Front Derailleur Issues

The other day on the ride to work, I noticed that when I went to the big chainring on my bike, I heard a noise at the bottom of my pedal stroke. Initially, I thought that I was being such a BAMF that when I pedaled, I was causing the frame to flex and that at the bottom of the pedal stroke, the chainrings were hitting the inside of the derailleur cage.

Well, this was not the case. After ignoring the issue and checking it out carefully when I got home, I noticed that the outside of the derailleur cage was hitting the right crankarm when the left crankarm was near the bottom of the pedal stroke. I decided to crudely bend the cage away from the arm and be done with the whole issue. That worked until I went out to the 50 states ride.

The noise came back and I continued to ignore it until the lunch rest stop, where I decided to try to bend the cage back again. However, I noticed that the bolt that attaches the derailleur to the clamp was ridiculously loose, so I tightened it up partially and that seemed to eliminate the noise until I started riding home from the ride.

This morning, I decided that I was going to fix this once and for all, so I looked carefully at the derailleur and notice that the bolt that the cage pivots about was about to fall out, so I tightened it up and voilĂ , the noise is gone and adjusting the derailleur stops actually does something.

These bolts were the culprit.

The circled bolts are the ones that were so loose they were about to fall out.

There is space between the crankarm and the derailleur
cage!

Now there is space between the crankarm and the derailleur, so no more noise.