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I have a giant anyroad 1 2015. It has this as components Crankset Shimano Tiagra, 34/50 Cassette Shimano Tiagra 11x34, 10-speed

That is 7 cogs in the cassette, and 2 cogs on the crankset.

Is it normal for the derailleur to make noise when the chain is on the smallest cogs? It also happens a bit when the front derailleur is on the smallest cog, and the rear one is on the second-smallest.

Yes - I understand you're not supposed to do this - your chain should try not to twist. My question is this - is this normal? Or is it just a poorly installed/adjusted derailleur? My rationale is that it should be 'silent' on any combination of gears since the bike was built to do this.

  • 10 cogs on the cassette. – Batman Jul 29 '16 at 20:40
  • Also - just so you know - the bike was bought brand new and did this from day one. The guy at the LBS dismissed my concern and just told me not to cross chain. This bike is over $1000 - I am/was expecting more.... – msladtmn Jul 29 '16 at 20:54
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    Yes. That's what they should have told you. It's like saying "doctor, I keep sticking my hand in a pot of boiling water, and it hurts" and complaining when the doctor tells you not to stick your hand in the boiling water – Batman Jul 29 '16 at 21:34
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    The FD-4600 instruction manual has a note about this exact scenario: shimanocycling.co.nz/media/techdocs/content/cycle/SI/TIAGRA/… – Lachlan Jul 29 '16 at 23:27
  • Adhere to the principle of silence (The Rules) or like Mr Rolls used to say: Noisy machine, bad machine! A drive-train can be adjusted to run without any noise. – Carel Aug 1 '16 at 8:02
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It's not normal, especially if you have only a double crankset!

I've set up triples such that they have no noise in any combination. And that's cheap components. Think 8 speed bike with Shimano Altus FD, thick 6-8 speed chain.

I recently set up an incorrect front derailleur on an 8 speed bike, with its original shifter: a Shimano SLX "Dyna-Sys" FD for 10 speeds. Using a 9 speed chain and some tinkering, plus a very slight unorthodox rotation of the derailleur around the seat post away from perfectly parallel (it's a clamp-on, not direct mount), I got it so that it has no noise on the middle and small ring, any cog, and only a bit of chain rub in the largest-cog-largest-ring combination.

If mismatched hacks like this can be made to work, there can be no excuses from the bike shop selling you a brand new bike for over $1000, in which components should match, and be properly set up. They are not a department store; they should know what they are doing.

From the fact that you have a rub on the smallest cog, which progresses to the second smallest cog when you shift the FD to the left to the middle ring, suggests that the FD is positioned a little too far to the left: either it could use a little more cable tension. What you can do is relax the high/low trim screws and get it as good as you can on both rings by cable tension; then play with the trim screws.

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Is the question is it normal for a it to make noise when cross-chaining from smallest to smallest which you're not suppose to do? Yes, but by doing so you are putting more stress on the chain and cogs, it is bad for your drive train and can result in dropping a chain or mucking up your gears faster than normal.

It is likely making noise because it is rubber or grinding on the derailleur or chain set.

The bike was not made to do that, you said yourself that you know you are not suppose to do it.

"My car sounds like crap when i run it with zero oil in the engine.. is this normal?"

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Drive trains make some noise. The rear derailleur has little wheels which turn and the ability to vibrate a bit (these noises can increase with age of derailleur, or if you've damaged it by hitting it) while the chain sometimes rubs on the front derailleur. The chain can make some noise if its not running perfectly aligned. Bent chainrings can also cause some noise. Badly rusted chains can also be noisy (especially if they skip due to rust).

If you cross-chain, such as using the big front chainring with the big rear cog or the small front chainring with the smallest rear cog, the chain runs at an extreme angle and likely there will be some noise at least from the front derailleur since the chain will likely rub (you can "trim" the front derailleur for some adjustment with friction shifters). This is by design -- the derailleurs have an operating point which is good (e.g. when not cross chaining) and when you deviate from it, you get some noise.

Other sources of noise in the drivetrain can be in the bottom bracket or the hub/wheels.

In short, don't run absurd combinations except for service (small front/small back being one), and make sure your derailleurs are properly adjusted. See this link for rear derailleur adjustment (also hanger alignment if you've crashed) and this one for front derailleur adjustment.

From what it sounds like, you're having issues when cross-chaining, and in this case, noise is normal.

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Assuming there noise is coming from the chain rubbing against the rear derailleur, it is likely just poorly installed, I have a triple crankset instead of a double and I can hit most of my gears without having any noise, but the tuning was certainly a little finicky.

A double crank has a smaller width that the chain travels in the front in comparison to my triple, and my chain only rubs my derailleur on at most two of my gears, so you're should be able to run smoother than that.

Any noise outside of the normal means you're losing energy to something, which means you'll be working hard than you need to which is never good, I'd get it looked at/try and adjust it yourself.

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