Upgrading rear derailleur from a 105

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by cloudhead, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. cloudhead

    cloudhead New Member

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    Hi there,

    I have my first road bike in nearly 20 years, and love it (It's a Specialized Allez Elite), but I had to go with the lesser component set in order to get a better frame & fork. Since I am not anywhere near competition level, the components are fine, but I knew the rear derailleur wasn't going to work well with me. Almost immediately, the thing choked when i shifted under torque--which was on a very low-grade hill.

    I spent my extra money on pedals and shoes so my budget is very limited. I see previous-model Dura Ace derailleurs on ebay going for $50-$75 and curious if they are compatible with the 105 component set that is on my bike. Any other recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    -Court
     
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  2. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    105 components are designed for entry-level competition. Are you sure it's adjusted correctly?
     
  3. cloudhead

    cloudhead New Member

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    it shifts fine on flat land, but if im up a hill thats more than a few percent grade, it only shifts after I take the pressure off. Could this be an issue with adjustment?

    I have pretty big/long legs, this was a problem all the time in my previous cycling days. Admittedly my budget back then was low so I never got to experience a high-end derailleur, so I'm open to this being just an adjustment problem.

    -Court
     
  4. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    You're supposed to ease up on the pedaling when you shift. Just perform a routine rear derailleur adjustment and clean up your drivetrain to see if that helps.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'd replace the chain, dismantle the rear mech and clean everything - including inside the pulley wheels. When you've reassembled everything I'd adjust as per Shimano's procedures - which are in the Tech Tips on their website.

    Do you get slow shifts when changing both up and down?
     
  6. cloudhead

    cloudhead New Member

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    Thanks! I'll definitely try that and see what happens. I'd be more than happy to not spend even more money. I admit innocent ignorance.

    It's shifting to a larger gear that causes most of the choking. However, I was not aware that I have to lighten up in general. It's been a while. The idea of never forgetting to ride a bike does not apply to road bikes.

    I am curious tho, what advantages would a higher-end derailleur provide?
     
  7. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I've had the same 105 equipment on my bike since it was new 26 years ago, and it will shift under load just fine. I know I'm not supposed to do that, but I will admit that I do shift that way often when climbing hills.

    I've been chastised many times about the extra wear this causes... :eek:

    The only difference I know of between properly working 105, Ultegra, and Dura Ace components is weight, appearance, and of course cost...
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI. The difference between a 105 & an Ultegra rear derailleur of comparable vintage is the type of bearings (or, lack of) in the pulley wheels where the 105 rear derailleur's pulley wheels may have bushings (certainly, they lack bearings) and the Ultegra rear derailleur's pulley wheels have bearings PLUS the inner parallelogram arm on the 105 is steel and the inner parallelogram arm on the Ultegra is alloy ...
    Bearings. Bushings. Does it matter? Maybe. But, less than you probably think as long as you lube the pulley wheels on the 105 rear derailleur.
    The difference between an Ultegra rear derailleur & a Dura Ace rear derailleur is mostly cosmetic + a few grams of weight ... the two rear derailleurs use the same pulley wheels AND therefore it can be suggested that Ultegra components are the best value in Shimano's line of components ... with the 105 components being Shimano's second best value.

    IMO, and I have expressed this numerous times in the past, the problem you have experienced is due to the in-built (i.e., intentionally engineered!) "Dwell" which Shimano's Road shifters have. This is, undoubtedly, a legacy of the biomechanical design philosophy which also spawned the BioPace chainrings.

    By my reckoning, there are TWO solutions to eliminate the shifting problems you have experienced ...

    The FIRST option is to use Campagnolo (non-QS) 10-speed shifters ... some minor tweaking will be necessary if you want to use a 10-speed cassette (well, I'm presuming that your bike has a 10-speed cassette). I use Campagnolo shifters with my Shimano derailleurs.

    The SECOND option (which I still have not bothered to verify, yet) would be to use a Shimano RAPID RISE rear derailleur. The Rapid Rise rear derailleur would expedite shifting to the larger cogs ...
    You may need to adjust your pedaling when shifting down to smaller cogs when sprinting toward the line BUT I would think that you shouldn't otherwise notice a problem when shifting down to smaller cogs under normal situations.
     
  9. cloudhead

    cloudhead New Member

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    Thanks for all the info! I'm looking up about the 'dwell' feature since I went the biopace way back in 1988 and became a very confused rider since. (They played on my fear of my knee injury)

    Up until 6 months ago, I could never run more than a mile, until i actually took a running clinic and learned how to run. I probably need to do the same thing on the bike. Next time I hit the road, I will practice lightening the load and see how well I shift, and post if it was me or my derailleur causing the problem.
     
  10. tafi

    tafi Member

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    All Shimano 10 speed deraleurs of the same era are prefectly capable of shifting the same. The only differences between levels are materials and weight.

    No derailleur functions ideally unless you softpedal when shifting to larger sprockets. Your next gear should really be chosen ahead of time so that you're not putting undue stress on at the same time as shifting.
     
  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI. This may be true when using Shimano Road shifters, but it is not a universally true statement -- if a rider is using Campagnolo Road shifters then s/he doesn't have to soft pedal when downshifting to a larger cog.
     
  12. tafi

    tafi Member

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    Alfeng, I don't know if you realise it, but you're in a very small minority of people who would bother using Campag shifters with a Shimano derailleur.

    I'd be very interested if you could outline what the brand of shifters (which all perform the same task of pulling or releasing cable) has to do with the interface between chain and sprockets (which is where the problem occurs).

    I've seen plenty of gear from all companies miss-shift when loaded up.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely do realize that I am in the minority of riders who use Campagnolo shifters with Shimano derailleurs ...

    Certainly, the vast majority of people who use Campagnolo shifters only use Campagnolo components on their bikes. The loss is their's because Shimano's ramping seems to have consistently been superior.

    And, the vast majority of people who use Shimano derailleurs use Shimano shifters. Ditto for SRAM.

    But, I love Shimano components. I can't say that enough. If I didn't, I wouldn't use their derailleurs to the exclusion of Campagnolo derailleurs. And, if I didn't love Shimano, I wouldn't have the mating of a Rapid Rise rear derailleur + Shimano STI Road shifter as a (seemingly forever) pending test which I'm just not motivated enough to execute.

    I've said it before, Shimano shifters have in-built "Dwell" in the shifting mechanism. Unfortunately, the "Dwell" slightly retards the shifting process, and that is the ONLY reason that the shifting is occassionally balky when downshifting when under load with Shimano shifters.

    Supposedly, SRAM shifters don't balk. I don't know because I am singularly boycotting SRAM due to what I perceive to be their poor customer service in North America. Shimano, on the other hand, has great customer service, here. I find DT's customer service to be outstanding, too. I've never needed to use Campagnolo's customer service, so I have no first hand opinion on whether they are good-or-bad (however, I've heard they can be dodgy at times, so it's a good thing that their stuff doesn't fail).

    FYI. By comparison of the internal shifter mechanisms, it appears that the problem was introduced in-the-beginning with the eccentric take-up spool onto which the derailleur cable is wound in a Shimano Road shifter.
    The eccentric spool presumably makes the pressure on the shift paddle lighter as the hand (slightly) loses leverage toward the end of the stroke ... but, in so doing, just when the chain is attempting to engage the teeth on the next cog-or-chainring the eccentric spool retards the rate of the transference with the result being an occassionally balky shift.
    The Campagnolo (and, presumably, SRAM) spool is concentric. Shimano could therefore elminiate the downshifting problem if they simply modified the take-up spool by making it concentric ...

    The unintended, beneficial consequence is that Shimano has spent almost two decades with patchwork fixes which includes the ramping-and-pinning with which we are all familiar.

    While Campagnolo shifters benefit from having ramped(-and-pinned) cogs (and, chainrings), the ramping is not necessary for a Campagnolo shifter to operate efficiently (presuming the indexing is properly dialed-in).

    So, several years ago, after I had already determined that the REAR could be downshifted under almost any load when using Campagnolo shifters, I simply want to see what the limits of the front Campagnolo shifter might be ...

    So, I put a thin-by-today's-standards, 80s vintage (unramped, 7-speed) chainring on the crank, put the bike in the workstand, and tested it. So far, so good. I took the bike out on the road ... again, the shifting was good.

    In fact, IMO, the front derailleur with the Campagnolo shifter handled moving the chain between the inner & outer chainrings better than the 6500 (Ultegra) shifters with ramped-and-pinned chainrings.

    I think the only time I have not been able to downshift to a larger cog when using Campagnolo shifters is when the chain was already on my bail-out cog!

    If I were a Flatlander, I may never have bothered mixing Campagnolo shifters with my Shimano derailleurs/cassettes; but, most of my riding is on mountain roads.

    As I said, I believe that Shimano can fix this problem at any time WITH MINIMAL EFFORT ... but, I suspect that either the lead engineer is one of the people who worked on the original STI shifter design & 'Shimano' is therefore married to the eccentric take-up spool OR the bean counters are waiting until the current STI patents expire & aren't renewed. Unfortunately, the recent changes with the internal routing may have been sufficient to prolong the current design patents and thereby preclude "fixing" the take-up spool at any time in the near future.
     
  14. nicoledc109

    nicoledc109 New Member

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    Great post! It's very nice. Thank you so much for your post.
     
  15. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    To answer your question, yes a previous model DA rear derailleur will work with your shifters. All but old(1996 and older) DuraAce 8s rear derailleurs will work fine w/o any modification. This from a guy who has been doing this for 25 years...inna a bike shop, not in my garage.
     
  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    By all means ... the OP should put a non-10-speed Shimano rear derailleur on the 10-speed Shimano drivetrain and see how well-or-poorly it works ...

    Then, he can let us all know!

    I'll bet that an 8-/9-speed Shimano rear derailleur won't shift well with an otherwise 10-speed Shimano drivetrain.

    I would take the time to explain how Shimano kluged the 10-speed rear derailleurs to (apparently) work with earlier drivetrains ... but, it might be too much for you to absorb this early in the morning.
     
  17. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    "25 years ... inna bike shop" doesn't mean too much if the so-called Wrench doesn't know what s/he is doing.

    It apparently took you (Peter) well over a year of posts in this Forum to change your understanding of the necessity of matching the front derailleur (and, chain) in a Shimano drivetrain after (apparently) 24 years of thinking that it didnt' matter.

    Yeah, those were a blissful 24 years of ignorance, eh?
     
  18. TKOS

    TKOS New Member

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    I have all 105 components on my new bike. It was by far the best way to get a decent frame. Properly adjusted it shifts great going up hill under minor load. But I try to have a decent cadence and if I notice it starting to slip I shift before I go into utter mashing mode.

    If I were you I would use what you have until you wear the chain out (and probably cassette) and then consider an upgrade.

    I learned proper hill climbing with my old Trek 1200 with Tiagra components and I could make it shift fine under a decent load.

    One thing to consider (depending on how hilly things are) is a narrower ranged cassette. With smaller jumps between the cogs it make make for easier shifting.
     
  19. tafi

    tafi Member

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    Okay, I took "Dwell" to mean the slop/play/dead spot in the lever (which is common to all levers). I can see what you're saying now. You're obviously very happy with the way you work things, I too am pretty happy with my Campag. Rarely get baulking and I don't recall getting such easy downshifts when I used Shimano 10.

    However, In the context of those who do not mix and match in the way you do, the one-rev soft pedal usually works far better than mashing through the shift.

    You can pick people out in the bunch who don't do it by ear....
     
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