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Derailleur hanger bending under normal use. Are Wheels Manufacturing hangers stiffer?

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Derailleur hanger bending under normal use. Are Wheels Manufacturing hangers stiffer?

Old 05-04-16, 02:35 PM
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lineinthewater
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Derailleur hanger bending under normal use. Are Wheels Manufacturing hangers stiffer?

I've determined that my Cannondale OEM hanger is bending inward from NORMAL use, and it is affecting my shifting. I've heard that this is not an uncommon situation. I'm thinking of purchasing a Wheels Manufacturing version because I've read they are much stiffer. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 05-04-16, 05:56 PM
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Never heard of such a problem.
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Old 05-04-16, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Never heard of such a problem.
This.

Not even the guy I see one week a summer who has a "spinning" cadence of 45rpm has mentioned this as a problem..
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Old 05-04-16, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
This.

Not even the guy I see one week a summer who has a "spinning" cadence of 45rpm has mentioned this as a problem..
I kind of expected this response, but I've never EVER crashed this bike, let it fall over, or know of anything hitting the RD. I am VERY careful with it, and I never transport it.

I've seen this issue even referred to on this forum by FBinNY. I'll have to find the thread. I've also discussed it with Wheels Manf., and they say it happens. Of course, they have a product to sell, but I've seen how easy it is to bend my hanger with the DAG - WAY too easy.

I'm not even a masher - spin spin here.

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Old 05-04-16, 06:44 PM
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The hanger should only see light forces during normal use since it's on the bottom (slack) side of the chain. Basically, it'll just have to handle the derailleur cage spring and force from cable pull as you shift. So long as the derailleur's not misadjusted and you're not force-shifting while stopped, that's not much force at all. It shouldn't be bending on its own.

It shouldn't be hard to bend s hanger with a DAG-2 because the length of the tool gives you a lot of leverage.

If you're bending your hanger, go ahead and replace it. But keep an eye out for causes. Does the derailleur get nudged when you put the bike away? lean it on something? load it in a rack? Are the hanger bolts loose? Has it been weakened by too many adjustments?
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Old 05-04-16, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
The hanger should only see light forces during normal use since it's on the bottom (slack) side of the chain. Basically, it'll just have to handle the derailleur cage spring and force from cable pull as you shift. So long as the derailleur's not misadjusted and you're not force-shifting while stopped, that's not much force at all. It shouldn't be bending on its own.

It shouldn't be hard to bend s hanger with a DAG-2 because the length of the tool gives you a lot of leverage.

If you're bending your hanger, go ahead and replace it. But keep an eye out for causes. Does the derailleur get nudged when you put the bike away? lean it on something? load it in a rack? Are the hanger bolts loose? Has it been weakened by too many adjustments?
I first measured it with the DAG about 2 weeks ago. The tool was being deflected by about 6mm (park recommends max of 4mm). I ordered THREE new CAAD hangers and didn't touch the original OEM hanger (for fear of breaking it). The new hangers are in fact a new beefier design - so Cannondale obviously saw a flaw (or enough failure reports) to make it more sturdy. But, when I tested all of the hangers, they were amazingly all at about 5-6mm off too. I'm sure you are all thinking what I was thinking back then - sounds like a bent frame/dropout or something, not three bent hangers. Well, I tested them on an identical CAAD frame - same exact results. Just to eliminate myself and my tool as the problem, I took it to the LBS and had them measure one of the new hangers - their conclusion - BENT (out of spec).

So, while I'm still investigating the new hangers and possibly replacing them, I re-installed the "old" hanger and used the DAG to slightly bend it 1-2mm - I didn't want to mess with the new hangers. I bent the old hanger only once, and got it to within 1-2mm tool deflection ("clearance") across the wheel. However, after only 4 rides, the hanger was bent out of tolerance again! Is it possible this is because it had been weakened by being bent once before by the DAG? Sure, but I kinda doubt it. I bent it once, not 10 times. But, anything's possible I guess.

The bike is stored on it's own wall stand, and the bike doesn't touch anything besides the two wall supports (nowhere near the RD). I never transport the bike. I triple checked the bolts - not too loose, not too tight.
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Old 05-04-16, 07:00 PM
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Hangers don't get bent from riding the bike.
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Old 05-04-16, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Hangers don't get bent from riding the bike.
Well, apparently there is a gremlin coming into my home and kicking my RD in the middle of the night. I'm seriously willing to consider that possibility as this point. I've provided the facts, and the numbers. I was just as skeptical as you when I started looking at this issue.

I honestly wouldn't have posted this thread unless Wheels had confirmed other riders had similar complaints/issues. But, for all I know, those are racers who are mashing away; I'm no racer, but I do ride often, and fast.

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Old 05-04-16, 07:21 PM
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What year is the Cannonale? Older Cannondale hangers are notoriously stiff to begin with, as they attach on both sides of the dropout. They are also essentially replace only items, they break very quickly if you start trying to straighten them. You might get one adjustment of 1-2mm, but that's it. They tend to snap right off after that.

Depending on year though. I'm talking the ones they used in the '90's and '00's when they were made in the USA.

My limited experience with Wheels hangers is similar. They are very stiff to the point of being hard to adjust with the DAG.
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Old 05-04-16, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
What year is the Cannonale? Older Cannondale hangers are notoriously stiff to begin with, as they attach on both sides of the dropout. They are also essentially replace only items, they break very quickly if you start trying to straighten them. You might get one adjustment of 1-2mm, but that's it. They tend to snap right off after that.

Depending on year though. I'm talking the ones they used in the '90's and '00's when they were made in the USA.

My limited experience with Wheels hangers is similar. They are very stiff to the point of being hard to adjust with the DAG.
2013 CAAD10, with OEM hanger. I know that Cannondale says do not attempt to align them ... buy a new one. I wouldn't have attempted to bend it, even a small amount, if the new hangers had met spec. I really couldn't believe three new hangers could all be out-of-spec - I think I measured each one 5 times, on each CAAD frame. Bizarre.

From what Wheels rep said, the Wheels hangers are milled from 6061 aluminum, whereas I believe (not positive) Cannondale hangers are 7000 aluminum.
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Old 05-04-16, 07:42 PM
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I just looked at the pictures of the hangers for newer Cannondales. One is very close to the old style with two plates that sandwich the dropout, the other looks the same but has one plate on the outside it looks like. Do you recall what style you have?

It's the two plate style that are almost non-adjustable. I would think the other one could be bent much easier, but I've never actually touched one.

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Old 05-04-16, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
I just looked at the pictures of the hangers for the newer Cannondales. One is very close to the old style with two plates that sandwich the dropout, the other looks the same but has one plate on the outside it looks like. Do you recall what style you have?

It's the two plate style that are almost non-adjustable. I would think the other one could be bent much easier, but I've never actually touched one.
Both the OEM hanger, the one we are discussing from the 2013 bike, and the newer re-designed beefier model that was sent to me, sandwich the dropout. The new one may look like only one plate on the outside because the outside portion is much thicker. From threads I've read on this site, Cannondale tried to make it much stiffer. Too bad it's not straight! (rolling eyes)
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Old 05-04-16, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lineinthewater View Post
Well, apparently there is a gremlin coming into my home and kicking my RD in the middle of the night. I'm seriously willing to consider that possibility as this point. I've provided the facts, and the numbers. I was just as skeptical as you when I started looking at this issue.

I honestly wouldn't have posted this thread unless Wheels had confirmed other riders had similar complaints/issues. But, for all I know, those are racers who are mashing away; I'm no racer, but I do ride often, and fast.
Gearing and power don't have any bearing.
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Old 05-04-16, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Gearing and power don't have any bearing.
Well, obviously, since hangers don't get bent from riding the bike.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:36 PM
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You're not cutting your chain too short, are you? (Shot in the dark.)
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Old 05-04-16, 10:39 PM
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I have a couple of Wheels hangers, & I think that they are stiffer than what they were replacing.

If you're talking about 5-6 mm difference at the rim, that shouldn't affect shifting- I would guess that a third of bikes on the road

have that or worse.

I think you are splitting hairs- expecting a bit of cast aluminum to be true to thousandths, and assuming that the dropout/frame is perfect.

just use the tool- the hanger isn't going to break from minor adjustments- & go ride.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by lineinthewater View Post
I kind of expected this response, but I've never EVER crashed this bike, let it fall over, or know of anything hitting the RD. I am VERY careful with it, and I never transport it.

I've seen this issue even referred to on this forum by FBinNY. I'll have to find the thread. I've also discussed it with Wheels Manf., and they say it happens. Of course, they have a product to sell, but I've seen how easy it is to bend my hanger with the DAG - WAY too easy.....
Yes, hangers are easy to bend, but they don't magically bend on their own. If your hanger is bending inward, which is just about the only way they ever bend, it's because something is bending it. It could be as slight as loading a bike into a car trunk, bumping in to stuff when you bring it inside. But, it takes SOMETHING, because nothing happens without a reason.

There is one other possibility, and maybe that's what's going on in your case. I've seen hangers that don't pocket against the frame perfectly, so when the wheel is tightened, they flex inward at the interface.

In any case, Unless the Wheels hanger is somehow different, ie. thicker, it won't be any stiffer.
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Old 05-05-16, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post

There is one other possibility, and maybe that's what's going on in your case. I've seen hangers that don't pocket against the frame perfectly, so when the wheel is tightened, they flex inward at the interface.
+1
I've shimmed one or two to get them to sit straight and steady.
But the amount of change from ride to ride the OP is decribing is new to me.
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Old 05-05-16, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You're not cutting your chain too short, are you? (Shot in the dark.)
That's an idea!
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Old 05-05-16, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There is one other possibility, and maybe that's what's going on in your case. I've seen hangers that don't pocket against the frame perfectly, so when the wheel is tightened, they flex inward at the interface.
+1
I've shimmed one or two to get them to sit straight and steady.
But the amount of change from ride to ride the OP is decribing is new to me.
I had this happen on a Fuji Ace frame. Inappropriate for indexed shifting. So, I took it apart and gently filed down the hanger until it fit the frame correctly. Then realigned the derailleur hanger and put it all back together.

I wouldn't be too worried about aligning a new derailleur hanger. Align it as part of the installation like you would do any other adjustments. Just don't bend it back and forth until it becomes a limp noodle.

One other note. Always shift the derailleurs when pedalling, and typically let up on the pedal force slightly when shifting.

Other than chain length, do you get chain suck, or something else that is catching?

You want your derailleur hanger to be the weakest part of the rear-end of your bike, so if something does break, the derailleur hanger is sacrificed before anything else. Beefy isn't always better.
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Old 05-05-16, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You're not cutting your chain too short, are you? (Shot in the dark.)
No, the chain is if anything slightly too long. Park's equation comes up with 52.25 inches. I use a 53. I've tried a 52, to see if that improves the (shifting) issue, but it has no effect.

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Old 05-05-16, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Yes, hangers are easy to bend, but they don't magically bend on their own. If your hanger is bending inward, which is just about the only way they ever bend, it's because something is bending it. It could be as slight as loading a bike into a car trunk, bumping in to stuff when you bring it inside. But, it takes SOMETHING, because nothing happens without a reason.
I can assure you that I'm always paying attention to protecting the rear derailleur (or any component for that matter) from touching anything, even when I'm just leaning the bike against the wall. I'd say I'm downright anal about it. This is even more true, if that's possible, after I did the first minor alignment 2 weeks ago.

Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There is one other possibility, and maybe that's what's going on in your case. I've seen hangers that don't pocket against the frame perfectly, so when the wheel is tightened, they flex inward at the interface.
From memory, I don't see the derailleur flexing inward when the skewer is tightened. I'll look at it again today. However, I remember seeing the derailleur somewhat tip inward just at the last tightening 1/4 turn of the derailleur fixing bolt into the hanger. This may be normal. But, it made me wonder if there was some sort of mating anomaly between the RD (5701 medium cage) and the CAAD hanger.

Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
In any case, Unless the Wheels hanger is somehow different, ie. thicker, it won't be any stiffer.
Wheels says it's much stiffer - but they couldn't provide any hard numbers. I'm just repeating what they told me, but wanted to get some feedback from the forum. As I mentioned, the new version of the CAAD10 hanger is thicker than the pre-2014 hangers. There has to be a reason why they suddenly changed the design. I'm no expert, but it seems very few hangers go through revisions.

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Old 05-05-16, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I had this happen on a Fuji Ace frame. Inappropriate for indexed shifting. So, I took it apart and gently filed down the hanger until it fit the frame correctly. Then realigned the derailleur hanger and put it all back together.

I wouldn't be too worried about aligning a new derailleur hanger. Align it as part of the installation like you would do any other adjustments. Just don't bend it back and forth until it becomes a limp noodle.

One other note. Always shift the derailleurs when pedalling, and typically let up on the pedal force slightly when shifting.

Other than chain length, do you get chain suck, or something else that is catching?

You want your derailleur hanger to be the weakest part of the rear-end of your bike, so if something does break, the derailleur hanger is sacrificed before anything else. Beefy isn't always better.
On my last ride, I had a pretty hard down shift (chain shifting to smaller cog). This is directly related to how I've had to bias the indexing because of shift problems I've been having only going from the 2nd to 3rd cog (see the other thread). It's possible there was a fair amount of force put on the RD. I wouldn't expect it to bend the hanger, but maybe was just enough to (slightly) bend an original-version CAAD hanger.

As mentioned by another poster in the thread, Cannondale hangers are notorious for easily breaking when aligning. I don't expect them to be absolutely perfect out of the factory, but since Cannondale tells you NOT to align their hangers, then they should at least come within spec.
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Old 05-05-16, 05:43 AM
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I realize I'm jumping into the fray late. Have you tried any of those three new hangers yet? Don't worry that they are out of spec. Just install one and align it, and see whether it works. Why not? You've already bought them. Nothing to lose.
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Old 05-05-16, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I realize I'm jumping into the fray late. Have you tried any of those three new hangers yet? Don't worry that they are out of spec. Just install one and align it, and see whether it works. Why not? You've already bought them. Nothing to lose.
Hi. I was originally thinking I would swap them out for hangers that met spec, but the retailer is backordered. If I ride em, or break em, or it is weaker from aligning, then it's out of my pocket. It's kind of annoying because I figured by having a good sample set, I would no doubt have at least one good one, and backups.

One other thought I wanted to throw into the discussion is I'm riding a triple crankset. Just thinking out loud, but it seems the more angled chainlines possible on a triple, combined with the longer arm of a medium cage derailleur, may add some additional lateral force to the derailleur and hanger. I'm sure 95%+ of CAAD10 riders use doubles. I avoid extreme crosschaining for the most part, but it accidentally happens once in a great while. No idea if this is relevant to the conversation - just throwing it out there.

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