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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 08-22-15, 07:59 PM   #1
HazeT
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Front derailleur not shifting to the small chainring.

My 105 compact is giving me some headaches here, happened on a ride today where I could not shift down anymore so I tried to fix at home.
I replaced the FD cable and cable housing since the one that gave me headaches this morning was frayed. I also cleaned the guiding piece underneath the bottom bracket.
1-) with no cable attached I set the lower limit screw to have about 1mm from the cage and the chain, while on the lowest gear on the cassette.
2-) attached the cable, only pulled the cable with my fingers, not too tight.
3-) shifted to the big chain ring and smallest ring on the back.
4-) adjusted the high limit screw.
- First problem happened here, I had too much gap on the outer side, but once I adjusted the limit screw to give me ~1mm clearance the trim shift stopped working and it became really hard to shift. Returned the screw back to ~2-3mm clearance.
5-) try to shift down, chain would rub but would not shift, released the cable and even with no cable attached it would still not shift to the small chain ring.

I looked at the derailleur alignment to the chain and nothing seems to be too far off.

Any suggestions? This is pissing me off.
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Old 08-22-15, 08:19 PM   #2
IzzyL
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Sorry, no diy help to contribute but...save the aggravation and take it to your nearest bicycle service center?
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Old 08-22-15, 08:43 PM   #3
HazeT
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At this point I would, but the LBS is already closed and I HAVE TO ride tomorrow morning. worst case I will remove the F'ing Front derailleur on ride on the small chain ring only. Can turn into a nice zone 2 long miles
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Old 08-22-15, 08:45 PM   #4
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Absolutely no clue why you're messing with the H screw??
Follow these instructions from step 1-
Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Front Derailleur Adjustments
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Old 08-22-15, 08:59 PM   #5
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A couple of things I have run into recently.

A new bottle cage on the seat tube of one of my bikes was causing me grief with shifting to the smallest ring. It took me a while to figure out that the FD was touching the cage and that was keeping it from moving all the way over to the small ring reliably. Sometimes that would shift ok-ish - other times it really resisted moving to the small ring. Swapped cages with another bike and the problem went away - but I still need to be careful what bottle goes in that cage.

I also had someone else work on that bike once and they changed the bottom bracket - and put in one too short. The FD was against the frame and could not reach the small ring. I am just glad that the ring was not sawing away at the chainstay - but if it had been I probably would have fixed it quicker, eh?

Also related - I assume your bottom bracket is in good order. Play in the BB can, of course, affect shifting too.

Good luck. I am assuming that my suggestings are way out in left field - but that is where I like to play.

Last edited by auldgeunquers; 08-22-15 at 09:02 PM. Reason: spellingses
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Old 08-22-15, 09:00 PM   #6
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Try loosening the derailleur and moving up/down or sideways. It may have slipped out of place.
Check if your derailleur is bent.
Put some WD 40 on the derailleur spring.
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Old 08-22-15, 10:04 PM   #7
HazeT
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Will try all the above . I had used a few drops on the pro link lube on it. I just read, I believe Sheldon Brown? (RIP) that decreasing the clearance between the cage and the chain ring, height wise can help with shifting, I will try that too, may be my cage is too high.

Last edited by HazeT; 08-22-15 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 08-23-15, 04:45 AM   #8
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Absolutely the first step in front derailleur adjustment is making sure it's positioned properly, both in height and rotation. Without that you're swimming upstream. Also checking the right inner cage surface for wear is a good idea if you have a lot of miles on the derailleur.
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Old 08-23-15, 06:45 AM   #9
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Make sure that you have downshifted enough times, while gently pulling on the shift wire, to have released all of the wire from the shifter before attaching it to the derailleur.

Did you thread the wire through the under-BB cable guide correctly?

+1 on following the Park Tool procedure from the beginning without skipping any steps.
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