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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search, but didn't find anything on the forum; strange because I figured there would be a bunch.

My front derailleur has not been shifting onto the large ring and I've taken it to the LBS twice now. They said it would be better if I put Ultegra group on the bike, but that isn't happening. The adjustments they made haven't really helped. It shifts perfectly while they have the bike on a rack, but you start riding and that large ring doesn't engage about 50% of the time. Yes, they road it and can duplicate the issue then said the Ultegra group is the solution.

So, tonight I google and youtube how to adjust the front Shimano 105 Derailleur, watched the videos, and started fiddling ... I really messed it up. :) Now what happens is that it shifts perfectly into the large and middle ring, but will not shift at all into the small ring; just clicks at the shifter with no response at the deraillure ... the middle and large ring work like a dream now though.

My question is what do I do to get the deraillure to start working with the small ring?

Secondly, would it hurt anything if I just left it as is? I don't use the small ring anyway so hmmm maybe just leave it that way since now at least the large ring engages everytime.

Help me please.
 

· monkey with flamethrower
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821 Posts
Start by finding a competent bike shop, talk to one of the mechanics not the high school kid and explain the situation. Any bike shop that will try and sell you more expensive parts rather than doing a most likely easy fix should not get your business.
It could be several issues, but by now your limit screws are all messed up and your cable tension is out of whack. Derailleur adjusting is easy in theory but can be difficult to execute.
If you haven't figured it out yet then take it too a new shop, be patient and ask questions. And be sure and tip a satisfactory repair with tasty malt beverages.
Out of curiosity what crankset are you running. Some cranksets have junky rings that never shift very well no matter what you do.
And since you probably need a new shop, maybe let us know where you are and someone could recommend a competent local shop.
 

· So. Calif.
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2,861 Posts
To claim that the only way to make front Derailler shift properly is an "upgrade" to Ultegra, is totally bogus & incompetent.

Either find another bike shop, or follow the straightforward directions at these 2 websites and do it yourself :
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

Note that Shimano's frt derailler setup instructions advise adjusting so that:
-- On largest front chainring, smallest rear cog: gap between derailler's outer guide plate & chain is 0.0-0.5 mm (H limit screw).

-- On smallest front chainring, largest rear cog: gap between derailler's inner guide plate & chain is 0.0-0.5 mm (L limit screw).


I get best results, on my triple chain ring 105 derailler, when these gaps are as close to 0 as possible, without rubbing.

The fact that it shifts well on stand but not while being ridden, maybe also suggests a bottom bracket bearing with too much play (?). Or a chainring that is not perfectly straight & true(?).
 

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I agree with both of the above replies. The only difference you would see with an upgrade is possibly a minor improvement in shifting, not a work/not work difference. Assuming there are no issues with your BB (play either translational or rotational) and assuming the limit screws are not stripped, it should be just a matter of adjusting the FD properly, which can be a pain to do properly. Any good bike shop should be able to diagnose the problem and fix it.

Shawn
 

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I just wanted to mention this, you say shifting is fine in a bike stand, take it out on the road and it no longer shifts to the large ring, before your adjustments that you made. I had the same problem with Ultegra Double set up. It shifted great in the stand take it out on the road and the shifting went to crap. I tinkered and tinkered and still couldnt make it shift out on the road. I mentiond the problem to a friend he mentioned, "did you check the frame?" That didn't even occur to me to do that, sure enough, found a crack at the seat tube/bottom bracket junction that was causing the problem. Frame had many years and lots of miles, no warranty, none expected. I went out and purchased a new road frame, shfting problem is gone!! Check the frame!!!!

BTW, the guys in the bike shop are idiots!! upgrading will correct the problem?? ridiculous!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update

To the shop this morning; deraillure issue fixed, but it still sticks a bit. Different shop and this mechanic seems to know his stuff. He said I needed a new crank and that is why the pressure of riding was giving issues with changing gears, but that he would put up with the problem if he were me until ready to buy a new bike.

I'll look around for a 105 / 3 ring crank out there; if I find one for cheap I'll toss it on. Other than that I am just riding it until I get a new bike.
 

· Frog Whisperer
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it could just as easily be the chain as the rings I would think.....HOWEVER....putting a new chain on an old cassette may open up a whole NEW can of worms....is sounds like an adjustment issue to me
 

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He said the teeth on the rings weren't picking up the chain as well anymore. Said the rings were worn out and to buy a new crank.
As PBB points out, I was afraid it might be something like that, since I can think of very few instances where a crank would need to be replaced unless it was damaged. Chainrings or bottom bracket maybe (although it does take a lot of mileage to wear out chainrings), but crank? Not likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, the mechanic did ride my bike about 10 minutes that day so wouldn't he be able to tell if it was the bracket or chainrings?

I don't have enough experience to tell what is wrong; what do you look for to see if a bracket is messed up or rings?
 

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How old is the crank that you have? Do you know how many miles are on it? I've commuted 20 miles a day on my bike (not including weekend riding) through all weather conditions with no problems shifting. It still seems like an adjustment issue.

With that said, triples are a little trickier than doubles. Have you thought about just having a double? If so, I don't suggest buying it from a shop. Either have them remove the small ring from your current crank or buy something on Ebay. I'm building a bike now and bought a Tiagra double for $30.
 
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