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Can't get my rear derailleur tuned.

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Can't get my rear derailleur tuned.

Old 11-25-22, 09:10 PM
  #1  
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Can't get my rear derailleur tuned.

I'm trying my hand at setting up the most complicated part of the bicycle that I'm putting together - the rear derailleur. Using the Park Tool video on this, I think that I've set the high limit screw - I can force the shift from 2nd smallest cog to 1st by turning the H-limit screw while cranking, plus the pulley seems to be inline with the smallest cog. However, my indexing is going nowhere. On this 9spd cassette, I start tuning at the smallest cog. It all goes fine as I make my way up the cassette, until I try to tune the shift from 7th to 8th cog. To make that shift, I have to turn the barrel adjustor (BA) so much that the system will no longer shift from the 2nd cog back to the 1st again. After I turn the BA back enough so that the chain shifts back to the smallest cog (#1), it ruins the shift from #7 to #8 again. Is anything discernible from this description?
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Old 11-25-22, 09:17 PM
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Need pictures and more detail. Could be several things, including a too short chain, incorrect chainline, wrong spindle length, etc.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:31 PM
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I had the LBS tune this setup before and it was fine.
Chain has correct number of links according to Zinn Road Bicycle Maintenance book.
Crank is Shimano FC-6603 and frame is standard 68mm width.
The crank is a road-triple but setup as 1x, with the chainring at the middle location.

I can take photos if someone tells me what is needed in them.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:57 PM
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Did it work before you started the setup or were there problems?

John
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Old 11-26-22, 12:34 AM
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Start anew at the very beginning: Check the alignment of the derailleur hanger. Set the limit screws according to the manufacturer's guidelines without the chain and cable. Size and fit the chain according to manufacturer's guidelines. Make sure the B adjustment is good according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Ignore perfect indexing at first, but make sure the shifters will move the derailleur all the way from the smallest sprocket to the largest. Then adjust the indexing.

If the indexing is good, but messes up in the middle of the cassette somewhere, it could be the derailleur hanger is not perfectly aligned. So make sure that's good first thing.

Another thing that can make shifting in certain sprockets poor in spite of good shifting elsewhere is a mis-match between a new chain and an old cassette which is worn in to the old chain, or vice versa. Could this be an issue?

Good luck, but these things should help.

Last edited by Camilo; 11-27-22 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 11-26-22, 01:36 AM
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Begin by setting the limit screws... then attach the Shift cable... i set the high limit screw to a bit towards the second smallest cog as a tension setting aid.. once the cable is clamped, loosen the limit screw back to it's "Aligned-with-small-sprocket" position( i use one full turn in and out, usually).......( i also set the Barrel adjusters up with about two full turns from seated to allow adjustment in either direction)... Pull that cable TIGHT., tighten the clamp screw... THEN pull on the cable in an open area to Seat the Cable ends and remove any hidden slack... Re-tighten the cable tension some.... NOW begin checking indexing once you are certain there is NO SLACK in the cable before your first shift.... the shifting should now be aligned and should not need adjustments.

If, after all the setup, the shifting still doesn't work well, i'd be looking real hard at Derailleur Alignment, as mentioned by a few others.... Because THAT is Exactly what it sounds like.

Be aware that the Index cable pull distances are NOT Linear...they can vary from high to low gear quite a bit... and SRAM does not play well with shimano.

One thing i Don't see here is the Brand and Model of Shifters and Derailleur... this info will help us e-wrenches greatly. Please provide the brand and model of the derailleur and shifter.

Last edited by maddog34; 11-26-22 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 11-26-22, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
One thing i Don't see here is the Brand and Model of Shifters and Derailleur... this info will help us e-wrenches greatly. Please provide the brand and model of the derailleur and shifter.
Yes
If these things are not made to play together all the adjusting in the world isn't going to help
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Old 11-26-22, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Need pictures and more detail. Could be several things, including a too short chain, incorrect chainline, wrong spindle length, etc.
Also check derailleur hanger alignment.
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Old 11-26-22, 09:09 AM
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good luck tuning the shifting. reminds me when I brought a bike to a shop one time for a while-you-wait tuneup & new chain. watching a pro go thru the paces with front & rear derailers was inspirational. amazing how quick he was. reassured me it wasn't rocket science & there are a limited number of variables. one just needs immersion & practice. I would love to work in a shop for a while. I know enough to make minor tweaks here & there & some light maintenance, but I appreciate & am willing to pay for professional help
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Old 11-26-22, 11:52 AM
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Did you attach the cable to the correct side of the attach bolt?

John
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Old 11-26-22, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
I'm trying my hand at setting up the most complicated part of the bicycle that I'm putting together - the rear derailleur.
Since you say you are putting it together, then is this a frame that you are putting back the same parts you took off of it. Or is this just a frame that you got some parts you hope will work with it?

You only seemed interested in the limit screws of the DR. However limit screws are only for limiting how far the parallelogram traverses from one side of the cassette to the other side. So they really don't play much for getting your DR set up to shift correctly. That is entirely where the cable is held in the pinch bolt and the cable adjuster whether it's the barrel adjuster on the DR or a adjuster in the cable or sometimes on the shift lever.
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Old 11-26-22, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
I had the LBS tune this setup before and it was fine.
Chain has correct number of links according to Zinn Road Bicycle Maintenance book.
Crank is Shimano FC-6603 and frame is standard 68mm width.
The crank is a road-triple but setup as 1x, with the chainring at the middle location.

I can take photos if someone tells me what is needed in them.
More important is what RD and shifters
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Old 11-26-22, 06:32 PM
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When was the last time your cables and housings were replaced? How many miles on them?
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Old 11-26-22, 07:07 PM
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Here's the story and the components that people are asking about:
I got the frameset new and added all the parts (everything new, except for crankset and some unrelated parts). Everything went well for me (even the wheel-build), with the exception of the rear shifting. LBS took a look at it and recommended a new R derailleur. I had them choose one based on my intent and had them tune it. They did a good job and I enjoyed riding the bicycle for a few days.

After that, I had to get a repair done to one of the threaded braze-ons, which required that I remove the RD and almost everything else. That repair was successful and now I'd like to finish this bicycle myself. I've never had full success in setting up RD shifting. My other bicycle which I've tried this has a stubborn cog which I just skip over when riding. Maybe I can fix that one after gaining new experience with this one.

Rear derailleur is Microshift RD-R43M. Brand new.
Shift lever is Microshift BS-T09. Brand new.
Cassette, 9spd, is a take-off from a new bicycle. I test rode that bicycle but upgraded it immediately to a different number of speeds.
Chain, 9spd, is new, the correct number of links and working smoothly.
Cables and housing are brand new, Jagwire.

I will now try to see if the built-in (CrMo frame) D hanger got bent.
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Old 11-26-22, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Since you say you are putting it together, then is this a frame that you are putting back the same parts you took off of it. Or is this just a frame that you got some parts you hope will work with it?

You only seemed interested in the limit screws of the DR. However limit screws are only for limiting how far the parallelogram traverses from one side of the cassette to the other side. So they really don't play much for getting your DR set up to shift correctly. That is entirely where the cable is held in the pinch bolt and the cable adjuster whether it's the barrel adjuster on the DR or a adjuster in the cable or sometimes on the shift lever.
Is it possible that the OP has routed the inner cable the wrong way at the pinch bolt on the rear derailleur?

Cheers
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Old 11-26-22, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Is it possible that the OP has routed the inner cable the wrong way at the pinch bolt on the rear derailleur?
Nope, it's anchored between the washer-thingy and the part that the pinch-bolt is threaded into. It can approach this from only one direction. The cable housing is at the correct end of the barrel adjuster.
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Old 11-27-22, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Nope, it's anchored between the washer-thingy and the part that the pinch-bolt is threaded into. It can approach this from only one direction. The cable housing is at the correct end of the barrel adjuster.
I think Miele Man is referring to which side of the anchor bolt, not which end. If you mount the cable on the wrong side, it will still be under the washer, but it changes the actuation ratio of the RD.

Basically the RD moves just a bit too much for each shift which compounds the error shifting from high to low.

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Old 11-27-22, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I think Miele Man is referring to which side of the anchor bolt, not which end. If you mount the cable on the wrong side, it will still be under the washer, but it changes the actuation ratio of the RD.
Figure 3
​​​​​​https://microshift.com/wp-content/up...stallation.pdf
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Old 11-27-22, 09:07 AM
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Almost sounds like a kink in a shift cable where it runs through the housing.
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Old 11-27-22, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Here's the story and the components that people are asking about:
I got the frameset new and added all the parts (everything new, except for crankset and some unrelated parts). Everything went well for me (even the wheel-build), with the exception of the rear shifting. LBS took a look at it and recommended a new R derailleur. I had them choose one based on my intent and had them tune it. They did a good job and I enjoyed riding the bicycle for a few days.

After that, I had to get a repair done to one of the threaded braze-ons, which required that I remove the RD and almost everything else. That repair was successful and now I'd like to finish this bicycle myself. I've never had full success in setting up RD shifting. My other bicycle which I've tried this has a stubborn cog which I just skip over when riding. Maybe I can fix that one after gaining new experience with this one.

Rear derailleur is Microshift RD-R43M. Brand new.
Shift lever is Microshift BS-T09. Brand new.
Cassette, 9spd, is a take-off from a new bicycle. I test rode that bicycle but upgraded it immediately to a different number of speeds.
Chain, 9spd, is new, the correct number of links and working smoothly.
Cables and housing are brand new, Jagwire.

I will now try to see if the built-in (CrMo frame) D hanger got bent.
Was the cassette transplanted 100% intact, with all the spacers and washers in the correct order?

Did you cut the cable housing to the correct length? Does the cable run freely through all the cut ends? Are the ends of the housing covered by the correct ferrules? Is the housing seated completely in the ferrules?

Divining problems with index shifting can be devilish, and the devil's in the details.
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Old 11-27-22, 12:46 PM
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Shift the bike of your op into that second smallest cog. Undo the cable from the pinch bolt. With the bike in a stand turn the pedals forward and allow the rear wheel to turn. If the chain shifts to that smallest cog with no issues, then it can't be anything that you'll cure with a adjustment screw on the DR. You can push on the parallelogram of the DR to shift back to a larger cog and let go to play with this till you are content with this idea and fact.

Of course if you still don't have the high limit adjusted correctly then you need to address that.
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Old 11-27-22, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund View Post
Almost sounds like a kink in a shift cable where it runs through the housing.
This is what I'm betting on.
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Old 12-01-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Start anew at the very beginning: Check the alignment of the derailleur hanger. Set the limit screws according to the manufacturer's guidelines without the chain and cable. Size and fit the chain according to manufacturer's guidelines. Make sure the B adjustment is good according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Ignore perfect indexing at first, but make sure the shifters will move the derailleur all the way from the smallest sprocket to the largest. Then adjust the indexing.

If the indexing is good, but messes up in the middle of the cassette somewhere, it could be the derailleur hanger is not perfectly aligned. So make sure that's good first thing.

Another thing that can make shifting in certain sprockets poor in spite of good shifting elsewhere is a mis-match between a new chain and an old cassette which is worn in to the old chain, or vice versa. Could this be an issue?

Good luck, but these things should help.
Not exactly the way I do it (I install the chain before adjusting the limit screws), but it will work fine.
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