Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Chain will not transition from small chain ring to the large chain ring

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.

Chain will not transition from small chain ring to the large chain ring

Old 10-10-18, 12:40 PM
  #1  
TKJava
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: North Eastern U.S.
Posts: 81

Bikes: Kestrel RT1000 Ultegra, Mercier Orion AL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Chain will not transition from small chain ring to the large chain ring

My wife's bike has a chronic problem of not being able to move from the small ring to the large on the front derailleur. I have viewed video's/posts etc. on front derailleur adjustment in this regard all pointing to for the most part cable tension as opposed to limit screws. The odd thing is I have adjusted the barrel adjuster on rides to get the chain to move and then it does OK for a while. I have taken the bike into the local bike shop and they have adjusted the cable tension and made it so the barrel adjuster still has room to "adjust". The bike works fine for one or 2 rides then it won't go from small to big. I mess with the barrel adjuster and it's fine... for a little while. I cannot understand why would this happen repeatedly over and over. The derailleur height is correct, the limit screws are correctly adjusted. What could possibly be happening here? In all out no holds bar, shotgun approach what things would you try e.g. cable replacement etc. ?

Further information my wife has a 50/34 front chain ring, Shimano Ultegra derailleur (clamp on) and Shimano Ultegra shifters.
TKJava is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 01:03 PM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,659

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1734 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
Will the ft shift work if the cable only is pulled on? Have the casing end caps been checked for their condition? When the ft shifting stops working and if then the cable is pulled will the der move more and the shift be completed? Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is online now  
Old 10-10-18, 01:12 PM
  #3  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,928

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
Technique, rather than parts?

When, are you demanding the Upshift? are you going down hill,
spinning un weighted pedals?
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 01:15 PM
  #4  
TKJava
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: North Eastern U.S.
Posts: 81

Bikes: Kestrel RT1000 Ultegra, Mercier Orion AL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Will the ft shift work if the cable only is pulled on? Have the casing end caps been checked for their condition? When the ft shifting stops working and if then the cable is pulled will the der move more and the shift be completed? Andy
So I have not checked pulling on the cable so I would like to ask a clarifying question. When pulling on the cable do you mean to simply pull the cable and expect to see the chain move or pull the cable and in addition move the shifter at the same time? In either scenario I have not tried this.
I'm also not clear on what is meant by "casing end caps"? Is this referring to the caps that are crimped on to the end of the cable? Thanks.
TKJava is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 01:18 PM
  #5  
TKJava
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: North Eastern U.S.
Posts: 81

Bikes: Kestrel RT1000 Ultegra, Mercier Orion AL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The shifting is being done at a point where there's not a great deal of load on the pedal stroke e.g. flat road not grinding down on the crank. When the shifter is pushed toward the inside (moves the derailleur from small to big) you can see just by looking down at the movement of the cage it's not sufficient to push the chain uphill so to speak, one does not have to pedal to see that it's simply not moving far enough to go up.
TKJava is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 01:24 PM
  #6  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 6,743

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn

Mentioned: 99 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3588 Post(s)
Liked 155 Times in 116 Posts
Make sure the crankset hasn't slipped. If the drive-side creeps out even a millimeter or so, the FD can't lift the chain onto the big ring. With any crankset that uses a wave washer, this can happen. If it's a Shimano crank, probably not, unless the little pivot-y guy with the pin wasn't used. Then it could definitely creep.

Easy to check-- whack the crank towards the BB with your hand. Check to see if it will shift.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 01:46 PM
  #7  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,659

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1734 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
DrI makes a good point, although not common cranks can shift to the outside if the BB is moving within the frame. Hopefully the shop would have noticed this though.

Using only the cable to try shifting a der (ft or rr) serves to remove shifter issues from the system. It's easier to assess a system by breaking it down to fewer components. By checking out the casing end caps one finds out if the casing inner strand(s) have punched through the cap and continue to move slightly further with each shift. Last thing to easily check is the inner cable's condition as it wraps around the shifter's spool. This is a common location to see fraying. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is online now  
Old 10-10-18, 03:27 PM
  #8  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,486
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8518 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 65 Posts
One thing to look for is a bent derailleur cage, or a re-straightened cage. This could especially be true with shifting without pedaling.

I recently damaged the end of my cable housing on one bike. Cut short enough that a sharp turn of the handlebars would pull the housing out of the ferrule, and drop it back in. Eventually causing imprecise front shifting (which Campy has a lot of tolerance for, but one can exceed the capacity of the shifters).

Anyway, check your cable path. Also verify that the shifters aren't moving on the handlebars.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 04:27 PM
  #9  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,351
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1003 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by TKJava View Post
In all out no holds bar, shotgun approach what things would you try e.g. cable replacement etc. ?
Replacing cables and housing is not a shotgun approach and is what I would definitely do right away if for no other reason than to eliminate it as the problem.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 10-10-18, 07:52 PM
  #10  
Jon T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: West Orange County, CA
Posts: 995

Bikes: '84 Peugeot PH10LE

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 11 Posts
Is the cable slipping at the anchor point?
Jon
Jon T is offline  
Old 10-11-18, 06:19 AM
  #11  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,298

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1161 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 23 Posts
Since you are able to adjust the derailleur so that it works temporarily, it probably isn't the derailleur.

Check your cable housing ends. What you are looking for as a few tiny wires sticking out of the ferrels. If you see that, it's actually because it means that you have found the problem. Replace the cable housing making sure the new housing is cut nice and square and you'll be good to go. What is happening is your cable housing is slowly shortening itself. When that happens you are able to adjust the derailleur so that it works for awhile but the housing shortens itself again and you can't get enough cable tension to make the shift.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 10-11-18, 07:20 AM
  #12  
Aubergine 
Bad example
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Seattle and Reims
Posts: 2,947
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 771 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 13 Posts
I agree about checking the housing and ferrules. If you choose to replace the housing and ferrules, find some metal ferrules, not the cheap nylon ones that are Shimano stock. The housing wires easily poke through the nylon, so IMO the metal ones will give more consistent shifting.
__________________
Keeping Seattle’s bike shops in business since 1978
Aubergine is offline  
Old 10-11-18, 08:38 AM
  #13  
zacster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brooklyn NY
Posts: 6,057
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
I would go back to the crank/BB. I have an older FSA SLK crank where the bolt was known to loosen, and one clue as to it being loose is that I can't shift back to the big ring. That's when I stop and pull out my 8mm allen wrench and tighten the crank arm bolt, then all is good again.
zacster is offline  
Old 10-11-18, 10:15 AM
  #14  
TKJava
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: North Eastern U.S.
Posts: 81

Bikes: Kestrel RT1000 Ultegra, Mercier Orion AL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Since you are able to adjust the derailleur so that it works temporarily, it probably isn't the derailleur.

Check your cable housing ends. What you are looking for as a few tiny wires sticking out of the ferrels. If you see that, it's actually because it means that you have found the problem. Replace the cable housing making sure the new housing is cut nice and square and you'll be good to go. What is happening is your cable housing is slowly shortening itself. When that happens you are able to adjust the derailleur so that it works for awhile but the housing shortens itself again and you can't get enough cable tension to make the shift.
First thanks for all of the replies, given the fact that the proper operation of the FD occurs at least temporarily then goes out and can be corrected with a tension adjustment and the fact that I don't see evidence of the crank or BB being loose I am inclined to agree with a cable problem. I have a picture below with my own indications of what the "housing" is and what "ferrules" are just to ensure that I understand the terminology correctly. It would seem to me that one would need to replace the entire cable (with housing and ferrules) from the shifter to the FD or can housing and ferrules be changed directly? One thing I should have also mentioned if it matters that the cables are internally routed inside the frame tubes.



Cable housing, ferrule and cable

Last edited by TKJava; 10-11-18 at 02:41 PM.
TKJava is offline  
Old 10-12-18, 05:56 AM
  #15  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,298

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1161 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 23 Posts
You have the nomenclature right.

Internally routed cables are a nuisance but not a real problem. The trick is to change the cable and the cable housing one-at-a-time. You use the cable to guide the cable housing through the frame tube and the housing to guide the cable.

Assuming the cable housing is your problem you will probably have to replace your shift cable too unless you have very well trimmed "hairless" cut cable ends. No matter what I do, I'm seldom that lucky.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 10-12-18, 09:32 AM
  #16  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When it shifts OK for a while and then fails a housing fault would be the first thing I would suspect. The reason is that limit screws do not easily change, and the same goes for tension adjusters. If the housing is failing or a ferrule is not properly restraining the housing slack can be created without any change in adjustment, and can keep reoccurring.
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
cny-bikeman is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
CliffordK
Pacific Northwest
0
05-09-18 03:02 PM
YamiRider1316
Mountain Biking
13
03-30-13 06:48 AM
mzeffex
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
0
01-13-10 08:15 PM
Pamestique
United Kingdom
1
08-07-08 04:28 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.