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Barrel adjuster and front derailleur adjustment issues
#1
I was having issues with my bike chain slipping on the front derailleur mid ride and skipping gears on the rear when shifting. Did some reading determined that my derailleurs probably needed adjusting, most likely because as a relatively new bike the cables would have stretched. I had my housemate have a look (he has a little bit of bike knowledge) he twisted the H and L screws and the barrel adjuster to show me what they do (actually made the front derailleur worse) and left me to it.

Anyway I'm normally pretty good at fixing things so I followed instructions from the internet and all was going reasonably well, took me a while but I eventually managed to get the rear derailleur adjusted so the chain stopped skipping gears (i think anyway). I was getting close on the front derailleur adjustments and then it just all seemed to go completely out of whack and I can't for the life of me get it back.

It seems the barrel adjuster is no longer working, it doesn't seem to change anything now and rotates alot one way but not much the other (I'm worried I've accidentally stripped it but don't really know how to check this or what to do if I have). I'm fairly certain the cable is now too tight and so the cage can't be aligned properly with the L and H screws and right now the chain rubs.

I'm at a bit of a loss, so if anyone has any suggestions and advice I'd greatly appreciate it. I hope I've given enough info and detail, I'm new to this so I've tried to be as accurate as I can. Oh yeah bike type would probably help. Its a Giant Boulder 2 W, with Shimano M190 front derailleur, Shimano Alivio rear derailleur, Shimano Altus shifters.

I'm on a tight budget so if possible I'd ideally like to fix it myself plus I figure it's better to learn how the bike works and everything anyway.
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#2
How about some in-person help from someone more competent? What does "relatively new" mean? Do you still have an adjustment warranty (typically 30-90 days)? Do you have a bike co-op in your area. Even a bike shop would not be prohibitive cost. For the front derailleur I recommend you start from the beginning. For online help parktool.com/blog and sheldonbrown.com are recognized as the best sources.
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#3
(09-21-2014, 09:23 AM)cny-man Wrote:  How about some in-person help from someone more competent? What does "relatively new" mean? Do you still have an adjustment warranty (typically 30-90 days)? Do you have a bike co-op in your area. Even a bike shop would not be prohibitive cost. For the front derailleur I recommend you start from the beginning. For online help parktool.com/blog and sheldonbrown.com are recognized as the best sources.

Its about a year and a half old but only used a handful of times. I've recently moved interstate so I'm no longer anywhere near the place I bought it, have no idea about anything local and don't really know anyone here outside of my housemates. So I'm just trying to do what I can within the circumstances.

Thanks for the additional resources. I have been working on it through the order of things already but my issue is the barrel adjuster doesn't seem to be working and the wire appears to be too tight, making all the steps ineffective. I saw on the parktool link you gave thats I can reset the barrel which seems like it may be beneficial to my problem, however, how do I know I haven't stripped the barrel adjuster or anything to that effect?
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#4
(09-21-2014, 10:26 AM)Fuzz06 Wrote:  ... have no idea about anything local and don't really know anyone here outside of my housemates. ...the barrel adjuster doesn't seem to be working and the wire appears to be too tight, making all the steps ineffective...how do I know I haven't stripped the barrel adjuster or anything to that effect?

No idea about anything local? Forgive me uit can't you go to or look up a bike shop? Where are you located? Many large cities have a bike co-op whet you could get help.

As for the barrel adjuster, I doubt you could strip it turning by hand. Put the shift lever in the smallest chainwheel position and try to turn the adjuster clockwise (looking toward the lever or part it screws into). The cable should get looser. If so then it's working. Again, if you still have problems then you need in-person help.
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#5
It could be that you turned the barrel adjuster all the way so it screwed itself out of the casing. If so, I would actually detach the cable completely to take the tension off of it. Then you should be able to get it screwed back in. If it turns smoothly and moves in and out slowly as your turn it, all is well with the adjuster.

After that, adjust your inner limit screw with the chain on the inner front and inner rear chainrings. Then reattach the cable. Then adjust the outer limit with the chain on the two outer chainrings. Finally adjust tension on the cable until the shifting is better.
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#6
(09-22-2014, 03:26 PM)DaveM Wrote:  It could be that you turned the barrel adjuster all the way so it screwed itself out of the casing. If so, I would actually detach the cable completely to take the tension off of it. Then you should be able to get it screwed back in. If it turns smoothly and moves in and out slowly as your turn it, all is well with the adjuster.

After that, adjust your inner limit screw with the chain on the inner front and inner rear chainrings. Then reattach the cable. Then adjust the outer limit with the chain on the two outer chainrings. Finally adjust tension on the cable until the shifting is better.

It definitely looks and feels like its barely in the casing so that could be it, will try what you've suggested. Thanks so much!
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