SRAM Rival Front Derailleur Downshift Problem

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by hyperliterate, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. hyperliterate

    hyperliterate New Member

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    I'm having difficulty shifting from the large chain wheel to the small chain wheel with my SRAM Rival derailleur. It shifts, but it's anything but easy. I do back off on pressure on the pedals, but it usually takes several tries and, when approaching a hill, it's really irritating to be fighting with the derailleur. Anyone out there have any insight into this problem?
     
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  2. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Is it because the lever requires too much force or is the chain just not dropping to the small ring?
     
  3. hyperliterate

    hyperliterate New Member

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    It's hard to say what the problem is exactly. Too much pressure on the lever doesn't seem to help. And slight pressure on the lever doesn't always shift it either. It's weird. It almost feels like I have to pull up on the pedals to make it shift.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Has the problem ALWAYS occurred?

    OR, by chance, did the shifting change AFTER you/someone performed some maintenance on your bike?

    • re-cabled the bike?
    • new chain?
    • other?

     
  5. hyperliterate

    hyperliterate New Member

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    It has always been difficult to shift. However, the chain was replaced for a slightly longer chain to accommodate a rear cassette with a larger gear and while it seemed to shift well at the LBS. On the road, it has been a vastly different story. It just takes several tries to lower the gear (to the smaller chain ring) in the front.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    While I do not have as high a regard for SRAM's Road components as many other people have, I have to believe that if-and-when set up to spec, it will function smoothly ...

    Which is to say that if the shifting problem which you are experiencing has always existed then the problem is due to a casual, initial prep (or, lack of!!) by the dealer prior to letting you roll the bike out the door ...

    Which is to say that YOU probably want to check the front derailleur's cable AND (particularly) housing ...

    • if you have a workstand, then try the following ... if you don't have a workstand then for this "test" you can double-tap while the chain isn't moving, lift the rear of the bike off the ground & turn the crank to see how far the derailleur cage moves over because THIS test is really just to check the derailleur cage's ease & range of motion
    [*] with the bike in the stand & with the chain on the outer chainring try to downshift to the inner chainring ...
    [*] if the chain does not drop down to the inner chainring then RELEASE the derailleur cable from the front derailleur AND see if the derailleur cage subsequently moves over far enough to allow the chain to shift onto the inner chainring as you turn the crank ...

    If the chain executes the shift, then the problem IS with your cable and/or housing ...

    If the cable housing has a coiled core then ensure that the ends are free of burrs [this may mean unwrapping the handlebar tape to facilitate inspection] & LUBE the cable or REPLACE both & ensure that the ends of the housing are not ragged + that you lube the cable.

    BTW. If SRAM uses the same dubious (IMO) parallel stranded cable housing which Shimano & Campagnolo have been snookered into using then ensure that there are ferrules on BOTH ENDS or replace the parallel stranded cable housing with Brake Cable housing.

    There is one other possible resolution, but I think you should investigate the possibility that the cable and/or housing are at fault.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    BTW. Simply adjusting the front derailleur's cable tension may resolve the problem ...

    It may simply be TOO TIGHT!?!
     
  8. hyperliterate

    hyperliterate New Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the information. You really seem to know your stuff with bikes. Are you just a rider or are do you have a professional interest in bikes?
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully, we (the collective Forum) will be able to resolve your bike's front derailleur shifting problem.
     
  10. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    I'm all for riders learning to service their own stuff, but since the bike shop made the last changes it is their responsibility to get it right. And that means getting it to shift on the road as well as (or better than) it shifted in the stand. Taking it back to the shop might be the quickest way to getting the bike up and running.

    On the other hand, if you insist on fixing it with our help, please understand that the doctor can't cure the patient before making a diagnosis. And for that he needs symptoms more specific than "it won't shift." I'm not pulling your leg. I've been servicing SRAM road stuff for a several years and I'm a satisfied SRAM (Force) customer.

    In the mean time, here's what SRAM has to say about derailleur setup. http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/EuMaSDXjyYDYg4LaG-_jQfPBs0Rp9sceOMN9qBXHm0o/mtime:1372788168/sites/default/files/techdocs/95-7915-010-000%20Rev%20B%20-%20Road%20Derailleurs_6.pdf. And here's the shifter side of the story. http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/2qF4MZiOKhvpIssg6gQmKn8Z_43TrnVrIB-JoWiH1i8/mtime:1372788148/sites/default/files/techdocs/DoubleTap%20Integrated%20Brake%20Shifter%2095-7015-007-000%20Rev%20C_2.pdf
     
  11. mountainz

    mountainz New Member

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    Shift into your smallest ring up front and pull the shifter cable out and squirt some Tri-flow (or other thin lube) down into the housing until it drips out, then hook it up again. Lube up the fr. der and the cable guide on bottom of the bottom bracket. Sometimes there are kinks in the shifter cables that can cause slow shifting. Also if the fr. der isn't positioned properly above the large chainring the shifting suffers, the bottom of the cage should be at least 1/8" maybe 3/16" above the large chainring.
     
  12. hyperliterate

    hyperliterate New Member

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    I want to thank all of you for your advice. I had no idea that modern road bikes were such complex machines. In the end, I took it back to the LBS. They made some adjustments on the derailleur and cable and, this time, I took it for a ride before I left. It's shifting crisply and instantly now. What a relief after the difficulty I was having. I was beginning to be discouraged, but now I can concentrate on the training and not the distraction of how the equipment is functioning. In the process, however, it really became apparent how valuable a resource this forum actually is. Thanks again to all!
     
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