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Old 07-24-06, 12:56 AM   #1
Thomasd
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Improving shifting performance

Hi, all. Perhaps this should go in the "mechanical" section, but since it pertains to a touring bike and the sort of equipment one finds on a touring bike, I thought I'd try here first. Anyway, here's the situation: I can't seem to get my shifting dialed in perfectly. I'm using Dura Ace barcons, a Deore long-gauge derailleur, a Sugino triple crank (46-36-26), and a wide range 9sp cassette in the back (11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32). Now, it shifts pretty well, BUT no matter how much I adjust it, I can't get ALL the gears to shift crisply. If I tighten the derailleur a bit, one gear won't click in properly; if I loosen it a bit, the previous gear is okay, but a different go won't go smoothly. BTW, I'm alking about gears right in the middle of the cassette, not extreme cross-gears or at either end of the cassette.

By way of comparison, my go-fast bike with 9sp 105 brifters and a 105 RD is smooth as butter and has been since a tune-up 2 years ago a month after I bought it. I want my touring bike to be as smooth. Is this impossible? Just what you have to deal with with a triple crank and such a wide range cassette? What can I do to get this sucker smooth? I'm willing to change some parts if need be. The dude at the LBS says that my barcons (Road use) aren't really made to go with this derailleur (MTB use) and so it might not be possible to get it perfectly dialled in. Is he right? What would be the cheapest/best way to get this fixed?

BTW, I tried turning the little ring on the barcon to friction mode, but it still clicks as if it's in index mode, albeit it does seem to allow for some friction-y fine tuning. It's still not that great in a couple gears, though.

Any help most appreciated!

Tom in Osaka
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Old 07-24-06, 03:22 AM   #2
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I've had the same problem before on similar 3x9 drivetrain.

It defies (my) logic why 7 of 9 (ooh ...jerry) gears shift good and #5 and 6 are trouble. This has happened to me a couple times after rebuilding drivetrain with all new parts. Eventually it went away after 50-100 miles. I'd adjust the cable tension a click or two during this process. One of those problems that seems to fix itself. Seems like the middle gears are always a bit hit-or-miss on one of my bikes - its running a 105/12-25 cassette.

So, i don't know why this happens, but I know that it does. My opinion is that some cassette gear combos just dont shift as good as others, and that your problem lies in your choice of cassette. Try swapping the cassettes on your bikes for a short time - just as a quick and easy test.

You might try posing this question on the mechanics forum to Sheldon Brown - he may know. If you find out what causes it, please let me know as I'm curious as to the root cause.

Last edited by seeker333; 07-24-06 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:39 AM   #3
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I had a similiar problem that disappeared when I changed cassettes. The shifting was ok, but if I got the RD shifting dialed in well with the two smaller chain rings, then it would not shift as well on the big one. The problem was always on the shift to a smaller cog and only for a few cogs.
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Old 07-25-06, 07:07 AM   #4
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Is this a new drivetrain? I have a similar setup (also relatively new) and the chain would have problems "choosing" which cog to rest on, especially when chugging up hard hills. The derailleur would bop the chain back and forth between #5 and #6. I left it alone and it went away after about 50 miles.
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Old 07-25-06, 07:50 AM   #5
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Could be the cassette. If not that, have a bike shop check your derailler hanger alignment.
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Old 07-25-06, 08:30 AM   #6
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once you go to friction, all those indexing issues just fade away and it could be your hanger, for sure...

are you tuning the drivetrain using the 'hop from the stop' method of fine dialing the indexing in your rear derailleur?
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Old 07-26-06, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
once you go to friction, all those indexing issues just fade away and it could be your hanger, for sure...

are you tuning the drivetrain using the 'hop from the stop' method of fine dialing the indexing in your rear derailleur?
Seems like I'm turning into a Bek groupie - seems like if he recommends it, I do it. Last night, I figured what the heck, and finally turned that little D-ring on my rear shifter over to friction. It's awesome. Last time I had to friction shift was on my POS Saint Tropez 10-speed when I was in middle school. Memories of having to constantly mess around with the shifters haunted me until yesterday.

I'm loving friction shifting. It's smooth, easy, and doesn't really require much trimming at all.
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Old 07-26-06, 11:20 AM   #8
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+1 on checking the hanger alignment
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