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Discussion Starter #1
Took my first ride this afternoon on my new Azure. I was out for 4 hours, and I'm pretty worked. The bike is fabulous, except for one pretty major issue:

While cleaning the bike, I noticed that the front derailleur had been hitting the rear triangle whenever I hit a bump in my granny gear. I deflated the 5th Element shock so I could compress the rear triangle, and found that the derailleur cage contacts the frame when the shock has been compressed only 14 mm, which I measure as exactly half of its total travel. Given that I rode for hours on the small chainring, the frame is pretty beat up at this point of contact.

It's not as if the derailleur rubs the frame; there is no clearance at all when I'm in the granny gear. Even on the middle chainring, there is only a few mm clearance for the rear triangle to swing by.

I read that some of you with the MKIII have had clearance issues with the Shimano front derailleurs, and that the SRAM model has a shorter cage. Has anyone experienced this with the Azure?

I'll also e-mail IH for their suggestion.

thanks.
 

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Black Lion
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billiebob said:
Took my first ride this afternoon on my new Azure. I was out for 4 hours, and I'm pretty worked. The bike is fabulous, except for one pretty major issue:

While cleaning the bike, I noticed that the front derailleur had been hitting the rear triangle whenever I hit a bump in my granny gear. I deflated the 5th Element shock so I could compress the rear triangle, and found that the derailleur cage contacts the frame when the shock has been compressed only 14 mm, which I measure as exactly half of its total travel. Given that I rode for hours on the small chainring, the frame is pretty beat up at this point of contact.

It's not as if the derailleur rubs the frame; there is no clearance at all when I'm in the granny gear. Even on the middle chainring, there is only a few mm clearance for the rear triangle to swing by.

I read that some of you with the MKIII have had clearance issues with the Shimano front derailleurs, and that the SRAM model has a shorter cage. Has anyone experienced this with the Azure?

I'll also e-mail IH for their suggestion.

thanks.
A picture would really be helpfull to see where the contact is going on.

Is your front derailuer set up properly limit screw wise?
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Here are some pics

Here are some pics:

The first view is top down. In this pic, I've compressed the rear suspension 50% to bring the front derailleur in contact with the rear triangle (where I've zip-tied some innertube over the chainstay).

Here's another angle. The front derailleur hits the chainstay where the rivet joins the two halves of the cage.

Here's another view with the bike upside down. Though the pic is a little blurry you can see the extent of the derailleur-frame "overlap", where instead the chainstay should be swinging clear of the derailleur.


I set up the limit screws to just allow the chain to hop onto the small chainring, but I'll check it again. Could the derailleur be somehow mis-located on the seatpost? Too low? Cage too long?

thanks.
 

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BillieBob:
The front der. clerance on the Azure is tight. However I have set up alot of these bikes with the LX front derailleurs and it will work. Here are some things to check.

1) It looks like you may need to angle the der. out more untill it's parralell to the chain rings.
2) Also it looks like you need to rase it a little, like 2mm.

3) Also like yogreg said you may need to adjust the limit screw's a little.
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The suggestion to swing the cage out helped a little, but not entirely.

I've played around with the position of the derailleur on the seatpost, moving it up and down and swinging the cage out until it clears the frame's travel. With the limit screw backed out entirely, there is still no position I can yet find where both

1. The cage clears the frame as the rear shock compresses.
2. The chain doesn't rub on the derailleur in the lowest gear (small chainring+granny gear)

It's currently adjusted so at least the derailleur clears the frame (past parallel to the chainring), but now the chain rubs the cage, a vastly preferable situation to chewing away the frame.

I see now I should have taken more time to see that there was no interference before going on a long ride. I'll play with it some more on Wednesday.
 

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Black Lion
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front der. can be difficult to adjust sometimes. You are on the right track. Adjust the position of the der. out as to clear the frame on suspension compression. Then double check for clearence with the shock depressurized. Then use the limit screws to get the chain to drop off to the small chain ring. Then back that screw off like 1/8 of a turn so it doesn't drop off so smooth anymore. Now use the barrel adjuster to fine tune. This will also get ride of chain rub on the inner cage.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
After trying every conceivable combination of Front derailleur height and angle, I concluded that it would hit the frame in the small chainring position unless it was turned way past parallel to the chainline.

Given that it was originally turned IN, as noted by Fit4130, a combination of turning it parallel to the chainrings and Dremeling 1.8" length off the cage solved the problem. The cage is still strong, swings by the frame with a solid millimeter of clearance, and taps the chain only slightly in the granny gear. The limit screw is totally backed out, given that there is no way the chain could shift onto the bottom bracket with this setup.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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billiebob said:
After trying every conceivable combination of Front derailleur height and angle, I concluded that it would hit the frame in the small chainring position unless it was turned way past parallel to the chainline.

Given that it was originally turned IN, as noted by Fit4130, a combination of turning it parallel to the chainrings and Dremeling 1.8" length off the cage solved the problem. The cage is still strong, swings by the frame with a solid millimeter of clearance, and taps the chain only slightly in the granny gear. The limit screw is totally backed out, given that there is no way the chain could shift onto the bottom bracket with this setup.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
billiebob
Sorry to hear about your cage problem!

How did you close the end of the cage back up?

I would call not email IH try to get them to send you the right derailleur. If that’s not possible at least find out what the right one is for the future when it wears out.
IH customer service 1-800-645-5477

I know my MK3 was worth working through all the problems and frustration. Hope you will find that to be the case also.
bronc
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't have to open the cage. On the tail end of the cage, extending past the rivet holding the cage together, there is a solid 1/4 " of material. 1/8" of the cage was overlapping the frame, so I removed it. The cage is still very rigid and should work like this for some time.

Given that others have had success with the LX front derailleur, I can't figure out why I couldn't get mine to fit. Any of the following are possible:

1. I bent the cage by letting it hit the frame on my first ride.
2. The derailleir or frame is out of spec
3. I missed some position out of the 68 I tried.

I'm happy for now with my solution (it allowed me to dial everything in and go for a killer ride), but I'll call IH and discuss the situation. Thanks for the number.
 

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billiebob said:
I didn't have to open the cage. On the tail end of the cage, extending past the rivet holding the cage together, there is a solid 1/4 " of material. 1/8" of the cage was overlapping the frame, so I removed it. The cage is still very rigid and should work like this for some time.

Given that others have had success with the LX front derailleur, I can't figure out why I couldn't get mine to fit. Any of the following are possible:

1. I bent the cage by letting it hit the frame on my first ride.
2. The derailleir or frame is out of spec
3. I missed some position out of the 68 I tried.

I'm happy for now with my solution (it allowed me to dial everything in and go for a killer ride), but I'll call IH and discuss the situation. Thanks for the number.
1 It would have if anything pushed it the other way
2 Possible I guess
3 No way should it require that much fine-tuning

Sounds more like the wrong derailleur altogether.
.
 

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billiebob --

Did you ever hear back from IH about this issue? I've just discovered the same issue on my new 2006 Azure Expert (has an XT front derailleur). Haven't played with the der. adjustments all that much yet, but it is mounted parallel to the chainrings. I'm not thrilled that the ultimate solution may be to hack part of the derailleur off with the dremel. I wonder if the frame is just designed under the assumption that one wouldn't be hitting any big bumps when in granny gear -- but I for one do not want to have to be that careful about paying attention to my gearing from climbing to descending (although, yes, I do try to get out of the granny gear on descents to reduce the chain slap).

If anyone's tried the SRAM front derailleur with the Azure, please report if you have been able to avoid this problem.

Thanks ...
 

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Vikingfan said:
To those that had the issues, what frame sizes do you have?

Perhaps irrelevant, but maybe confined to the smaller frame sizes???
Mine is the 19" frame.

I put a call in to IH using the toll-free number posted above, but the person I talked to didn't have an answer and said somebody will call back. I will report when/if I hear anything.

BTW, looked at some previous posts re: the f. der. on the MkIII and seems like that frame has similar issues. Read something about how the pre-production CAD drawings supplied by Shimano didn't reflect the actual manufactured dimensions, so the frame as designed doesn't work with the f. der. as manufactured! Not good!
 

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Just heard back from IH --

They said the XT f. der. should work OK with the Azure but only if it is mounted and adjusted just perfectly. Also, if the derailleur has already hit the chainstay and been damaged/bent in any way, it may then be impossible to mount/adjust correctly. They said the Sram X-Gen has a shorter length cage and would work much better. I guess the X-Gen or the dremel approach is the way to go if you don't want to have to fiddle around with precision fine-tuning.

I'm gonna give the X-Gen a try, will let you know how it goes ...
 

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i got mine to work

I built mine from a frame. I got the same xt derailleur that was on the expert at Performance. I was concerned when I first mounted it, but it works fine.
I made sure to limit it and checked every combo before I rode it.
I'm not a super picky mechanic, so I'm surprised how well mine worked first time.
Hope you sort it out.
 

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I have 4 rides and about 50 miles on my Azure Expert and have not seen the
problem yet. Not much granny gear time though, so will keep an eye out for
the problem. Kinda stinks if it needs perfect placement to work.

Some sort of an engineering screw up somewhere on this one?

bobo
 

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My wife has the comp 06 and I have an 05 expert. While I have not had this problem actually happen on the trail, I did take both bikes and put them into the granny gear and compress the rear shock all the way and boom it hits. I have tried everything I know of on both of them, one has the LX, the other the XT and neither work.:madman: Hope the Sram works.:skep:
 

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I have a new, unridden '06 Expert 19" with XT derailler and had my bike in to the LBS for some upgrade work. Showed the mechanic this thread and he got me set up so it works without bash or rub. One little frame nick from probably the first time compressing the shock before adjustment (which tells me that had I ridden it without getting it set up perfectly I'd have the same issue as original poster, since I spend a lot of time in the granny). Thanks for alerting us to this issue.
 

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06 Expert 19" with XT deraileur here. Just aired down the shock in granny gear and boom
it hits too. :( When I take her in for the free tune-up maybe they will get it adjusted
correctly.

Vikingfan, How did he adjust it? Move the mounting location or adjustment of the deraileur itself?

-hamiliton, Any pics of your install that you could share?

Anyone try the SRAM front yet?

I guess we should just stay out of granny gear?????????

I guess it is a cross country bike.
 
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