have much more important things to do.

as for my deraileur problem, the cage seems higher than normal, but i dont think i can lower it any more without the chain rubbing against parts of the cage that it shouldnt. i believe i found the culprit. the barrel adjuster seems to hold tension, but then lets it go again if that makes sense. i am going to figure out a way to replace it, and see what happens. if that doesnt fix it, i will take it to my lbs and have them fix the problem. i will then report back their findings so that future members can hopefully find this thread and its solution.

again, thank you to all for your opinions and information. i apologize if the pictures or my posts dont make sense to you, again, you can always stop reading and move onto another post.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:06 PM   #44
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The cage does not "look good" and being unable to get the derailleur to the proper position is indicative of a problem as well. But you have your wish - leaving you to your own devices. You are welcome to consider all of the pleasant but rather scattershot suggestions that were made, rather than a logical approach. Good luck.
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Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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Old 03-06-14, 08:25 PM   #45
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thank you for granting my wish great one, but when are you going to start? you are still replying. i would rather have the scattershot opinions of pleasant fellow riders than snarkey, condescending long winded replies pointing out the disapproval of the vivid descriptiveness of pictures and text. you sound like you have A LOT of friends, you should probably take your awesome wisdom and help them.

as for my deraileur once again, i wondered about the height of it, which sat at close to 6.5mm from cage to tooth. while higher than normal, it still manages to shift (although sloppy). i recently purchased my first brand new road bike, a bianchi via nirone with a tiagra group set. a near identical shifter to the deraileur in question. i then measured it and my findings were that it sits at a near identical height as my sloppy shifting deraileur (6.5mm) pictured below.


this new bianchi shifts beautifully, and has been a joy to ride. it in fact just had its "break in tune up". ive put about 250 miles on it, and it shifts and runs great. i think these particular lower end deraileurs are designed to sit at this height. anyway, i think i will end up taking the bike in question on saturday to my lbs and see what they come up with. thanks again to everyone for helping with this problem. i will report back my findings. im betting it is the rings being worn out. thanks again.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:51 PM   #46
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You're floundering.

Early on I suggested a method for determining whether it was the FD itself or upstream at the cables or levers. That's where to start, shift manually by pulling the cable from the downtube. If the shifts happen OK, it's a control issue, if you can't shift easily this way, then it's at the FD (or crankset or chain).

You can keep going back and forth looking all over like someone who lost his keys. Work a process to localize a problem, than consider what fits according to what's happening.

BTW- the keys are on the kitchen counter, but they slipped under the toaster oven.
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Old 03-06-14, 09:29 PM   #47
xenologer
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hello

looking a photos
I'd say the derailer is set too high
I typically aim for 1mm of clearance between outer cage and big ring's teeth, measured with the derailer in 2nd gear position (on a triple )
closer you get the derailer the more responsive shifting is
I've also had luck, filing the tips off the 2-3 tallest teeth in the case of imperfect rings preventing the 1mm of clearance

is anything preventing your FD from going closer?
clamp hitting water bottle braze on?
middle ring hitting inner cage beforebig ring reaches outer cage ? -indicates spec mismatch between FD and rings

ps
comparing FD height to the bianchi is a red herring
as that one is also set high, however it shifts anyway because its a double crankset, not a triple
(doubles being much less finniky)

Last edited by xenologer; 03-06-14 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:16 PM   #48
LONO100
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
hello

looking a photos
I'd say the derailer is set too high
I typically aim for 1mm of clearance between outer cage and big ring's teeth, measured with the derailer in 2nd gear position (on a triple )
closer you get the derailer the more responsive shifting is
I've also had luck, filing the tips off the 2-3 tallest teeth in the case of imperfect rings preventing the 1mm of clearance

is anything preventing your FD from going closer?
clamp hitting water bottle braze on?
middle ring hitting inner cage beforebig ring reaches outer cage ? -indicates spec mismatch between FD and rings

ps
comparing FD height to the bianchi is a red herring
as that one is also set high, however it shifts anyway because its a double crankset, not a triple
(doubles being much less finniky)
good point on the bianchi being a double, and as it sits right now, the FD in question sits high, but i looked at trying to lower it, but it seems that any lower, and the chain would then be coming into contact with the top of the cage, thats why i didnt want to lower it any more than it already is. i could give it a shot, but it looks like it would start coming into contact with parts of the cage that it shouldnt.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:19 PM   #49
LONO100
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
You're floundering.

Early on I suggested a method for determining whether it was the FD itself or upstream at the cables or levers. That's where to start, shift manually by pulling the cable from the downtube. If the shifts happen OK, it's a control issue, if you can't shift easily this way, then it's at the FD (or crankset or chain).

You can keep going back and forth looking all over like someone who lost his keys. Work a process to localize a problem, than consider what fits according to what's happening.

BTW- the keys are on the kitchen counter, but they slipped under the toaster oven.
dont know how im floundering, i said in an earlier post that i tried pulling on the cable from under the down tube, and it seems to shift to the larger rings, and then returns when i let go. at this point, im thinking it is the rings being worn out that is causing the sloppy shifting. outside of this problem, this road bike will be a great little bike for my gf to start road biking with. she's 5' tall, and it was really hard trying to find a frame in her size. i hope to get it resolved this weekend.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:29 PM   #50
FBinNY 
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Originally Posted by LONO100 View Post
dont know how im floundering, i said in an earlier post that i tried pulling on the cable from under the down tube, and it seems to shift to the larger rings, and then returns when i let go. at this point, im thinking it is the rings being worn out that is causing the sloppy shifting. outside of this problem, this road bike will be a great little bike for my gf to start road biking with. she's 5' tall, and it was really hard trying to find a frame in her size. i hope to get it resolved this weekend.
The reason I say you're floundering is you don't pin down the exact problem. Is it hard to shift?, does it slip back after shifting? trim? etc.

It's normal for the derailleur to drop back after you let go of the wire when shifting manually. What else would you expect? The only reason for that test is to localize the issue to the derailleur, or to cable or lever issues.

So, if you're going back and forth trying to resolve "hard to shift" and "slips back after shifting" at the same time, it really is like hunting arounf for misplaced keys when you don't know which room you left them in.

If you want to solve this you need to eliminate the "innocent" parts and focus on the single malfunctioning part, then focus closer to find out exactly how and why it's malfunctioning.
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An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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