How to adjust the speeds on a speed bike

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Test Drive

Bring the tools you used to tune the transmission with you and head to a suitable test drive site. A regular sports stadium with a flat surface is best suited for this. Your goal is a small ride, start at a low speed, and gradually accelerate to test all the gears. During the ride, you can easily identify the weaknesses of the transmission, for example, there are hiccups when shifting from high to low gears, or vice versa. The problem may be in the chain “sticking” when shifting, or even in its “falling off” when trying to change gears. In such cases, there is no need to despair, just a little “twist and tighten”, and your bike will be in perfect condition.

Always remember that a test drive is the most important part of tuning your bike. If you neglect this step, you endanger not only the correct operation of the system and the integrity of the bike, but also your own safety on the road. Believe me, it is better to spend a little time and avoid risks than without the need to “substitute your head”.

How to adjust bike speeds?

adjust, speeds, speed, bike

Preparation in work

From the very beginning, we remember three simple rules:

  • any bicycle maintenance requires preparation;
  • when working with mechanisms, in no case should you rush;
  • if something does not work out for you, pause, and only after the break, return to work.

These rules are simple and straightforward, but only real bicycle masters can complete them to the end. their movements are always accurate, stingy and prudent. Remember that a professional is not someone who has an innate talent, but someone who has made every possible mistake in a very specialized business. Therefore, you should not be afraid of failures, they are part of the training.


Before setting up the transmission, it is imperative to perform the following steps.

  • Remove dirt from the bike. Yes, since you have decided to start working at speeds, it would be nice to wash your bike. this will do a useful job and save your work clothes from unnecessary stains. If you think your bike is clean enough not to be washed, at least clean the chain and derailleurs. Particularly carefully you should get rid of fine sand, which has properties to fill even the smallest gaps, and disable precision mechanisms.
  • Lubricate working elements. After cleaning the chain and switches, you will need to lubricate them. This is done in order to evaluate the operation of the mechanism in conditions as close as possible to real ones. with a full load on the system during the trip.
  • Check the integrity of the cable. The cable itself does not break or break very often, but during operation, bends are often formed on it, tubercles are formed, delamination occurs, and even tears occur. If you continue to use such a cable, then there will be no sense from the transmission. the cable simply will not allow the speeds to switch normally. Therefore, if you find one of the defects, it is better to replace the cable with a new one. it will cost nothing at all, but you will save yourself from a huge number of problems in the future.
  • Check the integrity of the shirts. Inside each shirt there is a silicone insert, if it becomes thinner, torn or in any other way becomes unusable, it needs to be replaced. Shirts also cost very little, but their importance is difficult to overestimate. Therefore, as in the case of the cable, it is better to replace all shirts if there are suspicions about their integrity.
  • Check the condition of the rear derailleur and hinge (brackets). Both of these elements must be intact. In particular, it is worth inspecting the mounting bracket, which is called the “cock”, if it is even slightly bent, it should be replaced, otherwise the metal will burst the next time the rear wheel is tossed on some high bump.
  • Loosen the transmission cable. To adjust the speeds, the cable must be completely loosened; in a taut state, it will not allow correct debugging.
  • Turn the drum all the way in. In this position, it will be most convenient to tune the transmission. you can not specifically check this fact, just wrap the drum.
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That, in fact, is all the preparation for tuning the transmission. Agree, there is a lot to be done, but if all the actions are performed correctly at the preparatory stage, then the adjustment will be easy, simple and “without delays”, and this is the most important thing. Therefore, do not be lazy to carefully inspect all the elements for damage, assess their condition, and only then start work.

First part: setting the reverse speeds

Before describing the disassembly and adjustment process, you need to learn the names of the constituent elements that, when assembled, form the rear derailleur. If there is a problem with one of the elements, then knowing its name, you can get expert advice even by phone. that’s why theory in this matter is so important.

  • Locking nut. secures the cable.
  • Drum. responsible for the tension of the cable.
  • Bottom screw. called Low, which translates as “bottom”.
  • Top screw. called High, which means “top”.
  • Chain tension screw. responsible for the degree of tension of the transmission chain.

So, having decided on the names, and finding all these elements on the rear derailleur, let’s move on to setting them up. It will be carried out in three steps, as well as adjusting the forward speeds, so it is better to remember the sequence from the very beginning.

  • Adjusting the limiters. This stage is very simple: you put the largest star in front, and the smallest one at the back, then rotate the top screw, and then do the opposite. On the contrary, it means. the largest star at the back, the smallest at the front, you need to rotate the lower screw. The purpose of this operation is to make sure that the derailleur rollers are in the same plane with the star.
  • Adjusting the quality of the transfer. When you ride bicycles, you don’t care how the propellers work, the cables communicate and everything else. When changing gears, you want to hear crisp chain travel and smooth gear changes. without hesitation, sticking or bouncing. It is precisely this moment that we will set up: put the smallest sprockets in front and behind, and then turn the adjusting drum in different directions. Depending on where the hitch is observed when changing speeds, the drum must be turned either clockwise or counterclockwise. You will determine the correct position empirically. do not worry, in fact it is much easier than it seems at first glance.
  • Chain angle adjustment. The largest star is at the back, and vice versa at the front. Next, you must rotate the chain tensioning screw. While turning the screw, closely observe the gap between the sprocket and the transfer roller, it should be clearly adjusted, and be approximately three to five millimeters.

Now, half of the work is done. Please note that setting the rear speeds is the first step, that is, you need to start adjusting the transmission from this part of the bike.

How to adjust bike speeds?

The transmission is the most capricious part in any vehicle. If you had the courage to tune the transmission system yourself, then you have decided to seriously connect your life with bicycles. The fact is that after “conquering” this peak, there will hardly be such problems with the bike that you would not be able to handle. Any professional rider will tell you with complete confidence that it is the brakes and transmission that are the most difficult to adjust and tune. And everything else is just a matter of a few tens of minutes of work.

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When starting to adjust the speeds, you need to be prepared for the fact that one of the actions described in the sequential algorithm will cause problems. it does not matter. You just need to go back to the previous step, and very carefully try to figure out what the problem was.

Once you’ve figured out how to set up this intricate system, you can easily adjust your bike‘s gear shifting so that there are no hesitations when changing gears. This will allow you to drive as efficiently as possible, not lose speed when changing sprockets, and get the most out of every trip. So let’s get down to business.

Second step: adjusting forward speeds

Before making the same three-step forward speed adjustment, there are two things to check.

  • Parallelism of the chain frames. If they are not parallel, then it will be necessary to bring them to such a state by all means, otherwise you can forget about the correct setting of the transmission. If you have any difficulties in this moment, it is recommended to contact a professional workshop.
  • The size of the gap between the largest sprocket and the derailer. There is a strict value for it. 2 millimeters. If it is more, decrease, if less, increase. In any case, you need to achieve the reference position of the elements.

So, you have already checked these two points, and are ready to get to work. Well, let’s not hesitate.

  • Low limiter. The smallest star is behind, the largest in front. Next, we disconnect the cable from the derailer and rotate the lower screw. If, as a result of rotation, the chain begins to touch the inner frame, then the setting is incorrect. The correct position is as follows: the chain runs near the inner frame with a minimum clearance, but does not touch it with any of the segments.
  • High-limiter. The same order: a small star in front, a large star in the back. We turn the top screw until we achieve that very “ideal” chain travel, which guarantees a clear and smooth transfer when changing gears. Again, be careful not to let the chain touch the inner frame.
  • Chain angle. It happens, as in the case of the rear row of speeds, by adjusting the drum.

By and large, this setting of the transmission can be considered completely completed, but in fact there is still a lot to be done.

About the rules for working with transmission

  • Only change gears on the move. At rest, the chain will still not change position when the handle is shifted, but excess pressure will be exerted on the transmission, which is absolutely unnecessary.
  • Pick your speed ahead of time. It makes sense to change gear at the very bottom of the ascent and at the very top, before descending, and not do it while overcoming an obstacle. By selecting gears in advance, you save yourself from pedal failures when shifting.
  • Reduce your speed on unpaved roads, especially those with fine sand. This is done so that fine sand does not fall into the sensitive mechanism.
  • Do not skew the chain. If there is a large star in front, then small ones should be used at the back. so the chain will be in the correct position. If the smallest star is in front, then on the back, on the contrary, one of the largest. This is determined empirically, you yourself will understand that the combination of a small star in the front. a small star in the back does not allow you to move normally, and you will no longer use them.

That’s all there is to know about setting up and using your transmission correctly. Be very careful when tuning your bike, be patient, and be prepared to spend a lot of time working.

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Front derailleur adjustment

It should be clarified that you should start adjusting the front derailleur only after this procedure has been completed with the rear. This is because the setting itself is influenced by the position of the bike chain on the cassette. Carefulness and very little patience will be required from the performer. Before making adjustments, it is necessary to lubricate the moving parts, after which you can proceed to the main task. In this case, it is assumed that the actions from the previous instruction are performed, but strictly in the opposite order. Initially, you will need to move the chain to a small star. After releasing the cable, while loosening the screw marked L, you will need to put it on so that the chain is located between the plates. But in this case, it is important that she does not touch the frame. Now it’s worth checking the serviceability of the gears. To do this, move the chain to any other star. You can use the first switch for this. Then, shift the gear to the largest sprocket. If the chain touches the sides of the frame, then move it even further.

Features of adjustment of gear switches

When it is necessary to adjust the speed switches. you do not need to contact repair services at all. It is quite possible to perform this procedure yourself. You just need to familiarize yourself with some aspects.

The nuances of adjusting the rear derailleur

If you are going to make adjustments and adjustments, it is best to initially do a thorough inspection of the switch itself to make sure there are no problems. Failure to do so may cause irreparable damage to the device. Only after you have made sure that everything is in order with the mechanism, you can proceed with the adjustment. To set up the bike derailleur. you should use the instructions offered by experts. Initially, the chain should be shifted to the smallest star. Then you will need to unscrew the screw that fixes the cable. This will allow you to tighten the cable to the desired position. If the switches are still not doing their job well, you will need to tighten the cable more tightly.

How to properly adjust the speed of your bike

Sports bicycles have both their advantages. speed, comfortable and high-quality movement in any terrain (asphalt road, forest trails, mountain ranges, sandy lands), and their disadvantages that need to be able to be corrected. Cyclists, both professionals and beginners, or just lovers of an active lifestyle have at least once faced the problem of changing speeds.

A good and comfortable cycling depends on quick and easy operation of the speed switches. The device of the switches (gears) is rather complicated. But with accurate and consistent execution of the instructions, you can easily and quickly cope with the problems that have arisen on your own. To do this, you just need to have with you only a set of tools for the bike and a desire.