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On a ride recently my front derailleur seems to have gotten jammed. The levers wouldn't index and the derailleur itself wouldn't budge. After continuing the ride for a bit, the problem went away on its own. What could have caused this? And how can it be fixed more quickly in the future?

It is a Shimano Deore derailleur, and it was stuck in the smallest chainring position. The bike is new with less than 50 miles on it.

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My first guess would be that the cable jammed somehow, but it's hard to say. Could be the derailer itself, the cable, or the shifter. If it keeps happening, of course, you should take it to the shop where you bought it for adjustment. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 7 '14 at 19:29
possible duplicate of Front derailleur won't spring back to lower gears – DWGKNZ Jul 7 '14 at 20:51
@DWGKNZ - Thanks for the suggestion, but the present question is different. Note I was unable to use the shifter. – Italianice Jul 8 '14 at 0:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Often while mountain biking a twig or rock will get stuck between the swing arms on your front derailleur. This effectively locks the derailleur in place until the rock/twig works itself out.

If it happens again, stop and examine the derailleur. Generally you can't see the obstruction while you're riding.

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