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front derailleur problem(6 posts)

front derailleur problemwolfereeno
Jul 3, 2003 3:37 PM
My front derailleur isn't smoothly shifting into the smaller rings (I have a tripple). I have to help it with my heal or push it with my hand. I'm not sure what to adjust or lubricate. I thought that it might be from where the cable goes through the noodle near the bottom bracket and lubbed that but that hasn't helped. Any suggestions?

Several possibilitiesKerry Irons
Jul 3, 2003 5:23 PM
It may be that the pivots on the derailleur are gunked up - lube them and clean things up. More likely is either cables needing lube (inside the casing) or the shifter itself needing a shot of oil. If the cable is slack and the derailleur doesn't move, then it's the pivots. If you shift and the cable is not slack, then lube the cables and (possibly) the shifters.
thanks and an updatewolfereeno
Jul 4, 2003 11:07 AM
Thanks for the clear explanation. Ok, just got back from a nice ride. It shifts into the middle ring ok. But not into the granny ring. The cable tension along the down tube is taught. If I pull on the cable, it switches. So I guess this indicates its the shifter that needs lube correct? I did lube the shifter but perhaps not in the right place. Is there a specific area in the shifter (ultegra) that usually needs lube?

Thanks again.
Now we're getting to itKerry Irons
Jul 5, 2003 4:01 PM
Now we're down to cables and shifters. I'd bet my money on the cable, but it won't hurt to lube both. To lube the cable, you have to disconnect it from the derailleur and pull a bunch of cable out of the shifter - push the cable from the "derailleur side" and you'll see it start to come out of the shifter. Pull enough cable so that everything that was inside the casing is exposed, wipe it clean, and lube it with oil. If there are any signs of rust, replace the casing and cable (you'll have to re-wrap the bars). To lube the shifters, turn the bike upside down in a workstand and squirt oil in the mechanism while shifting up and down. Be prepared for some oil seepage over the next few days - just wipe up the XS.
Yes, it's the cablewolfereeno
Jul 7, 2003 9:27 AM
Great advice. I actually had a hard time pushing any of the wire back to the shifter. It's bound up inside the cable somewhere. I loosened it up a bit with some lube but it's still pretty tight so I'm going to replace the cable as soon as I can. Thanks for all your help.
Was it ever right?Spoke Wrench
Jul 4, 2003 10:02 AM
Always the first question to ask. If it worked properly once, you can generally rule out possibilities like the position of the derailleur on the seat tube and limit screw adjustment so messing with that stuff will only make it worse.

Cable stretch (a common issue) would affect shifting in the opposite direction so I think you can rule that out too.

I think that Kerry has done a fine job of explaining the remaining possibilities. If your derailleur itself is binding up, I'd recommend a real good cleaning before you start dripping or spraying on more lube. You're way, way, way more likely to overlube a derailleur than you are to underlube one.