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How to Adjust Your Front Derailleur How to Adjust Your Front Derailleur
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Shifting between first and second
#1
I'm a real novice at this so please make allowances! I was having trouble (front derailleur) shifting up from first to second. When I flicked the shift lever into 2nd, the cage would move across seemingly correctly, but the chain would struggle, make a lot of noise and refuse to shift up. If I pushed the shift lever over a little more - towards 3rd - and held it for a couple of seconds, the chain would move up on to 2nd position and stay there OK. I tried to correct this by increasing the tension a little on the shift wire. The result of that was that it shifts up to 2nd correctly, but won't go down to first. I thought, well OK, I must have over-tensioned it. So I released a tiny bit and retried - only to find I'd gone back to my initial position. I've been doing my head in, several times over increasing and reducing the tension, but I always end up with one problem or its opposite. What am I missing? Any help appreciated.
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#2
First, is this a recent occurrence, and if so, did it start after any type of maintenance or accident?

Secondly, the front derailleur must be properly positioned before adjusting - see http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/front-derailleur-adjustments for full instructions on setting height and rotation as well as limits and cable "tension." If still a problem your derailleur may have developed play in the pivots.

You should also check the BB bearings to make sure they have no play.
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#3
I made the mistake of lending my bike to a friend. It was fine before that but when I got it back, I noticed the problem straightaway. He claimed he had no problem with it but something must have happened while it was in his care - I just don't know what.
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#4
(12-10-2014, 08:24 PM)colinmb Wrote:  I made the mistake of lending my bike to a friend. It was fine before that but when I got it back, I noticed the problem straightaway. He claimed he had no problem with it but something must have happened while it was in his care - I just don't know what.

If you feel comfortable doing this; it will result in the best possible performance.

Disconnect the front derailleur cable, and follow the instructions given in the link by our friend from Central NY State.

Make sure that you have the tools (including measurement tools) needed before you start.
Nigel
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#5
Thanks, Nigel. To the OP - possibly coincidence but also possible your friend accidentally tunked the derailleur with his foot or bumped against something. A slight rotation of the derailleur on the frame tube can easily degrade shifting, but best to go through the whole procedure for the best result. Make sure the derailleur clamp is firmly tightened once you get the position correct (don't gorilla it, though).
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