Front Derailleur Seized

bianchibob
bianchibob Posts: 306
edited November 2015 in Workshop
Have had a fair number of bikes and never had this before.

Specialized Allez with a 10 speed Tiagra set up. I have been using it regularly as a training bike, probably twice a week doing about 90 miles.
However for one reason or another I have not used it for the last 6 weeks, so it has been stored in a dry garage.
Today I thought I would service it by stripping it down, chain off, crankset off and clean all parts and lubricate and then rebuild. I was amazed to find that the front derailleur had not so much seized but was incredibly stiff in its action. Infact so stiff the return spring was not strong enough to affect a change down onto the small ring.
I took the derailleur off and liberally lubricated it and tried various levers to try and free off the action, and while there was some improvement I could not eradicate the stiffness and get it to work on the bike.
For the price of a new one it was not worth continuing with the old one.

With hindsight I should have thoroughly cleaned the derailleur and liberally lubricated the pivot points and probably left it in the small chainring position.

I am now wondering is this is a common problem and as I have three bikes one of which is fitted with Shimano Ultegra and is not used during winter months as it is my 'best' bike should I be doing something while in storage to stop this happening again.

Comments

  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    edited November 2015
    Common - but usually bikes that are ridden this time of year IME. My best bike doesn't need much done to the FD - it won't do anything in the garage over the winter. It's more likely to be gummed up than corroded.

    I've done like you before - even with a lot of fiddling and soaking in oil it never got as good as new so it was easiest to replace.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    Ha

    With hindsight I should have thoroughly cleaned the derailleur and liberally lubricated the pivot points and probably left it in the small chainring position.

    This. It is good practice to clean and lubricate all moving parts, and remove the tension from the derailleurs (small/small combo.) and control cables when storing your bike, also make sure you can remove the seatpost, slacken the seatpost clamp off.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I do preventative maintenance including periodically lubricating all the pivot points, but my experience with FDs leads me to believe that the cheaper they are the more likely they are to seize up or fall apart.

    And once that's happened it's never possible to fully restore them to as new condition; far simpler to fit a new one.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    As a last resort it might be worth giving it a really good squirt with WD40, specially since it is off the bike so you don't have to worry about overspray. Then leave it for a day or two and then give it a good soak in something like 3-in-1, etc. If that doesn't do it, I don't know what would but someone might have another option.
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,621
    Drop it in a tray of Coca Cola overnight. You'll be amazed (if there is any metal left!)

    That will free up 95% of rusty things.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Might be worth having a chat with Barry Scott, I am sure he will have some product that will completely dissolve the FD :)
  • Thanks for all the replies. I have noted them and now started leaving all my bikes when not in use in the small-small gear combination.
    In my defence I have always maintained my bikes to a very high standard with regular maintenance and lubrication.
    I was therefore amazed to find that after only 6 weeks of storage the front Shimano Tiagra derailleur which was working perfectly prior to storage was completely seized.
    I can add that after copious lubrication and leaving for several days it is still partially seized and for £13 ish from Ribble Cycles I have replaced it and the chain.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I was therefore amazed to find that after only 6 weeks of storage the front Shimano Tiagra derailleur which was working perfectly prior to storage was completely seized.
    I can add that after copious lubrication and leaving for several days it is still partially seized and for £13 ish from Ribble Cycles I have replaced it and the chain.

    Over 45 years maintaining bikes that's always been my experience. Now I don't bother trying to free them up, a replacement is the simplest option.

    Which reminds me, the wet weather bike is in nearly constant use now so I should do a spot of lubrication on the best bike before it's winter lay-up. Might even drop it into the small / small combo...