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Old 04-17-14, 02:55 PM   #1
chickentacos
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Campagnolo 11 Front Shifter - Not staying in big ring

Here's the issue:

I recently decided to build up my first bike an did so from the ground up, using used but pretty new parts. I've ridden this bike for around 500 miles and was working perfectly with no issues. After a long ride, my front derailleur now does not stay in the big ring. Shifting it DOES move the derailleur as it should, but the shift doesn't hold it's place on the big ring. In other words, the little ratchetey thing within the shifter doesn't stay- derailleur slides back to the little ring position as if I immediately pushed on the thumb lever.

I disconnected the FD cable (thus releasing all tension) and the shifter does indeed ratchet up as it should and stay - both ways. Connecting it back (thus adding tension) and the ratchet system no longer works.

I have tried:

1) Cleaning the inside of shifter and regreasing. It's not dirty in the least. Same with the FD.
2) Redoing all the steps to setup the FD. It appears to be as it should be - again, it moves properly, the shift simply does not "hold" in the big ring. Which also makes it hard to be sure this is setup correctly - I can get it to go in the big ring, just not stay there.
3) Double checking the routing of the FD cable - it's as it should be.

Campagnolo Record 11 front (left Shifter) & Derailleur (Clamp on). Both are fairly new and in very good condition (at least upon visual inspection).

Any thoughts? I'd like to solve this without going to the shop - I'm trying to be self sufficient about fixing my bike so I can one day go on multi-day rides confident I can fix it if something goes wrong.
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Old 04-17-14, 03:09 PM   #2
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Assuming the lever works as it should, and has good retention in the high gear detent, then it's probably an adjustment issue.

Often people will set the outer limit too tight, and the trim too far out so when in the outer ring the FD is jammed hard against the stop. That creates excess tension in the cable, and can also keep the lever hanging not fully engaged in the detent.

The fix is either loosen the outer limit a bit, or set the trim more inboard (slacken cable), or often some of both.

Here's how I'd do it. Shift to low, then shift to high and back by pulling the bare wire away from the downtube like a bowstring. Adjust the outer limit to the loosest (most outermost) position that allows good shifting and 100% reliably won't allow an overshift dumping the chain.

Now, with the limit properly set, use the cable adjuster to set trim based on reliable shifting, and chain clearance when using the various rear sprockets. If all is right, you should be able to move the cage slightly more outboard from where it sits when in high.

BTW- your problem isn't that rare. It happens when a mechanic sets the limits too conservatively, and the rider then tries to improve upshifts by adjusting the cable.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 04-17-14 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 04-17-14, 03:14 PM   #3
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Ok I'll give it a shot - it does appear as if the tension is so high it pulls it right back, but I didn't think that this could be caused by a too tight outer limit screw...
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Old 04-17-14, 03:18 PM   #4
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Ok I'll give it a shot - it does appear as if the tension is so high it pulls it right back, but I didn't think that this could be caused by a too tight outer limit screw...
I added a note on my prior post, but if it's what I imagine, the limit is keeping the FD from going where it wants to go.

Imagine going through a door that has a piece of furniture behind it so it can't open fully. You can squeeze through if you work hard enough, but the right answer is to have the door able to open wider.
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Old 04-17-14, 03:54 PM   #5
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Well, unless I'm doing it wrong, this did not help. Again, it moves up to the big ring just fine. If I sweep the lever and hold it there, it'll stay in the big ring. But the second I release the lever the FD moves back to the small ring and the leaver stays in the first click position. In other words, I can click all I want with the lever, but each click doesn't hold.
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Old 04-17-14, 04:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chickentacos View Post
Well, unless I'm doing it wrong, this did not help. Again, it moves up to the big ring just fine. If I sweep the lever and hold it there, it'll stay in the big ring. But the second I release the lever the FD moves back to the small ring and the leaver stays in the first click position. In other words, I can click all I want with the lever, but each click doesn't hold.
OK, I based my response on your statement that the lever held the clicks. Let's test that. Shift to high, and pull on the cable at the downtube to see if the lever resists your pull, or pulls back easily. You're testing the lever's ability to latch and stay there. You can work the lever against your hand's tension to gauge how solid this is.

If the lever is latching properly, then it's a trim adjustment, however if the latch slips back fairly easily, then it's an internal lever issue.
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Old 04-17-14, 04:07 PM   #7
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The latch slips back when pulling on it. Definitely seems to be a shifter issue. There is no shift to high because any tension on the cable clicks it back down. It'll only "keep" if there is zero tension on the cable (by disconnecting it).
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Old 04-17-14, 04:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by chickentacos View Post
The latch slips back when pulling on it. Definitely seems to be a shifter issue. There is no shift to high because any tension on the cable clicks it back down. It'll only "keep" if there is zero tension on the cable (by disconnecting it).
If you worked through a dealer, take it back to him for repair. Or there are a number of places that service Campy levers at reasonable cost. Or you can do it yourself, these are very fixable using available spares.
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Old 04-17-14, 04:13 PM   #9
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Would you say that the only way to know what's going on is to take the shifter apart and take a look? I'm fine with that, just wanted to exhaust other options. Also, any idea what could have broken?
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Old 04-17-14, 04:23 PM   #10
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Campy tech docs here. Warning slow to load, and you'll have to scroll pretty far down to get to the exploded views of your lever
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Old 04-18-14, 06:49 PM   #11
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Ok luckily I was able to fix it!
Here's what I did:
Took apart the shifter according to the campy video - I only had to get to the first spring and noticed that it popped out of it's groove. I'm guessing this is the spring that holds the shift in place. So I figured out how to put it back together, slapped it back on and I'm good to go. Cost of repair was a new cable ( the end frayed putting it back.)
I'm a bit troubled as to why it popped out in the first place, but I'll worry about that if it happens again.
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Old 04-18-14, 06:54 PM   #12
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Ok luckily I was able to fix it!
Congrats, an happy to hear it's OK. As I said, Ergolevers are very fixable, which is one of their strongest features.
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