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Out of Tune

Old 03-18-20, 07:09 PM
  #1  
Aerzon
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Out of Tune

My bike's front and rear gearing is off.

In the front: It is noisy when the gear indicator says 2 and the chain is physically on 2. When I shift it to 3, the noise goes away but it stays in range 2. It's very stubborn to actually get the chain onto the largest cog (3) I have to hold down the click shift and pedal for quite some time until it'll actually go. To my eye, it looks like the derailleur is farther to the left than it should be, so it doesn't quite line up over the largest cog when the indicator says 3.

In the back: The actual gear is 1 higher than what the indicator says. So if I'm in 4, it's actually in 5. Just feels awkward. Not sure what to adjust.

Thanks
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Old 03-18-20, 07:48 PM
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Newer bike or older bike?
Did it work properly before?
Did you play with any of the derailleur adjustments?
Have you ever adjusted the slack out of your cables?
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Old 03-18-20, 08:32 PM
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AnthonyG
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Assuming that nothing is bent/broken/out of alignment, there are two basic adjustments to make on derailleur's. On the derailleur itself you have travel limit screws that limit how far the derailleur will travel at each end of its range. The other adjustment is an inline cable adjuster on the cable (sometimes at the top of the cable, sometimes at the bottom and sometimes both) to lengthen or shorten the cable. Which way you adjust it depends on which way the cable is pulling.
The long cable position is for the smallest diameter (smallest number of teeth) chainring or cog and the shortest cable position is for the largest chainring or cog and of course in terms of high or low gear ration the front and back are working opposite each other.
You pull the cable up to get to a larger ring/cog and you let the cable out to drop to a smaller ring/cog.

Short answer. The front derailleur cable is too long and needs to be tightened up. If I'm reading you correctly (actually I wasn't reading correctly. Both cables are loose and need to be tightened). Its normal for the gear cables to stretch over time and be in need of adjusting/tightening.

Last edited by AnthonyG; 03-20-20 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:05 PM
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https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help?area%5B%5D=52
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Old 03-19-20, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Short answer. The front derailleur cable is too long and needs to be tightened up. If I'm reading you correctly the rear derailleur is too tight and needs to be loosened although this may just be some miscommunication. Its normal for the gear cables to stretch over time and be in need of adjusting/tightening.
To add to this ^ comment, make certain that you look closely at how the front derailleur cable goes into the binding nut at its end, whether it passes over a small tab or not. You must put the cable in correctly for your derailleur type. It's often important to not have the front cable over-tight; there's a correct amount to get full range. If you can identify the model number and manufacturer (stamped onto the inner side of the cage, typically, then you can check the manufacturer's tech notes for diagrams.

Sounds like cable elongation, as the above notes.

Don't mess with the limit screws without first understanding what they do, and where they're set currently. It's likely that they're correct (or close) based on the initial installation. Go to a YouTube video to see how to set these, but try simple cable tension first.
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Old 03-19-20, 08:14 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Assuming that nothing is bent/broken/out of alignment, there are two basic adjustments to make on derailleur's. On the derailleur itself you have travel limit screws that limit how far the derailleur will travel at each end of its range. The other adjustment is an inline cable adjuster on the cable (sometimes at the top of the cable, sometimes at the bottom and sometimes both) to lengthen of shorten the cable and which way you adjust it depends on which way the cable is pulling. The long cable position is for the smallest diameter (smallest number of teeth) chainring or cog and the shortest cable position is for the largest chainring or cog and of course in terms of high or low gear ration the front and back are working opposite each other.
You pull the cable up to get to a larger ring/cog and you let the cable out to drop to a smaller ring/cog.

Short answer. The front derailleur cable is too long and needs to be tightened up. If I'm reading you correctly the rear derailleur is too tight and needs to be loosened although this may just be some miscommunication. Its normal for the gear cables to stretch over time and be in need of adjusting/tightening.
Was it ever right?

1. Derailleur limit screws, once correctly set, seldom need to be readjusted.
2. Cable length adjustments are frequently necessary, especially on new bikes or shortly after cable replacements. Cables never shrink, they only lengthen. Usually a tiny adjustment is all that's necessary. If you think that your bike need's a big adjustment, something else is probably wrong.
3. Stuff gets bent. It doesn't take much of a bump to bend the hanger arm your rear derailleur is bolted to.
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Old 03-19-20, 11:44 AM
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Maybe it would better to take to a bike shop and get repaired if you can afford to. Both derailers out of adjustment seems like your not comfortable working on bikes. But if I'm wrong and you really want to fix yourself watch some YouTube vids so you can see rather than read how to do it. Just monkeying with set screws can make it all worse. Possibly a lot worse. Like a chain into the spokes or jumping off chain crankset bad. But if your brave enough a lot of satisfaction repairing your own bike.
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Old 03-21-20, 05:06 PM
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There are plenty of youtube videos showing how to adjust your derailleurs.
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Old 03-25-20, 12:15 PM
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Aerzon
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I appreciate it guys, it just got new cables actually. I had it working well this summer just with a little tinkering and caution. I think I'll leave the rear one for now and see if it stretches out to the right tension. The front one I'll probably make a bit tighter.

Hopefully I'll be out on the trails sometime this week.
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Old 03-25-20, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerzon View Post
I appreciate it guys, it just got new cables actually. I had it working well this summer just with a little tinkering and caution. I think I'll leave the rear one for now and see if it stretches out to the right tension.
It won't stretch that far, and if by "5" you mean harder than "4" it'll settle in the other direction.

Watch the Park video.
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Old 03-25-20, 01:29 PM
  #11  
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There might be "barrel adjusters" somewhere between the shift levers and the derailleurs, or on the rear derailleur. Usually a stretched cable can be tightened correctly with a quarter or half-turn or so. Much easier than trying to unbolt the cable, pull it, retighten it .... in fact, the shop will probably loosen the barrel adjuster 3/4, of the way out, set the cable to a generic "correct" tension and then fine-tune it with the barrel adjuster.

I use the Park Tool site and YouTube generally. Check it out.
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