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  1. #1
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    Hollowtech II XT cranks + Giant VT + chain line Q?

    I just had my LBS install the new HT II XT cranks on my Giant VT - cost me $30. Didn't want to pay for a tune up because that was an extra $50. I know how to perform a complete overhaul, but I don't have the FC32 BB wrench needed for the HT II cranks. Anyway, I tried for hours to get my front derailleur to hook up properly - usually only takes about 15-20 minutes. I'm convinced my chain line is off.

    The LBS installed one spacer on the drive side and two spacers on the non-drive side... I'm not 100% sure what width I need, but I think I need to remove one of the spacers from the non-drive side (since there are two installed and the front derailleur just won't work right). I'm thinking I need 113mm? Using only two spacers (one on each side) would give me 113mm right?

    Can someone please help me out? If anyone knows what BB width I need or if its the same BB width as your bike as well, please tell me how you have the HT II cranks installed on your bike...

    Much appreciated.

    Would believe my LBS charges $150 for a complete overhaul? A bit hefty don't you think? That's why I learned all of my own maintanence! I'm no shop mech, but I'd rather spend my money on upgrades... Besides, I don't race or compete and the know-how on the trail is priceless!

  2. #2
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    Why don't you just pay for a FD adjustment? That should be 15 bucks or so tops.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by guppie
    The LBS installed one spacer on the drive side and two spacers on the non-drive side... I'm not 100% sure what width I need, but I think I need to remove one of the spacers from the non-drive side (since there are two installed and the front derailleur just won't work right).
    See http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=95

    If you look closely at the first illustration in the section entitled MTB-Type Cranksets, you'll see that none of the configurations show two spacers installed on the non-drive side. That part (from your description) sounds wrong, though there've been some folks who set it up this way on purpose in order to preserve the original chainline.

    That said, I don't think that simply removing one of the spacers from the non-drive side will cure your front derailleur problem. In fact, if you do this, it's likely that the spindle will be too long. (The reason for the spacers is to make a one size spindle fit all different BB shell widths and derailleur combos.)

    FWIW, I did need to readjust the front derailleur (due to a change in the chainline) after installing a Hollowtech II XT crankset on my 2004 Iron Horse Hollowpoint. The Hollowpoint has a 68mm BB shell and my bike does not use an E-type derailleur. I have two spacers on the drive side and one spacer on the non-drive side. I'm guessing that your bike might need to be set up in a similar fashion, but cannot say for sure without knowing your BB shell width and whether or not you have an E-type front derailleur. (Though you can problably figure it out for yourself from the Park Tool document.)
    Last edited by KevinB; 11-17-2005 at 12:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    KevinB- Hows the new crankset working out on your Hollowpoint? I just ordered one for my '03 Hollowpoint. The stock ISIS BB is toast, and I figured why not go all out and get the XT.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalPolyClimber
    KevinB- Hows the new crankset working out on your Hollowpoint? I just ordered one for my '03 Hollowpoint. The stock ISIS BB is toast, and I figured why not go all out and get the XT.
    It's been working fine. It does move the chainline out a bit - I sometimes hear the chain complain a bit more than I used to (especially it's dusty) when I'm in the middle chainring in front and large cog in the back. Aside from that nit, I have no complaints.

    I've considered moving one of the drive side spacers to the non-drive side in order to put the chainline back to the way it was when I was running the ISIS BB, but I'm reluctant to do this because of foot clearance issues with respect to the drive side seatstay. My drive side foot is already slightly closer to the frame than my non drive side foot and moving the spacer would make it even worse.

  6. #6
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    OK, I'm an idiot! I just double checked and the non-drive side has 1 spacer and the drive side has 2 spacers. I must have been too frustrated and got it mixed up...

    Anyway, my front derailleur does not match up. I've removed it and repositioned it at least 5 times and it just won't work...

    I believe Giant VT's have 68mm BB and I am NOT using an E-type, but rather a clamp-on bottom pull.

    I know what I'm doing, because I just tuned my other bike's front and rear derailleurs (Specialized hard tail) in about 20 minutes without any problems.

    Although there is no diagram of 1 spacer on the non-drive side and 2 spacers on the drive side, do you think this will correct my problem? I certainly don't want to install it incorrectly... But, I'm almost 99% convinced its a chain line issue. What else could it be?
    Front derailleur installation and tuning is not this difficult (at least it never has been) and I've installed several cranks and performed several overhauls over the years without this much hassle...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by guppie
    Although there is no diagram of 1 spacer on the non-drive side and 2 spacers on the drive side, do you think this will correct my problem?
    Ahem... isn't that the current configuration? I think you meant to say "2 spacers on the non-drive side and 1 spacer on the drive side"... If that is indeed what you meant, this would move the chainline in by the width of 1 spacer or 2.5mm.
    I certainly don't want to install it incorrectly... But, I'm almost 99% convinced its a chain line issue. What else could it be?
    You've said that the "front derailleur does not match up", but you haven't said how it doesn't match up. Is it the case that you can't make the front derailleur swing outward enough to allow the chain to shift onto the big ring?

    If so, have you backed out the high limit screw to allow the front derailleur to swing out to its maximum limit? If you've made the high limit screw adjustment, but still cannot get the front derailleur to swing out far enough to accomodate the large chainring, then moving the chainline inward is the next thing to try.

  8. #8
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    Yes, you are correct... I can't get it right in my head for some reason. Yes, 1 spacer non-drive and 2 spacers drive side is current setup which apparently is the proper way for installation according to ParkTools and Shamino and alot of other people (another post as well), so apparently the LBS installed correctly! I didn't think they would have installed it incorrectly, but I just wanted to hear the mass concensus.

    Yes, I cannot get the chain to jump onto the large ring. For what its worth, I can't get the shifter to get into that last gear. But now that you mention it, perhaps its the limit screw that won't allow the derailleur to move outward...

    I guess I have to double check the limit screw. I didn't mess around with that from the beginning which is why I never mentioned it as I you don't usually make gross adjustments to those little screws... But I guess in my case, perhaps the high limit screw may be way off? Let me give this a try and hopefully this will solve my problem.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like you need to review derailleur installment/adjustment procedures if you didn't even think of limit screws being part of the equation...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  10. #10
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    That did the trick! I feel like such a dumbass. I had made an adjustment to the "high" limit screw before I started because it was almost completely out, but obviously, I screwed it in too far.

    Anyway, thanks a million to all you guys for helping out. The info and opinions from this website are invaluable.

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