Does Not Shift Speed ​​On Bike Front

Cycling Front Derailleur Adjustment

At some point, any bike enthusiast has to repair and adjust the front derailleurs (FPS) on bicycles. The frequency of repairs, as a rule, depends on the cheapness of the product. There are many reasons for the failure of the switch and it makes no sense to analyze them all. The principle of operation will be the same. This article describes the detailed steps for setting and adjusting switches.

Bicycle front derailleur selection rules. Its design and principles of operation.

The process of adjusting and adjusting the PPS of the bike should begin with a detailed acquaintance with the design features.

Let’s analyze the functions of all individual elements of the PPP.

  • Clamp. This part serves to mount the derailleur to the bike body.
  • Parallelogram product. Spring loaded product with hinges. In fact, this is the basis of the moving element of the PPS, with the function of fastening the frame.
  • The guide frame consists of outer and inner sides. There is a chain in her insides.
  • Bolts L and H. Serve to adjust the movement of the frame in relation to the bike body. Limit the degree of movement.
  • Bolt securing the cable. Designed for clear fixation of this element.

Let’s move on to the principle of the teaching staff. It consists in simply throwing the chain over the selected sprocket. At the same time, in the process, when the transmission is shifted from a diametrically large sprocket to a small one, the tension of the cable weakens. The spring forces the parallelogram along with the frame to move towards the body. The outside of the frame puts pressure on the chain, causing it to bounce off a specific sprocket. If it is required to transfer to a large star, the procedure is carried out in the reverse order. That is, the cable stretches and shifts the parallelogram in the opposite direction from the body. The frame, with its inner part and special hooks, casts onto a larger type of star.

Bolts L and H prevent the parallelogram from leaving the end positions.

What parameters can be used to select the best PPS modifications? To correctly answer this question, experts recommend considering three criteria:

  • fastening method;
  • type of cable supply;
  • sprocket system specifications.

As for the mounting method, there are three types.

  • Fastening is made on the basis of “Braze-on”.
  • Fixing with a clamp to the frame.
  • Directly to the bicycle carriage.

The second method is the most common and reliable. Clamp dimensions vary with frame thickness.

The cable runs to the switch in two ways:

  • through the top tube of the frame;
  • through the bottom tube of the frame.

Each of the described methods has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Now let’s dwell on the characteristics of the sprocket system. Consider all the parameters that you should pay attention to when selecting a PPP, so as not to buy an unnecessary thing.

  • Determine the type of system (two or three speeds).
  • Estimate the largest diameter of the sprocket. The frame depends on this criterion for the width of the bend.
  • We calculate the capacity. To do this, you need to determine the difference between the teeth of the largest star and the smallest by simple subtraction.
  • We also determine the difference between the large and medium stars. Incorrect value will result in poor switch performance.
  • Pay attention to the length of the axis. If the carriage axis does not coincide with the settings of the switch, the operation of the latter will become partial.
  • Calculate the angle between the seat tube and chainstays.

Using all of the above indicators, you can acquire a suitable type of switch.

does, shift, speed, bike, front

Front derailleur setting.

Front Derailleur Installation Procedure

What steps should be taken before adjusting the front derailleur? Usually, the adjustment is preceded by disassembly of the PPS and its removal for maintenance. It is very important to set the front derailleur clearly before performing the setup procedure.

Many cyclists ask the question of how to install the PPP on a bicycle by independent actions. Let’s analyze such an algorithm point by point.

  • The ideal position is when the guide frame in the area of ​​the longitudinal axis is parallel to the front sprockets. It is better to dismantle the chain during installation.
  • Achieving the minimum distance between the frame and the large star by aligning and bending the parallelogram.
  • Determine the height according to which the clamp will fix the switch. Tighten the clamp fixing bolt slightly.
  • The position of the frame axis is adjusted by turning the switch. In this case, the frame should become parallel to the front star system.
  • We check the distance from the frame to the largest sprocket and the parallelism parameters. Tighten the clamp retainer.
  • The installation is complete. We put on the chain and go to setting

PPP setting procedure

For starters, it is advisable to position the bike so that the rear wheel is raised. A regular ironing board is ideal for this.

Setting process

We carry out clearly sequential steps of action.

  • First, the lowest speed on the switch is set. In this case, the cable cannot be fixed on the cross-over. Using the shifter, we pull the cable up to the stop with rotary movements clockwise. No need to tighten as much as possible.
  • The rear derailleur is set to the lowest speed position. As a result. the first speed on both stars.
  • We adjust the L limiter, bringing the inner side of the frame closer to the chain. The described bolt rotates counterclockwise.
  • The cable is mounted in the place of attachment to the PPP and tightened with pliers. We fix.
  • Set the gear in front to the largest sprocket, and behind _ to the smallest.
  • We pass to the limiter H. The outer side should be as close to the chain as possible. Adjust with rotary movements.
  • Now set the speed to 5 on the rear derailleur. When pedaling, we change the speed of the PPS over the entire range.
  • We set the speed 2 in front and, changing the position of the rear cross-over, we check the friction of the chain against the frame. In the presence of such a defect, adjustment is made by tensioning the cable.
  • We test the switch on a level and safe section of the road.

The mechanism for eliminating problems after the settings made

In principle, PPS regulation is a simple simple algorithm involving home maintenance of a bicycle. If you strictly adhere to the described instructions, then there should be no problems with the setup. At the same time, too frequent adjustments can damage the switch or reduce its functionality.

Consider the features and nuances of using a bike after setting the PPP. These recommendations will save time on repairs and avoid wear and tear of bike components.

  • When starting, use extremely low gears. This has to be done because of the enormous effort involved.
  • To facilitate this procedure, it is best to use the lowest gear in the transmission.
  • The speeds should be changed gradually, without jumping over several positions.
  • When overcoming the rise, the transmission is lowered in advance. You cannot do this when moving up.
  • It is not recommended to change gears when the bike is idle. In this position, the tension is low and breakage may occur when starting the movement. Therefore, the process of switching the speed is carried out in the direction of travel.
  • The chain has been thrown. We do not immediately increase the pressure. The chain must fully enter the new rhythm of movement.

If you calmly understand the problem described, then the adjustment and adjustment procedure does not look difficult and incomprehensible. The main thing is not to rush and adhere to the guidelines. No need to get upset if it didn’t work out right away. Calm down and repeat your steps again. Remember, the hardest part is fitting the front derailleur onto the frame. Nothing depends on the manufacturer of the transfer. Only your attention and patience.

Cycling does not switch gears. What to do if the bike does not switch gears: ways to solve the problem

Always keep your bike in good condition. But in spite of everything, some parts tend to wear out, which entails certain problems. For example, the speed of the bike does not change. What is the reason and how to fix it? In some cases, the problem can be solved on site, in other situations it is necessary to replace the worn part.

The reasons

The scheme of operation of switching speeds involves throwing a chain. After the shifter has been pulled, you need to turn the pedal, only after that the chain will move to another star. Extraneous sounds and clicks when switching may indicate that a changeover setting is needed.

Why the speed may not switch:

  • the chain or cassette is worn out;
  • the cock bent;
  • switch backlash;
  • the presence of damage to the cables and shirts;
  • the switch has not been adjusted or the previous setting has been lost;
  • the transfer cable is damaged (it may stretch, break or be close to breaking);
  • broken switch;
  • broken spring in the switch;
  • the teeth of the rollers are ground off;
  • the chain is dirty, which prevents it from rolling freely.

Therefore, if problems with switching occur, it is necessary to carefully check each of the possible causes of failure. In most cases, the reason lies in the lack of regulation or the fault of pollution. Parts can only wear out with long-term and intensive use.

Fixing the problem

The method of correcting the problem that has arisen will be determined depending on the cause of the breakdown.

Cables and shirts

One of the most common problems that amateur cyclists face is cable wear. To check the condition of the cables, you need to find areas without a shirt, and then click the shifter. This will allow you to see the inside of the cable, which should not have emerging threads. The presence of such defects indicates that it is time to change the cable.

Another important detail is the aluminum cap. This is an obligatory part of the cable that protects it from loosening. If it is damaged, then it must be replaced.


If the gears are shifted, but not always as the cyclist requires, then the problem may be in the shifting rollers or cassettes, where the teeth have worn out. The only way out of this situation is to buy a new part.

The chain becomes unusable approximately every 100 kilometers. Although the chain can be used after such a distance, it will no longer perform all tasks properly. Therefore, cyclists often have multiple spare chains.

Using new chains will allow the cassette to last longer as the worn part will not affect the rest of the bike. The “gauge” tool is used to determine the state of the chain.


An even cock is the key to high-quality gear shifting in your bike. If it is bent, then there are two options: bend it or buy a new one. In any case, until this part becomes even, it makes no sense to even try to adjust the gears on the bike, since the idea will be unsuccessful due to damage to the system.

One of the most unnecessary accessories for cyclists is a rooster guard. Such a detail can be found without any problems in any city. But if the protection works and the part itself remains intact, and the frame cracks because of this, then the one who bought such a device will incur high costs.

Setting the switches

Derailleurs on a bike are divided into front and rear. It is the rear ones that are most damaged when driving, so it is recommended to adjust them first. The process itself will be long, as there are more stars than in the front derailleur.

Rear derailleur setting:

  • The screw “H” must be tightened so that it aligns with the small sprocket.
  • Screw “L” must be tightened so that it is in line with the large star.
  • You need to set the highest speed on the shifter.
  • The cable is stretched and fixed.
  • If, after the performed manipulations, high gears are turned on with interference, then the cable must be loosened. If the situation is the opposite (the gears are badly thrown off), then the cable must be pulled.

The basic configuration steps are now complete. The cyclist only needs to adjust the shifting accuracy. The procedure will get more complicated depending on the number of stars used. The chain is installed on the stars as follows: in front. on the smallest, on the back. on the largest. After that, the tension screw is tightened until the roller is as close as possible to the cassette. It should not rub against the cassette. A similar procedure is carried out with the chain, which is then installed on the largest chainring and the smallest rear chainring.

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Front derailleur setting:

  • Check the correctness and tightness of the fastening.
  • Release tension at minimum speed.
  • The screw “L” must be tightened so that a gap of 1 mm is created between the body and the chain.
  • Fasten the cable with the bolt.
  • Repeat the same procedure with screw “H”, but then the tension is set to the maximum speed.

You will need to adjust the speeds until the chain begins to smoothly and freely change from one speed to another. If, when changing the speed, problems begin (difficult move, the chain flies, and so on), then the cable is tensioned using the adjusting bolt to the desired position.

After the manipulations with the settings are completed, the system is checked using a race, where the recommended gear ratios will be used. Adjustment is a standard procedure on any speed bike, as the tension in the cables will loosen over time. Therefore, setting speeds is often a planned activity that does not require replacement of parts.

You should not ride your bike at speeds at which there is a strong skew, 1/8, 3/1, and so on. Recommended speeds for stars depend on size:

  • small. 1 to 4;
  • medium. 3 to 7;
  • large. from 7.

The incompatibility of the gear and the sprocket will lead to the chain sticking and spinning, which will cause the part to wear out an order of magnitude faster.

Bicycle Speed ​​Switch Adjustment Instructions

Usually, advanced cyclists change the derailleurs to fit their bike exactly the equipment they want, thus adjusting the bike to their needs. Beginners usually do not have to think about such an acquisition, unless a breakdown has occurred. Nevertheless, it will be useful to consider popular models.

The first models were invented in the 50s. In essence, the gear system is the front sprocket. The chain is thrown from one chainring to another, increasing or decreasing the cadence.

  • Fast pedaling at low speed. low gear. Combination of large front and back stars. It is designed to overcome mountains, off-road and similar areas.
  • Increased for high speeds. It is a large star in the front and a small one in the back.

Switching takes place using a derailer:

  • The rudder coins pull the cable.
  • The frame shifts and throws the chain onto an adjacent star.
  • Behind everything is the same. The patch moves from the tension of the cable and throws the chain.

Now you know how it works. There are two main product manufacturing companies:

On the steering wheel, the gears are measured using coins:

  • Switch combined with a handle. To change the speed, you just need to turn the drum to the desired mark indicating the gear. They are easy to use, which is why they are often used on children’s and women’s models.
  • Triggers. They control the change in the position of the cable using two levers. Can be combined with a brake lever, or can be installed separately. This combination is usually found on advanced models with a hydraulic braking system.
  • There are high class combination handles. Such a brake lever can be shifted from the left to the right, thus changing the gear. Analogs have been around for a long time on road bikes.

Speed ​​selector adjustment

However, there are some peculiarities:

  • First you need to adjust the position of the front derailleur relative to the frame. You need to slightly loosen the so-called adjusting screw and set the frame horizontally. This frame must be parallel to the chain.
  • The next step is to set the required front derailleur height. It is recommended to set the gap between the frame edge and the teeth of no more than 2 mm. This indicator is largely responsible for the quality of gear shifting.
  • With the front derailleur bezel correctly positioned in both planes, secure the screw.
  • After that, you need to install the chain on the largest chainring in the back and the smallest in the front.
  • Use the screw to release the cable. Turn until it stops, and then unscrew the so-called adjusting drum one turn.
  • Now you need to set the frame in such a position relative to the chain so that the inner side of the frame is removed by 1–2 mm.
  • Pull the cable slightly and fix the screw.
  • Now the big star of the system needs to be installed the chain.
  • Use special screw H for adjustment.
  • Check the quality of the setting.

Rear derailleur

You will need a hex wrench and a screwdriver. Place the chain over the largest sprocket in the front. At the back we put the chain on the smallest star. This is done using the speed switch, even if the settings are knocked down.

The cable on the switch is fixed with screws, which must be loosened as much as possible. There is a “drum” on the coins. It must be screwed in all the way. And then unscrew it a few turns. Rotation pulls or lowers the cable. Thus, the micro-adjustments of the switch are made. But now we are not adjusting anything, but creating the necessary range for future settings.

Find the screw H on the switch. It must be signed. Turning this screw adjusts the position of the derailleur tensioner rollers relative to the small sprocket.

Your task is to match the tensioner roller clearly opposite the small asterisk.

Now tighten the cable and fix the screw. You don’t have to pull very hard. It is necessary that the cable is simply straightened and resilient. But it’s better to fix it as it should.

Now we throw the chain onto the largest star in the back. So far, the gears may be shifting incorrectly, because the settings are not completely finished. Don’t be scared.

At the front, the chain should be on the smallest star. And the sequence of actions is repeated. Only this time you need to adjust the position of the tensioner rollers relative to the large sprocket using the screw L. Its movement may be less noticeable, so be careful.

Now check the quality of the settings. Maybe indistinctness. To eliminate it, you need to make a few clicks with the drum. Now let’s check again the same positions where the fuzziness was.

And you also need to check the bike on the go. And to correct the indistinctness with the drum clicks. Practice will help you.

Front derailleur

To adjust, you need a hex wrench and a Phillips screwdriver.

  • We put the chain on the big star at the back. Small in front.
  • Loosen the fixing screw. The position of the frame is adjusted with a screw marked LOW. Our task is to set the gap between the chain and the left side of the frame at about 0.5 mm.
  • Now we fix the cable. It is not necessary to tighten too much. Switch to a small star in the back and a large one in front. There may be interruptions. As long as it’s ok.
  • Using the screw, set the gap between the chain and the right side of the switch frame to 0.5 mm.
  • Checking the quality of the settings. If the chain is thrown over with an interference, then carry out micro-adjustments. Make no more than 1-2 turns so as not to lose the settings. Done.

Reasons for incorrect gear shifting

Many people can face some difficulties when setting up switches. First, a little theory. The front derailleur does not work by itself. It works in conjunction with the stars of the system.

There are special nodules on the stars, which are designed to make the chain switch better. The quality of switching directly depends on the state of these “pins”. If they wear out or wear out, then accordingly switching will suffer very much.

The front derailleur itself consists of the following components:

The frame comes in different thicknesses. Internal width depends on chain width.

  • You also need to pay attention to backlash.

How to fix defects

The rooster is the bracket to which the switch is attached. This is an inherently weak link, because when the switch hits the ground, it is this component that will be damaged, and the frame will remain intact, which is much more important.

By the way, there are switches that are attached to the hub axle. The mechanical strength of the system is higher, but this only applies to extreme equipment.

Titanium frames are made with fixed roosters, since the material itself is strong. Interestingly, in English it sounds like Derailleur hangar. We have stuck the name “ cock ” because of the comb at the end.

Detachable shanks are mounted on carbon and aluminum frames. This component is cast from a large carbon aluminum alloy. Durability is low.

If the cock is bent, then it is better not to straighten it. It will crack anyway.

Roosters have different geometry. Please be careful before purchasing. On cycling trips, participants take extra roosters with them. And usually one bike is enough for two. They don’t break very often.

By the way, if the rooster is still broken, but you want to ride, then you can make a single speed:

  • To do this, take a squeeze.
  • We press out one of the pins. It doesn’t have to be a connector pin. He is thicker than the others. You must press out the pin in such a way that it does not fall out, but remains in the link. It is best to unwind not to the end and check how much the pin came out.
  • Now we shorten the chain to the desired size. It is better to move the rear wheel forward in advance. We measure, squeeze out the excess links completely. By the way, the old chain is replaced with a new one in the same way.
  • Install the chain in the squeeze with the reverse side. We press until the pin clicks. You can skip this click. Be careful, otherwise the pin will go further than necessary.
  • It is much more convenient to use a connecting pin, the long rod of which is fixed in the links, and the excess is removed with pliers.
  • Now we move the wheel, so the chain will stretch a little.

Setting up your bike derailleurs is easy. You do not need to have special skills and knowledge for this. Follow the instructions and you will succeed!

What to do if your bike‘s derailleur is broken

Transmission components must be kept in good condition at all times, lubricating the chain in good time, adjusting switches and troubleshooting.

As the kilometers increase on the bike, individual parts wear out, and if maintenance is not performed on time, the part may become unusable altogether. In this article we will look at the most common problem associated with speed derailleurs.

It must be understood that the speed changes only when the chain moves forward. If you jerked the shifter, then you need to rotate the pedal so that the chain spreads from one star to another. If clicking or any other extraneous sounds are emitted when switching, you need to adjust the switching.

The main reasons for inaccurate switching:

  • The transfer cable is torn, stretched, or is on the verge of breaking.
  • The switch itself is broken or the spring in it is worn out.
  • Roller teeth are worn down.
  • Switch needs to be adjusted.
  • The chain or cassette is worn out.
  • There is a lot of dirt in the chain.

Transmission repair stages

Repairs include adjusting the front and rear derailleurs, as well as checking the condition of the cables, chain, cassette and rollers.

  • Unscrew the bolt holding the cable.
  • Disassemble the shifter and remove the cable from it and from the shirts. Shirts are also recommended to be replaced!
  • Clean shirts and put a drop of oil in them for better cable glide.
  • Thread the new cable through the shifter and then into all shirts.
  • Start configuring the switch.
  • Bite off the excess part of the cable and secure the end with a special tip.

Over time, the chain deteriorates. It is recommended to keep several chains in stock and change them every 100 kilometers, because the wear of the chain will deteriorate the cassette. Multiple chains will wear out more slowly and your cassette will last longer. You can determine the state of the chain using a special tool. It is impossible to repair the chain, you just need to replace it if necessary.

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If the chain is in good condition, simply remove it, clean and lubricate. Remove excess with a napkin or dry cloth.

Rear derailleur

Make sure the cock is level first. If it is still bent, you can contact the service to straighten it, or try it yourself. You can also simply replace it. For 2016, for roosters are only about 300-900 rubles. Do not even try to tune the derailleur with a bent cock, as the gear adjustment on the bike will fail.!

Some firms produce the so-called cock guard, which is attached to the frame. Do not buy it under any circumstances! A rooster is a consumable component that can and should be replaced if it breaks. When hitting this very protection, the cock will remain intact, but the frame may crack. The frame is harder and more expensive to change.

When you are convinced that the rooster and the rope are in good condition, you can proceed to the actual setting.

Place the chain on the largest chainring in the front and the smallest in the back.

Unscrew the bolt holding the rear transfer cable.

By rotating the bolt marked “H” you need to make sure that the switch rollers lie in the same plane with the desired sprocket.

Then pull the cable slightly and tighten the bolt holding it. Over-tensioning the cable will make the transfer difficult.

Shift the speed to the lowest (i.e. the largest star in the back and smallest in the front).

Rotate screw “L” until the derailleur rollers line up against the large star.

Check if gear changes are good.

If shifting is not correct, use the thumbscrew on the shifter, which changes the cable tension.

Now that you have set up the rear derailleur, you are ready to adjust the front.

Front crossover

It is important to set it up especially accurately, since if the adjustment is not good enough when changing speeds, the chain can fly off or even break. The sequence of your actions will be as follows:

Use the rear shifter to shift to the middle sprocket so that there is no strong chain skew.

Then put the chain in first gear and unscrew the bolt securing the cable.

Use the screw “L” to move the transfer frame so that the distance from the chain to the switch on the left and right matches.

Without too much tension, place the cable and secure with the bolt.

Switch to the biggest star in the front.

Tighten the screw “H” so that the chain is again exactly in the middle of the frame.

Check adjustment results and achieve maximum shifting accuracy with the thumb on the shifter.

If the shifter triggers are too tight, loosen the cable tension.

Switching recommendations

Drive only at speeds that will not cause the chain to tilt too much. For example, you cannot set the speed to 1/8, 1/10, 3/1 (the first number is forward gear, the second is reverse) and so on. For the smallest front chainring, you can turn on 1–4 speeds at the rear, for the middle. 3–7, for the largest. 7. If you nevertheless put an incompatible gear, there will be a risk of chain jamming and spinning, as well as an increase in its wear rate.

On a speed bike, fast gear changes are very important, especially if you are competing. Transmission repairs should be carried out before the race, and then after, as aggressive driving may cause the shift adjustments to go off. If you do full maintenance of your bike at least once a season, then it will serve you for a very long time.!

Why gear shifts poorly on a bike

On entry-level bicycles, the transmission of the cheapest groups is installed, and when the gears start to shift poorly and jam, the owners just shrug their shoulders. what, they say, you can take from cheap rubbish.

A big surprise befalls those who buy a much more expensive bike, and after a while again encounter shifting problems. The point here, of course, is not karma, but the wrong attitude to technology.

I am by no means claiming that there is no difference between starter and top-end components. Of course, the experienced cyclist with eyes closed will distinguish the Shimano Alivio from the XTR in three clicks.

But the reasons for the fuzzy operation of the transmission do not so much depend on the class of the transmission, but on its condition and settings. In this post, I will not talk about how to configure the switches, for this a separate article will be released soon, subscribe, and I will send you a notification about its publication.

Causes of fuzzy operation of gear switches

Cables and shirts. This is the most common problem, especially for beginner cyclists. I just wonder what a terrible condition some cyclists are in.

At the end of the cable, there must be an aluminum cap that protects it from fluffing. With pliers, you can carefully remove it and unscrew the bolt securing the cable to the rear derailleur.

Release the jacket from the stops by carefully removing it from the cable. The cable itself can be left in its slot in the shifter. When he is completely naked, once again inspect for raised threads and scuffs. Spray WD40 on a rag and wipe it thoroughly.

The shirts, if they are in order, can also be used a second time. Fill them with more WD40, and gently rub there with a cable. The task is to drive out all the dirt that has accumulated during the riding period.

Here I ask you to take into account the following thing. cables and shirts do not need lubrication. Never lubricate them with thick greases, such as grease. Literally after a few trips on the ground, you will have a consistency in your shirts, consisting mainly of dirt.

If you need to calm the soul, then spray with Teflon spray, it dries quickly, but leaves a thin gliding layer. Which, however, will be erased after a dozen switches.

One more point. There are Teflon-coated cables, such as Shimano XTR Cable, which cost quite a lot of money. In the days of fetishism, I used only these, because of the sliding cover, the effort on the shifter is slightly less.

Unfortunately, after about a year of active skating, Teflon in places of friction is completely erased. However, these cables have a very big advantage. they come with spout stops, which effectively prevent dirt from getting in.

Returning to shirts, make sure that nowhere are too long, or vice versa, short sections, because of this, there will be increased friction in the bending places, and sooner or later dirt will accumulate there.

The bent cock. If you do not know what this part is, then here you can read a note about a bicycle cock. Sometimes it happens that a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur does not work clearly, despite fresh cables and shirts.

The reason may be that during transportation, the bicycle is clamped somewhere, and the cock bent slightly. If you cannot achieve a clear gear change, then remove the cock and put it on the table.

If it is slightly crooked, then you need to bend it. Do not overdo it, aluminum can give microcracks. How exactly to bend it. I will not advise. I do it in an artisanal way. I put it on the bike and pull it with my hands. Ideally, you need to edit with a special typewriter, which even takes into account the asymmetry of the dropouts.

Rear derailleur play. Move the rear derailleur towards you and away from you, keeping where the cable goes. Ideally, there should be no backlash at all, but a small free play does not represent anything criminal, especially on the initial transmission groups.

During operation, this backlash tends to increase, and then delays in switching, fuzziness, etc. begin. If everything is in order with the ropes and the rooster, then with fine tuning you can overcome the negative effect of backlash.

Most often, the reason that the bike shifts poorly is a complex of problems. Dirt in shirts, a slightly bent cock, a slight backlash in the switch, poor tuning. all tolerances add up.

over, many Catalans drive like this, and find it normal when the speeds are switched on the principle of three forward, two back. Guys, this is not normal!

Any drivetrain, even the lowest Shimano Tourney, needs to work well. Do not get used to the bad, otherwise even buying an expensive bike, after a season or two you will get the same.

Friends, on my site there is still a lot of useful information about bicycles and travel. I suggest that you receive email notifications about the publication of my new articles, so you will always know that I have written something new. Follow the link please.

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Switching speeds on a bike. What is gear shifting for?

Riding on a flat road, uphill or downhill requires different efforts from the cyclist. On a single speed bike, there are no options, since there is only one gear. And those who have experience climbing a mountain on a single speed bike know how difficult it is. But in the case of a multi-speed bike, new possibilities appear. you can adjust the load. On a bike equipped with multiple gears, for example, it is much easier to ride uphill. Let’s figure out how the gearshift occurs.

What is gear shifting

The essence of switching speeds is to drag the chain from one star to another. And various combinations of chainrings and chainrings allow you to adjust the cyclist’s load. But first, let’s turn to the bike drivetrain.

The transmission is all the parts and assemblies of the bicycle that transfer energy to the rotational movement of the rear wheel. The transmission consists of a carriage, a crankset, a chain, sprockets or cassette (or ratchet), front and rear derailleurs, as well as shifters (they are also sometimes called shifters).

Gear shifting occurs via shifters located on the steering wheel. Using the rear derailleur shifter, located on the right handlebar, the chain is thrown between the rear sprockets, and using the front derailleur shifter (it is on the left handlebar) between the front sprockets.

Most multi-speed bikes have three drive sprockets and six to eight driven sprockets. The fore stars are counted from small to large, and the rear stars, on the contrary, from large to small.

Types of speed switches

There are two main types of speed switches. external and internal shifting.

Internal switching mechanism

City bikes often use an internal gearshift mechanism that is hidden inside the rear planetary hub (for example, the new Forward Surf 2.0 cruiser). Planetary hub bikes have only one chainring and one sprocket. The number of speeds / gears in planetary bushings is usually from 3 to 7. The planetary hub has a rather complex internal structure.

Pluses of planetary bushings: they withstand adverse weather and road conditions well, since the mechanism and all its parts are enclosed in a case and, as a result, are reliable and durable; you can switch speeds without pedaling.

Cons of planetary bushings:. heavy weight;. very difficult repair, impossible in field conditions.

External switching mechanism

This type of derailleur is used on most multi-speed bikes, from city bikes (like the Forward Dortmund 2.0) to mountain bikes (like the Forward Agris 27.5 3.0 disc). Gear shifting is carried out using the front and rear derailleurs.

Front derailleur The front derailleur transfers the chain between the chainrings. The derailleur design has a moving frame within which the bicycle chain runs. When shifting gears with a shifter, the frame moves and becomes above the desired sprocket, which ensures the movement of the chain to this star.

Rear derailleur The rear derailleur is a spring-return mechanism that moves a frame (or foot) with rollers between them within a transverse axis. In one direction, the switch is moved with a cable, and in the opposite direction, with a return spring. When you move the derailleur, the chain passed through it is thrown from one rear sprocket to another, and the chain tensioner automatically removes the chain slack.

Advantages of external switches: simple design low weight low price high number of gears

Disadvantages of external derailleurs:. highly susceptible to unfavorable external factors. need for adjustment and maintenance. risk of breakage if the bike falls. it is impossible to change gears if the bike is stationary

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Correct star combinations

Choose speeds based on the terrain and your physical capabilities, and so that the chain does not tilt. You can make sure that there are no distortions simply by looking at the chain. If it moves parallel to the frames of the front derailleur, then the selected speed is optimal. Skew occurs when the chain is on the front large chainring and on the rear, also large.

Let’s see which sprocket combinations are applicable on a bicycle with three chainrings and eight chainrings. The main principle is simple: it is necessary that the combination of front and rear sprockets is always approximately in the same vertical plane.

The large chainring is matched with 4-8 rear chainrings. This combination is optimal when riding on a flat road.

The middle chainring is matched with the 3rd to 6th chainrings. This combination is suitable if you are riding on lightly rough roads, or if you want to give yourself more physical activity while riding on a flat road.

The small chainring is matched with 1 to 3 rear sprockets for uphill climbing. In this case, much less effort is required from the cyclist when pedaling, but more frequent pedaling.

Incorrect combination of front and rear sprockets, leads to a strong misalignment of the chain, shortening the life of not only the chain, but also the derailleurs.

How to adjust the speed switches. How to switch gears correctly

Correct gear shifting allows you to ride easier and more comfortable with less effort, as well as increase the service life of all elements of the bicycle transmission. We have prepared several rules and recommendations on how to properly switch speeds on a bike:

Handlebar-mounted bike gearshift: installation and setup

The handlebar gear shifter is used in urban, mountain and sports modifications. Comfort and safety of movement depends on the quality work of this unit. Before using the vehicle, check the operation of this unit. The speed setting is done by tightening or loosening the control cable.

general information

The state-of-the-art bicycle gearshift paddles provide new opportunities to optimize cycling on various road sections. On such a bike, it is much easier to perform various stunts, move along uneven and mountain tracks. The main thing is to properly configure the node in question. To do this yourself, you need to study the main parts of the mechanism, including the shift lever and transmission.

The last block includes a set of parts that allow to take on part of the load transferred to the cyclist. It also facilitates uphill climbing and cross-country travel.


The transmission unit includes the following main elements:

  • Bicycle Gear Shift Knob.
  • Front retainer to help the chain slide over the drive sprockets. It is attached to the frame near the pedals.
  • A system of stars of various diameters and number of teeth, mounted on the connecting rods using special bolts.
  • Rear derailleur, which is located in the area of ​​the rear wheel and allows you to move the chain along the drive sprockets of the cassette.
  • A ratchet that includes several stars, differing in the number of teeth and size. On more expensive models, this unit is fixed to the drum.
  • Chain. Transmits the set speed from the pedals to the wheels. Requires regular cleaning and lubrication.
  • Shifters. Through these elements, the cyclist controls the gearshift on the bicycle on the handlebars. The part is installed near the handles, the right shifter is responsible for the rear controller, the left one for the front controller. The principle of operation of the shifters is to change the tension of the cable, as a result of which the speed is switched.
  • Ropes. They connect the shifters to the derailleur and are responsible for the correct transition between speeds, which largely depends on the correct cable tension.
  • Shirt. This part is a rigid tube that goes through the cable and is fixed to the frame.

It is worth noting that matte gray elements are considered the most reliable chains. Parts with a yellowish tint are of poor quality and nickel-plated chains belong to the middle segment.

Principle of operation

Before you know how to adjust the derailleur on a bicycle, you need to understand how it works. The functioning of the unit under consideration consists in pulling the cable of the front controller, which makes it possible to transfer the frame to the stars of larger diameter. When loosening the cable, the chain is thrown onto smaller sprockets.

The switching itself is carried out directly using the shifting type shifters located on the steering wheel. The rear is controlled by the right shifter, the front derailleur is controlled by the left analog. As a result, the chain is thrown among the front or rear sprockets.

Which speed switches on a bike are better?

There are three main types of gearshift mechanisms for bicycle gears:

  • External influence device.
  • Internal switching mechanism.
  • Combined system.

The internal type appeared before the external mechanism. Back in 1902, Sturmey-Archer manufactured a similar analogue, which can be called the progenitor of multi-speed bushings. Let’s consider each of the types in more detail.

Internal type of gearshift

This design is based on planetary bushings without the use of cassettes. There are only two stars in the transmission unit. All elements are hidden inside. As a rule, in such a mechanism there is no front derailleur on the bicycle on the handlebars.

This device is used on recreational, road, city and folding bikes. The working system is located inside the rear planetary tube. It is better to entrust the adjustment of such a switch to specialists.

External analog and combined system

Most multi-speed bikes are equipped with this mechanism. It is used on both mountain and walking versions. The switch device consists of a controller and sprockets of different diameters. The whole unit forms a cassette system, the position of the speeds in which is changed with the help of the rear and front adjusters.

In such a device, from three to 24 speeds can participate. The adjustment of such a device can be done independently, having previously studied the principle of operation and the device of the mechanism.

The combo circuit is a mix of external and internal mechanisms. It is fixed on the rear hub. This type is not very popular, since it combines all the disadvantages of the above modifications. The node is configured only by a specialist.

Shimano derailleur

There are many brands on the market today that focus on bicycle accessories. Some of the best derailleurs are the Japanese Shimano models and the American design from Sram.

Consider the modifications and characteristics of professional Shimano switches:

  • XTR variants are at the top of the line in terms of quality and price. Modifications are lightweight, used primarily on racing bikes.
  • Deore, Saint, Slx. used on bicycles of various categories with 27 gears.
  • Shimano LX, Dura-Ace, Hone derailleurs rank third in this line, focused on bikes with the maximum number of speeds.
  • Tourney. aggregated with 21 gears, designed for a quiet ride.

These models can be divided into two groups: for sports and recreational driving. The first category includes the following variations:

  • ESP 7.0. Derailleurs are made of very durable components, designed for 24-speed regulation.
  • ESP 4,0 / 5,0. have a cost lower than that of professional counterparts, withstand up to 24 gears, focused on tourist bike models. Additionally, Sram 4.0 can be equipped with cheap hybrid mountain bike designs.
  • ESP 3.0. designed for walking and city devices.

The question arises, which bike derailleurs are the best? There are no fundamental differences in the regulation and functioning of different lines of controllers. For example, eight-speed modifications of Alivio, Acera, Altus can be replaced with nine-speed analogs of Deore, LX / XTR. The same can be done in reverse order.


How do I adjust the derailleur on my bike? First, let’s look at adjusting the rear knot. This mechanism is used on most modern bikes. It consists of the following elements:

  • Frames whose length affects the number of gears.
  • Pairs of rollers responsible for tensioning and guiding the chain.
  • Parallelogram mechanism.
  • Fasteners.
  • High and low speed limiters.
  • Adjusting screw.
  • Guide wire.

Assembling the speed switch on the handlebar, as well as adjusting it, may be necessary when the speed does not switch, the chain jumps over the sprockets, extraneous sounds or rattling are heard when the device is operating.

The unit is adjusted as follows:

  • Make sure the speed controller is vertical and parallel to the bike.
  • The bike should be turned over with the wheels upward to provide access to the adjusting screws.
  • The chain must be lowered to the smallest sprocket using the shifting turns on the right handlebar.
  • Unlock the switch by loosening the cable fixing screw.
  • Using a screwdriver and adjusting screw H, adjust the chain in such a way that the sprockets on which the chain lies are in line.
  • The cable is pulled as much as possible by hand, after which it is fixed with a screw.
  • Next, the operation of the node is checked. If there are problems with transferring on large sprockets, you need to turn the handle counterclockwise, pulling the cable.
  • Then the chain is thrown to the smallest sprocket using the shifter.
  • Screw L adjusts the position so that the largest sprocket is in the same plane as the controller foot.

Front node setting

The types of speed switches for bicycles on the handlebars are indicated above. Next, let’s look at the adjustment of the front element. The assembly consists of the following parts:

  • The frame through which the chain runs.
  • Spring mechanism.
  • Upper and lower stop (H / L).
  • Latch and cable.

Setting up a switch consists of the following steps:

  • The chain must be set at the front to the smallest star, and at the back to the maximum analog.
  • Using the hexagon, loosen the cable securing screw.
  • Using a screwdriver and screw L, adjust the position of the frame so that the distance from the inside to the chain is 4 mm.
  • The cable is pulled and secured with a screw.
  • The second sprocket is adjusted after the chain on the rear derailleur has been moved to the smallest sprocket.
  • Check if the chain is catching. If such a problem exists, it is necessary to tighten the cable using the shifter. The distance from the chain to the frame should be about 3 mm.
  • Adjust the third sprocket with screw H. If necessary, increase the gap by pushing the frame outward.


Repairing a bicycle derailleur on the handlebar may be required in the following cases:

  • Stretching the rope. This problem can be diagnosed if, while driving, the chain moves without sound and hardly falls on large sprockets. In addition, the reluctance of the chain to jump to small stars indicates this problem. The problem is solved by adjusting the drum on the shifting lever. Adjustment should be carried out until the chain begins to smoothly take the desired position.
  • Rope break. Replace the part to correct this problem. To do this, you need to disassemble the shifter, dismantle the old element, install, fix and lubricate the new cable.
  • Mechanism spring binding. Cleaning and rinsing the part will help fix the problem.
  • Breakage or deformation of the frame or screw. This problem often occurs after impact. It is best to replace faulty items.

How much does a derailleur bike cost? Depending on the company and purpose, the node can be purchased at a price of 500 to 3500 rubles.