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  1. #1
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Finally fixed my shifting issues

    I can't believe it took this many rides. Here is the scenario. Everything apparently dialed in with Shimano Dura-Ace drive train (exception is the FSA tandem crankset) It would shift perfect in the stand. On the road only one chainring would have perfect rear shifts and after about 10 miles the shifting was off enough to be annoying. Unfortunately I made several changes at once so I can't for sure say what the real cause was but my suspicion was this:

    Once I yanked those out the cable seemed to tighten up better and was certainly more responsive than before. I could actually see the Rocket Adjuster compress and decompress on slow shifts. I still left the front on, as there are no adjusters for the front derailleur.

    As I said, I cannot be 100% sure as I also replaced the cable (which only had a few hundred miles of use) and the rear cassette from an 11-28 SRAM Powerdome to an Ultegra 6600 12-27. It runs quieter as a result of the cassette change and it shifts perfect in every gear in all chainrings.

    Now if only Shimano would trickle down Di2 to Ultegra and/or make a triple version!

    I am also curious if anyone else has had issues or not with Jagwire Rocket Adjusters (also available rebranded by Ritchey).
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

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    hmm....we have some, and I'm noticing my front derailer isn't working when the bike is loaded, and is fantastic on the stand. maybe that's the issue? Is it typical to have to change a tandem's tuning from on-stand to on-bike?

  3. #3
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    hmm....we have some, and I'm noticing my front derailer isn't working when the bike is loaded, and is fantastic on the stand. maybe that's the issue? Is it typical to have to change a tandem's tuning from on-stand to on-bike?
    Sometimes yes, the torque load is greater on the road and minor shift issues can usually be tuned out with a small adjustment "on the road." It is very rare that precise shifting on the stand translates to precise shifting on the road. Usually the adjustment is small, sometimes as little as an 1/8 turn on the adjuster. My issue was that I had to make that adjustment during the ride and then several times as the ride progressed. without the Rocket Adjuster the constant tinkering is now gone.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

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    Quote Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
    I can't believe it took this many rides. Here is the scenario. Everything apparently dialed in with Shimano Dura-Ace drive train (exception is the FSA tandem crankset) It would shift perfect in the stand. On the road only one chainring would have perfect rear shifts and after about 10 miles the shifting was off enough to be annoying. Unfortunately I made several changes at once so I can't for sure say what the real cause was but my suspicion was this:

    Once I yanked those out the cable seemed to tighten up better and was certainly more responsive than before. I could actually see the Rocket Adjuster compress and decompress on slow shifts. I still left the front on, as there are no adjusters for the front derailleur.

    As I said, I cannot be 100% sure as I also replaced the cable (which only had a few hundred miles of use) and the rear cassette from an 11-28 SRAM Powerdome to an Ultegra 6600 12-27. It runs quieter as a result of the cassette change and it shifts perfect in every gear in all chainrings.

    Now if only Shimano would trickle down Di2 to Ultegra and/or make a triple version!

    I am also curious if anyone else has had issues or not with Jagwire Rocket Adjusters (also available rebranded by Ritchey).
    Shimano now makes an 11-28 cassette if you want to stay with that gearing.
    Its what I have and works well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'm happy for your improvement, but hope the jag wire rockets weren't the root cause...I just installed a set this winter. I replaced inline adjusters because they would very slowly rotate during a ride. No adjusters on our XTR rd. As you mention, even 1/8th turn makes a difference. The rockets are indexed so I hoped to eliminate the constant readjustment. After installing the rockets it shifted flawlessly in the stand and just as well on the one thirty mile ride we have had so far this year. No double shifts necessary.

    I also made other changes that could impact the rd shift performance (11-34 cassette) I replaced the housing from the rockets to the downtube stop and the cable just from the brifter to the cable splitter along the downtube (we have S&S connectors). I also swapped the large and middle chainrings for smaller sizes, from 54-42 to 50-39. Consequently I repositioned the fd lower. Big improvement in the front shifting, btw.

    I'll have a more informed opinion after we put in some more miles.
    Last edited by CGinOhio; 04-02-10 at 12:02 PM. Reason: cable info correction

  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    hmm....we have some, and I'm noticing my front derailer isn't working when the bike is loaded, and is fantastic on the stand. maybe that's the issue? Is it typical to have to change a tandem's tuning from on-stand to on-bike?
    It would depend on what type of front derailleur shifting issues you are experiencing. With many new teams front derailleur shifting issues are often times associated with technique more so that hardware.

    For shifts between the big and middle rings you as the captain can pretty much provide the finesse needed to execute a clean shift by momentarily soft pedalling as you make those shifts. This reduces the load on the drive chain by half which makes it easier for the derailleur to derail the chain. Again, it's a very subtle technique that you'll want to develop.

    As you might guess, it's also important to anticipate the need to make shifts from the larger to smaller chain rings before you find yourselves putting big torque into the drive chain at a cadence down below the 70's or 60's. In fact, if you get yourselves crossed up in the big chain ring and the tallest cassette on a steep grade and realize that you'll need to drop into the middle chain ring, there's a pretty good chance that when you attempt to shift the front chain to the middle ring it will slip right past the middle ring because there's just too much torque on the chain to allow it to engage the teeth on the middle ring. If you're lucky, it might catch on the granny ring but is more likely to fall into the bottom bracket, particularly if you're using STI.

    Finally, what applies to the big to middle shifts if even more critical for shifting to the granny (or alpine, if you prefer) ring. If someone finds themselves on a steep climb and needs to get into the granny ring there's a pretty good chance that it simply won't go there if, again, they've waited a bit too long to shift and the cadence has fallen below the 70's. In some instances you can still catch it in the mid-60 rpm range if you and your stoker have enough momentum to allow you to both soft pedal (i.e., tell your stoker to 'lighten up' on the pedals) so the chain can be pushed off the middle ring by the front derailleur's spring. However, the trick is as noted earlier, anticipate that you'll need to go to a smaller chain ring earlier... well before you've gotten yourself in your tallest rear sprocket, so that you're carrying enough momentum and a high enough cadence to make a clean shift by using the subtle captain soft pedal technique.

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    TG, we're actually totally unloading it and 'idling' (not t be confused with coasting) during shifts. We're tweaking things, but the problem WAS the jagwire rocket. It failed and collapsed on itself internally. This, coupled with the stretching of new cables, and a (very) slightly off line front derailer led to pulling the cable out of the cable splitter on our 50 mile ride today. The whole thing was a mess, but it's better now, having put on another adjuster my shop had on hand. Not perfect, but we're figuring it out. It is very interesting how different the rear derailer acts loaded (I don't mean pedaling load) and unloaded.

    Now to figure out how to make the SLK seats on the supremo ride-able. talk about NO padding. I have no clue how some weight weenies ride the carbon fiber sheet seats. Weefay may have to go back to a more comfortable seat we got her for the single. (Why does ANY manufacturer sell women's bikes with men's saddles (of course appropriately labeled as women's saddles))

  8. #8
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    ...It failed and collapsed on itself internally. This, coupled with the stretching of new cables, and a (very) slightly off line front derailer led to pulling the cable out of the cable splitter on our 50 mile ride today...
    Hmm. I would have guessed from you description that you had unusually high tension to have caused he rocket to fail and a cable to pull from the splitter. However, you also indicate the rocket precipitated the problem. Can you clarify? I'm not doubting you, just trying to understand in case I experience similar symptoms.

  9. #9
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGinOhio View Post
    Hmm. I would have guessed from you description that you had unusually high tension to have caused he rocket to fail and a cable to pull from the splitter. However, you also indicate the rocket precipitated the problem. Can you clarify? I'm not doubting you, just trying to understand in case I experience similar symptoms.
    Mine did not completely collapse but I could see how it could happen to Oosbahnd&Weefay. I could plainly see the Rocket Adjuster compress when shifting and I would assume it is because they are not built to very precise tolerances. I could also see that after some time the compression/uncompression cycles could be a preliminary cause of total failure.

    I am happy to be rid of mine.
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  10. #10
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    TG, we're actually totally unloading it and 'idling' (not t be confused with coasting) during shifts. We're tweaking things, but the problem WAS the jagwire rocket. It failed and collapsed on itself internally. This, coupled with the stretching of new cables, and a (very) slightly off line front derailer led to pulling the cable out of the cable splitter on our 50 mile ride today. The whole thing was a mess, but it's better now, having put on another adjuster my shop had on hand. Not perfect, but we're figuring it out. It is very interesting how different the rear derailer acts loaded (I don't mean pedaling load) and unloaded.

    Now to figure out how to make the SLK seats on the supremo ride-able. talk about NO padding. I have no clue how some weight weenies ride the carbon fiber sheet seats. Weefay may have to go back to a more comfortable seat we got her for the single. (Why does ANY manufacturer sell women's bikes with men's saddles (of course appropriately labeled as women's saddles))
    In my limited experience with triples it seems to me that they are more susceptible to poor shifting if they are not set up as precisely as possible. That means as close to the chainring as possible in the vertical plane. On plane with the chainrings in the horizontal plane and with enough throw in the cable/shifter to ever so slightly overshift when moving to the large chainring. In our troubleshooting most of our issues stemmed from not having the cage exactly parallel to the chainrings. Also note that some rings just shift better than others. I do not particularly care for the FSA rings on out current crank and will eventually swap them for either DA or Ultegra triple rings when I get sick enough of the less than stellar performance.

    As far as saddles go, more miles, more miles, more miles. As long as the sit bones are actually on the saddle and it isn't too wide just ride more miles. I am a big proponent of the Ass-O-Meter (I know it has a real name) that Specialized dealers use to find the proper saddle width.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

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    I suspect you are using sti shifters on you triple.is this correct?
    cheers..........

  12. #12
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopslam View Post
    I suspect you are using sti shifters on you triple.is this correct?
    cheers..........
    Of course I am, but my issue with front shifting is different than with the rear. Rear was always coming out of adjustment, removed the Rocket Adjuster and now it stays in adjustment. Front is just slow shifts, better chainrings will fix it but I need a powertap hub first before I spend more on the tandem.

    Now if your comment was directed to Oosbahnd&Weefay, then I don't know what shifters he is using.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

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    yup, using sti. And the reason it all pulled apart (asked earlier) was because the adjuster clamped the cable extremely tightly when it collapsed. This meant that to shift there was a LOT more pressure on the levers. It also led to a lot more fiddling around in and out of gears. Abnormally high number of 'shifts'+abnormally high tension= lots of cable stretch=cable trying to unwind at the splitter, and eventually slipping.

    The more I get to know about these FSA chainrings, the faster I think I'll have to/ want to replace them. My single has 105 kit all around, and while not fantastically light, is smooth as butter even when not tuned properly.

  14. #14
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    Re FSA Triples, after a year our FSA rings could not be shifted with Dura Ace FD. Shop spent hours fiddling with it with no luck. It would stay in the middle ring no matter what we tried on the bike. Conclusion, the ramps were shot. Had to replace the rings with Shimano to solve the problem. We had less than 2000 miles on the bike at the time.

  15. #15
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barry.cohen View Post
    Re FSA Triples, after a year our FSA rings could not be shifted with Dura Ace FD. Shop spent hours fiddling with it with no luck. It would stay in the middle ring no matter what we tried on the bike. Conclusion, the ramps were shot. Had to replace the rings with Shimano to solve the problem. We had less than 2000 miles on the bike at the time.
    That is good to know. We are having a swap meet near my home next week maybe I can pick up some triple rings on the cheap.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

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    This thread hits home for me because I have had the same expereance as ALL have mentioned here in the last 5 yrs . I will not run sti &. Triples again . I do like triples so I will just live out my life with barends ....also the jag adjuster did me wrong too
    Cheers, All
    Last edited by Hopslam; 04-04-10 at 07:11 PM.

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    ya know the more I read of problems with triples

    the more i believe in friction for FD duties FOR triples . I'd bet money a campy fd with shimano barends could shift that BAD FSA chainrings.....or other brands may do as well as long as it's friction shift.This is why triples get a bad rap. I don't use the small ring much but when you need it it is good to have.Been down this same path with Kayaks & rudders I'drather have it & not use it than not have it. If you never had ( friction /Triple or Kayak /rudder ) you just don't know what your missing.
    Cheers All & If its not broke Don't fix it.....

  18. #18
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
    ...my suspicion was this:
    Once I yanked those out..
    Sorry, one last question: Are you using the Rocket Carbon or the Rocket II (nylon) adjusters ? Your linked picture appears to be the carbon type.

  19. #19
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    My DA triple front derailleur with Campy Ergo 10's and FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue Triple shifts flawlessly and has over the 5 years i've owned the bike. I replaced the front 42 last year due to wear but other than that - it's been great.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  20. #20
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGinOhio View Post
    Sorry, one last question: Are you using the Rocket Carbon or the Rocket II (nylon) adjusters ? Your linked picture appears to be the carbon type.
    I should have made that clear, it is the Rocket II not the Carbon, although I am not sure if there is any functional differences other than material.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    FSA rings on daVinci cranks with Campy Ergo 10's and rubber-coated Jagwire Mini Inline Adjusters... no problems.


  22. #22
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    FSA rings on daVinci cranks with Campy Ergo 10's and rubber-coated Jagwire Mini Inline Adjusters... no problems.

    Forgot - I just put those on as well - they are great. Stupid CoMotion billet cable adjusters with rubber o-rings never worked.

    I've been wrenching on bikes for the better part of 37 years - in all my years - i've never ever been able to get any Shimano "STI" triple - whether it be on a road or MTB to work flawlessly. Having such limited trimming adjustment for the middle ring is the biggest problem. On the MTB - there isn't even that. With my Ergos - you've got the ability to trim it in finer increments - allowing you to not be so precise in the setup.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe@vwvortex View Post
    ...
    I've been wrenching on bikes for the better part of 37 years - in all my years - i've never ever been able to get any Shimano "STI" triple - whether it be on a road or MTB to work flawlessly. Having such limited trimming adjustment for the middle ring is the biggest problem. On the MTB - there isn't even that. With my Ergos - you've got the ability to trim it in finer increments - allowing you to not be so precise in the setup.
    Ya, it's too bad Campy didn't put more time and effort into making their offroad gruppo more competitive.

  24. #24
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    Ya, it's too bad Campy didn't put more time and effort into making their offroad gruppo more competitive.
    Heck, Sun Tour was a leader in off-road / MTB components and even they were pushed off the stage by Shimano...

    Campy never had a chance and never really got out of the gate before they saw the writing on the OEM spec sheets. Now, if you look hard you can find a Campy Tandem Grouppo, but it too was short-lived.

  25. #25
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    Ya, it's too bad Campy didn't put more time and effort into making their offroad gruppo more competitive.
    OR - Shimano followed Campy and allowed for a wider adjustment range in their front derailleur. While i'm exclusively Campy on all our roadbikes and tandem - i've got all Shimano on my MTB's. If you could have small mulitple trim positions on the middle ring - it would be so nice.
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