Help, I'm in the small chain ring and I can't get up (to the large chain ring)!!!!
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  1. #1
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    Help, I'm in the small chain ring and I can't get up (to the large chain ring)!!!!

    I have a new road bike and today was my 2nd road ride. I have also done a few trainer sessions with the new bike.

    Anyway, today when I went out on my ride, I was unable to move to the big chain ring from the small ring.

    I am assuming this due to "cable stretch."

    I am pretty handy but am pretty inexperienced in bike mechanics outside of changing flats, adjusting handlebars, seatposts, lubing the chain, etc.

    Is this something I should try to fix or should I take it to my LBS and let the mechanic help me?

    If it's something I should try to fix, what should I do to fix? Adjust the barrel by the shifter? Adjust the limit screw for the derailer? Throw the bike away and start over?
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 5 63cm Charcoal Gray
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  2. #2
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    add more farkels

  3. #3
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    You could rub this on the cable or if there are barrel adjusters on the downtube, you can twist it a turn or two to take up any slack from the cable stretch. I've found than trying different adjustments and screwing up the settings is the quickest way to learn your way around the mechanics of the bike. Just remember what adjustment or set screw you turned which way and how far so you can turn it back when you've seen the effects.
    “It is just a ‘Game Boy’ that has a gigolo attached at the end telling the racer when to take a piss,” Hinault

  4. #4
    Low Idiot Tolerance
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    The limit screws won't have any effect, assuming they were right in the first place. Leave them alone.

    I'm assuming that when you shift, the derailleur cage moves out, but not enough to lift the chain to the big ring, it just rubs and grates and groans and generally sounds like woe. Also assuming you're shifting "enough", meaning you're not expecting it go with one click.

    So, yeah, the cable has either stretched or slipped. Here's the budget simple fix.

    1. Shift into your inner ring, with you shifter in it's "first position" Not sure what shifters you're using but they may have a "trim feature".

    2. Undo the 5mm allen headed cable clamp screw on the front derailleur a little, just enough to allow you to pull the cable through.

    3. Pull the cable through by hand. Hand tight, don't go stupid with a pair of pliers and your foot against the frame.

    4. While it's tight, nip up the cable clamp bolt, it doesn't need to be mental tight, but give it some torque.

    5. Try shifting. It should have improved. If it's a bit sluggish you can try again with a bit more cable tension, or dial it out with the barrell adjuster.

    If you run out of barrell adjuster, turn the barrell adjuster a turn back from all the way in, then repeat the above steps.

    Good luck.

    If all else fails, switch to Di2 because it "totally kills everything else".

    Grumps

  5. #5
    Two scoops of inertia.
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    park tool website does wonders for understanding how to get your bike into top shape and keep it that way. I'm a DIY proponent just because your bike shop won't always be there, but your mini tool will.
    "Do I need to tell you what the f*ck you can do with an aluminum tube? ALUMINUM!"

  6. #6
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    Mate, if you're a fan of the Park Tools website then surely you're not doing all your wrenching with a multi tool?!

    Grumps

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy
    So, yeah, the cable has either stretched or slipped. Here's the budget simple fix.
    Clamp-on front derailleurs can slip too.

  8. #8
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    I had a front derailleur that, for some reason, went out of adjustment after adjusting it. I adjusted it again, and never had an issue again. As mentioned above, check the Park Tool website for instructions for adjusting the derailleur. It's easy, and takes just a couple of minutes.
    I have a single track mind

  9. #9
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    If it is a new bike, the shop where you bought it should adjust it at no charge. If they don't, start using a different shop.

  10. #10
    Menace to Society
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uprwstsdr
    If it is a new bike, the shop where you bought it should adjust it at no charge. If they don't, start using a different shop.

    +1
    Originally Posted by chrdur

    the fact remains that you are talking about a niche sport within a niche sport .

  11. #11
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    I'm confident my LBS will get it straightened out at no charge. I just wanted to see if there was a simple (turning a cable barrel or turn a screwdriver a few times solution). Hopefully, my mechanic will show me what he does so I can do it myself if it happens again.
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 5 63cm Charcoal Gray
    Crank Compact 50/34 Rear Cogs 12-27
    Handlebars Kore ROAD 6031
    Bar Wrap Profile Design Shock Wrap
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    Seatpost Thomson Elite 410mm
    Computer/Cadence Sensor Garmin Forerunner 305
    Bottle Cages Specialized Rib Cage Pro Road
    Headlight ViewPoint Flare 5 LED
    Taillight ViewPoint Flashpoint Ultra

    "Hey, let's be careful out there."
    -Sergeant Phil Esterhaus
    Hill Street Blues

  12. #12
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    Hi,

    Uncle Grumpy's instructions will solve the problem 99 out of 100 times.

    With a brand new bike, it's not at all uncommon for the cable housings to "settle in" after a little use, effectively going out of adjustment. That's often mistaken for "cable stretch" (quality cables are usually pre-stretched, so additional stretching isn't really very likely).

    For this reason, most shops will do a tune up on a new bike, after a few rides.

    The derailleur cables are more likely to go out of fine adjustment than the brake cables. This is because good mechanics will work the brakes a few times after assembly and then readjust them. You simply can't do this as effectively with the derailleur cables. So you are more likely to see the derailleur cables need adjustment after a few rides.

    The front derailleur on many bikes doesn't have any barrel adjuster for fine tuning, either. Some bike shops install an accessory, inline adjuster. Others don't. Both brakes and the rear derailleur usually have barrel adjusters.

    So, just follow Grumpy's instructions and you'll have learned how to tune up your front derailleur. Once that's done, it probably unlikely to need additional adjustment until the cable & housing is eventually replaced.

    Alternatively, yes, your LBS should be happy to dial it in, too. And, if you don't have one and want one, they could probably install (or have installed) a barrel adjuster too. Frankly, though, in most cases (with the trim capabilities of most of today's shifters) one of those inline adjusters is more useful on the rear derailleur (due to the indexing)... But only if you want to be able to fine tune on the fly, i.e. without stopping and fiddling with the adjuster at the rear derailleur itself. The front derailleur requires less precision to do its job.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallCoolOne
    I'm confident my LBS will get it straightened out at no charge. I just wanted to see if there was a simple (turning a cable barrel or turn a screwdriver a few times solution). Hopefully, my mechanic will show me what he does so I can do it myself if it happens again.
    I was right. My wrench hooked me up in about 72 seconds (maybe less). He also showed me how to fix the problem if it happens again.

    Do what you can to keep those small town LBS's in business. They are worth their weight in gold...or at least carbon fiber or titanium
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 5 63cm Charcoal Gray
    Crank Compact 50/34 Rear Cogs 12-27
    Handlebars Kore ROAD 6031
    Bar Wrap Profile Design Shock Wrap
    Pedals Speedplay Zero Cro Moly
    Seatpost Thomson Elite 410mm
    Computer/Cadence Sensor Garmin Forerunner 305
    Bottle Cages Specialized Rib Cage Pro Road
    Headlight ViewPoint Flare 5 LED
    Taillight ViewPoint Flashpoint Ultra

    "Hey, let's be careful out there."
    -Sergeant Phil Esterhaus
    Hill Street Blues

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