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Shimano Tiagra weird rear shifting issue - LBS clueless

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Shimano Tiagra weird rear shifting issue - LBS clueless

Old 02-06-15, 04:35 PM
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nemeseri
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Shimano Tiagra weird rear shifting issue - LBS clueless

It's a bit of a long story, but I'm stuck and the LBS tried everything reasonable.

My wife has a specialized dolce with 10 speed tiagra. It had some minor shifting issues before, but nothing major. Two weeks ago during a climb, the rear derailleur stuck between the spokes and tore down the hanger from the bike. I was there, she didn't even shift when it happened and it was scary. No noise before, no shifting issues.

1., We took the bike to the shop she bought it and the shop replaced the hanger, rear derailleur and chain. They said that they were unsure why the whole thing happened. And it might have been a banged hanger or something stuck in the derailleur. They were nice and didn't charge us. They said they can do it under warranty. It was a little bit weird because the derailleur didn't look super new, especially the cage.
2., The shifting became kind of ****ty and I found that the side panel of one of the chain links was damaged. (It was hanging off the chain link).
3., We just went to the closest random bikeshop where the guy said that the previous shop made a mistake during chain installation and he can only fix it with replacing the chain (he said the chain was too short).
4., The shifting at this point was super bad. In the big chainring, there was constant noise and super slow shifting, skipping gears. In the smaller chainring the shifting was ok, but far from perfect.

So I decided to take the bike to the best shop I know in my area and have a full tuneup. This is where it gets interesting.

The shop said that they couldn't figure out why it's shifting poorly. They made great improvements with replacing the cabling, rear derailleur and chain again. They double checked the hanger and tried out a different cassette and rear wheel too. I saw the whole thing and we ended up with a slightly laggy shifting, sometimes staying in the wrong gear always. It's like at 90%.

I'm a little bit unsure whether I want to pay $50 for a rear derailleur to end up with slightly better shifting.

Please don't say that it's shifting poorly because it's tiagra. It used to shift just fine. I tried tiagra bikes and they shifted alright.

Any idea? Suggestions?

The only thing that came to my mind is that the first shop installed a different hanger on the bike and that's positioning the derailleur a little bit off.
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Old 02-06-15, 04:42 PM
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could be the hangeer
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Old 02-06-15, 04:43 PM
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The best advice I can provide is to have this thread moved to the Mechanics forum. That's where the experts are.
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Old 02-06-15, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
The best advice I can provide is to have this thread moved to the Mechanics forum. That's where the experts are.
Uh-oh. Sorry. I didn't know there is a mechanics forum. How can I move it there?
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Old 02-06-15, 04:56 PM
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Moved it..
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Old 02-06-15, 04:57 PM
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diagnosing problems can be fun, but it's unlikely to be of much benefit seeing as how you've already taken it to several shops, one of which is professed to be the best in the area. they have had an opportunity to diagnose the problem, hands on, with more info that anyone here will ever have, even if we are given twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each is.

just trying to be realistic here, is all, no offense. see? happy face!
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Old 02-06-15, 05:07 PM
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I don't know a lot about hangers. But that seems a little too easy that the first shop had the perfect replacement on hand. Are they that universal? IOW, I think you might be on to something.
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Old 02-06-15, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Moved it..
Thanks!


Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
diagnosing problems can be fun, but it's unlikely to be of much benefit seeing as how you've already taken it to several shops, one of which is professed to be the best in the area. they have had an opportunity to diagnose the problem, hands on, with more info that anyone here will ever have, even if we are given twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each is.


just trying to be realistic here, is all, no offense. see? happy face!
Moving it between shops didn't help I know. But I kind of lost my trust in a shop that can't install a chain properly and give the bike back with terrible shifting. I know the shop I took the bike at the end and I trust them. They always do good job and that's why they invited me in and let me see that they tried everything came to their mind.

I posted the question here, because I hoped that someone had something similar and comes up with ideas / solutions we can try instead of paying for new components and ending up with poor shifting again.
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Old 02-06-15, 05:38 PM
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understood.
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Old 02-06-15, 05:53 PM
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"They made great improvements with replacing the cabling, rear derailleur and chain again."

Did they replace the housing, or just the inner wire?
IF the housing had a bad spot internally, it could cause the shifts to a smaller cog to lag.

BTW- Since I have "road gears" (12-23 9 speed cassette) on my grocery getter, I thought I'd get better shifting by going to a last generation? Tiagara RDER to replace the Altus 8 speed I had.
It was worse for some reason.
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Old 02-06-15, 06:09 PM
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Replace the cable housing & cable would be the first thing I would do , then check and replace the hanger if needed . The first shop should have use the right hanger , if not then give the bike back as is and get the right hanger for it . The replacement derailleur doesn't sound so new , might be why they didn't charge same goes for the chain .
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Old 02-06-15, 06:56 PM
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Thoughts......

try adding a little more tension with the barrel adjuster.... this has helped when I have laggy/not quite shifting behavior

Did the shop(s) check hanger alignment? I have seen this cause shifting problems. There was a fair about of force to knock the hanger off, it could cause a bit of frame bending.....I have also seen problems with the hanger was simply not screwed on really firmly.

Check the derailler for any bends, etc. compare against a known good derailler


the specialized chart looks pretty specific in terms of shape and part no for hangers.... so I seem like it would be hard to put the incorrect one on.

http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/...cs_rev2013.pdf
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Old 02-06-15, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Did they replace the housing, or just the inner wire?
Yes, they replaced the housing too.

So I did a little bit of research and it turned out that Specialized has at least 10 different hangers, but they only use a couple of those recently. I will go back to the shop and take a look. Based on their spare part compatibility chart there is a "short" and "long" type of hanger and you can use either one. I have no idea what is the difference though.

Based on the chart the bike needs the "9890-4236" type or the "9893-4291" as an alternative.
http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/...cs_rev2013.pdf
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Old 02-06-15, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Thoughts......

try adding a little more tension with the barrel adjuster.... this has helped when I have laggy/not quite shifting behavior

Did the shop(s) check hanger alignment? I have seen this cause shifting problems. There was a fair about of force to knock the hanger off, it could cause a bit of frame bending.....I have also seen problems with the hanger was simply not screwed on really firmly.

Check the derailler for any bends, etc. compare against a known good derailler


the specialized chart looks pretty specific in terms of shape and part no for hangers.... so I seem like it would be hard to put the incorrect one on.

http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/...cs_rev2013.pdf
Thanks for the chart, I just found it too.. They tried out two tiagra derailleur with exactly the same results. They checked the hanger alignment with a tool to make sure it aligns and they said that the frame seems to be alright. It's made out of alloy so we'd see the damage instantly, right? Thanks!

Tomorrow I will take a look at the hanger and probably try out a 105 rear derailleur I have at home in the drawer. Who knows.
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Old 02-06-15, 08:20 PM
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If like other brands the choice of hangers is the distance between the axle and the der mount then the longer one will allow larger rear cogs (or help eliminate pulley knock, the reason that the other big brand produced longer replacement hangers) but also make the shifting more sluggish as the cog to pulley gap also increases. Too short a chain will make this worse when on the large ring (as when the rear cage plays out chain the upper pulley further moves away from the cog). I hope one of the shops checked the hanger alignment with the wheel secured in place. Many replacement hangers will shift slightly when the QR is tightened.

I wonder if the replacement der uses the same cable pull ratio. Andy
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Old 02-06-15, 10:01 PM
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I would try shooting lots of WD40 into the shifters. With time the factory grease often because hardened in the shifters causing excess friction and sluggish shifting. I know that this does not explain why the shifting got worse after the chain problem but I would try it anyway and it can't hurt. This trick has restored shifting performance in many many STI shifters. This is something you can do yourself, you do not need to remove the shifters from the bar. Use the red straw and shoot WD40 into any openings you can find. Clean the brake levers when done.
Adjusting the shift cable using the barrel adjuster found at the rear derailleur (as squirtdad said) may also help.
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Old 02-06-15, 10:55 PM
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The symptoms of a balky shifter are rather different then the Op's descriptions and generally occur after many years. Flushing out otherwise still good factory lube from a STI shifter isn't what I would suggest. The problems stated sound much more like chain/der set up and/or cable friction/tension related. Andy.
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Old 02-06-15, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
If like other brands the choice of hangers is the distance between the axle and the der mount then the longer one will allow larger rear cogs (or help eliminate pulley knock, the reason that the other big brand produced longer replacement hangers) but also make the shifting more sluggish as the cog to pulley gap also increases. Too short a chain will make this worse when on the large ring (as when the rear cage plays out chain the upper pulley further moves away from the cog). I hope one of the shops checked the hanger alignment with the wheel secured in place. Many replacement hangers will shift slightly when the QR is tightened.


I wonder if the replacement der uses the same cable pull ratio. Andy

This is really valuable info! Thank you for this. The thing is that all the women's bike at specialized now use a 30t big cog so I guess we should have a long type hanger on the bike. I will try to figure this out. Although the poor shifting occurs mostly in the middle of the cassette, so it shouldn't be an issue... I guess...



Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
I would try shooting lots of WD40 into the shifters. With time the factory grease often because hardened in the shifters causing excess friction and sluggish shifting. I know that this does not explain why the shifting got worse after the chain problem but I would try it anyway and it can't hurt. This trick has restored shifting performance in many many STI shifters. This is something you can do yourself, you do not need to remove the shifters from the bar. Use the red straw and shoot WD40 into any openings you can find. Clean the brake levers when done.
Adjusting the shift cable using the barrel adjuster found at the rear derailleur (as squirtdad said) may also help.
Well the guy at the LBS said that the next thing he would try is to replace the brifters to see whether it makes a difference or not. I saw that the guy played with the barrel adjuster for like 15 minutes to do the best he can. The shifting got better and better, but never perfect like it had been.

I really appreciate all the input guys! It's always awesome to learn something new.
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Old 02-06-15, 11:12 PM
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Sometimes with hanger alignment, perpendicular to the ground isn't always the answer. Sometimes it has to be bent out a teeny bit in order to get things perfect.

When it initially went into the spokes, it could have been a bent hanger issue, a limit screw issue or a really bad mis-shift (a bike of mine ate an hanger/derailleur once when I swapped out wheels, didn't pedal it in the air to set it in gear before riding it, hopped on the bike, pedaled 10 feet and CRUNCH).

Getting it right can be a frustrating, repetitive combo of re-aligning, adjusting limit screws and adjusting cable tension until it's right.
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Old 02-07-15, 06:12 AM
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What you have here is a total FUBAR.

Everything on a bicycle works together. When something gets screwed up, making the wrong adjustment can affect other operations of the bike. An example that I sometimes use is that it's important to make the adjustments for setting up a front derailleur in order because each adjustment can affect the subsequent adjustments.

In your case, you had a problem and, when your first attempt at setting it right failed, you have taken the bike to a string of different mechanics, each of whom has attempted to figure out what the previous guy has done. Each mechanic has also preformed a string of adjustments and parts replacements. I suspect that you have a string of misadjustments that have been made in order to correct some previous misadjustment.

A bicycle is a simple machine but the devil is in the details. If you were to bring your bike to me today, the first thing that I would do would be to completely remove all of the new replacement parts that have been installed on the bike. Then I would reassemble the bike as if I were building it up for the first time but only after checking each part for correct alignment before installing it.
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Old 02-07-15, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by nemeseri View Post
Thanks for the chart, I just found it too.. They tried out two tiagra derailleur with exactly the same results. They checked the hanger alignment with a tool to make sure it aligns and they said that the frame seems to be alright. It's made out of alloy so we'd see the damage instantly, right? Thanks!

Tomorrow I will take a look at the hanger and probably try out a 105 rear derailleur I have at home in the drawer. Who knows.
I find it both telling and sad that an LBS would try replacing a new derailleur with an identical new derailleur in hopes it would work; we no longer have mechanics, we have parts replacers. The most likely culprit is when you sucked the derailleur it bent the frame; ie the chain stay and/or dropout. In this case no amount of parts replacing or hanger adjustment is going to work. Go back to the LBS that sold you the bike and demand they fix the problem or replace the bike; that's what a warranty is for.
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Old 02-07-15, 03:35 PM
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i wonder if anyone bothered to check the hangar alignment. Just because it's a new hangar doesn't mean everything is straight. Usually, I find the really weird shifting problems to go back to hangars. In fact, the original problem could well have been related to a storage or transportation related hangar misalignment
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Old 02-07-15, 05:13 PM
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Yea the hanger replace and check the allignment with the shop tool + somebody thought there was a perfect future and took the spoke protector off .

Online sales for all the stuff, mean shops competing for cost, cant retain skilled Mechanics..

as they wont pay them enough, to live , so the ones that are there for a short time before Moving on are not as Knowledgeable .

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-07-15 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 02-07-15, 10:57 PM
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Alright. So today I dropped off the 105 derailleur I had. The shop worked with a new 10 speed ultegra chain (the only type they carried) and they managed to tune up the shifting perfectly. I also checked the hanger and the original shop seems to install the correct type of hanger (although I don't know about the length of it).

1., After the initial rear derailleur replacement, the shifting was bad because of the damaged chain (and probably recycled rear derailleur).
2., The second shop put on a SRAM chain as a replacement and failed to tune up the drivetrain properly.
3., The last shop tried to tune up the drivetrain with the SRAM chain and tiagra rear derailleur, but they couldn't do a perfect job. The reason they wasn't able to get it right with a new tiagra rear derailleur and new whatever chain they had is a misery.

The take away I ended up with after talking with the mech at the shop:
x) Sram chains usually work well with Shimano drivetrains, but might effect shifting and they recommend to use shimano chains with shimano derailleurs.
x) It pays off to return to a trusted shop, because at the end they managed to figure it out and tune it up just fine.

Thank you guys for all the suggestions and help. I really appreciate it.
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Old 02-08-15, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Yea the hanger replace and check the allignment with the shop tool + somebody thought there was a perfect future and took the spoke protector off .

Online sales for all the stuff, mean shops competing for cost, cant retain skilled Mechanics..

as they wont pay them enough, to live , so the ones that are there for a short time before Moving on are not as Knowledgeable .

It's funny--I remember a shop owner back around 1994 telling me he paid his head mechanic $26k a year. I'm guessing a head mechanic now isn't making much more money.

Never a good thing when skills/skillsets are devalued. Makes me consider getting some insurance and doing minor bike repairs out of my garage. I already string tennis racquets out of my home, but there's no liability there.
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