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Diesel Engine
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898 Posts
The front derailleur is one of the more basic mechanisms on the bike so there really should be no mystery about it. If it was always sluggish to shift to the big ring, that's a sign of a too loose cable, not a too tight one - this doesn't sound like a cable adjustment issue but a friction issue. If the derailleur slipped (either rotated or moved down the tube) the chance of the derailleur being damaged by the chainwheels are pretty high. If I had to guess he didn't tell you what he did because he didn't replace any parts and didn't want to justify charging you the shop minimum for a basic adjustment. No offense but he probably figured that if you couldn't fix this on the road you probably wouldn't understand his explanation of the adjustment he did.

I remember a few years back a guy on a group ride had a similar problem, he asked me to look at it when the group stopped. His under-BB cable guide was crusted up with dried energy drink and dirt. A few squirts of a water bottle and to his surprise the shifting was instantly fixed
 
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