Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

41 - 60 of 87 Posts

·
Thicc Member
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
No kid dreams of being a bicycle mechanic when he grows up. It doesn't attract the best and brightest. At this point, I do all my own maint, from spec'ing and building the bike to servicing the suspension, except for some rear shocks that I'll send to a pro for the 100 hour re-build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
As for front defailures, these should be removed immediately from any/all mountain bikes, new or used, and tossed in the bin. Never EVER consider owning a mountain bike with such an arcane contraption mounted. Front defailures are relics from a bygone day -- remove yours immediately and replace/upgrade your remaining drivetrain components as necessary (up to & including the entire bicycle). Then never look back.
=sParty
The last person I'd be taking any advice from, or notice of, is someone who obviously has no clue as to how set up a simple, straightforward device such as a front derailleur.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
795 Posts
No kid dreams of being a bicycle mechanic when he grows up.
I think some do, then they grow up a bit and/or they work as a mechanic for a while and realize it kinda sucks. :lol:
When my absolute d*ckhead boss wasn't around, and when I wasn't working on a total piece of sh*t bike, it was great and I enjoyed the job. But yeah, it's kind of a dead end job. One of my colleagues was in his mid 30s, had two kids, and he worked as a bike mechanic for the past 10+ years. He made basically the same amount of $ as me who worked in that shop for a year. I don't know how/why he did it...
Working at a fancy shop with good colleagues and a nice boss is probably fun, and i'm sure it pays a bit better, although not sure how much better.

Bikes are pretty simple, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to do a good job. From what i've seen a lot of problems come from shops/mechanics being dishonest, they just don't give a sh*t (that's why I started to work on my own bikes in the beginning).
That was a constant issue where I worked. One time I got reamed by my boss because I wanted to tighten a cup and cone rear hub on a bike we were selling because it had tiny bit of play. According to my boss that was a waste of time since the customer won't notice something like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
The last person I'd be taking any advice from, or notice of, is someone who obviously has no clue as to how set up a simple, straightforward device such as a front derailleur.
Yes, simple and straightforward, but if working with people has taught me anything, outside of e-type/direct mount, it is the single most difficult part on a bike to setup properly. A low bar but, well, there it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,431 Posts
The last person I'd be taking any advice from, or notice of, is someone who obviously has no clue as to how set up a simple, straightforward device such as a front derailleur.
Kind of true, but most FD also suck. For good results the rear needs a good shifter (RD doesn't matter as much) and the front needs a good FD, but shifter doesn't matter.

The problem with OEM bikes is, they put the higher level where it is visible. I see bikes with GX RD, but NX shifter etc. I also had a bike with SRAM shifters, RD, and a no-name FD. Because in the shop the buyer doesn't look at the FD.

So for a good setup at low cost you could do a rear XT shifter, and Deore RD, and front Deore shifter, but XTR FD. No one really specs a bike like that. and 2x or 3x bikes usually don't have all XTR specc'd.

It is actually easier to work on an expensive bike because the components work so much better and are designed better.
 

·
At Work
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
Rig up some kind of stand that will hold the bike off the ground (unless you have a work stand). start spinning the crank. now shift the gears while watching all of the movement of the rear derailleur. See how it reacts. now adjust the barrel adjuster several turns one way until shifting gets bad, then come back to where you started and go the other way. Then start messing with the 2 limit screws, turn them in and out, see what changes it does. Keep doing this until you get it back to shifting good.
This is how I taught myself. I do all basic maintenance myself, then take to my Mech. if needed. Also, find a small shop where the mechanic is one of the owners. This way you are not getting your bike worked on by an "employee". Not saying all are bad, there are really good "employee mechanics" out there, just hard to find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Kind of true, but most FD also suck. For good results the rear needs a good shifter (RD doesn't matter as much) and the front needs a good FD, but shifter doesn't matter.

The problem with OEM bikes is, they put the higher level where it is visible. I see bikes with GX RD, but NX shifter etc. I also had a bike with SRAM shifters, RD, and a no-name FD. Because in the shop the buyer doesn't look at the FD.

So for a good setup at low cost you could do a rear XT shifter, and Deore RD, and front Deore shifter, but XTR FD. No one really specs a bike like that. and 2x or 3x bikes usually don't have all XTR specc'd.

It is actually easier to work on an expensive bike because the components work so much better and are designed better.
I think there are a couple of issues that people don't understand. A RD works on the non tension side of the chain. So it still works well, even under significant load. A FD works on the tension side of the chain, so to work well, you must unload a little bit, especially when going small to big ring. No big deal, if you understand what's actually going on.
The other big issue, is people still seem to want to have massive jumps in chain ring sizes. It's really not necessary. Keep the rings to 10 teeth or less difference, and you'll have very slick and quick shifting. Granted, it's not quite as seamless as a RD, but it's still very very good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Plenty of videos and written instructions out there to help out with setting up and/or adjusting derailleurs. It would benefit anyone to spend the time and master the skill. It’s really not as complicated as it may seem. Some lower end stuff will shift and perform flawlessly. Some won’t and never will. Bottom shelf components are built as cheap as possible and quality control just isn’t there on the lower end stuff. Not blaming the OP or the shops, but kicking stuff will not usually enhance performance.
 

·
MCMXCV
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
If only there were a place that you could click on and watch any one of thousands of videos to learn how to take care of your own stuff...... one can dream, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,431 Posts
I think there are a couple of issues that people don't understand. A RD works on the non tension side of the chain. So it still works well, even under significant load. A FD works on the tension side of the chain, so to work well, you must unload a little bit, especially when going small to big ring. No big deal, if you understand what's actually going on.
The other big issue, is people still seem to want to have massive jumps in chain ring sizes. It's really not necessary. Keep the rings to 10 teeth or less difference, and you'll have very slick and quick shifting. Granted, it's not quite as seamless as a RD, but it's still very very good.
True, the FD has an inherent disadvantage to shift. FD also have tooth-limits and people "hack" and go out of spec with too large or small chainrings, or cheap chainrings with improper ramps. My hybrid came with a28/42. and on my routes i always had to front-shift at some hills, and had to counter-shift 1-2 gears at the rear to make that cadence jump smaller. Really annoying and just a split second without power, you slow down on hills. 1x for ever! My best upgrade to that bike was to remove the FD.

BTW, it was adjusted perfectly. 99% of the time. but every once a while the chain dropped. Really hard to fix something that barely happens. it was a SRAM FD, and I heard the Shimano are better, but have no experience with that. But you need to start out with a really good FD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
795 Posts
True, the FD has an inherent disadvantage to shift. FD also have tooth-limits and people "hack" and go out of spec with too large or small chainrings, or cheap chainrings with improper ramps. My hybrid came with a28/42. and on my routes i always had to front-shift at some hills, and had to counter-shift 1-2 gears at the rear to make that cadence jump smaller. Really annoying and just a split second without power, you slow down on hills. 1x for ever! My best upgrade to that bike was to remove the FD.

BTW, it was adjusted perfectly. 99% of the time. but every once a while the chain dropped. Really hard to fix something that barely happens. it was a SRAM FD, and I heard the Shimano are better, but have no experience with that. But you need to start out with a really good FD.
Shimano road FDs shift pretty nice, and on a road compact the FD has to deal with a 16T difference between the two chainrings. The chainrings are super stiff, they modified the leverage ratio on the FDs a few years ago, and since on a brifter your shift lever is the brake lever, it's nice and long so you get more leverage. Some chainrings and also FD cages have a nylon insert, which makes shifting feel a bit smoother (this is feature is there both on MTB and road stuff).

I think newer 2x Shimano stuff (both road and MTB) shifts pretty nice even if it's lower end, like a Deore or Tiagra or something.
Some of the older FDs, and just the whole front shifting was pretty damn bad. Most of them required so much force at the lever to shift onto a bigger ring. I think front shifting started to get good around the time the 1x craze started.
(And no i'm not trying to start another pointless 1x vs 2x debate, just sayin'. :lol:)
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
5,718 Posts
never had a single issue with XTR FD on a triple...ever.

always worked, and always able to recover chain if it fell inside OR outside...

old skool XTR FD rock if you can find one and make it fit the bike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
I think newer 2x Shimano stuff (both road and MTB) shifts pretty nice even if it's lower end, like a Deore or Tiagra or something.
Some of the older FDs, and just the whole front shifting was pretty damn bad. Most of them required so much force at the lever to shift onto a bigger ring. I think front shifting started to get good around the time the 1x craze started.
(And no i'm not trying to start another pointless 1x vs 2x debate, just sayin'. :lol:)
Once again, I think a lot of this comes down to misunderstanding, or lack of knowledge. The only force required to shift the FD, is to overcome the return spring. The shift process is different to the RD. Because its on the tensioned side of the chain. All that is required by the FD, is to move the chain across just enough, for the ramps & pins to engage on the side links, & they then lift the chain onto the larger ring. This is not an instantaneous process. You only need to apply enough pressure on the lever to overcome the spring tension, & then 'follow" the chain as it climbs up onto the big ring. This takes a small amount of time. Applying more pressure & trying to force it, does nothing to speed up, or help the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
795 Posts
Once again, I think a lot of this comes down to misunderstanding, or lack of knowledge. The only force required to shift the FD, is to overcome the return spring. The shift process is different to the RD. Because its on the tensioned side of the chain. All that is required by the FD, is to move the chain across just enough, for the ramps & pins to engage on the side links, & they then lift the chain onto the larger ring. This is not an instantaneous process. You only need to apply enough pressure on the lever to overcome the spring tension, & then 'follow" the chain as it climbs up onto the big ring. This takes a small amount of time. Applying more pressure & trying to force it, does nothing to speed up, or help the process.
Yeah, but on a lot of FDs the return spring was super strong and the leverage sucked. Even with no chain installed you could clearly feel that the front shifter was like 3x harder to push than the rear shifter. IMO front shifting definitely improved in the 11spd generation both on the road and MTB side.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
34,999 Posts
never had a single issue with XTR FD on a triple...ever.

always worked, and always able to recover chain if it fell inside OR outside...

old skool XTR FD rock if you can find one and make it fit the bike
I set up many a FD, including XTR. It's too long in the past to remember specifics, but most of the FDs would rub in some gear combos and would not shift correctly if adjusted for no rub. So maybe you had to buy the top-of-the-line FD to make it work correctly, but IME, FDs never worked perfectly 95% of the time, because most of them were not XTR and you always were trying to balance out rub with actually shifting. The amount of movement/shift was just too much.
 

·
Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
Joined
·
11,429 Posts
The last person I'd be taking any advice from, or notice of, is someone who obviously has no clue as to how set up a simple, straightforward device such as a front derailleur.
speedygz, I think it's funny that, without knowing me at all, you took a roundhouse swipe at me for being "someone who obviously has no clue as to how set up a simple, straightforward device such as a front derailleur."

Wait... who doesn't know what they're talking about here?

That would be you, speedygz.

As for front derailleurs, I've set up a zillion. I know how to tweak the miserable FD. I tolerated these despicable contraptions for decades. So much so that eventually I took them for granted. Then finally, thank goodness, the wide range 1x drivetrain appeared. With the advent of the wide range 1x drivetrain, finally the dropper lever could occupy its rightful southpaw position. Finally narrow/wide chainrings could prevail. Planets aligned. Angels sang. Sunbeams illuminated the mountain biker's formerly dark world.

Thank you, wide range 1x drivetrain.

Thing is, my hatred for the pitiful FD isn't limited to iffy (at best) performance or the fact that certain mumbo jumbo timing / pedal pressure procedures and voodoo shift lever twiddling techniques must be employed in order to optimize FD shifting. I know how to make the thing complete its shift. No, my hatred for the FD is also motivated by this: the damn should-be-superfluous front shift lever sitting over there on the left handlebar, taking up space where it doesn't belong. You know, occupying space where the dropper lever belongs. It's also the fact that the FD complicates shifting by including an entire second gear range when a second gear range is not only unneeded, but unwanted. More shift levers, more cables, more contraptions complicating shifting and cluttering the bicycle.

Not to mention, "Hmmm... am I in the big ring or the little ring?" is a question the 1x rider will never ask him/herself.

1x drivetrains aren't just better because shifting performance is optimized by eliminating a poor performing mechanical device. 1x drivetrains are better because they simplify shifting -- finally we're down to one lever. 1x drivetrains have plenty of range. 1x drivetrains eliminate chainsuck. 1x drivetrains optimize suspension performance. 1x drivetrains employ superior n/w chainrings.

Adios, front defailure -- you're garbage. You're a class B mechanism. Always have been. No need to put up with you anymore.
=sParty

P.S. For anyone who's stuck with this tirade but hasn't been paying full attention, I'll point out that every hateful statement I've made about the FD has been about employing these devil-mechanisms on MOUNTAIN BIKES. I've been clear about this throughout -- go back and read. For the record, I have a road bike that IS outfitted with a FD because road bike drivetrains generally don't suffer the extreme shifting loads that mountain bike drivetrains do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Wait... who doesn't know what they're talking about here?

That would be you, speedygz.
It's probably at this point, a good time to remind you who has slick, clean. fast & smooth FD setup & shifting. All the way from cheap Chinese Prowheel & Shimano Tourney 3x on my old 26 inch MTB, through to Alivio 3X on my first 650B Jamis, & XT 2x on my Carbon XC bike. The only time things get messy, is if you try & go outside recommended tooth counts, mix & match incompatible components (yes, they work, but not optimally) or poor setup.
And no, I'm not anti 1x, I run both 1x10 & 1x11 on my bikes, & they're also very good. But that certainly doesn't consign my 2x drivetrains to the rubish bin, becaues of some irrational hatred.
 
41 - 60 of 87 Posts
Top