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Rear Ultegra Deralleur and Chain Length Issues...

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Rear Ultegra Deralleur and Chain Length Issues...

Old 06-27-08, 12:55 PM
  #1  
malpag3
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Rear Ultegra Deralleur and Chain Length Issues...

Hello,

I currently have a 1999 Kona Kapu, with a full Ultegra drive-train.

Anyway, this bike has had some shifting issues for the past year or so. I'm trying to figure out why my rear derailleur will not shift cleanly or when it does, the chain seems to making a "clicking" noise once it's in a certain gear and sometimes just changes gears. It seems to be what Sheldon Brown describes as "Skipping/autoshifting".

While me and my friend went round and round replacing the rear cog, chain, and chainrings, the cables and the housing, cleaned and lubed the STI shifters, nothing has really worked.

Minor barrel adjustments help alleviate it, but they don't seem to totally cure it.

Anyway, I'm still having issues with it. Someone mentioned that it could be a chain length issue.

Considering nothing has really worked, my question is basically as follows...

Is this the "logical" next thing to try?

How much chain should I add to try it?

Can I post a photo of my current chain length in the large/large combination and someone helpful will be able to tell if it's too short?

Anything else I might be overlooking?

Thank you very much in advance!

Last edited by malpag3; 06-27-08 at 01:39 PM. Reason: added wisdom from the great Sheldon Brown...
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Old 06-27-08, 01:57 PM
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Aaaaahhh!! Large large is bad, it rips derailleurs off of bicycles, as a rule, don't use it. Post a photo of your chain in the small/small combination (granted, this one doesn't make sense either, but at least it doesn't have a chance of destroying your bicycle). When the lowermost part of your chain (the one that runs from derailleur to chainring) is parallel to the bit that runs between your two pulleys, your chain is about the right length. It could also be a positioning issue with the rear derailleur, just post a pic and we'll see what happens.
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Old 06-27-08, 02:00 PM
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Ray Dockrey
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I would have the rear der. hanger checked to make sure it is aligned properly.
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Old 06-27-08, 02:07 PM
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malpag3
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Thanks for mentioning that. I did have that done actually. It was way out of alignment, but now that it's true again it still wasn't fixed.

Thanks though!
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Old 06-27-08, 03:28 PM
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Have you flushed out the shifters with WD40? If not, try that.
Have you checked the cable routing at the rear derailleur?
Was the short housing just before the rear derailleur replaced?

Al
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Old 06-27-08, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by malpag3 View Post
Thanks for mentioning that. I did have that done actually. It was way out of alignment, but now that it's true again it still wasn't fixed.
I was going to mention the derailleur hanger too. If you're sure that it's in alignment, now disconnect your shift cable and do a complete rear derailleur adjustment using the Park tool directions and starting at step 1. That's to undo all the stuff that you did to try to make it work with the hanger out of alignment. If you can physically shift into and out of the big/big combination, a longer chain isn't going to help you.
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Old 06-27-08, 03:39 PM
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do a complete rear derailleur adjustment using the Park tool directions and starting at step 1
What do you mean? An overhaul? or this... http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64

Will do when I get home.
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Old 06-27-08, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sekine View Post
Aaaaahhh!! Large large is bad, it rips derailleurs off of bicycles, as a rule, don't use it.
Large/Large is essential. Your chain MUST be long enough to accomodate it even if, as you say, it shouldn't be used in normal riding. Some day you WILL try to use the combination even if it's as a result of brain-fade and the chain must allow it or the consequences can be very expensive.

A usable Small/Small is ok if your derailleur can wrap that much chain but it isn't essential since the only consequence of having a slack chain is a bit of rattle and noise.
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Old 06-27-08, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sekine View Post
Aaaaahhh!! Large large is bad, it rips derailleurs off of bicycles, as a rule, don't use it. Post a photo of your chain in the small/small combination (granted, this one doesn't make sense either, but at least it doesn't have a chance of destroying your bicycle). When the lowermost part of your chain (the one that runs from derailleur to chainring) is parallel to the bit that runs between your two pulleys, your chain is about the right length. It could also be a positioning issue with the rear derailleur, just post a pic and we'll see what happens.
I don't reccomend riding large large...but both the Park tool and Sheldon sites use a large large method to get correct chain lengths....and the Park site shows large large with the derailer stretched way out to give and idea of long enough or too short. So many people use large large as references
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Old 06-27-08, 07:06 PM
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That's scary, I suppose as a reference point it's not that bad, wrenching on other people's bikes I make the chain long enough to accommodate that mistake, nonetheless, it does rip derailleurs off of bicycles, if you have a triple, setting up a chain to accommodate large large can leave you with quite a bit of extra slack, depending on the length of your derailleur cage, hence not running short cage derailleurs on most bikes with triples.

Back on topic though, chain length shouldn't be affecting your shifting unless its either far too tense or has gone slack, check the position of the rear der and make sure the upper pulley isn't too far forward or too far back, now that the hanger is back in line, re tune the der, if you still have the problem (you said you've replaced the rear cassette already?) find someone else with that same rear derailleur and trade with them for a test ride, if the other one doesn't skip, then get a new derailleur.
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Old 06-27-08, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by malpag3 View Post
What do you mean? An overhaul? or this... http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64

Will do when I get home.
That's the one. Start at step 1 and do it all in order.
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Old 06-28-08, 09:54 AM
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Yes, check your rear derailleur hanger first. These things get pretty bent up over time. If it's bent it's going to cause some poor shifting, especially towards the upper third of the cassette.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:29 PM
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Yeah, so went for a ride over the weekend and I think it's fixed for the most part.

I think when the mechanic at my work realigned the rear de, we didn't re-run the cable.

Well regardless, I hand tightened the cable again and eventually had the use the barrel adjuster to it's maximum, but it minimized the skipping and such.

Thanks for the help!
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