I setup my front derailleur according to Shimano's instructions -- smallest chainring/biggest cog with 0 to 0.5mm clearance between the chain and the inner plate of the front derailleur (this is also the same clearance specified when in the middle chainring and biggest cog). I'm finding that with this setup, my front shifting performance SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't seem to reliably drop into the granny gear.
As such, I set the backed out the lower limit so that when in the small chainring/biggest cog, the clearance between the chain and the inner plate is about 3mm. I also backed off on the cable tension so that there is the same clearance when in the middle ring/biggest cog. This seems to work better, but it still will not always shift down to the granny (now I really have to plan my down shifts well ahead of time). With this much clearance, now I'm worried about dropping the chain.
The bike setup is an 04 Ells truth with M960 XTR crankset and front derailleur. The chain is SRAM, and is only 3 months old. The cables are new.
Is this normal? I have not have had any problems with the old-school XTR when set up per Shimano's instructions (which are virtually identical to the new XTR specs mentioned above). Any advice would be much appreciated.
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