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"Double shifting" front Derailleur

Old 03-05-12, 04:53 PM
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jtexfisher
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"Double shifting" front Derailleur

Hello... my "new" bike, 2001 KHS Tandemaina Comp, has one irritating out of adjustment issue. When shifting the front from the outer of the triple to the inside, it always shifts to the inner ring, even though it is just one 'click' from the shifter. I cannot get a shift from the outer ring to the middle ring. It's a lil' grouchy going from the middle to the outer, but makes the shift ok, but requires more pressure than seems "normal". Not sure where to start on this one. The shifters are Shimano Alivio RapidFire Plus and the Front Shimano Sora, top-pull/clamp-on 28.6mm.

Thanks for any hints.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:05 PM
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You may be able to adjust it to give some trim, but it will take it from another ring.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:16 PM
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Sora top pull front derailleur?

When the derailleur is in the big chainring and the smallest cog, can you move the derailleur to the outside, even a millimeter, with the shifter? If not, back off your high limit screw about 1/8 turn and see what happens.

Some mechanics set the high limit screw by shifting onto the big chainring and screwing the limit screw in until it stops. When they do that it can cause the derailleur to bind up when you're trying to shift down. Then it releases all at once and throws the chain past the middle ring. It makes it a little dodgy to shift up onto the big ring too, just the way you mentioned. (Grouchy would mean it was good.)
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Old 03-05-12, 05:16 PM
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I suspect that you might be off 1 full position in cable length, which is a fairly simple adjustment. I don't know how much you know, so I suggest you start fresh reading one of the tutorials of FD adjustment available free on the internet. There's booth print and pictures and video, and you should review a few until you have a sense of what's involved.

You might be able to find the correct adjustment with the barrel adjuster alone, or you might have to disconnect the cable at the pinch bolt and either slacken or tighten it. Do the tutorials, then spend some time observing what's happening and get a sense of what it needs before you tough a wrench to it.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:27 PM
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We had a 2000 Tandemania Comp - it was our Starter Tandem for ten years until it was replaced by a recumbent tandem last year.
The trigger shifters on ours started becoming grouchy last couple of years we had it but doesn't sound like your issue. The grease in ours was probably going bad.

If you are having trouble going quite far enough from the middle to the outer, have you tried increasing the cable tension just a little bit? Sounds as if the HI limit screw is probably correct, if the chain does go to the outer.

One thing to check: Is the cable routed on top of the little nub (don't know what else to call it) just before it is secured at the FD fixing bolt? If it is routed under that nub, it is difficult to have enough leverage to easily shift from middle to high.

When all else fails: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...ur-adjustments
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Old 03-05-12, 05:44 PM
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A few more things to check:

1. Is this a quality crankset with removable chainrings/bolts? If so, are the chain rings facing the correct direction? New chain rings often have ramps and studs on the inside face of the chainring to allow the chain to lift to the bigger ring. These need to be facing inward.

2. Is the cable routing to the pinch bolt correctly anchored? Indexed front shifting moves a fixed amount of cable, but the amount of pivot the FD makes depends on where the cable is anchored. If anchored to the pivot joint, the same amount of cable pull will pivot the FD further. If anchored farther from the pivot point, then the same cable pull will result in less pivot. For example, if you want to use STI brifters with older Shimano Sante, 105, or 600 Ultegra tricolour FD, you can't use the standard pinch slot, but need to modify the routing slightly to pivot out the FD move on indexed shifts. Then you can get it to work.

3. Is the FD position above the chainring good? is the angle relative to the one seat tube makes with BB good? is the pivot angle of the FD cage around the axis of the seat tube good? And is the curvature of the cage compliant with the number of teeth? (e.g. for small triples, like 42-32-22 triples, a 48T max FD doesn't shift as well as a 42T max FD.)
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Old 03-05-12, 06:23 PM
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If I'm reading this correctly that machine is using a MTB flatbar shifter and a road front derailleur. In my somewhat limited experience with that arrangement there are indexing issues with triples. With the recent interest in flatbar performance hybrids Shimano has come up with RapidFire shifters with a cable pull specifically designed to match road front derailleurs. They're a bit expensive because they're relatively new but would be one way to solve the issue. Can't really suggest a MTB FD because of your front chainring sizes. Maybe someone else can make a better suggestion.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:45 PM
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Thanks all! Lots to chew on now. I'll spend the evening in tutorial land (again, some more...) and do some measurements tomorrow in the light. It was just to nice out this evening to fix and not ride, so me and the Mrs. went for a "bike stroll" to town this evening.
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Old 03-05-12, 07:03 PM
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The 'typical' adjustment for the middle ring on a mtb shifter is accomplished by changing the tension on the outer casing by turning the barrel knob where the cable leaves the shifter. Yours sounds like its too tight. Try a couple of counterclockwise turns.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:06 PM
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You have too much tension on the cable. This is what is causing the jump back down to the little ring. You have too much tension on the cable because you are using a mountain shifter with a road derailer. Well, I think it is a road derailer. I have never heard of a Sora top pull front derailer.

Mountain shifters are not compatible with road front derailers.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:50 PM
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The Sora on our 2000 version of the OP's 2001 tandem was a bottom pull and was paired with Rapidfire shifters. It worked OK with that shifter and then with a replacement SRAM twist shifter.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:21 PM
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You can get them to work if you have a lot of slack when in the smallest chainring. You will then need to set the high limit off a bit and then use a lot of force to get the shifter to engage for the big ring. With a double chainring, it is easier to get them to work also. You can get them to function a bit, but it will never be correct.
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Old 03-05-12, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
You have too much tension on the cable. This is what is causing the jump back down to the little ring. You have too much tension on the cable because you are using a mountain shifter with a road derailer. Well, I think it is a road derailer. I have never heard of a Sora top pull front derailer.

Mountain shifters are not compatible with road front derailers.
Shimano has makes a lot of components that work contrary to most their other component. Many tandems are spec'd with road cranks and flat bars; I have a Burly Rock and Roll that was spec'd with 9 speed Indexing Grip Shifters front and back; the front derailleur was a 105 and the rear was XT. In the case of the OP's tandem, BikePedia https://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...Comp&Type=bike says it was indeed spec'd with a Shimano Sora, top-pull/clamp-on 28.6mm. That was an 8 speed and it should be noted that Shimano also makes a triple Sora FD that is designed to index with flat bar shifters; FD4428

As far as what the OP's problem is, I go with FBinNY (certainly a safe bet) that the front derailleur cable has probably been tightened too tight.
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Old 03-06-12, 09:01 AM
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Yeah, I know what BikePedia said, but if you look, it is a bottom pull. I think KHS is confused on what "Top Pull" means. Just like they are confused with what components will work together.
The FD4428 is an R453, not a Sora derailer.
Rear derailers and shifters don't matter, both the mountain and road group use the same pull ratio. Front derailers are different. Shimano does not make a 9 speed grip shifter, maybe the one you have was made to work with road derailers. But according to BikePedia it was spec'd with R440 shifters.

There is no way around the different pull ratios of Shimano's mountain and road front derailers. You can get them to "work" but there will be compromises, like the ones I mentioned above. If you are satisfied with compromised shifting, then by all means use a mountain shifter with a road derailer.

Last edited by SweetLou; 03-06-12 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 03-06-12, 10:14 AM
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Here's a couple o' thousand words to describe the front derailer. Detail of the cable attachment.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
SORA_2.jpg (40.8 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg
SORA_1.jpg (28.9 KB, 32 views)
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Old 03-06-12, 10:42 AM
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Index /STI/ klick shifting did de-skill shifting the bike..
[doing so increased the market-size, so not a bad business decision.]

one idea,
if there is no way to see the FD .. as its on the stoker's crank,
so the captain just has the lever feel, then get a longer final drive
chain, then put the triple crank and FD on the Captain's seat tube,
so you can look down, and see what's happening.
shorten up the cable run too.. take out some shifting lag.

Kind of Retro, this was a common Tandem setup on 40's and 50's rigs.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-06-12 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 03-06-12, 10:48 AM
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Yes, that is a bottom pull derailer. It is also a bottom swing derailer. I have no idea why BikePedia says it is a top pull and a top swing derailer. Either way, the Sora will not work properly with a mountain shifter. If you replace the Sora with the R443, you will have much better shifting. If you do decide to get a new derailer, do not get a top pull one. It will not work with your bike. The R443 is a "flat bar" derailer. What this means is that it has the same pull ratio as a mountain bike shifter but that the cage is made to work with the bigger rings of a road bike.

Last edited by SweetLou; 03-06-12 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-06-12, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
Yeah, I know what BikePedia said, but if you look, it is a bottom pull. I think KHS is confused on what "Top Pull" means. Just like they are confused with what components will work together.
The FD4428 is an R453, not a Sora derailer.*
Rear derailers and shifters don't matter, both the mountain and road group use the same pull ratio. Front derailers are different. Shimano does not make a 9 speed grip shifter, maybe the one you have was made to work with road derailers. But according to BikePedia it was spec'd with R440 shifters. These are flat bar trigger shifters that work with road derailers. Those work fine.

There is no way around the different pull ratios of Shimano's mountain and road front derailers. You can get them to "work" but there will be compromises, like the ones I mentioned above. If you are satisfied with compromised shifting, then by all means use a mountain shifter with a road derailer.
Yup! The only front derailleurs listed against the Sora 9 speed in Shimano's compatibiliy chart are an FD-R453 (triple) and an FD -R440 (double)
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Old 03-06-12, 12:37 PM
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Forgive me for stating the obvious, but that is a triple front derailer, right? I can't tell from the picture, and it's behaving exactly the way a double front D would.

BL
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Old 03-06-12, 03:00 PM
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Those of you that rely on bikepedia.com to be totally accurate, shouldn't!
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Old 03-06-12, 03:26 PM
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Buy a really cheap Falcon or Sunrace front friction shifter. Replace your indexed flat bar shifter. Use any derailleur you like.

Front indexing is a bug, not a feature.
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Old 03-06-12, 03:51 PM
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The model # is FD-3303, counting on my fingers I verified that the crank is a 30-42-52. So that's more road than mountain, with mountain shifters. Wonder if this is why the later models went to grip shift?

Last edited by jtexfisher; 03-06-12 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Added detail.
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Old 03-06-12, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
Yes, that is a bottom pull derailer. It is also a bottom swing derailer. I have no idea why BikePedia says it is a top pull and a top swing derailer. Either way, the Sora will not work properly with a mountain shifter. If you replace the Sora with the R443, you will have much better shifting. If you do decide to get a new derailer, do not get a top pull one. It will not work with your bike. The R443 is a "flat bar" derailer. What this means is that it has the same pull ratio as a mountain bike shifter but that the cage is made to work with the bigger rings of a road bike.
Yes, it's pretty obvious that BikePedia was wrong. But you filled in a couple of other gaps for me and that's cool!
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Old 03-10-12, 10:15 AM
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Whew... a Saturday morning spent shifting, looking shifting looking (repeat 'till you are REALLY bored ). Noticed this...shifting either front or rear in the direction that tightens the cable, all is well. When shifting in the direction that loosens the cable, front AND back were slow and balky. Turns out that both derailers were gunked up and not wanting to return with spring tension once the cable was loosened. So I spent some time cleaning, degunking (is that a word??) and lubing, followed by doing the adjustments as presented on the Park Tools site seems to have improved things quite a bit!

Thanks again to all who helped out, with all that was offered in this post, I really learned a LOT about components, mixing of them, what's what and how to diagnose.

Now, if the weather will just hold off a while I can get a ride in too!

Happy riding all!!

Harold
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