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Inline cable adjusters - yes or no?

Old 03-03-20, 03:37 PM
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keithdunlop
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Inline cable adjusters - yes or no?

I'm getting ready to upgrade my Ridley with a new Campy Record groupset and I'm wondering what the general consensus is on inline cable adjusters. I thought I would use them when I first built the bike, but in practice I've rarely touched them.



Inline cable adjusters on a Ridley Noah ISP.
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Old 03-03-20, 03:56 PM
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well you are going to need something somewhere, so thats a given.
What I can say from personal experience is to NOT go with cheapies, but known models that don't go out of adjustment. I made this mistake on a bike setup and it took me a while to figure out that it was them, and not other stuff going on, so in other words, I wasted time and had sometimes dodgey shifting going on during a trip (Im a touring guy).
With proper placement, I see no downside to using them, if you are asking a very general question.
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Old 03-03-20, 03:59 PM
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I'll assume its a mechanical groupset with caliper brakes. For shifting, if the brifters or derailleurs don't have built-in cable adjusters, by all means install in-line ones. For mechanical brakes, particularly caliper brakes, they aren't as critical.
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Old 03-03-20, 04:00 PM
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I wouldn't use one on the RD if there's an adjuster on the RD itself. I would use one on the FD as they allow to precisely fine tune the derailleur whenever you need.

Having to stop to detach the cable, find the correct position and clamp it again because something has moved a little is a PITA. Cables stretch, and an in-line adjuster allows you to tweak the derailleur even while you're pedaling if necessary.
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Old 03-03-20, 04:01 PM
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I rarely touch my inline shift cable adjusters, but they sure are handy when first setting up mechanical index shifting and occasionally as the shifter cables "stretch". Sure beats trying to get the cable set perfect using just the pinch bolt at the derailleur. Of course, going to electronic shifting eliminates the need for shift cable adjusters completely.
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Old 03-03-20, 04:48 PM
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Like the proverbial chicken soup, it couldn't hurt. They DO make it easy to dial in initial settings..
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Old 03-03-20, 04:50 PM
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very handy to have, because when you need them, you need them..... just fine tuned my front derailler that had gone out of perfect tune.....
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Old 03-03-20, 05:01 PM
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When your shifter cable starts to move in the hold down during the ride of all rides, you'll be glad you had one, even if it is only a temporary solution for whatever the reason your chain doesn't quite get on the cog or chainwheel.

If all goes well, it is one of those things you won't need to use.
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Old 03-03-20, 05:09 PM
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the only reason I used them (well, really only one because the fd is friction, so no need) is because the xt rd doesnt have one on it.
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Old 03-03-20, 05:23 PM
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The Campy groupo will come with an in-line adjuster for the FD. Use it, if your frame has no adjusters. The rear derailleur has it's own adjuster, so only one is needed. These inline adjusters can't be changed while riding, like frame mounted adjusters - it takes two hands. The FD adjuster is important, since the FDs adjust differently than older models and trying to get the FD set properly without one is a real pain.
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Old 03-03-20, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
These inline adjusters can't be changed while riding, like frame mounted adjusters - it takes two hands.
So those of us that can turn them with one hand while riding are special? <grin>
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Old 03-03-20, 06:24 PM
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have to say, I cant remember having to adjust a fd really after setup. Maybe a few times but that was usually a sign that cable was fraying inside brifter and I couldnt see it.

and yes, one handed adjustment is easy, but again, very rare the need.
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Old 03-03-20, 10:33 PM
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You have to have it on the FD or your not going to be able to dial it in properly. Look up Campagnolo’s YouTube installation videos. Inline adjusters are part of the FDs adjustment.
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Old 03-03-20, 11:26 PM
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Stuck with a limited number of components that I could use on a folder, none of which had a built-in adjuster, I had to turn to in-line adjusters and tried different ones, including Jagwire, Shimano and Ritchey. I ended my search at TSG flexible guides with adjusters, such as here. They are marketed for brakes, but I use them on shift cables fine.
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Old 03-04-20, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
have to say, I cant remember having to adjust a fd really after setup. Maybe a few times but that was usually a sign that cable was fraying inside brifter and I couldnt see it.

and yes, one handed adjustment is easy, but again, very rare the need.
I've had cables fray, slip, and even a FD that slowly slipped a bit on the seatpost once (it seems it was slightly loose from the factory). When that happens, unless it's catastrophic failure or you have a hundred km remaining to get home, it's easier to twist the adjuster a little bit, finish the ride, and solve the problem later.
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Old 03-04-20, 06:03 AM
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Ditto getting a good quality adjuster. My cheap bike came with plastic pieces of crap from Jagwire and they're coming off first time I work on shifter cables. The adjuster on the RD is good enough for me--I won't lose a race if I stop for 60 seconds for a quick adjustment. I've never touched a front adjuster while riding.
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Old 03-04-20, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
I've had cables fray, slip, and even a FD that slowly slipped a bit on the seatpost once (it seems it was slightly loose from the factory). When that happens, unless it's catastrophic failure or you have a hundred km remaining to get home, it's easier to twist the adjuster a little bit, finish the ride, and solve the problem later.
certainly makes sense, and if you're going to install one anyway, might a well put in both while you're at it.
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Old 03-04-20, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Stuck with a limited number of components that I could use on a folder, none of which had a built-in adjuster, I had to turn to in-line adjusters and tried different ones, including Jagwire, Shimano and Ritchey. I ended my search at TSG flexible guides with adjusters, such as here. They are marketed for brakes, but I use them on shift cables fine.
the frustrating experience I had was with one that was made for brakes, and issues fixed when I put in a proper deailleur one.
I don't recall what brand the brake one was, and I'd have to look at the functioning one for brand--- this is a 9 spd bike, so possibly easier or less finicky than 10,11 speeds?
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Old 03-04-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
the frustrating experience I had was with one that was made for brakes, and issues fixed when I put in a proper deailleur one.
I don't recall what brand the brake one was, and I'd have to look at the functioning one for brand--- this is a 9 spd bike, so possibly easier or less finicky than 10,11 speeds?
Those TSG adjusters sit on nominally 3sp shift cables, but on a folder everything can be tricky. One of the 3 speeds is squeezed into 2 speed space with 10- and 11-speed hardware and is very finicky to set up. Yet these TSG adjusters work better than the brand names I mentioned all of which were specifically meant for the shift cables.
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Old 03-04-20, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
certainly makes sense, and if you're going to install one anyway, might a well put in both while you're at it.
I'd install 2 if the RD didn't have an adjuster. AFAIK, road derailleurs all have an adjuster, so in this case it's not necessary in my opinion. Of course, if I wanted to use an MTB derailleur without adjuster with road brifters that also lack it, then I'd install one for the RD as well.
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Old 03-04-20, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Those TSG adjusters sit on nominally 3sp shift cables, but on a folder everything can be tricky. One of the 3 speeds is squeezed into 2 speed space with 10- and 11-speed hardware and is very finicky to set up. Yet these TSG adjusters work better than the brand names I mentioned all of which were specifically meant for the shift cables.
My basic understanding of inline adjusters is that the good ones have threads etc that don't move over time, better build quality and tighter threading between the two moving parts, that hold their position properly. I guess these ones are well made.
If they work well, great.
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Old 03-04-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
My basic understanding of inline adjusters is that the good ones have threads etc that don't move over time, better build quality and tighter threading between the two moving parts, that hold their position properly. I guess these ones are well made.
At least partly this is true about these. I suspect that their springiness helps too in keeping things tight. Again a a folder brings its own cable woes, in that the cables are long, so that they do not block the folding, and that these cables get mistreated during folding. However, in spite of all that, these appropriated adjusters seem to work .
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Old 03-04-20, 09:59 AM
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Cable adjusters, a yes here. Especially nice to have after a cable redo. Yes, there is an adjustment barrel on most rear derailleurs, but you got to stop to adjust, I would rather have it available while pedaling, so much easier to dial in perfect alignment as long as you are indexed properly, you can hear it and also feel the smooth at your clips when it is right...all my bikes have them installed...
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Old 03-04-20, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
So those of us that can turn them with one hand while riding are special? <grin>
The OP asked about Campy. Their adjusters require the lower portion to be held stationary and the upper portion turned. If you can do that with one hand while riding, then it's a one handed job. If you just grab the upper or lower portion of a Campy adjuster, the whole thing spins and no change occurs to the cable tension.
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Old 03-04-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by keithdunlop View Post
I'm wondering what the general consensus is on inline cable adjusters
What does "general consensus" mean in the context of this question? Inline cable adjusters work. And cable adjusters are necessary. If you already have a built-in cable adjuster in your derailleur setup, then you don't need another one. If you don't have a built-in cable adjuster, then you definitely need an inline one. End of story. On top of that, in a RD cable the inline works well a "rough" adjuster, while the RD barrel nut works in concert as a "fine" adjuster.

None of this is a matter of any "consensus", these are just hard technical facts.

Last edited by AndreyT; 03-04-20 at 10:20 AM.
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