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  1. #1
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    Campagnolo says brand-new custom frame derailleur hanger off spec... gah!

    Hey folks...

    So late last year I received my custom Ti frame I had made. A local bike shop assembled everything (all Campagnolo Chorus 11, mechanical).

    I've ridden it only 5 or 6 times since then (lots of cold and rain until recently, and a bit of laziness); this past weekend I took it on an organized century.

    Starting at the last 20 miles or so of the century, the chain stopped going down to the last 3 cogs - it stopped on the 3rd or 4th from the smallest and would go no further.

    I brought it to the shop, and they were stumped.

    Well, today I called them and they said they'd talked with Campagnolo, done a bunch of measurements, and Campagnolo told them that the hanger was several millimeters off spec. They were able to get it working again with some adjustments and lube-ing the hell out of it, but this is something that could recur over time.

    What would you do in a situation like this? I spent around $6000 for the frame (and told them I'd be using a Campagnolo drive train, so they were aware of the specs they needed to follow). My dream bike is no longer quite as dreamy... I'm wondering if it's something they can fix - the hanger is welded on, not removable, and I'd hate the idea of them having to do more welding back there (not to mention the pain in the neck of disassembling the bike, shipping the frame, reassembling the bike, etc. even if they WERE able to do that).

    I've contacted the frame builder, and will likely hear back from them tomorrow.

    - Tim
    Last edited by tbessie; 04-24-2018 at 04:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    What part of the hanger is out of spec?

    Usually, the only specs of interest are the distance from the derailleur mounting bolt to the center of the axle, and the horizontal relationship between the mounting bolt and the axle.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    What part of the hanger is out of spec?

    Usually, the only specs of interest are the distance from the derailleur mounting bolt to the center of the axle, and the horizontal relationship between the mounting bolt and the axle.
    I'm not sure - I've asked the bike shop for more information about what Campagnolo said. It could be that the Campagnolo people just don't want to do a part swap, of course, and that it's just an excuse. But I'll get the details here and report back.

    - Tim

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Wait...you couldn't shift to the 11, 12, 13, or sometimes 14 cog and Campy says it's the hanger being 'out of spec'? How about cables/housing? Cable routing? Is the hanger so thin the derailleur doesn't have enough spring tension to move it down? I might believe the hanger excuse if it was 1 cog, but 3 or 4?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Wait...you couldn't shift to the 11, 12, 13, or sometimes 14 cog and Campy says it's the hanger being 'out of spec'? How about cables/housing? Cable routing? Is the hanger so thin the derailleur doesn't have enough spring tension to move it down? I might believe the hanger excuse if it was 1 cog, but 3 or 4?
    I can't say I understand it. Not sure about your terminology (that is, how they number the cogs - there's only 11 cogs on the cassette, so what do you mean by 12, 13, 14?). The 3 smallest cogs on the cassette couldn't be reached - at a fully slack cable, it stopped at the 4th up (or perhaps the 3rd up, I can't recall). This is a brand-new derailleur, mind you. The hanger is beefy enough.

    The only thing I can guess is, perhaps the tolerances are so fine that if it's off by a few millimeters, the spring inside the derailleur gets somehow stuck; they said that spraying a lot of lube into the derailleur mechanism got it moving again, so all I can imagine is something getting stuck on the inside wall of the mechanism and the extra lube allowing it to slide along; perhaps lateral pressure pushes it up against the inside?

    I've no idea, since I don't know much about the inner mechanics of rear derailleurs.

    But I'll be happy to follow up here with whatever the bike shop tells me that Campy told them, when I go to pick up the bike from them.

    - Tim
    Last edited by tbessie; 04-24-2018 at 08:48 PM.

  6. #6
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Hey folks...snip..........I've ridden it only 5 or 6 times since then (lots of cold and rain until recently, and a bit of laziness); this past weekend I took it on an organized century.

    Starting at the last 20 miles or so of the century, the chain stopped going down to the last 3 cogs - it stopped on the 3rd or 4th from the smallest and would go no further......snip..

    - Tim
    Are you saying that it was working well until the ‘last 20 miles or so’ then started not working well? IF the derailleur hanger was truly out of specification, it wouldn’t work properly from the get go. It wouldn’t start out working well then get out of adjustment. If I’m correct in my assessment, I’d suspect an installation/set up error first, before an out if spec der hanger.
    Trying to cram the rest of my life into the rest of my life!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Are you saying that it was working well until the ‘last 20 miles or so’ then started not working well? IF the derailleur hanger was truly out of specification, it wouldn’t work properly from the get go. It wouldn’t start out working well then get out of adjustment. If I’m correct in my assessment, I’d suspect an installation/set up error first, before an out if spec der hanger.
    Yes, it was working fine until those last 20 miles.

    I heard talk that someone may have accidentally knocked over some bikes from the rack at the last rest stop, but it was unconfirmed. I mentioned this to the shop, but they said there was nothing that would indicate the derailleur had been knocked out of whack; they DID tell me the hanger was slightly misaligned, so they fixed that (I think by a couple of millimeters), but the derailleur continued to not shift all the way.

    There's always the possibility that my bike was knocked off the rack, and it DID damage the derailleur internally, but in a way that the bike shop couldn't see. Campagnolo seems to think the problem is with the hanger not meeting their spec, though. I've had plenty of bikes with Campy derailleurs fall on their sides over the years, and this never happened.

    I contacted the frame builder, and they said they always use the latest specs, so it SHOULD be fine.

    I'm awaiting word back from the bike shop with full information about what Campagnolo said.

    If it continues to misbehave over time, and the specs are correct, I may get a new derailleur anyway to see if that fixes it permanently.

    - Tim

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Are you saying that it was working well until the ‘last 20 miles or so’ then started not working well? IF the derailleur hanger was truly out of specification, it wouldn’t work properly from the get go. It wouldn’t start out working well then get out of adjustment. If I’m correct in my assessment, I’d suspect an installation/set up error first, before an out if spec der hanger.
    that was my first thought as well. And as was also already mentioned; a mm or two might explain shutting out 1 cog but not 3 or 4.

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Sounds pretty weird. If it was fine til the last xxmiles I'd have to guess something is not right w/ either the shifter or the derailleur but it's really hard to say w/o seeing the bike. I would say that anyone that blames the hanger/dropout is full of ****.
    If the bike weren't new I'd look at the cable...possible it's damaged? Doubtful because it was working and it's so new.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Sounds pretty weird. If it was fine til the last xxmiles I'd have to guess something is not right w/ either the shifter or the derailleur but it's really hard to say w/o seeing the bike. I would say that anyone that blames the hanger/dropout is full of ****.
    If the bike weren't new I'd look at the cable...possible it's damaged? Doubtful because it was working and it's so new.
    Exactly. And the same would go for Campy. I wouldn't trust the bike shop relayed der specs to within a couple MMs either.

    Given that it worked for 80 miles I'd be willing to bet another bike shop would fix the problem easy. Who knows what it is but things don't work and suddenly stop for no reason and reasons are all reversible.

  11. #11
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Sounds pretty weird. If it was fine til the last xxmiles I'd have to guess something is not right w/ either the shifter or the derailleur but it's really hard to say w/o seeing the bike. I would say that anyone that blames the hanger/dropout is full of ****.
    If the bike weren't new I'd look at the cable...possible it's damaged? Doubtful because it was working and it's so new.

    I'd still look at the cabling. Mechanical 11s housing is very easy to foul, especially riding in bad weather....or if you use with internal routed bars and the housing settles into not being long enough if you yoink the bars.

    I myself had an LBS doing SAG...that is otherwise a solid store/wrench shop...diagnose my Seven with Chorus 11s as having a bum RD hanger out on a multi-day ride in bad weather, when shifting wouldn't index in part of the cassette....which was a double pisser-offer as Seven didn't make frames then with replaceable RD hangers.... Took it to the shop that built it, and their master wrench in 30 seconds diagnosed dry housing. Go figure--he was right. Worked like a charm.
    Last edited by Marc; 04-25-2018 at 02:28 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I'd still look at the cabling. Mechanical 11s housing is very easy to foul, especially riding in bad weather....or if you use with internal routed bars and the housing settles into not being long enough if you yoink the bars.

    I myself had an LBS doing SAG...that is otherwise a solid store/wrench shop...diagnose my Seven with Chorus 11s as having a bum RD hanger out on a multi-day ride in bad weather, when shifting wouldn't index in part of the cassette....which was a double pisser-offer as Seven didn't make frames then with replaceable RD hangers.... Took it to the shop that built it, and their master wrench in 30 seconds diagnosed dry housing. Go figure--he was right. Worked like a charm.
    Yeah, from what they'd said, I'll need to keep the derailleur innards very well lubed to keep this from happening. I have external cable routing (though under the bar tape).

    When I got the parts for the bike, I kind of wished they still made 10s gruppos, since 11s is starting to look a little ridiculous and out-of-proportion to me (and I presume that they might be less finicky). My city bike still has Campy 9s on it and never has any issues, and I ride it every day.

    Anyway, it very well might have been someone knocking it over at the 80 mile mark rest stop. I'll find out more and report back.

    - Tim

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Yeah, from what they'd said, I'll need to keep the derailleur innards very well lubed to keep this from happening. I have external cable routing (though under the bar tape).
    That's a load of bull. Springs don't benefit from lube and there is no way the pivit points seized up in the course of a 100 mile ride. People go for decades without putting any lube on the deraileurs and when someone does it's pretty much only to address a squeaking not to make the thing work.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    That's a load of bull. Springs don't benefit from lube and there is no way the pivit points seized up in the course of a 100 mile ride. People go for decades without putting any lube on the deraileurs and when someone does it's pretty much only to address a squeaking not to make the thing work.
    I'm scratching my head as much as anyone at this. I'm definitely curious what they'll eventually tell me.

    This isn't a bad bike shop - they're pretty great mechanics there, and very honest, so I don't think they're making stuff up. Not sure what's going on, tho'. Could be the way they described things to me wasn't very accurate, and they'll give me more info later that will clear it up.

    - Tim

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    that was my first thought as well. And as was also already mentioned; a mm or two might explain shutting out 1 cog but not 3 or 4.
    If not Park Tool, I believe I read somewhere that the acceptable error is 4mm, measured at the rim to the derailleur hanger alignment tool's indicator.

    I have 2 different tools and have a good deal of experience with them.

    As an aside: A titanium dropout meeting dropout standards, will have more flex to it than a steel dropout. They're also more difficult to align due to the properties of titanium.

  16. #16
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    I'm scratching my head as much as anyone at this. I'm definitely curious what they'll eventually tell me.

    This isn't a bad bike shop - they're pretty great mechanics there, and very honest, so I don't think they're making stuff up. Not sure what's going on, tho'. Could be the way they described things to me wasn't very accurate, and they'll give me more info later that will clear it up.

    - Tim
    I'm sorry but saying a derailleur needs constant and liberal lubrication is complete bullshit. If you can't make new Campy shift properly you need to step away from the tools. The stuff I hear going on at some shops makes me smh. And so many of them have great reputations. It boggles my mind what I end up fixing for people on nearly a daily basis.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    I'm scratching my head as much as anyone at this. I'm definitely curious what they'll eventually tell me.

    This isn't a bad bike shop - they're pretty great mechanics there, and very honest, so I don't think they're making stuff up. Not sure what's going on, tho'. Could be the way they described things to me wasn't very accurate, and they'll give me more info later that will clear it up.

    - Tim
    Actually they're not and there's no room for interpretation with several things you have said.
    Lube innards? No way to misrepresent that and it's totally wrong.


    Won't shift to the last 3 cogs? Pretty clear.

    What's also weird and being overlooked here is: You could have your hanger on the kitchen sink and bent to heck but with proper cable tension and freedom of cable movement it should still move the range it needs to move assuming the limit screws are set up to allow the proper range of movement. And if the hanger was bent currently to shut off the last three cogs, that would mean you'd shift it into the spokes on the other side.

    This isn't complicated. Your der isn't moving as far as it needs to and they or someone needs to figure out why and lack of lube ain't why.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    People go for decades without putting any lube on the deraileurs and when someone does it's pretty much only to address a squeaking not to make the thing work.
    I've never lubed a derailleur in decades of riding (road and MTB).
    But what do I know... my bikes have always been able to shift into all their gears.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie
    This isn't a bad bike shop - they're pretty great mechanics there, and very honest, so I don't think they're making stuff up.
    No.... they're not great mechanics. They don't even sound like mediocre mechanics.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I've never lubed a derailleur in decades of riding (road and MTB).
    .
    Where would you drop the lube on a rear derailer? I've never lubed mine either.

    Its got to be something wrong with the cables. Crud in the housing.

  20. #20
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    Ok, what the shop told me just now is that in the attached image, Figure 2, the measurement for "X" should be 4-8mm (though I don't get the notation using the "division" symbol there), and in my dropout it's 17mm.

    The builder says that's not true, that "X" is 4.3mm or something like that.

    I'll get more info from the bike shop when I pick it up, and check the measurements myself.

    - Tim

    Attachment 322484
    Last edited by tbessie; 04-26-2018 at 10:14 AM.

  21. #21
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    So, everything worked as it should when you rolled down the road for the first time? If that is in fact the case, then all this crap about the hanger is fiction. Like CX, I spend a good deal of time fixing crap that "good" mechanics foul up on peoples bikes. I often visit "good" shops when I'm out and about, and the garbage assemblies I see on floor bikes is embarassing, and I don't even work there.
    My opinion, the shop found what the screwed up on assembly, fixed it and lied through their bald ass teeth to you to save their rep. Because what they told you as others have stated is bullshite.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 202cycle View Post
    So, everything worked as it should when you rolled down the road for the first time? If that is in fact the case, then all this crap about the hanger is fiction. Like CX, I spend a good deal of time fixing crap that "good" mechanics foul up on peoples bikes. I often visit "good" shops when I'm out and about, and the garbage assemblies I see on floor bikes is embarassing, and I don't even work there.
    My opinion, the shop found what the screwed up on assembly, fixed it and lied through their bald ass teeth to you to save their rep. Because what they told you as others have stated is bullshite.
    Possibly; though I know that they messed up on one thing when I first got the bike, and they owned their mistake and fixed it for free (the rear derailleur on the wheel side was not properly adjusted, and the chain fell between the cassette and spokes and took some small chunks out of the spokes - they replaced all the spokes for free and admitted their mistake).

    I tend to trust these guys, and have a reasonably close relationship with the owner. That doesn't mean that the mechanics might not lie, but I tend to doubt it.

    - Tim

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Possibly; though I know that they messed up on one thing when I first got the bike, and they owned their mistake and fixed it for free (the rear derailleur on the wheel side was not properly adjusted, and the chain fell between the cassette and spokes and took some small chunks out of the spokes - they replaced all the spokes for free and admitted their mistake).

    I tend to trust these guys, and have a reasonably close relationship with the owner. That doesn't mean that the mechanics might not lie, but I tend to doubt it.

    - Tim
    It's now time to find a new shop. Or that shop needs to find some new mechanics. That's pretty much inexcusable.
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  24. #24
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    (the rear derailleur on the wheel side was not properly adjusted
    That's the low limit screw. Literally the most basic adjustment on a bike. I could never trust someone who couldn't get that right.
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    To all who replied to the above - points taken and assimilated. :-)

    - Tim

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