I have a Santana Ti 700 that I'm half embarrased to say has had front derailleur issues for the last 22K miles. My LBS and I’ve worked; fine tuned and tweaked the front derailleur to maintain ridiculously tight and finicky tolerances until today…the last day. I’ve finally reached my breaking point and I’ve had it with the avalanche of expensive, proprietary 160mm chain line issues which I suspect are the root of this issue. So I’m writing to you…the gurus in hopes of resolving this.
The frt der has, does and will continue to act as though it is out too far using the “triple fix” clamp gadget (proprietary) Santana came up with some time ago. The STI shifter (I’ve tried 3 sets) will baaarely catch the outer ring internal pawl with the high limit adjusted to keep the chain from dropping to the outside. When I release from the big ring to the middle, the thing pops like a bowstring from the tension release…but this is the only way to adjust the frt der and get it to marginally work in all rings. The tight tension release from the big ring often sends the chain straight to the inner ring. I’ve spent countless hours, seemingly infinite settings, cable tensions and numerous iterations of Ultegra 9 componentry as well as the time of various LBS mechanics in both our futile attempts to get my $8000 Santana to work right. Do I have to use Mr. Bill’s proprietary “triple fix” front gadget? How does a Santana Ultegra triple setup run without it? It seems like the thing might work better without it by using an “N-gear” chain keeper to deal with shifting issues on the low end after I switch to a standard triple braze on clamp which sits in 6mm closer. At least the top end should be less problematic. I haven’t looked at my 129mm special proprietary Santana BB yet but I am assuming it is the right width and not defective. I also plan to switch to DA 9 STI with a DA 9 frt. der in hopes this might have some positive effect; although I suspect not. I’m reluctantly considering bar cons on the left as a work around or even a double conversion as my wife and I are fit and can normally climb with the 3’s using the middle ring unless it gets ridiculously steep. I’m even half considering a SRAM dual drive and dumping the frt der altogether! What a fiasco!!
Interstingly, I have a Longbikes Triplet (160mm), and a Cannondale tandem (145mm) without these issues so I wonder if it is a Santana thing. Does anyone out there have any experience or ideas concerning this issue? If I didn’t have $2500 invested in 160 wheels and even more invested in this Ti Santana I’d just bail out and start over with a Co-Motion, Seven or something…anything; but those options will be really financially painful at this point. The bike rides fine and is solid otherwise. I could really use some advice here if you’re in the mood to consider this.
Thanks in advance,