The front derailleur adjustment trick, the tight tyre trick

The Front Derailleur was invented by Satan. Adjusting it is fiendishly difficult unless you have adjusters higher up along the cables.
There is however a fiendish trick.
Allowing for the fact that the limit screws are such that you can over-adjust, what you do is adjust the wire so that you over-change, i.e. you can throw the chain off on the pedal side with a change.
Then you firmly grip the wire with a good pliers, end on, about 3mm from the nut. Loosen and then tighten the nut. The wire movement is limited to 3mm. Try that. Repeat as necessary. This trick makes adjustment easy. You can then adjust the limiting screws appropriately.

The tight tyre trick.

We've all often had this difficulty.
1. Make sure ALL air is out of tube.
2. Put tyre on so that one rim of it is entirely on. Put tube in.
3. Push second rim of tyre on, keeping tube in. When you reach the difficult bit, sweep the bit that's already fully on into the centre of the rim well by running around it with your thumb. The well has a smaller diameter than the outside as the well is convex. This loosens the tyre such that you can get, if you have strong hands, almost any tyre on without levers. I do this all the time.

7 comments on “The front derailleur adjustment trick, the tight tyre trick”

  1. Patrick wrote:

    Next time my chain scrapes against the front cage I'll try your front derailleur adjustment trick. Actually my chain always scrapes against the cage in certain gears. On a 27-speed setup there seems to be no way to eliminate it completely. I can easily spend two hours cursing and shouting, trying to get it right. When my son Robert goes outside the house to adjust the front mech on his mountain bike we tend to close the windows.

    I've never had trouble with tyres though.

  2. Garry Lee wrote:

    I had that scraping chain on a recent tour. Problem was I was running an 8 speed chain on a 9 speed setup. Changed chain on my return. End of problem. 8 speed chain is thicker.
    Tyres are seldom a problem on MTBs but often are on 700c

  3. Chris wrote:

    Patrick, I was in a bike shop in Richmond a few weeks ago. I saw a range of Dawes Galaxy machines that had Deore rear mechs but Tiagra at the front. The owner of the shop told me it was because the chain rings on a touring bike are larger than those on mountain bikes and the Deore front mech (like you have on your Panorama) are not ideally suited to larger rings: the Deore front mech has been developed for the smaller chain rings on mountain bikes; the Tiagra for road bikes with larger chain rings. That bit of information doesn't help you in the slightest (although I'd be interested to see if Garry's trick works), but it would seem to explain your problem.

    Interestingly (well, for me anyway), the Panorama has braze-ons on the down tube for riders who want to switch from STIs (great initialism that) to the more traditional levers, such as my elderly Simplex ones that you can adjust freely on the move to avoid rubbing.

  4. Patrick wrote:

    Thanks. But actually I have a Tiagra mech on the front, even though the chainset is Deore. That's how the bike was when I bought it. But I see the current model has a Deore front mech (mine is 2008).

    My wife has the same 2008 bike as me, and she has no problem with a scraping chain because she's happy (now that the gear cable has stretched) not to be able to select the big chainring. I've offered to perform the two-hour adjustment session but she won't hear of it. It will all come out in the wash just before our next tour.

    The next time she gets a puncture though, my guess is that she will be pleased to let me step in and do the business.

  5. Chris wrote:

    Oh, right. I'm hoping to test-ride the 2009 or 2010 Panorama. Something to watch out for.

  6. Patrick wrote:

    They make few mistakes, methinks. I haven't heard a bad word against Ridgeback.

  7. James wrote:

    The owner of the bike shop in Richmond is wrong, but this is not uncommon – A bit like the one in Hackney that told me you can't get cloth rim tape anymore! The reason for using a Tiagra front mech is because it is compatible with Tiagra drop-bar shifters giving perfect indexing. Deore front mechs use a different cable pull ratio and will not index properly and likely give much chain rub. There are ways to make things like this work (try Googling Shimergo) but using the Tiagra mech with compatible shifters is a reasonably safe bet :). The only problem is with the chain line, and MTBs tend to use a bigger chainline (50mm) vs road (typically 44-45mm) and Trekking (typically 47.5mm), and the derailleur might not reach, but Ridgeback use the 47.5mm version of the chainset on their bike. There are also ways to get around this as well though fortunately.

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