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Front brifter - am I doing it wrong?

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Front brifter - am I doing it wrong?

Old 07-01-19, 11:47 AM
  #1  
noobinsf 
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Front brifter - am I doing it wrong?

I have been trying to get a front brifter set up correctly for my triple, and I am wondering if it’s equipment or operator that prevents this from working well. Here is what I’m working with:

- 1981 Univega Competizione
- Triple crank
- NOS Shimano RX100 front derailleur
- Top-mount shifter aero boss with a custom cable stop, which has a couple of mm of wiggly travel (taut when under full tension)
- Standard barrel adjusters
- Bontrager shifter housing
- Standard ferrules
- MicroNEW 3x7 brifters

So far, when I have been able to achieve proper tension for good front shifts, it appears to eat through the ferrules, and the cable housing gets warped, which quickly leads to poor shifting. I am on my third set of ferrules for the front shifters (one seated in the shifter, one seated in the cable stop).

Do I just need better ferrules? Better housing? Shim the cable stop so it has zero travel? I’m almost ready to switch to bar end shifters so I can get friction front shifts back.

Thanks for your insights...

Also, here is a pic of a set of trashed ferrules.


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Old 07-01-19, 12:26 PM
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From the appearance of the ferrules the cable is coming into the stop/socket at an angle, causing it to rub and wear. I think you need to change the housing length so that the cable is better aligned with its receptacles. Some photos of the cable going into the brifter and stop might be informative.
Have the ends of the housing been properly prepared as shown here? https://www.sheldonbrown.com/cables.html#cutting
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Old 07-01-19, 12:40 PM
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Are the cables and ends 4mm standard shifter casing? Seems that the hole in the end look a little big and combined with the angled alignment, the wire strand of the casing is pushing through the ferrules.

And yes, a pic of your cable stop would be helpful.
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Old 07-01-19, 01:06 PM
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Huh, now that I look more closely at the cables, it looks like the sizes are likely mismatched, i.e. 4mm housing and 5mm ferrules. I donít have a caliper with me right now to measure, but will check when I get home.

Cable entering the shifter


Cable entering the cable stop
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Old 07-01-19, 01:08 PM
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Cable already starting to get distorted


Not my pic here, but this is how my cable housing looked after being cut straight with sharp cable cutters, so it started out in good shape
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Old 07-01-19, 01:11 PM
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Iím using the same housing for the rear shifter, and while it works well now, maybe itís just a matter of time before that fails, too, given the obvious mismatch in diameters. I must have been in too big a hurry to get this road worthy ó how did I not notice that?
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Old 07-01-19, 01:50 PM
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Yes, seems that the mismatch is the root of your issue. The proper ferrule should do the trick. Get the same size as the cable, usually 4mm these days, (sometimes 4.5mm) and it should be good. Steel or alloy is less troublesome for shifting adjustment, just check for oxidation occasionally.

If you get plastic ferrules, a method I use is to drop a small washer in the ferrule before pushing the cable in. 2mm I.D washer is probably what I have. Keeps the housing strand from pushing through the plastic and "settles-in" quicker into the stops. Less adjustments needed during/after the first few rides.
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Old 07-01-19, 03:31 PM
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I would suggest filing or grinding the cable ends flat, like in the link I provided. This way the inner and outer housing as well as the wires will share the load and reduce the likelihood of them bending the ferrule. Of course matching the sizes will help also.
I have no idea why the left-hand housing is getting bent/kinked like that. Is your FD high limit set too tight, causing you to force a shift against the stop?
Or is the inside wire routed incorrectly around the clamp bolt? On most Shimano FDs it goes over the little tab before going under the clamp. If this is incorrect the indexing will be wrong and the shift effort unduly high.
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Old 07-01-19, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
I would suggest filing or grinding the cable ends flat, like in the link I provided. This way the inner and outer housing as well as the wires will share the load and reduce the likelihood of them bending the ferrule. Of course matching the sizes will help also.
I have no idea why the left-hand housing is getting bent/kinked like that. Is your FD high limit set too tight, causing you to force a shift against the stop?
Or is the inside wire routed incorrectly around the clamp bolt? On most Shimano FDs it goes over the little tab before going under the clamp. If this is incorrect the indexing will be wrong and the shift effort unduly high.
Thanks for suggesting these other things as well -- I'll check them when I have the chance.
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Old 09-21-19, 03:31 PM
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Hi, I'm thinking in getting those MicroNEW integrated shifters for my bike. What can you tell us about those units? Are they durable? Is shifting is solid or sloppy? Thanks!
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Old 09-21-19, 04:53 PM
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Yes, as others have said your ferrule are too large for that cable housing. Also, when you do get new ferrules make sure they are SHIFTER HOUSING ferrules. Sometimes a shop will goof and give you BRAKE HOUSING ferrules.

Cheers
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Old 09-22-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
Hi, I'm thinking in getting those MicroNEW integrated shifters for my bike. What can you tell us about those units? Are they durable? Is shifting is solid or sloppy? Thanks!
I have some. Had ordered what said MicroShift off AliExpress, came as MicroNew and decided to see how they ran. Have used them a year now, zero issues. It is a solid click up front, but smooth front and rear. What I really like is that the brake lever is not used to actually shift, but separate levers. Accidental shifts are an issue with me on a regular Shimano setup.
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Old 09-22-19, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Yes, as others have said your ferrule are too large for that cable housing. Also, when you do get new ferrules make sure they are SHIFTER HOUSING ferrules. Sometimes a shop will goof and give you BRAKE HOUSING ferrules.

Cheers
Finally someone states the obvious (to experienced eyes). The ferrules are too large for the casing diameter, they are also brake ones with not enough "base" strength to resist the casing's pressure. Not yet said (I think) is that the casing is rather short. I generally have the shifter to DT loop long enough to almost touch each other in front of the head tube. Last point is that if the crankset is from 1981 the spacing between the rings is likely greater then what was speced about 10 years later (when 7 and 8 speed indexing was coming about). This last detail will compound the cable tension range of tolerance and make chain rub on the cage more likely when in the angled combos. Andy
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