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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    frozen front derailleur - at 35 degrees??

    I just got back from my third short ride on a bike that I got from that place that sells drop ships them direct from the warehouse. FYI, don't think that's the real problem.

    But when I got the bike, I only had to tweak the fd on the inner chainring (triple) about 1/8 turn. Probably didn't have to do that. Ride # one, about 40 minutes in town, moderate temperatures (above freezing), dry, - no problem. Rode it yesterday about 40 minutes, low to to mid 40's IIRC, heavy fog to light mist, no problem. Had problem getting it in small chainring, but I was wearing gloves and it was dark.

    Go out this afternoon and I start up the Himalayan climb over the railroad tracks. That's hyperbole. I'm old, fat, and out of shape. I've ridden in the Himalayas and the climbs aren't as steep. Just longer and the air gets kinda thin at 17000 feet.

    Anyhowz, the bike wouldn't shift to the smaller chainring. Once I realized that I didn't have a thumb lever, I got off, sort of fiddled with it, and got it into small chainring as a result of fm, but for the last time. I got off the bike once or twice more, and the fd seemed to be absolutely frozen. Tension in the derailleur cable and couldn't get anything to move. Cage up against the stop. Inside lever not engaging the rachet and moving without resistance . Temperature was 35 and dry.

    Walked in house, brought my bike with me, got something in the kitchen, and only a few minutes later I checked the bike again. Working like a champ. Absolutely freely moving and responsive.

    The gears are Ultegra 2013 model - at least new enough to have the handle bar cable routing and carbon levers. Previous bikes have had ergopower so I am not familiar with the system. This might be a well known quirk. Any ideas what happened?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtindsm View Post
    I just got back from my third short ride on a bike that I got from that place that sells drop ships them direct from the warehouse. FYI, don't think that's the real problem.

    But when I got the bike, I only had to tweak the fd on the inner chainring (triple) about 1/8 turn. Probably didn't have to do that. Ride # one, about 40 minutes in town, moderate temperatures (above freezing), dry, - no problem. Rode it yesterday about 40 minutes, low to to mid 40's IIRC, heavy fog to light mist, no problem. Had problem getting it in small chainring, but I was wearing gloves and it was dark.

    Anyhowz, the bike wouldn't shift to the smaller chainring. Once I realized that I didn't have a thumb lever, I got off, sort of fiddled with it, and got it into small chainring as a result of fm, but for the last time. I got off the bike once or twice more, and the fd seemed to be absolutely frozen. Tension in the derailleur cable and couldn't get anything to move. Cage up against the stop. Inside lever not engaging the rachet and moving without resistance . Temperature was 35 and dry.

    Walked in house, brought my bike with me, got something in the kitchen, and only a few minutes later I checked the bike again. Working like a champ. Absolutely freely moving and responsive.

    The gears are Ultegra 2013 model - at least new enough to have the handle bar cable routing and carbon levers. Previous bikes have had ergopower so I am not familiar with the system. This might be a well known quirk. Any ideas what happened?
    As you describe it I'm going to guess that you got some water in either the shifter or the cable/casing and that froze during your cold ride. Shoot some lube into the internals of the shifter and dribble some down the inside of the casing. You could even go over the shifter and cable with a hair dryer to get rid of the moisture but there should be enough lube in there to keep the moisture out.

    If the cable had been loose and the FD wouldn't move then that would have pointed to the need for lube on the FD pivot points but you specifically state that there was tension on the cable so that points to the shifter or the cable hanging up in the casing. Also do a check for a frayed cable inside the shifter - stray wires can hang up on the casing and "freeze" the cable.

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