Chumba XCL, front derailleur / chain line issues- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    rider on the storm
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Chumba XCL, front derailleur / chain line issues

    Well, I finally picked up my XCL on Tuesday, and I wish I could say it was all gangbusters from the get-go, but unfortunately, there are some kinks to work through. (See my other thread for an up-to-date chronicle of my XCL experience).

    Took it out for 2 rides - one yesterday, and one tonight. Everything seems mostly gravy thus far, with one MAJOR annoyance. The shifting on the front derailleur is NOT up to snuff.

    Up-shifting works great - going from low to medium to high, but downshifting is where the annoyance is. Down-shifting from high (large ring) to medium (middle ring) is haphazard...at best.

    I first noticed this on my way to the ride yesterday and chalked it up to cable break-in / maladjusted derailleur from the shop. No amount of fiddling with the shifter cable tensioner adjustment fixed the issue. So, I dropped my bike off at the shop today during lunch and asked them to look into it. They re-adjusted the cable tension, which helped slightly, but in a simple ride around the parking lot, the same down-shifting issue kept presenting itself. Crud.

    So, the shop threw the bike back on the rack again and placed a 2mm spacer on the driver side crank to shove the front derailleur throw out a bit as well as nearly completely backing out the low limit screw. This improved things some, but did not make the problem go away completely. When the rear cog is 1 (lowest) to 4, the shifting happens most of the time, but it is definitely not crisp or reliable, unless deliberate care is taken to remove some slight pedaling pressure from the pedals. Once the rear cog gets to 5 and up, the front gear down-shifting becomes problematic and may happen eventually, if you are patient enough, but it is definitely not reliable.

    The shop has done what they can and I was told that this most likely a chain line issue due to the frame being out of spec. Running a bigger spacer is not an option due to less spindle being available for the non drive side crank - a safety issue for me since I like to drop the bike off lots of 3+ foot ledges (and taller).

    Short of bending the front derailleur chain cage to "help" it get the chain off the large front ring to the medium ring, I was told the only remedy would be to send in my frame for another one, and hope that the next frame I got would be better.

    Pretty disappointing considering that my 10 year old Raleigh hard tail shifts better (up front) than my brand new $3,000+ bike.

    Has anyone else had this sort of an issue with their XCL? If so, what did you do to fix it? Any chance the e-type derailleur could be wack and out of spec straight out of the box?

    Definitely NOT a satisfied customer (yet)...

    Mike

    PS. On a side note, the rear derailleur shifts quickly and cleanly through out all gears, both up & down. Pretty pleased w/ the rear X9 system thus far.

  2. #2

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    Please call the 1-800 number on the web site so we can get you rolling.

  3. #3
    rider on the storm
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    Will do.

  4. #4
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    FD adjustment

    Hey Mmatador,

    From my experience you do not need to add a spacer to the FD because the thickness of the E-type FD already acts as your spacer.

    Please make sure that your FD cage runs parallel to the imaginary line that your crank travels when it makes a turn. Also, make sure that when your chain is set up on your biggest rear cog and your granny ring that your FD is not rubbing against your chain. If you say that yourchain moves up well then make sure that there is a slight gap between the inner side of your FD cage and the inside of your chain.

    If your FD cage is parallel to your crank travel then its only a matter of setting up your FD cage slightly inwards.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Matador

    A couple questions...

    When checking the chain line how does it line up? Where does the middle chainring line up with the rear cassette?

    How has the shop determined that this is a chainline issue?

    As has been noted, the e-type works as a spacer, so you shouldn't need an extra spacer.

    Have you checked the cables and housing? Are they properly lubed and routed as to minimize friction? Are the pivots on the derailleur lubed as well?

    Was the Bottom Bracket Faced by the shop?

    Have you tried taking it to a different mechanic?

  6. #6
    rider on the storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonycan
    Hey Mmatador,

    From my experience you do not need to add a spacer to the FD because the thickness of the E-type FD already acts as your spacer.

    ***MM*** This is the shops experience and understanding as well.

    Please make sure that your FD cage runs parallel to the imaginary line that your crank travels when it makes a turn. Also, make sure that when your chain is set up on your biggest rear cog and your granny ring that your FD is not rubbing against your chain. If you say that yourchain moves up well then make sure that there is a slight gap between the inner side of your FD cage and the inside of your chain.

    ***MM*** Already did that. Everything is parallel.

    If your FD cage is parallel to your crank travel then its only a matter of setting up your FD cage slightly inwards.

    ***MM*** Unfortunately the e-type front derailleur has no adjustment to make it go slightly inwards; you can't rotate it like you can w/ a clamp-type derailleur. Unless, by "adjusting it", you are talking about bending the cage.

    Hope this helps.
    tonycan -- responses inline, marked w/ a ***MM***

  7. #7
    rider on the storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by uinta
    A couple questions...

    When checking the chain line how does it line up? Where does the middle chainring line up with the rear cassette?

    How has the shop determined that this is a chainline issue?

    As has been noted, the e-type works as a spacer, so you shouldn't need an extra spacer.

    ***MM*** This is what the shop thought as well. Short of bending the derailleur cage, this was something simple we wanted to try.

    Have you checked the cables and housing? Are they properly lubed and routed as to minimize friction? Are the pivots on the derailleur lubed as well?

    ***MM*** Cables - checked. Housing - checked. Pivots lubed - check. This shop is no slouch and their mechs know their stuff.

    Was the Bottom Bracket Faced by the shop?

    ***MM*** Never heard "facing" a bottom bracket before. Are you talking about actually machining the bottom bracket shell or something else? A quick Google search found this: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=106. Is that what you are talking about? I will ask they shop if they tried this, but I doubt it. If quality control was in place when the bike was manufactured, this should NOT be necessary for something straight out of the box, IMO. I will ask them what they think when I get a chance to ride it some more, post front derailleur cage bending.


    Have you tried taking it to a different mechanic?

    ***MM*** Nope, haven't tried that, there's no need. As I said before, this shop is no slouch. They've got a combined 50+ years of experience building bikes between the manager and all the mechanics. They're also familiar w/ high-end, boutique bikes. We're talking Knolly, Yeti, Ellsworth, and the like, in addition to the regular Gary Fisher, Trek, etc.
    uinta -- responses inline, marked w/ a ***MM***

  8. #8
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    Again...

    When checking the chain line how does it line up? Where does the middle chainring line up with the rear cassette?

    How has the shop determined that this is a chainline issue?


    Facing (machining) the Bottom Bracket Shell is a common practice used by shops that professionaly build high end/boutique bike frames. It is not always needed, but is something to look at especially if the shop is having issues with setup.

    I would love to see a photo from behind the cassette looking forward to the chainrings to see the chainline issue that you say the shop has determined that this is.

  9. #9
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    Also make sure they didn't install the rubber washer that mounts between the frame and front d. You don't need it and no spacers. The e-type is space enough. Once dialled in the E-type also helps with less chain drop. Good Luck

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwatzu
    Also make sure they didn't install the rubber washer that mounts between the frame and front d. You don't need it and no spacers. The e-type is space enough. Once dialled in the E-type also helps with less chain drop. Good Luck

    Shwatzu has a good point. If that spacer was used, it'll put the derailleur at an odd angle when everything is tightened down.

    See the PDF linked here. It's a blow-up of the XT E-Type Derailleur.

    http://bike.shimano.com/media/techdo...9830608837.pdf

    Part #6 is the one in question. It's only needed on BB shells that are 68mm. The XCL has a 73mm shell, so it's not needed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwatzu
    Also make sure they didn't install the rubber washer that mounts between the frame and front d. You don't need it...
    I did this when I was building my XCL up...took out that stupid little rubber washer and its been nothing but beautiful shifts ever since.

    I can't believe how much whining goes up on these forums. This is obivously a component issue, not a problem with the frame. Chumba offers great customer service via phone or e-mail if you need to talk with someone and get some assistance.
    Sanity is the trademark of a weak mind.
    Cycle CNY

  12. #12
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    Keep working on it. I just rode my xcl on a thirty mile ride last night with at least 2000ft climbing and the bike is great. I can't get over how well it hides the weight and rock solid every time I ride I love it more.

  13. #13
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    Gotta chime in on this subject. I'm the monkey that everyone is pointing fingers at.. that is ASSUMING we do not know what we are doing.
    1. We know how to measure a bb..73mm shell.
    2. No spacers are being used at the bb shell....ala 73mm shell.
    3. No etype grommet/spacer at the seat tube.
    4. The chain line is too narrow by 3mm. Yes...It has been measured and calculated properly. I know of (1) method.....Let's see how many there are on this forum....Ha ha.
    5. Shifts great on the stand. Get some load on it, then it goes to hell pretty quick.
    6. Went medevil on the fork (yes, the outside of the derailleur cage) and cold set it about 4mm. Shifts much better under load.
    7. The etype der is lined-up just fine and has been installed according to Shimano rules and our (and this forums' rules) rules.....sans grommet/spacer at seat tube.
    8. The frame arrived with scratches. MMatador was not thrilled. Neither were we for a $3K bicycle.
    9. Chumba guys.....Where is MMatadors' wheel? You have had possession of the damaged one for a period of time. No QC at the warehouse?....eh?
    10. Just left a message for sales.....Can someone call me? Please?
    11. MMatador would like a new frame......How do you want to handle this? Let's take care of the customer and get him out there to start enjoying the new ride.

    Our $.02

  14. #14
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    other parts too....

    We also tried these changes:
    1. FSA Afterburner crankset.
    2. XT chain
    3. (2) different front etype ders.
    4. Adding 1.5 mm of spacers on the driveside cup.....Did not help one bit.

    Our $.03

  15. #15
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    is this normal......

    Not quite sure if the bottom pivot bolt machining was built correct? One side (non-drive) had a nice 13 mm machined slot for the nut to sit in, the other (drive-side) looked like it had been stripped and had an additional nut stacked inside with a longer bolt going thru. Is this normal? Not very symetrical in appearance.

    Our $.04

  16. #16
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    ..

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddahBoy
    Gotta chime in on this subject. I'm the monkey that everyone is pointing fingers at.. that is ASSUMING we do not know what we are doing.
    1. We know how to measure a bb..73mm shell.
    2. No spacers are being used at the bb shell....ala 73mm shell.
    3. No etype grommet/spacer at the seat tube.
    4. The chain line is too narrow by 3mm. Yes...It has been measured and calculated properly. I know of (1) method.....Let's see how many there are on this forum....Ha ha.
    5. Shifts great on the stand. Get some load on it, then it goes to hell pretty quick.
    6. Went medevil on the fork (yes, the outside of the derailleur cage) and cold set it about 4mm. Shifts much better under load.
    7. The etype der is lined-up just fine and has been installed according to Shimano rules and our (and this forums' rules) rules.....sans grommet/spacer at seat tube.
    8. The frame arrived with scratches. MMatador was not thrilled. Neither were we for a $3K bicycle.
    9. Chumba guys.....Where is MMatadors' wheel? You have had possession of the damaged one for a period of time. No QC at the warehouse?....eh?
    10. Just left a message for sales.....Can someone call me? Please?
    11. MMatador would like a new frame......How do you want to handle this? Let's take care of the customer and get him out there to start enjoying the new ride.

    Our $.02
    Hello,

    If the bike is shifting much better under load I think you are getting closer. I agree, let's not point fingers and work through this issue. We have a few more suggestions I think would help, so give me a call when you get the chance.

    A.
    Last edited by CHUMBAevo; 07-10-2007 at 05:25 PM.
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    rider on the storm
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    Check your PM / email

    ChumbaJason, CHUMBAevo,

    Please check your email / PMs.

    Mike

  18. #18
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    Sorry buddah if you thought I was assuming. I was just trying to help, as it seemed like Matador was asking for assistance. It sounds super frustrating! Good luck figuring things out.

  19. #19
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    Was this issue ever resolved?

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