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The Front Derailleur Whisperer I am not.

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The Front Derailleur Whisperer I am not.

Old 09-26-18, 12:03 PM
  #1  
masi61
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The Front Derailleur Whisperer I am not.

Well after fussing with the triple front derailleur for 1-2 hours on 3 separate days I finally have had success in getting this little Specialized compact triple crank/Shimano Alivio 34.9 bottom pull front derailleur/Shimano triple front shifter to play together without giving up and taking it to the LBS.

What a pain this has been! I has having no luck going beyond even the 1st few steps in the Park Tools video on how to properly set up and adjust front derailleurs. I mean the part where you can reliably shift into the middle chainring and back down to the granny ring - it was becoming comical had it not been so near tragic...

I finally got got it to work through much trial and error with the following tricks: 1) purposely setting the low stop to where in the big rear cog (lowest) and smallest chainring, it was rubbing. 2) before tightening the cable I turned the adjuster barrel out like 4 full turns. 3) using parallel pliers to grip the inner wire, I pulled the cable so taut that I was already shoving the cage from position 1 towards position 2. 4) lowering the Alivio FD as low as possible while still not interfering with shifts to chainring 3. This assured that the FD cage inner bulge was in enough contact with the chain to provide some push from chainring 2 down to chainring 1. 5) finally I got it to shift reliably up and down by turning the adjuster barrel in and also setting the low stop screw to the correct position to avoid rubbing in the biggest rear cog/smallest chainring (lowest gear) position.

My God, this procedure requires the services of a Front Derailleur Whisperer. A person that I clearly am not.

Now, for a reward - I plan to clear my head by riding a freshly waxed chain on my ever day 3x9 geared road bike. While riding, I will marinate on the mystery of it all and be pleasantly surprised if any BF mechanics -PRO or otherwise can testify...

Last edited by masi61; 09-26-18 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 09-26-18, 12:51 PM
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Old 09-26-18, 01:58 PM
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That's what I did for my triple last week. It's hard enough to get a double crank to play well in all gear combos, but triples I have found, are pretty much hopeless, with my limited mechanical abilities. Life's too short to be messing with crap like this. The shifting mechanism on the Microshift brifter is going unused for now.

Good enough for Lance, good enough for me.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:33 PM
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5) finally I got it to shift reliably up and down by turning the adjuster barrel in and also setting the low stop screw to the correct position to avoid rubbing in the biggest rear cog/smallest chainring (lowest gear) position.
Setting the low limit stop is my first step and the foundation for following steps. Not familiar with their videos but Park's writtten instructions seem right on to me: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...eur-adjustment if they are followed exactly from the beginning without skipping ahead.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
5) finally I got it to shift reliably up and down by turning the adjuster barrel in and also setting the low stop screw to the correct position to avoid rubbing in the biggest rear cog/smallest chainring (lowest gear) position.
Setting the low limit stop is my first step and the foundation for following steps. Not familiar with their videos but Park's writtten instructions seem right on to me: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...eur-adjustment if they are followed exactly from the beginning without skipping ahead.
For some odd reason when I set the stop correctly from the get-go, the shifter did not allow me to down shift from the middle to the granny chainring. Thus the convoluted over-compensating method that I outlined in my post was needed.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
That's what I did for my triple last week. It's hard enough to get a double crank to play well in all gear combos, but triples I have found, are pretty much hopeless, with my limited mechanical abilities. Life's too short to be messing with crap like this. The shifting mechanism on the Microshift brifter is going unused for now.

Good enough for Lance, good enough for me.
Thanks for posting - now I don’t feel so bad. I have no clue about setting up a Microshift road triple BTW. I will tell you that I struggled a lot earlier this year with my Dura Ace 7703/Ultegra 6603 triple road bike until I got it right. All I did was install new cables and housing. The shifting got worse with the new shifters and housing but it was because I hadn’t set the front derailleur cable tension up correctly. Once I figured it out, there was harmony in my world once again.
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Old 09-27-18, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Well after fussing with the triple front derailleur for 1-2 hours on 3 separate days I finally have had success in getting this little Specialized compact triple crank/Shimano Alivio 34.9 bottom pull front derailleur/Shimano triple front shifter to play together without giving up and taking it to the LBS.

What a pain this has been! I has having no luck going beyond even the 1st few steps in the Park Tools video on how to properly set up and adjust front derailleurs. I mean the part where you can reliably shift into the middle chainring and back down to the granny ring - it was becoming comical had it not been so near tragic...

I finally got got it to work through much trial and error with the following tricks: 1) purposely setting the low stop to where in the big rear cog (lowest) and smallest chainring, it was rubbing. 2) before tightening the cable I turned the adjuster barrel out like 4 full turns. 3) using parallel pliers to grip the inner wire, I pulled the cable so taut that I was already shoving the cage from position 1 towards position 2. 4) lowering the Alivio FD as low as possible while still not interfering with shifts to chainring 3. This assured that the FD cage inner bulge was in enough contact with the chain to provide some push from chainring 2 down to chainring 1. 5) finally I got it to shift reliably up and down by turning the adjuster barrel in and also setting the low stop screw to the correct position to avoid rubbing in the biggest rear cog/smallest chainring (lowest gear) position.

My God, this procedure requires the services of a Front Derailleur Whisperer. A person that I clearly am not.

Now, for a reward - I plan to clear my head by riding a freshly waxed chain on my ever day 3x9 geared road bike. While riding, I will marinate on the mystery of it all and be pleasantly surprised if any BF mechanics -PRO or otherwise can testify...
3) Save your effort in doing this. Jam an allen key of a known thickness (eg 8 or 10mm) between the cage and the seat tube to push the cage to position 2. This also makes it consistent if you need to change the inner cable.
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Old 09-27-18, 08:59 AM
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I have found that some Shimano indexed front derailleurs are impossible to set up without chain rub when cross-chained.
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Old 09-27-18, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post


3) Save your effort in doing this. Jam an allen key of a known thickness (eg 8 or 10mm) between the cage and the seat tube to push the cage to position 2. This also makes it consistent if you need to change the inner cable.
+100 !

I heard this this tip before but thought it only pertained to setting up a Dura Ace 9000 or 9100 front derailleur. I’m pretty sure this is the missing step that is always under-emphasized in the instructions you find on line.

This is brings me immediately to my next question: who keeps those orange gauge blocks that come on new front derailleurs for the “initial” installation? It sounds like one of these should be essential for any re-cabling jobs.
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Old 09-27-18, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
I have found that some Shimano indexed front derailleurs are impossible to set up without chain rub when cross-chained.
I can live with this limitation. My issue was with the basic operation of the thing. The initial set up to get it to reliably go up and down over all three chainrings with a single click (up lever or down lever) - this was my challenge.
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Old 09-27-18, 12:43 PM
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I volunteer with a build-a-bike program at a co-op and often coach new mechanics on how to tune derailleurs. Some get it right away, some never do. I never thought that some might be whisperers. I will use that.

If you can't get the middle shift right, it often pays to start from a different spot. Loosen the pinch bolt, adjust the low limit, and start again. Be sure the high limit is not in the way to start with. If you can't get it to shift to the three positions at least grossly, something pretty major is wrong.

Always be sure the cable is clamped correctly. Many times the cable is run on the wrong side of the pinch bolt, changing the pull ratio.

With used parts, the first steps I go through are to detach the cable from the der, and separately check the mechanical operation of the der, shifter, and cable/housing. (Pay close attention to the mechanism on old shifters. This is unrelated, but I've seen people struggle for an hour with an eight-speed shifter on a seven speed cassette, for instance. Counting the clicks to start with identified the problem.)
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Old 09-27-18, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post


+100 !

I heard this this tip before but thought it only pertained to setting up a dura ace 9000 or 9100 front derailleur. I’m pretty sure this is the missing step that is always under-emphasized in the instructions you find on line.

This is brings me immediately to my next question: Who keeps those orange gauge blocks that come on new front derailleurs for the “initial” installation? It sounds like one of these should be essential for any re-cabling jobs.
+100000
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