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Tips For FD Cable Tension Adjustment When No Barrel Adjuster

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Tips For FD Cable Tension Adjustment When No Barrel Adjuster

Old 03-26-20, 09:08 AM
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bpcyclist
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Tips For FD Cable Tension Adjustment When No Barrel Adjuster

Greetings, Geniuses--

My FD cable just snapped at the bolt, for some reason. Internally routed and never replaced those before myself, but I am going to try to figure out how to replace it anyway, given all the LBS folks are inaccessible. Anyhow, for some odd reason, BMC did not put a front der barrel adjuster on this bike. Looking for any tricks any of you sage humans have about how to adjust that cable tension, other than just repeatedly unclamping/clamping at the bolt. This does not seem like a very scientific or clever way to go about it, but what do I know... Many thanks!!!
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Old 03-26-20, 09:22 AM
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One solution is to install an inline cable tension adjuster. Another solution is to deliberately turn the low limit screw in by a half turn or more, then pull the cable tight, tighten the clamp bolt, then return the limit screw to its proper position. This increases the cable tension. It may take multiple attempts to get the correct tension.
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Old 03-26-20, 09:49 AM
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The link below is what I used to adjust FD for a Ultegra 6800 FD:

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Old 03-26-20, 10:02 AM
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I find that about a full turn to a turn on the low limit screw is right. I also use pliers or wrap the extra cable around my hand to pull & hold tension on the cable while tightening the fixing bolt. With Ultegra 6800, at least, It seems to come out right. I shoot for just missing contact with the chain when the chain is in in small ring/big cog combination. Things will invariably settle with time under system tension. So if it is lightly touching the chain on small/big but not small/second big, that's ok. Give it a day or 2.

Don't forget to completly relax your shifter. It's super lame to think you're all good to go, only to realize you did everything in the "trim" position.
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Old 03-26-20, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
One solution is to install an inline cable tension adjuster.
This is the real answer. Otherwise you are going to have to do a series of trial-and-error adjustments and probably wind up settling for "close enough". The in-line adjuster makes accurate initial setting and later adjustments for minor cable "stretch" easy.
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Old 03-26-20, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
This is the real answer. Otherwise you are going to have to do a series of trial-and-error adjustments and probably wind up settling for "close enough". The in-line adjuster makes accurate initial setting and later adjustments for minor cable "stretch" easy.
The adjuster also helps avoid chewing up the wire by clamping it repeatedly.
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Old 03-27-20, 01:53 AM
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Inline adjuster as mentioned is the way to go but I've also had success with using pliers to pull the cable tight before tightening the fixing bolt.
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Old 03-27-20, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by biker222 View Post
The link below is what I used to adjust FD for a Ultegra 6800 FD:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5jnNScKhRs
That's a good way ^. On bikes that don't have a cable tension adjustment for the FD I screw in the low limit until it touches the chain when it's on the innermost cog in back. Then I pull the cable tight, lock it down and back the low limit screw out until I have proper clearance between the inner FD cage and the chain (when on the inner most cog and small chain ring).

Some shifting set ups don't have the ability to include a tension adjustment.

Last edited by nomadmax; 03-27-20 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 03-27-20, 11:12 AM
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Great stuff, guys. I'm on it Thanks a million!!
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Old 03-27-20, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
That's a good way ^. On bikes that don't have a cable tension adjustment for the FD I screw in the low limit until it touches the chain when it's on the innermost cog in back. Then I pull the cable tight, lock it down and back the low limit screw out until I have proper clearance between the inner FD cage and the chain (when on the inner most cog and small chain ring).

Some shifting set ups don't have the ability to include a tension adjustment.
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