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Frustration installing new FD

Old 07-14-08, 09:15 AM
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Telix
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Frustration installing new FD

I attempted to convert my triple setup to a compact double this weekend. I pulled off my Truvativ Elita triple and the Giga Pipe BB, along with the 105 triple FD (FD-5504).

In their place, I installed:
FC5600 Bearing cups
FC5650 105 compact double
FD6600 Ultegra double FD (10-speed)

The rest of my current setup:
ST5510 105 9 speed STI levers (double/triple compatible)
RD6500 Ultegra RD
SRAM PG-950 9-speed cassette

Installing everything was really straightforward, besides making sure that the drive-side of the crankset was pounded in all the way. However, adjusting the FD has been a nightmare, and I'm about to take it to a shop to let an expert take a crack at it. Here is what I've done:

1) Shift to largest rear cog
2) Adjust low limit so inner side of FD just clears the chain
3) Ensure front shifter is fully shifted "out", so cable is as loose as it can be
4) Pull cable extremely taut with pliers, and attach shifting cable to FD, ensuring cable wraps around leverage tab as shown here: https://www.hostelshoppe.com/tech_frontderail.php
5) Shift rear derailer out to smallest cog
6) Push front shifter lever fully to shift out to large chainring

Here is where the problems occur. The limit screw is doing nothing, as far as I can tell, to make the FD move more to the outside. I still get tons of chain rub when on the last 2-3 cogs on the cassette. I shift the FD back in to the low chainring, then back to the large, and it still rubs.

One thing I have noticed is that even after I move the front lever fully in and let it go back to neutral, I can still push EXTREMELY hard until I get one more click, and then the FD is out enough to cause no chain rub. This appears to be what the outer limit screw is actually setting the limit on, and not the first complete throw of the front lever. However, the pressure that I have to use to get that one last click is outrageous and would be unusable on the road. This corresponds to an equally hard press that is required on the shifter tab, to get it to move back down to the lower chainring.

I am aware that the non-double/triple specific levers can be confusing, because you essentially have more "steps" involved in shifting. However, I have not found ANY information that clearly defines how the 9-speed 105 levers (which are not double/triple specific) are supposed to function on a double setup.

I'm guessing that I may have pulled the cord TOO tautly, and this is causing the final "click" on the FD to be very hard to engage? I'm using the same old cable, so it's stretched out already. I'm not sure if the cable being as taut as possible is a bad thing or not, as STI shifters are totally new to me with this bicycle.

Basically, the best I've been able to do is have a FD that shifts up normally, but only lets me use the inner 5-6 cogs, and if I press REALLY hard I can have it move one more click and use the outer 2-3. However, there is no happy middle where I can use the... 4th? from the smallest cog on EITHER of the large chainring positions. I either get rub on the inside or the outside. I'm guessing this is just an issue related to both the 9-speed chain I'm using on the 10-speed FD, but also just general limit setting issues that I can solve once I have the general functionality working.

Any ideas or similar experiences?

Last edited by Telix; 07-14-08 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:37 AM
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Back off on the high limit screw untill the "second click gets you there. The first click is actually your trim function so you can use more gears while on the small chainring.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:41 AM
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Is the second click an actual second THROW of the lever? So throw, return to neutral, throw again? If so, the second throw is WAY too difficult to use at this point, I have to press far too hard.

Additionally, the first throw of the lever shifts up to the large chainring no matter what, so I don't think that is the trim for the small chainring.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:56 AM
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I had quoted you the trim functions for an Ultegra STI. In fact, there may not be an uptrim function on the 105 levers.

https://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830621374.pdf

This document shows the lever functions for your STI. Either way, your going to have to back off on the high limit screw to allow the FD to travel out farther. This may result in the 1 full stroke and 1 partial stroke described in the shifter document, or it may allow you to easily get there in one full stroke.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:58 AM
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The distance the FD moves with the first full throw of the lever has never been influenced by the high limit screw. The screw adjustments appear to only influence the distance the FD moves with the second, more difficult, throw takes place. The high limit screws should influence the distance the FD moves with the first throw, correct? Why would this not be happening?
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Old 07-14-08, 11:55 AM
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I admit that I skimmed your very thorough description, but it occurs to me that you might need more cable tension.
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Old 07-14-08, 12:57 PM
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Let some tension off that FD cable. After you cut the inner cable loose, preset the barrel adjuster by screwing it all the way in, then back off one full turn. Then just pull all the slack out of the cable and tighten the pinch bolt. There is no need to gun on the cable. bk
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Old 07-14-08, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Telix View Post
The distance the FD moves with the first full throw of the lever has never been influenced by the high limit screw. The screw adjustments appear to only influence the distance the FD moves with the second, more difficult, throw takes place. The high limit screws should influence the distance the FD moves with the first throw, correct? Why would this not be happening?
No, the limit screws do NOTHING to affect shifting performance. They only prevent your chain from falling off the inside or outside of the crank. Before making limit-screw and cable-tension adjustments, make sure your FD is mechanically positioned optimally first. No amount of fiddling with limit-screws or cable-tension will help if your derailleur is too high or is not rotated correctly. Check out this Park Tool - Front Derailleur Adjustment guide. You MUST do every step in the correct order:

1. height - they use a penny to space FD above chainrings, I prefer a dime

2. rotation - outer-cage of RD parallel to chain in tallest gear (big-chainring/small-cog). A lot of shops will teach their mechanics to set it parallel to big-chainring. That's easier to do and yields consistent results; albeit consistently mediocre results.

3. cable-tension - only AFTER you've set the mechanical positioning of the FD optimally would you even think about making cable-adjustments. Back off both limit screws to allow the FD a large range of motion. Or even remove both limit screws completely. Set the cable-tension it so that it shifts up and down equally well. Forget about rubbing or throwing off the chain for now.

4. limit-screws - now that your shifting's OK, don't mess with cable-tension and set the limit screws so you don't throw off the chain on the inside or outside. This typically positions the FD well inside and outside of the points where it rubs the cages. You can then tighten it up a little to limit the amount of trimming needed as you sweep across the rear. If you've got a newer FD with a wider rear part of the cage than front, proper rotation of the cage will pretty much allow you to swing the chain almost all the way a cross the cluster without rubbing.


I prefer swapping #3 and #4 compared to the Park Guide. People often get confused by limit-screws' influence on the FD's inner & outer positions and try to mess with cable-tension to fix it. Best to adjust cable-tension first, then limit-screws. In fact with precise cable-tension adjustments, you can almost leave the limit-screws off completely.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 07-14-08 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 07-14-08, 03:17 PM
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I've always set derailer limits with the shift cable disconnected. The inner/low limit screw can easily be adjusted, the high limit is a bit of a guess, but after a while you'll get it. Check the high limit with the chain on the smallest rear cog.

I could demonstrate better then explain.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
1. height - they use a penny to space FD above chainrings, I prefer a dime
High roller

Seriously, though, nice post. Though I agree with DieselDan re: setting the low limit screw with the cable unattached.
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Old 07-15-08, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Telix View Post
Is the second click an actual second THROW of the lever? So throw, return to neutral, throw again? If so, the second throw is WAY too difficult to use at this point, I have to press far too hard.

Additionally, the first throw of the lever shifts up to the large chainring no matter what, so I don't think that is the trim for the small chainring.
You say the first throw gets you on the big ring no matter what. This tells me your cable is attached to the FD wrongly, as the first throw is your trim, and it should not push the chain on the big chainring.

look at the linked pdf to see how the cable attaches. it should run on the inside of the nut that clamps it.

https://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830616200.pdf

Getting this wrong causes the amount of throw per click to alter, causing the problems you describe.

Good luck!

Last edited by swifty; 07-15-08 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 07-15-08, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
High roller

Seriously, though, nice post. Though I agree with DieselDan re: setting the low limit screw with the cable unattached.
Good idea. Lets you get the cable fairly tight in the inner-most position so you won't need to take up too much slack later with the barrel-adjuster.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:37 AM
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It's also common practice to set the high limit by pullling on the cable by hand, not by using the shifter. This is all well-detailed on the Park site, and similarly in the Shimano instructions.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:38 AM
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I figured out the major issue with installing my FD - Cannondale installed the front shifters barrel adjuster backwards, so it was just spinning and doing nothing. Thus I could not tighten the cable down enough to make the FD swing out to its limit. With a fully tightened cable it now shifts correctly.

However, I can't adjust it well enough to be able to use the full range of gears, neither by adjusting the physical angle of the FD or the limit screws. After tightening the cable with the barrel adjuster (just a few rotations is all it needs after a few re-sets of the initial tautness) to get the FD to swing out to the outer limit, shifting back down to the small chainring/big cogs causes chain rub. It's probably due to my use of a 9-speed chain on a 10-speed derailer, which is .5mm wider. I'll ride with this setup, and if I find myself needing to dip down into the two lowest gears I have (where I still have rubbing), I'll buy a 10-speed chain and see if it improves things.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by swifty View Post
You say the first throw gets you on the big ring no matter what. This tells me your cable is attached to the FD wrongly, as the first throw is your trim, and it should not push the chain on the big chainring.

look at the linked pdf to see how the cable attaches. it should run on the inside of the nut that clamps it.

https://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830616200.pdf

Getting this wrong causes the amount of throw per click to alter, causing the problems you describe.

Good luck!
Just to clear this up, I consider a "throw" a FULL PRESS of the lever, not just the half press to get the click. With the cable tightened with the barrel adjuster, the first click performs trim, while a full throw gets me on the big chainring, as it should.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:01 AM
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you could probably use your old front derailer. your cassette and chain rings won't play nice with a 10 speed chain and your new front D doesn't like the 9 speed chain so much.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
No, the limit screws do NOTHING to affect shifting performance. They only prevent your chain from falling off the inside or outside of the crank. Before making limit-screw and cable-tension adjustments, make sure your FD is mechanically positioned optimally first. No amount of fiddling with limit-screws or cable-tension will help if your derailleur is too high or is not rotated correctly. Check out this Park Tool - Front Derailleur Adjustment guide. You MUST do every step in the correct order:

1. height - they use a penny to space FD above chainrings, I prefer a dime

2. rotation - outer-cage of RD parallel to chain in tallest gear (big-chainring/small-cog). A lot of shops will teach their mechanics to set it parallel to big-chainring. That's easier to do and yields consistent results; albeit consistently mediocre results.

3. cable-tension - only AFTER you've set the mechanical positioning of the FD optimally would you even think about making cable-adjustments. Back off both limit screws to allow the FD a large range of motion. Or even remove both limit screws completely. Set the cable-tension it so that it shifts up and down equally well. Forget about rubbing or throwing off the chain for now.

4. limit-screws - now that your shifting's OK, don't mess with cable-tension and set the limit screws so you don't throw off the chain on the inside or outside. This typically positions the FD well inside and outside of the points where it rubs the cages. You can then tighten it up a little to limit the amount of trimming needed as you sweep across the rear. If you've got a newer FD with a wider rear part of the cage than front, proper rotation of the cage will pretty much allow you to swing the chain almost all the way a cross the cluster without rubbing.


I prefer swapping #3 and #4 compared to the Park Guide. People often get confused by limit-screws' influence on the FD's inner & outer positions and try to mess with cable-tension to fix it. Best to adjust cable-tension first, then limit-screws. In fact with precise cable-tension adjustments, you can almost leave the limit-screws off completely.
+1 limit screws do NOT help with shifting at all. they just prevent dumping the chain.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cbchess View Post
you could probably use your old front derailer. your cassette and chain rings won't play nice with a 10 speed chain and your new front D doesn't like the 9 speed chain so much.
Yeah, the SRAM 9-speed I run is .7mm wider than the Shimano 10-speed chains, so there is obviously going to be some rubbing taking place.

The chainrings/crankset is part of the 10-speed group. I've read many places (including Sheldon) that the cassette should be fine with a 10-speed chain, however not ideal. Is this not true?

I'm wary of using a triple FD with a double crankset, due to the potential of dumping the chain by shifting twice. I don't want to set the outer limit to be the second chainring, because then I'd have to perform two full throws to get to the large chainring.
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