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FD adjustment on Cervelo Soloist (braze-on)

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FD adjustment on Cervelo Soloist (braze-on)

Old 07-05-13, 07:22 PM
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DOS
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FD adjustment on Cervelo Soloist (braze-on)

Hey BF

A buddy brought his soloist over because he was having no luck getting his Ultegra FD dialed is, kept dropping the chain to the inside shifting down from big ring (50/34). As soon as I looked at it, I noticed that he had a pretty large (4mm) gap between the cage and chain when in the lowest gear combo. However, the low limit screw was already fully dialed in and the problem dropping the chain persisted no matter how much I increased the cable tension. So, I loosened the mounting bolt and rotated the whole derailleur outward to close the gap, then tightened everything back up. This seemed to cure the problem, because I was able to then quickly cure the chain drop issue. However, apparently I should have compensated for the change by slightly tightening the h screw because, my buddy reports, that on a ride today, while shifting worked flawlessly downshifting, at one point he dropped the chain to the outside. I did not have that problem in the stand or on a short test ride so it did not occur to me to make the adjustment. But that's an easy fix. Here are a few questions

Was my solution to adjust the mounting position a correct one? I only own clamp on derailleurs, so fussing with braze on mounting was new to me.

are derailleurs on braze on frames generally as fussy as this one seems to be? Seems like the positioning in the bracket has to be very precise or shifting is a mess.

Or is this a frame specific issue? I came across a couple of threads on other sites, where soloist owners seem to have similar problem and were attributing it to the positioning of the braze on.

Thanks
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Old 07-05-13, 09:51 PM
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Braze on FDs aren't really more finicky to adjust than cramped on versions. It's all textbook. Set height to clear outer chainring by 1-2mm, otate so outer cage plate is parallel, set limits roughly, string cable and adjust tension, and fine tune limits (set outer limit by pulling the cable manually, not by the shift lever).

Obviously some fine tuning is involved, but it isn't rocket science. However sometimes you might have to do a bit of tweak, such as rotating the FD so the cage is heel out or in slightly (only slightly).
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Old 07-05-13, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Braze on FDs aren't really more finicky to adjust than cramped on versions. It's all textbook. Set height to clear outer chainring by 1-2mm, otate so outer cage plate is parallel, set limits roughly, string cable and adjust tension, and fine tune limits (set outer limit by pulling the cable manually, not by the shift lever).

Obviously some fine tuning is involved, but it isn't rocket science. However sometimes you might have to do a bit of tweak, such as rotating the FD so the cage is heel out or in slightly (only slightly).
3

+1 on this there isn't a clamp positoning adjustment on a front braze on you screw it on tight and thats it.
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Old 07-05-13, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Braze on FDs aren't really more finicky to adjust than cramped on versions. It's all textbook. Set height to clear outer chainring by 1-2mm, otate so outer cage plate is parallel, set limits roughly, string cable and adjust tension, and fine tune limits (set outer limit by pulling the cable manually, not by the shift lever).

Obviously some fine tuning is involved, but it isn't rocket science. However sometimes you might have to do a bit of tweak, such as rotating the FD so the cage is heel out or in slightly (only slightly).
Yup, agree with all of this, and I've found that most work best with the heel ever so slightly towed in (and thus the front slightly out). It seems to make upshifts a bit quicker, and is a bit more sure in preventing the chain from going past the small ring on downshifts.
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Old 07-05-13, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
Yup, agree with all of this, and I've found that most work best with the heel ever so slightly towed in (and thus the front slightly out). It seems to make upshifts a bit quicker, and is a bit more sure in preventing the chain from going past the small ring on downshifts.
Not arguing with the gist, but the terminology.

We often use the expressions toe-in or toe-out, not towed in or out. It's heel and toe, like your foot, so if the heel is in, then the toe is out, and vice versa.

I only bring this up because your use of the phrase heel towed in is confusing, (though you clarified it later).
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Old 07-06-13, 06:40 AM
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Thanks BF

I had never heard that braze on derailleurs required different approach so responses so far seem to confirm that. And in fact I seem to have addsseed the problems my buddy was having via combination of derailleur position and cable tension.

I do find it curious that there are quite a few threads about FD shifter problems on soloists. At least two on Cervelo site and a couple more on others. None of these provide a definitive explanation and opinions range all over map, including set up issues, component mismatch, and problem with how braze on was positioned on the frame.

http://ccforums.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5316

http://forums.cervelo.com/forums/p/5593/39910.aspx

http://forums.cervelo.com/forums/p/120/992.aspx
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Old 07-06-13, 07:09 AM
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I have a Cervelo Soloist and been through this. You did not mention if the crankset is an FSA Gossamer compact crankset. Most likely it is. I had continual problems with that crankset dropping the chain to the inside and difficulty moving quickly and quietly to the 50t from the 34t. A lot of clashing&drama with the chain riding the tops of the teeth over 1/2 round before finally meshing into place. It would also occasionally throw the chain to the outside.

Least cheap option is to buy a matching ultegra compact crank which solved 100% of the problems. Clean shifting and quieter drive-train. BUT, to be safe I installed a braze-on chain catcher. In your case, this is the simplest and cheapest solution. Having used both K-Edge and Rotor chain catchers, I make it a point to install whichever is cheaper and the best color match to my bikes.

For under $30 this will solve his dropped chain issue.

http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?...jor=1&minor=40

http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?...jor=1&minor=40

The K-Edge comes with longer screws, etc so it is likely to more useful. I had to buy a longer screw from my local hardware store when I purchased the Rotor. Fortunately I caught a sale where it was $20 so the $1 for a stainless steel screw was not painful.

I would then re-adjust the derailleur so it does not throw to the outside. The chain catchers will stop the inside dropping issue. Sorry the pic is sideways...



I would also take the time to add an FD barrel adjuster if you could...


Last edited by KS_rider; 07-06-13 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 07-06-13, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Not arguing with the gist, but the terminology.
I only bring this up because your use of the phrase heel towed in is confusing, (though you clarified it later).
Agggck! Glad you cited me there! Lazy writing on my part. I knew what I meant.....glad at least someone else did! ; - )
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Old 07-06-13, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post

I do find it curious that there are quite a few threads about FD shifter problems on soloists. At least two on Cervelo site and a couple more on others. None of these provide a definitive explanation and opinions range all over map, including set up issues, component mismatch, and problem with how braze on was positioned on the frame.
A key factor if FD performance is the position relative to the chainring. Modern derailleurs are designed around a seat tube angle of about 73°. A steeper seat tube common on Tri bikes, pushes the FD forward. Too far forward and the FD will hand, then snap on downshifts causing erratic shifting and/or chain falloff.

You can see this effect if you have a rope an pulley handy. Tension the rope and try to push it sideways off the pulley. If you push from too far away, you'll have to move the rope sideways significantly before it hops off. Push form too close, and the flanges of the pulley will resist you until you press hard enough to force the rope over. Back off a few inches and you'll find a sweet spot where the rope moves off promptly with little force or deflection. Likewise with FDs.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:36 AM
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Plus.. a bit of clever fabrication has made wedges to rotate the FD on the mount, a bit,
as you clamp it onto the 'Braze on' frame fitting..
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Old 07-06-13, 11:56 PM
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The functional difference between clamp-pn and braze-on FDs is simply that there's more chance the braze-on fitting is in the wrong place than the tube itself. Of course, braze-on fittings are necessitated by non-round seat tubes, or ones that curve around the wheel with really short chainstays.

I worked on a bike a few weeks ago with an aero seat tube and the braze-on was too far forward meaning the FD was stupidly high in order to clear the rings at the cage's tail. Didn't really work; the frame was kinda junk.

(IMO heel and toe is confusing; I have NFI which end people mean. Head and tail.)

Last edited by Kimmo; 07-07-13 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post

(IMO heel and toe is confusing; I have NFI which end people mean. Head and tail.)
Kimmo, in case you failed biology, look down at your feet. Toes are in front, heels in the back. The concepts of toe-in or out are as old as feet who point that way. Nobody has a problem when we apply it to brake shoes (including I'm sure, you).
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Old 07-07-13, 05:29 PM
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Yeah, but the cage is vaguely foot-shaped, only with the heel at the front. Pretty ambiguous IMO.

No ambiguity with head and tail.
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Old 07-07-13, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Yeah, but the cage is vaguely foot-shaped, only with the heel at the front. Pretty ambiguous IMO.

No ambiguity with head and tail.
Around here head and tail are more an up and down thing than a front and back (except on four legged critters). Foot shaped or no, toes are up front, and heels in back, unless you're walking backward.
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Old 07-09-13, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Around here head and tail are more an up and down thing than a front and back (except on four legged critters). Foot shaped or no, toes are up front, and heels in back, unless you're walking backward.
So I'm meant to know if it's wrong because I'd be walking backward, and not because my foot is attached to my ankle by the toe?

Hm.
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Old 07-09-13, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
So I'm meant to know if it's wrong because I'd be walking backward, and not because my foot is attached to my ankle by the toe?

Hm.
Just pulling your leg, (or toe)
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