SRAM Rival rear derailleur adjustment
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  1. #1
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    SRAM Rival rear derailleur adjustment

    Hey all,

    I have about 600 miles on my '10 CAAD9 4 and cannot for the life of me seem to get my Rival rear derailleur adjusted correctly . I generally perform all my own bike maintenance, but have taken the bike back to the shop twice now, and both times it seems to be okay at first, but after a ride or two goes back to making strange noises.

    Symptoms:

    Towards the top of the cassette (but not all the way to the top.. around the 3rd gear) I get clicking noises that ::seem to be:: originating from the lower pulley. Towards the bottom of the cassette (but not all the way at the bottom.. around the 7th gear) I get the same noises, and again they seem to be coming from the lower pulley. It appears that somehow certain links on the chain are sticking to the pulley with every crank revolution. I have tried a lot of things; cleaning the chain and re-lubing, using different types of lube (wax vs. oil), cleaning the pulleys, and adjusting cable tension. Adjusting the cable tension seems to cure the problem at one end of the cassette, but makes it worse on the other end. My whole component group is the same age, so I don't think it's an issue of the chain/cassette/pulleys not meshing well with each other. The bike shifts fine about 90% of the time, but every so often it seems to want to jump between gears. Usually shifting up then back down cures this, but that's not something I want to have to do in the middle of a climb or a sprint.

    I guess I have a couple questions. Do people out there running Rival ever hear the same thing (i.e. is it generally a "louder" component group)? One thing I haven't messed with yet is rear derailleur alignment.. could it be that the derailleur itself isn't installed correctly?

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.. I'm about to go crazy.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You didn't mention which chain rings this happens in. But, here's a few things to check to make sure: if you have internal cabling in the frame, make sure they're not crossed. Check the derailleur hanger alignment as you're thinking. Check the distance the pulley is away from the cogs, that's often overlooked (known as the B tension screw for Shimano). Lastly, make sure the cable housing going to the rear derailleur isn't too short, this can cause shifting issues as well. Check Park Tools' guide on this.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya
    You didn't mention which chain rings this happens in.
    Sorry, I worked so hard to cover all my bases and forgot one of the most obvious ones!

    It generally happens in the smaller chainring. Bigger chainring seems fine, by in large.

    I happened to have a few tools in my bag at the office and I messed around with the b-screw a bit, after doing some research and seeing that other people had suggested the same thing. Seemed to make things a little better.

    I also found another thread from a couple weeks ago where some dude discovered two small allen screws that attach his derailleur hanger to his frame had come loose and were causing misalignment. When I checked those, they weren't loose-loose, but could definitely stand to be tightened, so I tightened them up. It seems okay now but I really have to go out and ride for a bit before I can pass final judgment.

    Thanks for your reply!

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    could it be that the hanger is actually out of alignment? might have been loose too, but unless it's dead on, you'll get noise somewhere, usually in bigger cogs.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench
    could it be that the hanger is actually out of alignment? might have been loose too, but unless it's dead on, you'll get noise somewhere, usually in bigger cogs.
    I've accumulated a lot of tools over the last few years but haven't gotten one to check the derailleur alignment quite yet. I figured I would try everything that I know how to do before bringing my bike to a shop to check this.

    Anyway, I went for a short ride last night just to see what kind of weirdo noises I could produce, and I heard the same sort of racket from the rear derailleur/cassette, so I brought it home and completely re-calibrated it, basically did everything short of taking it off and reinstalling. I tightened the small bolts that connect the hanger to the frame, I made sure the anchor bolt was correctly installed and tightened to spec, then I went to work adjusting the screws. First did the L screw, then the H screw, then toyed with the barrel adjuster accordingly. Shifting performance improved marginally, but I still couldn't get rid of the noises. So I started messing with the B screw in very small increments, and that seemed to make everything a lot better. I was amazed at how a small adjustment to the B screw altered the shifting performance.

    I rode to work this morning and it was pretty quiet. I'm still getting a small delay in shifting speed, but it's still faster than my 105, and a drivetrain cleaning might help matters too (it's been raining in DC a lot, and I'm thinking of switching lubes... I don't think Clean Ride is working for me at all.. any suggestions??).

    I'm not willing to say "problem solved" quite yet, but I am optimistic. I'll keep you guys posted!

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