Bicycle Front Speed ​​Adjustment

How to set up and adjust the bike’s front derailleur

Sooner or later, every cyclist has to adjust and tune the bike’s front derailleur. And the cheaper the transfer, the more often. This happens for many reasons. For example, the cable is stretching, or you decide to adjust after replacing the derailleur. This does not change the essence. This operation requires performing approximately the same steps. Therefore, we decided to talk in detail about how to set up and adjust the front derailleur of the bicycle using the example of pictures and videos, and what needs to be done before performing this procedure.

Design and principle of operation of the front crossover

The design of the front derailleur is very simple. We will consider all its components, as well as their purpose below.

  • Clamp. This part attaches the front derailleur to the bike frame.
  • Parallelogram. Parallelogram-shaped hinged spring-loaded part. It is the main moving part of the front bulkhead, to which the frame is attached.
  • A guide frame that has an outer and an inner part. A chain runs inside her.
  • Adjusting bolts L and H (stops). There are two of them. They restrict the movement of the guide frame towards the frame (L) and away from it (H).
  • Cable bolt. Locks the gear shift cable.

The principle of operation is based on a simple collision of the chain on the desired star. When the gear is shifted from a larger (in diameter) star to a smaller one, the cable tension is weakened, and the switch spring pulls the parallelogram with the guide frame a certain distance towards the frame. The outside of the frame pushes against the chain, causing it to bounce onto the smaller sprocket. When switching from a smaller star to a larger one, the opposite process occurs. The derailleur cable tightens and moves the parallelogram and guide frame away from the frame. The inner part of the frame presses on the chain, and thanks to the special shape of the frame itself, as well as special hooks on the sprockets of the front system, the chain engages and throws it onto a large star.

This design provides limiting bolts (L and H), against which the parallelogram rests when reaching the end positions. If the adjustment of the front derailleur stops is not correct, the chain will jump off the carriage or connecting rod.

Things to do before adjusting the front derailleur

  • Check if the changeover fits the front sprocket. If you can’t make adjustments for a long time or install a new front derailleur, then this item is worth checking. There are three main parameters (apart from the direction of cable feed, etc.) that may not be appropriate for normal operation of the switch. This is the maximum number of teeth of the largest sprocket, the maximum difference between the teeth of the smallest and largest sprockets, and the minimum difference between the teeth of the middle and largest sprockets. These parameters can be found in the instructions for the speed switch. There are also derailleurs for three front stars and two, plus the system may not correspond to everything. We will cover the topic of how to choose a front derailleur in more detail in another article. Below we give a picture with the parameters of the Shimano Alivio FD. M 430/431 for example.
  • Check for play and visually inspect for damage. It happens that during a fall, as well as with prolonged use, backlash of the frame, parallelogram and other parts of the switch is formed. Plus, the frame itself can bend. This results in fuzzy gear changes and tuning problems. Fine tuning is impossible without backlash elimination. The best option would be to buy a new switch.
  • Clean the switch from dirt and relubricate it. Before you start adjusting and adjusting the front crossover, you should thoroughly clean all its parts from dirt and re-lubricate. These are primarily springs, as well as movable parallelogram joints. To do this, you can remove it from the bike frame. Please note that in this case you will have to re-adjust the correct position of the switch relative to the stars of the system.
  • Clean and lubricate the front derailleur cables and check their integrity. Disconnect the cable from the fixing bolt on the switch and take it out through the lever on the steering wheel (this is not necessary, you can clean and lubricate the cable without removing it). We examine for a break in the veins. If everything is normal, then we clean the cable from dirt and lubricate it (if damage is observed, then the cable should be replaced with a new one). Then we insert it into the shifter and thread it into the shirts. We do not attach it back to the switch, this will be done during the adjustment of the transfer. If, when biting off the end piece, for example, with pliers, the end of the cable is fluffed, then inserting it back into the shifter is unlikely to work. In order to do this, the tip of the cable should be soldered with tin. To simplify this procedure, we dip it in soldering acid and solder it. Do not solder too much tin, as it will interfere with passing the cable through the hole on the shifter; it is enough to cover it with a thin layer.

Adjusting and adjusting the front derailleur of the bike

After you have made all the preparatory measures, you can proceed to the adjustment and tuning. If you install a new derailleur or remove it during cleaning, then before adjusting it should be positioned relative to the chainrings, and then proceed to adjust.

Correct installation of the front derailleur

The correct position of the front derailleur is considered such that the longitudinal axis of its guide frame is parallel to the chainrings, and the distance from the bottom of its outer part to the largest chainring is no more than 2 mm. To make it easier to set the correct throwing position, it is advisable to remove the chain.

We set the distance from the bottom of the outer part of the frame to the largest star by moving the crossover along the vertical tube of the bicycle frame. We bend the parallelogram of the switch from the frame towards the largest sprocket, and, aligning the frame and the large sprocket relative to each other, we try to achieve the minimum distance (no more than 2 mm) at which its outer part does not touch the teeth. To simplify this procedure, you can insert some object between the frame and the parallelogram.

If you bought a new derailleur from Shimano, then this procedure is simplified by the fact that there is a plastic sticker with marks on the transfer frame, which indicates at what level it should be installed relative to the large star of the system.

After we have determined the height at which the switch clamp will be fixed, make a mark with a marker and slightly tighten the clamp fixing bolt.

To adjust the position of the frame axis relative to the sprocket system, loosen the clamp bolt (while the cable should be folded back) and, by rotating the switch, adjust it so that the frame is parallel to the front sprockets. Due to the complex geometry of the latter, it is quite difficult to determine by eye. You can navigate by the parallelogram (if the design allows it). To simplify this operation, you can stick a ruler (on double-sided tape) or other object to the switch frame (on the double-sided tape) or other object that will simplify the positioning of the switch.

After that, slightly tighten the clamp bolt and re-check the distance from the lower edge of the frame to the largest sprocket in the system, and the parallelism of the longitudinal axis relative to the chainring.

If everything is fine, then completely tighten the clamp bolt.

This completes the adjustment of the position of the front derailleur. Now you can put on the chain and start tuning.

Speed ​​selector setting

In order not to keep the bike suspended while tuning, try hanging it from the saddle, thereby raising the rear wheel. You can also use an ironing board for this. We lay the bike with the upper tube of the frame on the ironing board plate, threading it into a triangle.

Setting up the front derailleur is straightforward. We will write it down point by point for greater clarity.

  • We set the lowest speed using the switch on the steering wheel (remember that at this stage the cable should not be attached to the crossover). We twist the adjustment of the tension of the gearshift cable on the shifter until it stops clockwise (when looking at the entrance of the shirt into the shifter) and return it back 1-2 turns. Many recommend tightening completely, but as practice shows, for further fine tuning it is better to leave a margin of tension / loosening of the cable in both directions.
  • Set the lowest speed on the rear derailleur (largest sprocket). As a result, you will get the first speed front and rear (the chain should be on these stars).
  • We adjust the limit switch “L” so that the inner part of the frame is as close to the chain as possible, but does not touch it when pedaling. To do this, if you need to move the frame towards the bike frame, turn the bolt L counterclockwise, from the frame. clockwise.
  • We insert the cable into the place of fixation on the gear selector and, pulling it (with your hands, do not use pliers), tighten the cable bolt.
  • We switch gears from the front to the largest star, from the rear to the smallest (the chain should be on these stars).
  • We adjust the limiter “H”. The position of the guide frame should be achieved in which its outer part is as close to the chain as possible, but does not rub against it when pedaling. To move the frame towards the frame, turn the screw clockwise, in the opposite direction. against.
  • We set the 5th speed on the rear cross-over. After that, turning the pedals, we change the speeds with the front switch over the entire range (3. 2. 1. 2. 3) several times. Then set speed 2 to the front and, shifting reverse gears, check that there is no friction between the chain and the frame in positions 2. 2 and 2. 7 (example for 24 speed bicycles). expensive front derailleurs can achieve frictionlessness even at 2-1 and 2-8 (although you should understand that these are not normal modes and should not be used when driving). If there is friction of the chain against the frame in these positions or unclear gear shifting, then the cable tension should be adjusted by turning the adjustment on the front shifter. In case of problems when switching from a smaller chainring to a larger one, tighten the cable (turn the adjustment counterclockwise), and when you cannot switch from a larger to a smaller one, loosen it (turn the adjustment clockwise). If there are no comments on the work, then the next test must be performed under load while driving on roads.
  • We find a flat section of the road (without bumps and slopes) and check the operation of the front crossover while driving. In case of any problems when switching, right on the go, we rotate the adjustment on the shifter in the direction we need.
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If you do not understand something about how to set up the front derailleur, then we advise you to watch a video on this topic.

Why can’t I adjust the front derailleur

If you have not been able to clearly adjust the front derailleur of your bike several times, then most likely you have one of the following problems.

  • Wrong switch or star system.
  • The switch is deformed or out of order.
  • Tight running of the cable in the shirt.
  • The shifter is out of order.
  • Chain too stretched.
  • Derailleur, cable and chain are heavily soiled.

As you may have noticed, setting up and adjusting the front derailleur of a sports bike at home is not such a difficult job. It is enough to do everything methodically and slowly. Failed to set up the first time, please try again. The tricky part of this procedure is correctly fitting the front derailleur to the bike frame, which takes a little bit of skill. And so, it doesn’t matter what kind of Shimano or SRAM transfer you have. follow the instructions and you will succeed.

How to set up SHIMANO shifters?

Setting bike speeds is a delicate matter, and you can have your iron horse in a special service. But it’s better to learn how to do it yourself, especially since this skill is extremely useful, and there is nothing complicated in it. How to set up a Shimano derailleur on a bike? Shimano Deore shifting is used as an example for the following instruction as it is the most popular.

Setting process

To set up a Shimano front derailleur, you need the following set of tools: a screwdriver, a set of hex wrenches and pliers. The main task here is to correctly set the speed device at the beginning of the setup.

When the device is set up correctly, the bike chain can only extend 1 to 2 mm from the guide frame. The frame moves both horizontally and vertically during gear changes.

When adjusting the front derailleur, make sure that the frame is parallel to the chainrings. When the device is set to the largest sprocket (i.e. set to the highest speed), the distance between the ends of the sprocket teeth and the bottom of the frame should be about 3 mm. Shimano derailleur height and rotation are easy to adjust. just loosen the mounting bolt using the polyhedron. Adjust the position of the device, but do not tighten the bolt. you may need to move the device during the setup process. Now you can start setting up. Set the speed to the lowest. Unscrew the cable holder and release it. Then unscrew the grandmother of the cable tension until it stops and return it back 1-2 turns.

Now set the speed to maximum. You need to get the position of the device at which the gap between the chain and the part of the frame farthest from the frame will be minimal. This is done with the High screw. Rotate it, making sure that the device itself does not move.

Then test the speed control. To adjust the rear derailleur of the Shimano bike up and down, you can twist the grandmother, if the chain comes off the stars. turn the bolts: High. if with a large sprocket, Low. if with a small.

Rear derailleur setting

You can only adjust the rear derailleur after you have configured the front derailleur. The bike must be secured so that you can freely pedal and change speeds. Alternatively, turn the wheels upside down and fix on the steering wheel.

bicycle, front, speed, adjustment

Turn on the fastest speed (smallest star). Loosen the cable by unscrewing the mount. Move the cable tension grandmother to the middle position so that you can loosen and tension the cable. The adjustment of the rear device is carried out, as in the case of the front derailleur, with the High and Low screws. The High screw is set first. You need to find a position in which the chain will be tuned exactly to the star, and will not slip and bounce on it.

Then shift the gear to low (largest sprocket) and repeat all manipulations with the Low screw. The setting should bring the chain straight over the sprocket. After setting up the rear device, you will need to tighten the roller. Set the front derailleur to the smallest chainring, the rear derailleur to the largest. Rotate the pedals back and watch if the roller hits the cassette. Adjust the roller with the tensioner bolt. After this setup, conduct a field test. that is, in real driving. Try rolling on a flat surface, over bumps, or downhill. Pay close attention to how the bike behaves. If necessary, adjust the switches by adjusting the granny or screws.

How to adjust the speed switch on a bike

It often happens that either the speeds on the bike are not switched clearly, or some new transmission elements have been installed. In this case, you will need to adjust the speed switch and it is quite possible to do this work on your own, without contacting specialized workshops.

Necessary terminology

To understand the process of self-adjusting the speed switch, you need to know the definition of some specific terms, otherwise it will be difficult to understand the instructions.

Things to remember:

  • Speed ​​switch (override). This is a transmission element that is specifically responsible for gear shifting. If there is a rear overhang, then it also acts as a support for the tension of the bicycle chain. The crossover (back and front) can be described as follows: it is a parallelogram mechanism equipped with a powerful return spring, on which the frame is fixed. The rear derailleur has two rollers inside the frame. if the level of cable tension rises, the frame shifts the chain to large stars, and if this cable tension decreases, then the chain is shifted towards small stars with the help of the frame. The mechanism of the front derailleur works in the same way.
  • Shifter. It is designed to switch speeds by changing the tension level of the cable. Most often, the shifter is located on the handlebars, but in some bicycle models it can also be located on the lower tube of the frame triangle. Note:shifters and speed switches have a common connection on the steering wheel (this is provided by a cable) and are covered with a jacket.
  • Cassette. This is the name of the rear transmission unit, which consists of stars of different sizes (of different diameters and with a different number of teeth) and is installed on the rear hub drum. If the bike model is old, then a ratchet is used instead of a drum in the rear hub.
  • Cock. This is a metal part that helps to maintain the integrity of the frame and rear derailleur in the event that the vehicle has been hit. The rooster is always attached to the frame, and a cross-over is already attached to this metal part. When a blow occurs, it is this very cock that breaks down, and the frame and the speed switch (crossover) remain intact.
  • System. This is the name of the front transmission unit, which consists of stars of different diameters and with a different number of teeth. These stars are fastened to each other and the connecting rods with special hollow bolts on the connecting rods, but you need to know that there are no hollow bolts in cheap bicycles. the stars and connecting rods are riveted together.

Why is there a violation of gear shifting

To understand what action should be taken to adjust gear shifting, you need to understand what causes may lead to the problem under consideration. Experts identify several such predisposing factors:

  • deformation of the rooster;
  • stretching the cable;
  • deformation of the speed switch;
  • malfunctioning return spring.

How to fix defects

The speed switch will work perfectly and the bike itself will be with a new (or not very old) cable, with absolutely intact shirts (and not dry!) ​​And not deformed (or in a small volume) stars and chain.

If the cable is just stretched, then you just need to pull it up. But if the cable breaks, then you cannot do without replacing this element. The process of replacing the cable is not difficult, the main thing is to strictly adhere to the recommendations of specialists:

  • unscrew the cable fixing screw, which is located on the cross-over;
  • pull the cable out of the shirts;
  • if necessary, disassemble the shifter and pull the cable out of it;
  • a new cable must be inserted into a special groove in the shifter, and it is the metal tip of the cable that must enter into the groove;
  • lubricate the entire cable with a special grease, you do not need to spare the consumable;
  • pass the cable through the shirts;
  • there are special grooves on the frame, into which shirts are tucked;
  • fasten the cable with a screw on the front.
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In case of poor gear shifting, pay attention to the return spring. it must be clean and lubricated. To achieve this, you just need to rinse the spring under running water, dry it completely and lubricate it thoroughly.

If the frame of the rear derailleur is crooked, then this can only mean one thing. the cock is bent. If this is not critical, then you can correct the cock with your hands. you need to take the rear switch in your hand, which is fixed on the cock, and with the other hand hold the frame. Slowly pull out the problematic transmission element (rooster) until relatively level.

Note: this “repair” of the cock is a temporary solution to the problem of shifting gears. The fact is that the rooster is a consumable that needs to be changed in time, and not constantly repaired / pulled.

In some cases, the bike owner pays attention to a deformed rear derailleur (the front derailleur rarely suffers on impact). it can also be returned to its original position using the hands. But if the rear derailleur is deformed too much, then it is advisable to replace it.

Note: After performing specific manipulations to repair bent / deformed parts, you should not use the bike for too long. this may end in a fall, another breakdown at the most inopportune moments. And in some cases, such carelessness can lead to a road accident.!

How to properly adjust the rear derailleur

To independently adjust the rear derailleur on a bicycle, you just need to strictly follow the step-by-step instructions from experts in this process. So, follow all the steps:

  • Move the chain to the small sprocket with the right shifter.
  • Unscrew the fixing screw and release the cable.
  • Find the screw with the “H” mark. Use a screwdriver to adjust this screw so that the smallest star lies in the same plane with the rollers, which are located in the foot (frame).
  • Pull the cable by hand and fix it with the screw.
  • Check the operation of the switch, and if it does not work correctly, the chain does not switch well to large stars, then you need to tighten the cable harder (either with the help of a drum or with a switch).
  • Move the chain to the largest sprocket available in the cassette.
  • Find the screw marked “L” and adjust it so that the tab (frame) and the sprocket are in the same plane. in this case, the crossover will not be able to get into the spokes of the front wheel.

How to adjust the front derailleur

There are also clear and simple step-by-step instructions for adjusting the front derailleur:

  • Move the chain to a smaller star.
  • Unscrew the fixing screw and release the cable.
  • We find a screw marked “L”, with its help we adjust the position of the frame so that the chain is between the plates of the frame, but at the same time does not touch them.
  • We stretch the cable, fix it with a screw.
  • Now we move the chain in the cassette to a smaller sprocket. it is convenient to do this using the rear derailleur.
  • With the front derailleur, move the chain to the middle sprocket and look. if the chain on the second one touches the outer side of the frame everywhere, then you need to increase the tension of the cable using the drum located on the left shifter.
  • We switch the gear to the largest sprocket in the cassette and check. if the chain touches the walls of the frame, you need to move the last element so that the chain is in the middle. This manipulation can be done using the screw marked “H”.

How to properly adjust the rear and front derailleurs on a bicycle: photo and description of the process

Despite the fact that the bicycle was invented a long time ago and, it would seem, should have been out of date for a long time, but this two-wheeled vehicle is gaining more and more popularity every year. Cycling enthusiasts prefer this type of transport due to its convenience, ease of operation, environmental safety and practicality. Not only ordinary bicycles are very popular, but also mountain, track bikes, which use modern innovative technologies. In order for the owners to enjoy cycling, they need to take care of it and monitor the condition of all parts and assemblies. If, in the process of cycling, you hear extraneous sounds, creaking, knocking and twitching during gear changes, it’s time to pay attention to such a detail as the gear selector.

Rear derailleur

The gear shifter is an important part of a multi-speed bike. Thanks to this component, it becomes possible to move in extreme conditions, which include upwind movement, ascents, poor road quality. The transmission unit must deal with all these problems. The quality of the ride and the safety of the cyclist depend on the smooth operation of the speed switch. This skill is very useful, and every bike owner should learn how to independently adjust the gear shifter. Every cyclist can make adjustments to bicycle shifters. You need to study the theory in detail by reading the instructions, or using the advice of experienced bike owners.

Before setting the derailleur, the rear derailleur must be adjusted. Placing the bike in the correct position (wheels up) will greatly facilitate the entire adjustment process. So, all the necessary details will be in sight, and it will be much easier to get to them.

Reasons for poor gear shifting:

  • physical defects of the switch parts;
  • contamination of parts. To prevent this from happening, the components of the transmission unit must be periodically cleaned of dirt, dust and old grease;
  • worn out cable with elements of damage. Such a part requires replacement;
  • damage to the cock.

If you observe damage, deformation and wear of the constituent parts, they must be replaced as they are practically irreparable.

If all parts are OK, adjust the switch. What does the speed switch consist of? The components of the speed switch are as follows:

  • Handle for gear shifting located on the steering wheel;
  • A shifter that attaches to the handlebars near the handles. Handles and a cable are attached to the shifter. It is with the participation of the cable that the impulse is transmitted from the shifter to the stars;
  • Cassette, which includes stars of different sizes;
  • front fixing mount;
  • rear derailleur, whose main function is to switch the chain to the required sprockets.

How the switches work

Using the handle and shifter, the cyclist activates the required speed. In a certain position of the handle, the cable is pulled. As a result of this tension, the frame is thrown onto larger sprockets; when the cable is loosened, it is not thrown onto small sprockets. As mentioned above, bike setup can be started from the rear derailleur. Procedure for adjusting the rear derailleur:

  • select the second star in the front block, and the smallest in the rear one and set the switch chain on them;
  • The bike’s rear derailleur system has two bolts that act as stops. One is abbreviated as H, and on the other. L. These two bolts are used to adjust the high and low gears on the stars. If during the adjustment process any extraneous sounds occur, you can get rid of them using the latch;
  • check the tension of the cable and, if the tension is not correct, use the regulator located on the shifter;
  • Test the switching quality. If the switching occurs smoothly, no extraneous sounds are heard, then you did everything right.

What to do if you can’t adjust the bike’s rear derailleur

There are several methods for solving this issue. But if the standard tuning instruction did not work, to tune the rear derailleur you need to:

  • dismantle the chain, remove the cable;
  • move the switch to the chain position to the smallest star;
  • use adjusting bolts (this way you can tighten the cable);
  • set the adjusting bolt H to the extreme position;
  • move the part called the parallelogram to the big star and adjust the position of the bolt L.

The regulator is fixed with screws. It must be set to the extreme position. After that, the chain must be displaced in this order: the front cassette is the largest star in diameter, the rear, on the contrary, is the smallest.

Bicycle front derailleur

The transition to setting this mechanism is possible only when the rear derailleur is set. This feature is important to take into account before starting work. The figure shows the switch (round, black).

Leave the chain on the middle sprocket of the front block and place it on the large sprocket in the rear block. If chain friction is observed, re-engage adjuster L. To adjust stop H, the chain moves to the largest sprocket at the front and smallest at the back. The adjuster will help you position the chain in the optimal position without friction and excessive chain tension. At the end of the work, be sure to check the quality of its implementation.

Correct installation of the front derailleur

You can start the front derailleur setting only after adjusting the rear derailleur. Installation is the initial step in adjusting the speed switch. It’s very important to do it right.

  • before installing the switch, it is necessary to inspect the condition of the constituent parts and, if necessary, clean them of dirt and lubricate.
  • Next, adjust the location of the front derailleur. On the frame, it should be located along the pipe under the saddle.
  • Set the steering angle parallel to the drive sprocket on the front cassette of the transmission unit.
  • Next, you need to adjust the gap between the underside of the derailleur frame and the top line of the teeth of the large gear. The gap should be minimal.
  • Adjust the degree of cable tension.
  • Place the chain close to the inside of the frame.

It is also worth paying attention to setting up the chain. The bicycle chain is a very important element, with the help of which the impulse is transmitted from one chainring to another and the adjustment process takes place. The technical condition of the circuit is of great importance for the operation of the entire system. If, for some reason, the bicycle chain is stretched or deformed, this cannot but adversely affect the operation of the entire transmission unit. To prevent this from happening, the chain must be periodically removed and cleaned, and then set the correct position. There are lock and lockless models of bicycle chains. They differ in the way they are connected. To remove the locking chain, it is enough to find the link with the lock and disconnect it with a screwdriver. The lockless bicycle chain is disconnected using a squeeze. This tool helps to push the link axle out and make the connector. If it skews for some reason, this can adversely affect the gearshift process.

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One of the best manufacturers of bicycle parts, including derailleurs, is the Japanese company Shimano, which has a proven track record of producing products in which Japanese quality is combined with budget and price. Shimano derailleurs (fig. 3) are suitable for all types of bicycles. Shimano derailleurs are installed on both regular touring bicycles and mountain and track bikes with gearboxes up to 33 speeds.

Another recognized market leader is Sram. The products of this company are used on bicycles of the city bike category, as well as on sports bicycles. Sram products are of good quality and affordable price for cycling enthusiasts.

Every bicycle owner who prefers this type of transport to others is obliged to understand how to switch its speeds. It is believed that the more speeds a bike has, the better it is. But in fact, speed only allows you to improve the quality of maneuvering and squeeze the maximum out of the bike’s capabilities, so then everything depends on the dynamic efforts of the person riding the bike. Conventional bicycles have a simpler design compared to high-speed ones. There is less hassle with such a bike, but it also has fewer possibilities. In the transmission unit of such bicycles there are only two stars: one large and one small. Multi-speed bicycles, which have gained popularity in recent years, have two sets of sprockets in their transmission units: front and rear. Each cassette contains stars of different sizes. To switch gears correctly, you need to remember a few basic rules:

  • If your bike is not equipped with a planetary hub, you only need to switch gears on it while driving, otherwise there is a danger of damage to the bike.
  • During gear shifting, it is not necessary to apply significant dynamic forces, in order to eliminate the danger of a burst of flowers, it is advisable to change gears sequentially, without making sudden jerks.

Guide to Action: How to Adjust Bike Speeds with Front and Rear Dealers

The gearshift module, capable of providing a comfortable gear ratio in all riding conditions, is the most vulnerable system on a bicycle. Smooth and fast operation of the rear and front derailleurs, depending on the operating conditions, is observed only for several tens to hundreds of kilometers, after which a qualified adjustment of the units is required. How this article will be useful to the reader and what we will find in it:

Preparation for commissioning

Before adjusting the bike speeds, you need to clean and lubricate the chain and derailleurs. It is also advisable to produce:

  • inspection of the drive cable for the presence of rough bends that violate the smoothness of its movement on the inner surface of the shirt, unweaving and solidity of the connection with an emphasis based in the shifter;
  • control of the condition of the jackets. in case of strong wear of the inner, often silicone insert, or the presence of fatigue fractures, their replacement is required;
  • inspection of the rear derailleur and the frame counterpart (cock) for deviations from the vertical position. the rollers and the cassette counter sprocket must lie strictly in the same plane.

Also, before adjusting the speeds on the bike, it is necessary to loosen the cable tension and it is strongly recommended to screw the adjusting drums all the way. In the already tuned state, the following dependence is observed: the less the drum is unscrewed, the more accurately the system works, and also a guaranteed departure margin is maintained, which is necessary for instant compensation of the cable lengthening during the trip.

Operation: how to adjust the reverse speeds on any type of bike

Before starting the process of adjusting the rear derailleur, you should familiarize yourself with its configuration. The standard module has five adjustment elements:

  • nut fixing the cable;
  • cable tension drum;
  • limit screw for the lowest gear (Low);
  • limit screw for the highest gear (High);
  • chain tension screw.

The method “how to adjust the reverse speeds on a bicycle” consists of three steps.

Configuring Limiters

Performed, as a rule, once. when installing a new derailleur and in order to prevent the chain from jumping off at the outer stars of the cassette. The sequence of actions is as follows:

  • the largest star is installed in front, the smallest one at the back;
  • the cable is released;
  • adjustment is performed by turning the screw H clockwise or counterclockwise (the dereiler frame moves to the spokes or to the frame feather, respectively) until the rollers with the smallest cassette star lie in the same plane;
  • then the cable is pulled and fastened, the switch is transferred to the largest star in the back and the smallest in the front;
  • by rotating the screw L, they achieve a similar position of the rollers in relation to the sprocket.

Adjusting the transfer quality

It is a key operation in the process of how to adjust the rear speed range of both road and mountain bikes. The process technology is simple: the smallest sprockets are installed in the front and rear; by rotating the adjusting drum, they ensure that the transfer is triggered clearly and instantly:

  • if the tension of the cable is insufficient, the switch poorly (slowly) switches to lower gears (large sprockets). it is necessary to turn the drum counterclockwise;
  • with excessive tension. the derailer stays in the same position (it does not go well into the upper gears. small stars), emitting a clatter (metal clanks) during operation (the drum must be turned clockwise).

Tensioner adjustment (guide roller height or chain angle)

In the technology “how to adjust the rear speeds on a bicycle”, this adjustment is aimed at, all other things being equal, to improve the quality of gear shifting.

The smallest sprocket is installed in the front, the largest in the back. By turning the screw, the idler roller approaches or moves away from the sprocket. The task is to achieve a gap between the roller and the sprocket of 3-5 mm.

Operation: how to tune the front speed row on a bike with two or three sprockets

Setting up the front derailer occurs only after debugging the rear derailleur. Before starting the process, you should definitely check two parameters here:

  • parallelism of the inner frame of the chain;
  • the gap between the largest sprocket and the outer frame of the dereiler (should be about 2 mm).

The procedure responsible for the task of how to adjust the forward speeds on a bicycle includes three key transitions.

Low gear limiter adjustment (L)

The procedure is performed in the following sequence:

  • the chain is installed on the largest sprocket in the front and the smallest in the back;
  • the cable is disconnected from the dereiler;
  • by rotating the screw L, it is necessary to ensure that the chain, when rotating the pedals, moves as close as possible to the inner frame, but does not touch it;
  • the cable is stretched and fixed.

High gear limiter adjustment (H)

It is done as follows:

  • the chain is installed on the largest sprocket in the front and the smallest in the back;
  • by turning the screw H, find the optimal position in which the chain will be as close as possible to the outer frame of the switch without touching it.

Adjusting the transfer quality

The answer to the question of how to adjust the smoothness of gear shifting on a bicycle is quite simple. By rotating the adjusting drum, a dead zone is found, in which the movement of the dereiler, both from upper to lower gears, and vice versa, will occur instantly and without delays. By twisting the drum, the switch will move more efficiently from small to large stars. When spinning the drum, the exact opposite dynamics is observed.

Operation of the transmission: how to correctly switch speeds on a bicycle in various conditions

Maintaining cruising cadence when driving on flat, flat areas or pedaling confidently and lightly on rough terrain. the transmission unit of a modern bicycle is able to maintain the gear ratio most suitable for an athlete.

Experts give the following recommendations on how to properly switch speeds on a bicycle:

  • change gear only while driving;
  • switch to the required sprocket only under conditions when the minimum load acts on the chain (it is desirable to reproduce this process at a high cadence);
  • do not change gear when overcoming ups / downs (suitable stars must be selected in advance);
  • on muddy, sandy and slippery areas, move in higher gears (deliberately increase torque to avoid loss of traction).

With the correct implementation of the sequence of actions in the process of how to adjust the gear shifting on a bicycle, the following requirement should be attributed to the main limitations of the gear selection process. to exclude the skew of the chain, which significantly reduces its service life. You can avoid the latter, using the example of a 24-speed system, as follows:

  • a small sprocket (1) is installed at the front, at the rear: 1. 4;
  • front. middle (2), back: 4. 6 (7);
  • front. large (3), back: 6. 8.


Setting up a bike transmission consists of adjusting the front and rear derailleur by:

  • adjustment of the limiters of large (H) and small (L) gears with the corresponding screws (performed only once. when installing a new switch);
  • adjusting the tension of the cable, which affects the smoothness of gear shifting;
  • adjusting the chain tension, ensuring high-quality and fast shifting (only on the rear derailer).

The basics of good gear shifting. minimal chain misalignment and no significant load on the chain immediately before changing gear.