How to adjust the chainring on your bike

Fine tuning tips

  • you need to set the minimum speed, that is, at the back, the chain stands on the largest star, and in front on the smallest.
  • slightly loosen the tension of the cable and turn the screw L until there is a 1mm gap between the chain and the frame
  • we firmly fix the cable, before inserting it into a special groove.
  • we set the highest speed
  • adjustable with screw H the gap between the chain and the inner side of the frame
  • we check the performance
  • if the switching is tight, then we adjust with screws to the desired state
  • After all the manipulations, the bike should be washed and lubricated all parts (chain, sprockets, etc.)

Cables and shirts

Special attention should also be paid to cables with shirts. The shirt is the sheath of the cable. And special attention should be paid to them for the simple reason that if the cable or shirt is damaged, then at the most crucial moment it can break, and subsequently switching speeds will be impossible.

Therefore, they must be chosen very carefully so that there is no damage or traces of rust, and for each cable there is a different type of shirt. There are only three of them. a SIS lash, a SIS-SP braid and a twisted braid. Based on the selected cable, the correct shirt should also be selected. Otherwise, it may happen that the cable will rub the entire sheath, and it will fail.

How to adjust the rear derailleur on a bike

Setting up the speed switch is not a tricky business, and anyone who knows at least a little about the mechanisms can do it.

adjust, chainring, bike

To independently configure all the mechanisms and put them into action, you need to do the following:

  • you need to check if the switch itself is bent. This can be determined by looking at the tensioner. it should be parallel to the stars on the rear wheel. If it’s all about him, then you need to try to straighten it with pliers or other tools.
  • if everything is fine with the switch, then most likely the rooster is to blame for everything (this is the mount on which the switch is placed). Most often, it also bends, and it has to be straightened periodically, so that at the first breakdown it needs to be replaced.

If all of the above is done or in order, then you can proceed directly to setting the switch itself.

  • put the switch on the highest speed (that is, on the smallest star)
  • we find two screws. H and L. Turn the screw H so that the roller on the switch moves one mark with a smaller star
  • put on the lowest speed (large sprocket), and rotate the screw L until the roller is aligned with the large sprocket
  • again set to the highest speed, and pull the cable. In this case, you need to make sure that he got into the special prem. It should be pulled tighter!
  • check switching! If it switches very tightly, or does not switch at all, then you need to loosen the cable a little, or, on the contrary, pull it.
  • if everything works well, then we can assume that the job is done.

Rear derailleur setting

Make sure the switch is not bent. If the chain tensioner (tab with two rollers at the bottom of the rear derailleur) is parallel to the cassette stars, then everything is fine. If not, then most likely it is not the switch itself that is bent, but the cock. fastening the switch to the frame. It is easy to straighten it by pulling on the derailleur, but do not pull on one chain tensioner! he will bend before the cock straightens, and it is no longer so easy to straighten it.

Let’s get started with the adjustment. Choose a higher speed at which the chain is on the smallest sprocket in the cassette (the sprocket on the rear wheel). The switch has 2 screws labeled H and L (see picture). Tighten screw H (High) so that the derailleur roller is in line with the smaller sprocket. Now we select the lower speed. the largest cassette. And now turn the screw marked L (Low) until the roller is aligned with the large sprocket.

After that, you need to pull the cable, while the maximum speed should be on the rear derailleur lever. Make sure the cable is firmly in the groove of the fixing bolt (shown as 1 in the picture) and tighten. It is necessary to fasten the cable with a good stretch. If high gears are poorly engaged (when picking up speed on a bicycle), loosen the cable tension with the adjuster (indicated by number 2 in the picture). If they are poorly reset (when driving speed decreases), then you need to tighten the cable by unscrewing the tension adjuster. If the bike trim is more expensive, then there is a regulator on the shifter, which allows you to adjust the cable tension on the go.

Now the last adjustment. Place the chain on the front of the smallest sprocket and the back on the largest sprocket and pedal backwards. Turning the tension screw (marked with number 3 in the picture) ensure that the upper roller of the rear derailleur is as close to the star as possible, but does not touch it. This is necessary for the smoothest gear shifting. Now set the maximum speed. there is a large sprocket in front, the smallest sprocket at the back and make sure that the roller does not touch the cassette sprocket even in this position. Cheap switches may not have this adjustment.


If the chain slips with effort when pedaling, this means that it is stretched and it is time to change it. If you haven’t changed it for a long time, you may also have to change the stars with the cassette. a worn out chain quickly destroys a star.

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If some certain speeds do not turn on well, check if the cable runs freely in the shirts and if there are any breaks, as well as places with unbraided cable winding. Shirts with breaks and those in which the cable runs with difficulty must be replaced, as can a damaged cable. The same problem can be caused by a bent cock.

If the switch suddenly stopped working altogether, then the problem is clearly in the cable: either it is badly tightened with a fixing bolt, or it has broken.

And another important point. When changing gears, make sure that there is no skewing of the chain, due to its location simultaneously on opposite sprockets of the connecting rod and cassette, as well as on the middle sprocket and extreme sprockets of the cassette. Incorrect chain positioning is shown schematically in the picture. Because of this, there is a rapid wear of both the chain and the stars.

In general, setting up your bike’s gear shifters is quick (30-40 minutes) and effortless.

How to adjust the front derailleur on a bike

Adjusting the front derailleur is a little easier than adjusting the rear derailleur. An important factor here is its correct and reliable installation on the frame, and everything else is done within 15 minutes.

The correct front derailleur position is when the chain is on the largest sprocket and a distance of 1-3mm is maintained from sprocket to frame. Then we can assume that the switch is set correctly.

Adjusting screws on the switch

The adjusting screws are the same H and L screws used when adjusting the rear derailleur. Their action is based on fixing the speed switch, which allows it not to wobble. Usually they are accessed only once, at the first setup, and they are no longer touched. But if the cock or the switch breaks down, you simply cannot do without them. They are not too sensitive, so they can be safely twisted and adjusted as needed.

Chains and sprockets

These two parts are the main parts of the bicycle, since they directly move with the help of them. Most often, the stars are a cassette, which consists of 6-7 stars. It all depends on the number of speeds on the bike.

And the chains vary in pitch and length. The chain pitch is the size of one link on the sprocket or chain, and in accordance with the pitch on the sprocket, you need to select the chain with the desired pitch. The length is basically the same everywhere, but it can also be of an individual size. Then you will have to look for it for a very long time, or rivet it yourself.

Installing the front derailleur to the frame

To adjust the switching mechanism, it is necessary to correctly set the position of the commutator on the frame.

The following rules correspond to the correct position:

  • The mechanism should be located 2 mm above the extreme sprocket.
  • It is parallel to the stars.
  • The screw for the cable clamp is loose.
  • The cover of the cable is loose, that is, not taut
  • The angle of the rocker mechanism must correspond to the angle of inclination of the center line of the frame.

Setting the angle of the holder

To put the system at the right angle, you need to set the speed selector parallel to the chainrings (top view).

Any angle offset will affect ride quality:

  • The minimum shift along the axis provokes a constant dismount of the bicycle chain when the speeds are working.
  • Sliding the panel inward prevents the bike chain from moving, but during high-speed driving it touches the frame.
  • Outside front panel shift eliminates friction, but the bike chain flies when shifting gears.

Advanced option for setting gear shifting.

Before setting the switches, it is recommended to wash the bike and make sure there is no mechanical damage:

  • shift cable;
  • shift cable sheath;
  • stars;
  • chains;
  • rear derailleur bracket (cock);
  • the switches themselves;
  • shifters.

Useful to pay attention

How To Change Chainrings. Changing Your Chain Rings For Road Or Mountain Bikes

Setting up bike derailleurs (beginner’s guide)

So, let’s continue our series of articles for beginners. Recall that in previous articles we looked at how to care for your bike and shift gears correctly on the move. In this article, I would like to make a short guide to self-tuning or even complete customization of the bike after purchase.

Opinions on how to set up a bike and where to start differ, many say that you must first set up the front derailleur, and then the rear, others vice versa. The essence of this does not change, but it is really recommended to first adjust the rear derailleur in order to more correctly configure the front.

Bicycle Rear Derailleur Setting

First, we’ll look at the design of the switch itself:

On more modern switches there is also a switch tension adjustment screw, but we will not consider it, since it is generally not needed in setting.

Switching the rear derailleur to the smallest star

Unscrew the rear derailleur cable clamp screw and loosen the cable

Install the chain on the front derailleur to the middle sprocket (click the left coin on the steering wheel)

We spin the pedals on the weight, if the flail falls off the stars, then it is necessary to tighten the screw marked “H” by 1-2 turns, if after that the chain is in place, but at the same time tries to switch independently to the next gear. we unscrew this screw by 0.5.1 turn

The essence of this method consists in the fact that when the rear derailleur cable is unscrewed, use the screw “H” so that the rear derailleur and the smallest sprocket in front are absolutely in line;.

If everything is ok, then move on. we pull the cable by hand and tighten the bolt to fix the tension

Try it. click the rear derailleur shift knob 1 speed up, if the switch was correct, click further to the largest star, if not, then pull the cable with an “adjusting drum”. We unscrew the drum by 1 turn, try if ok, continue to click further, if it does not switch another 1 turn.

So, we got to the largest star in the back, but when switching, 2 situations can arise:

a) the chain falls off behind a large sprocket. then it is necessary to tighten the adjusting screw “L” by 1-2 turns

b) it is not possible to switch to the largest star at the back, the shift knob does not click or the switch itself simply does not switch. then the bolt marked “L” should be unscrewed by 1-2 turns.

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That’s all we have set up the rear derailleur of the bike. All adjustments with bolts “H” and “L” are carried out slowly, you should unscrew / tighten no more than 1 turn at a time, maybe even 0.5 turn, in order to set the switch as correctly and quickly as possible. Let’s move on

When adjusting the front derailleur, there are nuances that depend on the derailleur itself (foot width) and transmission (6/7/8 or more speeds). We take a look at the most popular Shimano Tourney FD-TX50 and Shimano Acera FD-M360 derailleurs.

Switching to the smallest star in the front and the largest star in the back.

Unscrew the front derailleur cable

We adjust the switch frame with the screw “L” so that when installing the switch, the inner part of its frame (the one closer to the bike, when viewed from above) does not touch the chain. tighten if the distance to the chain is more than 3 mm or unscrew if less.

After that, we pull the front derailleur cable, but not tightly, so that when you tighten the cable tension screw so that the cable is slightly relaxed (dangling in a horizontal plane by about 1-1.5 cm)

We switch to the middle star and start checking. we install the second star behind, that is, not the smallest one, but the next one. We check. if the chain touches the outer frame of the switch, then we stretch the cable, on the shift knob we have the same plastic bolt as on the rear derailleur, unscrew it 1-2 turns, so that the distance of the chain from the outer frame of the switch is 3-4 mm.

Moving on to setting the largest sprocket. switch the rear derailleur to the smallest sprocket and watch. If you switched without problems, then we do not turn anything, if it did not switch, that is, there was a click, but the switch did not switch, then we unscrew the screw “H” by 1-2 turns, if it switched and the chain slept, then we tighten this screw by 1-2 turns. We check further. the distance to the outer frame should be no more than 3 mm when turning on the smallest star from behind. If everything is ok, then you did everything perfectly.

The bike derailleur setup is complete and you can now proudly sit down and enjoy riding your iron horse. There are tons of setup videos, the best of all is at this link:

Ride with pleasure!

High gear limiter “h” (“high”)

Setting it up is extremely simple. you need to achieve a position in which the chain almost rubs against the outer part of the frame in top gear (large in front, small in back). This will reduce the need for adjustment when shifting reverse gears.

To adjust the high gear limiter, set the chain to the largest front chainring and the smallest rear chainring.

By turning the stop screw, the position of the switch frame is set so that the chain is as close as possible to the outer edge of the frame, but when the pedals are rotated, the chain does not touch it.

After that, while rotating the pedals, you need to try to shift gears in both directions step by step. If the chain does not come off badly from large stars to small ones, it is necessary to loosen the cable by rotating the cable tension adjusting drum clockwise. Otherwise, vice versa.

“Fitting” the front derailleur

As the rear gear shifts, the direction from which the chain comes to the derailleur changes slightly. As a result, sometimes it becomes necessary to “adjust” the position of the derailleur when changing the reverse gear, even while remaining on the same front sprocket. “Fit” involves a slight movement of the frame by the shifter, but not enough to change gear, but only to eliminate friction against the sprocket.

On older shifters designed for frictional shifters, “fit” was simply implied, but modern discrete shifters can almost always be set so that this fit is not necessary. For perfect shifting, you need to use a derailleur designed for the specific sprocket size, and the sprockets must be completely flat. The lower the derailleur frame is set to the sprocket, the less adjustment is required.

If the system requires a “tweak”, you have to do it. If the chain rubs against the switch frame, you will erase the frame so that you simply cannot expect any decent switching from it.


Adjusting and adjusting the front derailleur of the bicycle

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 properly adjust the bike’s front derailleur?

It is generally not worth adjusting the front derailleur until the rear derailleur is configured. But before you tweak something, you need to thoroughly know how it works. Therefore, let’s try to understand the principle of its work.

Step one

By turning screw 1, we ensure that the frame is at a minimum distance from the chain from the side of the carriage. Make sure that the chain does not touch the frame.

Installing the front derailleur to the frame

To determine if the lintel is correctly positioned on the frame, we must ensure that:

  • derailleur frame is 2 mm higher than the teeth of the largest chainring;
  • the frame should be located strictly parallel to the block of leading stars;
  • the bike’s front derailleur is washed, all dirt and dust is removed, it is greased and all adjusting screws rotate freely;
  • the chain is on the largest star in the back and on the smallest star in the front;
  • the drive cable clamping screw is loose;
  • the cable cover is open (it is in a free, untensioned state);
  • front crossover angle. the center line should be parallel to the center line of the frame.

Below we have placed a picture in which we tried to demonstrate the initial positions of the entire structure before setting up.

A little tip. the lower the front derailleur is lowered, the clearer it will work.

And here a question arises, the solution of which we cannot influence without replacing the re-throw. If the radius of the star is greater than that for which the switch is designed, then the rear of the frame will catch the teeth of the large star. But sometimes this can be cured by fine adjustments, which we will talk about later. In the meantime, everything is ready and we are waiting for the setting of the front derailleur.

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How this switch works

This is not a Tiptronic automatic transmission and the operation of the switch is very simple. Conventional aside, it’s just a steel frame suspended from a bicycle frame that can move left and right. As it moves, it pushes the bicycle chain and forces it to move from one sprocket to another. Powered by a cable that is connected to a shifter on the handlebars.

Everything seems to be simple, but not as it seems. The front derailleur has to work with the busiest top of the chain, which transmits power to the rear sprockets and is always in tension. Therefore, in the event that the derailleur is set incorrectly, changing gears will not be easy even with ideal rear shift settings.

To make the whole adjustment clear and understandable, let’s imagine that we are installing it on a bare bicycle frame. Settings from scratch, kind of.

Step two

Fasten the gearshift cable. Pulling it slightly, fix it with a screw or fastening nut. If there is a spacer washer with a groove, put the cable into it and clamp it.

Tuning method

Step three

We transfer the chain to the smallest sprocket in the back and to the largest in the front. By turning the screw 2, we achieve the minimum distance between the chain and the frame, but without contact.


Most modern mountain bikes are equipped with shock absorbers. Shock absorbers. to absorb vibration when driving on uneven surfaces. Shock absorbers also “eat up” the speed, rocking you back and forth with the bike. This is especially noticeable with active pedaling.

In addition to shock absorbers, modern bicycles also have a shock absorber lock. With its help, with one movement of your finger, the fork can be turned into a rigid fork (rigid, without a shock absorber). That is, the shock absorber will remain “on board”, but it will already be fixed (it will not swing as the bike moves). This will not reduce the weight of the forks (rigid. not shock-absorbing: they weigh very little), but it will not eat up kinetic energy when pedaling hard.

How To Change Your Gear Ratios

Shock absorber lock. The weight of the fork will not decrease, but at the right time will make it rigid

Tires (tires)

The worst option for driving on asphalt is tires with a “complex pattern” on the tread and too large studs. They are designed for rough terrain, mud and sand (for better traction). They are usually put on mountain bikes. You will have to replace these. with tires without all of the above (tires with a minimal pattern / without it and without studs at all. are called “slicks”).

This type of tire has minimal rolling resistance. This is the easiest way to make your bike go faster. With this, it will almost turn into a sports car.

How to make a bike faster. change it into less toothy rubber

Contact pedals

Contact pedals are a mechanism that allows you to mechanically fix the cyclist’s foot on the pedal, thereby connecting the cyclist’s shoes and the bicycle pedal into a single whole structure. Thus, full contact of the cyclist with the bicycle drive is ensured. And you can also make the bike faster this way. After all, now the effort will be exerted not only when pressing the pedal, but also when lifting the leg up.

Contact pedals increase the cyclist’s pedaling efficiency by an average of 10-20%. But such a system costs money. Sometimes considerable.

Clip-on pedal with a mechanism built into the bicycle shoe


Land below. This will reduce the area of ​​resistance to oncoming air and wind.

  • Pay attention to the seating position of road cyclists: it is almost horizontal.

A horizontal landing can be achieved with a mountain bike. To do this, raise the saddle higher and move it back (if the mechanism allows). At the same time, replace the stem with a longer stem and lower the stem lower.

  • Handlebar stem. the part that connects the handlebars to the bike fork. Serves for fixing the handlebars and adjusting the fit of the cyclist.

Better to take a carbon stem: it’s lighter. But more expensive. If, due to a fork or financial situation, it is not possible to replace the stem, simply lower the handlebars lower. Paired with a high-lift saddle, this will also improve your aerodynamic performance.

Mountain bike handlebars are often very wide. This also prevents the bike from being faster. Tip: Trim the handlebars to the width of your shoulders. It could even be a little shorter.

The handlebars on road bikes are narrow and light. This is another important factor that has a positive effect on the speed and aerodynamics of the bike.


Largest chainring. On mountain bikes, it usually has 42 or 44 teeth. You need to replace it with a 48-tooth star. Do not be afraid: you may not need to change along with the cranks (the tube-shaped parts that connect the pedals to the chainrings). Since most modern bicycles have a large chainring that is detachable, not molded in one piece with the cranks.

How to make your bike faster. replace the larger chainring with one with more teeth

Don’t brake: 5 ways to make your bike faster

Even an old and dilapidated mountain bike can be made faster. For this, you don’t even need imagination, just our advice.

After buying a mountain bike, many owners become dissatisfied with its speed. Indeed: a mountain bike. for the fastest, but also a road bike. is an expensive thing. How to be? Cheer up: a mountain bike can be done faster. We will carry out a deep modernization: we will replace something, we will adjust something.


The tips above will help you make your bike faster. But remember: not only the bike plays an important role in speed, but also the physical fitness of the cyclist. Regular exercise and weight control will help you achieve this.

For more information on how to train a cyclist, read here and see the following video:

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