Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bubba74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    832

    Other options besides the Park DAG-1?

    I bent my derailleur hanger last night inward a bit. It's enough that I can't shift into the largest cog without going into the spokes. I know I can adjust the derailleur to compensate but I would rather just straighten the hanger.

    Are there any cheaper alignment tools than the Park tool? $60 is steep for something I wouldn't use that often. The nearest bike shop is at least 30 miles away which makes it difficult to justify a trip for something that take less than 5 minutes to fix. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,368

    Crescent Wrench With A Long Handle

    The original alignment tool

    That all I've ever needed to align front and rear dropouts and derailleur hangers.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bubba74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    832
    Hehe I was going to try that. I just wasn't sure how precise I could be and I didn't want to weaken the hanger any more than necessary.

    How do you know it's aligned? Do you do it by eye?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MichauxYeti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    682
    A crescent wrench will work in a pinch and you can use a straight edge to align it to the inner face of your dropout. This method will never equal the accuracy of a proper alignment gauge though.

    Do the crescent wrench fix for now, and get it properly aligned next time you're headed to the bike shop.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,393
    No, not really, because you need something that will screw into the dropout and show you the alignment. As good as you think your eyes are, they are simply not good enough. There have been plenty of dropouts that looked pretty straight, but only with the DAG-1 were we able to see how it was bent and get it to where it needed to be. Sorry to say, a crescent wrench will only help you if it's real obvious, but if you're not shifting to a gear well or there's a slight problem that exists regardless of the cable setup and so on, the DAG-1 is what you need.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    349
    OP, the Park DAG-1 is a very good tool. If you have to buy a tool, then buy the highest quality tool that you can possibly afford - it's a false economy to buy the cheapest, poorly made one.

    That being said, I've never actually used the one I got - it's still sitting in a tool box next to the other expensive gift (torque wrench) that I was given many years ago.

    I do things by eye and by touch. In a busy environment and to maintain a high turnover of repairs, there is no time to fiddle about with time consuming procedures or intricate tools.

    For hanger adjustments, I just use a big adjustable spanner and a long 5mm allen key.

    Turn the bike upside down and make sure that the rear wheel is bolted on tight. Use the spanner to carefully straighten the hanger so that it is vertically parallel to the biggest sprocket. Mount the rear derailleur and leave the allen key inserted as this will tell you if the hanger is perpendicular to the biggest sprocket. If not, then hold the derailleur in one hand and the allen key in the other to carefully twist the hanger - stop when the derailleur cage (hence the pulley wheels) are parallel to the biggest sprocket.

    Now doublecheck the adjustments and amend as necessary (but be very careful).

    This procedure sounds like a very long and drawn out affair, but actually isn't as you can do it in about 3 minutes.

  7. #7
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,137
    I've never seen any other brand with a similar tool.

    I sucked it up and went with the park tool.

    Recently, i was out riding, and i bent my hanger. the shifting sucked, and it was annoying me. so, i went back to my car, got my dag-1, fixed it, and continued riding for another hour.

    If you plan on being involved in cycling for a while, eventually you will use it enough times for it to pay for itself. I've used mine several times, and i know i will need it again. Most shops in the area charge at least $15 to align the hanger and adjust shifting.

    Getting the alignment perfect is pretty important if you want great shifting.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bubba74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    832
    Thanks for the info guys.

    I ended up adjusting it by eye with a crescent wrench. I started tweaking it with the wheel off which was a big mistake. I put the wheel back on tight and eyeballed it a couple of times from the back and the top and made very small adjustments. I put the derailleur back on and it shifts great.

    I understand about the preciseness of the tool and that I will need to get it properly aligned, I just know that the tool is probably about $8 worth of material. That being said, I will most likely purchase it (especially due to the fact I probably weakened the one that's on there now from trying to adjust it with the wheel off)

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pagey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    602
    DAG 1 all the way - BUT now I have a 2008 Trek Fuel EX it WONT FIT!!!
    cheers
    Pagey

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •