Setting up a rear derailleur

I needed to set up my rear derailleur from scratch yesterday and thought up a nice simple mechanism for doing it that I’ve not seen described before. This is for a ‘normal’, not reverse-pull derailleur, where increased gear cable tension makes it change down.

  1. Put the bike in middle ring at the front, set the rear shifter to top gear.
  2. Adjust the limit screws.
    I find this is especially easy if you disconnect the gear cable completely – it prevents cable issues interfering and means you don’t need to fiddle with the shifter.

    • Adjust the bottom limit screw so that the bike pedals smoothly in top gear with no clicking or rubbing.
    • Push the derailleur with your fingers so that it shifts into bottom gear and adjust the top limit screw so that the bike pedals smoothly in bottom gear with no clicking or rubbing and without falling into the spokes.
  3. Screw in the barrel adjuster on the derailleur (and the shifter) as far as it will go.
  4. Pull the gear cable tight with your fingers (you don’t need much tension, just take up the slack) and tighten the retaining bolt.
  5. On the shifter, change down ONE gear (e.g. 8th if you have a 9-speed cassette).
  6. While turning the pedals, turn the barrel adjuster until it shifts into the selected gear.
  7. Adjust so it’s not rubbing and that the top jockey wheel aligns nicely.
  8. Check that it changes into all the gears smoothly when changing both up and down.
  9. Job done!

This whole procedure can be done in a couple of minutes. You may need to fine-tune the barrel adjuster slightly in some lower gears, but this procedure will get you to the right ballpark with minimal effort. It’s much easier if you have a workshop stand or similar means of holding the back wheel off the ground.

MS has a big spanner

Microsoft are, yet again, releasing a feature that’s probably going to be pushed as some kind of improvement, but will be to the detriment of 99% of its users: In Outlook 2007 they are removing the IE-based HTML renderer and substituting Word’s HTML renderer instead, you know, the one that makes Netscape 2 look good. Admittedly, IE in Outlook has historically been the vector for the vast majority of viruses (hence the ‘Outbreak’ nickname), but that’s mostly untrue in recent versions. Microsoft are touting IE7 as the most secure version ever, yet it seems to be too insecure for Outlook? They might come up with some kind of lame antitrust-compliance excuse, but they could instead simply open their internal protocols and use pluggable renderers, just like Linux and OS X do. I suspect it will have zero effect on spammers, most of whom don’t use HTML significantly any more, and they don’t care anyway. Erstwhile competitor CampaignMonitor has an excellent take on the situation.

So what does this mean? Probably the end of HTML email marketing as we know it. It will cost the industry millions in lost revenue – not that MS costing industries millions is anything new. OTOH, it might just usher in a new age where marketeers have to remember how to write decent copy.

If they wanted to make a real difference, they could perhaps fix their SenderID spec to talk to SPF correctly, or perhaps get Exchange to send bounce messages that actually contain useful information, like (and I don’t think I’m asking too much) the address the message was originally sent to.