It has been almost a year since I fitted an 11-32 cassette and new chain to the bike, in order to make this work I had to screw in the B-limiter screw all the way which I have now been told is a bad idea as it puts extra strain on the derailleur and hanger. Although the system worked brilliantly for at least 8 months I think it was optimistic of me to think it would be fine as I have now learned that the strain and a couple of knocks to the derailleur have weakened the hanger to the point where it has twisted, resulting in poor, erratic shifting and the loss of some gears entirely.
As the warm weather suddenly appeared at the end of May this year, up until which point it had been freezing cold or at best merely mild, I jumped on the chance to get some dry mountain bike riding done in the forest, and did so for several weeks while the dry warm weather lasted (and apart from a few odd downpours, is still lasting now), my cyclocross bike sat at the back not seeing any use; when I eventually decided to give it a run out I discovered that the gears were not shifting properly and no amount of adjustment would cure it, I did notice that the derailleur sprockets appeared to be pointing slightly in the wrong direction but dismissed it as being caused by my viewing angle. I took the bike in for a cable replacement (internally routed, not something I’m familiar with doing) only to be told by the bike shop that I should be using a long cage derailleur, and that the hanger was bent.
One replaced hanger and nicely set up gears later, I took the bike home and put the original 11-28 cassette and chain back on the bike, in theory I could have configured it again for thew 11-32 but the thought of having to pay another £40 to get a replacement hanger fitted didn’t appeal (I looked, they apparently can’t be bought from normal sources). I decided to give the poor neglected bike a good long test ride, however I soon noticed that the rear pads were brushing against the disc (noted by a ‘swish swish swish’ noise as the rear wheel turned), a quick pit stop at the nearest bike shop to borrow a long shafted Allen key and it was sorted, then there was also the tell-tale sound of a particle or two in the bottom bracket, I knew I could not fix this out on the road but luckily it went away after about 20 miles of riding. The final discovery was that the front derailleur now needed adjustment to accommodate the spacing on the different cassette low gear sprocket, unfortunately the adjustment there has rusted up so it’s not possible to turn the adjustment knob; assuming the part is available and that I can extract the old one, I should be able to replace or refurbish this one myself, I really can’t afford to spend more money on labour for this bike. If worse comes to worse then I’ll just have to live with it (it’s just scraping when on the large chainring and lowest cassette sprocket, technically not a wise thing to do but I know it should be possible to run in this gear ratio without scraping).
While that is being sorted I will go back to the mountain bike, the tubeless Plus tyres have held their air superbly and await their first test ride!