How to adjust gear shifting on a speed bike

Things to do before adjusting the front derailleur

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 put 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 (if you look 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 for 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, you should 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 back to the smallest (the chain should be on these stars).
  • We adjust the limiter “H”. It is necessary to achieve such a position of the guide frame 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. counterclockwise.
  • We set the 5th speed on the rear cross-over. After that, turning the pedals, we change the speeds with the front derailleur 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 be aware 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 an indistinct gear shifting, then the cable tension should be adjusted by rotating the adjustment on the front shift lever. In case of problems when switching from a smaller chainring to a larger one, tighten the cable (turn the adjustment counterclockwise), and when it is impossible to switch from a larger to a smaller one, loosen it (turn the adjustment clockwise). If there are no Комментарии и мнения владельцев on the work, then the next test must be performed under load when 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.
adjust, gear, shifting, speed, bike

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.
  • The chain is too stretched.
  • Derailleur, cable and chain are heavily soiled.

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 fixing 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 sprocket.

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

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 with the 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. For this operation, you need to perform 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.

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How to adjust your bike’s gear shifting?

The gear shifting system is not only one of the most important but also the most vulnerable parts of a bicycle. With regular riding, its adjustment should be carried out at least once every 400-500 km (about 2-4 months of driving). In this article, we will talk about how to set up the derailleur on your bike yourself.

When to tune the gearshift system?

As a rule, the speed adjustment is carried out in the following cases.

  • You bought a new system element and installed it on your bike.
  • You have a new bike that was not configured from the box.
  • Any element of the gearshift system is out of order.
  • The bike has a lot of mileage, and the system does not work out the way it should.

The setup process must be started with preparation.


Before adjusting, it is better to completely clean the system of adhering dirt, remnants of old lubricants and other contaminants. In addition, it is better to pre-inspect all elements for any damage and, if any, prepare spare parts for replacement.

In addition, we recommend that you prepare all the necessary tools in advance:

  • Screwdriver.
  • Hex key set.
  • Pliers.

You can now start adjusting the bike speeds.

How to adjust the front derailleur?

The setup procedure is based on the following diagram.

  • Set the bike speeds so that the chain is on the largest sprocket at the front and the smallest sprocket at the back.
  • We release the cable coming from the shift knob by unscrewing the corresponding bolt.
  • Adjust the screw L so that the chain, when the wheels rotate, moves as close as possible to the inner frame of the switch, but does not touch it.
  • We tighten the screw H in the same way, but now we look so that the chain is as close to the outer frame as possible, but also does not touch it when rotating.
  • We pull the transfer cable back.
  • After that, we proceed to setting up the chain transfer. This will require adjustment of a special drum on the shifter. In a practical way, throwing the chain from star to star, we are looking for a position in which this procedure will work out as quickly and smoothly as possible.

On average, such a procedure will take an inexperienced master from 30 to 60 minutes of time. But that’s not all. for normal operation of the shifting system, the reverse speeds must also be adjusted.

How to adjust the rear derailleur on a bike?

The rear derailleur is set as follows:

  • We set the speed on the bike in such a way that the chain is on the smallest star.
  • Loosen the shift cable by unscrewing the clamp screw located on the rear derailleur.
  • Using the front derailleur, install the chain on the middle sprocket of the front carriage.
  • We start to pedal. If the chain starts to fall off during movement, the screw of the upper gear limiter should be tightened, which is indicated by the letter H. Ultimately, the smallest star on the front carriage and the crossover should become one line.
  • Tighten the cable and fix it with the bolt.
  • We check the operation of the switch, changing the speed from the lowest to the highest. If somewhere the switching is carried out incorrectly, you need to adjust the tension of the cable by turning a special drum on the shifter.

Be sure to remember that any actions with the cables are best done slowly and very carefully. When tightening or unscrewing the bolts, do not make more than one turn at a time.

5 Minute Simple Bike Gear Tune-Up | Indexing, Cable Tension & Limit Screws

Adjusting the gearshift (s) on the bike (speeds)

To customize your bike, you can contact our bike workshop

Professional tuning of the bike should be done by a master; at home, the first time you will hardly be able to adjust both switches well. On average, in St. Petersburg, such a service costs 100-250 rubles, it takes time. 5-15 minutes. When driving actively during the season, you may need to adjust the gear shift. 3.5 times.

However, if the only question is how to adjust the switches in the event of a loosening of the cable tension, we will help you:

Both derailleurs have two stop bolts that prevent the chain from flying into the spokes or shifting beyond the smallest gear. you don’t need to touch them, only in the most extreme cases. For example, if the chain does not shift to the largest gear, the upper stop bolt must be slightly unscrewed. As a rule, they do not have any markings, so squat down on the back of the bike with both wheels on the same mowing line and, turning the bolt slightly, observe where the derailleur moves. There is nothing complicated about it.

Now about the adjustment of the rear derailleur shift. Place the chain on the largest gear. Now, pedaling, use the shifter to move the chain to the second gear. If the chain jumps immediately to the third, then loosen the tension on the cable jacket by rotating the plastic boss where the cable meets the derailleur. Turn approximately 1/8 turn clockwise.

If the chain does not jump to the second gear, it is necessary to increase the cable tension by slightly unscrewing the boss.

After that, place the chain on the second gear from the back, pedal and very slowly unscrew the plastic boss. As soon as you feel the chain is about to jump to the third gear, screw the boss back about 1/8 of a turn or less, before the characteristic noise in the system disappears. This completes the setup. the rest of the gears will then already be configured.

All the same tricks are true for the front derailleur, with the only difference that the front derailleur has a plastic boss, as a rule, is located at the shifter on the steering wheel.

In general, a properly tuned gear system should not emit extraneous noises when driving, switching should occur clearly, without unnecessary noise. Whenever possible, avoid shifting under load and when the circuit is highly “skewed”. do not use small gear in front, small in back, they are impractical and will only increase chain and derailleur wear.


For a high-quality setting of speeds, you need to know at least superficially what parts are involved in the gear shifting process. It is even better to study their structure in detail. Gear shifting is controlled by shifters located on the steering wheel. The shifters transmit force through a system of cables and shirts to the derailleurs, which are located on the chainrings of the system and the rear sprockets of the cassette (or ratchet) of the bicycle. Speed ​​selectors move the chain along different sprocket sizes, which allows you to change gear ratios and optimize pedal effort in different road conditions.

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Transmission elements associated with gear shifting of a bicycle

Setting up the bike speed switches

A bicycle, especially a high-speed one, is a complex technical device that requires a certain skill and experience to set up. Most newbies who recently bought a new bike have a lot of questions about how to set it up. While almost all new bicycles are ready for use, the point quickly comes when you need to adjust your bike’s derailleurs. This fact raises a lot of questions for novice cyclists.

It is almost impossible to figure out the correct setting of the bicycle gears on your own. It often happens that, due to a slight inaccuracy in the switching, a cyclist without proper experience, trying to figure it out on his own, puts the switches in such a state that they become completely misaligned, and sometimes even completely damage them. When setting bike speeds, it is very important to know exactly what to do. In our material you will find useful instructions for adjusting the speed of the bike, both front and rear.

When speed adjustment is necessary. Preparing to set up

Most often, the need for tuning appears when there is an indistinct gear shift or not all gears are triggered. This is usually due to wear on the shifting system, in which case a normal setting is sufficient. When replacing transmission parts with new ones, adjustment is also necessary. Let’s list some possible reasons for incorrect speed switching:

  • Cable stretching or bending is the most common cause of normal wear and tear. If the cable is only stretched out, then the usual setting is sufficient. If the cable is bent, it must be replaced before adjusting.
  • Worn Shirts. Dry and damaged shirts will significantly impair shifting performance. If you suspect a shirt, it is better to replace it completely.
  • A poorly functioning return spring can also cause poor switching.
  • Deformation of the cock or derailleur is one of the common causes of poor shifting associated with bumps and falls. In such cases, most often, replacement of damaged parts is required.
adjust, gear, shifting, speed, bike

Before adjusting the speed switches, it is necessary to clean all of the above elements from dust and dirt, lubricate the cables and the return spring of the switch. It will be much more convenient for you to adjust or repair your bike if you have a special stand or at least a stand for the rear wheel, otherwise you will need the help of a friend.

Stand. rack for repairing and adjusting the gearshift of the bike.

After completing all the above steps, you can proceed to the direct setting of the front and / or rear derailleur.

Bicycle Speed ​​Shifter

  • single speed
  • multi-speed

With the first point, everything is simple, we have a classic composition of elements: a front rear sprocket, and a chain between them. The size of the gears (the number of teeth) will determine the ratio with which the efforts of your legs are converted to transfer them to the rear wheel. Often, manufacturers use averages to help the rider on a single-speed bike feel confident on level ground, have the strength to tackle a slight incline and accelerate a little off the slope. If the ratio does not suit him, you can increase or decrease the number of teeth on one of the sprockets, thereby ensuring the optimal load.

Multi-speed transmissions feature a much wider gear range available to the rider in one or more finger motions. Having a choice of speeds makes it possible to make the ride more dynamic, faster and more interesting. But what is there, high-speed bicycles allow you to ride where it is difficult to climb on foot, as well as accelerate almost like a car (albeit for a short period of time). Speed ​​bicycles are much more complex and require special training to handle.

Consider the composition of the drivetrain on a bike with speeds: chainrings, front derailleur, chain, rear derailleur, rear derailleur, and most importantly. bike gear shift knobs. Also worth mentioning are tiny but very important elements like cables and shirts (wires in top-end versions) that transfer your finger movements to the gearshifts. In addition to the number of speeds, they are also distinguished by the structure of the switching system: planetary (gears of different diameters are located inside the rear hub or bottom bracket of the bicycle), or the classic multispeed, where all nodes are visible to the outside.

Bicycle Gear Shifting

Most modern bicycles are equipped with high-speed transmissions and it can be very difficult for beginners to figure out how to properly change gears on their bicycles. In catching up, our mentality forces us to read the instructions only after the device is broken. In this article, we will look at the basic rules and recommendations for shifting gears, as well as touch on the topic of maintaining the shifting system and start from the basics. bicycle gearshift devices.

Chain placement on a speed bike

The position of the bike chain on certain gears also has some peculiarities that affect the accuracy of gear changes and the durability of the drivetrain components. Some very helpful tips: never use the smallest sprocket in the front and the smallest in the back. The same applies to the large star in front and the large star behind. If you neglect these recommendations, a so-called chain skew is created in the transmission, which will negatively affect not only its durability, but also the efficiency of the cyclist. The fact is that with a strong misalignment of the chain, the links have a detrimental effect on the teeth of the front / rear sprockets, bending or licking them to one side. Also, if the ratio of the stars is incorrectly selected, the connections between the pins and the links of the chain will be loosened, accelerating its wear. As for the efficiency, it decreases through an increase in friction between the transmission elements, although not significantly.

How to properly switch gears on a bike

No matter how many speeds your bike has, you definitely need to know how to use them correctly in order to extend the life of the transmission components and the ride does not turn into a nightmare with crackling or slipping of the chain. It is important to remember a few rules that will help make gear shifting easy, and most importantly safe.

  • Examine your bike’s drivetrain. you should know how many programs you have in total; how many stars are in front and how many are behind; where to move the shift knobs to increase or decrease the load.
  • Rotation of the pedals. this is a prerequisite for the speed to switch. It is not enough to simply push or turn the handle, it is important to make one full revolution of the front pedals so that the chain takes up the chain of your choice in front or behind.
  • Gear changes will only occur when no or minimum load is applied to the pedals. Even the most expensive derailleur will not be able to move the chain onto an adjacent sprocket if you are not pedaling with all your might. Therefore, practice doing this among flat areas, and over time you will be able to change gears even in the most difficult conditions.
  • Monitor the technical condition of your bike’s shifting system. When the components are not worn out, lubricated in time, and the switches are adjusted, then the gear change occurs in an instant.
  • Remember, the main thing is to cycle as much as possible using the gearshift system. The developed muscle memory will allow you to change gears in spite of the transmission or indicators on the steering wheel with light finger movements without squeaks and other troubles.
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Optimal cycling gear range

Depending on the training of the cyclist or the terrain on which the bike rides, you use a specific set of ratios of front and rear sprockets, which leads to accelerated wear. If you never include at least 50% of the speeds on your bike, it is worth thinking about optimizing not only their number, but also the gear ratio. For example, your bike has 22/32/42 chainrings and a 12-32 cassette at the back. In this case, you most often include gears 22 and 32 in front, and only middle sprockets at the back. In this case, consider changing the cassette to a model with fewer teeth on the large side. For example, modification 11-28 or 11-25. In this case, instead of 3 sprockets at the back, you will use at least 5-6, because the load between adjacent gears will not be as noticeable as on the 11-32 version.

You can do the same with chainrings, but in addition to making them smaller, you can reduce the number of speeds by removing 1 or even 2 stars. In addition to optimizing the load and more rational use of transmission parts, you will slightly reduce the weight of the bike;). In the case of a lack of low gears, it is worth installing a set of rear sprockets with an increased number of teeth on the larger side or reducing the size of the chainrings.

Why bike speeds don’t shift well

Usually, the thought of having to fix derailleur problems comes when the chain is shifting too hard between the sprockets, or the gears are not shifting at all. The problem comes suddenly, as an option, you can contact the master.

However, this issue can be resolved in the service in a couple of minutes, and the money will have to be paid in an hour. Maybe you should tinker yourself?

Before proceeding with the instructions for setting up the bike speed system, let’s determine why it does not work correctly:

  • Switches are damaged. A complete replacement is needed to solve the problem.
  • Deformed cock. protection of the rear derailleur. Usually it is advised to change, but once you can straighten.
  • Spring worn or stretched cable. Replacement required, switch setting.

Very often, all the components of the transmission are in good condition, and the gears are still poorly shifted. New parts, or parts with little wear and tear, installed in a transmission unit are a common cause of poor chain sprocket running.

Correct cycling gearshift setting

Modern bicycles equipped with a gear system allow you to move quickly and with minimal energy losses in any conditions: long climbs, rough terrain, roads with sharp turns that require constant changes in speed and gear ratio. This can also include driving against the wind, off-road conditions, poor quality asphalt In general, the value of the transmission unit is simply colossal, especially on mountain bikes.

Despite the invaluable help, the transmission is great and requires frequent attention, care, and sometimes long and tedious fuss. One component that needs to be taken up periodically is the shifting mechanism, which consists of front and rear derailleurs. At first glance, the arrangement of these parts seems complicated. In practice, setting up gear shifting is very simple.

Setting switches at home

Now let’s figure out how to set up the high-speed system ourselves. Derailleurs on bicycles with multi-gear transmission are divided into front and rear. The latter are most vulnerable when riding in a variety of road conditions, the risk of damage is higher compared to the front ones, but the adjustment must be done at the very beginning. Obviously, the rear derailleur serves more stars, so it takes longer to set up.

Attention! If there is damage, and the tensioner is not parallel to the frame and cassette, then it will not be possible to correctly adjust the system!

First you need screws L and H. they are clearly visible, no need to look. Also includes a cable adjuster, tension and fixing screws.

  • H is used to align the roller with the small rear sprocket. By tightening the screw L, we set the roller on one straight line with the large rear sprocket.
  • Set the highest speed on the shifter.
  • Tension and fix the cable with the fixing bolt.
  • Large gears should be included without interference, otherwise, using the adjuster, the cable is slightly weakened. Additional tension will be needed if gears are poorly reset.

Actually, the adjustment itself is made, it remains to adjust the switching accuracy. This is especially true for systems with a large number of stars. For this, the chain is mounted on a large chainring at the back and a small chainring at the front. By tightening the tension screw, we achieve the optimal position of the roller. as close as possible to the cassette. The same must be done and vice versa: set the chain to the maximum chainring in front and minimum. at the back. The roller should not rub against the cassette, just be located next to it.

How to properly set up the switch in front:

  • Check device attachment.
  • At minimum speed, release the cable tension.
  • Use screw L to create a gap between the derailleur body and the chain (1 mm).
  • Secure the cable with the adjusting bolt.

How To Index Your Gears. Adjusting Your Rear Derailleur

The same should be done with the H-screw. The maximum speed must be set, and the gap with the chain must not exceed one millimeter.

Adjust the speeds on both derailleurs until the chain is free to swing from one chainring to the other. If it is difficult to walk, it is necessary to adjust the correct position of the cable using the adjusting bolt.

After all the manipulations, the entire system is checked. To do this, you need to ride a bike and try all the recommended gear ratios. Note that on mountain bikes, the transmission adjustment is a common periodic procedure, and if suddenly the transmission goes tight, we are not in a hurry to draw conclusions about the breakdown, but we do what is described above.

Do not think that a high-quality transmission does not need to adjust the shifting system. Yes, it may be necessary to do this less often for shimano components, but sooner or later you will still have to face.

We just saw an easy way to adjust the front and rear derailleurs. Is it really necessary? Adjustment of the shift mechanism is necessary for the transmission, like tires for a wheel. Timely assistance to the “traffic node” will allow not only to solve current problems, but also to prevent them in the future. Eliminate all inconveniences in time and ride with pleasure!