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Frustrated as hell,,,,help please

Old 07-26-13, 06:13 PM
  #1  
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Frustrated as hell,,,,help please

So I'm having trouble with my Ultegra RD cable tension adjustments. If I adjust my tension so everything works well,,quiet and smooth in 1-5 by the time I get to six on down it needs help. If I then make barrel adjustments to smooth out the bottom end it doesn't work back on top again.

While working my way from 1 down the cassett towards ten I need to loosen the cable to smooth out to add some travel. If I make it right I need to then tighten back up on the opposite side working towards 1 again.
I just replaced the RD because the old one did the same.

It now seems something else is going on and I can't fix it.

Any tips for a newish mechanic wanting to learn to work on my own bike???

Thanks
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Old 07-26-13, 06:26 PM
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You need to check the cable/housing friction. The derailleur spring must pull the cable through the housing to shift toward the small cogs. If there's too much friction it will be sluggish. You replaced the derailleur, and the shift lever always moves the same amount in each direction, so that leaves the cable. Kinks, problem at the ferrule and cable corrosion or grit in the housing are all possibilities. I suggest lubing the cable with a light oil as it is being put into the housing (never grease).

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Old 07-26-13, 06:27 PM
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OK, there's no official name, but I call this a spanning problem. Namely, the total range of travel end to end is too much or too little and a cumulative error gets greater from one end to the other.

The most obvious cause is the number of shifts not matching, ie. 10s lever, 9s cassette. It also happens if the cassette spacing is not matched, ie Campagnolo cassette/shimano derailleurs, or using mtn levers for a road derailleur.

Start by shifting to your 2nd high gear, and trimming the RD perfectly centered under the sprocket. Now shift all the way to low. If it won't shift, help it by pushing in the lower body to complete the shift, then let go and see if it holds it. Eyeball how far off the trim is, and if it's more than 1mm, odds are something is mis-matched. (reminder, a 9s lever has 8 clicks, or start + 8 shifts make 9).

Check, for brand/model spec. compatibility all the way up the line.

The other cause for spanning errors, but usually of less than 1mm end to end, is worn housing, or end fittings that are sloppy or misaligned. As the spring tension increases, you get some compression or lost travel in the cable.

You can also bet spanning errors if the hanger is misaligned, but it has to be petty bad, and I'd expect you'd have noticed it. A quick check for hanger alignment is to shift and trim for a middle cassette sprocket, then shift the front. If the rear trim changes, even by a little bit, the hanger isn't straight.
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Old 07-26-13, 06:31 PM
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Well, FB could be right also. What is not clear is if when you adjust so that you can shift well to the larger cogs does that work all the way up or do you need to tighten before you can get to the largest ones. If it works all the way up, but not down then it's cable friction. If you need to readjust whether you are shifting all the way up or all the way down then it's a spanning problem.
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Old 07-26-13, 06:55 PM
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Yes, my reference to a spanning problem is based on his description of shifting differently at one of the range or the other. But this isn't assured unless you confirm a mismatch in hardware. That's why I suggest trying to get a handle on how far short or long the span error is. More than 1mm or so, odds are it's a span error, less than 1mm, check cables, and housing alignment.
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Old 07-26-13, 07:04 PM
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Yes, but the problem is that the sentence below does not make it clear if he has to readjust during the shift up to large cogs or just at the beginning.

"If I make it right I need to then tighten back up on the opposite side working towards 1 again."
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Old 07-26-13, 07:12 PM
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To clarify I do need to (readjust) as I am moving back up. I had the shop check the hanger when I took it to them. Their mechanic also got frustrated like myself and couldn't fix it and gave up and didn't charge me anything. That then is when I cam home and bought a new derailer to replace the old one.
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Old 07-26-13, 08:02 PM
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One thing that no one has mentioned as a possible cause is the cable fraying inside the shifter. If your cables/housing have been on the bike for a while (depends on how much you shift and how clean the bike is...6mos > 2 or more years) the cable could be fatiguing and fraying inside the shifter. Check it asap to be safe, i just had one today and the shifter is ruined because the head came off the cable and is now stuck inside the shifter. Shift the bike up into the large cog, then stop pedaling and paddle the shifter back to the small cog position, but leave the chain on the large cog...creating slack in the cable. Undo the housing at the stop on the chainstay if you have external cables, and pull the housing away from the shifter. Push the cable out of the shifter while pulling in the brake lever so the end of the cable comes out of the shifter. Inspect the end of the cable for fraying. If it is frayed, obviously change it immediately. If it's not frayed but the cable stays "bent" a little, change it soon, or it will fray/break.
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Old 07-26-13, 09:45 PM
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I had a similar problem when I wrapped the cable wrong at the anchor bolt at the derailleur.
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Old 07-26-13, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by chris ss
I had a similar problem when I wrapped the cable wrong at the anchor bolt at the derailleur.
Yes, that would definitely do it. It shortens the length of the lever arm, and so changes the cable response ratio.

Note, since cables are normally bolted on the far side of the arm, bolting on the near side, shortens the arm, and increases the span causing over travel. OTOH, if you have under travel when bolting correctly, you can light a candle and try your luck bolting to the near side.
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Old 07-26-13, 11:41 PM
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Which model number of Ultegra are we dealing with?
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Old 07-26-13, 11:47 PM
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Is there any chance that you are one shift point out of sink?

Either needing to double click to achieve the first down shift to a larger cog? Or, single shifting up to the smallest cog and still having one click left in the shifter?
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Old 07-28-13, 12:47 AM
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Any progress?
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Old 07-28-13, 12:59 AM
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Shimano 10s, that's all he needed to say IMO.

You have to be using good-quality housing and expensive slick (die-drawn) cables with this stupid system (Jagwire will do; you don't need the Shimano ones). To minimise future hassles, I recommend Alligator iLink cable housing - damn cheap for segmented housing at $40.
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Old 07-28-13, 01:04 AM
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Might be time to install some downtube shifters.
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