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Ultegra Chain Drag, can it be completely avoided??(10 posts)

Ultegra Chain Drag, can it be completely avoided??sgray8110
Dec 17, 2001 10:45 AM
I've had a bike with an Ultegra drivetrain for about 4 months now.. Even with constant work, I can't seem to get stop the chain drag. The Ultegra shifters are nice because they have the middle setting that lets you move the front derailleur into a neutral setting that seems to prevent the drag in the middle gears, but no matter what I do, the chain will rub either at the high end or the low end. The best I can do is make an adjustment prior to a ride based on the difficulty.. If there's going to be a lot of flat cruising I'll keep the 53-11&12 range smooth, but the 39-23 gear will rub. On a hilly course, I'll do the opposite. Has anyone had success in completely ridding themselves of this?? Especially if I'm running the highest or lowest possible gear this is quite annoying and it can't be good for the chain.. It's something I had hoped the higher quality gruppo would be able to avoid.. suggestions??

Thanks,
Spence
Ultimately, Yes.grzy
Dec 17, 2001 11:44 AM
If your bike is setup correctly you can dial it in and have it silent. I have yet to work on a bike that I couldn't achieve this. However, this requires that the entire drive train is setup correctly and that the chainline is correct - not just the cable adjsutments. In the end you shouldn't be riding "crossed" big/big or small/small.
agreed...Geof
Dec 17, 2001 1:10 PM
It sounds like you have a double front so I'll go from there. What grzy says is correct. I run a 42-53/11-25 currently with no rub at all even in the "no-no" gears big/big, small/small. (I don't run these anyway, just go there for adjustments etc) So, it sounds like you need to release the tension on your cable, adjust the limit screws by hand (no cable attached)in the small front/big back combo, there should be about 1-2mm between the der and chain. Then re-attach the cable and pull it just tight enough to add a bit of tension to the der. Try your shift into the big ring, in the big front/small back combo, there should be about 1-2mm space between the inner side of the outer plate and the chain... You should be golden from there.

A triple is a little bit more touchy but these basic adjustments are standard...

Good luck
re: Ultegra Chain Drag, can it be completely avoided??brider
Dec 17, 2001 12:41 PM
I'm thinking that your front der. limit screws are preventing you from using the entire range that the shifter will allow. You should actually have two intermediate detents between the chainrings. Try loosening the upper limit screw a little, then tighten the cable a little (at the cable stop). That should preserve the small ring setting, while opening up the big ring A LITTLE (enough to get one more "click" out of the shifter).
Also check the angle of the front derailleur cage.dzrider
Dec 17, 2001 1:00 PM
If the cage isn't parallel to the chain rings you have effectively narrowed the cage. This happens more with clamp-on derailleurs, but can happen if the braze-on is bent a little bit.
yup, and height, tooDog
Dec 17, 2001 2:17 PM
The angle and height can make a huge difference. I have the best luck getting the outside derailler plate about 1 mm over the big ring as it passes over it. They are made to work at a specific angle and height. Experiment.

Dog
re: Ultegra Chain Drag, can it be completely avoided??mclements
Dec 17, 2001 2:30 PM
In a word, YES. You can get any setup from Sora through Dura Ace to work properly without chain drag. Same with the Campy gear.

I had the same problem on my Tandem, where it was even worse because tandems have a shorter distance between the BB and the rear wheel, which makes for steeper chain angles.


The LBS that set up the tandem new did not do a good job. And they are considered to be one of the "best" shops on the SF peninsula. You would think they could at least take the time to get it right on a bicycle that costs more than some cars, but think again. Nothing is more common than incompetence.

I have to admit it's a pet peeve of mine to see how many incompetent shops there are out there, who cannot do the most basic adjustments correctly. I really believe this more than anything else is the cause of most people liking "pasta" vs. "sushi" componentry. It has nothing to do with the equipment itself, and a lot to do with whether the person who set it up knew what the heck he was doing.


It's easy to do -- though it does take some time. First, you have to make sure the front derailleur is properly positioned -- its height and its angle. Then you make sure the derailleur stop screws are set properly. Then you set the cable tension correctly. Then you shift through all the gears and make whatever tiny adjustments are needed.

On my tandem I had to completely remove the FD from the bike and reinstall it from scratch. Took about 30 minutes from start to finish to get it perfectly right, but 2,000 miles later it's still shifting perfectly with no rub.
re: Ultegra Chain Drag, can it be completely avoided??SCOTT
Dec 18, 2001 5:27 AM
SOME OF THE NOISE YOU MAY BE HEARING IS THE CHAIN RUBBUNG
AGAINST THE BIG RING WHEN YOU ARE IN THE SMALL RING AND THE
12T OR 13T COG. THAT CHAIN ANGLE IS BAD WHEN THE CHAIN IS COMING OFF THE SMALL RING ON THE BOTTOM OF THE CHAINRING AND
RUBBING THE BIG RING. I WORK IN A SHOP AND EVERY ULTEGRA SETUP IS LIKE THAT. WEIRD! THE CAMPY IS NOT AS BAD. SHIMANO
SAYS TO PUT A 1 MM. SPACER INSIDE THE DRIVESIDE BB CUP AND IT WILL HELP. GOOD LUCK!
Yup, Chainline just like Greasy said.nee Spoke Wrench
Dec 18, 2001 7:58 AM
This question comes up periodically. I put a 2mm spacer behind the BB on my Klein, and I would have used more but I was worried about the left crankarm rubbing the BB shell. I wish that Shimano would make more BB spindle sizes. That 109.5 just doesn't make it on a lot of bikes.
Also..Chen2
Dec 18, 2001 9:15 AM
Sounds as if you have an abnormal problem. The other posters have given you good advice, but I thought of a couple of unlikely but possible causes of your chain drag. If you have a 9 speed cassette, check to make sure you have a 9 speed chain. Also check to see that the chain rings are not reversed. On a double crank set the tooth count stamping (53) on the big ring should face to the right, the stamping on the inside ring (39) should face to the left.
-Al