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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,479

    Okay. SRAM won. Help! :)

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    Having problems with SRAM. Not used to its shifting coming from Shimano. The front derailleur is either not cooperating going from the small chain and shifting to the large, or it manages it some time later. (Also partly due to operator error, I'm sure, but still).

    And me, being the brilliant person that I am, decided to fix it while out on the road. Did I know how? No! But it didn't look that difficult to turn the little allen key nut that holds down the derailleur wire and see what happens.

    Problem number 1: I had the bike upside-down, and accidentally turned the REAR derailleur instead of the front. The rear was working perfectly. Not anymore.

    Problem number 2: like a genius, I tried the front derailleur after that. You can probably guess that it is definitely not working now.

    Problem number 3: it's in the small cog in the front, and the small cog in the rear. Oh yea!

    Problem number 4: it really was a good idea to go four hours out-of-town to get a bike, because that allowed me to get one that fit. BUT, I'm not driving that far to get this taken care of, and I don't want to take it to the local guy, because he'll not be too happy with me for buying elsewhere. And he closed half an hour ago anyway, and is not open on Sundays (Ah, shucks).

    The guys I work with may be able to fix this, but I won't see them until Monday or Tuesday, depending what their schedules are this week. I could try taking it to Charleston or Savannah, but again, a lot of driving.

    The good news: the bike's fit is perfect! It rides like a dream, eh, when it shifts. Maybe SRAM is difficult. Or maybe the derailleur was sticking, and I made it all worse.

    So anyway, I do have that big bike mechanics book, but it's seriously TMI at the moment. If I can get an idea of what I should do for what appears to be a simple adjustment, I'll read it to fine-tune.

    Help!

    I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle, and ride it right--like now!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    257
    I'm of no help whatsoever, except that I have experienced each and every one of those problems.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    I don't know how to tell you to fix it because I let the guys at the bike shop do that, due to my issues with mechanical stuff. So I will defer to the experts here. Though it probably would not make things worse at this point if you just played around with it -- turn the thing a smidge, see what happens, turn it a smidge more, see what happens, turn it the other way, see what happens, etc. And perhaps a youtube search would find a how-to video or two that is more helpful than the big book.

    But I just wanted to say that an LBS that closes at lunchtime on Saturday and is not open on Sunday is not a very useful LBS.

    Perhaps more helpfully, I can say that I went from Shimano 105 to SRAM Rival a couple of years ago, and I only have problems shifting when the derailleur needs adjusting. In the back, I find that the chain tends to move 2 cogs at a time when I'm shifting from smaller to larger cogs, and I don't know if that's just how it works or if I'm pushing the shifter a tad too long. It's not a big deal to me, though, since it's easy enough to just shift back one if I need to. But in front, it works pretty well and my occasional shifting problems were solved by a quick adjustment by the LBS guys.

    Also, when I first made the switch, I had to memorize: a long press on the lever moves you from small cog or ring to large, and this is true in front and back. This means that in back the long press makes it easier to pedal, but in front it makes it harder.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by roo4 View Post
    I'm of no help whatsoever, except that I have experienced each and every one of those problems.

    Good luck!
    Including adjusting the rear when you meant to do the front? You're talented too, then!

    To both of you, I'm going to take it to a shop on HH tomorrow. I thought they were closed, but luckily, their website must be out-of-date. And I know the owner, he has good people working for him.

    What I really want is a good wrench class.More than one session, so I can fix basic stuff myself. But it's too difficult for me to determine if I just didn't fix the derailleur(s) correctly, or if I don't understand SRAM.

    Probably both.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 07-28-2012 at 11:41 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I had the bike upside-down
    Stop turning the bike upside down to work on it! That's only for X-mart kid's cruiser bikes. Your bike has too many delicate components and finishes.

    If you don't have a work stand, hook the nose of the saddle over something to hold the bike up (and elevate the rear wheel). You might have something ready made like the corner of a table, or you could improvise with a broomstick placed across the backs of two chairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    But it didn't look that difficult to turn the little allen key nut that holds down the derailleur wire and see what happens.
    Uh, oh! Sounds like you'll need to do a full derailleur tuning now.

    Here's how I setup derailleurs: Start with the one that's working the worst. I'll write this assuming the rear is worst.

    Unhook (unbolt) the cable from the rear derailleur. This lets you grab the body of the derailleur and shift it manually for the following steps. Shift the front (and turn the cranks) to put the chain onto the biggest chainring. The next step is to adjust the rear derailleur High limit. As you turn the cranks, you want the chain to be running perfectly (silently, smoothly) on the smallest cassette cog. While continuing to turn the cranks, push the derailleur body to shift up the cassette, and then let go of the derailleur. The bike should shift quickly and smoothly back to the smallest cog. If it hesitates at the second smallest cog, then the limit screw might be turned in just a little bit too much. At this point do a quick check and preliminary adjustment of the rear derailleur Low limit - you should be able to push the derailleur body to shift all the way to the biggest cassette cog but no further.

    Now make sure the right brifter is shifted to the highest gear. (You want it to release as much cable as possible.) You might have to manually tug on the cable to make it shift properly. Turn the knob(s) of the rear derailleur's barrel adjuster(s) clockwise as far as possible and then back out (counter clockwise) one turn. (This gives you a little range to loosen the cable and lots of range to tighten.) Make sure the shift cable housing ends are seated all along it's route. Now grab the end of the shift cable, stretch it taut, route it under the clamp washer, and snug down the clamp bolt. Make sure the derailleur body does not move away from the smallest cog as you tighten the bolt! If you aren't sure where the cable goes, look for a groove in the underside of the clamp washer.

    We'll now focus on the front derailleur. Shift the rear onto the biggest cassette cog and the front to the smallest chainring. Unhook the front cable. Now it is time to adjust the front derailleur Low limit. In this small-to-large position, the chain should just barely clear the inside plate of the front derailleur. Shift the rear to the small cog. In this small-to-small position, the chain should just barely clear the outside plate of the front derailleur. You might need to keep shifting the rear back and forth as you fine tune the front Low limit so that the chain doesn't rub in either gear extreme. At this point the front High limit could be preliminarily set, but this can be hard to do manually. I usually don't bother - if it is set too restrictively this will become obvious soon enough.

    Now do the same brifter shifting, barrel adjuster, and housing checks as before, but on the left/front system. Hook up the front cable. Shift the front away from the small chainring. Make sure the chain doesn't rub the derailleur cage in either rear gear extreme. It may take a bit of experimenting to find which gear combinations rub and which have extra clearance to give up. You might have to unhook the front cable, adjust the front Low limit, and rehook the cable several times.

    Now fine tune the rear shifting via the barrel adjuster. Shift to a middle cassette cog. The chain should be running nice, smooth and silent. The derailleur pulleys should perfectly line up under the selected cassette cog. Shift through all the gears making sure they shift quickly, smoothly, and with authority. You might have to compromise on the barrel adjust position. If the derailleur won't shift properly across the entire range (i.e. there's a positioning error that grows as you shift further), that generally means the cable routing (i.e. clamping) is wrong.

    Finally, adjust the rear Low limit and front High limit. The brifters should be able to push the chain onto the biggest gears without obstruction. The limits are there so the chain can't go beyond the biggest gears. Think of the limits as curbs, guard rails, and K-rails on a road - you're never supposed to hit them. Also, once the limits are set properly, that setting can be for life - or until something gets bent or disassembled. (And a true weight weenie might even take out the limit screws to save a fraction of a gram of weight!)

    If you have multiple rear wheels, the cassette position can be slightly different between wheels. This can require tweaking the rear barrel adjuster to get the shifting perfect. The rear derailleur limits would also need to be set a little bit lax to cover the range of both (all) cassettes.

    Further notes:

    The High and Low limits are usually marked with a small H and L on the derailleurs. If not, peak inside the derailleur mechanism to see which screw will be limiting movement at the limit you wish to adjust. The parallelogram bits usually have two metal tabs that swing against the ends of the limit screws.

    Because your bike was new and tuned, the limits may already be set properly. In fact, the entire above process will be a lot easier than on an old worn out bike.

    You might have noticed I wrote nothing about attaching/adjusting the front derailleur to the frame. That's for the advanced course... We'll assume the bike shop positioned it properly.

    Try to minimize the number of times you loosen and reattach the cables. Each time you tighten down on the cable, it is getting slightly damaged. Eventually the strands will come apart and/or break.
    Laura

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Laura's got it as far as setting up a derailleur/replacing cables etc.

    But the one thing that really jumped out at me was that your initial problem was shifting that was either nonexistent or slow.

    That screams mis-routed cables and/or housings too long, to me.

    First, be sure the cable is feeding into the FD clamp from the proper direction. No idea what that might be, but probably SRAM's website has technical documents? I know my Shimano 105 FD is a little weird that way, it doesn't necessarily go the way it looks like it should, and if the cable isn't pulling on the lever from the direction it's supposed to, it's not going to work right.

    Check your bottom bracket cable guide - everything copacetic there? Cable traveling straight in the guide and not hanging up on anything?

    Since you've got your cable disconnected anyway ... without letting the housing slip out of the position it was in, does the cable move freely inside it?

    Basically, the housings need to be long enough that your handlebars can turn from lock to lock without pulling on the cables, but no longer. Any excess housing means sharper angles of travel and more opportunities for the cable to hang up.

    If it's simply a matter of re-routing, you ought to be able to just look at the situation and see where the housing and cable ought to go so it won't hang up or pull on other cables.

    If it needs to be shortened, that takes a bit of finesse and the proper tools - a housing cutter, a punch for opening the hole back up, a circular file to take the burrs off - you might want to let your LBS do that.

    Good luck - glad you're happy with the fit anyway!
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 07-28-2012 at 12:52 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Did I mention I was on the side of the road, about 10 miles from my home? I didn't want to turn it upside-down, just had no way to do it, being alone.

    Thanks guys. Typical me. I make something worse. Honestly, I was just frustrated by then. Grrr.

    Going to the LBS before I mess it up worse. Hmmm. We replaced the SRAM cable wires with Shimano, because SRAM has a black coating that can come off. Gee. Wonder if the change had something to do with this?

    I'm happy with the fit, and if I'd purchased from a LBS, this would be fixed, already. But if I'd purchased locally, I'd be on a bike a full 1 cm smaller. Worth it for the hassle, but I did expect to have issues. I'm going to a shop that does not carry Pinarello, but they are people I know who ride a lot, so they should do a good job.

    Any idea how much this is going to cost?

    You've both helped a lot with this bike. Thanks!

    And I think I'm keeping the Turbomatic. (Changing subject here, sorry!). It looks like the seams on the saddle's rear bothered me, but they are becoming softer. Did you have any issues like that Oak?
    Last edited by Muirenn; 07-28-2012 at 01:40 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Did I mention I was on the side of the road, about 10 miles from my home? I didn't want to turn it upside-down, just had no way to do it, being alone. ...

    And I think I'm keeping the Turbomatic. (Changing subject here, sorry!). It looks like the seams on the saddle's rear bothered me, but they are becoming softer. Did you have any issues like that Oak?

    Actually, with a road bike it's pretty easy to just lift the rear wheel off the ground by holding the seatpost, flip the shifter, then use the other hand to turn the cranks. It's not ideal, but it's good enough to check whether everything's working and to make minor adjustments.

    I didn't notice the Turbomatic softening per se, but it did compress some pretty quickly. I wasn't happy about that, actually, but if it works for you then it's all good.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Actually, with a road bike it's pretty easy to just lift the rear wheel off the ground by holding the seatpost, flip the shifter, then use the other hand to turn the cranks. It's not ideal, but it's good enough to check whether everything's working and to make minor adjustments.

    I didn't notice the Turbomatic softening per se, but it did compress some pretty quickly. I wasn't happy about that, actually, but if it works for you then it's all good.
    Tried. Couldn't do it. This bike is heavier than my last. Plus, I had a heavier seat bag than usual. And the wheels, Fulcrum 5's, don't think they are too light, either.

    It's just the seams that bothered me. Not the padding. Two painful ridges in the back center! Seems better than last time. Guess I'll know more later.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 07-29-2012 at 09:59 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Having problems with SRAM. Not used to its shifting coming from Shimano. The front derailleur is either not cooperating going from the small chain and shifting to the large, or it manages it some time later. (Also partly due to operator error, I'm sure, but still).
    A friend of mine really struggled with her SRAM set-up when she first made the switch from Shimano. She had been working the left lever sort of backwards. She kept trying to do a small click to go up into the big ring and a big click/sweep to go down...she learned the hard way that this was backwards about 1/4 of the way up a tough hill. Are you doing something like this, too?
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    A friend of mine really struggled with her SRAM set-up when she first made the switch from Shimano. She had been working the left lever sort of backwards. She kept trying to do a small click to go up into the big ring and a big click/sweep to go down...she learned the hard way that this was backwards about 1/4 of the way up a tough hill. Are you doing something like this, too?
    No. One click to 'feather.' Two for small, sweep for large ring. Though I have a hard time doing the sweep. Hope I didn't damage anything out there today.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Just got back from the LBS, had to drive about 40 miles, but it's fixed and it only cost $10.00!

    Thanks guys. I'll mark this thread though, great information.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Glad it's fixed.

    You gonna tell us what the issue was?
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    No. One click to 'feather.' Two for small, sweep for large ring. Though I have a hard time doing the sweep. Hope I didn't damage anything out there today.
    It shouldn't be 2 clicks for front small ring. I make a single, small click for small ring, big sweep/push for big ring (at least that's how it works on my Rival and Apex set-ups--maybe it's different on Force and Red...?).
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    It shouldn't be 2 clicks for front small ring. I make a single, small click for small ring, big sweep/push for big ring (at least that's how it works on my Rival and Apex set-ups--maybe it's different on Force and Red...?).
    No clue. It's definitely shifting well, though. I thought one click was to trim. I'll have to see.

    But my front is Rival, back is Force. Not the highest level available of this type of bike. It's in the more reasonable range. Still not cheap. But not , either.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 07-29-2012 at 10:38 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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