Front derailleur - grinding chain issues

doffcocker

New Member
Hi all.

Please forgive the incredible naivety in anything I write in the following post. I am extremely new to cycling - yes very much part of the Covid-inspired wave of riders - I didn't actually know how to ride a bike pre-2020 and I'm 28 years old, but since March I have been averaging 10-30 miles daily and whenever my bike isn't up to its optimal, I feel extremely depressed and lost so would appreciate any friendly advice.
Basically I have an issue with my front derailleur, or more specifically the lever and barrel adjuster. To add insult to injury, the problem is one of my own making.
It all started yesterday when I decided to finally try and get rid of the irritating grinding noise of my chain when in the highest gear/smallest ring. I had heard somewhere this was easily resolved by adjusting the limit screws of the front derailleur, and in my infinite stupidity I got tampering without first checking exactly what I was supposed to be doing.
Before I knew it, the front gears weren't for shifting up to the larger ring, so that's when I got carried away messing with the barrel adjuster until finally it seemed the lever had lost any grip at all on the cable. I have tried to tighten the slack at the derailleur but this hasn't made any difference to anything.
Now I don't often move into the larger ring of the front gears anyway so until I decide to fix this, it would be alright except that somewhere in the midst of all this drama, the grinding noise that was once only apparent in the highest (8th) gear is now very audible from the 4th/5th gear upwards. Again I have done much trial and error with the limit screws to at least resolve this but nothing seems to be making a difference.
I'm guessing that at the very least the cable needs to be re-seated correctly within the lever mechanism for the front derailleur to operate correctly again, but also what else could be causing the grinding noise considering I feel like I've tried every possible combination with my front derailleur limit screws. I should also add that the rear derailleur currently operates fine in terms of shifting from one ring to the next.
Thanks again in advance for any advice whatsoever whether in the form of words or links or whatever.

Cheers.
 
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doffcocker

New Member
Sorry I should have included pictures of the beauty herself.
 

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Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Hello and :welcome: to the forum.

Sorry about your trouble, these things can be very annoying and seemingly difficult to fix when starting out with maintaining your bike.

i can see straight away from your last pic that the outer cage of the derailleur is touching the chain, that is what is causing the noise. I can’t see what gear you’re on at the back which will have a bearing on how to adjust it but the inner cage should be sitting just about 2mm off the chain on the small ring. The best thing to do is start from scratch. Rather than trying to explain the best thing is to follow this video, it will be easier if you have a work stand but you should be able to manage without.

View: https://youtu.be/ZNG7g83lI-s

You can start watching at 3:16. Good luck, come back if you need further help, all you’ll need is a hex wrench and a screwdriver.
 
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raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
You should never need to touch the limit screws, all you needed to do was increase the cable tension slightly at the barrel adjuster to fix the 'rub'
 
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doffcocker

New Member
Thanks a lot for your replies.

For the time being I'd like to be able to use as many gears as possible without the grinding noise which is definitely coming from the front derailleur cage.

Currently, as I say the grinding sets in from the 4th gear upwards, but I can't seem to get the derailleur to shift away from the frame. The cage doesn't appear to be bent and seems to be aligned perfectly parallel to the chainring. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
Thanks a lot for your replies.

For the time being I'd like to be able to use as many gears as possible without the grinding noise which is definitely coming from the front derailleur cage.

Currently, as I say the grinding sets in from the 4th gear upwards, but I can't seem to get the derailleur to shift away from the frame. The cage doesn't appear to be bent and seems to be aligned perfectly parallel to the chainring. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
Put it in the low front with the lever, now take all the slack out of the cable.

If it won't shift up to the big ring screw the low stop in so that the mech is central on the little ring then take more slack out of the cable.
 
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