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Can you decrease the length of push it takes to get into a larger chainring?

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Can you decrease the length of push it takes to get into a larger chainring?

Old 07-19-22, 06:26 AM
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jxpowers
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Can you decrease the length of push it takes to get into a larger chainring?

Hi all,

I'm using SRAM force 2x11, on drop handle bars.
With small hands I find it a struggle to cleanly shift into a bigger chain ring on the front, shifting up and down on the cassette is fine.

Just the front I'm having troubles with, the gears are all dialed in fine, infact it shifts like a dream when it's on the bike stand. I just don't have enough finger length to fully push it into the larger chainring while in the riding position.

Is there a way to adjust the lever so that it dosent take so much distance to push it into the big chain ring?

Things I've tried so far, moving the lever closer to the handle bar by changing the reach adjustment and also I've tried moving the shifters further outwards on the handlebars (without it looking ridiculous ofc).

Any tips or tricks I don't know about will be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: - could this be the source of my problem, you can see bare cable running against the bare frame, shouldn't there be some sort of guide or ferrule or plastic to guide the cable away from the frame? If so where would I buy such a specific piece


Last edited by jxpowers; 07-19-22 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 07-19-22, 06:54 AM
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andrewclaus
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Do you have a strong enough grip to simply push higher on the lever, say from the hoods? My partner has small hands and was having problems when she first got a bike with drop bar brifters. It turns out there was a cabling problem. I improved routing of the cable and that reduced the effort enough to make it an easy shift from the hoods.

The only way I can think of to change the derailleur travel is to reroute the cable attachment at the derailleur pinch bolt, but that will change the pull ratio and increase the torque needed.
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Old 07-19-22, 07:47 AM
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Can you slip a piece of hose or other padding on the lever to make it "fatter"
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Old 07-19-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Do you have a strong enough grip to simply push higher on the lever, say from the hoods? My partner has small hands and was having problems when she first got a bike with drop bar brifters. It turns out there was a cabling problem. I improved routing of the cable and that reduced the effort enough to make it an easy shift from the hoods.

The only way I can think of to change the derailleur travel is to reroute the cable attachment at the derailleur pinch bolt, but that will change the pull ratio and increase the torque needed.
May definitely be a cable routing problem, now that you mention it, it does seem alot thougher to shift, as if I have to use alot more force then whst would be regarded as normal, but then again it's hard to say what the bench mark is since I don't have another SRAM force group set to compare against
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Old 07-19-22, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
May definitely be a cable routing problem, now that you mention it, it does seem alot thougher to shift, as if I have to use alot more force then whst would be regarded as normal, but then again it's hard to say what the bench mark is since I don't have another SRAM force group set to compare against
Look at the cable routing section of this article. Also pull off the housing ferrule ends, see if any of the stiffening wires are poking through and pinching the cable. You can get some cable slack by shifting into high, stop pedalling, and shift into low. If your bike has slotted frame cable stops, you can pull one out and easily inspect the whole system without changing any adjustments.
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Old 07-19-22, 09:14 AM
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Do others see the ft der cage being off angle (rotated on the seat tube) WRT the rings?

Changing the cable's attachment point on the ft der will change how the lever's indexing detents align with the cage's location over the rings.

As to the cable touching the frame this shouldn't be a big issue. at the exit hole the cable travels through the amount of pressure the cable is placing on the hole's edge is tiny. This type of design is used by so many brands for so many years and yet we see so few (as in none IIRC) issues from this contact point. However if you want to be sure than slide a section of cable liner tubing over the cable as it exits the BB shell and see if there's any real change.

The OP is experiencing a problem that we do see with smaller or slightly built riders. My usual explanation is that there are too few smaller riders buying stuff to make it profitable for a company to offer different sized shifters (for the otherwise same parts series). The solution is to change the system to one that the rider can deal with. Yes, this means that the smaller rider might not be able to use the bestest, newest, most fashionable stuff. When I say that to a rider i can see their mind blaming me for the problem, thinking that I am the "bad person" in pointing out the realities of an industry and how choices are made. Andy (who at 5'6" is well on the small end of the Bell Curve)
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Old 07-19-22, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Do others see the ft der cage being off angle (rotated on the seat tube) WRT the rings?




Here are more photos. Would you say the FT is out of alignment?
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Old 07-19-22, 09:33 AM
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Looks like it's rotated slightly counter-clockwise around the mount while looking down. The outer cage should be parallel with the rings.
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Old 07-19-22, 09:51 AM
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If it seems to take an increasing amount of force as you push on the lever to get into the big ring, then check to make sure the DR is not simply hitting the limit screw before the shift is completed. If so, then move the limit a tad.

May not do anything for the distance you have to throw the lever, but it might make it easier and less of an issue for you.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-19-22 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 07-19-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Do others see the ft der cage being off angle (rotated on the seat tube) WRT the rings?
It's a YAW derailleur, of course it's going to look like that in the small ring.
Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Looks like it's rotated slightly counter-clockwise around the mount while looking down. The outer cage should be parallel with the rings.
Again, it's a YAW derailleur. They sit at an angle like that in the small ring and are parallel to the big ring when in the big ring position. Without being right on top of it I can't tell for sure but it looks like it's set as it should be. How can you guys not know about these derailleurs? They've been around for years.
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Old 07-19-22, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
It's a YAW derailleur, of course it's going to look like that in the small ring.

Again, it's a YAW derailleur. They sit at an angle like that in the small ring and are parallel to the big ring when in the big ring position. Without being right on top of it I can't tell for sure but it looks like it's set as it should be. How can you guys not know about these derailleurs? They've been around for years.
There's no chain rubbbing against the hanger and the gears do shift well, so you're probably right, I thought it was off as well cause I'm so used to Shimano, but it would make sense being a yaw derailleur
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Old 07-19-22, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
... Just the front I'm having troubles with, the gears are all dialed in fine, infact it shifts like a dream when it's on the bike stand. I just don't have enough finger length to fully push it into the larger chainring while in the riding position.

Is there a way to adjust the lever so that it dosent take so much distance to push it into the big chain ring?
You first described (above) a desire to reduce the travel of the shift lever, i.e., the distance or how far the shift lever has to move to shift the chain onto the larger chain ring.

Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
EDIT: - could this be the source of my problem, you can see bare cable running against the bare frame, shouldn't there be some sort of guide or ferrule or plastic to guide the cable away from the frame? If so where would I buy such a specific piece
Yes, ideally there should be a guide or liner between the cable and frame so that the cable travels in a smooth curve with less friction, but that only affects the effort required to push the lever, i.e., how much force it takes. So these are separate (but related) issues. This appears to be a carbon fiber frame so such a guide is likely to be specific to that frame.
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Old 07-19-22, 03:34 PM
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You could go electronic. Problem solved at expense. Seriously though, I've done so much damage to my thumbs over decades of work that I have problems pushing mechanical shift triggers on my mt. bikes, is why I love my Di2 system.
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Old 07-19-22, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You could go electronic. Problem solved at expense. Seriously though, I've done so much damage to my thumbs over decades of work that I have problems pushing mechanical shift triggers on my mt. bikes, is why I love my Di2 system.
Don't let the photos of the flat pedals with pins fool you, this thread is about a road bike with a SRAM yaw FD, and one can use up to 4 fingers to actuate the lever for the front shift onto the big chain ring.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:35 AM
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Doesn’t certain group sets have more difficulty shifting then others ? I have shimano 105 5700 and have always had a problem shifting into large chain ring. I have normal sized hands and have tried most things, new cables,housing, checked cable seated properly, cage height and aligned properly, cable secured properly, indexed correctly, flush out shifter ( anything else ?) to no avail. I have read here and in other places 5700 is notorious for tough chain ring shifting.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:43 AM
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Today's front derailleurs can be a pain in the ass regardless of brand.
They have to manage a far wider range of rear gears without a lot of noise and people want a shorter throw from the little to the big chain ring and back thus making setup a challenge.
I suggest starting from the beginning.
Replace the cable and housing with high quality cable and housing.
Check the position of the front derailleur. Make sure it is set up as it should be...placement above the big chain ring, limit screws, correct angle.
Attach cable to der. pinch bolt and set correct tension making sure der. angle and limit screws are doing their jobs correctly.
If it is still hard to shift...and some are for smaller hands...it may be time to consider going electronic. Another option is to go 1x, eliminating the front derailleur entirely but possibly losing some choice gears...good luck.
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Old 08-08-22, 11:16 AM
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Wife is TINY and rides the smallest Terry model - she even has 2. Her fingers are not just long enough to provide the required range of motion to shift a FD from the smaller gear(s) to larger. So since I couldn't make her hands bigger I went for solutions out of the box. Bar ends are on her 3x. Her 2x is now a 1x. With an oversized cassette and an appropriately sized front ring she has the full gear range of the 2x. Not to mention the fact that she much prefers the simplicity of a 1x drivetrain - easier or harder pedaling - no futzing with 2 gear ranges. Now these options were/are readily available/configurable as her drive trains tops out at 10 speeds with rim brakes. Today's modern(?) bikes with 11 & 12 speeds and hydraulic brakes are more restricted in the availability of out of the box solutions. Sadly the only practical (not necessarily cost effective) is electronic shifting.
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Old 08-08-22, 11:37 AM
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Out of the box suggestion here. (My apologies if this is already mentioned. I haven't read the posts.) A travel agent. That would multiply cable pull (and force required). I don't know how you would set it up. If I needed to do this, then answer would probably come at 2am in bed. Yes, a rather "gimmicky" solution. But those things appear rock solid reliable. Folks trust their lives to them.

https://problemsolversbike.com/produ..._agents_-_6416




Edit: just realized this may not play well with indexing and that the long lever push is probably needed get to the next "index". Dinosaur here, Still using just simple friction.

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Old 08-08-22, 12:56 PM
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There are all sorts of additional shifter mods from bar ends to Gevenalle to a thumbie or whatever.

Since SRAM upshift is done with the inner lever, it seems possible to just widen the pad thickness by adding a similar material and crafting a nicely finished and looking shifter pad. None of that zip tie a Coke bottle cap crap.

My thought is to have a 3D printed ergo shaped pad extension made. It could be wider and extend up if needed. Probably use epoxy to attach it to the existing lever pad.

You’ll probably need to experiment with width by going to a hardware store and getting some clear self adhesive bumpers from Home Depot to figure out the needed width. Hopefully they aren’t the final solution, but at least no zip ties are used.

John

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Old 09-28-22, 03:25 AM
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As a postscript to my message above part of my problem was a loose braze on bracket. I didn’t realise this as the bracket is hidden and visually tight against a bottle cage. It transpired that the fixings/bosses in the frame are failing. I have recently started another thread asking for help / solutions.
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Old 09-28-22, 04:15 AM
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You might find someone with a Campagnolo equipped bike to borrow. 11 speed or greater, Record, Super Record, or perhaps Chorus.

They tend to be designed to ratchet shift the front derailleur. So, can't do a full shift... click it several times.

This also makes them rather forgiving for different derailleurs.
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Old 09-28-22, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You could go electronic. Problem solved at expense. Seriously though, I've done so much damage to my thumbs over decades of work that I have problems pushing mechanical shift triggers on my mt. bikes, is why I love my Di2 system.
This is where we're headed on my wife's bike because of thumb push difficulty.
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Old 09-28-22, 08:34 AM
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I had a similar problem with one of my old steel frame road bikes. It has a steel cable route guide for the shifting cable brazed onto the to top of the BB. It shifted cleanly, but just difficult. This was due to the friction of the bare cable against the cable guide. I figured that I needed to do something to eliminate the friction. There is plastic tubing you could buy, but I ended up using the tubing from the guts of and ink pen since I only needed like 3” of tubing. It was just the right diameter and length. I cleaned the tube out thoroughly, and used it over the cable to line the cable guide. Problem solved. — Dan
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Old 09-28-22, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Looks like it's rotated slightly counter-clockwise around the mount while looking down. The outer cage should be parallel with the rings.
These SRAM YAW FD change angle as they move up and down. They are not like regular FD's. Don't eyeball them the same way you would a regular FD.
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