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Rear derailleur cable very taut

Old 02-15-21, 11:02 PM
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stormfishing
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Rear derailleur cable very taut

Today I replaced the chain and rear derailleur cable on a 72 Schwinn Suburban. Everything works good, however the cable seems to be a little taunt and tight on the large sprockets but on the small sprockets it seems good or just a little loose. My question is how tight is that cable supposed to be? I'm trying to go off my memory of 45 years ago when I owned another Schwinn. Thank you

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Old 02-15-21, 11:30 PM
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Your mother was a string!
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Old 02-15-21, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by stormfishing View Post
Today I replaced the chain and rear derailleur cable on a 72 Schwinn Suburban. Everything works good, however the cable seems to be a little taunt and tight on the large sprockets but on the small sprockets it seems good or just a little loose. My question is how tight is that cable supposed to be? I'm trying to go off my memory of 45 years ago when I owned another Schwinn. Thank you
Is there an issue? The cable gains tension, or is shortened, rather, as you shift up the cassette which enables you to shift gears, that's why you move the gear lever...
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Old 02-16-21, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Your mother was a string!
WTF.... this from a senior member.... I thought senior members were supposed to be the most knowledgeable and helping noobs. Idiot
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Old 02-16-21, 12:19 AM
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With friction shift levers how tight the cable is is less important then with current indexed stuff. As long as the lever pulls enough cable for the der (ft or rr) to move enough for the cogs/rings on the bike all else is preference. Personally I liked the lever to start pulling cable right away, others didn't mind a bit of lever travel that only took up cable slack before shifting. Your choice. Andy
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Old 02-16-21, 12:30 AM
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Thanks Andy this makes a lot of sense to me, I don't think I'll be worried about it anymore
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Old 02-16-21, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by stormfishing View Post
WTF.... this from a senior member.... I thought senior members were supposed to be the most knowledgeable and helping noobs. Idiot


Sorry, I'll try to act my age.
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Old 02-16-21, 04:32 AM
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Progressively tighter on all of the cogs or does it just seem too tight on the biggest one? If it's the latter, my guess is that a 1/4 turn on the low limit screw will fix it.
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Old 02-16-21, 05:29 PM
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It seems like it's only on the biggest COG, so I will try the quarter turn thank you very much.
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Old 02-16-21, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Sorry, I'll try to act my age.
No problem, thanks
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Old 02-16-21, 05:34 PM
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Fixed spelling errors in thread title.
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Old 02-16-21, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stormfishing View Post
Today I replaced the chain and rear derailleur cable on a 72 Schwinn Suburban. Everything works good, however the cable seems to be a little taunt and tight on the large sprockets but on the small sprockets it seems good or just a little loose. My question is how tight is that cable supposed to be? I'm trying to go off my memory of 45 years ago when I owned another Schwinn. Thank you
imo the cable should be quite tight, with no slack at any point. I call it “guitar string tight”, although that’s a slight exaggeration
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Old 02-16-21, 09:37 PM
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Okay thank you I think I'll make one more adjustment on it see if I can get it tight on the small sprockets
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Old 02-17-21, 12:52 AM
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This is something I would like to understand better as well

I have a 3 speed derailleur hub that I need to set up, using a friction lever. At the moment it is an hour's drive away from me and my workshop, and has a 5 speed hub temporarily fitted so adjusting was a relatively simple task. I would like to refit the original 3 speed, but how do I go about setting it up?


3-speed derailleur hub

As you can see, it is like someone forgot to fit the largest and smallest cogs of a 5-speed set.

Do I set it with the chain on the smallest cog, with the lever pushed forward, and clamp the cable at that point? Presumably then when I pull the lever and get the chain on the biggest cog I can use the stop to prevent further movement on the lever.

Like the OP I worry about the cable tension, and am not sure how much slack is ok when on the smallest cog, with the lever on its stop.
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Old 02-17-21, 01:58 AM
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It is possible that you have a bit of binding or excess friction somewhere in the path of that cable, either from worn housing/liner, a funny bend or a cable guide. If the cable isn’t pulling freely, you can get a bit too much tension. Difficult to tell without seeing the bike.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by stormfishing View Post
It seems like it's only on the biggest COG, so I will try the quarter turn thank you very much.
Be careful there, if you back off the limit screw a bit too much the chain could derail, jam between the cog and the spokes and cause major damage.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Geepig View Post
This is something I would like to understand better as well

I have a 3 speed derailleur hub that I need to set up, using a friction lever. At the moment it is an hour's drive away from me and my workshop, and has a 5 speed hub temporarily fitted so adjusting was a relatively simple task. I would like to refit the original 3 speed, but how do I go about setting it up?


3-speed derailleur hub

As you can see, it is like someone forgot to fit the largest and smallest cogs of a 5-speed set.

Do I set it with the chain on the smallest cog, with the lever pushed forward, and clamp the cable at that point? Presumably then when I pull the lever and get the chain on the biggest cog I can use the stop to prevent further movement on the lever.

Like the OP I worry about the cable tension, and am not sure how much slack is ok when on the smallest cog, with the lever on its stop.

Detach the cable from the rear der. Using your fingers move the der across it's range and thus shifting the chain from cog to cog. Using the limit adjusters prevent the der from moving too far to derail the chain. Now reattach the cable. This is just like what is done with any der system. The only difference is that modern ders might not have enough limiting ability as modern stuff is designed to be used with modern stuff (and no modern FW that I know of has only 3 cogs). To be specific- use the der's built in limit features and not the cable to control how far the der can move. Never rely only on the cable to do this.

It is quite possible that the frewheel was at one time a 5 cog one. I've seem freewheels with missing cogs (hardened steel can crack) and various "spacers" added if needed to continue the function with the missing cog. Andy
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Old 02-18-21, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Detach the cable from the rear der. Using your fingers move the der across it's range and thus shifting the chain from cog to cog. Using the limit adjusters prevent the der from moving too far to derail the chain. Now reattach the cable. This is just like what is done with any der system. The only difference is that modern ders might not have enough limiting ability as modern stuff is designed to be used with modern stuff (and no modern FW that I know of has only 3 cogs). To be specific- use the der's built in limit features and not the cable to control how far the der can move. Never rely only on the cable to do this.

It is quite possible that the frewheel was at one time a 5 cog one. I've seem freewheels with missing cogs (hardened steel can crack) and various "spacers" added if needed to continue the function with the missing cog. Andy
Thanks, it is like 40 years since I had my hands on derailleur parts, especially friction levers. Is it best to attach the cable when the chain is on the smallest sprocket?

The bike is from the very odd post-1989, post-communist period in Poland, when 3 and 5 speed derailleur became options from the factory. Here is a nice 3 speed version - crazy times, and I have a survivor.
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Old 02-18-21, 09:34 AM
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When attaching the cable the lever is usually in it's forward (as in not yet pulling any cable) position. The rear der will default to it's return spring design, this is usually outwards to the smallest cog (although some ders default to the opposite). And the cable attached to the der with little or no tension or sag. Andy
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Old 02-18-21, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by stormfishing View Post
It seems like it's only on the biggest COG, so I will try the quarter turn thank you very much.
You do know that backing out that limit screw will send the derailleur into the spokes if you turn it just a hair too far, right? This sounds to me like a case of, “It ain’t broke, but I’m gonna keep fixin’ it until something does break.” If the chain goes onto the biggest sprocket promptly without extra-hard pulling on the shift lever to get it to go and doesn’t rattle, and doesn’t drop onto the next sprocket, the derailer stop screw is fine. Don’t touch it until you know more about what you are doing. The cable has to become more taut as it goes to lower gears because it is pulling against the derailer ‘s return spring. The farther you pull it, the more tension.
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Old 02-18-21, 10:21 AM
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It ain't broke but I'm going to keep fixing, love that quote. At first I was going to try and adjust the derailer screw, but I'm going to leave it alone for now. Thanks
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