SRAM Force shift "force" too high!!!
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  1. #1
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    SRAM Force shift "force" too high!!!

    I just picked up a 2007 Orbea Orca (with the head tube cable stops). Grouppo is all SRAM Force with compact crank. Frame is a 51 CM with a 10 CM stem, so things are tight up front.

    PROBLEM: Front derailleur shift force is WAY high. Feel like I'm going to destroy the left lever. I checked the cable and it is not binding on anything. I even re-routed it to the front of the bar. No help. It seems that the SRAM FD has both a very strong spring and a very shallow cable pull angle (effectively reducing the lever arm) that are combining to create the issue. The hard cable bends required to get to the head tube stops are not helping the problem either.

    Has anyone experienced or learned about this problem? If so, what would you recommend?

  2. #2
    More cowbell!
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    Nokon cable housing (or the cheaper Delta alternative) is quite useful for tight radius bends.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cree
    I just picked up a 2007 Orbea Orca (with the head tube cable stops). Grouppo is all SRAM Force with compact crank. Frame is a 51 CM with a 10 CM stem, so things are tight up front.

    PROBLEM: Front derailleur shift force is WAY high. Feel like I'm going to destroy the left lever. I checked the cable and it is not binding on anything. I even re-routed it to the front of the bar. No help. It seems that the SRAM FD has both a very strong spring and a very shallow cable pull angle (effectively reducing the lever arm) that are combining to create the issue. The hard cable bends required to get to the head tube stops are not helping the problem either.

    Has anyone experienced or learned about this problem? If so, what would you recommend?
    The SRAM front derailleur shifter does have a lot of throw, but shouldn't require a lot of force. Check the cable ends for binding in case they were crimped when they were cut. Next, make sure the cable routing is a smooth and as free of sharp bends as possible. Finally, use a little lube on the cables themselves. Once you've done all this, pull the cable back and forth by hand a few times. If that cable doesn't run smoothly, the next thing to try is a different housing.

  4. #4
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    This seems to have something to do with deraiuller adjustment too.

    I've got the same thing on my Rival FD right now. I do need to check the bends in the housing because I just fiddled with my position.

    However when SRAM wants you to route the housing/cable under the bar tape you have very little choice, you're going to have a couple of tight bends no matter what. And the rear deraiuller doesn't do this.

    I would actually check to see if you have too much cable tension.

    Keep in mind this is serious tweaking here.. it seems like the SRAM front deraiuler is REALLY sensitive.

  5. #5
    jains89
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    well at first i had the same problem with the front deralieur, But i took it into a shop and had them adjust it a little, which for the life of me I couldnt do even though i can adjust shimano stuff just fine, and then tightened the cable tension a the way down on just the front. It decreased the throw by about half. Anyone complaining about the throw should try that first.

  6. #6
    FTR
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    Quote Originally Posted by benInMA
    I would actually check to see if you have too much cable tension.

    Keep in mind this is serious tweaking here.. it seems like the SRAM front deraiuler is REALLY sensitive.
    Exactly what I was thinking about the tension.
    Not sure why people think SRAM is sensitive.
    It is a derailleur and is adjusted exactly the same as any other derailleur.
    I happen to think that SRAM is very easy to set up and adjust.

    And that is something coming from a numpty like me.

  7. #7
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    So mine is brand new (200 miles or so), take my comment with a grain of salt.

    I don't think the mechanic who set my FD up did all that well of a job, so I'm learning the quirks of the SRAM stuff on the fly.

    I expect once I have the limit screws set perfectly my problems are done and it should work flawlessly for a very long time just like SRAM MTB stuff.

    Exact Actuation seems to require less cable tension then other setups.

  8. #8

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    if you have really tight bends on the shift cables coming out from under the tape, one thing you can do is run "crossed cables". basically at the headtube you switch the cables, then cross then underneath the downtube (use a little rubber o-ring donut thingy or two) and run them into the cable holder under the bottom bracket as normal. the crossing doesnt affect performance, and it removes any sharp bends in the housing up front. the o rings settle into a natural spot after a little while. it works really well, and alot of sram and campy ppl i know run it (it gives a very "clean" look to the front end) w/ no problems. heck ive seen it on shimano bikes as well. i see it more often on shorter riders' bikes, due to smaller headtubes --> less housing from tape to headtube = sharper bends, but it works just fine for the vertically gifted as well.

  9. #9
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    Turn the high limit screw out a bit, just not too far as to throw the chain.

  10. #10
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    What works for me...

    1. No agressive taping of the housing to the bars. I let the bar wrap gently hold the stuff in place....this helps the next number...

    2. No agressive bends....break the rules...allow the housing to flow naturally away from the brifters....even if that means letting the housing move out of any agressively bent handle bar housing grooves..

    3. 5mm Housing or lined brake cable housing...with an XTR teflon shifter cable..sans any grease...is my personal friction free fave set up without having to jack with Nokon's or Power Lines.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by funhog1
    What works for me...
    3. 5mm Housing or lined brake cable housing...with an XTR teflon shifter cable..sans any grease...is my personal friction free fave set up without having to jack with Nokon's or Power Lines.
    I hope you're not using that on the gears?

  12. #12
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    Try it. You might be surprised.


    a couple of details I like to think of:

    1. Though I've yet to encounter problems with them in wet conditions....I prefer to use the teflon shifter cable with lined housing sans grease in dry conditions. Which describes my conditions most of the time.

    2. Shifter housing comes in both 4 and 5mm sizes. The 5mm size is about the same width as a good quality lined brake cable housing with the exception being that the lined brake cable housings hole/ liner is a larger diameter. That allows a more relaxed path for the cable.
    Last edited by funhog1; 06-17-2007 at 01:59 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cree
    I just picked up a 2007 Orbea Orca (with the head tube cable stops). Grouppo is all SRAM Force with compact crank. Frame is a 51 CM with a 10 CM stem, so things are tight up front.

    PROBLEM: Front derailleur shift force is WAY high. Feel like I'm going to destroy the left lever. I checked the cable and it is not binding on anything. I even re-routed it to the front of the bar. No help. It seems that the SRAM FD has both a very strong spring and a very shallow cable pull angle (effectively reducing the lever arm) that are combining to create the issue. The hard cable bends required to get to the head tube stops are not helping the problem either.

    Has anyone experienced or learned about this problem? If so, what would you recommend?

    Did you assemble the bike yourself? Can you post a pic of the front der cable pinch bolt please?

    Also pics of the routing?

  14. #14
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    Pinch Bolt and Cable photos

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

    The cable is anchored to the inside of the pinch bolt as it is supposed to be ( I thought about this being a problem, realizing the lever arm would be reduced if cable is anchored on the wrong side). I will post photos of the cables as soon as I can. I have returned the bike to the shop where purchased and they are working on the problem.

    In looking at the bike this weekend and scratching my head, it appears the basic problem is that the right side head tube derailleur cable stop is just too damn close to the front brake caliper cable housing stop on this small frame (122mm head tube). The brake stop must swing past the head tube stop and if there is not enough clearance the cables will clash.

    One solution that a friend suggested is to run the front brake cable to the right side lever (ala cyclocross) so that it will stay outside of the derailleur cable and not clash. I am not sure of the implications of doing this with regard to riding other bikes after I get used to a right front brake, but it seems like it will solve the problem. Any thoughts?

  15. #15
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    This photo doesn't really show the routing but it shows how close the brake is to the head tube stop...

    2007OrcaPost.JPG

  16. #16
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    It looks like this right? Its hard to see-- I wish SRAM didn't demonstrate with those black teflon lined cables... Taken from the SRAM tech docs site.

    Oh well... hopefully the shop will have fixed the problem.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
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    Someone posted using brake housing for derailleur housing...don't do that! I've fixed many bikes (and I don't work in a bike shop) where people (shops included) used brake housing for derailleurs, which caused quirky problems. Bad, bad, bad...

    My Force setup has an easy pull (push?), so it's not normal to have to have a very difficult pull.

    Perhaps you can simply untape that side of the bars and see if it gets any better?
    I'm sorry, but I don't know Orbea frames. Is the housing interupted? Can you remove sections of the housing from cable stops? If so, remove either the front or rear sections and check the ease of cable pull in each spot to determine where the stiction is coming from.

  18. #18
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    Yes, it looks exactly like your photo. I do not think the problem is coming from this area but rather from the routing up at the bars and the interference with the brake cable.

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