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Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tune(17 posts)

Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tuneBonked
Oct 20, 2003 10:11 AM
I finally got a Campy bike earlier this year and have overall been really impressed. However, my drivetrain never seems to stay in tune. I generally clean my bike about once a week and will adjust the derailleur when I have the bike apart. It sounds perfect for the first ride (i.e. no sound), but then starts to clunk a bit after about a day or so. Nothing major, the drivetrain doesn't mis-shift or anything, just a general noisiness that I would prefer my drivetrain not make! I have no problems adjusting it back again, but it just goes out of tune within a day or so of the last tune-up. This has happened many times over the summer and is starting to bug me. One other note is that I have noticed that it happens when I am riding or not, i.e. one week I tuned my bike and then didn't get to ride it for a few days and the drivetrain was noisy.

Any ideas how I can "set" the drivetrain in the position I want and not have it go out of tune so quickly?

Is your wife messing with you? Are you sleepriding? nmekdave
Oct 20, 2003 11:17 AM
Oct 20, 2003 11:27 AM
You don't mention what type of adjustment that you are having to make to correct the noise. I would suspect that you are merely increasing the tension of the rear deraileur cable. If so, the culprit could be the downtube cable adjuster loosening from vibration, which has nothing to do with the Campy parts.

It's common for the cables to need retightening as they stretch a bit when new, but after a week to two, there should be little need for readjustment.

I've also found it common for all the bikes that I own to have a bit more chain noise in the middle cogs where the chainline is the straightest. Nothing can be done about that.
Oct 20, 2003 3:09 PM
I have a Wipperman, so I will generally remove the chain (for cleaning) and do a complete setup of the derailleur as discussed in the Campy manual (i.e. put it in the smallest gear and set the outer limit screw, place it on the 4th cog and adjust the tension, etc.).

As for the vibration, I thought it was maybe that as well, but that doesn't explain the problem when I wasn't riding. Also, the drivetrain is almost silent right after an adjustment in all the gears and ends up making noise in all of them after a day or so.

The problem is most likely me being overly finicky about drivetrain noise, but it does annoy me that I set everything up perfectly and then it goes out of whack that quickly.

Thanks for your input.
too many adjustments...C-40
Oct 21, 2003 5:18 AM
The initial adjustment procedure in the campy manual should not be performed repeatedly. After an initial adjustment, only a very infrequent 1/4 turn of the barrel adjuster should be required.

Also, the Wipperman chain is part of the problem. If there is noise in all gears, then obvously it's not an adjustment problem. Wipperman chains are noisier than a Campy chains. Try a campy chain with the wipperman connex link.

As others mentioned, it could also be your choice of lube. I'm sold on a 4-1 mix of mineral spirits and motor oil. Cleans and lubricates the chain without removing it. Since I ride in dusty conditions, I apply the lube after every ride.
I have a campy w/ wippermann linkBonked
Oct 21, 2003 10:21 AM
but even still, the drivetrain is perfectly silent for my first ride or it can't be the chain. Again, probably just me being too anal about my bike!

Just a stab, but do you have inline adjusters ?MR_GRUMPY
Oct 20, 2003 11:31 AM
Some frames (like Giant) use inline adjusters. I have found that they seem to slip over time.
re: Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tunedivve
Oct 20, 2003 11:42 AM
....experienced a similar my case it was caused by simply steering. Over time the adjustment knobs would rotate due to the outer housing movement. I solved it by applying a small amount of Loctite 242 (blue) on the threads. It makes for quite a stiff adjustment. Then again once it's set you won't have to fiddle much with the knobs anymore.

Not sure why your bike would go out of adjustment after a fews days even though you're not riding. Perhaps it's cable drag somewhere which worsens dependent on the ambient temperature:)
Use purple Loctite, it's made for adjustment screws. (nm)TFerguson
Oct 20, 2003 2:16 PM
true, but I didn't have any handy. nmdivve
Oct 20, 2003 2:22 PM
What chain lube are you using?Kerry Irons
Oct 20, 2003 4:33 PM
The fact that this "happens" while the bike is sitting unused raises the question whether the chain lube character is changing with time. Most likely would be evaporation of solvent (or water if it's White Lightning). This would give the chain lube a different feel while riding. In other words, the adjustment might not be changing, it might be that your chain lube alters your perception of drive train performance.
re: Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tunecharlieboy
Oct 20, 2003 11:50 PM
Sounds to me like you are making too many adjustments too often! If you are re-setting the rear derailleur every week after a clean that may be the problem - setting up in your shop will 'settle in' when out riding, and require a few tweaks on the road. Are you re-attaching the RD cable as well every week? Set up once and leave it alone.

Try cleaning without dismantling!! A 'good enough' approach to cleaning is less stressful than a 'brand new' look, IMHO.

You may also like to get a campy chain and use the wippermann connex link with it, as some reviewers have commented on the wippermann and noise/smoothness issues.

And the comment about your possible choice of lube is valid. FWIW I always use a 'wet' oil and wipe approach - it works for me. Lubes that evaporate have a habit of doing just that!
re: Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tuneBonked
Oct 21, 2003 5:03 AM
No, I don't take off the derailleur cable. I just reset the limit screws, which doesn't really take that long.

I do use a campy chain with a wippermann link.

Also, I use a wet lube as I never found the dry ones to work very well.

Thank you for your feedback!
temperature re: Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tunecharlieboy
Oct 21, 2003 5:30 AM
Not really sure why you would need to re-set the limit screws but there you are! Also not sure if cable stop adjusters should vibrate loose - if you have campy ones the little ratchet mechanism usually stops this happening - but you now have suggestions to cure this too.

Seems you are doing what everyone suggests, so one last suggestion is temperature.

How hot is it when you ride? If you tune up in a cool garage or whatever and then ride in hot conditions perhaps the cables are expanding just enough to really p*ss you off! I have noticed this effect on a couple of hot days (not that common in the UK!)- a couple of clicks on the down tube adjuster worked fine. Wait for a nice cold winter and see if you are still suffering?;)
temperature re: Campy drivetrain going constantly out of tuneBonked
Oct 21, 2003 10:42 AM
never thought of that...thanks for the tip!
Now your information really doesn't make sense!!!Kerry Irons
Oct 21, 2003 5:10 PM
There's no way that adjusting the limit screws should be necessary every week. But more importantly, even if you really jacked them around, they would only affect shifting and noise in the largest and smallest cogs. NONE of the other cogs would be affected in any way! Sounds like it's time for those psychotherapy sessions, cause what you have been doing has no impact on the issue you describe.
I suspect the wipperman chaintarwheel
Oct 21, 2003 10:22 AM
I tried two wipperman chains last summer and never could get my shifting to work right. They also are noisier and wore out much quicker than the original Campy 10 chain. I like the Wipperman/Connex link, however, and continue to use one with a C-10 chain. Best of both worlds.