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  1. #1
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    Trouble shifting from smallest to middle chain wheel on front derailleur - help

    Just got a new cannondale trail 6 and it has a SHIMANO FD-M190 Altus front derailleur.

    The bike will not shift up to the second (middle) chain wheel from the first (smallest) chain wheel when I have the chain on the 1rst or 2nd rear cogs (largest ones). Everything else seems fine. It appears the H and L settings for the 3rd and 1rst chain wheels are set correctly.

    What is the issue I cant seem to correct it. I think the shifter cable tension is correct as well.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Try tightening the cable (turn the barrel adjuster out or CCW if it is like mine) to move the front derailler cage outwards. It sounds like it isn't getting close enough to catch the ramp pins on the middle ring.

    It is not the limit screws because they do not affect the middle position. L affects the positioning over the small ring, and the H prevents you from shifting off the outside of the large.

  3. #3
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    Maybe the derailleur is bent, or not aligned with chainrings. Maybe out of some adjustment.
    Check out a vid on youtube, or take it back to lbs.

    Welcome to the site.
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  4. #4
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    I made sure it was straight and the correct height. I dont think it can be bent the bike is absolutely brand new.

    So I adjusted the barrel out that worked, it now goes to the middle chain ring pretty good. Now the issue is if I am in a higher geer. Say 3rd chain wheel and 6th cog and I go and I try to go down to the middle chain wheel it doesn't go down very quickly and rubs for a bit before it finally goes.

    If I put I adjust the barrel clockwise back in it fixes this but then I am stuck with the original problem. There doesnt seem to be much of a in between.

  5. #5
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    Do you guys think maybe its just a junk derailleur and I should upgrade to something better?

  6. #6
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    It may need a small change. At this point one good option is to take it back to the LBS techs and explain and show them the problem. But don't leave. let them show you what works to fix it. A good learning experience. An adjustment will come up again when the cable stretches a bit with breakin.

  7. #7
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    Since it is brand new, can you take it to the dealer and see what they say? Oops, I see that's already been answered...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Since it is brand new, can you take it to the dealer and see what they say? Oops, I see that's already been answered...
    No I can't take it to wear I purchased I was away on vacation when I bought it.

    The other weird thing is sometimes after adjusting the barrell adjuster it work a bunch of times then starts doing the same thing again. I don't know what to think at this point I double checked everything.

  9. #9
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    Next, take it to a LBS and pay for an adjustment. But stick around and learn the moves. A good guy will explain as he works.

  10. #10
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    That's what I am going to do, I think I followed all the instructions on parkblog to a tee though. The weird thing is sometimes it works for a while then it doesn't. I am wins wondering if there is something wrong with the shifter or the actual derailluer. I don't understand why sometimes it will catch in less then one crank rotation and then other times not shift up at all. Just doesn't make sense to me.

    You don't think the chain may not have enough tension do u?

  11. #11
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    A few comments--

    *The barrel adjustment can be sensitive. A quarter-turn can make a difference.

    *Did it work when you first got it? The cable and derailleur may be dirty and sticky. Spray the derailleur generously with a dry chain lube to flush out the dirt, then dry with a rag as best as you can. Wait a half-hour before taking it out to let the wax in the lube dry -- otherwise it will pick up more dirt.

    Clean the cable. If there is a run of cable that is not in the jacket, you can remove the jacket pieces from their sockets and slide them aside to expose the cable core underneath. Clean and dry thoroughly with dry chain lube. (That's just the way I do it -- I have not researched if that is best -- you may want to do a search on cleaning and lubing cables and derailleurs before proceeding )

    *The front does not shift as well as the rear. It is normal to "skip" for part of a revolution before it catches on the ramp pins. I rode a $5k Superfly SL Elite with XT components and it still skipped some. BTW I converted from 3x to 2x, using Raceface Turbo rings. They shift almost perfectly.

    *A long shot -- the rings could be installed incorrectly. The pins should be at right-angles to the crank arm, not behind and opposite from the crank arm. The logo typically goes opposite the crank arm. However, I have installed them improperly before and could not tell much difference.

    *I don't know anything about chain tension or the effects of not having enough, but it would be easy to test. Hang the bike up so you can play with the shifting, and have someone apply a little extra pressure to the rear derailleur arm using a stick or string or something (finger safety ) while you shift.

    *Finally, look for a local C'dale dealer, take it there, and pay him. You need to form this relationship anyway. Explain that you brought the bike while on vacation. He may charge a little less, or if it turns out to be defective materials or workmanship, he can probably bill C'dale for warranty work.

    Or take it to the trail and ask other riders to look at it.

  12. #12
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    One other thing I noticed is when I am on the 3rd chain wheel 6th cog and then I come down to 2nd chain wheel and then switch to the first or second cog the chain rubs the derailluer the. If I switch down to the smallest chain wheel and back up to the middle chain wheel it no longer rubs and is exactly 1-2mm away from the inside edge of the derailluer. Does this sound normal? It's part of the reason I'm worried the shifters or derailluer are messed up.

  13. #13
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    I also notice that if I am at the extremes say 6/7/8 cog and smallest chain wheel there are no issues shifting up to middle chain wheel. The isse only seems to occur when it's on the largest two cogs which is why I mentioned chain tension. I know I should never ride with the gearing like this, I only tested this with bike on the stand.

  14. #14
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    You may have a cable and housing problem. And the actual problem may be wear at the endcap ferrels where the cable exists the housing. You can run a new cable(SS) for $2 and cleanup the ferrels with a small round pointed file. If that works it will be short term and you should put new housing on. Jagwire is good for a kit.

  15. #15
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    I will look into that the bike is brand new so I don't know how there could be wear

  16. #16
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    So I took it to my LBS and they put it on the stand and I showed them the problem. Needless to say at first they thought it was the adjustments but after closer inspection they too believe something else is going on and are going to need to take some time with it. They thought it looked a little odd.

    Not sure if its the chain, cables, shifter, derailluer or crankset but something is up. They said they would try replacing stuff on the bike with other items they have lying around to see if that helps the problem one at a time.

    I am a bit upset being I just got the bike and my LBS is not a cannondale dealer, thus I will have to pay for all this out of pocket and it wont be covered under warranty. Wonder if I should call cannondale and see if they can help me out.

  17. #17
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    Update:

    Well the LBS worked with the bike shop I bought the bike at when I was at of town and they agreed to pay for the new parts which was awesome. Apparently the owners new each other.

    Anyhow they discovered my chain line was at way to much of a angle and it was causing issues. LBS felt it was just like that from the factory. But they wanted me happy so they put a deore front chainset and new BB which replaced my tourney/altus crankset and then replaced the front altus derailleur with a Deore one. Shifting is much better now. I just had to pay my LBS for the labor.

  18. #18
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    Good deal! Never woulda guessed that was the problem

    Enjoy.

  19. #19
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    Trouble shifting from smallest to middle chain wheel on front derailleur - help

    It sounded like a chainline issue when you described how it would be fine at some positions but not others. You got very good service out of this. I think I'd become a regular at this shop.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the troubleshooting. It's much appreciated. Having a blast now.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    It sounded like a chainline issue when you described how it would be fine at some positions but not others. You got very good service out of this. I think I'd become a regular at this shop.
    My LBS shop is awesome they took care of my last bike when I moved to this area. I would have bought from them but they carried brands I wasn't that familiar with... Jamis/KHS/Haro. They really seem to know what they are doing though. I have also directed my friends who moved out this way to them as well. I feel I owe him for all the help he provided with me not buying the bike from him and all.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    It sounded like a chainline issue when you described how it would be fine at some positions but not others.
    How did it get out of whack coming from the factory? Spacers not installed or incorrectly installed? Wrong part?

    You got very good service out of this. I think I'd become a regular at this shop
    For sure!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    How did it get out of whack coming from the factory? Spacers not installed or incorrectly installed? Wrong part?


    For sure!
    LBS felt the bottom bracket used was to long. They felt that most people probably just deal with it and push the trigger shift further. I guess I am more picky.

  24. #24
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    Ok, thanks.

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