How To Assemble A Derailleur On A Bike

External switch

This switching mechanism is the most common. It is installed on all types of bicycles. In most cases, with the classic gear system (3×8), there are two of these switches on the bike: one on the large stars, the second on the rear.

The principle of operation of external derailleurs (front and rear) is to mechanically throw the chain from one chainring to another. This is due to the direction of the chain with a special frame. Structurally, the front and rear derailleur are different from each other.

This type of switches is reliable, easy to set up and maintain, has low weight and price.

Top Speed ​​Derailleur Manufacturers

The most famous switch manufacturers in the Russian market are Shimano and Sram. Both the first and the second have proven themselves excellent.

For many years there has been a heated discussion among cyclists about which company has the best equipment. So far, no one has won this dispute. Quality, lightness and reliability of derailers are the hallmarks of both companies.

Types of shifters

In the old days, coins were used to feed the cable “approximately” and fixed it by tightening the nut.

Today, the technology has improved somewhat: they began to install ratchets, and the process itself was called index.

Shifters are:

Influenza shift (rotating handle). The cable tension drum in such a Shifter is installed on the steering tube and rotates around this axis. Rotating the drum forward or backward changes the cable tension.

In the center there is an indicator of the set speed, some other models are equipped with a special remote display with an arrow.

Such models have a number of advantages: the integrity of the device, there are superfluous elements, excellent response to any number of gears and physically easy shifting (great for children and women). The main disadvantages of this design are random gear changes and a decrease in the convenience of grips.

Triggers. It is not necessary to turn this shifter, it is equipped with one or two levers for shifting speeds: one for increasing, the other for decreasing. Switches speeds in steps, i.e. Equally pressing the lever. one gear change.

The advantages of this design include: intuitive control over gear shifting, no accidental shifting, as in cases with grips, and no inconvenience of using grips.

To the minus is the fragility of the levers, the problematicness of quick switching to 2-3 gear steps (delayed operation) and Incorrect alignment with the hand brake levers (can interfere with each other).

Dual Control is a development from the Japanese company Shimano. This drive combines two devices: brakes and shifters.

This drive device works in two planes: in the direction of the bicycle’s movement. it works as a brake, and in the perpendicular direction. it controls gear shifting.

Types of speed switches on a bicycle

There are only three types of switching mechanisms, in professional slang. derailers, there are only three speeds, two of which differ fundamentally from each other, and the third is hybrids of the first two.

How to replace and sort out the steering wheel shifters yourself?

What you need to consider when replacing the shifters on the steering wheel, discussed in the previous section, so that the release of the cable corresponds to the shift step on the rear cassette.

To remove the shifter from the handlebars

  • First you need to put the Shifter in the lowest gear.
  • Unscrew the cable plug and disconnect it. bite off the ends from the cable carefully so that the latter is NOT fluffed.

If this still happened, then the tip should be degreased and soldered with a soldering iron.

  • Take the grip off the wheel.
  • Loosen the lever of the shifter and remove it.

Installation of the shifter on the steering wheel is carried out in the reverse order.

If the coin is dismantled for cleaning, then the Shifter should be partially disassembled.

  • To do this, it is enough to remove the Shifter cover by unscrewing the fastening bolts.
  • Unscrew the nut from the drive drum and disconnect the levers.

Do not forget that the structure is equipped with a spring, and before removing the lever, the spring must be relieved.

  • There will be a ratchet drum under the levers.

You should not disassemble further, since this is sufficient for cleaning and lubricating the main components.

Everything is going in the reverse order.

How to choose a speed switch on the steering wheel. tips

Usually, advanced beginners begin to change the switches, adjusting the bike for themselves, or whoever has a bike repaired. And as practice shows, they all face certain problems. after installing new equipment, the switches do not work correctly, or they are NOT configured at all.

Since the switches are, albeit the main one, but part of the whole system, they must fully correspond to it and the price criterion when choosing a device does not really matter here.

When choosing a rear derailer “bike engineer” should consider the following factors:

Switch capacity. This term means with what difference in the number of teeth of the front and rear sprockets the derailer can work, i.e. How long should the chain tensioning foot be in the derailleur.

The capacity is determined in the following way. The difference in the teeth in the chainrings is calculated and added to the difference in the teeth on the rear view cassette.

For example, the front cassette consists of 3 stars, the largest of which has 42 teeth, and the smaller 24. The difference is 18 teeth. Adds to the difference between the rear cassette, which is calculated from 34 and 11 teeth, 23 Total 41 teeth (1823).

Based on this parameter, the choice will be made.

Derailer arm geometry. This parameter cannot be considered without taking into account the characteristics installed on the bike shifters.

Manufacturers, when designing a switch, can lay a different geometry of the shoulder gait (trapezium) of the derailer. And the shifters installed on the bye may NOT correspond to this design. the cable feed will be more or less. Throwing the chain in THESE cases will be incorrect, i.e. She will not fall into the plane of the desired star.

Appointment VELOBIKE. When choosing a switch, you need to know exactly what purpose the bike will be used for. Whether it is a walking or fitness bike, road or touring, cross-country or downhill riding. for each bike specialization Specific switches have been developed with their own specific characteristics.

If for a bike designed for fast riding on rough terrain, “soft” derailer for quiet trips, it will not only fail to switch gears correctly, but will quickly become unusable. For aggressive driving on bumps, a switch is needed that holds the chain tension well, and allows stable gear shifting in conditions of increased chain shaking.

These 3 fundamental parameters should be considered first when choosing a rear derailleur.

When choosing a front derailar, consider:

  • Switch mounting method: using a clamp, on a special platform or on a bike carriage.

The most common way is with a clamp. In this case, one should not forget that bicycle tubes can be of different diameters.

  • Cable feed to switches. Happens on the down and up tube of the bicycle.
  • Switch guide frames also differ depending on the number of views set.
  • Do not forget about such a parameter as chain thickness. Although this parameter is not so critical.

Combination switch

Internal and external switch hybrid giving users a wider range of options.

The control of the gear ratio of such a device is more flexible, since in addition to changing the ratio inside the rear hub of the bike, it is possible to choose the use of rear sprockets of different diameters.

Despite its advantages, such a system is NOT popular among cyclists.

Bicycle shifters: design, types, repair

The gear shifting system on a bicycle has recently appeared in mass production. It was mainly used to make sports bikes.

The vast majority of the population was content with single-speed bicycles. Times go by, and the situation has changed exactly the opposite. Singlespeeds on city streets are becoming a rarity.

Internal switch

Significantly different from the outside. By its outward appearance, it can NOT be detected at all (it looks like a regular brake sleeve). And the fact is that gear shifting does not occur by throwing the chain to another sprocket, but by changing the gear ratio inside this device.

The principle of operation of the internal switch, if you do not go into technical nuances, is similar to the operation of a gearbox in a car.

This switch is very comfortable to ride, and not afraid of aggressive external environment, because Absolutely protected. Also, the advantages of the internal switch can be attributed to its property that you can switch it as you like and whenever you like: from 8th to 1st, from 2nd to 7th, whether the bike is in motion or not. this switch does not care.

Of the minuses of this device, they note the heavy weight, the impossibility of repair and, of course, the price.

ADJUSTMENT and adjustment

Sooner or later, any cyclist begins to notice that the gearshift system emits extraneous sounds, such as crunching, rumbling, etc. It happens that during gear shifting the chain jumps a couple of sprockets or the opposite situation: you cannot switch to the required sprocket. So what’s the deal? You just do NOT have gear shifting configured. So how do you set your bike speeds? Let’s try to figure it out.

The gearshift setting may go astray because you are NOT familiar with the gearshift rules and is not changing gears correctly. Or your gearshift system is simply too dirty and needs to be flushed out. But the reasons are a separate conversation, and we will focus on setting.

We will NOT delve into the nuances of professional tuning. professional cyclists are unlikely to search for speed settings on the network. Therefore, let’s move on to the Quick Course on Speed ​​Tuning:

  • Fix your bike upside down (using a special stand or just put it on the handlebars and seat). The speed setting is carried out using the special bolts on the switch.
  • Now you need to set the chain in the leftmost positions (on the large chainring and small rear). After that, Unscrew the part that serves to fix the cable to completely unhook the cable.
  • Now, tightening one of the bolts on the speed switch, you need to adjust the two gears so that they are opposite one another. You will recognize which torque bolt by the “H” or “High” mark next to it. What does High speed mean?
  • After that, we install the chain in the rightmost positions of both stars (on the largest rear and smallest in front). We again adjust the gears with the second screw, which is marked “L” or “Low”. Putting the stars in one line.
  • Now, you need to install the chain on the middle sprockets in the front and rear and adjust the gear shifting as precisely as possible using a screw, which is called “lambs” and the cable floor is located directly. It must be remembered that our goal is to ensure that the middle gears are opposite one another. Before you start twisting the “lamb”, it is better to perform a test drive, which will give an idea of ​​how difficult it is to switch or, conversely, too easy.
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We put the asterisks one opposite the other, do not worry if there are minor inaccuracies, plus or minus a couple of millimeters does not affect anything: the system does not provide such accuracy. But still, the gear changes will be slightly better if the stars are aligned. For this reason, after a test ride, it will become extremely clear in which exact place you need to do more detailed settings.

CORRECT switching

Correct gear shifting is determined by one main rule, the observance of which is very important. when driving, you need to make sure that the chain does NOT warp. This can happen if the chain is engaged at opposite extreme positions of the chainrings and chainrings. With this arrangement of the chain, it clings to all possible and impossible obstacles, is exposed to uneven loading and wears out much faster.

Here are some tips to help you switch gears correctly:

  • Better not switch gears when driving downhill. The first thing that will happen to you is the loss of your riding rhythm, which will affect your stamina and movement speed, respectively. This is also not worth doing, since when going uphill, the voltage of the chain is already quite high, and if, at the same time, you are engaged in throwing the chain between the stars. Such actions will adversely affect the resource of parts, and, soon, a breakdown may follow. So you need to switch gears before lifting, at the moment of the greatest relaxation of the chain.
  • A huge number of BIKE people rarely use the front derailleur on their bike. Why it happened so is difficult to answer, but, nevertheless, it is a fact. It is much more efficient to use forward gear when driving on a sloping road. One shift on the chainrings, in this case, will have more effect than two or three changes on the rear. Just put the chain in the back on the middle sprocket and switch in front of them.
  • When a fairly serious descent is planned on your way, then, again, perform gear changes before starting to go down. This is due to the fact that when the process of driving downward begins, it is better not to be distracted from the brakes, and you will need to follow the road especially carefully, because falling on the descent is an unpleasant thing.
  • Gear shifting should be smooth. There should be no rumbling, grinding, knocking and other extraneous sounds. If you follow this, then the gearshift system will serve you for a much longer time.

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, complete 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 that has the “H” mark on it. Using a screwdriver, you need to adjust this screw so that the smallest star lies in the same plane with the rollers, which are located in quotes (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 foot (frame) and the star are in the same plane. in this case, it will not be possible to get into the spokes of the front wheel.


However, the shifter is a kind of “heart” of the transmission system and, for the most part, it is he who is responsible for the quality of gear shifting. Today, a limited number of companies are involved in the production of high-quality derailleurs, and the most popular among them is the Japanese giant. Shimano.

For the convenience of customers, all Shimano derailleurs are divided into groups. Let’s dwell on each of them in order:

  • Shimano Tourney is the easiest derailleur for beginners. They are distinguished by their low cost and high reliability. Bicycles equipped with components of this class are designed for leisurely ride on the track or on densely packed soil. This Shimano derailleur cell needs constant adjustment and starts to malfunction if too much dirt gets on it. Fits Shimano 2300 Road Group.
  • Shimano Altus / Acera is also the entry-level equipment. But Acera derailleurs are already installed on bicycles designed for use in sand and mud, naturally only at the amateur level. For those people who, for whatever reason, cannot purchase more expensive options and ride both on the ground and on the asphalt, this type of Shimano derailleur will suit perfectly. Fits Shimano Sora Road Group.
  • Shimano Alivio. This group of equipment is something in between, it can not yet be called professional, but it is no longer amateur. Equipped with Alivio derailleurs, the bikes are great for both the trailblazer and the cycling adventurer. This Shimano derailleur group is reliable and unpretentious. The price-performance ratio in this group of switches is implemented most successfully. Fits Shimano Tiagra Road Group.
  • Shimano Deore is a professional line of derailleurs, but if you look at things soberly, the differences from the Alivio are not that great. All that changes is the indicators of lightness and reliability, they get a little better, but the price increases significantly. Fits Shimano 105 Road Group.
  • Shimano Deore SLX and XT are lightweight and reliable professional equipment. The reliability of the Deore SLX / XT derailleurs is reflected in the cost: the price of the Shimano Alivio rear derailleur is about 45 and the Deore costs from 90 to 110 Ideal for professional athletes to train every day. Fits road groups. Shimano Ultegra and Ultegra Di2.
  • Shimano Deore XTR is the Highest Category Racing Equipment. NOT afraid of any stress. Extremely expensive. Fits Shimano Dura-Ace Road Group.

Shimano makes derailleurs not only for mountain and road bikes. There are many derailleurs available for touring, city and adventure bikes. But we do not consider them, since these bicycles are NOT popular in the CIS.

How to adjust the rear derailleur on a bike


You need to adjust the forward speeds in about the same way, there is nothing difficult there, and you can figure it out at the level of intuition, therefore, we will consider only some points. The chain moves along the front sprocket with a stop made of metal, which can be adjusted with two bolts. The principle is the same, so, as mentioned earlier, there is nothing complicated about it. And, again, so that it does not suffer with the setting again, switch the speeds correctly, as described above.

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.

Things to remember:

  • Speed ​​selector (throw). This is a transmission element that is responsible for shifting gears. If there is a rear throw, then it also acts as a support for the bicycle chain tension. You can describe the transfer (back and front) 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 cable tension level rises, 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 on 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 model is old, then a ratchet is used instead of a drum in the rear hub.
  • Cock. It is a metal part that helps to 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 the transfer is already attached to this metal part. When a blow occurs, it is this very cock that breaks, and the frame and the gearshift (transfer) 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 together.

Why is there a violation of gear shifting

To understand what action should be taken to adjust gear shifting, you need to understand what causes may lead to the problem in question. Experts identify several such predisposing factors:

  • Rooster deformation;
  • Stretching the rope;
  • Deformation of the speed switch;
  • Incorrectly working return spring.

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, complete 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 that has the “H” mark on it. Using a screwdriver, you need to adjust this screw so that the smallest star lies in the same plane with the rollers, which are located in quotes (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 foot (frame) and the star are in the same plane. in this case, it will not be possible to get into the spokes of the front wheel.

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.

How to fix defects

The speed switch will work perfectly and the bike itself will be with a new (or not very old) cable, with absolutely intact shirt (and NOT dry!) ​​AND NOT deformed (or in a small volume) stars and chain.

If the cable is just stretched, then you just need to pull it up. But if the cable breaks, then you cannot do without replacing this element. The process of replacing the cable is not difficult, the main thing is to strictly adhere to the recommendations of specialists:

  • Unscrew the cable fixing screw, which is located for transfer;
  • Pull the cable out of the shirts;
  • If necessary, disassemble the shifter and pull the cable out of it;
  • A new cable must be inserted into a special groove in the shifter, and it is the metal tip of the cable that must enter into the groove;
  • Lubricate the entire cable with a special grease, it is not necessary to spare the consumable;
  • The cable will pass through the shirts;
  • On the frame there are special grooves in which shirts are tucked;
  • At the front, fasten the cable with a screw.
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In case of poor gear shifting, pay attention to the return spring. it must be clean and lubricated. To achieve this, you just need to rinse the spring under running water, dry it completely and lubricate it thoroughly.

If the rear derailleur frame is crooked, then this can only mean one thing. the cock is bent. If this is not critical, then you can correct the rooster with your hands. you need to take the rear switch in your hand, which is fixed on the rooster, and with the other hand hold the frame. Slowly pull out the problematic transmission element (rooster) until relatively level.

Note: this “repair” of the cock is a temporary solution to the problem of shifting gears. The fact is that the rooster is a consumable, which needs to be changed on time, and not constantly repaired / pulled.

In some cases, the bike owner Pays attention to the deformed rear derailleur (the front derailleur is extremely rarely damaged by impact). it can also be returned to its original position with the help of hands. But if the rear derailleur is deformed too much, then it is advisable to replace it.

Note: after performing specific manipulations to repair bent / deformed parts, do not use the bike for too long. this may end in a fall, another breakdown at the most inopportune moments. And in some cases, such carelessness can lead to a traffic accident.!

How to adjust the front derailleur

There is also a clear and simple step-by-step guide for adjusting the front derailleur:

  • Shift the chain to a smaller star.
  • Unscrew the fixing screw and release the cable.
  • We find the screw marked “L”, with its help we adjust the position of the frame so that the chain is between the plates of the frame, but at the same time does NOT touch them.
  • We stretch the cable, fix it with a screw.
  • Now we move the chain in the cassette to a smaller sprocket. it is convenient to do this using the rear derailleur.
  • In front of it, with the switch, move the chain to the middle star and look. if the chain on the second one touches the outer side of the frame everywhere, then you need to increase the tension of the cable using the drum located on the left shifter.
  • Shift the gear to the largest sprocket in the cassette and check. if the chain touches the frame walls, you need to move the last element so that the chain is in the middle. This manipulation can be done using a screw marked “H”.

Front derailleur

The front derailleur usually has more travel and requires less adjustment, so they usually start with that. In addition, the readjustment here requires less precision and is easier to repeat, after the rear.


The first step is to check the liner:

  • Checking the cable (it must be properly closed with a jacket, it must be easy to pull and respond to the operation of the shifters).
  • Checking the shirts (on the surface of both the cable and shirts there should be no serious damage or obvious bends, as they will result in blocking of switching in one way or another).
  • Connection (the cable must be wound and clamped in the receiver without protruding burrs and sagging places).

The second step is to install and secure the switches. This is necessary if the switch is being adjusted after it has had to be repaired or changed.
The third step is threading the chain. Before fastening the switches (the circuit must be threaded into them) or, conversely, after fastening (the circuit is closed already on the installed devices).

We check all the liners and fasteners, after which we proceed to set up.

Height adjustment

The very first thing to check on the front frame is its height. During installation, inaccuracies often occur when the switch is too far from the stars, or when it touches them. The mechanisms are imperfect and the purpose of the height adjustment is to properly adjust the frame (about 2-3 millimeters above the large star). After installation. check the distance, turned the system with the attached chain.


Actually, this is what is usually called “switch adjustment”. this is working with High and Low limiters. The point is to prevent the chain from dropping off the stars at the extreme positions. This setting is done simultaneously on the front and rear sprockets with the (ideally) disconnected cable. THOSE. First, adjustment is made, and only then a cable is wound under the screw and pressed. This increases accuracy and eliminates tensioning effects that might interfere with work.

How To Assemble A Derailleur On A Bike

What do you need to know? Each switch has two adjustment screws, usually marked with two letters:

  • H. high or hard. “high”, the position of the chain on the largest star in front and the smallest in the back;
  • L. low or light. “low”, position on the smallest chain in front and the largest. in the back.

The purpose of the adjustment is to set the chain on the corresponding stars, rotate the corresponding bolts with a screwdriver until the chain is parallel to the frames and, accordingly, with the correct installation of the mechanism itself, parallel to the plane of the wheel and the stars. Additional conditions:

  • The chain is not obliged to rally when switching to the outermost sprocket.
  • The frame or chain must NOT touch the frame either.
  • The chain does not have to “cross” into the speed switch.

After adjustment, the entire mechanism should be assembled and checked for correct operation. All transitions Must be clear so that the chain does NOT sag or touch the frame or frames. Disadvantages identified in this “test drive” require a serious approach, because they can speak not only of Incorrect tuning, but also of other problems in the bike, and it is better to fix it right away, and not expect serious damage.


Speed ​​switches are one of the most complex in terms of design, but relatively unloaded in terms of tooling elements of a bicycle. In order to set everything up, you only need a few things:

  • Screwdriver;
  • Pliers;
  • Key 9 or a set of hexagons (depending on the manufacturer);
  • Replaceable cables and shirts (if replacement is needed).

On planetary bushings

Gear shifting in planetary hubs is completely different from the usual described mechanism, but also requires periodic adjustment. To change gears, a “pusher”. a small element resembling a chain that connects the shift mechanism inside the hub with a cable. responds to the planetary gear.

In order to adjust everything well, it is necessary to find a slot on the pusher (the connection point of the rigid and movable part of the device) and align it with the wheel axis at the penultimate speed (for this, special viewing windows are usually provided). The setup steps are as follows:

  • We set the penultimate speed: 2 for a three-speed hub, 3 for a four-speed.
  • We remove the boot or other protection of the connection point of the cable to the pusher.
  • We release the pusher and find the Necessary point, tracing through the viewing window the coincidence of the slot and the wheel axis.
  • We tighten the cable with the screw, aligning the pusher.
  • Close protection.

It is difficult to make any other shift setting for the planetary hub on your own. You will need to completely disassemble all the mechanisms, which is quite problematic at home.

How to properly adjust the derailleur on a bike?

Before proceeding to setting the speed switch, you should understand its place in the entire drive mechanism and general settings, because, in addition to setting, the switch must be correctly installed, the correct switching system must be suitable for it, and the chain must fit the stars. Problems with the switching system are not always caused by an incorrect setting, but with a poor installation or an erroneous selection of a combination of elements. In addition, by mistake, elements that do not fit together may be placed on the bike.

Rear derailleur

Initial checks on a rear bicycle derailleur begin with the mechanism. More complex than the front, it can hide more problems in itself than can be corrected with a tweak:

  • The rooster is a special mount, and, being usually a separate part from the frame, the rooster is damaged by falling and even serious loads, therefore it is very important to check its parallelism to the frame and, in general, its integrity.
  • Recoil spring. its defects are often perceived as problems with the cable jacket, as they look the same: switching to loosening the cable becomes problematic. Springs are usually changed along with the entire device.
  • The cable feed is a secondary test, on many derailleurs, especially budget Shimano, the cable runs into the rear derailleur from the back, creating a kind of “loop”. It is on it that damage usually appears, since this point is easy to damage when falling or driving on the grass.

Angle adjustment

The second problem is both installation and configuration. The entire device must be parallel to the stars of the common frame axis. This is determined by special devices or by checking the parallelism by eye: just bring the bike to the line of sight so that one of the edges of the wheel, hub or other landmark is on the same line and becomes “invisible”, and we check if our chain or frame diverges.

In case of serious deviations, we work with the installation of the switch, you may even have to remove the device, with small ones. with special adjustment screws, if there are any on our model.

Types of shifters, their differences

Initially, bicycle shifters worked on the principle of sliding a cable and fixing the cable with a nut. Here, the transfer was determined by the tension on the shifter body, approximately as described above. Later, ratchets were installed in them, and the method of changing the position of the cable is called index.

Modern bicycle models are equipped with several types of drive mechanisms:

  • Gripshift;
  • Triggers;
  • Brake. Dual control;
  • Pistols.

Gripper shifters change the cable tension by moving the drum around the steering wheel axis. The movement is carried out back and forth, in the center there is a pointer along which the gear is set. Other models can be equipped with an arrow display.

The advantages of THESE shifters include the geometric integrity of the devices, the absence of protruding parts and Instant actuation when the drum moves. It is noted that the grips are easy to operate.

Among the disadvantages is:

  • Random switching;
  • Takes up a lot of steering wheel space;
  • The swing mechanism of budget models breaks easily.

Triggers are the second most common type of shifters, where shifting is carried out by protruding levers: tension and release. The first upshifts, the second downs. The front and rear shifters work opposite to each other: the front up lever is the rear down lever, and vice versa.

Benefits of triggers:

  • Clear operating principle;
  • Levers are light to the touch and do not distract from control;
  • There is a risk of accidental switching like with grips. hands on grips DO NOT touch the shifters.
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Of course, there are disadvantages, taking into account which grips are better than triggers:

  • If the bike falls, the levers may break;
  • Tight pulling of the cable with fast transfer through 2-3 gears, which causes a delay in switching;
  • Incorrect alignment with the brake claws (however, this is more of a “joint” of the bicycle manufacturer than shifters).

Triggers come in several flavors:

  • Lever and button above the steering wheel (Ez-Fire Plus). budget “Shymanov” models;
  • With steering column placement of levers (Rapidfire). Shimano high class;
  • Trigger: SRAM single lever shifters, new SRAM models with lever and button.

Dual Control, or brake shifters, are activated by moving the brake lever in a perpendicular direction. The novelty was presented by Shimano. Compared with the previous types, drive units of this type are used in narrow circles and are installed on expensive foreign models.

Dual Control does NOT interfere with the bike‘s control even when the grip is moved. Also of great interest is their design, where the brake claw has two degrees of freedom. We can say that shifters of this type are integrated into the brakes. Along with this, there are a number of serious disadvantages:

  • Cannot be installed on hydraulics;
  • Poor rear derailleur compatibility;
  • Are put only “from scratch”.

Pistols. shifters specifically for racing bikes. Their design is similar to Dual Control in that the gearshift mechanism and brake actuator are integrated and controlled by a single lever. To brake, you need to pull the lever back to increase the transmission inward, and to lower it, press the auxiliary lever under the claws.

The weight, the advantage of this mechanism is the ease of control in any grip, the disadvantages are the high price and low braking force.

What are shifters, and how are they arranged

Shifters are gear shifters that are attached to the handlebars of a bicycle. Modern high-speed bikes are 90% equipped with two shift systems. front and rear. respectively, each equipped with its own shifter. On the left handlebar is the drive mechanism for the front derailleur, on the right for the rear.

In the classic 3 X 8 gearshift system, there are 2-3 rear sprockets for each chainring. By analogy, one division of the left shifter includes 2-3 divisions of the right. Bikes with Single Shifter (rear cassette only) or Planetary Hubs have one shifter on the right hand side of the handlebars.

The professional name for THESE devices is shifters. Their internal structure is quite simple, it includes several associated parts:

  • Drive handle;
  • Movable block;
  • Winding;
  • Free lever;
  • Shift cable;
  • Spring ratchet retainer.

The handle, which is operated by the cyclist, causes the position of the free arm to change. That, in turn, moves the block on which the gearshift cable is wound or unwound. The spring retainer serves to secure the position of the cable to the drum unit and does not allow the switch to independently throw the chain.

Thus, by changing the tension of the cable on the block, the corresponding gear is set. It is extremely important that the Shifter mechanism is debugged, and one division on the shifter exactly corresponds to the chain throw by exactly one sprocket. If the shifter works properly, but the gear does not shift or skips two or three, then you need to adjust the speed switch.

What are the best bike shifters

Every owner of a high-speed bike knows what a bicycle shifter is. These devices are directly involved in gear shifting, with their help the cyclist easily and simply controls the transfer of the chain through the cassette stars. The detail is small, but it depends on its state whether the bike will be high-speed, as it should be, or will “get stuck” in one gear.

How to replace and sort out the shifters on your bike yourself

Sooner or later, the Shifter may stop working correctly or even refuse to serve further. Pulling or loosening the cable may NOT solve the problem, so the old mechanism will need to be replaced.

New shifters are assembled together with a cable, so you can assemble them from scratch” not necessary. All operations are reduced to the removal of the old part, the installation of a new and mandatory adjustment of the switches.

How to change shifters:

  • Removing the grips from the bicycle handlebars. They are often thicker than the grip of the shifter yokes and will interfere with removal.
  • Disconnect the gearshift cables from the derailers.
  • Loosen the mounting bolts and remove the shifters from the steering wheel.

After that, you can put new parts on the bike:

  • Secure the shifters to the handlebars. DO NOT move the brake levers during operation.
  • Gently thread the cables through the frame to the switches.
  • Connect new cables.
  • Adjust switches, test new shifters. The setting must be carried out when both cables are attached to the switch.

If the shifters do not work very well, they jam on shifting, you can use the alternative option. bulkhead, cleaning and lubrication. In the event of a malfunctioning part, you can put it from a similar model, then this is a Shifter repair. In any case, you will have to disassemble it, and how to do this, we will find out further.

Bulkhead and repair on the example of Shimano-Shifter:
1. Unscrew the bolt of the lower cover, pull it out.

2. Remove the top cover, which contains the speed indicator.

3. We get to the ratchet mechanism with dogs. Common problems, which can be: entry of antennae, dirt or lack of lubrication. In the first case, further disassembly makes sense if you insert a new washer from the Usyk from another shifter.

4. Unscrew the central nut.

5. We take out the pressure piece and levers.

6. Unscrew the screw that holds the case.

7. Remove the case, take out the ratchet mechanism with a cable.

8. Separate the ratchet from the plastic washer.

9. There is a pull-up dog on the body near the cable fixing, it should not be disassembled, since it will be quite difficult to assemble.

10. Separating the levers: prying the springs at the junction of the levers with narrow pincers.

11. Carefully wipe and lubricate all parts of the shifting mechanism. Installation is in the reverse order.

This is how the shifter is repaired using an example. The most important thing in work is to keep all the details separately from each other in the field of view.


So, in this article we learned how the bicycle shifters are arranged and work, what types they are divided into, their pros and cons. Changing the shifters yourself to new ones will NOT be difficult, disassembly should also not cause any difficulties.

Rear derailleur play

Move the rear derailleur towards you, away from you, keeping where the cable enters. 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.

In order not to allow breakdowns, you need to be able to switch gears correctly.

What it all depends on and what to do

Starter bikes are equipped with the cheapest transmission, and the gears on them are poorly shifted and jammed. An experienced cyclist can quickly determine the drivetrain level. The point is that its disordered work is not always associated with the class, but more depends on the setting and state. Let’s try to list most of the factors causing such problems.

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

The main reasons for inaccurate switching:

  • The transfer cable is torn, stretched, or 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.

Cables and shirts

This problem occurs most often in novice cyclists. It is enough to click the shifter or even remove the cable from the shirt and inspect it for contamination. In addition, the cable can be unwound somewhere, which will significantly negatively affect shifting.

Bent cock

It sometimes happens that a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur doesn’t work well 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 place it on the table.

If it is a little curved, then you need to bend. Do not overdo it, aluminum can give microcracks. How exactly it is bent. 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 rule with a special machine that takes into account even the asymmetry of the dropouts.

Deformed rear derailleur bracket

There are times when a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur malfunctions despite new cables and shirts. The reason may be that the bike was caught somewhere during transport and the bracket bent slightly. If it is not possible to establish a clear gear shifting, then it is worth removing the cock and putting it on the table. Crooked? You need to fix it. But it is important NOT to overdo it as aluminum cracks.

DO NOT switch speeds on the bike

Main page → Riding → Repair and maintenance → DO NOT switch speeds on the bike

The transmission components must always be kept in good condition, lubricate the chain in a timely manner, adjust the switches and have identified faults. As you wind up kilometers on the bike, individual parts wear out, and if maintenance is NOT done on time, the part may become unusable altogether. In our article we will look at the most treat the problem that is associated with speed derailleurs.

How to switch gears correctly?

By the way, we recommend:

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:

  • Switching speeds is possible only in motion, that is, while pedaling.
  • For correct and smooth shifting when shifting gears, it is necessary to reduce the load on the pedals.
  • Switching speeds should occur sequentially, it is not necessary to jump over several speeds at once.
  • When going uphill, you should not throw the chain between the chainrings, but between the rear stars it is quite acceptable. If there is a slide in front, it is better to switch the speed before you enter it.
  • If, after switching the speeds, extraneous sounds are heard, it means that the switching did not happen and it is necessary to press the Shifter lever.

If the fault diagnosis and adjustment is carried out correctly, in accordance with the algorithm, it lasts for a long time. Often, in practice, it is limited to setting the rear derailleur. Timely elimination of violations in the system will allow the transmission to last a long time without failures. To reduce the wear rate, it is necessary to use the speed system correctly.