Derailleur hanger adjustment gauge/tool- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Derailleur hanger adjustment gauge/tool

    i am considering buying a PT DAG-2 amazon has it for 55. i was doing a little shopping around and it seems about $25 for a shop to do it. i know that my hardtail requires alignment but still shifts well enough, and my FS probably could use some alignment. so it would likely already have payed for itself
    my question is this a must have tool? not must have like a set a allens or even cassette and crank tools. but up there with a truing stand?

    i have also heard that even new hangers could use adjustment is this true? as new hangers are 20 a pop vs 25 paying a shop align it

  2. #2
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    Yes. If you ride a lot, and especially if you have a family's worth of bikes to maintain, you will get so much value and peace of mind from having the tool that you'll wonder why you ever even asked the question. I use mine far more than I use my truing stand. Just the peace of mind and benefit from knowing (and not guessing) that my hanger is aligned are a huge help when it comes to making derailleur adjustments. And I've been finding that mildly tweaked hangers are at the root of most rear-shifting problems that I see. That is especially true w/kids, who tend to throw their bikes down every which way.

  3. #3
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    +1 - the DAG-2 comes in quite handy. Ironic that JonathanGennick mentions using it more often than a truing stand... I use it as a pseudo truing stand whenever I align the hanger (with a zip tie touching the rim and attached on the opposite chainstay if needed).

  4. #4
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    I consider the DAG an essential tool once you've built up the basic maintenance stuff. You are correct in saying that even new hangers sometimes mount out of alignment so it is always a good tool to have.

    A usage note for the DAG, use the same point on the rim for all your adjustments. By that I mean that I use the valve stem as a guide and I spin the valve stem to every point where I want to check the hanger alignment. If you don't use the same point on the wheel then if the wheel is out of true you might not get the hanger to line up correctly. This explains it better than I probably did:

    Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Rear Derailleur Hanger Alignment
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  5. #5
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    it is a must have tool. hanger must be aligned before the rear derailleur is adjusted.

  6. #6
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    I made one a few years ago using 1" square steel bar stock. I then put a old 600EX der. hanger bolt into a countersunk hole and used the original circlip to hold it in place. Even though it wasn't accurate as a Park, sure helped to get it close when the hanger was bent. I agree with others here, having a straight hanger does indeed give piece of mind!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

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    I personally don't see the need for this tool. You can pretty much tell by eye how inline your RD is and the pitch. Also with quick release and frame flex there is always a variable on how inline the RD is.

    They are designed to a tolerance for shifting, I don't think it has to be perfectly accurate to get the same performance IMHO.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devinci luvr View Post
    I personally don't see the need for this tool. You can pretty much tell by eye how inline your RD is and the pitch. Also with quick release and frame flex there is always a variable on how inline the RD is.

    They are designed to a tolerance for shifting, I don't think it has to be perfectly accurate to get the same performance IMHO.
    I disagree. With the number of gears increasing (11 speed will not be far off - Campy already has it for road), it is becoming more essential to have it properly aligned, as the tolerances are tighter. It is amazing how far off it can be while still looking straight to the old mark 1 eyeball.

    So yes, my vote is get it. You will not regret it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    It is amazing how far off it can be while still looking straight to the old mark 1 eyeball.
    +1. I have astigmatism. Even straight looks crooked to me.

  10. #10
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    i was convinced by the first two post this morning. guess my post wasnt posted. but i bought it and itll be here on wednesday

  11. #11
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    Apologies, good sir. I hope it is as useful to you as mine is to me!

  12. #12
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    i tried the whole eyeballing thing, didnt try to hard but its not even close to being straight. no apology needed, i was just stating that my post wasnt posted (internet fail) and bought it by the first two. more reason to my decision being a good one the better

  13. #13
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    I just learned that I might need a DAG 2 this morning. My wife was given a cheap Schwinn with 7 speed Sram ESP. It was skipping skipping gears and and after repeatedly adjusting the limit screws and indexing tension there was little improvement. Someone suggested that I take to a shop and have the hanger alignment checked.

    Instead I checked the Park Tool site and got a good feel for how the DAG 2 works. The fact that the tolerance is 4 mm gave me hope that I could build somthing that would work "good enough".

    Once I put the bike on the stand and removed the RD I saw a nice flat surface, so that was encouraging. Before starting the quest of rounding up parts to build my own version of the alignment tool I decided to give it a quick go with a straight edge and a ruler. I placed a 24 inch level across the the RD hanger and measured the distance from the level to the rim at the valve stem, rotated the wheel 180 degrees and measured once again. Checked it at the 90 to 270 and the 180 to 360 degree positions and found it quite easy to meassure using nothing but the level and ruler.

    The hanger proved to be off about 1/4 to 5/16 of an inch in both the horizontal and the vertical positions. I bent the hanger back in the proper direction with an adjustable wrench, it then measured well within the 1/8" tolerance so I reinstalled the RD, adjusted it and believe it or not the shifting problems are solved.

    So I never actually built the tool, but I did learn a thing or two about derailleur hanger alignment, and I learned that I can align the hanger without the special tool. My method probably takes a little longer but for a home hobbyist like myself it worked fine in this case. When/if I run into a situation where this method will not work, I will revisit the idea of building a DAG 2 substitute.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWM803 View Post
    I bent the hanger back in the proper direction with an adjustable wrench, it then measured well within the 1/8" tolerance so I reinstalled the RD, adjusted it and believe it or not the shifting problems are solved.
    Oh, I believe it alright. Good improvisation on your part, btw.

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