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Old 01-15-13, 02:24 PM   #1
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Weak RD, what to do?

My Bianchi has Suntour Cyclone derailleurs. Smooth, fast to shift, quiet, light. But the RD has a problem: It doesn't want to go onto the smallest cog (smallest of 6). The stop screw isn't the problem, the parallelogram spring is. Or springs are, for there are two of them. The cable and housing are newish Jagwire and operate smoothly. The housing is a bit stiff so it appears to be wishing it didn't have to bend quite as much as it is needs to to enter the back plate of the parallelogram. But the biggest problem is simply that the springs aren't very strong.

Any thoughts on what else I can do to help this? Disassembling the parallelogram doesn't look feasible.

I noticed this problem when I first assembled the bike but managed to overcome it with lubing, bending, coaxing, and pleading. The problem has returned. I don't have many occasions to use the small cog, but I noticed it when cleaning up after this weekend's ride. No point in having a 6-speed FW when you can use only 5.

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Old 01-15-13, 02:34 PM   #2
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Your Cyclone is now like Louis CK's incurable, sh***y ankle. It's just worn out.

Perhaps a derailleur surgeon could transplant some donor return springs from a cadaver Cyclone, but you're not an athlete so maybe you should just take 10 Aleve, watch this and call me in the morning.
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Old 01-15-13, 03:02 PM   #3
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Thats a funny looking RD!



The hanger isn't bent right?
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Old 01-15-13, 03:09 PM   #4
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Have you cleaned and lubed the RD itself? And I have a busted Cyclone. I may be able to offer a spring, assuming it's transplantable.
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Old 01-15-13, 03:09 PM   #5
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Its probably at the end of its travel limit.....way out there spring tension is at minimum.

Assuming its spring tension:

A: you need to move the high gear cog closer to the mid line of the bike. There are two options, first switch to a narrow freewheel, and second repace the hub. Respacing the hub isnt the best idea because you'll need a dish change.

If its something other than the spring:

a: 'd' screw needs to cranked in....or our depending on the angle.
b. worn jockey wheels wiil do it
c. too tight of a cable will do it. it's friction shifting so extra slack is ok
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Old 01-15-13, 04:13 PM   #6
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Go back a 5-speed Jim - or maybe 3 - like a true-blue C&V'er.
(No sense getting all hot and bothered with those consarned new-fangled 6-speed freewheels.)
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Old 01-15-13, 04:24 PM   #7
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Auchencrow, you're positively backwards. In a good way.

I don't know, so I'll ask a stupid question here. Is the spring not replaceable on SunTours?
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Old 01-15-13, 05:23 PM   #8
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Auchencrow, you're positively backwards. In a good way.

I don't know, so I'll ask a stupid question here. Is the spring not replaceable on SunTours?
They're located inside the parallelogram plates that are secured with swaged pivot pins - no small chore to remove and reinstall I'm sure.
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Old 01-15-13, 05:40 PM   #9
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Yowl, such an awesome range of answers! Some even helpful, maybe, in a mis-directing kind of way!

As for it moving through its full range, I can encourage it with my fingers and it works just fine, so I could just treat it like an old-fangled pre-shift-lever derailleur. I might need longer fingers though. More of 'em too in case I break one off. Or re-grow one after I break it.

No, it's just a weak spring. It will move, but it's lazy and won't move all the way out without encouragement. The cable is plenty slack.

The springs may be replaceable but to do so I'd have to punch out the pins which hold the parallelogram together and then somehow get them back in again. If I was going to do that I might as well just re-bend the springs. Never done it before but I could try. If worse comes to worse I have a Vx that will work just fine, and spare parts for another Cyclone. But dang, that 1st-gen Cyclone is purtty. And smooooth. I'd hate to lose it.

I don't mind re-dishing the wheel. I like doing wheels, even got a new truing stand for Christmas! But the FW is what it is and I don't feel like taking it apart, couldn't gain but so much lateral space anyway. Re-spacing sealed-bearing Mavic 501 probably isn't an answer.

Thanks for all the input. I'll rest my ankle, up my game, take it to the next level, do some stuff, execute the game plan, and maybe try bending the cable housing so that it encourages the derailleur to move. Or go with the Vx. Or leave it alone and come to understand that I never use that cog anyway. Around here 75% of every route is uphill anyway.
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Old 01-15-13, 05:49 PM   #10
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Classic worn out cyclone. They are known for their week springs. nothing less, nothing more. You notice it works okay when the spring is more stretched. You could add a washer to the drive side of your axle and a washer to the upper pivot to move the derailleur further away from the high gear and thus move the high gear into a stronger area of the spring travel (make sense?). Or you could start looking for a new derailleur. You could also attempt the surgery, that would be pretty cool but very difficult for it to come out unscathed, if you go to the trouble don't use a used cyclone spring for cripes sake! those are the Achilles. Find a stronger spring from another derailleur.
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Old 01-15-13, 09:09 PM   #11
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Whatever you do, don't rebend and reuse the spring after all the effort of dismantling the derailleur. IF you can find a donor spring that is not 'set' like your current one, that would be a good bet. Another option, if you can figure out the details, is just shim the existing spring a small amount to add a little preload.
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Old 01-15-13, 09:16 PM   #12
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Or leave it alone and come to understand that I never use that cog anyway. Around here 75% of every route is uphill anyway.
I know I aint much help. But I like this option Jim.
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Old 01-15-13, 09:33 PM   #13
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Maybe you could put a little spacer between the spring and the place where it rubs on the inside of the parallelogram. This would wind up the spring just a tiny bit more. You'd have to have a low friction surface, though, so this suggestion probably won't work.
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Old 01-15-13, 09:43 PM   #14
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Classic worn out cyclone. They are known for their week springs. nothing less, nothing more.
I've learned about this too; I have a newer Suntour (XC) with the same problem. Never had a Shimano or Campagnolo RD with a weak spring.
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Old 01-15-13, 09:54 PM   #15
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it may not be the spring. remember that as the gears get higher, the parallelogram is collapsing. one piece is supposed to fit inside the other as it collapses. anything, a ridge, junk, a worn pin can cause the two pieces to hit one another and prevent them from nesting properly. as they age, a bur or ridge can be created on the large outside piece of the parallelogram. the fact that DR's use the small cog so rarely just amplifies the problem.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:04 PM   #16
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or get a different derailleur, install and go for a ride.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:10 PM   #17
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I fixed my old suntour deraileur - your spring is not worn out, it is just a design flaw. I could never get mine to drop into the smallest cog from day one. What I did was was drill a hole in the derailleur body directly over the end of the spring. Then I threaded a machine screw in to "pre tension" the return spring. I etched a slot on the end of of the screw with a dremel tool to engage with the return spring, effectively locking it in place at any tension. Worked like a charm,
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Old 01-15-13, 10:14 PM   #18
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^ that's a good idea if your machining skills are up to it. I always thought the springs kinda slid along the inside of the parallelogram though?
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Old 01-15-13, 10:22 PM   #19
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I fixed my old suntour deraileur - your spring is not worn out, it is just a design flaw. I could never get mine to drop into the smallest cog from day one. What I did was was drill a hole in the derailleur body directly over the end of the spring. Then I threaded a machine screw in to "pre tension" the return spring. I etched a slot on the end of of the screw with a dremel tool to engage with the return spring, effectively locking it in place at any tension. Worked like a charm,
Wow, I'm impressed enough to wonder why no manufacturer that I am aware of has ever incorporated a "tension screw". At least Campy provided a bolt to allow spring replacement in earlier Nuovo and Super Record.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:36 PM   #20
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Don't be too impressed with my machine tool skills - handheld power drill through aluminium, then force feeding the screw in. I may have used a sheet metal screw with a self tapping tip - I don't quite recall. You do need to drill the hole in the right spot, but I think the edge of the s pring was in the corner of the "box", so it wasn't all that difficult to figure out where to drill the hole.
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Old 01-15-13, 11:06 PM   #21
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You're method/execution might not be pretty but the idea is great.
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Old 01-15-13, 11:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Another option, if you can figure out the details, is just shim the existing spring a small amount to add a little preload.
Quote:
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Maybe you could put a little spacer between the spring and the place where it rubs on the inside of the parallelogram.
Good idea, OC and NG. That may not be too hard.

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What I did was was drill a hole in the derailleur body directly over the end of the spring. Then I threaded a machine screw in to "pre tension" the return spring.
Neat idea! One I'm likely to thoroughly botch too.

Much to consider here. Thank you all!

Great bunch of folks. I like fender's idea best, go for a ride.
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Old 01-15-13, 11:15 PM   #23
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Wow, I'm impressed enough to wonder why no manufacturer that I am aware of has ever incorporated a "tension screw". At least Campy provided a bolt to allow spring replacement in earlier Nuovo and Super Record.
Early 90s shimano had a tension screw- I know for a fact that 735 XT and the corresponding LX RDs had a little cam with a flathead screwdriver slot that you could rotate around to several different index points to set preload on the spring. (halfway down linked image, on the right) Pretty sure at least one generation of tricolor had this as well. I have almost no experience with XTR or DA of the era to say definitively either way. So I won't.

Unfortunately, in a transition to "light action" shifting (or, according to some, as an effort to calm the rising surge of gripshift converts by reducing the RDs capability to keep the cable taut, rendering gripshift unreliable at its job), shimano changed their parallelogram springs to coils from corner to corner and greatly reduced the return tension. This meant that contemporary rear derailleurs (the 737 era of XT) were incompatible with gripshift.

This created a space in the market for aftermarket hacks to get the two systems to play nice. There were two schools for compatibility: reduce friction in the cable or increase the return spring. It was then when we first encoutered the $40 per set GoreTex cables and housings, and, more bizarrely, the era of the gripshift bassworm. The bassworm was a piece of surgical tubing that would sit in the chainstay cable stop and provide supplementary return tension for the cable as the shifter released it. I guess it also kept the rearmost length of housing from getting clogged up, but the primary purpose was for spring assistance.

Bassworm:







That's kind of a long way to go to suggest you look into something like a gripshift bassworm to assist a weak return spring, but I was on a roll.
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Old 01-16-13, 04:06 AM   #24
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washer between derailleur and dropout hanger.
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Old 01-16-13, 07:07 AM   #25
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washer between derailleur and dropout hanger.
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

Your answer, however, is the exception that proves the rule. That's fookin' brilliant.
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