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Assessing bent derailleur hanger?

Old 06-07-23, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
Using a DAG (not "HAG") involves a series of "Little adjustments", and checking those adjustments in a vertical alignment with the wheel, then doing the same in a horizontal plane, then re-checking the vertical align, and then re-checking the horizontal align..... and then i do one last verification check of both alignments....
You do you. I take my (monogramed) HAG, check all around, align to where the readings require, and seldom have to tweek any further, 12 speed, yeah, a couple of nudges maybe.

https://www.abbeybiketools.com/products/hag
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Old 06-07-23, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Here are my top choices:
Abbey HAG (I own this personally)
EVT Tru-Arc
Park DAG-3
Shimano RD-TL11
Park DAG-2.2
Wolf Tooth Pack Hanger Alignment Tool (portable)

Yes some of these tools are maybe initially expensive but a precision tool that lasts a long time and does the job well is well worth it. You will not regret spending money on high quality tools you will regret having to buy cheap tools over and over again and potentially doing damage to different parts on your bike.

Make sure you read the instructions well or watch some videos on the tool you end up with. Having this tool and knowing how to use it is helpful but if you don't want to do it your local shop can do it but having the tools and knowledge is pretty awesome.
Those tools do not work every time. To work well, the bolt of the tool should be perfectly straight and aligned perfectly perpendicular (by construction) to the hanger. Then, the mounting and cage bolts of the derailleur should also be perfectly perpendicular (by construction) to the surface of the hanger. Those conditions are not always met, because all the above have their errors (tolerances) in manufacturing.

A few years ago, I changed a perfectly shifting SRAM Force derailleur with a similar new one (longer cage for bigger cogs range). The new one had poor shifting and it got even worse after aligning the hanger with a new alignment tool. It finally took me almost one hour to re-align it by eye, then it worked perfect for tens of thousands km (still works with almost zero failure or noise). I bet that if I go back to the old derailleur, I will need to do the same procedure by eye to get it perfectly shifting.
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Old 06-07-23, 07:43 PM
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here's an idea that I had not thought of. 10X1.

not much leverage but might work in a pinch

/markp

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Old 06-07-23, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
here's an idea that I had not thought of. 10X1.

not much leverage but might work in a pinch

/markp

Inspired.
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Old 06-07-23, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...if you are going to use it a lot (like professionally), this might matter. But they all work about the same, so for home use, get something that's cheaper.
For some reason, this is one of the tools that has spawned all sorts of high end, beautiful tool versions. They don't do a significantly better job than the cheaper ones, if used properly.

Here's one for 25 bucks.
Purchased. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Old 06-08-23, 12:13 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Redbullet
Those tools do not work every time. To work well, the bolt of the tool should be perfectly straight and aligned perfectly perpendicular (by construction) to the hanger. Then, the mounting and cage bolts of the derailleur should also be perfectly perpendicular (by construction) to the surface of the hanger. Those conditions are not always met, because all the above have their errors (tolerances) in manufacturing.

A few years ago, I changed a perfectly shifting SRAM Force derailleur with a similar new one (longer cage for bigger cogs range). The new one had poor shifting and it got even worse after aligning the hanger with a new alignment tool. It finally took me almost one hour to re-align it by eye, then it worked perfect for tens of thousands km (still works with almost zero failure or noise). I bet that if I go back to the old derailleur, I will need to do the same procedure by eye to get it perfectly shifting.
They may not work every single time but if you know how to use the tool, it is less likely to be an issue. A lot of people end up not doing it right and having issues. Pick one spot on your rim and use that spot each direction you are aligning in so you have a much much better chance of fixing the problem.
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Old 06-08-23, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
here's an idea that I had not thought of. 10X1.

not much leverage but might work in a pinch

/markp

Cheater pipe
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Old 06-08-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
You do you. I take my (monogramed) HAG, check all around, align to where the readings require, and seldom have to tweek any further, 12 speed, yeah, a couple of nudges maybe.

https://www.abbeybiketools.com/products/hag
5 to 12 speeds, bent in multiple directions, and sometimes in more than one place, about 100 a year checked, most get straightened, a few need replaced....

and i just opened vegan's post... I've only owned a Park DAG, bought used for $20, along with a WAG and aFAG, also at $20 each.... I wasn't aware that some other manufacturers called DAGs HATs and HAGs.. I'm now thinking i prefer the HAG tag, since that is what the tool aligns, eh?..
i'd put an o-ring on the HAG.... and set the drag with a dab of permatex B after ensuring the tip of the set screw was properly radiused and burnished.

Last edited by maddog34; 06-08-23 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 06-08-23, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
They may not work every single time but if you know how to use the tool, it is less likely to be an issue. A lot of people end up not doing it right and having issues. Pick one spot on your rim and use that spot each direction you are aligning in so you have a much much better chance of fixing the problem.
Yes, I'm sure it works many times. But I think it is good to know that, apart from possible wrong manufacturing of some tools, it may happen that 2 similar derailleurs, otherwise of very good quality, may need different alignments of the hanger in order to work properly. I guess it is the case for derailleurs that happens to be manufactured at the opposite limits of alignment tolerances, or maybe out of the tolerance. For such cases (not many, I assume), the only solution is visual alignment of the hanger. This might lead to very good results, otherwise not possible with the tool.
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Old 06-08-23, 04:48 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Redbullet
Yes, I'm sure it works many times. But I think it is good to know that, apart from possible wrong manufacturing of some tools, it may happen that 2 similar derailleurs, otherwise of very good quality, may need different alignments of the hanger in order to work properly. I guess it is the case for derailleurs that happens to be manufactured at the opposite limits of alignment tolerances, or maybe out of the tolerance. For such cases (not many, I assume), the only solution is visual alignment of the hanger. This might lead to very good results, otherwise not possible with the tool.
It sounds like in your case you were using poor tools and possibly a poor derailleur. The tools I listed are pretty high quality tools, although possible for "wrong manufacturing" highly unlikely and if that were the case I would warranty the tool and get a new one. Abbey and EVT (and Shimano since the tool is similar due to EVT holding their patent) are super high quality tool manufacturers and the Park Tools have always been good and in the few cases I have warrantied stuff from them it is usually after some heavy usage but I have not personally used the new DAG 3 but know some folks at the shop who have used it and one of them who owns it and it is a quality tool. Cannot speak to usage on the WTC tool but it is from all I have heard a quality tool and having used other WTC parts and tools I know they are worth recommending.

Obviously yes if you have derailleurs that are bent then a hanger alignment tool is not going to really help on that front and conversely if you have a cheap tool that is poorly manufactured then it might not do you much good but if you use quality stuff again this is much less likely to happen.
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Old 06-09-23, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rbrides
What brand & model alignment tool do you guys recommend?
I have an inexpensive (~$35) one that looks very similar to the one pictured above. Mine is "XTools" but it's kind of a generic model with different brand labeling. It's a very solid tool and works perfectly.




Take a look around just get one the looks like that. Yes there are more expensive models that might work better for regular usage. But for occasional home shop use, the inexpensive ones are fine.

I also recommend strongly to pre-emptively get a spare hanger for all your bikes. It's quite likely that in the process of adjusting alignment, the hanger will crack. They are designed to be kind of "sacrificial" to break rather than bend or brake a more expensive part. It is even more likely to break if you align it more than once and espeically if you have to align it after a fall in which it gets bent.

The spares are usually available at the frame manufacturer's website and also at places like derailleurhanger.com. Sometimes you can't find the exact one for an older bike, in which case you can get a reasonable replacement at that sort of place based on the shape and attachment of the one you're trying to replace. But get one sooner rather than later because you want to have it the instant you need it and if you wait too long, you might not be able to easily find one.

Last edited by Camilo; 06-09-23 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 06-09-23, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
if you have a cheap tool that is poorly manufactured then it might not do you much good but if you use quality stuff again this is much less likely to happen.
It’s not an x-ray machine or a grand piano. It’s probably one of the simplest bike tools you can get. The $25 Amazon one will be fine. It’s not necessary to get the hanger aligned within two micrometers…
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Old 06-09-23, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
It’s not an x-ray machine or a grand piano. It’s probably one of the simplest bike tools you can get. The $25 Amazon one will be fine. It’s not necessary to get the hanger aligned within two micrometers…
Please re-read the back and forth between myself and RedBullet. Then you can understand why I said what I said. They had issues and were talking tools and I explained everything. I never said anything about micrometers so not really relevant to what I wrote.
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Old 06-11-23, 07:25 PM
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For occasional personal use the Park DAG 2 series is fine. You might ask your local shops if they want to sell theirs —I know my shop will get rid of ours as soon as we can source a Dag-3
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Old 06-11-23, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
I never said anything about micrometers so not really relevant to what I wrote.
It’s a unit of measurement. Apparently “micron” is outdated. The point being, bending a bent hanger doesn’t have to be microscopically precise.
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Old 06-12-23, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
It’s a unit of measurement. Apparently “micron” is outdated. The point being, bending a bent hanger doesn’t have to be microscopically precise.
Yes I know that...what does it have to do with what I said? Did you read the back and forth between myself and RedBullet? I don't think I once mentioned being microscopically precise and that wasn't really relevant to what we were talking about.
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Old 06-12-23, 03:28 PM
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Never mind.
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