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LBS can't Tune a Shimano Front Derailleur

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LBS can't Tune a Shimano Front Derailleur

Old 02-14-20, 06:39 PM
  #1  
bobin
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LBS can't Tune a Shimano Front Derailleur

Got a new Ultegra front mech. After being driven crazy installing my old 105 FD - I took it to the LBS as part of a larger maintenance/tune package.
First tech f'd it up - had the angle wrong and no trim on the big cog. Sounded like birds chirping.
Took it back in - and the manager was kind enough to tune it himself.
Now the big cog works fine - no noise - but there's no trim on the small cog. When you click all the way in - the trim doesn't move it out a fraction. Maybe I'm not explaining that right - but both clicks on the small cog result in the same FD placement. This is not correct right? There should be four slightly different FD positions correct?
Why is it so hard to get these things right?
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Old 02-14-20, 07:35 PM
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Calvin explains things pretty well here.

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Old 02-14-20, 08:28 PM
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The latest versions of Shimano FDs have specific instructions to align for trim. Basically there are two marks which must line up on the cable adjuster when the chain is on the big chainring and the lever is in trim position, not hard to do but specific. Read the online instruction sheet for your FD and see if the two marks line up. If not lined up, do the last adjustment yourself.
​​​​​​https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-RAFD001-05-ENG.pdf page 18
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Old 02-14-20, 10:06 PM
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Find a new bike shop. There is no excuse for a bike shop not to be able to adjust a Shimano derailleur correctly.
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Old 02-15-20, 08:09 AM
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Better yet, learn to fix it yourself. I've never had a shop do any repair, ever.
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Old 02-15-20, 08:15 AM
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The correct answer is below

Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Better yet, learn to fix it yourself. I've never had a shop do any repair, ever.
Before SIS you needed an expert but now just follow the Shimano "recipe" on the installation notes
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Old 02-15-20, 08:33 AM
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bobin
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Better yet, learn to fix it yourself. I've never had a shop do any repair, ever.
I agree for everything except this FD from Shimano. I've never been able to get it to perform to the point where I'm not constantly fidgeting with it. So yeah - for FD I need a pro, I'm just going to admit it.
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Old 02-15-20, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bobin View Post
I agree for everything except this FD from Shimano. I've never been able to get it to perform to the point where I'm not constantly fidgeting with it. So yeah - for FD I need a pro, I'm just going to admit it.
5800/6800/9000 series FDs are a little more finicky than the others, and you must have the cable attached to the proper side of the mounting bolt for your bike..
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Old 02-15-20, 09:53 AM
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Well said

Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
5800/6800/9000 series FDs are a little more finicky than the others, and you must have the cable attached to the proper side of the mounting bolt for your bike..
This is the key bit of advice you need.. If you do it the wrong way it just never works properly (but does work fairly well).
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Old 02-15-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
5800/6800/9000 series FDs are a little more finicky than the others, and you must have the cable attached to the proper side of the mounting bolt for your bike..
Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
This is the key bit of advice you need.. If you do it the wrong way it just never works properly (but does work fairly well).
True for 5800 and 6800 but not newer 7000/8000/9000. These are generally less finiky to set up but the adjustment process is different than for earlier models. One thing to check on these is whether the frame support bolt, which stabilizes and aligns the derailleur by pressing against the seat tube, is set sufficiently securely against the frame.

Last edited by DOS; 02-15-20 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 02-15-20, 11:08 AM
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Fd

The shop I bought my bike from used to have some really good wrenches. Not sure where they all went, but at my last service I ended up with a loose crank, FD that constantly dropped the chain (it never did) and noisier than ever. I’ve since got the FD where it’s “ok” but that’s it
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Old 02-15-20, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Find a new bike shop. There is no excuse for a bike shop not to be able to adjust a Shimano derailleur correctly.
Well actually... the long arm FD introduced with 11s can be problematic when the cable comes from a spot too close to the drive side. I had one customer bring in a bike that had a housing stop on the inside of the DS chainstay, and it wouldn't even move through the full range, let alone work with the trim positions. I had to clamp a housing stop onto the seat tube.

IME it's fairly common for the small ring trim position not to work; the derailer only moves when the cable is pulled further than the tiny trim amount; it'll sit where it's supposed to on that first trim position as the cable is released. This makes sense when you look at the stupid geometry, with the pivot on the arm below the pinch bolt almost in line with the cable.

Many are bound to disagree with me, but I say Shimano done F'ed up designing this unit, ignoring the wide variability in origin of the cable from various frames. It only works properly on like 35% of bikes, kind of okay on another 25%, and on the rest you have to choose which trim position you want to work. Better to skip the small ring one, since you have to adjust it a bit wrong if you want that one, straining the escapement in the shifter on release from full tight.
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Old 02-15-20, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
, and you must have the cable attached to the proper side of the mounting bolt for your bike..
Oh yeah, that can sometimes make the difference, but it often doesn't help much.
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Old 02-16-20, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Many are bound to disagree with me, but I say Shimano done F'ed up designing this unit, ignoring the wide variability in origin of the cable from various frames. It only works properly on like 35% of bikes, kind of okay on another 25%, and on the rest you have to choose which trim position you want to work. Better to skip the small ring one, since you have to adjust it a bit wrong if you want that one, straining the escapement in the shifter on release from full tight.
Yep, I had this issue on a Giant TCX, where the FD cable release is on the drive side. Lever feel is awful, all the tension comes in at once. It means the start of the travel is easy, then it's a very hard push to change up. Replaced with an R7000 FD and the difference is like night and day - works exactly as it should with a light, even push throughout the lever travel.

As you say, it's not like that on all bikes. I've tried it on someone else's Cannondale Supersix and it works exactly as intended, and it's clear that the cable exit is much closer to the centre of the BB shell.
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Old 02-17-20, 07:16 AM
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The Ultgra 8000 sets up different from all others I had trouble until I went to the Shimnao site and down loaded the instructions, just follow the instruction and you will not have a problem
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Old 02-17-20, 11:06 AM
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No Shimano fd is very difficult to set up, but the latest versions are very much the easiest IF YOU READ AND FOLLOW THE NEW INSTRUCTIONS. If your LBS tried to set the fd up without reading the instructions, they understandably had problems. But if they will read . . . it's idiot-proof. A complete novice could set it up perfectly.
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Old 02-17-20, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bobin View Post
Got a new Ultegra front mech. After being driven crazy installing my old 105 FD - I took it to the LBS as part of a larger maintenance/tune package.
First tech f'd it up - had the angle wrong and no trim on the big cog. Sounded like birds chirping.
Took it back in - and the manager was kind enough to tune it himself.
Now the big cog works fine - no noise - but there's no trim on the small cog. When you click all the way in - the trim doesn't move it out a fraction. Maybe I'm not explaining that right - but both clicks on the small cog result in the same FD placement. This is not correct right? There should be four slightly different FD positions correct?
Why is it so hard to get these things right?
Looks like you need a new LBS. Not being able to tune shimano components on bicycles is like a mechanic not being able to repair a honda civic or toyota corolla... run!
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Old 02-17-20, 12:15 PM
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The R7000/8000 stuff seems complicated to set up, but just read Shimano's instructions. They explain a very methodical and logical method of setting up the FD. If it's the older long-arm generation, have fun with that. Even as a shop mech, that gen is a royal pain to set up properly. I think our shop record for setting up a 5800 FD is around 7 minutes.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious View Post
If it's the older long-arm generation, have fun with that. Even as a shop mech, that gen is a royal pain to set up properly. I think our shop record for setting up a 5800 FD is around 7 minutes.
Yeah .... I have set up a Lot of derailleurs, but I have had to do a lot of online research and struggling and trial/error to get a 5800 or 6800 to work at times.

I read everything Shimano has ever published, to start with---Pure BS. I went to every reputable cycling site (Park Tools and the like) and read every related thread on several bike websites. My takeaway is that it is a lousy design that works wonderfully if you can find the sweet spot between swing and tension, but if your derailleur mount or cable stop is not located in just the right spot it is just a lousy design.

That said .... if the Mechanic at a Bike Shop can;'t do it, never go back there. Plenty of amateurs (like myself) have figured it out. if the supposedly skilled mechanic cannot, he is .... well, worse than me, and I really hate to be so insulting ......
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Old 02-17-20, 09:17 PM
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You know you've found a good bike shop if they can tune a Shimano but they can't tuna fish.
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Old 02-17-20, 09:45 PM
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I wonder.... OP do you have a Shimano crank? I had exactly the same issue when I had my praxis crank. It got better (but not perfect) when I went to a 105 crank.
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Old 02-17-20, 10:29 PM
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My next door neighbor complained about our LBS concerning the same issue. He paid for the tuneup that wasn't. I'm going to do the research and see if I can't help him out. I would encourage him to learn to maintain his own bike but he just isn't there. Andy Granatelli in his autobiography stated that his philosophy was that if a problem was reduced to its simplest terms; anybody could understand it and know how to correct it. I have adopted this philosophy in large part and it has served me well.
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Old 02-18-20, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by howie2wheels View Post
My next door neighbor complained about our LBS concerning the same issue. He paid for the tuneup that wasn't. I'm going to do the research and see if I can't help him out. I would encourage him to learn to maintain his own bike but he just isn't there. Andy Granatelli in his autobiography stated that his philosophy was that if a problem was reduced to its simplest terms; anybody could understand it and know how to correct it. I have adopted this philosophy in large part and it has served me well.
He paid for a service he didn't receive? He should bring back the bike and tell them to fix it & get compensated for that. What a waste of precious time.
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Old 02-21-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ingo View Post
The latest versions of Shimano FDs have specific instructions to align for trim. Basically there are two marks which must line up on the cable adjuster when the chain is on the big chainring and the lever is in trim position, not hard to do but specific. Read the online instruction sheet for your FD and see if the two marks line up. If not lined up, do the last adjustment yourself.
​​​​​​https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-RAFD001-05-ENG.pdf page 18
I went through this procedure and it really helped quiet my FD out - hopefully I'll stop being frustrated with it.
Thanks for the link!
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Old 02-21-20, 12:22 PM
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Very few shops actually set them correctly. Most factory techs and mechanics can't either. You can get decent performance by following the exact guidelines given in the tech docs. You can get best performance when you take the time to really set it up for your specific situation.

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