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  1. #1
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    Shifting help please!

    I'm trying to hone in the shifting on a new bike and simply can't get it. I have a 9 speed cassette. I set up the derailleur, a 9 speed xt reverse pull derailleur so that the limit stops are aligned under each outward cog. I made the cable as tight as possible while having the barrel adjuster in the most relaxed position.

    As I shift through, I've gotten to a point with the barrel adjuster where if I relax it one click, it isn't taught enough to go to the hard, smaller cogs. If I tighten it one click, it will go to the harder, small cogs, but won't go all the way back up to the larger, easier cogs.

    I've reached a point where it seems I have no more room for adjustment. I'm still getting a lot of skipping and irregularity with respect to the chain reaching the ends of the spectrum, despite the fact that the limit stops seem to be set perfectly and the barrel adjuster seems to be right where I need it.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    New cable and housing, if you haven't already.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, cable and housing is new. Only thing not new is the rear der, which is going to be replaced in the next week when it arrives. My concern is the internal cable housing that the factor put in place between the cable stops leading into the frame. My concern is that it is compressing and leading to irregular shifting. I'm trying to factor everything else out before I address that though.

  4. #4
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    Try this. On the low side (I think that's your lowest cog (biggest gear)), give the limit screw an 1/8th of a turn in (limit the travel a bit). Now go back and start from the beginning and adjust the cable tension. And if this doesn't work, go the other way with the limit screw.

    I hope I can describe this so that the image makes sense.

    The shifter pulls a set amount of cable on each "click". On the first shift (from the slackest position), the shifter has to take up what ever slack might be in the cable (be in kink in the wire or flex in housing etc.). This means from the "limit" screw position to the position the shifter ends up pulling the derailleur to could be a slightly different "travel" then all the other shifts. By adjusting this limit screw just a small amount, it could make up for the difference you see in this barrel adjust position.

    Oh, and one more thing comes to mind when reading your "plight". I've found that when pulling the cable's slack out, do not pull too much. Do not pull real tight. I usually start with the barrel adjustment turned out from full slack about 1/2-1 full turn and cable taught but not too tight. Then I work the cable adjustment tension in with the barrel adjuster.

    The reason I do not pull the cable too tight as often while holding real tight and tightening the screw down, the derailleur can move off the limit screw which throws off all the adjustments there after.

    Hope that helps, hope you get it. Good luck, let us know how it works out.

  5. #5
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    My first two thoughts are:
    1)chain length
    2)are your shifter and derailleur the same make?

  6. #6
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    Another thought; make sure your derailleur hanger is not bent. You'll never get your shifting right if it is even a little. Even on a new bike they can get banged up from transport, loading unloading etc.

  7. #7
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    Tried everything. It is still missing a shift meaning that t will take two clicks to move up one cog at some point in the shift leaving me one shift short at the end. Any remedy? Bad shifter? Bad derailleur? Too much tension?

  8. #8
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    YES, read and take heed! A bent hanger will give you hell until you get a new one or straighten the old one.
    Quote Originally Posted by psuambassador View Post
    Tried everything. It is still missing a shift meaning that t will take two clicks to move up one cog at some point in the shift leaving me one shift short at the end. Any remedy? Bad shifter? Bad derailleur? Too much tension?
    Quote Originally Posted by sweatband View Post
    Another thought; make sure your derailleur hanger is not bent. You'll never get your shifting right if it is even a little. Even on a new bike they can get banged up from transport, loading unloading etc.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweatband View Post
    Another thought; make sure your derailleur hanger is not bent.
    Yes, check the derailleur hanger alignment. Even a new hanger(separately or on a new bike) needs to be checked for alignment. When a hanger has less than ideal alignment, the cable tension and limits have less room for error making it more difficult to setup.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned: Use an exposed section of cable(unless you have full length housing) to more accurately set your derailleur limits. Get the limits set close prior to pinching the cable, then pull slack out(just pull the slack, don't pull too hard) and tighten pinch bolt. Then check your high/low limits by pulling cable -- pull cable just enough to shift to the second smallest cog and check the shift to the high gear. You are looking for a quick/clean shift. Tighten or loosen limit screw as necessary in 1/8-1/4 turn increments.

    By using the exposed cable, you can also remove all the cable slack in the bike stand so you won't need to possibly add tension via the barrel adj over time. To do this, pedal forward while pulling exposed cable all the way out to reach the low/largest cog. Stop pedaling and then release the exposed cable. From there, just pedal forward so the derailleur returns to the high gear. After that is done, you'll notice slack cable if everything wasn't already completely seated in. Undo the pinch bolt and pull cable slack out.

  10. #10
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    psuambassador, how'd you make out?

  11. #11
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    Still working on it. I need to check but possibility that I used brake cable and housing by accident (picked up the wrong one off the floor). Going to try again tonight and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for checking in.

  12. #12
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    My cable is all internal, which may be part of the problem.

  13. #13
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    I'm guessing if you used brake outer/housing that your shifting woes will fade a way once you install the proper compresionless shift housing/outer. Curious to read the update once you've checked this.

    Quote Originally Posted by psuambassador View Post
    Still working on it. I need to check but possibility that I used brake cable and housing by accident (picked up the wrong one off the floor). Going to try again tonight and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for checking in.
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  14. #14
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    Ok, I basically reinstalled the entire drive train, replaced der hanger, used brand new shifter cable and housing, removed and reinstalled cassette lubed everything up and ... it's still a no go. Actually worse than before. A couple of symptoms..once I start tightening things with barrel adjuster, towards the end, the shifting becomes really difficult and I can a very loud click in the shifter as I'm shifting. The shifter is not free at all. It feels tight.

    I'm wondering if the shifter might be bad or derailleur or what. Towards the end, the derailleur wasn't even moving anymore once I started moving the barrel so that it would go to the next cog. It just refused to move and shift to the next cog.

    I am starting to wonder if others were right about the frame, which is that the internal plastic piece put in at the factor actually screws the shifting up and must be removed. I really don't want to drill into the carbon cable stop so that I can run the full housing, but others have with success after suffering similar symptoms.

    I'm going to take it to my preferred lbs tomorrow. If they can't fix it, I think I'm going to get out the drill.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by psuambassador View Post
    I am starting to wonder if others were right about the frame, which is that the internal plastic piece put in at the factor actually screws the shifting up and must be removed. I really don't want to drill into the carbon cable stop so that I can run the full housing, but others have with success after suffering similar symptoms.

    I'm going to take it to my preferred lbs tomorrow. If they can't fix it, I think I'm going to get out the drill.
    Bummer! Good call with the LBS, but if that fails to solve anything, I would consider contacting the bike company (or ask the shop you bought it from to) before I drill anything.

    Stumbled upon this article...

    Internal Cable Routing | Sunset Cycles' Blog

    Feeling for ya. Nothing more frustrating than a ride thwarted.

  16. #16
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    Sounds like you have a major issue somewhere.

    FWIW...brake housing actually works fine for shifters/derailleurs as long as you have a gear cable. Also, brand new hangers aren't necessarily in perfect alignment with the rear cogs -- a derailleur hanger alignment tool is needed to check that, whether a brand new hanger or otherwise.

    Hope your LBS gets that sorted out for you. Drilling a carbon frame sounds slightly nerve-racking.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I hope so too. I wouldn't really be drilling the carbon frame. I would be opening the internal cable stop a bit so that housing could fit all the way through. Wouldn't mess the structure of the frame as far as I know.

    In thinking about it, it's like my derailleur will only go through 8 speeds instead of 9. It will never go through the entire spectrum. If I get the tension enough to shift from the first to the second cog, it's not loose enough to back to the original cog. Hmmm...

  18. #18
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    I would try running full cable and housing from the shifter to derailleur on the outside the frame, this would quickly confirm or eliminate the possibility of something wrong on the internal part of the cable.

  19. #19
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    What he said, quick, easy and you'll know for sure if it's anything to do with the cables. If that doesn't help, then try shifting the derailleur manually as suggested earlier using just the wire and pulling on it, if it shifts fine, then you know to start looking at the shifter. If that doesn't work, then disconnect the wire from the derailleur and pull on it and shift up and down, if the wire moves freely, then look to the derailleur. As said, just because you have a new hanger, doesn't mean that it's perfectly straight or that your frame is perfectly straight, you may need to straighten the hanger or bend it to make it parallel to the frame because of a slightly bent/damaged/mis-aligned rear.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I would try running full cable and housing from the shifter to derailleur on the outside the frame, this would quickly confirm or eliminate the possibility of something wrong on the internal part of the cable.
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  20. #20
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    Turns out the derailleur spring was bad. Just told the shop to throw a new XT shadow on and get it ready to go. I'll be ready to ride by the end of the day!!!!

  21. #21
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    Nevermind. They thought it was the derailleur but ultimately ran into the same problems I was having even after replacing the derailleur and shifter and housing and cable with all new stuff. They have deduced that it is a problem with the internal plastic housing, which was my fear. They are turning the problem over to the service manager who has 25 years of experience dealing with bikes on Monday. They say he will actually do the drilling if he cannot resolve the issue any other way.

    I have written to LT Bikes, the manufacturer, and have demanded that they reimburse me for the repair costs related to the error with their frame. Let's see how good their customer service really is.

  22. #22
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    Sorry to hear about your difficulties (but glad you found a better shop)! Hopefully it'll get sorted out quickly.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by psuambassador View Post
    Nevermind. They thought it was the derailleur but ultimately ran into the same problems I was having even after replacing the derailleur and shifter and housing and cable with all new stuff. They have deduced that it is a problem with the internal plastic housing, which was my fear. They are turning the problem over to the service manager who has 25 years of experience dealing with bikes on Monday. They say he will actually do the drilling if he cannot resolve the issue any other way.

    I have written to LT Bikes, the manufacturer, and have demanded that they reimburse me for the repair costs related to the error with their frame. Let's see how good their customer service really is.
    Fat chance on getting any money back for repair costs.. as with all these chinese frames, its hard to tell if even LT bikes is the manufacturer. Many claim to be, even though they arent. Which frame do you have? LTK023? and how long ago did you purchase it? It seems some of the earlier frames either had a flimsy internal housing or were routed wrong..

  24. #24
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    Brand new. Bought through Lt bikes directly. I Dont have any great hopes and figured something would need done so I planned in the added expense. If they help me out even better. If not it's still a deal.

  25. #25
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    Much to my surprise, I got a very prompt response from LT BIkes. They offered to fix the frame for free if I want to send it back or they are going to give me $50 towards the repair and $50 off my next order. I am very pleased and impressed with their customer service!

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