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Unable to align front derailleur on a new C40(28 posts)

Unable to align front derailleur on a new C40Bonked
Jan 4, 2003 10:11 PM
I am putting together my new C40 and have run into a problem with the front derailleur...I can't seem to get it aligned to the chainrings properly. In the picture below, I have the derailleur twisted as far as it will go counterclockwise but, as you can see, it still needs to go a little further. Is there something that I am doing wrong or is there an adjustment I can make to the derailleur (my previous bike has a clamp-on)? If not, is there a remedy to this situation or will the braze-on need to be fixed?

Thanks a million!
several possibilties...C-40
Jan 5, 2003 5:58 AM
Most likely, the braze-on style bracket has been mislocated. If this is the case and it's a new frame, Colnago owes you a free exchange. The bracket is riveted to the carbon-fiber tube and can't be moved.

There is always the chance that the derailleur has a problem with the angle of the clamp bolt. I'd try another front derailleur just to rule out this possibility.

I would also check the chainline to be sure that the crank is properly aligned with the cassette. This problem is highly unlikely, but it should be ruled out.

If you're desperate, you could use a Dremel tool to grind material from the side of the slot, to permit more rotation, but you shouldn't do it unless a frame exchange is not possible for some reason. Colnago might not have much sympathy for your problem, if you modify the frame before trying to resolve the problem.

Also be sure that the offending side of the slot does not have a bunch of paint of epoxy on it. I had one C-40 that had a couple of globs of epoxy on the rear dropout that weren't removed prior to painting.
Unfortunately, that's pretty much what I came up with.Bonked
Jan 5, 2003 9:06 AM
The frame is new, so I should get a free exchange and that is what is keeping me from wanting to drill or Dremel out the side of the slot. If I screw it up at that point, I'm sure that Colnago will probably say (and rightfully so) that I have messed with the frame and they don't owe me a new one.

Unfortunately, there is no paint on the bracket and the derailleur looks perfect, although I will try another one to be sure. I don't think that the chainring is the issue, the derailleur is obviously not straight, even when you compare it to the frame and not the chainring.

Thanks for your response!
several possibilties...allez_allez
Jan 5, 2003 4:30 PM
Agree with other posters concerning the misalignment of the FD hanger. Not only can't you get the der. to line up parallel to the chain rings, you can't kick the rear end of the cage out a mm or two (if required) to fine tune your shifting. Beautiful frame, but if you can't get the front end of the cage rotated in any further, back she goes. My only hope for you is that you're far enough north to be in bad weather so you couldn't ride anyway; if you live where it's warm and sunny, ohh-h-h-h-h, I feel for ya! Yeah, send it back.
Minnesota...Bonked
Jan 5, 2003 5:38 PM
unfortunately there is no problem with wanting to ride soon!
re: Unable to align front derailleur on a new C40seyboro
Jan 5, 2003 9:06 AM
...another possibility could be that your bottom bracket axle is too long or that your crank bolts are not fully tightened. If you have checked that already, forgive and ignore me.
re: Unable to align front derailleur on a new C40Bonked
Jan 5, 2003 10:56 AM
This may be the case but, again, when you compare the alignment of the derailleur to the frame, it is off as well. In other words, the chainring, frame and derailleur should all be in line and on this frame the chainrings and frame line up well, but the derailleur is still off.

Thanks for the thought!
re: Unable to align front derailleur on a new C40KeeponTrekkin
Jan 5, 2003 10:34 AM
I have no better suggestion. However, the photography and graphics are first rate. You provided an incredibly clear presentation of the problem!

Sorry for your bad luck.

KoT
Thanks! n/mBonked
Jan 5, 2003 10:45 AM
take it backgtx
Jan 5, 2003 10:56 AM
on a steel frame you can often just bend 'em (I've also seen them put on at the wrong height--then you're really bummed). But I wouldn't try that with a carbon frame. I'm sure this isn't the first C40 with this problem. The people you bought the bike from should make it right.
take it backopencl
Jan 7, 2003 9:36 AM
Yeah, i have the same exact problem with my steel. Forturnately I was able to bend it striaght. what a bummer...
A punishing upgradeLeroy
Jan 5, 2003 5:40 PM
for sure. You'd think at that level they could get it right!
grab it and bend itDougSloan
Jan 5, 2003 6:34 PM
Mine was a little off; I just grabbed the derailleur and bent the bracket a little; worked fine. It's aluminum, and fairly soft and easy to bend.

Disclaimer: you're on your own.

Doug
lolgtx
Jan 5, 2003 7:13 PM
I really wanted to say that but didn't. That's what I would do if it was my bike. But don't listen to us!!!
Bending it may work, I've done it on a C-40MGS
Jan 5, 2003 6:44 PM
I had a problem with a C-40 alignment where it would not align at the maximum limits of the braze on.

I checked the net and found an article about this at Sheldon Browns' site.

I e-mailed him and he suggested I carefully apply some brute force to the cage, and carefully not torque the braze on. He commented that he routinely did this on many bikes to fine tune an older derailleur.

I tried it, and now everything is perfect.

But, you do this at your own risk.

And as others have noted, it may be the derailleur, not the bike.
To everyone who said to bend it...Bonked
Jan 5, 2003 10:25 PM
I thought of that as well, even had the pliers out. But then I'm back in the, "You break it, you buy it," boat, as everyone pointed out! I also thought that by eyeballing it the piece is pretty thick and am worried about the frame cracking.

I would, however, appreciate any information you could give on how you managed to bend the hanger on your C40 without breaking the frame...no guarantees, of course!
with the derailleurDougSloan
Jan 6, 2003 6:54 AM
I just used the derailleur itself to bend it. Then you'll know just how far to go. No pliers. It doesn't take much, as the angle of change needed is small.

Doug
To everyone who said to bend it...gtx
Jan 6, 2003 6:55 AM
well, if you do it, the best way is probably as Doug mentioned, use the clamped-on front der as leverage, and be very gentle. I wouldn't use pliers. This comes from someone who does not have much experience with C40s in particular, btu has done a lot of bending over the years. But remember, I do not recommend this! ;)
Let me get this straight.........Len J
Jan 6, 2003 5:16 AM
you spend over $2,500 (Maybe as high as $3,800) on a frameset, it comes oin with a misaligned Front Der. hanger and you are going to accept this because?????????

Send it back. I know you have probably waited & are impatient to ride it etc, but.... you are going to have it for a long time. You paid enough that it should be perfect. A small bend might be OK but you (from the pictures) need a big fix.

Be patient, Do the right thing.

Len
rightDougSloan
Jan 6, 2003 6:55 AM
If he sends it back, they'll probably just bend it and send it back to him.
If I spent that much........Len J
Jan 6, 2003 7:56 AM
for that little quality control, I'd be pissed.

What else is not correct?

Len
it's no big dealDougSloan
Jan 6, 2003 8:07 AM
There's nothing to get pissed about. You bend the little thing and it's good forever. No problem.

I found nothing else "not correct," except too short a steer tube. ;-|

Doug
I guess I'm oversensitive.........Len J
Jan 6, 2003 8:15 AM
but "8 out of 10" improperly aligned der Hangers says volumes about Colnago quality control (at least to me). Maybe on a $500 frame I'd say "No problem" but a top of the line frame? Seems like you are accepting lesser quality for the money spent.

I guess that's why there are so many different choices, some people have higher expectations when they spend this much money & some don't.

I'm still amazed.

Len
not a quality issueDougSloan
Jan 6, 2003 8:22 AM
The first time you put the derailleur on, you bend the little thingy to make it align. Takes all of 10 seconds. I'm not sure how they'd do this at the factory, short of having some fancy jig or actually assembling a frame. Or, they could just make the little slot wider to give more adjustment. I spent $3,500 on mine and I didn't even think twice about it.

I suppose if the assembly instructions said to do this the first time the frame was assembled, then it would be a feature, not an error, right?

Doug
not a quality issue??????Len J
Jan 6, 2003 8:34 AM
Maybe a design issue.

My Trek OCLV ($1,100) has a hanger that was designed to be adjustable so you wouldn't "need" to bend it. Trek figured out how to do it, why couldn't Colnago?

Call me nuts but this sounds like a "bailing wire & chewing gum" solution not worthy of a "well designed" high end bike.

To each his own.

Len
Resolution...Bonked
Jan 6, 2003 6:53 AM
I just spoke to the guy I bought the frame from and he said that this happens on like 8 out of 10 Colnago frames. However, to avoid having the hanger rip off during a crash, they make it out of a soft steel. He suggested just putting a long screwdriver through the hole and leaning on it a bit until the hanger bends into the correct position. With a little trepidation I tried this and...it was like cutting butter; the hanger bent extremely easily and the problem is fixed!

Thanks to everyone who responded.
steel?DougSloan
Jan 6, 2003 6:57 AM
It's non-magnetic steel, then. I put a magnet on it, and no attraction. Anyway, glad it worked out.

Doug
I'm just going by what he said. n/mBonked
Jan 6, 2003 4:17 PM