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Adjusting the derailleur inwards for each step? (pic heavy)
#1
Hi,

first post on the forum. Some years ago I started changing my own inner tubes and was rather proud of that, but now I'm trying to get into fixing other stuff as well. I'm a bit stumped with the rear gear issues on 2 bicycles.

One thing at a time though. This bicycle that is ride-able, but doesn't shift into the 1st rear gear, and arguably is not properly tuned for the others. I had a close look at the derailleur position and it seems to be consistently too outwards in each position (I guess that is to be expected given the issue at hand).

If going from the inward gears to the outermost (gearing up), position 1 gives the 2nd gear (and makes noise), whereas position 2 gives the 2nd gear without noise, and then each increment shifts into the respective gear up to the 7th.

Going from the outward gears to the innermost (gearing down), they refuse to shift unless I go on position lower: Only when in position 5 will it shift from 7th to 6th gear, and so on until one uses position 1 to make it reach the 2nd gear.

Here are some pictures taken with the camera's base supported on the rear tire, in sequence gearing up:
1st position
[attachment=4438]
2nd position
[attachment=4439]
3rd position
[attachment=4440]
and so on until the 7th position...
[attachment=4441]

Then gearing down:
6th position (still 7th gear)
[attachment=4442]
5th position (goes to 6th gear)
[attachment=4443]
and so on until it reaches the inside with the 2nd position (still 3rd gear)
[attachment=4444]
and 1st position
[attachment=4445]
Never reaches the 1st gear.

I was trying to read on another site how to adjust derailleurs but I got a bit confused as it was written that I should not touch the limit screws other than for a temporary fix "on the road". What is recommended then?

Thanks,
Ivo
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#2
Starting from scratch is best. I will give the steps and you can decide which you are capable of:
1. Clean, at least the pullys
2. True rear wheel
3. check and align Derailluer Hanger (needs a DAG tool)
4. Disconnect cable (if not already)
5. Set H Limit screw so the pully is just off center a pinch towards the outside of the top 7th gear
6. set L limit screw so pully is centered directly under 1st gear (pushing the derailluer by hand and looking from the rear)
7. make sure shifter is set for 7th gear and make sure all housing and cables are good and seated properly in the caps and frame bosses
8. screw barrel adjuster all the way in and back out 1 1/2 turn
9. attach cable, be careful not to move the derailluer before attaching
10. shift one gear. Did it go? if not turn barrel adjuster till it does. If taking back to highest gear and there is alot of cable slack. reattach and start over.
11. once you got it to shift from the highest to the next, turn barrel adjuster until you hear it clanging for the next gear, then back off the barrel adjuster 1/4 turn at a time till the clanging sound stops.
12. Run thru the gears up and down and check, go for a test ride
13. get back to us and let us know
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
PK's advice is sound, and the proper way to do the complete job.

For a quickie verification you could do steps 4, 7 thru 13. But if you want to do a really good job, do 1 thru 13 as he lists above.
Nigel
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#4
Hi again, thanks a lot for the help. It took a while until I had time but this Saturday I went for it and the bike is "fixed" (or at least all gears go in).

I cleaned it a bit, did not try to true the wheel (is that easy to do? it looks aligned anyway) nor the derailleur alignment (as it requires a specific tool).

I released the cable, did 5., then got in trouble with 6: for next time, how does this work exactly? With the cable loose I was unable to get any gears to shift "by hand". I lost a bit of hope there, but decided I better move to other steps to see if I could at least to those.

When I re-attached the cable I had more confidence loss as now I could only get it to go to 6th gear (from 7th) by going all the way down to the 3rd setting or so.
But then I detached the cable, checked if the cable was tight, and indeed it was a bit loose. I took the opportunity to have a look at the barrel, but didn't even tinker much with it.
Then to be sure the cable was properly attached I pulled it keeping it in position with pliers and attached it. Tested the gears and to a bit of surprise, verified that all gears went in Smile

The front derailleur should go a little bit more outwards when it is in the largest gear, as the chain rubs a little bit in the housing. Maybe I'll have a look at that next.
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#5
"as the chain rubs a little bit in the housing" By housing do you mean the inside of the derailleur cage? If so, turn the "H" limit screw out 1/4 turn @ a time and see if that helps, get back and we can go from there. housing is the outer sleeve your cables run thru.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#6
You are right, confusing naming from my part. I'll be more careful with the terms.
Yes, the chain rubs a little bit on the inside of the front derailleur cage.
I'll try the H limit screw on the front derailleur then.
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#7
Hi again, the purple bike works well. Many thanks.

I started working on another one which had a very rusty chain (and still has, after 2 sessions of WD-40, rubbing, and re-oiling - I think it will need 2 or 3 more sessions). It had and has issues with the rear gears: started out with an unreachable inside rear gear, and all the gears except the smallest rear one "jumped" when pedaling uphill, which made it a bit useless. By "jumping" here I mean it spontaneously made a loud noise and temporarily loses traction. I'm sorry I don't know how to describe it better as I was riding it when it does it and haven't managed to keep my eyes on the gears to spot what happened.

I figured I could just follow the procedure above, same thing I did for the purple and learned quite a bit more about how it works - particularly the barrel adjuster (I spent quite a few minutes turning it without anything happened, until I realized I had pulled it out of its "housing" and therefore I wasn't doing anything).

From my experience so far, the gears stopped jumping at least but...

1. The gears.
1a). It has more shifter positions (8) than actual cogs (7), but I didn't get it to assign a specific cog to each position and leaving e.g. the 8th redundant with the 7th by relying on the H limit, which I think would be best (right?). Right now it seems to get stuck on the same gear in the middle, like from 4 to 3, unless I shift two positions. Should I leave it like that?
1b) The other issue (possibly related) that makes me more worried is that any gear that isn't the smallest (the one that never jumped, before) is still making some noise when pedaling. This seems to only happen when I'm riding it, as I didn't notice while I had it hoisted and was fixing it.

I took some pictures to put here, although this time not yet on each shifter and gear position.
I spotted that one link of the chain looked different, and wonder if it is relevant.

2. In addition to the gear issue, the direction is misaligned to the left, and I think this is a question of getting a large spanner/wrench to the hexagonal bolt, loosening it a bit up to rotate it back straight, and fastening again. Correct?

3. Also, that rear tyre looks like it has seen better days, right?
Pics...
Rusty chain
[attachment=4580]

Rear tyre not looking so good
[attachment=4581]

The different link
[attachment=4582]

The misaligned steering and bolt
[attachment=4583]
[attachment=4584]
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#8
replace the chain and freewheel/cassette; you may also have to replace the chainrings.
Nigel
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#9
You are probably right, they are pretty rusty Smile
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#10
Not only is the derailer rusty the teeth are worn out.
I do not see a side shoot of cassette or chain rings, but judging from available photos of chain the poor shifting is the least of your issues. Go through the whole bike, service wheel, BB, and headset bearings, CLEAN........and lube .
Its amazing how many riders complain about poor running bikes that obviously did not receive maintenance.
Never Give Up!!!
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#11
(10-28-2013, 07:23 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Not only is the derailer rusty the teeth are worn out.
I do not see a side shoot of cassette or chain rings, but judging from available photos of chain the poor shifting is the least of your issues. Go through the whole bike, service wheel, BB, and headset bearings, CLEAN........and lube .
Its amazing how many riders complain about poor running bikes that obviously did not receive maintenance.

I entirely agree with the last part, this bicycle wasn't maintained by me. Looking at that rusty chain makes me wince - it is too obvious that it needed to be oiled!
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#12
Did you buy it or are you servicing for a friend?
Is it an 8 speed wheel with a cassette spacer or a 7 speed wheel?
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#13
(10-29-2013, 10:09 AM)1FJEF Wrote:  Did you buy it or are you servicing for a friend?
Is it an 8 speed wheel with a cassette spacer or a 7 speed wheel?

I bought it like this for a relatively cheap price (or so I think), because it has a nice saddle that I really liked, a nice kickstand, rack and working dynamo lights despite the worn rear tire and immensely rusty moving parts.

I have another crappy bicycle that I'm currently using (not the purple one) and that rides surprisingly well, but want to eventually "upgrade" to this one.

You ask an interesting question - this is beyond my current knowledge. I will try to check this after I look up some info on the net.
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#14
If it's yours then I think you should remove the rear wheel, take a pic so we can see if it's a cassette or freewheel, then remove the rear gears & replace ($20ish) purchase a new chain (under $20). Clean up the front chain rings & let's see if they're still good, they just might be.

If it has a freewheel, it's a 7 speed hub, if it's a cassette, & you find no spacer when you remove the gear cluster if it's a 7 speed hub. If it's an 8 you'll find a spacer.
Then we need to figure if it's cheaper/easier to get new idler wheels or replace the rear derailer.
I'm not a dynamo light fan, but if you like it, that's good.
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#15
(10-29-2013, 10:44 PM)1FJEF Wrote:  If it's yours then I think you should remove the rear wheel, take a pic so we can see if it's a cassette or freewheel, then remove the rear gears & replace ($20ish) purchase a new chain (under $20). Clean up the front chain rings & let's see if they're still good, they just might be.

If it has a freewheel, it's a 7 speed hub, if it's a cassette, & you find no spacer when you remove the gear cluster if it's a 7 speed hub. If it's an 8 you'll find a spacer.
Then we need to figure if it's cheaper/easier to get new idler wheels or replace the rear derailer.
I'm not a dynamo light fan, but if you like it, that's good.

I will remove the wheel this weekend and take some snapshots. Thanks!

I like dynamo lights for the convenience when lights are used infrequently, in well-lit areas; it is basically just to not get fined and have cars behind me see there is someone there (the rear light is one of those that stays on for a bit after stopped). Otherwise I prefer battery operated ones, but they are less convenient for me as they can get stolen if left on the bicycle etc.
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#16
(10-30-2013, 07:58 AM)Ivo Wrote:  I like dynamo lights for the convenience when lights are used infrequently, in well-lit areas; it is basically just to not get fined and have cars behind me see there is someone there (the rear light is one of those that stays on for a bit after stopped). Otherwise I prefer battery operated ones, but they are less convenient for me as they can get stolen if left on the bicycle etc.

Yeah, and the batteries are always dead when you need them most... and the replacement, too. Happened to me twice (to be fair, I had rechargables in both of the lights and it was cold). I do not like the tyre-rubbing dynamos, but rather prefer the hub dynamos - more efficient, less problematic in wet conditions, however they are some investment: front wheel + lights can easily set you back 120 EUR (dunno... 160 USD?). I built a new front wheel with a hub dynamo for my commute the week after I was stuck in the dark...
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#17
Hi again,

The bike has hub dynamo in fact.

Anyway, I removed the rear wheel and used the opportunity to clean a bit more. Here are the pictures showing in detail the rear gears.
[attachment=4624]

[attachment=4625]

The gears' teeth don't seem too worn to me, but I am not an expert, so I'm unsure if GeorgeET's remark was about some other part being worn, or if his expert view could spot wear better than I can.

I didn't pop the wheel back in yet, but I will probably put it back in temporarily tomorrow before getting new parts to replace perhaps.
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#18
Hi Ivo;

You have a 7 speed cassette. You need a chain whip (or similar), a FR5 (or similar) and a big wrench to fit the FR5 to get it off. See Alex's: http://bicycletutor.com/replace-cassette-cluster/

After you remove the cassette, you can put the cassette in the dish washer to clean it - there are no moving parts on it. (DO NOT put a freewheel in the dish washer - there are LOTS of little moving parts in a freewheel).
Nigel
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#19
Nice Shimano cassette & freehub, not a freewheel.
When I get a bike cheap of unknown origin I usually replace the chain & cassette & service every (loose ball) bearing.
You would need a chain tool, chain whip & a Shimano cassette removal tool, which are cheap & a good investment if you like working on bikes.
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#20
(11-02-2013, 05:17 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Hi Ivo;

You have a 7 speed cassette. You need a chain whip (or similar), a FR5 (or similar) and a big wrench to fit the FR5 to get it off. See Alex's: http://bicycletutor.com/replace-cassette-cluster/

After you remove the cassette, you can put the cassette in the dish washer to clean it - there are no moving parts on it. (DO NOT put a freewheel in the dish washer - there are LOTS of little moving parts in a freewheel).

With the wheel off, I can relatively easily clean it with a rag between the cogs (I don't have a dishwasher). Other than cleaning and replacing it with a new one, is there a good reason to pop the cassette out? I don't have a chain whip (I don't even have a big wrench here, but I can borrow one I think).

EDIT: FJEF already replied - to clean the bearings I guess.

I got this bike for the equivalent of under 70 USD - it looked to me to be clearly a good bike that was poorly maintained:
The chain was super rusty (it was much worse than in the first pictures)
The cable going for the rear gears wasn't even in the housing (so they didn't work at all)
The direction was misaligned (still is as I don't have a wrench) AND the rear wheel was misaligned :/
I think the streak on the rear tire is because the guy had the wheel rubbing against a bolt in the rear mudguard!

Nevertheless I think it was either also not his before, or he had it serviced at some time, because as I mentioned earlier the shifter has 8 positions and there are only 7 cogs. I don't think it was purchased new like that.
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