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Old 02-22-10, 11:20 PM   #1
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dead front derailer -- remove?

so my friend's bike doesn't change gears anymore. reason: front shifting mechanism seems to be dead, or stuck. lever moves, nothing. cable change, nothing. he's been riding like so for a while now, but likes the gear it's in. since he doesn't do anymore than 7 miles for his daily loop, it doesn't bother him at all.

the rear gears do change, he just doesn't bother because the chain rattles against the front derailer. should we remove the front dearailer entirely, and snip the cable? would it affect the rear? my common sense tells me it wouldn't be a problem, but my gut instincts tell me to ask the more knowledgeable bike forum

thanks to all, as usual.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:25 PM   #2
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Don't shift the front if that works for you. Did you change cable or housing as well? Did you lubricate the front derailleur? Does the derailleur work moving it by hand without cable attached? Did you try reinstalling/adjusting the derailleur? There's not a whole lot to a front derailleur, although it can get damaged. Try this

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pps But it is a misleading thread title...

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Old 02-23-10, 10:19 AM   #3
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If the shifter really is dead, you can still make use of the front derailler as a chain guide. It sounds like whatever gears your friend is using is causing the chain to be at such an angle that the chain rubs on the front derailler cage. You should be able to adjust the cable tension to position the derailler cage in a spot where the rub is minimized giving him use of at least some of the rear cogs.

With that said, MTB style pod shifters are shockingly cheap so assuming that's what he has and that the shifter is the problem, you might consider just buying a new one. Sets are available for $20-30 and include new cables and housing.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:33 AM   #4
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If it's the shifter that's lifeless instead of the derailleur, I suspect it's what we call "dead shifter syndrome." It's more common in the colder months than the warmer ones. You move the shifter, nothing happens with the derailleur. As a shifter gets older, the factory lube gums up and fouls the internals of the shifter. Cold weather makes it worse. An agressive flushing of the shifter's internals with WD-40 (flood the hell out of the guts of the shifter!), while simultaneously working the shift lever, will more often than not bring the shifter back to life. WD-40 is mostly solvent, and by using the little red straw you can spray directly into the gummed up areas.
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Old 02-23-10, 11:00 AM   #5
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Sounds like, as above, the shifter has stoped working... could be an easy fix or it could need replacement.

However, if a lack of front shifting is really no problem at all, you can lock the derailleur in place with the limit screws so it allows rear gear changes without making noise.

Most people would probably prefer the middle chainring over the small chainring on a triple crank, but it sounds like your friend likes the small ring. You probably only need to tighten the 'L' limit screw by a half turn or so to stop the derailleur from rubbing in all but the most extreme cross-chain scenario.

If you can fix the shifter you give your friend the option to shift, even if she chooses not to use it.
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