How to adjust the front derailleur on a bike

Primary diagnostics

Initial bike speeds or minor repairs may be required if you have just purchased a two-wheeled vehicle or are using it recently. If the bike falls or is transported in the trunk with the rear derailleur down, the cock, the removable part to which the derailleur is attached, may deform. This part is made of soft aluminum and is removable so that if the bike falls, the cock will take the brunt of the blow, and the frame and rear crossover will not be damaged. If the cock is deformed, it must be removed and replaced.

The reason for the incorrect or inaccurate operation of the gearshift mechanism can be the sagging of the cables in the shirt, which often occurs when you just start using the bike, therefore, before making the adjustment, you need to conduct an initial inspection, check the integrity of the parts and tighten the cables yourself. To do this, in places where the cables are not protected by a jacket and are freely accessible, they must be carefully pulled towards you, then you need to unscrew the cable fastener on the switch, tighten it, tighten the thumbs (adjustments) and reconnect the cable. It is also necessary to ensure that the shirts are inserted into their guides.

After all these steps, it may still be necessary to adjust the bike speeds using the High and Low adjusting screws. The cause of problems with the control mechanism of the carriage can be a common mistake of many novice cyclists who are trying to tighten all the bolts, which, in their opinion, are not well enough. The High and Low bolts on the switch are not fastening, but adjusting, so they need to be tightened to the extent that the speed control works correctly.

How to adjust the speeds?

Before proceeding with the adjustment, it is necessary to prepare a number of simple tools:

  • Screwdriver for tightening bolts;
  • Pliers;
  • A wrench to unscrew the cable retaining nut or a set of hexagons;
  • If necessary, replacement parts may be required: cables, cock, frames or others.

Adjustments are made for the front and rear derailleurs. It is recommended to first check the work of each. If the bike speeds are set in special workshops, for repair, the bike is installed on a special bracket, at home you can use the usual bicycle mount on the wall, the main thing is that the pedals rotate freely, setting the chain in motion. It is recommended to adjust the rear derailleur first, then the front.

Adjusting the rear carriage control

It is very easy to adjust the rear mechanism if you follow the sequence of work:

  • To start the adjustment, you must set the limit bolts High-Low so that the chain does not jump off the small bottom sprocket or from the largest top sprocket onto the spokes.
  • The lower roller should be parallel to the lower sprocket in the smallest gear, i.e. make one straight line with her. Set the speeds so that the chain is on the smallest sprocket in the rear derailleur and on the largest sprocket in the front. We tighten the bolt with the inscription High until the chain on the sprocket and the roller is parallel.
  • Next, we transfer the chain to the largest sprocket in the rear derailleur. Adjust the parallelism of the chain on the sprocket and roller with the bolt marked Low.
  • Further, if, after adjusting the stop bolts, you notice that the chain does not move from one sprocket to another smoothly and quickly, you need to tighten the cable. We check its tension, we twist the thumbs at the junction with the gearshift mechanism and at the junction with the shifter (shifter).
  • We check again the operation of the rear carriage control mechanism, if necessary, adjust the wing.

How to set up a bike derailleur

Actively using the bike, many riders eventually notice that the gear changes are no longer so fast, and the chain jumps from star to star. In this case, adjusting the speed switch on the bike is required. You can make the adjustment in specialized workshops or centers, or adjust the mechanism with your own hands. It’s not that hard to do.

How to adjust the front derailleur?

Adjustment of the front mechanism is carried out by analogy:

  • We start by setting chain constraints on the sprockets. To do this, first move the chain to the largest sprocket of the rear mechanism and the smallest sprocket in the front. Adjustable with the High bolt.
  • We move the chain to the position on the smallest rear derailleur sprocket and the largest front one. We tighten the bolt labeled Low. The chain must run freely within the frame. It is also recommended to check the position of the frame relative to the largest sprocket, the gap between them should be about 2-3 mm.
  • Next, you need to adjust the shifter thumb and check if the bike speeds were set correctly by switching the speeds and fixing the smoothness of the chain transitions.

To prevent the occurrence of problems with the switch, you need to remember the simple rules for operating the bike and adjusting the speeds on the right and left side of the handlebars. The chain should not be skewed, the optimal position is considered when the chain is on the large sprocket of the rear mechanism and the first three small front sprockets, or vice versa. When the chain is on the middle sprocket of the front mechanism, the chain can simultaneously be on all but the extreme sprockets of the rear derailleur. If you take good care of your iron horse and set the gears correctly, adjusting the bike speeds may not be necessary for a long time.

Necessary terminology

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

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

It is necessary to transfer the chain to the center sprockets of the cassette using the rear derailleur. We switch from the first to the second speed (the chain should initially be on the 1st star), if it does not switch, then it is necessary to tighten the cable with the tension regulator (see paragraph 3.A), which is located on the shifter. We twist until the chain clearly and quickly transitions to the middle star.

Front Derailleur Installation Procedure

What should be done before adjusting the front derailleur? Usually, the adjustment is preceded by the disassembly of the PPP and its removal for maintenance. It is very important to set the front derailleur clearly before proceeding with the tuning procedure.

Many cyclists ask the question of how to install the PPP on a bicycle by independent actions. Let’s analyze this 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. Slightly tighten the clamp fixing bolt.
  • 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 clamp.
  • The installation is complete. We put on the chain and go to setting

How to properly adjust the rear derailleur

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

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

PPP setting procedure

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

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, pull the cable up to the stop with rotary movements clockwise. No need to tighten as much as possible.
  • The rear derailleur is placed in the lowest speed position. As a result. the first speed on both stars.
  • 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. We adjust with rotational 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 by 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 pulling the cable.
  • We test the switch on a level and safe section of the roadway.

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 tremendous 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 small 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.
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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 be upset if it didn’t work out right away. Calm down and repeat your steps again. Remember, the hardest part is getting the front derailleur properly mounted to the frame. Nothing depends on the manufacturer of the transfer. Only your attention and patience.

Before you start adjusting the front derailleur

Before you start adjusting the front derailleur, make sure you have the following conditions:

We start by unscrewing (loosening) the bolt that holds the front derailleur cable.

Usually the bolt is unscrewed with a 5 hexagon or a 9 wrench.

Next, I recommend checking the position of the switch frame relative to the star system.

If your switch is bolted to the frame, and not with a clamp, as in my case, then you do not need to set the height and angle of the switch, since everything is already exhibited there.

A. Check the swing angle. The switch frame must be parallel to the stars of the system.

Try to orient yourself not by the chain, but by the stars, as the chain can stand in extreme gears and the front derailleur will not be installed correctly. With red lines, I showed the central star and the inner side of the switch.

B. Check the height. The front derailleur frame should be slightly higher by 1-3 mm. than the largest star in the system. To adjust, slide the frame by hand so that it is above the 3rd star and adjust the height.

Shimano Tourney derailleur frame sticker that assists in front derailleur height adjustment. In the photo, by the way, a new bike, on which the front derailleur is set much higher than necessary.

Most often, new shimano front derailleurs have a sticker that shows how high the derailleur should be.

Now let’s start working with the cable and shifter on the handlebars.

A. Find the cable tension bolt on the shifter and screw it all the way into the shifter and turn it half a turn.

The cable tensioner is indicated with an arrow. In my case, this is a combo grip (brake and shifter in the same body), but on a regular shifter the tensioner is the same.

B. Pull the cable by hand or use pliers and tighten it with the fixing bolt, which I wrote about in paragraph 1. Note that there are special grooves on the washers holding the cable. It is necessary to fix the cable in them.

We begin to set the extreme positions of the switch frame with bolts “H” and “L”.

“High”. sets the extreme position at the largest star in the system.

“Low”. adjusts the extreme position of the switch on the smallest star.

How to adjust the speed switch on a bike

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

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.

The scheme of the transfer

Before adjusting the front derailleur on your bike, we recommend that you study its design. With this knowledge, it is much easier for the performer to navigate the settings and understand the purpose of each of them.

Adjusting a Front Derailleur

The focus is only on Shimano products, as the most popular. In fact, there are practically no differences between Japanese products and American SRAM. As well as between a cheap Tourney and an expensive Deore. over, if you delve into the principle of operation and the essence of the setting, then it will not matter to you which bike is in front of you: a budget Stealth with a Shimano Altus front shifter or an expensive Cube with a super-light Deore XT.

We will understand the device by the photo of the Alivio series switch:

  • Inner and outer part of the guide frame. There is a chain between them. The function of the frame configuration is to move the chain from one chainring to another.
  • A spring-loaded parallelogram to which a frame is attached. Moves when pulling / loosening the cable, dragging the frame structure with it.
  • Cable fixing bolt. By means of a cable, the shifter moves the parallelogram.
  • End position adjusting bolts (L and H). With their help, the border positions of the frame are adjusted so that the chain does not jump off the first and third stars.
  • Clamp. Secures the seatpost to the center tube (into which the seatpost is inserted).

How to remove

Disconnecting the chain is indispensable here. We have already studied this procedure in detail in the material on how to change the chain on a bicycle with shifted gears. If there is no lock, then squeezing is required. But in the future, we advise you not to give up such a convenient little thing as a chain lock.

It is advisable to wash the removed chain. It is important to choose the means, which we have mentioned more than once in the corresponding publication. Although the result of research on technology, how and how to clean a bicycle chain at home. impressed. We came to the conclusion that it is most convenient to do this with a high-pressure jet, and right on the bike.

  • Disconnect the cable from it.
  • Disconnect the frame fastening clamp.

Tuning method

Diagnostics of the current state

The accuracy of the chain transfer depends not only on the set adjustments. The role is also played by the position of the cross-over relative to the stars and the deviation of the frame geometry from the nominal shape. It also happens that the cable simply broke and the switch does not work corny. That is why we placed the diagnostic stage before the description of the complete regulation procedure.

Why is the front derailleur rubbing against the chain

To understand what is the matter, one such symptom is not enough. Specify which gear it is in:

  • Hits on the middle star. A skewed gear is in use or the cable is under-tightened / over-tightened.
  • It only clings to the first asterisk. The frame limitation (bolt L) is incorrectly set, the chain is strongly skewed or the cable is overtightened.
  • Rubbing on the biggest star. The border is poorly adjusted for large gears (bolt H), the chain is skewed or the cable is not tight.
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For your information. The chain can touch the frame in any gear, if the edges of the frame are not parallel to the stars.

Multi-speed bikes with one sprocket in the front. is it worth buying?

The three-star fashion ended with the arrival of 10, 11, 12-speed cassettes. The fact is that on 3×7-3×9 transmissions, three toothed gears in the front perform an important function. they overlap the gear ratios, allowing you to climb up hills and twist on descents.

The number of teeth on the new multi-star cassettes has been matched to do the same with one sprocket in front. Therefore, it makes no sense to use two more asterisks. For the XC discipline, this is a significant breakthrough, as the frontal override here is the most unreliable part of the bike.

How to adjust the front derailleur

For convenience, it is worth lifting the bike by the saddle so that the front wheel hangs in the air. This can be done even at home by adjusting the table.

Twist the cable clockwise as far as it will go, but then be sure to return it a couple of turns back to save the adjustment margin.

The chain must be at first speed, that is, at the largest sprocket.

Bring the stop L to the position when it is close to the chain, but if you rotate the pedals, they will not touch the frame.

Insert the cable into the attachment point on the switch, tighten, tighten the bolt.

Switch front to large and rear to small.

Set the 5 speed behind by pedaling and changing the speed with the switch. Walk through the range several times.

  • Check that when changing speeds, the chain does not rub against the frame and make extraneous sounds.
  • adjust, front, derailleur, bike

    If shifting is unsteady, or if the frame starts to come into contact with the chain, a cable tension check will be required. On a flat road, we check the correctness of the setting.

    Adjusting and setting the front derailleur on a bicycle

    The algorithm for adjusting the adjustment of the front derailleur is quite simple, the main thing is to figure it out and do it once. Experienced cyclists advise to work with the rear derailleur first and then proceed with the front derailleur.

    How to prepare your bike

    Before starting the setup, you should inspect the bike and its mechanisms.

      When replacing the changeover, it is necessary to check its compatibility with the front sprocket system. It happens that the part is not chosen correctly, and in this case, the system can be set up for a very long time and unsuccessfully.

    Check mechanical damage, backlash.

    Clean mechanisms from dust and dirt, lubricate the switch, cables.

    If the ends of the cable are fluffy, then they should be cut or changed. So that in the future the tips do not fluff, metal caps are put on them.

  • Be sure to check and lubricate the chain.
  • How does the front derailleur function

    The design of the cape consists of certain parts, each of which is responsible for its own functions, working in conjunction.

      The parallelogram is the main moving pivot piece that is fixed to the frame. It should be parallel.

    Stoppers marked L (towards the frame) and H (away from it), these are bolts with an adjustment function.

    A guide frame with a chain inside it.

  • The fastening bolt is responsible for the tension force and the position of the cable.
  • The speed is shifted due to the fact that this whole system works to push the chain. The chain jumps, the speed changes due to the speed difference. The consequences of misalignment are obvious, they can lead to falls and costly repairs, so knowing how to adjust the front derailleur is important.

    Checking the switch position

    When the preparation is over, they begin the main part of the work. If we are talking about a situation when it is necessary to adjust the mechanism after replacing or removing the switch, then positioning is first performed in relation to the front sprockets. The chain can be completely removed. It is not needed for verification, and its absence will facilitate the procedure.

    When positioned correctly, the frame axis is aligned with the chainrings. The gap between the frame and the large sprocket should be no more than 2 mm. Be sure to inspect the switch for a special mark. Some manufacturers put a label, it is much easier to work with it.

    Frequent mistakes preventing front derailleur adjustment

      Friction at speeds 3-1 arises from the diagonal tension of the chain, more related to technical error. This position is not recommended because it will cause premature chain abrasion, stretching and derailleur failure.

    Front Derailleur Adjustment

    Check the switch itself for operability and damage.

    New switch incorrectly selected. When replacing, it is better to compare the purchased part with a sample. There are three types of derailleur: upper or lower cable pull, universal model, and they are also subdivided by the number of teeth. Derailleur from one bike model does not always fit to another!

  • Continuous chain-to-frame friction at almost all speeds occurs when the sprockets are bent or if the derailleur is not parallel. It is quite difficult to determine by eye.
  • If it is difficult to change gears, it is recommended to check the system for dirt. Clogged dust can reduce performance, so it is recommended to wipe the bike after riding.

    It doesn’t matter what brand the front derailleur is, they are adjustable and tuned in the same way. If the first attempt failed, then you definitely do not need to be upset, repeat the procedure, and you will definitely succeed!