Trimming Problem --- Shimano 105 FD
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  1. #1
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    Trimming Problem --- Shimano 105 FD

    My experience has mainly been with Campagnolo, however now I am having an issue with the trim functionality on a 10sp 105 front derailleur.

    Not sure when this first began to occur but when fully shifted to the big ring, the FD no longer moves fractionally inboard to accommodate the larger cogs of the cassette to alleviate cross chaining noise. Used to be that slight click before dropping the chain to the smaller chainring was the trim feature I am speaking of.

    I have also noticed that a complete downshift from large to small chainring does not fully release the position of the FD as there is room for me to take my hand and push the FD further inboard. This made me think of a linkage issue, so I tried lubricating the FD's pivot points, however they are not really very accessible.

    Does this sound more like a cable/housing issue? They are not really very old and are pretty clean, but perhaps I should at least swap out the inner wires?

  2. #2
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    Swap out the inner wire first. It's cheap. Keep the old wire as a spare, if it's as good as you say it is.

    You should be able to disconnect the wire and reproduce those trim "clicks". If not, it's a shifter issue.

    I have the same trim function on my 9 speed STI so I know what you're talking about.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I can get the shifter to do the "trim" clicks, it's just that I have to move the FD cage inboard by hand to get it to go where it is supposed to. So it's a question of cable tension and/or cable inner wire/casing condition.

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Until the cable frays/breaks inside the shifter pretty much ALL of the wear that will have an effect on shifting occurs in the housing...unless you drop your bike in salt water and the cables corrode a bunch.
    When you have a problem like this undo the cable from the derailleur. Pull on it and actuate the shifter. Then move the derailleur by hand. Those 2 things will tell you everything you need to know.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks. I can get the shifter to do the "trim" clicks, it's just that I have to move the FD cage inboard by hand to get it to go where it is supposed to. So it's a question of cable tension and/or cable inner wire/casing condition.
    My first step could be to clean the cable guide under the BB. If it's really gunked up like if you got some energy drink or gel down there that can prevent the cable from releasing as far as the der and shifter tell it to.

  6. #6
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    Guess things are worse than I thought. I disconnected the cable and its movement from shifters through the downtube and out the BB seemed fine. What was of concern, is that when moving the FD outboard by hand, it didn't want to return on its own and needed a push to neutral. It extremely clean, came on a 2014 bicycle, so being 105, is it just a case of you get what you pay for? I've had Record and Chorus FDs go on forever.

    I have squirted some WD40 at the linkage points, hoping that somehow the pivots will free up, but I don't have a lot of hope.

  7. #7
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    I'm surprised. 105 is usually only heavier than higher tiered equivalents; the steel cages and springs normally last forever. Something else is going on in your case.

  8. #8
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    Well, never crashed, no distortion in the cage, etc. If I pull the cage out all the way to the high limit, it will just sit there and I have to "push" it for it to return to neutral. What's also disturbing is if you pull the cage out just a bit, such as in the low trim position, it sticks there and again requires a "push" to go back to neutral position. All of this without the cable attached at all. Remember, this all started with me wondering where my trim positions had gone away to. The shifter and cable cannot effect a trim when the FD is sticking all by itself.

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  9. #9
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    From the photo, you can see that the FD doesn't make CX's list of neglected components! I am planning on swapping out the cable inner wire anyway, but it really seems to be a breakdown of the FD's linkage/spring power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    From the photo, you can see that the FD doesn't make CX's list of neglected components! I am planning on swapping out the cable inner wire anyway, but it really seems to be a breakdown of the FD's linkage/spring power.
    Photos of front derailleurs won't show what's lurking in the pivots. I would add a drop of degreaser to each of the pivots and work the derailleur back and forth by hand until it starts moving freely again. Let the degreaser dry up and add a drop of lube to each.

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    Good news (I hope), after using WD40 on the pivot points, working the mech by hand and sitting overnight, it is beginning to come back to life. The trim functionality is still not at the level I recall when new, but we'll see if it improves. I will also replace the cable inner wire when I have some time. Could be that I ride in the big ring most of the time and the FD mech is really not getting much work.

    Learned the hard way that when I swapped out the compact crank for a mid, I needed to move the chain catcher slightly. During this FD performance issue, I managed to have the chain drop and gouge the CF bottom bracket shell.

    Thanks, everyone.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Good news (I hope), after using WD40 on the pivot points, working the mech by hand and sitting overnight, it is beginning to come back to life. The trim functionality is still not at the level I recall when new, but we'll see if it improves. I will also replace the cable inner wire when I have some time. Could be that I ride in the big ring most of the time and the FD mech is really not getting much work.

    Learned the hard way that when I swapped out the compact crank for a mid, I needed to move the chain catcher slightly. During this FD performance issue, I managed to have the chain drop and gouge the CF bottom bracket shell.

    Thanks, everyone.
    Your FD can be largely disassembled, cleaned, and lubed. There are probably a couple of circlips and maybe an Allen screw or two. You can disengage the spring with needle-nose pliers. I do this to my derailleurs every year for a complete overhaul. The fact that things are working better after the WD-40 treatment tells you that it needs a thorough cleaning.

  13. #13
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    Well no disassembly with the Shimano 105 mechs as they are all riveted construction. In fact, I am beginning to suspect the linkage on the rear mech for similar bad shifting.

    My Chorus and Record FDs all had circlips, etc., as did my 80s/90s Superbe Pro components.

  14. #14
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    Guess the bottom line is you get what you pay for. Never saw any behavior like this with many years of Record and Chorus mechs.

    I'm going to degrease the RD's linkage points in hope that this too improves its sluggishness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Guess the bottom line is you get what you pay for. Never saw any behavior like this with many years of Record and Chorus mechs.

    I'm going to degrease the RD's linkage points in hope that this too improves its sluggishness.
    Nor have 99.9% of shimano and users. Maybe mud riders and people with a habit of spilling gatoraid run into tight front der more often but that's a set it and forget it part with any brand at any level.

  16. #16
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Guess the bottom line is you get what you pay for. Never saw any behavior like this with many years of Record and Chorus mechs.

    I'm going to degrease the RD's linkage points in hope that this too improves its sluggishness.
    Brand and/or model level has nothing to do w/ your problem.
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  17. #17
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    Well my 105 is the 10sp 5700 version and to be honest it is very difficult to get the lube in the pivot points. Probably need a needle oiler.

    I'm just comparing my long term Campy experience to this one bicycle that I have with Shimano.

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