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What caused derailleur to fail and what to do now?

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What caused derailleur to fail and what to do now?

Old 08-04-15, 07:09 AM
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PJK
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What caused derailleur to fail and what to do now?

My wife and I purchased two bicycles from the Pure City Cycles website (same company as Pure Fix Cycles) about two weeks ago and they arrived via Fed Ex last Saturday afternoon. I put the bikes together myself, it only involved attaching the front wheel, handlebars, seat and fenders, everything else was already assembled. We took our new bikes out for a quick ride around our neighborhood on Saturday evening and everything was fine. On Sunday morning we went for a much further ride and everything was fine until we decided to return home. We live in a city with a lot of hills and when my wife tried to shift her gears down to climb one of them the derailleur on her bike became lodged in the spokes on her rear wheel which bent the section of bike frame that holds the derailleur. I had to pull the derailleur out from the spokes and we walked our bikes the rest of the way home. Can someone please explain what caused the derailleur to become lodged in my wife's bike spokes? My wife is very petite and I'm certain that the issue is not related to her weight or leg strength.

As to the question of what to do now: Pure City Cycles claims that they will only honor their warranty if you have a "professional" assemble your bike, which I did not know until this incident occurred. I know I'm responsible for not having read through their warranty beforehand and even if I had done so, I probably would have assembled the bikes anyway (or not purchased them in the first place). I contacted Pure City Cycle's customer support through an email yesterday and explained what happened, they replied that they would exchange the bike for a new one and that I needed to send them another email with my purchase order number, my shipping address and proof of professional assembly. I replied to their email and told them that the section of bike that failed was assembled by them and they are responsible for its failure, I haven't received a reply to my last email as of yet. I am assuming that not having proof of professional assembly means that they will not replace my wife's bike with a new one; I can straighten out the section of bike frame that holds the derailleur a little more and order a new derailleur from Amazon for around $25 (it is a Shimano Altus derailleur) but I'm afraid that the frame section has been weakened after having been bent and that the same problem will probably occur again in the future. What would all of you do at this point if you were in our situation?

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Old 08-04-15, 07:32 AM
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The derailleur lodged into the spokes when downshifting to the highest cog because you did not adjust the inside/low limit screw on the rear derailleur upon assembly of your new bike.

This is something that is a required check on assembly of any new bike as it comes out of the box, something that "professionals" at bike shops do as a matter of course, something that is indicated as a necessary check/adjustment on any assembly checklist which turns up in an online search.

"Professional" assembly is suggested by companies selling bikes online to prevent just such occurrences as this.

I would suggest that you take the bike to a local bike shop, explain the situation, and have "professionals" replace the rear derailleur, check/straighten the derailleur hanger, and check both the chain and spokes for possible damage/replacement. Think of the cost of repair as an educational expense in your life...
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Old 08-04-15, 07:38 AM
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Can't tell from the pic. Is that a replaceable derailleur hanger or is it actually part of the frame? Is it a steel frame?

This incident could have been caused by a badly adjusted derailleur (low limit screw improperly set), a derailleur hanger that was already bent inwards, a bent derailleur cage, or some combination of those factors.

Were any spokes damaged?
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Old 08-04-15, 07:38 AM
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I'm surprised that the wheel didn't come with a plastic 'dork disk' which would keep the RD from going into the spokes.
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Old 08-04-15, 07:42 AM
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Body strength has nothing to do with this. The most common ways this happens is either-

The der was bent inwards previous to the incident. maybe from the bike falling over on the RH side. maybe from a basket ball hitting the der when parked in the garage. maybe from placing the bike on the RH side during in the car transport. Or some other way a side force is placed on the der. Then when the der is shifted to a low gear the limit of it's inward movement is not overlapping with the spokes.

When JRA a stick or other object is caught up in the spokes and chain and is carried up and pulls the der cage back and into the spokes.

The inner travel limit screw is not properly set to keep the der from overlapping with the spokes.

When JRA a shock bounces the lower run of the chain enough to cause it to come off the lower pulley and thus jams the chain/cage. But the rider continues to pedal causing much the same a s having had a stick caught up there.

I agree with the company's attitude. this is part of the cost of assembling and maintaining a bike that isn't often mentioned. If the bike was professionally assembled then some (debatable how little) of the burden to keep the der away from the spokes is on the LBS that did the assembly. If the der or bike was defective out of the box then who ever did the assembly is on the hook for catching this before use. That a privet/non professional did the assembly doesn't eliminate this need to be sure of proper function before use.

It is very possible that the force that could have bent the der inwards happened during shipping. We see bike boxed delivered by both UPS and FedEx with torn, crushed boxes often. it's our (the assembly person) job to inspect and document any shipping damage before the bike is even unwrapped. Andy.
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Old 08-04-15, 07:46 AM
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Take the bike to your local shop and ask them to make the repairs as outlined.above. Also have them go over your bike thoroughly. You are unaware of what you overlooked on that one, too (bearings, limit screws, headset adjustment, etc.)
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Old 08-04-15, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
The derailleur lodged into the spokes when downshifting to the highest cog because you did not adjust the inside/low limit screw on the rear derailleur upon assembly of your new bike.

This is something that is a required check on assembly of any new bike as it comes out of the box, something that "professionals" at bike shops do as a matter of course, something that is indicated as a necessary check/adjustment on any assembly checklist which turns up in an online search.

"Professional" assembly is suggested by companies selling bikes online to prevent just such occurrences as this.

I would suggest that you take the bike to a local bike shop, explain the situation, and have "professionals" replace the rear derailleur, check/straighten the derailleur hanger, and check both the chain and spokes for possible damage/replacement. Think of the cost of repair as an educational expense in your life...
Getting the bikes to a bike shop in my area isn't as easy as one would imagine, it's part of the reason they were purchased online. Is there a way for someone will little experience to check and adjust the inside/low limit screw?

Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
Can't tell from the pic. Is that a replaceable derailleur hanger or is it actually part of the frame? Is it a steel frame?

This incident could have been caused by a badly adjusted derailleur (low limit screw improperly set), a derailleur hanger that was already bent inwards, a bent derailleur cage, or some combination of those factors.

Were any spokes damaged?
The hanger is part of the frame and the frame is steel. One spoke was slightly bent.
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Old 08-04-15, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PJK View Post
Getting the bikes to a bike shop in my area isn't as easy as one would imagine, it's part of the reason they were purchased online. Is there a way for someone will little experience to check and adjust the inside/low limit screw?

The hanger is part of the frame and the frame is steel. One spoke was slightly bent.
Search for "rear derailleur adjustment" or setup online. You should find text and video instruction. Basically: there's three adjustment screws out back on the rear derailleur, the two next to each other are the inside and outside limit adjusters. Look for the one which says "low." Screw that in with the chain on the biggest cog until you can see that the top pulley on the der is visually aligned with the big cog. Then shift the bike while turning the pedals to make sure you haven't tightened it too much -- should shift easily, without overshifting the chain into the spokes or the derailleur touching any of the spokes.

At this point, your rear derailleur hanger may be bent or the derailleur itself is bent/broken. You could bend the derailleur hanger back with a crescent wrench if it's out of alignment, but shops have a special tool for the job... and they know what they are doing. Really, the best thing you could do at this point is to bring the bike to a shop and have them check things over. If you didn't know enough to check the limit screws on assembly, there's probably a bunch of other stuff you might have missed. Also, that you might miss while attempting repairs on the damaged bike.
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Old 08-04-15, 09:06 AM
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Maybe it got bent in during shipping?
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Old 08-04-15, 11:24 AM
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it only involved attaching the front wheel, handlebars, seat and fenders, everything else was already assembled.
+1, you purchased a low cost bike from a website then depended on your own skill to assemble and adjust it,

and not being adequately adjusted you damaged the bike .

what to do now?

Yes, as above, take it to a bike shop and pay them to fix the damage and do the adjustments you missed.

building up a Multispeed bike involves more than just putting the parts on the frame.

That was probably done in China,[ROC or PRC] the Importing company warehoused the boxes
then shipped them out, un opened until you got it.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-04-15 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 08-04-15, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Body strength has nothing to do with this. The most common ways this happens is either-

The der was bent inwards previous to the incident. maybe from the bike falling over on the RH side. maybe from a basket ball hitting the der when parked in the garage. maybe from placing the bike on the RH side during in the car transport. Or some other way a side force is placed on the der. Then when the der is shifted to a low gear the limit of it's inward movement is not overlapping with the spokes.

When JRA a stick or other object is caught up in the spokes and chain and is carried up and pulls the der cage back and into the spokes.

The inner travel limit screw is not properly set to keep the der from overlapping with the spokes.

When JRA a shock bounces the lower run of the chain enough to cause it to come off the lower pulley and thus jams the chain/cage. But the rider continues to pedal causing much the same a s having had a stick caught up there.
The above explains a lot, thank you for taking the time to reply, Andrew.

I agree with the company's attitude. this is part of the cost of assembling and maintaining a bike that isn't often mentioned. If the bike was professionally assembled then some (debatable how little) of the burden to keep the der away from the spokes is on the LBS that did the assembly. If the der or bike was defective out of the box then who ever did the assembly is on the hook for catching this before use. That a privet/non professional did the assembly doesn't eliminate this need to be sure of proper function before use.

It is very possible that the force that could have bent the der inwards happened during shipping. We see bike boxed delivered by both UPS and FedEx with torn, crushed boxes often. it's our (the assembly person) job to inspect and document any shipping damage before the bike is even unwrapped. Andy.
My wife and I do see things from the company's side and it is very unlikely that I will pursue things any further with them in regards to getting the bike fixed. There was a little damage to the box that the bike came in but I don't believe that any damage to the bike was overlooked in our excitement to get everything put together so it could be ridden. There wasn't any other damage done to the bike in the short time that we had it before the incident occurred either.

---------------------------------

Thank you to everyone else who took the time to provide a helpful answer. I'm here to learn and I do not feel the workings of an 8 speed bicycle are any more complicated than the other mechanical things that I deal with on a daily basis. I know what to look for in the future now, thanks again.
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Old 08-04-15, 02:23 PM
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buy one of these Park Tool Co. DAG-2.2 : Derailleur Hanger Alignment Gauge : Frame & Fork Tools if you want to make sure

your Index shifting works at its best , the hanger alignment is the foundation of the system .

its a common bike shop tool .. asking them to check it will only cost a few bucks in shop time/labor.

so you dont need to own your own.
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Old 08-04-15, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
its a common bike shop tool .. asking them to check it will only cost a few bucks in shop time/labor.

so you dont need to own your own.
Thanks for the reply and link, fietsbob. I love buying tools and don't having them even if they aren't used very often (in my case).
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Old 08-04-15, 03:44 PM
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It's hard to tell from that picture but that looks to me like a Shimano tourney derailleur with a "claw". If that's the case, have a local bike shop slap a new one on. That's not a very expensive component.
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Old 08-04-15, 05:32 PM
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This great website has lots of info. Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog You can also straighten a derailleur hanger by threading the axle of another wheel into the derailleur attachment hole. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T45tsSjyjDA
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Old 08-04-15, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PJK View Post
What would all of you do at this point if you were in our situation?
What I would do and what you should do are two different things.

Take the broken bike to a bike shop.

It would probably be a good idea to take the other bike to a bike shop for a inspection while you're at it.


The bikes in question: https://www.bikeforums.net/introducti...l#post18036213


* they don't have claw derailleurs, here's some larger photos....

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/038...g?v=1438712604

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/038...g?v=1438027987

Last edited by cobba; 08-04-15 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 08-05-15, 04:58 AM
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I kind of understand why some people feel the need to talk down to someone they see as being less experienced at something as they are but I thought this category was called "Bike Mechanics" and you all talked about how to fix things here.

Anyway, I found all the information that I need here Derailer Adjustment . It's not rocket science. Thanks again to those of you who replied with helpful answers.
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Old 08-05-15, 06:14 AM
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You will need to straighten the derailleur hanger before a new derailleur can be put on, if it's not straightened properly the new derailleur won't work properly.

Do you feel confident that you can straighten the derailleur hanger properly?

A spoke protector between the large sprocket and the spokes would of prevented this problem.

https://www.niagaracycle.com/categori...oke-protectors
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Old 08-05-15, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PJK View Post
I kind of understand why some people feel the need to talk down to someone they see as being less experienced at something as they are but I thought this category was called "Bike Mechanics" and you all talked about how to fix things here.

Anyway, I found all the information that I need here Derailer Adjustment . It's not rocket science. Thanks again to those of you who replied with helpful answers.
1. I saw some posts above that were frank in their assessment of how the situation occurred, but none that seemed to "talk down" to you, and you did not specify any. You made some incorrect assumptions about the manufacturer/seller's responsibility, and the above posts I assume were meant to educate you on the errors you made in those assumptions as well as how to correct things.

2. Sheldon's page does not adequately address how to resolve things after a derailleur has gone into the spokes, but does cover routine derailleur adjustment very well.

3. It's not rocket science but it is a process that must be followed correctly. Many have come onto this forum with problems cause after "fiddling" with limit screws. Some people are good at working on things after merely observing how they operate, some are not.
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Old 08-05-15, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cobba View Post
You will need to straighten the derailleur hanger before a new derailleur can be put on, if it's not straightened properly the new derailleur won't work properly.

Do you feel confident that you can straighten the derailleur hanger properly?
I straightened the hanger as much as I could by eying it last night. I also ordered a new derailleur last night with expedited shipping and hopefully it will be here by this coming weekend. I'm hoping I can have the new derailleur on by Saturday so we can ride our bikes down to the only bike shop in our small town (it's downhill from were we live) to have the derailleur alignment checked out with a proper tool. I hate to say this but buying a new alignment tool wouldn't be very practical if I'm only going to use it once or twice.

I checked the derailleur on my bike this morning and it rubbed against the spokes in the lowest gear. I turned the low limit screw until I was comfortable with it being far enough away from the spokes and it still shifts gears without any problems.
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Old 08-05-15, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
1. I saw some posts above that were frank in their assessment of how the situation occurred, but none that seemed to "talk down" to you, and you did not specify any. You made some incorrect assumptions about the manufacturer/seller's responsibility, and the above posts I assume were meant to educate you on the errors you made in those assumptions as well as how to correct things.
I still think the seller shares some responsibility in what happened but not nearly as much as I previously did. This all could have been avoided if they would have mentioned something about derailleur screws needing to be adjusted before their bikes could be ridden. There is no mention of it anywhere on their website or in the owner's manual. I'm curious to know how geared bicycles are sold in department stores without this issue.

I really appreciate the helpful answers here but not so much the take it to a bike shop to fix what you broke stuff, it's not the way I would respond to anyone asking similar questions.

2. Sheldon's page does not adequately address how to resolve things after a derailleur has gone into the spokes, but does cover routine derailleur adjustment very well.

3. It's not rocket science but it is a process that must be followed correctly. Many have come onto this forum with problems cause after "fiddling" with limit screws. Some people are good at working on things after merely observing how they operate, some are not.
If I have to buy a new frame or a whole new bicycle for my wife, so be it. I am somewhat mechanically inclined and I enjoy learning how to do things on my own.

Last edited by PJK; 08-05-15 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 08-05-15, 08:07 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by PJK View Post
I'm curious to know how geared bicycles are sold in department stores without this issue.
Department store bikes have plenty of issues, look at the cranks......

https://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...massembly2.jpg

Last edited by cobba; 08-05-15 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 08-05-15, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by PJK View Post
I'm curious to know how geared bicycles are sold in department stores without this issue.
And what makes you think they are?

Department store bikes are often referred to as BSOs - bicycle shaped objects. Only thing saving them from being returned on a mandatory basis is that people's expectations is as low as the price. And a match to the average mileage reached before the bike is forgotten or abandoned.
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Old 08-05-15, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by PJK View Post
....not so much the take it to a bike shop to fix what you broke stuff, it's not the way I would respond to anyone asking similar questions.
Thing is, if you're new to bicycles, what looks like a simple question with an expected simple answer to you, might very well require a rather complex (and long) answer. And to make matters worse, that answer may well contain a number of branch specific words and phrases. Which in turn would need to be explained or exemplified.
Every now and then "take it to a shop" or "go see youtube" etc can be a fitting response, if laying the groundwork to make the answer understandable seems like a too big task.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:15 AM
  #25  
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Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles, Tange, Ishiwata, Kuwahara

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Bike is missing the derailleur guard. That's a violation of DOT safety standards. Bike is not safe to operate. Bike must also have front, rear, & side reflectors. That thing was probably assembled in China by *******.
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