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How to Adjust Your Front Derailleur How to Adjust Your Front Derailleur
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Front Derailleur Shifting
#1
I am a newbie here and still stuck in coaster brake mentality. I have a new Schwinn Avenue 21 speed with Shimano 7 shifter, it came in a box and I assembled it (think again coaster brake mentality). OK she went together fine with no parts left over, however she will not shift UP onto the middle chain ring (one and three work fine, and she shifts down on all three chain rings just fine). To get to two I must shift up to three and then down to two and that works fine, So, is it the cable tension or the high/low switch? Any and all suggestions gratefully accepted.
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#2
Your cable tension is too low. There should be a barrel adjuster where the cable outer goes into the shifter body. Unscrew this to increase cable tension. Do this until it shifts nicely into the middle ring, but still goes into the smaller ring easily (if you over-do it, screw it back in a bit)
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#3
(02-05-2010, 05:21 PM)JonB Wrote:  Your cable tension is too low. There should be a barrel adjuster where the cable outer goes into the shifter body. Unscrew this to increase cable tension. Do this until it shifts nicely into the middle ring, but still goes into the smaller ring easily (if you over-do it, screw it back in a bit)

OK will try it, and to be sure it is unscrew to increase tension.
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#4
(02-05-2010, 05:24 PM)vabear Wrote:  
(02-05-2010, 05:21 PM)JonB Wrote:  Your cable tension is too low. There should be a barrel adjuster where the cable outer goes into the shifter body. Unscrew this to increase cable tension. Do this until it shifts nicely into the middle ring, but still goes into the smaller ring easily (if you over-do it, screw it back in a bit)

OK will try it, and to be sure it is unscrew to increase tension.

I tried unscrewing the barrel adjuster to the point it is almost impossible to index shift the chain onto the largest chain ring, and yet, she does not quite make the middle chain ring. What next?
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#5
Try reinstalling the entire thing. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, its best to get an idea first.

I would take the derailleur off, and watch this first:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T43IJue7iiI

Then see if everything you did matches up, and reinstall the FD.

When something funky like this happens, best to just start over. It's not a big project, just a few minutes.

Good luck!

(edit) Hey Alex, maybe you should do an "Install" series. How to install individual components properly. I hate linking to a video that's not one of yours. If you do make one, you can change the link to your vid.Smile
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#6
Haha thanks jr, but always feel free to post other videos you find that are helpful. The more information the better!

I will do a series on installations at some point... so many videos still to make, I find myself wishing I could just pause time for a while to get them all done lol Smile
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#7
I hear that. I think we all have projects we'd like to have all the time in the world to get done.Smile
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#8
OK, maybe I am just slow or challenged but I do not understand why the shifter will not move the chain off of the small chain ring and onto the middle chain ring (stops just short) yet will move from the small chain ring to the large chain ring (no problem) and then will shift down from the large to the middle and then the small chain ring with no problems.
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#9
(02-06-2010, 03:43 PM)vabear Wrote:  OK, maybe I am just slow or challenged but I do not understand why the shifter will not move the chain off of the small chain ring and onto the middle chain ring (stops just short) yet will move from the small chain ring to the large chain ring (no problem) and then will shift down from the large to the middle and then the small chain ring with no problems.

That's something I don't understand either.
I can only think that the derailleur needs setting up properly.
If you haven't already then see Alex's video:-
http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-front-derailer/

And Park Tools:-
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

Check the height and alignment.
Make sure the cable is clamped in the derailleur in it's correct position.
There's usually a slot for the cable.
Make sure the cable is on the correct side of the holding screw. (usually the outside end?)

Unclamp the cable and start again.
Screw the cable adjuster in then back out 1/2 turn.
Set the derailleur "L" screw to hold the cage on the small ring and then re-clamp the cable so it's just taught.
Now try the shifting.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#10
(02-06-2010, 04:17 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  
(02-06-2010, 03:43 PM)vabear Wrote:  OK, maybe I am just slow or challenged but I do not understand why the shifter will not move the chain off of the small chain ring and onto the middle chain ring (stops just short) yet will move from the small chain ring to the large chain ring (no problem) and then will shift down from the large to the middle and then the small chain ring with no problems.

That's something I don't understand either.
I can only think that the derailleur needs setting up properly.
If you haven't already then see Alex's video:-
http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-front-derailer/

And Park Tools:-
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

Check the height and alignment.
Make sure the cable is clamped in the derailleur in it's correct position.
There's usually a slot for the cable.
Make sure the cable is on the correct side of the holding screw. (usually the outside end?)

Unclamp the cable and start again.
Screw the cable adjuster in then back out 1/2 turn.
Set the derailleur "L" screw to hold the cage on the small ring and then re-clamp the cable so it's just taught.
Now try the shifting.

Well I took her all apart and put her back together and I get the same result, I have the Park Tool website and the video, so I will review all. What I do not understnd is if the cage is correct on the small chain ring (L) screw and good on the large chain ring (H) screw why does she not obey my command.
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#11
(02-06-2010, 05:05 PM)vabear Wrote:  Well I took her all apart and put her back together and I get the same result, I have the Park Tool website and the video, so I will review all. What I do not understand is if the cage is correct on the small chain ring (L) screw and good on the large chain ring (H) screw why does she not obey my command.

Hmmm...That's REALLY odd. Its so much easier to diagnose a problem when you're actually looking at it. If the high and low limits are set correctly, there is no reason ...

Ah... another duh! moment. On the inside of the chainring, there should be a little "ramp" and a pin that guide the chain onto the ring, when the derailleur pushes the chain toward the chainring. There should be two or four, on opposite sides of each other. You'll notice when you shift with the bike on a stand, that the chain doesn't shift immediately. It waits until it comes in contact with one of these ramps.

So the question is, is the chainring installed backwards? Is the shift pin missing, or is the ramp worn down, or a manufacturer's defect, and the ramp is missing?

Take a look and tell us what you find.
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#12
Ok, I manually put the chain on to the middle chain ring (indexer there as well) and also on the largest rear sprocket, and then I adjusted the cable tension so that the cage was in tolerance at the middle ring. All looks well, but no stand so I am waiting for the ice and snow to melt so I can test run her (film at eleven).
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#13
No stand - turn the bike on it's back.
Turn bike over and rest it on the saddle and handlebars.
This will allow you to turn the cranks.
Could be slightly awkward to get to the shifter but should suffice.

I don't have a stand (threw it away as took up to much room in the garage) but I do have a turbo trainer. This supports the back wheel of the ground and I do my trimming on that now.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#14
(02-07-2010, 09:02 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  No stand - turn the bike on it's back.
Turn bike over and rest it on the saddle and handlebars.
This will allow you to turn the cranks.
Could be slightly awkward to get to the shifter but should suffice.

I don't have a stand (threw it away as took up to much room in the garage) but I do have a turbo trainer. This supports the back wheel of the ground and I do my trimming on that now.

The problem with turning it on its' back is the levers and screws for adjustment are also on the bottom, worked OK for my MONARCH coaster brake cycle, not too good for these new bikes.
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#15
You can always use a trainer as a light stand for adjustments, there is a couple places that show how to make inexpensive ones.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#16
(02-08-2010, 01:02 PM)Bill Wrote:  You can always use a trainer as a light stand for adjustments, there is a couple places that show how to make inexpensive ones.

Thanks, I did notice several for sale on EBAy and Amazon.com and they were in expensive.

Here is the latest, no snow or ice today, clear and a +25F so I go riding (look like the MICHELIN Man) and after numerous cable adjustments while riding I got her to shift 1 to 2 to 3 and I said I am home (not so quick grasshopper) now she will not shift 3 to 2, but 3-1, and 1-2-3 is still good So I loosen the cable tension and she shifts 3-2-1, but not 1-2 (yes 1-3 works). I guess I am almost there and I just need to work a quarter turn at a time on the tension and just maybe I can solve this dilemma and maybe if I get her to go 1-2-3 but not 3-2 I can adjust the H screw. how does that sound?
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#17
(02-08-2010, 03:13 PM)vabear Wrote:  
(02-08-2010, 01:02 PM)Bill Wrote:  You can always use a trainer as a light stand for adjustments, there is a couple places that show how to make inexpensive ones.

Thanks, I did notice several for sale on EBAy and Amazon.com and they were in expensive.

Here is the latest, no snow or ice today, clear and a +25F so I go riding (look like the MICHELIN Man) and after numerous cable adjustments while riding I got her to shift 1 to 2 to 3 and I said I am home (not so quick grasshopper) now she will not shift 3 to 2, but 3-1, and 1-2-3 is still good So I loosen the cable tension and she shifts 3-2-1, but not 1-2 (yes 1-3 works). I guess I am almost there and I just need to work a quarter turn at a time on the tension and just maybe I can solve this dilemma and maybe if I get her to go 1-2-3 but not 3-2 I can adjust the H screw. how does that sound?

She lives. took the front shifiter cable off and then put it back on and did a retensioning and all is well.
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#18
Awesome and congrats!!! Smile I took a little time, more then I had last post to look these up for you if you are interested ...

Homemade Bicycle Trainers...
http://www.ehow.com/how_4914687_build-inside-bicycle-trainer.html

http://uncooped.com/chrisjob/posts/629-make-a-wooden-bicycle-stand-for-under-15

As far as bigger stands there is the thread here that tito showed a 30.00 one and mine which is higher price for 64.18.
http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-992.html

There are others that you can google search for. I'll probably be experimenting on how to make a smaller one somehow. For now hope these will be of value.

Again glad all worked out for you,
Bill
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Reply
#19
(02-10-2010, 02:14 AM)Bill Wrote:  Awesome and congrats!!! Smile I took a little time, more then I had last post to look these up for you if you are interested ...

Homemade Bicycle Trainers...
http://www.ehow.com/how_4914687_build-inside-bicycle-trainer.html

http://uncooped.com/chrisjob/posts/629-make-a-wooden-bicycle-stand-for-under-15

As far as bigger stands there is the thread here that tito showed a 30.00 one and mine which is higher price for 64.18.
http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-992.html

There are others that you can google search for. I'll probably be experimenting on how to make a smaller one somehow. For now hope these will be of value.

Again glad all worked out for you,
Bill

Thanks so much, just what I was looking for.
Reply


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