Why does my rear derailleur need constant attention?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Ba ba ba bird bird bird
    Reputation: MattC555's Avatar
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    Why does my rear derailleur need constant attention?

    I have a 2011 Giant Talon 1 29er with at drivetrain that consists of:

    Shifters SRAM X.5, Trigger
    Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.5
    Cassette PG950 11x34, 9-Speed
    Chain HG-73
    Crankset Shimano M442, 22/32/42
    Bottom Bracket Shimano Sealed Cartridge


    I understand these aren't the greatest components, but rear shifting starts to get sloppy every 30 miles or so. My LBS gives me free tune ups for life, but I really don't like being without my bike every other week. What can I upgrade to help this situation?

    FYI, I ride singletrack with ruts, rocks, logs, stream crossings, and 1-2ft drops.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by MattC555; 10-20-2011 at 06:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: rodgerdodger's Avatar
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    Every I have problems getting consistent shifting it's a bent derailleur

  3. #3
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    I would guess bent derailleur hanger or the steam crossings.

  4. #4
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    Are you 100% positive its the rear derailleur? Just wondering because I was having the same issues and the Trek guy at one of my races found my front chain guide rail (?) was bent, along with one of the wheels on my front cassete. The whole time I was messing with my rear der. thinking it was the problem.
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  5. #5
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    I would look at the derailleur hanger first. If that is straight, then start looking at other areas, like the front derailleur (as was suggested above).

  6. #6
    Ba ba ba bird bird bird
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    Thanks for the advice, i check out the rear and report back.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: Shalom's Avatar
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    Make sure that you do not eyeball it - in my experience, it is not good enough. Either get or borrow a tool like the Park Tool DAG-2.

  8. #8
    Afric Pepperbird
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    How many miles are on your chain? It may be time for a new one if you ride quite a bit. Get a chain wear indicator.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    Make sure that you do not eyeball it - in my experience, it is not good enough. Either get or borrow a tool like the Park Tool DAG-2.
    This. If you can't get your hands on one, have the shop check it
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  10. #10
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    What do you mean by "gets sloppy"?

    If your derailleurs require constant adjusting they may never have been correctly adjusted in the first place. What adjustments are required to get it working correctly again?

    Also you may be picking up debris & loosing chain lube in the stream crossings which will affect your shifting. Are you using wet lube?

  11. #11
    Some Dude
    Reputation: ccs1676's Avatar
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    My rear derailleur was giving me problems and then I fixed it really fast, by going SS woohoo!!

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Often, problems getting a drivetrain on a mountain bike to work well are just dirt. Which there's a lot of, off-road.

    How are your cables routed? Try to keep them clean, and clean up your drivetrain after every ride. If your cables are routed under the bottom bracket, don't forget to clean up that area too. Lubrication helps, but be sparing. If there's too much, you just end up with a gritty, nasty, sticky mess. IME, the less I use on an outside routing spot like the bottom bracket, the better.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    In reference to "gets sloppy", I mean that the chain will hunt between two gears sometimes. I'll take it to the LBS for a tune up, and after it will work fine. 30 miles later the problem returns.

    To be honest, I don't clean the drive train very often.

    I think my rear derailleur is bent. I'm going to drop it off at the LBS today, and have them look at it.

    I'll let you guys know what they find.

  14. #14
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
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    Something's not right for sure. If the bike is fairly new it could be the cable stretching or got stretched by something you came in contact with.

    I know you're supposed to get your bike dirty but a gunked up drive train will cause a ton of wear and tear in a very short period of time. At the very least spray down your crankset, chain, derailleur's and cassette down with a mixture of Dawn and water. Let it sit for 5min or so, rinse them off and wipe them down. It only takes about 15min but it will lengthen the life of your crucial components.

  15. #15
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    I agree that if you are having to adjust it every 30 miles, something else is going on and your LBS should be figuring it out.

    With that being said, you can save a lot of time at the LBS by learning to do basic adjustments yourself. The high/low limit screws only need to be set once. After that, a few clicks of the barrel adjuster should take care of any minor tuning needed...Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Rear Derailler Adjustments (derailleur)

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattC555 View Post
    To be honest, I don't clean the drive train very often.

    I think my rear derailleur is bent. I'm going to drop it off at the LBS today, and have them look at it.
    Having a bike perform well always costs something. It can cost you a couple minutes after every ride to clean the chain and a few problem spots, or you can pay someone else to do it. I think that for most of us, the ridiculous cost and added hassle of dropping off the bike every ride wouldn't be worth it; the even more ridiculous cost of a live-in mechanic would be even less so. IMO it's all about finding a balance. I don't care to take my chain off the bike to clean, or get obsessive about the chain rings and cogs, but I do wipe the chain with a dry rag, clean up the little jockey wheels on my rear derailleur, and clean up under the bottom bracket when I've been riding in the wet or I notice some shifting problems. Now and then, if they're really bad, I do the cogs and chain rings, but honestly I have more trouble with those on my road bike.

    The hanger's worth a look, at least. It wouldn't take 30 miles for your shifting to go bad, but it might take you some time to wander into the part of the cassette where you'd notice it. IME, parts that seem to lose shifting over a pretty short time are either worn out, dirty, or maybe it's the first ride with some new cables.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    How often do you wash your bike?

    Of course the first issue to check is the hanger but if that's ok your cables and housing are probably hosed.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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