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  1. #1
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    Help With Derailleur Adjustments

    I posted this in the Drivetrain forum and didn't get a response. Maybe the beginner forum is the proper place.

    I have a Dawes Haymaker 1500 with DEORE FD-M510 front and DEORE SLX rear derailleurs. Here's the link:

    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Dawes Haymaker 1500

    I'm pretty sure that my front derailleur is positioned correctly and the gear limit screws are set correctly. When I'm in the middle chain ring in the front, the chain will start to rub once I get to the 4th or 5th in the back. I tried adjusting the trim using the barrel adjuster on the front shifter. Once I get it set so there's no rubbing, I can no longer shift from the first (smallest) chain ring to the second.

    Any ideas on what needs to be adjusted? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    This is a tough one, without actually being there to see it.
    Did you assemble this yourself? Can you get into your 3rd (largest) chain ring?

    Here is a step by step that should fix it.

    9 - Front Derailleur Adjustment - YouTube

    9speed drive-trains have overlap gears called crossover gears where the highest and lowest cassette ring may have chain rub slightly on the front derailleur when in the middle chain ring, the easiest (largest) cassette ring when in your hardest (largest) chainring, and vice versa with small rear and small front. Sounds like your issue is not this at all, but even properly set up 9speed drive trains will experience some chain noise in some gears.

    This sounds like either the stops, the cable tension, or possibly a chain length issue.

    This website is a wealth of information: Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information
    this page should also help you greatly:Derailer Adjustment
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

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  3. #3
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    what i do is put the gear in the lowest chainring, and then tighten the cable to the derailleur as much as i can by hand, maybe use a pair of pliers to hold it so that i can make it a snug tightness. you don't want it too tight, just tight enough that there's no slack. that's where the barrel adjustment comes into play. then use the screw for the low adjustment and tight it so that the derailleur is barely not touching the chain on the inside, towards the bike. also, make sure that your rear is on a middle cog because the low gears, you're not supposed to go into the high gears due to cross chaining so if it rubs on the 8th gear up front thats fine bcause you'll never be there.

    from there, i do the high gear. again, change the rear gear to the higher gear this time, because the high gear on the front is meant for the high gears in the back. you shouldn't be going into the lower gears due to cross chaining. adjust the screw for the high so that the derailleur is almost touching the chain on the outside, away from the bike. then try shifting. if its not smooth, maybe adjust a quarter turn here and there til its right. you may need to adjust the barrel to smooth out the middle front gear.

  4. #4
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    Ok so its not any issue with the high low stops, the prob is with the barrel adjuster . . . If you have enough tension to get to middle, middle drags, is that what you're saying?

    Besides the obvious (small micro adjustments on the barrel adjuster), here's some things:

    A) are you sure the derailleur is not turned slightly inward or outward? The instructions should tell you how to line it up, in my sram xx, the outer part should be perfectly parallel with the chain ring. Consult your directions for this derailleur.
    B) if there is any slack in the cable when on the small ring? When you shift up, usually your thumb pushes slightly past the middle 'stop' on the shifter, the chain goes to middle, then you release and it falls back on the middle stop, the ideal position for riding all cogs without drag. If you have slack in the cable, this hurts this concept. shift to little ring, undo the cable grabber/crimper thing, pull cable a little tighter with pliers, retighten the cable grabber. Don't overtighten the cable grabber, torque to spec.
    C) despite all that, you may still get drag on one side or the other . . . Try to see exactly where the drag is and its possible small rotations inward or outward may fix it (basically going against the recommended alignment in A above).

    Other than that you may have to just live with it, its a compatibility issue with the derailleur/chain/cogset/rings

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddprocter View Post
    Other than that you may have to just live with it, its a compatibility issue with the derailleur/chain/cogset/rings
    I would buy a 6pack of beer and take that and your bike to your local non-chain bike shop, before "living with it" Beer is the international currency for quick help at bike shops, they would/should be happy to help for something like this.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

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  6. #6
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    Check both your high and low limits first. It's possible that these adjustments were off from the beginning and adjusting with cable tension has been a bandaid fix.

    1. Put your bike in a stand, shift into the biggest rear cog, shift into the granny ring, let all the slack out of the front shifter cable. Tighten the low adjustment screw (screw on front derailleur next to the L) a quarter to half turn at a time until it is very close to the chain but does not rub. Backpedal the bike to make sure that the chain will not rub on the derailleur cage.

    2. Shift the bike into the smallest rear cog, grab the exposed front shifter cable and pull it as hard as you can while pedalling to bring the chain up onto the middle ring, then the big ring. Adjust the high limit screw to set the tightest clearance possible between the chain and derailleur cage while in the big ring.

    3. Shift the chain into a middle gear on the rear cassette and practice shifting by manually pulling on the cable. This takes the shifter out of the equation and lets you focus on exactly how the front derailleur shifts. If the chain takes too long to shift to the granny ring or big ring, back the appropriate limit screw out a quarter to a half a turn at a time.

    4. Once the shifting is fast and precise, let the front derailleur fall into the granny gear position, pull the cable as tight as you can without moving the derailleur. Tighten the pinch bolt with your 5mm allen wrench.

    5. From here, shift the bike into the middle ring and adjust the barrel adjuster to have the cable tight enough to where the bike will rapidly shift into larger chainrings and give clearance to use the entire cassette in the middle ring. Turning the barrel adjuster clockwise slackens the cable, counter clockwise will tighten the cable.

    Front derailleurs are much more coarse in terms of adjustment, you're always striking a balance between speed of shifting and chance of throwing the chain over the rings.

    I'm saying this again but practice shifting by pulling on the cable with your free hand so you can see how the chain falls naturally rather than using the shifter. This allows you to isolate any shifting troubles to the derailleur or shifter. If everything shifts well in friction mode (manually with your hand, shifting just like an old school friction shifter) then you just need to dial in the cable tension so that the shifter works properly. If the problem persists then you might have a gunked up housing or shifter but at least you know that the derailleur itself is working properly.

  7. #7
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    i hate doing fronts.. sometimes i'll assemble a bike for my friends, and if i don't get it in the first hour and a half, i'm done. either live with as close to perfect as i can get it, or bring it to somebody else lol

  8. #8
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    My advice: I took my bike to the local shop, and they adjusted it for free while I was there BSing with them in the shop. I tried following the videos on youtube, I didn't have any luck with it and I'm fairly good at DIY/mechanical things. Just didn't have any luck with the front derailleur. I'd get it set in 1 and 2 cog, 3 would rub, or 3 and 2 would be fine, 1 would rub.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodninja View Post
    I posted this in the Drivetrain forum and didn't get a response. Maybe the beginner forum is the proper place.

    I have a Dawes Haymaker 1500 with DEORE FD-M510 front and DEORE SLX rear derailleurs. Here's the link:

    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Dawes Haymaker 1500

    I'm pretty sure that my front derailleur is positioned correctly and the gear limit screws are set correctly. When I'm in the middle chain ring in the front, the chain will start to rub once I get to the 4th or 5th in the back. I tried adjusting the trim using the barrel adjuster on the front shifter. Once I get it set so there's no rubbing, I can no longer shift from the first (smallest) chain ring to the second.

    Any ideas on what needs to be adjusted? Thanks!
    You may have to adjust/reposition the derailleur mount on your bike frame. Loosen the clamp and move it up or down the seat tube, adjust accordingly until you find the sweetspot - sometime it's just a limitation of the frame's design/geometry and there's not much you can do about it. I got rid of my front derailleur altogether and went 1x9, much better setup

  10. #10
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    there should be a little sticker hanging off the derailleur that aligns with the chainring to help you position the height of the derailleur.

  11. #11
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    Wow, lots of good information. Thank you all so much. I'm going to give it a few more hours of trying myself before I take it to the bike shop (possibly with a six pack). I hate giving up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark! View Post
    My advice: I took my bike to the local shop, and they adjusted it for free while I was there BSing with them in the shop. I tried following the videos on youtube, I didn't have any luck with it and I'm fairly good at DIY/mechanical things. Just didn't have any luck with the front derailleur. I'd get it set in 1 and 2 cog, 3 would rub, or 3 and 2 would be fine, 1 would rub.
    Ahhhhhhhhh! I am dealing with this on my son't bike now. I am ready to just take it in for a tune up at this point. Not worth the hair pulling.

  13. #13
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    Chainrings dead after 600 miles?

    Having a hard time finding where to post this, so I'm hoping this will do. I posted this question elsewhere and got some good responses, but would love to hear from some local mechanics.

    I bought a 2012 GT Karakoram 1.0 a few months ago (retails around $1000) and I've put about 600 miles on my bike. I've been having "chainsuck" recently and the shop is telling me the three rings on the crankset need to be replaced. The crankset is a FSA Gamma Drive Mega Exo 42/32/24T, (two smallest rings are steel). The shop suggested I'm probably hard on cranksets. However, the crankset on my previous bike was only replaced once. The first lasted several thousand miles, the second is still in good shape after about 3000 (that crankset is an aluminum Shimano with a steel granny ring). So, doesn't it seem to be way too early to be replacing the entire crankset? Consensus I'm getting so far is that it's way too early to be replacing it. Does FSA have a quality issue? Did I get a bum set? Is there an issue with the GT bike or is there any other explanation for the short life of this crankset?

    One mechanic on another forum suggested that at 600 miles, a chainsuck issue is indicative of a larger problem. But the bike is new, I haven't crashed it or done any super technical trails and to my knowledge, I haven't caught any rocks in the chainrings. Any thoughts would be great. If I can't get a warranty replacement on these, I'm looking at replacing the crankset with a Shimano SLX M660. I've had good luck with Shimano's and I'm obviously not going to pay for an FSA, based on the single experience I've had with their cranksets.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinallyInFortC View Post
    Having a hard time finding where to post this, so I'm hoping this will do. I posted this question elsewhere and got some good responses, but would love to hear from some local mechanics.

    I bought a 2012 GT Karakoram 1.0 a few months ago (retails around $1000) and I've put about 600 miles on my bike. I've been having "chainsuck" recently and the shop is telling me the three rings on the crankset need to be replaced. The crankset is a FSA Gamma Drive Mega Exo 42/32/24T, (two smallest rings are steel). The shop suggested I'm probably hard on cranksets. However, the crankset on my previous bike was only replaced once. The first lasted several thousand miles, the second is still in good shape after about 3000 (that crankset is an aluminum Shimano with a steel granny ring). So, doesn't it seem to be way too early to be replacing the entire crankset? Consensus I'm getting so far is that it's way too early to be replacing it. Does FSA have a quality issue? Did I get a bum set? Is there an issue with the GT bike or is there any other explanation for the short life of this crankset?

    One mechanic on another forum suggested that at 600 miles, a chainsuck issue is indicative of a larger problem. But the bike is new, I haven't crashed it or done any super technical trails and to my knowledge, I haven't caught any rocks in the chainrings. Any thoughts would be great. If I can't get a warranty replacement on these, I'm looking at replacing the crankset with a Shimano SLX M660. I've had good luck with Shimano's and I'm obviously not going to pay for an FSA, based on the single experience I've had with their cranksets.
    i wouldn't change out the entire crankset because of this. this is a problem between your chain and your chainrings. the chainrings can be replaced. can you post a pic of them, specifically a close up of the teeth on all 3? which chainring does the chain get sucked on, the smallest one? again, post some pics. i wouldn't drop that much money, you don't have to yet. definitely post some pics so we can get a better understanding of the condition of your chainrings.

  15. #15
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    @ou2mame, the bike is at the shop now. i should know if it's a warranty replacement by tomorrow. if it isn't, i'll pull the bike and take a few shots. thanks.

  16. #16
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    don't let them charge you for an entire crankset, you don't need it. you can replace the individual chainrings, and you can also do the chain... depends on the condition of everything. also, post a pic of the cassette too. but yeah, once we can see it, we can give you a better option for repair.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinallyInFortC View Post

    I bought a 2012 GT Karakoram 1.0 a few months ago (retails around $1000) and I've put about 600 miles on my bike. I've been having "chainsuck" recently . . . and is there any other explanation for the short life of this crankset?
    Few other possible explanations:

    1) Are you cleaning the chain regularly and thoroughly? Do you regularly lube with a good chain lube?

    2) Have you checked the chain for stiff links? With bike sitting on the ground,grab a pedal and pedal backwards fast . . . Did the chain catch anywhere? A stiff link will have trouble getting past the pulleys on the rear derailleur.

  18. #18
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    I'm a little late to this post, but thought I'd throw in my suggestion. It helped me and thought I'd pass it along.

    After taking my bike into the shop for tune up my chain would rub on the front derailleur. The shop was too far and inconvenient to take back so I decided to tackle this myself.

    To preface, this is my first bike and I have never built, adjusted, or done any maintenance prior. So I searched the web. After following many videos and different sites' directions, shifting was still not smooth and rubbing would still occur. One important item that I noticed is the differences in directions such as the order of adjustments. I was about to give up and take it to another shop. Until, I came across Park Tool's instructional site and this was the most helpful of all the videos and sites.

    Park Tool's Repair Help and Education - Adjusting Front Derailleur

    I was able to resolve my issue and learned at the same time, quite satisfying! Maybe I got lucky, but good luck to you.

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