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  1. #1
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    Chain dropping issues...

    I replaced all my cables a couple of weeks ago, and in the past three rides have had a chain fall between the spokes and the biggest cog in back, and drop behind the small cog in the front. These have all been in situations where I shift under significant load (i.e. going up hill), and that may be partly to blame. But I'm wondering what else since this wasn't an issue before the cable swap.

    Reindexed after ward and maybe that's what the issue is. I just got back from a ride and was checking my shifting, noticed that double-shifting (Shimano STI 105-5700) takes me from the 3rd cog to the sixth, which obviously shouldn't be happening.

    Thoughts? Should I loosen all the cables and adjusters and start from scratch? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    The adjustment that stops your chain falling off (assuming the derailleurs are at the right angles and chain length) are the stop screws. Your old cables might have been tight enough to be acting as stops, but the screws are supposed to be doing the job.

    I would take the cables off and get your stops set first, then get the shifting cables in place. They always stretch initially, but I think your's should be fully stretched now.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    The adjustment that stops your chain falling off (assuming the derailleurs are at the right angles and chain length) are the stop screws. Your old cables might have been tight enough to be acting as stops, but the screws are supposed to be doing the job.

    I would take the cables off and get your stops set first, then get the shifting cables in place. They always stretch initially, but I think your's should be fully stretched now.
    No, they don't. Cables most definitely do not stretch. The rest of your post is correct, but stretching is not what happens. Housing compresses a bit and ferrules get more completely seated on the housing. End result is the same, the cable needs to be tightened. The OP should also check his derailleur hanger alignment while he's working on the bike.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    No, they don't. Cables most definitely do not stretch. The rest of your post is correct, but stretching is not what happens. Housing compresses a bit and ferrules get more completely seated on the housing. End result is the same, the cable needs to be tightened. The OP should also check his derailleur hanger alignment while he's working on the bike.
    CX, read the OP again and ask yourself whether this person has the experience to care and not be confused by minor technicalities like stretch vs compression.

    I know it is housing compression, but "cable stretch" is what it looks like and what most people refer to. It is a reasonable shorthand for the effect seen. I'm just trying to provide simple instructions, not hold forth on the underlying engineering.
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  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    CX, read the OP again and ask yourself whether this person has the experience to care and not be confused by minor technicalities like stretch vs compression.

    I know it is housing compression, but "cable stretch" is what it looks like and what most people refer to. It is a reasonable shorthand for the effect seen. I'm just trying to provide simple instructions, not hold forth on the underlying engineering.
    Whether he knows or not he deserves to know what is actually happening.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Whether he knows or not he deserves to know what is actually happening.
    0kay, okay.

    Are you this strict with users of the term "sunrise"? ;)
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  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    0kay, okay.

    Are you this strict with users of the term "sunrise"? ;)
    Nope, cuz I'm never awake for it
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  8. #8
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    Thoughts?

    You don't understand how your bike works, you're working on it yourself and doing damage to it and ruining your time while out riding. So...

    Take it to a shop.

    Tell them to set the limit screws properly and tune the shifting properly after. Should only take an experienced mechanic 5 minutes or so and not cost much.

    The limit screws are what's causing the chain to drop.

    As CX said, might as well have them check the alignment of the hanger, that could be off too causing the 3 cog jump with two shifts.
    use a torque wrench

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    No, they don't. Cables most definitely do not stretch. The rest of your post is correct, but stretching is not what happens. Housing compresses a bit and ferrules get more completely seated on the housing. End result is the same, the cable needs to be tightened. The OP should also check his derailleur hanger alignment while he's working on the bike.
    I am guessing this is his main problem. Once his hanger is re-aligned, he should of course check and adjust his limit screws as well.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    Are you this strict with users of the term "sunrise"? ;
    lol!

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  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I am guessing this is his main problem. Once his hanger is re-aligned, he should of course check and adjust his limit screws as well.
    Yes, this is absolute must.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Thoughts?

    You don't understand how your bike works, you're working on it yourself and doing damage to it and ruining your time while out riding. So...

    Take it to a shop.

    Tell them to set the limit screws properly and tune the shifting properly after. Should only take an experienced mechanic 5 minutes or so and not cost much.

    The limit screws are what's causing the chain to drop.

    As CX said, might as well have them check the alignment of the hanger, that could be off too causing the 3 cog jump with two shifts.

    Disregard this OP. We were all where you are once, some of us forget that though. Instead of throwing your money at a mechanic, go watch some good videos on youtube about how to set up a rear derailleur. There are a few good ones that take you through the process and have some good tips and tricks as well. Setting up a derailleur is simple once you understand what is going on. Start from the very beginning (checking to see if the hanger is straight and making sure the derailleur is screwed into the hanger properly) and do every step, even if you think you have already done it. No need to take it to someone else.

  13. #13
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    You know, I wonder if he did something like incorrectly placing his cable on the derailleur cable bolt?
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    You know, I wonder if he did something like incorrectly placing his cable on the derailleur cable bolt?
    Good idea to check this, you wouldn't think so but people get it wrong all the time.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSracer View Post
    Start from the very beginning (checking to see if the hanger is straight and making sure the derailleur is screwed into the hanger properly) and do every step, even if you think you have already done it. No need to take it to someone else.
    So how is he going to check to make sure the hanger is straight?

    Are you going to suggest he make some sort of tool to do the job? Buy one?
    use a torque wrench

  16. #16
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSracer View Post
    Disregard this OP. We were all where you are once, some of us forget that though. Instead of throwing your money at a mechanic, go watch some good videos on youtube about how to set up a rear derailleur. There are a few good ones that take you through the process and have some good tips and tricks as well. Setting up a derailleur is simple once you understand what is going on. Start from the very beginning (checking to see if the hanger is straight and making sure the derailleur is screwed into the hanger properly) and do every step, even if you think you have already done it. No need to take it to someone else.
    Except for the specialty tools he doesn't have or he would have already fixed the problem. Bike shops aren't all bad and are actually worth it quite often.
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  17. #17
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    Yet another thing to hate about "modern" bikes - soft derailleur hangers. Every bike I own has a titanium hanger that is nearly unbendable. Nearly every bike I worked on at the shop had derailleur hanger that needed correction.

    It wouldn't be hard to make a tool if you could find a long bolt that fit the derailleur thread and use it like a dropout alignment tool.
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  18. #18
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    You want the derailleur hanger to be soft. If it was the most rigid piece of the assembly, then the frame would bend before the hanger would.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    You want the derailleur hanger to be soft. If it was the most rigid piece of the assembly, then the frame would bend before the hanger would.
    Read Kontact's post again. He's talking about Ti frames. In that case it's fine. Steel frame, fine. You need replaceable hangers on carbon and aluminum frames.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Read Kontact's post again. He's talking about Ti frames. In that case it's fine. Steel frame, fine. You need replaceable hangers on carbon and aluminum frames.
    Carbon Parlee with titanium dropouts, no replaceable hanger:




    I have a Calfee like this.

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  21. #21
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    All the Trek road bikes I have (aluminum and carbon) don't have replaceable derailleur hangers (I wish they did). What's up with that bolted seatstay connection in the photos above?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    So how is he going to check to make sure the hanger is straight?

    Are you going to suggest he make some sort of tool to do the job? Buy one?
    Yeah, he could buy one. It's worth having in the long run anyway.

    Or

    He could go through the process and check everything else out first. If it fixes his shifting, great, no need to go to the shop. Saved some money and saved a trip. If it is still skipping gears at that point, then he can think about taking it to a shop. Basic bike maintenance is super easy and there is no need to take the bike to a shop until he has given it a good shot himself. Your aggressive attitude telling him he doesn't know what he's doing and to just take it to the shop is not going to help him in the long run. Understanding how a derailleur works is very important for routine maintenance and especially important if you have a mechanical out on the road. From my experience the best way to understand how one works is to set one up from the very beginning.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Except for the specialty tools he doesn't have or he would have already fixed the problem. Bike shops aren't all bad and are actually worth it quite often.
    I'm not saying they're all bad. I work at a shop, a good shop at that. It's still not worth taking it to a shop yet. In this instance, there is only one specialty tool he might need. A hanger straightener. Other than that it is all allen keys. And yeah, if he had the tool he would probably already have it done because he would have already gone through the process of learning out to work on his bike. He's not there yet, but there is only one way to get there. And it is not handing his bike over to a bike shop and letting them do it for him.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    All the Trek road bikes I have (aluminum and carbon) don't have replaceable derailleur hangers (I wish they did). What's up with that bolted seatstay connection in the photos above?
    It's just how Calfee does it. They've done it that way forever and I guess they're not going to be changing anytime soon.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    All the Trek road bikes I have (aluminum and carbon) don't have replaceable derailleur hangers (I wish they did). What's up with that bolted seatstay connection in the photos above?
    That style of dropout lets the builder vary the stay angle infinitely without welding or having to machine a new stay for every new custom. Several other carbon and bonded aluminum bikes have used similar solutions.

    Those drop outs, and many specialty Ti parts for builders, are usually made by just a few suppliers - Paragonmachine being the biggest.
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