Chatter fixed … 😤


Yesterday I spoke about an annoying chatter when I was pedalling on the small chainring. It got progressively worse as the week progressed. Perhaps longer. I tried everything I could think of but without a bike stand, I could not get a close look.

Was the derailleur misaligned? That’s possible. The bike was packed in the travel box on the flight here. Maybe it was pushed out of position.

Was the derailleur out of adjustment? I tried as best I could to adjust the cable tumbler but it seems fine.

Was the chainring worn or damaged in transit? It’s possible but I’m careful to pack extra foam around them, and the crankset is only 2 years old.

Is the chain itself worn? Again, it was new last fall, and has relatively few miles with over 50% showing on the chain wear gauge. And, it only happens on the small chainring. If it was the chain, the chatter would be heard on both of the rings.

Is the cassette worn? That doesn’t make sense. There is no chatter when pedalling on the large chainring. Besides, it was new last fall as well.

What’s left? Oh yeah. Is the chain rubbing on the front derailleur? The chatter seems to be at the front, not the rear of the drive train, although it’s difficult to tell while cycling.

Well, I could’t stand it any longer. Either I take it into a shop where there is a proper stand, or fashion a makeshift stand at home. I don’t like anyone else touching my bikes, particularly this one. So, I fashioned a bike stand.

That’s all it took. Get the rear wheel off the ground so I could turn the pedals easily, and get my ear close. It wasn’t the chainring. I wasn’t the chain. It wasn’t either derailleur. It wasn’t the cassette.

It was the end front derailleur cable. The excess portion beyond where it is secured to the derailleur.

It had been bent downward, probably in transit, and it rubbed against the right crank when positioned on the small ring. The lever moves out towards the chainrings when it is positioned on the smaller ring, so that on every revolution it hit the right crank. At first, it was only in some gear positions, but in the end, it rubbed all of the time when I was on the small ring.

How embarrassing.

It was easy to fix. No tools were required.

I just had to bend the end of the cable back.

Glad I didn’t take it to the shop 😂 I would never live it down.

LARGE or small chainring … 🤔


I have been pedalling on the small chainring. I idea is to pedal faster with less effort, with an average cadence between 90-100 rpm.

This past week, maybe longer, I have noticed an annoying chatter when I’m pedalling in some gears. So annoying that I would change into a larger or smaller one just to quiet it down. It kept getting worse despite my attempts to adjust the cable tensions, or the position of the front changer.

Today I had had enough. I rode on the large chainring. There is no chatter there.

I was once told that pedalling on the large ring develops strength. I was climbing up one of the local mountains, when I came along side a young rider turning a big gear. He said he did this climb once every week or two pedalling in the largest gear he could. It developed power he said.

Well today was supposed to be a slow day. A recovery day. A Zone 1 day. I did 48 km on the large chainring averaging 25 kph but with a slower cadence. Eighty-one. So, I was turning a larger gear but spinning about 10 rpm slower on average. Did I feel more tired? No. It was all in Zone 1, at a lower heart rate. Did I travel faster faster? No. The same as I do in a lower gear but at a faster cadence. Did I develop more power by doing this? I don’t know. But it certainly felt comfortable, and easy. Maybe I am getting stronger.

I’ll stay on the large chainring until I can figure out the cause of the chatter. At first, I thought it was the BB but I have now isolated the problem to the small chainring. Maybe it is loose.