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Discussion Starter #1
Forgive me as I am a newbie to road bikes:

I bought a video by T. Laflin on Shimano maintenance, but when he shows how to adjust the derailleurs, he forgets to show baseline barrel adjustments, plus the video is antiquated and shows barrel adjusters on the frame.

I have the latest 10-spd Ultegra Flite-Deck, and there are thin barrel adjusters coming out the cable to the shifters. Where do I set this when I want to set up the derailleurs from scratch? If I turn them one direction they seem to bottom out and keep turning; in the other direction they reveal a silver retainer and then unthread completely.

What are these adjusters for anyway? The rear derailleur also has the traditional adjuster nut on the derailleur itself, so the cable has two adjusters. I presume the single adjuster for the front derailleur (near the shifter) is simply the cable tension adjuster, which on older setups used to be on the frame.
 

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General procedure

IME, it works best to screw the barrel adjusters all the way in when doing a "from scratch" derailleur set up. The reason for this is that you normally can't pull the cable all that tight by hand, so when you clamp it in place, there will be a little bit of slack. You take that slack out with the barrel adjusters, leaving them with the ability to adjust out further, or back in a bit to get things dialed in. Some recommend starting with the barrel adjusters out a few turns, but I have never had the situation where there was a need to turn them in after first attaching the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Kerry Irons said:
IME, it works best to screw the barrel adjusters all the way in when doing a "from scratch" derailleur set up. The reason for this is that you normally can't pull the cable all that tight by hand, so when you clamp it in place, there will be a little bit of slack. You take that slack out with the barrel adjusters, leaving them with the ability to adjust out further, or back in a bit to get things dialed in. Some recommend starting with the barrel adjusters out a few turns, but I have never had the situation where there was a need to turn them in after first attaching the cable.
OK, thanks for your help, Kerry. It does appear that when screwed all the way in, you lengthen the cable housing by backing off, and that would tighten it.
 

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Bike Dude
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My take

I rarely use the barrel adjusters on my bike. I do all the adjustments at the derailleur. Just my preferred method. Have you looked at the Park Tool website? Many helpful "how-to's". Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery has tons of useful info as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thommy said:
I rarely use the barrel adjusters on my bike. I do all the adjustments at the derailleur. Just my preferred method. Have you looked at the Park Tool website? Many helpful "how-to's". Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery has tons of useful info as well.
I never got the hang out of adjusting derailleurs on my ATB bike, but a lot of times, the shifting is OK on the stand, but a tad off on the trail/road. Or on a new bike, the cables loosen after breakin. The barrel adjusters up front allow you to adjust tension on the fly (mean't for minor tweaking). That's why the two adjusters on the rear derailleur cable are rather superfluous. At least road bikes (Shimano anyway), have a trim adjustment on the front derailleur, unlike ATB stuff.

I bought the videos from Branford Bike and MLafkin doesn't reply to e-mail, and Branford just tells me they no longer sell Shimano so call them :rolleyes:. I would return the videos, except they are useful. There's stuff on it I've not seen covered in print.

Thanks for the tips on the sites; I have looked at them.
 
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