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Thread: Rival FD Help?

  1. #1
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    Rival FD Help?

    Over the weekend, I swapped my Rival group from an older bike to my current road bike, replacing the 105 group. Everything went fine except I am having nothing but trouble adjusting the front derailleur and at this point I'm at a loss of what I should try next.

    I've adjusted it to the usual spacing - 1 to 2 mm between the tallest tooth on the chain ring and the derailleur, cage parallel to the chain rings, set the low-limit screw to about 1 mm between the chain on the cage in the small/big combo, and high-limit screw to 1mm in the big/small combo. However, when I try to shift from the small to big chainring, the derailleur doesn't engage the chain enough to shift. It's just barely rubbing on it. I've never had this problem before. Using the above method, I've always been able to get the FD to work, piece of cake. However, this is a new bike (Giant Defy 1) and there could be something I'm overlooking.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should try next?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Personal experience: make sure the end caps are all the way on your cable housing. This can cause just enough flex to mess up the shifting. Also check where the cable housing mates to the shifter to make sure it is fully seated

    Technical: Does the cable feel tight in small ring? How much can you move it before the derailleur engages? If there is too much slack the shifter has to pull that in before it engages the derailleur.

    The purpose of the high limit screw is only to keep the chain from falling off. I would loosen it all the way, shift into the big ring, then tighten it back to the proper alignment to keep the chain on.
    That's the longest I've ever ridden without a beer stop.

  3. #3
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    undo the cable, make sure the shifter is in the correct (small chainring position). verify by pulling on the cable and shifting to low gear position. re-attach cable, ride bike.
    i work for some bike racers...
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCash View Post
    Personal experience: make sure the end caps are all the way on your cable housing. This can cause just enough flex to mess up the shifting. Also check where the cable housing mates to the shifter to make sure it is fully seated
    Done and done. Everything looks good there.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCash View Post
    Technical: Does the cable feel tight in small ring? How much can you move it before the derailleur engages? If there is too much slack the shifter has to pull that in before it engages the derailleur.
    There is a tiny bit of slack in the cable when in the small ring. Found out through trial and error that the Rival shifter doesn't work well with high tension. But the slack is minimal and doesn't appear to be working against me.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCash View Post
    The purpose of the high limit screw is only to keep the chain from falling off. I would loosen it all the way, shift into the big ring, then tighten it back to the proper alignment to keep the chain on.
    When I try that, it'll shift from the small to the big chain ring just fine when I'm in the smaller-half of my cassette. When I'm in the bigger-half, shifting stops working. If I then adjust the limit screw so that it'll shift when in the bigger half, it'll dump my chain across the chain ring when up-shifting while in a small cog. I've put together a few bikes, and it's never been this finicky before. Almost like something is malfunctioning, but I can't rule out my inexperience, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    undo the cable, make sure the shifter is in the correct (small chainring position). verify by pulling on the cable and shifting to low gear position. re-attach cable, ride bike.
    It's always been more or less this easy in the past. The only difference from how I've had it set up in the past is that I have a new Rival crank (2012) vs. an older model (2010) that came with the group set which I wanted to keep on the old bike. I can't figure out why this would make any difference, but I plan on trying out the older crank to see if it'll work. Time is kind of tight, so it'll be a while before I can play around with it.

  5. #5
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    Random thought: how much of a role would chain tension play in this? I also installed a new chain and went by SRAM's instructions of chain length to cover the big/big combo plus 2 links. I've read before that this method ends up giving a slack chain.

    Another random thought: also installed a new cassette. Even with the high-limit screw on the RD backed out all the way, there is a small amount of chain rub against the 2nd smallest cog. This makes me think that maybe I need a shim on the back end of my cassette. I figure this could theoretically effect FD shifting.

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    chain tension shouldn't really effect shifting. i've never once used SRAM's method of sizing the chain. i exclusively use the small/small method as it gives the longest chain, which is the safest length.
    if your chain is rubbing the second cog and:
    the cable is not attached
    the limit screw is loose
    i'll bet your hanger is bent. there really isn't any other answer. is the cassette shimano or sram? sram cassettes do not need a spacer of any kind, unless they're on a mavic wheel and then it's just the standard mavic spacer.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    chain tension shouldn't really effect shifting. i've never once used SRAM's method of sizing the chain. i exclusively use the small/small method as it gives the longest chain, which is the safest length.
    if your chain is rubbing the second cog and:
    the cable is not attached
    the limit screw is loose
    i'll bet your hanger is bent. there really isn't any other answer. is the cassette shimano or sram? sram cassettes do not need a spacer of any kind, unless they're on a mavic wheel and then it's just the standard mavic spacer.
    SRAM 1070 cassette, SRAM 1071 chain, American Classic Victory wheelset. So, no shim?

    The only thing that makes me scratch my head is that the FD shifting with 105 was fine.

    Also beginning to consider taking it to the LBS.

    Nuts.

  8. #8
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    If you changed cassettes, make sure your b adjustment screw is set properly on the RD. Also double check the limit screws on the RD.

    As for the front, it sounds like you don't have enough cable tension. Is it hard to shift? Do you have the cable attached at the correct pint on the FD? On SRAM FDs, it sort of hooks around a little metal doohickey (so it doesn't go straight into the mounting screw)

    Like so:

  9. #9
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post
    ...
    When I try that, it'll shift from the small to the big chain ring just fine when I'm in the smaller-half of my cassette. When I'm in the bigger-half, shifting stops working. If I then adjust the limit screw so that it'll shift when in the bigger half, it'll dump my chain across the chain ring when up-shifting while in a small cog. ...
    Can you take some closeup pictures (as long as you can the FD and chainrings) of your setup? From the top and side.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post

    When I try that, it'll shift from the small to the big chain ring just fine when I'm in the smaller-half of my cassette. When I'm in the bigger-half, shifting stops working. If I then adjust the limit screw so that it'll shift when in the bigger half, it'll dump my chain across the chain ring when up-shifting while in a small cog. I've put together a few bikes, and it's never been this finicky before. Almost like something is malfunctioning, but I can't rule out my inexperience, either.
    Sram front derailleurs are somewhat notorious for being difficult in the initial setup.

    Try this: Shift to the small ring and remove the cable. Shift to largest cog in the back. Adjust the low limit screw until the derailleur contacts the chain then turn back half a rotation. That is your low. Shift through your cassette until the chain starts to rub on the front derailleur if it starts to rub half way through you need to slightly change the angel of the front derailleur( I can use 8 of the 10 on my rear cassette without chain rub). If you change the angel check your low/low setting again. Attach the cable, try not to move the derailleur as the cable is tightened. The cable should be loose enough that there is no tension on the derailleur on the small ring but tight enough that the derailleur moves as soon as the lever is pushed. The shifter is designed to pull exactly enough cable to proportionally move the derailleur to force the chain onto the large ring. Shift the rear so the chain is in a middle cog. Slowly turn the crank and shift on the front. The actual shift motion between rings is a function of the pins and shaped teeth on the rings, the derailleur just pushes the chain from its current position. Once the chain is on the large ring shift the rear to the smallest cog, adjust the high limit screw on the front so the outside of the derailleur cage in about a millimeter from the chain. Shift the rear through the cogs, you may need to use the "trim click" on the front around the 6 or 7 cog to reach your high gears.

    Any time you adjust the low limit you also need to check the cable tension.

    This is the process I used when setting up my new bike. Finished drive train adjustments at 2am and left for a 70 mile ride at 7.
    That's the longest I've ever ridden without a beer stop.

  11. #11
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    Okay, redid everything according to DCash's instructions, still no dice.

    Here's some photos:

    1. big cog/small chain ring rear
    2. big cog/small chain ring top
    3. attempted shift into big chain ring while in small cog
    4. after manually moving the chain into the big ring while in small cog rear
    5. same as above, top view
    6. side view in big ring, small cog
    7. and close up of the cable pinch bolt

    One thing that I found odd but forgot to mention is that whether it's shifted to the big ring (and actually on it) or shifted to the small ring, I get no chain rub on the derailleur anywhere on the cassette. Doesn't matter if I'm in big/big or small/small, no chain rub. Could my derailleur be bent? Hard to tell just from looking at it and the SRAM technical manual doesn't give the cage width.

    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I appreciate the help.
    Last edited by Love Commander; 05-29-2013 at 07:08 PM.

  12. #12
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    Two things:

    - your cable appears to be coming directly into the bottom of the pinch bolt rather than on the left side as in TrojanHorse's photo. This will affect leverage.

    - You state in an earlier post that you have some slack in the cable when in the small chainring. Have you tried using the barrel adjuster to take this slack out? The shifters are designed to pull a specific amount of cable to enact the shift. If they have to take up slack before moving the derailleur, it won't travel far enough toward the big ring.
    DFL > DNF > DNS

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclo-phile View Post
    Two things:

    - your cable appears to be coming directly into the bottom of the pinch bolt rather than on the left side as in TrojanHorse's photo. This will affect leverage.

    - You state in an earlier post that you have some slack in the cable when in the small chainring. Have you tried using the barrel adjuster to take this slack out? The shifters are designed to pull a specific amount of cable to enact the shift. If they have to take up slack before moving the derailleur, it won't travel far enough toward the big ring.
    Huh. I read TrojanHorse's post at work and meant to try it when I got home but spaced out. I think that might be the winner. I predict a forehead slap tonight.

    FWIW, I'm going by what SRAM recommends in their derailleur manual (pdf). I couldn't find anything about routing above or below the little nub in the text, but was going by this illustration:

    Attachment 281632

    It's kind of ambiguous. But, yeah, I'm hoping that's what I was doing wrong.

    EDIT: Here's the other illustration from their big tech manual:

    Rival FD Help?-sram-pinch-bolt-2.png
    Last edited by Love Commander; 05-30-2013 at 06:40 AM.

  14. #14
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    Sorry it didn't help.

    Just recognized the shop badge on your down tube. They should do free adjustments on it even though it's not the original drivetrain. I would actually recommend Midtown because they sell more Sram equipped bikes.

    Are you doing any of the rides for Tough?
    That's the longest I've ever ridden without a beer stop.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCash View Post
    Sorry it didn't help.

    Just recognized the shop badge on your down tube. They should do free adjustments on it even though it's not the original drivetrain. I would actually recommend Midtown because they sell more Sram equipped bikes.

    Are you doing any of the rides for Tough?
    Hey awesome, small world. You're a local, I take it? Planning on doing the 60whatever miler on Saturday then hanging out the rest of the evening to watch the races. You riding or racing?

    Anyhow, I re-routed the cable to the outside of the nub to no real success, even after re-tensioning the cable per the instructions in this thread and re-checking the limit screws. Either I'm doing something wrong and can't figure out what or there's a faulty part (betting on the former). Gonna stimulate the local economy and take it into the shop. Probably Midtown, like you suggest, since they're pretty close. I'll post an update when it's fixed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post
    Hey awesome, small world. You're a local, I take it? Planning on doing the 60whatever miler on Saturday then hanging out the rest of the evening to watch the races. You riding or racing?
    Before they moved BOT was a block from my parents house. I'm racing cat 5 so noon on Saturday and 9ish Sunday; then back up the hill to get crazy. One of my favorite weekends of the year.
    That's the longest I've ever ridden without a beer stop.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post
    ...Anyhow, I re-routed the cable to the outside of the nub to no real success, even after re-tensioning the cable per the instructions in this thread and re-checking the limit screws. Either I'm doing something wrong and can't figure out what or there's a faulty part (betting on the former). Gonna stimulate the local economy and take it into the shop. Probably Midtown, like you suggest, since they're pretty close. I'll post an update when it's fixed.
    I'm wondering if you followed the step by step suggested by DCash in post #10 above? That's pretty much what got my Force FD working as well or better than any FD I've ever had. Especially the initial cable installation and tweaking the angle of the cage. You can't really rely on using your eyeballs to get that angle just right - yea, they say parallel but (1) is it possible to really eyeball this ... especially since the cage is irregular shape and (2) a tweak from parallel might be in order - mine looks to be a tiny, tiny bit angled outward (I said tiny!). It works night and day better since I did that tweak.

  18. #18
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    I just cleaned my drivetrain, and thought will fine tune the FD as well as I did managed to dump the chain over the large chainring recently.

    Am not using Rival but FWIW ...

    I noticed that my cage is slightly not parallel with the chainrings. The rear of the cage is slightly out from the parallel position. Somehow whilst tightening the FD the rear swung out a tad. But the FD still shifts through all the gears buttery smooth.

    Before I install the FD ...

    1) My lower limit screw is all the way out or just about touching the stop.
    2) Chain in small chainring large cog.
    3) Aligned the FD parallel to chainring and move the rear of the cage towards the chain by 1-2mm. My inner cage was pretty close such that I did not need to adjust the lower limit. Yours may still need some adjustment.
    4) Tighten FD.
    5) Connect the cable and tighten whilst pulling on the cable using a pliers. Ensure no slack.
    6) Check that no adjustment is necessary and you can use the small chainring big cog combo without the chain touching the inner cage.
    7) Move chain to large chainring small cog.
    8) Adjust the upper limit screw such that you can still see the cage moving out (ever so slightly) if you were to push on the lever. Not such that it will dump the chain off the large chainring.

    When you change the angle of the rear of the cage with respect to the chainring, I notice it changes how it will shift from the small to large chainring when at different cogs on the cassette. Start from parallel and incrementally move out.

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