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Derailleur adjustments

Old 04-11-14, 03:53 PM
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Wallonthefloor
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Derailleur adjustments

I just recently figured out how to adjust my rear derailleur and now I am noticing that it is just my front derailleur that needs adjusted. I have 3 chain rings, when shifting up it almost always over shifts and takes my chain off the chain ring and onto the crank arm which sometimes causes jam ups and can be quite scary, other times when shifting down it comes off the ring and onto the bottom bracket where I have to manually put the chain back on. How can I fix this problem?
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Old 04-11-14, 04:02 PM
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that would <wild blind guess> be the outer stroke limit screw , allowing the shifter cage to move too far outboard ..

but I cannot see , the FD is able to be twisted on the seat tube and raised up and down, and that can help or hurt the way it shifts .
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Old 04-11-14, 05:26 PM
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I always prefer to start by adjusting the inner and outer limit screws while shifting by pulling on the wire directly rather than using the lever. Once those are right and I can shift to the outer and innermost rings without overshifting. Then I adjust the cable length (tension) for best trim and shifting.
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Old 04-11-14, 05:35 PM
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Get your rear wheel up off the floor...got a bike stand?,,,and play with those two screws on your front derailleur as you crank the pedal and watch the chain go round and up and down your three rings. It will come to you.
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Old 04-11-14, 05:49 PM
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I wish I had a bike stand, I may have to use one that is open to the public in my city.
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Old 04-11-14, 06:14 PM
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Got a place where you can hang the bike up by a couple of ropes? Garage rafters? Basement? That works in a pinch.
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Old 04-11-14, 06:29 PM
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Use the deralleur adjustment instruction found at parktool.com. Do them in sequence leaving nothing out.

Last edited by Al1943; 04-11-14 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-11-14, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
Use the deralleur adjustment instruction found at partool.com. Do them in sequence leaving nothing out.
+ Go through all the steps taking short cuts on setup is where most noobs and even a lot of supposed skilled shop mechanics run into trouble.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:00 PM
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Well, yeah. Of course. I was trying to be a little more ...impressionistic. Certainly learn to do it right. But a person can learn a lot just by looking at the way things work, messing with adjustments, etc. Fiddle with things. That's a fine way to learn about how mechanisms work, In my view.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
Use the deralleur adjustment instruction found at partool.com. Do them in sequence leaving nothing out.
parktool.com of course. When I adjust the FDs on my bikes, triples all, I always refer to their instructions.

Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog
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Old 04-12-14, 07:32 AM
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The first question to ask yourself is "Was it ever right?" Limit screws don't move by themselves so, if it was ever right, "screwing" with the limit screws will only screw up your derailleur adjustment even worse.

Front derailleurs are often more difficult to get adjusted than rears. There are a number of possible adjustments and among the most problematic is the position of the derailleur on the seatpost. I agree with Al1943. Go to parktool.com and follow their step-by-stem instructions starting with the position of the derailleur on the seatpost. Be sure to do the steps in order because each one can affect the subsequent steps.
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Old 04-12-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
The first question to ask yourself is "Was it ever right?" Limit screws don't move by themselves so, if it was ever right, "screwing" with the limit screws will only screw up your derailleur adjustment even worse.

Front derailleurs are often more difficult to get adjusted than rears. There are a number of possible adjustments and among the most problematic is the position of the derailleur on the seatpost. I agree with Al1943. Go to parktool.com and follow their step-by-stem instructions starting with the position of the derailleur on the seatpost. Be sure to do the steps in order because each one can affect the subsequent steps.
+1 on front compact or triple front being more diffiiclut to adjust setup exspeicially if triple indexed in front, than a basic rear.
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Old 04-12-14, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Well, yeah. Of course. I was trying to be a little more ...impressionistic. Certainly learn to do it right. But a person can learn a lot just by looking at the way things work, messing with adjustments, etc. Fiddle with things. That's a fine way to learn about how mechanisms work, In my view.
It's also a fine way to mis-adjust and possibly damage them. Since the correct way to adjust these has already been discovered, it's foolish not to take advantage of that knowledge. Yes, you can learn a lot by looking at how things work but you learn more by looking at one that works properly.
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Old 04-12-14, 09:12 AM
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OK. I'll defer to pedantry.
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Old 04-12-14, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
OK. I'll defer to pedantry.
Or maybe defer to common sense.
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Old 04-12-14, 10:52 AM
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I believe I'll stick with my original answer. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-14, 11:03 AM
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Derailleurs are pretty complicated in their design but from a user standpoint this makes adjusting them fairly straightforward... taught a maintenance class last night and think everyone walked away with good understanding on how to adjust their derailleurs which were all indexed and these folks were all newbs.

For the OP it sounds like your limit screws are out of adjustment and in adjusting these you will also have to adjust the cable tension and check the position of the derailleur as well.
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