1. How to Adjust Your Rear Derailleur
Applies to most 3-chainring derailleur systems. Adjust your Front Derailer
Adjusting your rear derailleur can be frustrating. I’m hoping that this tutorial will help you understand how each component of your derailleur works, and how to set up and adjust it properly. Once your derailleur is set up correctly, most future adjustments can be done by hand. Let’s get started!
Almost all modern derailleurs function the same basic way. They are designed to move (or derail) the chain from one sprocket to the next. The upper guide pulley (or jockey pulley) moves the chain in both directions. For instance, when you want to climb a hill, you shift down to a lower gear. This pulls the shift cable and forces the guide pulley to change to a bigger sprocket. When you want to go faster, you adjust the shifter to a higher gear. This releases shift cable tension and allows the derailleur springs to pull the guide pulley back down to a smaller gear. Each time you shift gears, the length of chain changes. The lower tension pulley is spring-loaded to take up this slack.
There are 3 adjustment screws – the B-Screw (B-tension adjustment), the H-Screw (high gear limit stop) and the L-Screw (low gear limit stop). Adjustments on these screws should always be made in 1/4 turn increments.
The B-Screw controls the derailleur body’s angle in relation to the sprocket-set. Shift down to the largest sprocket and check the distance between the guide pulley and the large sprocket. If the guide pulley is rubbing on the sprocket, tighten the B-screw clockwise to increase tension and move the pulley away from the sprocket. If there is a large gap between the pulley and sprocket, loosen the B-screw until the pulley rubs the sprocket, and then tighten it until it just clears.
The H-Limit screw high gear limit stop prevents the guide pulley from shifting any further past the highest gear and into the axle. In order to adjust it properly there must be no tension on the lower inner cable. If you feel tension, loosen the cable adjuster until there is none. Now check from behind how the chain is riding on the smallest sprocket. If it looks like it wants ride off into the axle, tighten the H-screw clockwise until it lines up. If it looks like it is rubbing on the next gear, loosen the screw until the chain is nicely centered on the sprocket. Now re-adjust the cable tension until the derailleur shifts smoothly down to the next gear.
The L-Limit screw prevents the guide pulley from shifting any further past the lowest gear and into the wheel spokes. Shift down to the lowest gear, step behind the bike, and check how the chain rides on the sprocket. If it looks like it wants to ride into the spokes, tighten the L-screw clockwise until it is centered on the sprocket. If it looks like it wants to shift down, loosen the screw until it lines up. As an extra precaution you can use your thumb to gently push the derailleur body and make sure the chain will not run into the spokes, as this could obviously have a nasty effect on both you and your bike.
The cable tension adjuster defines how far up or down the derailleur moves. Step back so you can see the chain and sprocket alignment, and then through the gears in both directions, first shifting up two and down one, and then down two and up one. The chain should look centered on each sprocket. If it is rubbing on a larger gear it means there is too much tension on the cable. Loosen the tension by turning the adjuster clockwise. If it wants to jump down to a smaller gear it needs more tension. Increase the tension by turning the adjuster counter-clockwise.
You can also use sound to check the adjustment. There is always a base-level of noise that can be heard in every gear. This noise will increase in a slightly different way depending on which way the tension is out of adjustment. If there is too much tension you will hear a metallic rubbing sound, but if there is too little tension you will hear a clicking noise as the chain tries to jump to a smaller sprocket. There is usually a cable tension adjuster on your shift lever. With practice you will be able to make small cable tension adjustments while you are riding.
Now that the derailleur is adjusted, always apply a drop of lubrication to the derailleur’s many moving parts. This will help prevent wear from dirt and rust, and it will keep your gears shifting smoothly. Wipe away any excess lube and take your bike for a test ride to make sure all the gears are working smoothly.
That concludes our tutorial on rear derailleur adjustments… have fun!
Hey folks - first off for full disclosure, I recently removed the RD from the hanger to get a look at the hanger. What I'm asking now seems to have happened after re-attaching the RD.
The bike is about a month old so I'm not considering worn out parts yet.
OK so the RD (Ultegra 6800) attaches to the hanger by one bolt. The RD pivots on that bolt. When at rest I can rotate the RD clockwise quite a bit. Just a little rotation counter clockwise. If I rotate clockwise and then let it go there is obviously a spring inside that pushes the RD back to a resting position.
Read more >>
Hi, basically I've got a problem with the front deraillieur rub on my Triban 3 road bike when in the smallest chainring on the rear and the largest chainring up front.
I've tried setting this up myself about 4 times using this guide
I just cannot seem to make the dérailleur move far enough out! I have tightened the cable as ti... Read more >>
I have cube aim pro 29 with Altus M310 FD. Recently purchased, ready to run.
Thing is I'm not satisfied how the FD is working. There is a problem
with chain rubbing.
For ex. when running in second ring upfront (where in theory there should be no rub at all in any rear shift), there is a rub depending on cable tension.
If I adjust FD in the biggest rear ring, it rubs when I shift to small ones (7,8)
and vice versa. If I adjust in smallest rear ring, it rubs when I shift to biggest (1,2,3). So basically I cannot adjust that no ... Read more >>
Today, one of my grip shifter (for the back shifting) is broken. I've only ride the bike for less than 6 months.
Unfortunately, my chain is now off the gears. So there is almost no way to get the chain back on because the shifter is not in the correct place.
Is there a quick/alternative way to adjust the shifter so I can get my chain on the gear? Thus, at least I can ride.
Or is it a good idea to simply remove the whole back derailleur and also cut some sections of chain? maybe a lot of labor for this approach.
I just want to get the bike go... Read more >>
I bought Roadmaster Granite Peak a couple of weeks back (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Roadmaster-Granite-Peak-26-Men-s-Mountain-Bike-Black/34931885).
Suddenly one by one both the gears have stopped "holding" in place.
The gear cable does move and so does the derailleurs.
A video I took is available here:
https://www.youtube.c... Read more >>
I want to replace the rear derailleur on my current mountain bike, but because it is a cheap low end full suspension, it doesn't have a hanger on the frame and only takes a bolt on derailleur. Is there anyway I can adapt the frame so that it is compatible with a hanger? the derailleurs I want all require a hanger. Thank you.... Read more >>
I just got my new Saracen Urban ESC. It has 3 gears in front and 7 at the back.
Couple of issues I have noticed when changing gears. The front derailleurs works fine when changing in to a lower ring. But when i try to shift it up I have to press the shifter twice. First time does not change the gears and make a horrible metallic sound, feels as if the bike is gonna crash.
How can I fix it?... Read more >>
I just bought a Mountain Bike that I suppose you would classify as a beginner one (Giant Revel 2) and it has been a great experience getting back into riding. Not too long ago I sort of crashed, what I mean by that is I hit the side of an object and ever since that point my front shifting is seeming to suffer. First problem was that shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear would not always work, it just wouldn't catch and would make a clicking noise as expected. Also shifting into third would do the same. I tried adjusting the shifting knob (the one by the actual gear change on the handlebar) and no... Read more >>
Thanks for taking the time to read my problem. I have recently bought a new bike. It is around 3 weeks old and done 112 miles on it. Recently it has started taking ages to shift up a gear on the rear cassette and occasionally it feels like it is trying to change gear on its own. The shift down is fine at the moment. In another 3 weeks the bike will have a 6 week free service. Is it worth waiting till then to let the professionals look at it or is it a quick fix I can do myself? I want to keep it in tip top condition so dont want it getting any worse or even damage it by putting mo... Read more >>
I'm trying to do some basic bike repairs, but I've stumbled upon a problem I cannot solve.
I have a Trek Lexa women's road bike (~3 years old) with Shimano derailleurs. It was in need of a tune-up as shifting between gears was not smooth and the chain was rubbing the bracket; however it was capable of shifting. I started by unhooking the shifter cable and adjusting the high and low limits of the rear derailleur. When I hooked the cable back up (tightened the rear adjustment screw, pulled on the cables, tightened the cable as much as I could while the gears we... Read more >>
I've watched hours of tutoring videos all over the internet in search for an answer. This forum is probably my last shot at it. The gears on the left (for the front derailleur) don't change the gears on my bike, because the shifter cable is out. I've been trying to reinsert my shifter cable for my FD, but only gear one and two work, and it's too stiff for the third gear. Ahhhh! Please help!!... Read more >>
Rear Derailleur shifter: Falcon Index System thumb shifter.
The high and low limits are set correctly because I can shift through all the gear with no problem. I just have to hold the shifter in place. If I let go, it will move all the way to high gear (small cog). It won't stay in anything but the highest gear by itself.... Read more >>
I recently purchased a Genesis Roadtech bike from Wal-Mart. It's a road bike but I have no idea how to use the shifters on this bike. The image is where the shifters are located.
I'm just getting into cycling so some of this stuff is still very new to me.
Thank you in advance for help advice.... Read more >>
I currently ride a Giant Revolt 2, 2014 model Cyclocross bike.
Last week during my commute to work I lost a spacer from my rear cassette so had it repaired by a local guy who is a friend of mine.
He managed to get every gear sweet bar the highest (small cog) on the rear cassette, it shifts nicely from the second smallest cog down to the smallest cog but it won't go back up - only on that one lowest gear.
He took it to his workshop over night and fit a new cassette and removed a link from the chain as the chain was still slack but that... Read more >>
I have a Sturmey Archer gears on my bike with a following shifter:[attachment=5222]
However I would like to change this shifter for modern one -the one I currently have is a bit rusty and its though to change gears sometimes.I have found this model:
3 SPEED NIMBUS SHIFTER
FITS 22.2MM BARS.
Will this shifter be suitable to replace the old one?
Thanks... Read more >>