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  1. #1
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    Surviving a broken derailleur ?

    Hey Folks,

    I've had my share of bum luck (or bum riding depending on how you look at it). Originally I knocked off my rear derailleur out on the trails whilst riding my Giant Hardtail, so one of my mates just used a chain breaker to shorten the chain on the "magic" combo and it lined up and I rode out with a single-speed conversion.

    Recently I upgraded to a 5" dualy and had the same bum luck, but looking at the problem, it didnt look like a S/S conversion would work as the pivot in the suspension would grow/shorten the chain length.

    So... is there a magic trick for dualies ? what about a clip-on chain tensioner, I could carry a spare in the pack and just take the derailleur off, shorten the chain (allowing some slack) then clip on a tensioner to take up the slack and ride out ?

    What do you think ?

  2. #2
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    It depends how you break the mech. For example, it's sometimes possible to cable tie the mech to the frame and continue to use the cage/springs as a tensioner. This obviously depends on frame design and just how the mech fails, but it's one to add to your repertoire. If the destruction of derailleurs is such a common event, to the extent that you'd consider taking a bolt-on tensioner, then you may as well just carry a spare hanger and derailleur. Why ride out when you can ride on?
    .
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    It depends how you break the mech. For example, it's sometimes possible to cable tie the mech to the frame and continue to use the cage/springs as a tensioner. This obviously depends on frame design and just how the mech fails, but it's one to add to your repertoire. If the destruction of derailleurs is such a common event, to the extent that you'd consider taking a bolt-on tensioner, then you may as well just carry a spare hanger and derailleur. Why ride out when you can ride on?
    Hi Steve,

    I certainly hope it's not a common problem! I seem to break 1 per year, which I can live with.

    Not sure how the cable-tie trick would work (I do carry cable ties anyway!), both of my breakages have been to the cage, both lost the bottom jockey wheel completely.

    In fact both times it's bloody carbon fiber cages... what a dumb idea! I'm intent on pulling the new cage apart to mill 2 plates out of Ti or something, still light, much better integrity (I hope).

    Back to the cable-tie idea.... are you talking about unscrewing the dérailleur completely, then cable-tie'n it to the chain-stays, using whatever jockey-wheels you have left to keep tension on it ? .... I'd love to see a photo of what you mean.

  4. #4
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    Back to the cable-tie idea.... are you talking about unscrewing the dérailleur completely, then cable-tie'n it to the chain-stays, using whatever jockey-wheels you have left to keep tension on it ? .... I'd love to see a photo of what you mean.
    That's exactly what I'm talking about. I have no pictures, but a friend of mine used to permanently run his BigHit like this. I think he used some innertube for padding-out and to make the attachment more secure, but it absolutely did the job for him. It's the kind of thing you want to work out in the workshop how to do - definitely not somehting you want to be figuring out on the trail!

    By the way, and pardon me for going OT, but how are you getting the accented e in derailleur?
    .
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfindlay
    Hey Folks,

    I've had my share of bum luck (or bum riding depending on how you look at it). Originally I knocked off my rear derailleur out on the trails whilst riding my Giant Hardtail, so one of my mates just used a chain breaker to shorten the chain on the "magic" combo and it lined up and I rode out with a single-speed conversion.

    Recently I upgraded to a 5" dualy and had the same bum luck, but looking at the problem, it didnt look like a S/S conversion would work as the pivot in the suspension would grow/shorten the chain length.

    So... is there a magic trick for dualies ? what about a clip-on chain tensioner, I could carry a spare in the pack and just take the derailleur off, shorten the chain (allowing some slack) then clip on a tensioner to take up the slack and ride out ?

    What do you think ?
    Clean up your riding style, more finesse, less banging.

  6. #6
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    Try a shorter cage Derailleur.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    Try a shorter cage Derailleur.
    What kind of problems could that cause on FS frame with, for example, 3x9 gearing?
    .
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  8. #8
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    You could go crazy carrying spares for every contingency. Unless you're riding point to point in the wilderness where walking out isn't an option, focus on your maintenance and riding habits to minimize the problems to only the few common and easily managed ones, and accept the risk of inconvenience for the rest.
    fb
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    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    By the way, and pardon me for going OT, but how are you getting the accented e in derailleur?
    I'm way off topic here, but just to answer Steve's question:
    If you're on Windows, you can either switch to the French keyboard (the hard way), either press ALT and, while keep pressing it, type 0233 on the keypad (ie the group of keys on the right side of your keyboard) - now you can release the ALT key. For more special chars, check out the character map tool - when you select a char from the current map, in the bottom right corner you'll see its code (ie ALT xxxx)

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the feedback folks, I agree with pretty much everything!

    Firstly, I SHOULD become a better rider. This takes time and practice and of course, its easier to ride clean lines and work on technique when you know the trails very well.

    But I get bored riding the same stuff and like to keep exploring new areas, so I dont always know the trails that well and at times fall into a survival stay-on-the-bike more than "gee I could really carve that corner"

    The re-mounting the dérailleur tip is handy if/when things go wrong.

    OT: I just typed the "e" normally, but on Ubuntu the dictionary converted it to the fancy "é" for me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    What kind of problems could that cause on FS frame with, for example, 3x9 gearing?
    Hehe trick question huh? We all like to pick on Dremer's bad advice....
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfindlay
    Hi Steve,

    I certainly hope it's not a common problem! I seem to break 1 per year, which I can live with.

    Not sure how the cable-tie trick would work (I do carry cable ties anyway!), both of my breakages have been to the cage, both lost the bottom jockey wheel completely.

    In fact both times it's bloody carbon fiber cages... what a dumb idea! I'm intent on pulling the new cage apart to mill 2 plates out of Ti or something, still light, much better integrity (I hope).

    Back to the cable-tie idea.... are you talking about unscrewing the dérailleur completely, then cable-tie'n it to the chain-stays, using whatever jockey-wheels you have left to keep tension on it ? .... I'd love to see a photo of what you mean.

    Were you running an XO rear? See some of these reviews:

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/drivetrain/d...60_116crx.aspx

    I am switching to XT/XTR as I have NEVER broken a rear derailleur in 18 years of Mtn Biking.

    Mikey

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyonthemadone
    Were you running an XO rear? See some of these reviews

    I am switching to XT/XTR as I have NEVER broken a rear derailleur in 18 years of Mtn Biking.
    G'day Mikey,

    Yep, it was X0. As mentioned, I'm not a great rider, about 8 months ago I broke an XTR! That was principally due to peddling like mad on a down-hill track and a big stick got sucked up and broke both inner + outer carbon cage walls. I'd had it for about 1.5 years, so it was good up until that point.

    By way of an update, my mechanic has brought me a medium cage unit (last X0 was a long-cage) which he thinks will be better, but as a precaution, I'm running down tomorrow to get a spare cage milled out of Ti.

    If it comes out ok, I'll fit this up to the old derailleur and then I'll have a spare.

  14. #14
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    I am going with the XT rear with an alloy cage. On some of our back country trips I will be carrying a spare derailleur, hanger and extra links for the chain. Based on past events with other riders we have been with, this seems to be the best insurance. Good luck with your replacement cage.


    Mikey

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