I've noticed that my rear derailleur (Ultegra 6700) will not return to where I've set the B-tension adjustment. Pulling it away from the hanger means it will just stick there, or maybe move back a little bit. Comparing to other bikes with Shimano rear derailleurs, mine seems to be odd one out.

It mostly causes annoyance when removing the rear wheel -- I have to push the derailleur back "in" afterwards, instead of relying on it just naturally going back to the correct position.

  • Have you tried shifting to you lowest gear and then checking the actual cable tension? It may need to be pulled through a small bit. – Dan Jul 30 '14 at 4:09
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    Lubricate the pivot of the derailleur. The behaviour you describe points to a sticky axle. – Carel Jul 30 '14 at 18:36
  • @Carel why don't you post it as an answer? – Alexander Oct 13 '15 at 8:57

If I understand you correctly, you don't have a B-Tension issue. B-Tension sets the clearance between the upper derailleur pulley and the chain, and should not be used to add spring return force to a derailleur.

In this case, I believe that the derailleur pivots are in need of cleaning and lubrication, and I would start there.

If that doesn't fix the issue, you can look at replacing the derailleur return spring (#2 in photo)behind the fixing bolt of the derailleur and/or the cage spring (#1 in photo)between the derailleur body and the derailleur cage.

6700 exploded view with annotations

Ultegra 6700 RD Manual

Exploded View PDF


Assuming you have already backed the B-tension screw all the way out, I believe your B-tension spring has simply lost its tension. Mine is the same way. I know that spring is replaceable in some derailleurs, and checking whether it is in this one is on my list of things to do. Check with your local bike shop.

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    It may be, but the first thing I'd check is that the derailer pivots freely on the axle (as @Carel mentions in the comment above). If it does, then check that the spring tension is still there. – dlu Nov 12 '15 at 5:56

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