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  1. #1
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    Derailleur Hanger Alignment- Tougher Than Rocket Science?

    Hello!
    I just bent my derailleur hanger . So I thought that its not a big deal- I will just go, get a replacement derailleur hanger, and with the help of Park's website, I will put it on under 10 minutes.

    So I check out Park's repair website on derailleur hanger alignment, and I felt like I fell down a abyss.... and I am not in a position to invest in a derailleur alignment gauge!

    I was thought that all I needed to do was use a hex wrench to remove the derailleur from the hanger, remove the damaged hanger, place the new hanger, and install the derailleur back.... but what the heck is this in parks' website?

    I do have a mechanical background, and I would consider myself to be mechanically inclined. But I have a feeling that installing a derailleur hanger is out of my league...

    Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!

    Incase you are wondering the park website: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=39

    EDIT: when the hanger bent on the trail, I was able to roughly straighten it out, and adjusted the indexing on the RD- and its been working beautifully. But the hanger has the stress/strain marks where it was bent, so I am guessing that it will not be able to hold much longer.
    Last edited by anirban; 03-26-2007 at 07:46 PM.

  2. #2
    nachos rule!
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    intentional weak link

    given that it's a replacable hanger that's bent, i'd say your frame alignment is fine. slap on the new one and go ride...
    plus a change, plus c'est la m'me chose - alphonse karr

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercorsa
    given that it's a replacable hanger that's bent, i'd say your frame alignment is fine. slap on the new one and go ride...
    Yes, I do know for a fact that my frame is not damaged/dented at all. Its the hanger that has taken all the stress.

    So I can just screw a new one in (without any alignment calculation) and be good to go? And does the park tool's website actually shows how to align the frame?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Vaginatarian
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    you should be able to bolt on the new one and go, no adjustment. the park instructions are for straightening the old one using their tool(which is a good investment $40)
    as far as the old one , unless it cracks or breaks its re useable (I would keep in my bag as a spare)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info guys! I had talked to a LBS today, and they said that it would cost me 45 bucks to replace the derailleur hanger

    Now I try my best to support the LBS, but it seems like a ridiculously high price to just swap a hanger.... so I guess I will partially support them- by purchasing the hanger from them, and installing it myself.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by anirban
    Thanks for the info guys! I had talked to a LBS today, and they said that it would cost me 45 bucks to replace the derailleur hanger

    Now I try my best to support the LBS, but it seems like a ridiculously high price to just swap a hanger.... so I guess I will partially support them- by purchasing the hanger from them, and installing it myself.
    see
    now spending $40 for the tool doesnt sound so bad huh?

  7. #7
    Meh.
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    45 has to be for the part, installation, and adjusting the derailleur. Or I hope so anyways...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    45 has to be for the part, installation, and adjusting the derailleur. Or I hope so anyways...
    Thats the labor. The part (hanger) is extra 20 dollars. Considering that the installation takes no more than 5minutes, that 45bucks translates into 9 bucks/minute or $540/hr.... and I am sitting here designing satellite launch vehicles for shamefully less than that....

    One question- do different frames/brands have different hanger designs? or is the hanger the common shape- "one hanger fits all frames" kindda thing?
    Last edited by anirban; 03-26-2007 at 10:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    The hanger is pretty much bike specific. Try looking around here http://derailleurhanger.com/
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by anirban
    Thats the labor. The part (hanger) is extra 20 dollars. Considering that the installation takes no more than 5minutes, that 45bucks translates into 9 bucks/minute or $540/hr.... and I am sitting here designing satellite launch vehicles for shamefully less than that....

    One question- do different frames/brands have different hanger designs? or is the hanger the common shape- "one hanger fits all frames" kindda thing?

    if its Specialized you can get it on their web site, I think its $15

  11. #11
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    here we learn a bigger lesson: park is in the business of selling tools, not providing free advice. Keep that in mind when reading their repair help pages - I've never seen really bad advice, just some things that suggest you need more tools than actually required.

  12. #12
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    The park tool is nice. Even brand new frames can have hangers out of alignment. I've also seen newly replaced hangers slightly out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xl_cheese
    The park tool is nice. Even brand new frames can have hangers out of alignment. I've also seen newly replaced hangers slightly out.
    I agree. I've aligned 2 bent hangers so far; one after the LBS supposedly aligned it and it was noticably off. The tool has paid for itself.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    here we learn a bigger lesson: park is in the business of selling tools, not providing free advice. Keep that in mind when reading their repair help pages - I've never seen really bad advice, just some things that suggest you need more tools than actually required.

    I think the bigger lesson we learn here is some people (joules)are never satisfied,
    I cant believe you are finding fault with a company who publishes a great workshop manual AND puts it online so anyone can use it free of charge. What, just because they recommend their own line of tools? give me a break. why dont you put your own manual online and you can tell us all your great secret tips that dont use Park tools

  15. #15
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    what the hell are you talking about?

    I'm not complaining that they recommend their own tools, I'm not even really complaining that they recommend their own tools that aren't even necessary, I was pointing out that a newb shouldn't read their online manual, take it as gospel and run out and buy everything it says is required for the procedure, because frequently, as the OP discovered, they say you need tools that you don't.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    what the hell are you talking about?

    I'm not complaining that they recommend their own tools, I'm not even really complaining that they recommend their own tools that aren't even necessary, I was pointing out that a newb shouldn't read their online manual, take it as gospel and run out and buy everything it says is required for the procedure, because frequently, as the OP discovered, they say you need tools that you don't.
    and amen to that

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    what the hell are you talking about?

    I'm not complaining that they recommend their own tools, I'm not even really complaining that they recommend their own tools that aren't even necessary, I was pointing out that a newb shouldn't read their online manual, take it as gospel and run out and buy everything it says is required for the procedure, because frequently, as the OP discovered, they say you need tools that you don't.
    I think you should read Barnett's Manual before criticising Park. Barnett requires about every specialty tool that you can think of. Just about every repair text that I've read calls out the use of specialty tools.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    what the hell are you talking about?

    I'm not complaining that they recommend their own tools, I'm not even really complaining that they recommend their own tools that aren't even necessary, I was pointing out that a newb shouldn't read their online manual, take it as gospel and run out and buy everything it says is required for the procedure, because frequently, as the OP discovered, they say you need tools that you don't.
    lets see
    the link was for deraillier alignment
    which tools did that park link spec.? a stand (possibly dont need but nice to have)
    a hanger adjuster ( how else would you straighten the hanger perfectly)
    and hex wrenches( good luck getting the derailliier off without )
    the link was for checking and straightening the hanger, now if you only want to replace the hanger, all you need is a wrench but thats not what the link was for.
    Ive used the park manual and several others and Ive yet to see what extra tools they are pushing. can you work on a bike with a screw driver and a multi tool? sure but workshop manuals recommend the best way they think it should be done, and to critisize park for recommending their own tools is ridiculous, especially when they put the manual online for free

  19. #19
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    If you ride a lot meaning you will crash once in a while the tool is the way to go. In fact you will find yourself aligning all of your friends bikes too and all of the ghost shifting they used to live with will be gone as well. Money well spent to maintain your ride. If you can's afford the $40-$50 tool for your $4500 ride then go halves with a buddy. Easy to use and well worth the cost in my humble opinion.

  20. #20
    Harrumph
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee
    I agree. I've aligned 2 bent hangers so far; one after the LBS supposedly aligned it and it was noticably off. The tool has paid for itself.
    Actually Id say about 99% of all hangers come tweaked from the factory. The last few shops I worked at I used that nice Park Tool (and find another company that makes that tool) on just about every bike I touched. It was rare for derailleur hangers to be aligned, especially replaceable ones. People underestimate the importance of having the derailleur properly aligned. And if I had to guess, Id say that your new replacement hanger is not going to be perfect. And the 40.00 tool is definitely worth it if your LBS wants 45.00 to install it. The poor mans derailleur alignment tool is to hold something long and straight up against the outside of it and see if it is in line.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  21. #21
    Old school BMXer
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    Quote Originally Posted by xl_cheese
    The park tool is nice. Even brand new frames can have hangers out of alignment. I've also seen newly replaced hangers slightly out.
    Agreed! Many GT frames for years came with the hanger badly out of alignment.

    I've been wanting to buy one of these tools. They really do come in handy. In the meantime, if you know what to look for, you can do a pretty damn good job with a large adjustable wrench (Crescent), which is what I've been doing.

    Not only look for the bottom to be bent inward, but also make sure it's not twisted. The Park alignment gauges takes all angles into consideration.
    May the air be filled with tires!

  22. #22
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    The park tool is nice, but I have aligned many a derailleur hanger via the big adjustable wrench method. Gentle on the MONGO power.

    You could also cobble together a substitute gauge with an appropriate threaded bolt and a bar. the main "trick" is to check that the hanger is parallel to the rim. Some rubber bands and a chopstick make an OK pointer.

    Some blue locktite on the new hanger bolts is a good idea.

  23. #23
    willtsmith_nwi
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    Quote Originally Posted by anirban
    Thanks for the info guys! I had talked to a LBS today, and they said that it would cost me 45 bucks to replace the derailleur hanger

    Now I try my best to support the LBS, but it seems like a ridiculously high price to just swap a hanger.... so I guess I will partially support them- by purchasing the hanger from them, and installing it myself.
    Thats a ripoff. Most shops charge $20 for the hanger and it's a 10-15 minute job to replace it.

    1) remove chain.
    2) Remove derailleur
    3) Remove hanger (you'll need a chain nut tool for this)
    4) Screw in new hangar
    5) screw in derailleur
    6) Put the chain back on.

    I have a cool LBS guy who let me buy hangers from him at $10 apiece. This should give you an idea of what derailleur hangers cost the dealer.

    If you're going to be dealing with this alot, you may want to just get the tool. Of course, for the tool to work you need your wheels to be true.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Thats a ripoff. Most shops charge $20 for the hanger and it's a 10-15 minute job to replace it.

    1) remove chain.
    2) Remove derailleur
    3) Remove hanger (you'll need a chain nut tool for this)
    4) Screw in new hangar
    5) screw in derailleur
    6) Put the chain back on.

    I have a cool LBS guy who let me buy hangers from him at $10 apiece. This should give you an idea of what derailleur hangers cost the dealer.

    If you're going to be dealing with this alot, you may want to just get the tool. Of course, for the tool to work you need your wheels to be true.
    Huh? I didnt remove the chain, I didnt use a chain nut tool to remove the hanger....


    All I did was remove the derailleur from the hanger using a hex wrench, then removed the hanger using the same hex wrench, re-used the screw, and slapped the new hanger in, and screwed the derailleur back in the new mounted hanger.

    Then I did some minor adjustments to get the derailleur tuned up, (because I had tuned it before to offset the bent derailleur) and it was good to go. Its been working fine.

    Do you think I made a mistake somewhere while installing the hanger?

    Thanks

  25. #25
    willtsmith_nwi
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    Nutting it

    Quote Originally Posted by anirban
    Huh? I didnt remove the chain, I didnt use a chain nut tool to remove the hanger....


    All I did was remove the derailleur from the hanger using a hex wrench, then removed the hanger using the same hex wrench, re-used the screw, and slapped the new hanger in, and screwed the derailleur back in the new mounted hanger.

    Then I did some minor adjustments to get the derailleur tuned up, (because I had tuned it before to offset the bent derailleur) and it was good to go. Its been working fine.

    Do you think I made a mistake somewhere while installing the hanger?

    Thanks
    Yeah, I suppose you really don't need to remove the chain, it's more convenient though

    The bolt that holds the derailleur hanger to the frame screws into a threaded hollow nut. It's the same type used on chainrings. There are two cutouts along edge of the nut that allow you to hold it still so you can tighten the bolt into it. It's my assumption that all derailleur hanger work this way. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

    If you got the derailleur hanger off without a chainring nut, power to you. But when you put it back on it may not be sufficiently torqued as so it does not come loose without using a chainring nut tool.

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