Quick tips for adjusting the FD cable tension?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by DanP, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. DanP

    DanP New Member

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    Hi,

    Using D/A 9.

    While trying to fix a rubbing chain I got the cable off and after placing it back I can't even shift out of the 53 ring.

    I know the cable is too tight (discovered parktool.com for derailer tuning instructions since) but what is the easiest way for me to get the cable back to a normal starting position?

    Any tips for telling what the right tension is, should I be in the 53 or small ring when doing this, etc?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. fish156

    fish156 New Member

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    Hi Dan,
    With no tension on the cable, the chain should drop to the small chainring. You need to put the bike on a repair stand to do this. Otherwise, it's going to be very difficult. So, just unscrew the cable locking bolt and release the cable from the clamp. Turn the crank and the chain should go to the small chain ring. If it does not, then either your "low" limit screw is way out of whack or something is radically wrong with the derailleur. With the cable still disconnected and the chain on the small chainring set your shift control for the low gear setting. Now, take up the slack in cable and tighten down the cable clamp. At this point you should be able to turn the crank and shift up and down just by pulling on the cable (grab the cable where it is exposed on the downtube and just pull it away from the downtube to create more tension on the cable).
    When you pull on the cable the FD should shift to the large chainring and when you release the cable the chain should drop down to the small chain ring. As to how the chain seats on the large and small chainrings, this is set with the "H" and "L" limit screws. If you have a triple, the seating on the middle chainring is set by fine adjustment in the cable tension. This is normally done by using the barrel adjuster on the shifter. Once you have every thing in the ball park, then shift through all the different combinations with the rear gears. It can be difficult, if not impossible to get all of the slight rubbing out when you are in a cross chained combination - just don't ride that way. That's pretty much it.

    The instructions on Park Tool are going to tell you pretty much the same thing, but in a little different manner. Front derailleurs are pretty simple, but it can take some patience to get it all correct.

    One other thing ..... Make sure that your cable is sliding smoothly through the cable housing. If not, then either replace it or lubricate it. I like the TriFlow liquid. It's great for cables.
     
  3. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Park Tool Repair site should help.
    My suggestions are to take the cable loose or off.
    Shift your shifter to the position for small chain ring.
    Turn the crank until the chain falls to the small chain ring.
    (If it doesn't go to the small chain ring adjust the stop until it does.)
    Shift the RD until you are on the largest cog.
    Re-Attach the cable on the FD just tight, but not enough to pull the FD.
    Follow the stop adjustments given on the Park Tool Repair site.
     
  4. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    I've been doing this for 20 years with just turning the bike over an resting gently on a soft surface, you really don't need to blow 100 bucks on a stand.
     
  5. fish156

    fish156 New Member

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    Hmmm, if you are running DuraAce or ErgoPower, or something similar, and some of the most expensive components on the entire bike are the brifters, do you really want to be pounding on them while you do maintenance? When you break them then you'll be spending several hundred dollars to replace them. If it's an MTB with straight bars and twist shifters it's going to be pretty hard to crank the pedal, do the shifting, and keep everything upright. So, do you stand on your head to get a straight shot at the limit screws??? I just have to wonder why pretty much every bike shop you walk into has a repair stand. If they only knew that you can just flip the bikes over and do maintenance that way, think of all the money they could save. I worked on bikes for many years without a bike stand and now understand that there is a better way. I have NEVER heard anyone, after they have acquired a bike repair stand, say "gee, I liked doing it the half-assed way better. I'm getting rid of this - it was a waste of money". Never. Every book on bicycle repair advises the use of a repair stand - all of them. Saying that the money spent on a repair stand is not well spent is nonsense. In an emergency you flip the bike over, or tie it to a tree, or whatever. For normal maintenance, the time you save by using a bike stand will pay for it in short order - unless, of course, your time is worth nothing. There is such a thing as false economy.
     
  6. lyotard

    lyotard New Member

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    the way mine is set, the cable is quite slack when in the big ring,
    1st trim index (used w/big cogs) postion.
    the 2nd trim index (used w/ small cogs) then is really only needed for the smallest two or three cogs. when in this postion one can hear the chain contact the outer front derailer plate lettin you know you are in small cog territory, time to trim.
    this is dictated by the tension on the cable.
    one caution, do not tension the cable so the front derailer cannot sit firmly against the small ring inner limit screw, or else "bouncing" will occur upon shifting to the small ring, which can throw the chain.


     
  7. hillbasher

    hillbasher New Member

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    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    You make a very good point, but don't be so harsh. If turning the bike upside down works for him, what is the big deal? Not everyone has the money to spend on a stand. Be thankful that you do. And yes, I have not one,but two of them, and you are right, they make all the difference in the world. Wouldn't think of working on the bikes without one.
     
  8. fish156

    fish156 New Member

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    Thanks. You are correct, I was harsh. The reason I responded like that is because that person added exactly nothing to this thread, other than disagree with good, sound advice. There are many threads on how to construct a DIY bike stand on the cheap - for a lot less than $100, but that is not what this thread is about. I guess what I should have said originally is "It's much easier to perform this operation with the bike on a repair stand".
     
  9. DanP

    DanP New Member

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    Thanks a lot folks, that really helped!
     
  10. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    If I turn my bike over, all the water will leak out of the little flower vase I have mounted on my handlebars.
     
  11. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Sheot....ya don't even have to turn the bike over. Built a bizillion bikes with no stand. Not the easy way,but certainly dooable.
     
  12. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    This is just BS.
     
  13. Hypnospin

    Hypnospin New Member

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    not really, just an approximation of the shimano manual setup with different nomenclature.



     
  14. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    No kidding?? somehow I missed that part. :rolleyes:
     
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