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FD cabling - locking down the cable while pushing the FD into the big gear by hand?

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FD cabling - locking down the cable while pushing the FD into the big gear by hand?

Old 06-03-17, 08:38 AM
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hhnngg1
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FD cabling - locking down the cable while pushing the FD into the big gear by hand?

Question - I was recabling my FD, and as usual, if I left the FD shifted onto the small front ring, I couldn't get enough cable tension to smoothly shift with the lever.

The limit screws are correctly adjusted (I think - followed Park tool's instructions.)

Even using my inline cable adjuster, it was nearly impossible to get a clean front shift.

I ended up manually pushing the FD into the big gear by hand, and only then pulling the cable tight by hand in that position, and then locking down the cable. That seemed to do the trick - the 'by-hand' cable pull left just enough slack that it would shift cleanly into the small front ring, but also keep the cable short enough that shifting to the big front rig is clean.

I couldn't find any mention of doing this anywhere on a typical google search of front derailleur cable tension or adjustment. Is there a reason why this might be an incorrect approach - am I doing something basic wrong (I'm pretty new to this whole FD thing)?

With this method of FD cabling, things seem to be working fine (finally!) - there's a trace amount of FD rub in the extremes, but otherwise it seems to work well.
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Old 06-03-17, 09:04 AM
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frankenmike 
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You have discovered a method that works, which is really all that matters. FWIW I use a similar method for initially tensioning the FD cable.
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Old 06-03-17, 09:26 AM
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At least for me, it's the ONLY method that works. Even a 4th hand tool (yep, I bought one!) doesn't even work for getting it right for me if the cable is tensioned while in the small front ring.

I'm just really shocked that it's not mentioned ANYWHERE, given that it's the only method that works for me. I've tried all the other ones, and they just don't give enough cable tension.
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Old 06-03-17, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
At least for me, it's the ONLY method that works. Even a 4th hand tool (yep, I bought one!) doesn't even work for getting it right for me if the cable is tensioned while in the small front ring.

I'm just really shocked that it's not mentioned ANYWHERE, given that it's the only method that works for me. I've tried all the other ones, and they just don't give enough cable tension.
do you have some other sort of adjuster? I usually just screw in the cable adjuster all the way when I attach the cable as tight as possible, then unscrew the adjuster to get the right tension. Doesn't usually need more than that, or to pretension the cable at all.
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Old 06-03-17, 04:30 PM
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Yes - I installed an inline jagwire cable adjuster.

My original (failing) method was to shift to the small front ring, tighten the wire like crazy using either pliers or 4th hand tool, and then it still wouldn't shift at all, so I would use the inline adjuster and max it out so it would mostly work. Still wasn't a clean shift at all.

With my current method of using my hand to push the FD into the big ring, and THEN locking it down, it's literally perfect. No inline adjusting needed. Unless I'm mistaking something, I really feel that this should be the method of installing the FD able. It reminds me of the way you install brake cables by manually holding down the brakes so there's not much movement needed with the brifter lever.

Just really shocked me that nobody even mentions this method at all on any main website or even forum when you do a google search.

I'm also using a brand new Tiagra 4700 group, so it's not because my stuff is old and worn. FD is definitely in correct aligment - I spent over an hour fiddling with it to get it perfectly right.
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Old 06-03-17, 05:08 PM
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That's the correct approach and method. Instead of pushing the cage by hand. You can also use the low limit screw turned fully inwards or either jam something in the FD cage to basically achieve the same thing. Well done for figuring it out. Not everybody does. The technique is in the Shimano setup manual kind of its mixed in with another step so its not very clear how exactly to go about it. The manual could be miles better. Happy shifting
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Old 06-03-17, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by trailflow1 View Post
That's the correct approach and method. Instead of pushing the cage by hand. You can also use the low limit screw turned fully inwards or either jam something in the FD cage to basically achieve the same thing. Well done for figuring it out. Not everybody does. The technique is in the Shimano setup manual kind of its mixed in with another step so its not very clear how exactly to go about it. The manual could be miles better. Happy shifting
Seriously, NO video or website recommends doing this. GCN, Park Tool, Art's Cyclery - NONE of them say to do it this way, at least - all of them make it seem as trivially easy as just putting in the cable while in the small ring, tightening it, and the end. Not true in the slightest for Tiagra 4700!

In contrast, the RD cable is literally just pull mildly tight, bolt down, and it's good to go. After I adjusted my hangar with the DAG-2 tool, it required zero fine tuning and no special cable tightening. FD was an utterly, totally different beast.
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Old 06-03-17, 06:51 PM
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If you search for threads discussing installing/tuning the latest generation of Shimano front derailleurs you'll find plenty of people using things like hex keys to prop the cage further outboard and allow for more initial tension than would otherwise be possible. I managed to get a 4700 and 5800 FD shifting fine without doing any of that but I did need to turn the barrel adjuster quite a bit.
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Old 06-03-17, 07:18 PM
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It's honestly pretty easy to do it by hand. You just push the FD all the way onto the big ring, and even though you bolt down the cable in that position, there's just enough slack for the fd to naturally fall into the small ring once you're done. I suspect if you wedge a tool in there to hold it in place, you'll end up overtightening the cable so that it's slow to shift to the small ring.

Again, I feel that this should be the recommended, standard method for modern Shimano FDs. It's wayyyy better than the typical described method, which is to do it on the small ring, and then to hope that your fine adjuster can be turned all the way out. (Mine never reached quite enough far enough out.) With the hand-push method, you can actually leave your adjuster in the 'middle' position since the cable will be plenty tight so that you can go up or down on the length to get it perfect.
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