How to properly fasten a bike with a cable

Table of Contents

Choosing a bike lock

It would seem like a small detail. Why choose it carefully? But she is literally responsible for who will use your bike. And worries about the safety of your favorite bike are characteristic of every cyclist.

Locks for every taste, color and wallet are presented on the market today, but if your bike is really dear to you, then you should understand their characteristics before buying. To do this, it is necessary to compare them both in terms of reliability and ease of use.

Castle selection

The issue of convenience is especially acute for those who move around the city a lot or ride a bike to work. It is known that the creation of bicycle parking in our country is little studied, and the available parking facilities leave much to be desired. Therefore, fences, trees, lanterns, and even elements of buildings, for example, columns, become the most frequent places of bicycle “parking”. Therefore, when choosing a bike lock, it is so important to pay attention to the length of the loop.

But in order to ensure the bike’s true safety, it is also worth carefully evaluating parameters such as the thickness of the cable or chain, the type of lock and the material from which the device is made.

Combination bike lock and key

Locks can have a conventional key mechanism or a combination lock. In terms of reliability, they are approximately identical to each other. You should choose based on what is more convenient for you. to carry the key with you or keep the code in memory. An important factor when choosing a lock is also the presence of fasteners that allow you to carry this rather bulky item with you.

Types of bike locks

U or D lock

Definitely the most reliable bike lock option. Even a compact folding bike can be chained with this lock. The lock does not lend itself to sawing or biting; it is also difficult to open it with a master key. A desperate burglar will spend a lot of time on him, but will not get the result.

However, the disadvantage of the U-shaped lock is the small possibility of coverage. You may be faced with a dilemma: what to fasten. the frame or the wheel. In the first option, you run the risk of being left without wheels, in the second. with only one wheel. It is already difficult for an object with a larger diameter than a fence post. The ideal option (if possible) is to thread the lock through the rear wheel so that it covers the frame at the same time.

When buying a U-shaped lock, you should also remember two things: first. it has a lot of weight and you need to think about how you will carry it with you, second. the metal of the lock can be different, the choice should be made in favor of burglar-proof alloys, this is the only way the lock can provide the bike with proper protection.

Bicycle lock with chain

There are many chain locks available, but their protective properties can vary greatly. In most cases, quality is directly related to cost. An ordinary iron chain will protect only from a child who does not have any tool with him. For a person who is purposefully trying to steal a bike, it will not be a problem.

Another thing is a chain made of an improved alloy. It will cost significantly more, but in addition to a strong alloy, expensive chains can also have a special shape of the links that makes it difficult to break. Plus. a good chain will never scratch the paint on the frame because it’s covered in cloth or plastic. It is also necessary to think about the reliability of the castle. Be sure to pay attention to it when buying, this will avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.

The length of the chain locks can be different, but usually it is enough to easily fasten the bike to the frame and wheel to any stationary object without much difficulty. The only drawback is the heavy weight. Get ready for the fact that you constantly have to carry an extra kilogram and a half with you.

Bicycle lock with cable

It resembles a lock with a chain, but has a number of differences. Firstly, it is lighter and more compact. Especially if you choose a spiral cable that stretches to the required length and is convenient for storage and transportation; with such a lock, you can even fix the amartization fork, since the device of the front fork of the bicycle allows you to do this, but I do not recommend doing this.

By the way, we recommend:

Second, the cable lock offers a wider variety of locking devices. It can be an ordinary padlock put on the loops formed at the ends of the cable, or it can be a special mechanism mounted directly into the cable. The disadvantage of locks with a cable. you can bite them with reinforcing scissors, especially if they are of small diameter.

Therefore, a lock with a cable can be recommended for fixing the wheels to the frame. its length allows it freely, and you should not rely on it as the only means of protection against theft.

Plate bicycle lock

Lightweight and small in size, the plate lock only allows you to attach the bike frame. The steel plates from which it is made, unfortunately, can hardly withstand a burglar armed with a special tool.

In addition, the lock can crumble even in your hands (break in the place where the plates are fastened) if you apply sufficient force to it. Another disadvantage is the ability to mount in only one plane.

Wheel lock

Convenient to use, but completely useless as the only defense. The mechanism of its action is simple: it is attached to the frame and with its free end it fastens the wheel rim, preventing it from turning. It is impossible to fasten the bike to anything with such a lock, except that you do not let the intruder leave on it, but force him to carry the bike on him.

Which anti-theft lock is better?

Having considered all types of locks, we come to a logical conclusion that appears to everyone who is faced with the question of choosing a lock in practice: if you want reliability, take two locks at once. One should secure the bike to a fixed support (using a U-lock or a strong chain is best for this), and the other should wrap around both wheels and frame (cable is best). And don’t be afraid to sound paranoid: the element of psychological influence can work on a potential thief. He just doesn’t want to fiddle with a bike hung with restraints.

But even with the most reliable locks, you cannot be one hundred percent sure of the safety of the bike. Therefore, remember a few measures in case of theft.

First, stock up on a photo of the bike so that you can clearly demonstrate to the guards what exactly they should be looking for. Second, write down and save the frame number (you can see it under the carriage, turning the bike over), always keep the documents issued upon purchase. And the third little trick is to put a note with your data inside the steering wheel. If a lost bike is found, it will serve as further proof that the owner is you.

Well, the most important rule for the safety of a bicycle is never, under any circumstances, leave it unfastened. Even for a minute.

The text was prepared by Roman Borisov. Published: May 29, 2020. Categories: Choice.

  • Tags:
  • accessories
  • safety
  • wheels
  • material
  • frame

How to properly fasten a bike with a lock?

Reading time: 14 minutes

Hopefully you’ve already read about the different types of bike locks. And maybe you have an idea which lock will suit you best. But it’s not always about the castle. You should also know how to fasten your bike correctly and how to properly attach a lock to your bike! No matter how you use your lock, if you don’t use it correctly, your bike will be stolen.

over, it is worth thinking about how you are going to store and how to properly park the bike. This can help you choose the right lock. There are different ways to secure your bike and there are many different ways to lock your bike.

You also need to mention where you fix your bike, because that is very important too. There are 3 main places: on the street, at home, and possibly at work.

properly, fasten, bike, cable

Stitching your bike on the street

Although more than 50% of stolen bicycles are stolen from home, your bike is at great risk of being outside. A badly fastened bike will disappear very quickly. Consider carefully where you will attach your bike. Even if for a suitable place you have to walk a decent distance along the street and be able to properly attach the bike, then it is better to do just that.

When planning to leave your bike on the street, you should always evaluate the environment and understand how likely it is to steal a bike in a particular area. However, there are some generally accepted ways that we can follow.

Choose a place where many other bikes are already parked and you will immediately understand how to hook the bike to the frame in the parking lot. The best way to do this is in the middle of the parking lot, not around the edges. This method is advantageous for three reasons. First, there will definitely be a bike that is worse fastened, and therefore more tempting to a thief than your well-locked bike. Secondly, having many bicycles in one place will give the thief less room to maneuver and hinder the efficient use of his tools. And thirdly, in most cases, ordinary passers-by will not pay attention to the actions of the thief during the theft, and will most likely pass by. In places where many bicycles are strapped at once, the concentration of caring cyclists is very high. Therefore, it will give the hijacker additional doubts.

The bike will be safe only if the object to which it is fastened is also secure. So make sure you can choose a fixed, stationary object that is difficult to break. Make sure that the bike cannot be lifted over the top of the object to which you strapped it. Or that this object cannot be easily unscrewed or disassembled. Avoid trees, aluminum structures, or wooden posts. If you are opting for metal railings, try using as many beams as possible to secure the lock. The best option for such an object is specially designed bicycle parking, firmly bolted to the ground.

How to properly fasten your bike

There are several ways to secure your bike. Which one to choose depends on several parameters: the price of your bike, the quality of the castle and the parking space. However, there are always certain rules to follow.

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Always block the frame to stationary objects. If you only secure the wheel, the thief will simply unscrew it and walk away with your frame. This may sound obvious, but this is the most common mistake.

Try to keep the lock away from the ground or catching the top tube of the bike. If your lock is close to the ground, it becomes more vulnerable to the bolt cutter, where the ground will provide additional support for the lever. If you attach the lock around the top tube of the bike, the thief can use the frame to try to break the lock by lifting and turning the entire bike. Ideally, the lock should secure the downtube or seat tube.

Try to make the lock the most difficult to access. Try to position it so that the keyhole is facing downward. This will make it more difficult for a thief to reach.

If you are using a U-lock, try using it as much of the frame tubes as possible and grab as much of the parking space as possible. The most common part of the hack is the bolt socket where the bracket is inserted. The less space you leave in the bracket, the less chance of breaking that lock.

Four ways to block your bike on the street

Here are four popular ways to lock your bike out of the way. Which one suits you best will be clear given the high cost of your bike and your lock.

Two locks

The safest way to lock your bike with two padlocks to a parking lot firmly in the ground. The first lock should go around the rear wheel, frame and parking. The second one should go around the front wheel, frame and parking lot in order to secure all parts of the bike. It is best to use two different lock types, this will force the thief to use 2 different toolboxes for each lock.

With one lock and chain

A good option is to combine a chain lock and a U-lock. If you lock your bike in the same place every day, there is a good piece of advice: you can leave a heavy and massive chain strapped in the parking spot, and carry a not very heavy U-lock with you. The disadvantage of this method is that your castle is always available to the thief, and he has the opportunity to train hacking. So be careful! Try to attach the chain so that it does not touch the ground.

With one lock and cable

Another very popular method is to use one good lock and cable. Attach a U-lock or chain around the rear wheel, frame and bike rack as described above. Then pull one end of the cable through the front wheel, passing through the first loop, the second loop, and secure with the main lock. The problem with this method is that the cable is the only protection for the front wheel. Since all cables can be cut, they offer virtually no protection. However, many people think that visual and psychological factors are constraining and a cable will suffice.

The Sheldon method

Sheldon Brown, a renowned cycling expert, suggests locking only the rear wheel of the bike to the rack using a U-lock threading it through the rear triangle of the frame. He claims that with this method, you do not need to fix the frame to the bike parking, and the wheel cannot be pulled out due to the U-lock.

One of the advantages of this method is that you keep the rear wheel and frame with one lightweight lock. However, this technique will not be safe on expensive bicycles. This method from the outside seems unreliable and will attract a potential thief. At the same time, when trying to remove the lock, there is a high probability that the thief will damage the bike. This method is suitable for short-term parking or if there is no other way to fasten your bike.

Following these simple rules will keep your bike safe.

How to properly fasten your bike

Vehicle hijacking is not such a rare occurrence. Nobody is immune to theft. If you know the simple rules for parking and storing your bike correctly, it will be difficult to do this. The risk of theft will be minimal how to properly fasten your bike.

Tips to help protect your bike from theft

Let’s get acquainted with general tips:

  • Always secure your bike, even if you walk away for a while.
  • Always make sure the strut is sturdy and well-secured when attaching your vehicle.
  • You cannot leave vehicles unattended in crowded places. at train stations, markets, near large hypermarkets “Lenta”, “Karusel”.
  • If a person rides a bicycle to work, study, you need to agree to leave him in a protected area.
  • Statistics show that out of 150 cases of theft, 73 were committed in doorways. Therefore, it is better not to park your vehicles there.
  • Additionally, secure yourself and, in addition to locks, secure the bike with a rope.
  • Rewrite the bike number. It is located under the carriage assembly. When stolen, the police will find him faster.
  • Choose a parking area with cameras installed and good lighting.
  • You can not give a ride to strangers. Thieves can use any method to steal a thing.
  • Sometimes such a solution helps against theft. to set the bike to the lowest gear. When the thief has already stolen it, then it will not work quickly to escape. It will take time to sort out the switch. The owner will be able to catch up with him.
  • Recommend to decorate the vehicle. The brighter the vehicle, the faster you can find it.

Bicycle locks

No matter how long you leave, wherever you park your vehicle, the first thing to do is to fasten it. The lock must be the first item in your luggage.

Better to buy 2-3 different types of bike locks. Thieves can deal with one, while others are difficult to hack. Install the code and attach the bike frame to the selected location.

Purchase a quality U-lock made from hardened steel. To cut it off, you need expensive hydraulic shears.

Interesting: Research on showed that, on average, a thief takes 3 minutes to steal a bike. Then he runs away if it was not possible to open the defense. It is impossible to pick a good lock during this time.

It is recommended to secure transport with a lock at different places. If it is only fastened behind the steering wheel or wheel, then the owner can only be left with these parts. Use the chain to secure the frame, hold the wheel with the rope. Then it will be more difficult and longer to hijack vehicles.

If the front wheel comes off, then clip it together with the front. Only then fasten them with a lock to a reliable solid support. If you cannot remove it, then connect it to the frame, and it to the latch.

If the owner leaves the vehicle all night, day, then, in addition to installing reliable locks, it is recommended to take other protective measures. hang “rattles” or purchase special bicycle locks with built-in alarm. In case of theft, the person will hear that the vehicle is being driven.

Not all locks are created equal. Many cyclists buy inexpensive, thin cables with a coded lock. But it’s easy to snack on. it won’t provide good protection.

The best option is to purchase a chain lock. The chain is much more difficult to cut without attracting the attention of strangers. It weighs more than a cable. 1 meter more than 1 kg.

Fastening your bike securely so that it doesn’t get stolen is not so difficult. Get some good locks, install them on different parts, set up an alarm. The safest place to store your bike is in the hallway or balcony. Only then can you be calm and confident that no one will steal transport.

How to adjust gear shifting on a bicycle. Road Switches

Shimano also make SORA and TIAGRA road derailleurs. Speaking of shifters, it’s also worth touching on the shifters (the shifters on the handlebars). On children’s and budget bicycles, revolving shifters are often installed, the shifting of which is carried out by a simple rotation like the throttle on a motorcycle. The advantage of such shifters is that they have a low cost and you can quickly switch to several gears with one rotation of the brush

The downside is that it is difficult to switch to a certain gear, and there is a possibility of accidentally switching, inadvertently taking the wheel. Therefore, the most common are trigger shifters.

It is very easy to change gears with such shifters. The two levers are under the index and thumb on Shimano, and both under the thumb on the Sram. Once you’ve ridden a bike with this shifting system, you’ll instantly know which lever is down and which is up. In addition, on road bikes there are switches on the frame, as well as combined with a brake lever.

Gear selection

There is no unambiguous answer to the question: “Which gear to choose?” It depends on many factors: the terrain, your personal convenience, the characteristics of the bike. But first, you can use the table, which is compiled for a bicycle with 24 speeds (it has three positions on the left shifter, and eight on the right). For a bike with 18 speeds (there are three positions on the left shifter and six positions on the right), the table will look different.

These tables give a rough idea of ​​which gears you can select. (The gear range for an 18-speed bike is shown in parentheses) You have to draw the exact chart that is perfect for you.

Terrain Left shifter Right shifter
Uphill 1-2 (1) 1-4 (1-3)
Driving on a flat road 1-2 2-5 (2-4)
Descent from the mountain 2-3 4-8 (3-6)

We consolidate knowledge or how to change gears correctly on any mountain bike without harming people and equipment

Awareness of the gearshift mechanism is not enough to operate a bike confidently and safely. It is also worth familiarizing yourself with the tips on this matter:

  • The chain can only be thrown during movement. If the position of the frames was changed on a stationary bike, you need to spin the pedals at idle (raise the rear wheel).
  • Use the transmission only with an unloaded chain. In other words, to move the links of the chain drive exclusively with fast rotation of the connecting rods, but not at the start or under load. This is fraught with the fact that the actuators can break and the chain break. And indeed, with a lot of effort on the pedals, there is a great risk of not switching at all when the corresponding command is given.
  • Do not transfer multiple stars at once. It only takes one click to reposition the frames. In this case, the clarity of the transmission is ensured.

Note. The chain must be washed with, say, a high pressure washer and lubricated. If it slips on the cassette, it must be changed along with the rear sprockets.

Another important aspect is to select the speed of the transmission so that pedaling is easy. The optimal cadence verified by cyclists is 80-90 rpm. To measure it, you can use bike computers, for example, CatEye Strada Cadence. Be sure to drink during pokatushek. These two rules will save your knee joints.

Planetary hub

Sometimes you will find derailleurs right inside the rear hub, unlike the familiar derailleurs that are attached to the cock and throw the chain over the cassette. This is a planetary hub. These bushings are most commonly seen on road bikes. The advantage of such bushings is that the switching takes place without sudden jumps in the chain, which is very convenient, besides, dirt does not get on the working parts, as a result of which the switching is not so dependent on the external environment. Also, switching in the planetary hub occurs without pedaling, which means that you can switch even while standing still. The disadvantage of such bushings is that they weigh a lot, and most importantly, it is difficult to find a service that can repair them, and even more so, they cannot be repaired on your own during the trip.

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How to change gears on any bike from Merida to ladies

To ride easily and comfortably with less effort, you need to switch gears correctly.

  • When you hear extraneous sounds when changing gears, the transmission has not worked. You need to squeeze the lever of the shifter.
  • Use the rear derailleur if you want to conquer the top.
  • It’s better to change gears before you start climbing higher ground.
  • Change gears on the move and don’t jump over multiple stars at once.
  • Release pedal pressure while changing speeds. So the switching will be smooth and correct.

How to switch speeds correctly. video

By doing derailleur maintenance before every cycling season, transmission problems can be minimized. It is very unpleasant when the mechanism fails along the way. And adjusting the speed switch yourself and troubleshooting is easy even for a beginner.

Rear derailleur fine adjustment

From time to time, you will have to fine-tune the rear spreader in the following cases:

  • If repair, replacement, adjustment of chain drive units was carried out.
  • New cables and shirts installed on the bike.
  • Low-quality cables stretch strongly during operation, and plugs at the ends are squeezed out of the shirts.

The switch adjustment is performed by unscrewing the hollow cable tension screw half a turn to the left. It is easier to unscrew the screw when the cable tension is relaxed. when the shifter is reset to the highest speed. Be sure to check the accuracy of the setting while riding a bike.

How to adjust the front derailleur

The front derailleur setting begins after the rear speeds are set. Before adjusting, make sure the switch frame is rigid metal, no deformation or cracks.

Front derailleur setup video:

Setting the low gear limiter

We adjust the adjusting screw for low gears, marked L. In the front, we install the chain on a small star, in the back. on a large one. We tighten the screw L so that when the wheel rotates, the chain slightly clings to the far lower frame of the switch. As soon as you feel the chain rubbing against the frame, loosen the screw a quarter turn.

Setting the high gear limiter

At the rear, we rearrange the chain approximately to the middle of the cassette, at the front, with the help of the shifter, we switch to the middle star. If the chain is reluctant to move to the top sprockets, tighten the cable by loosening the screw on the front derailleur slightly. Having adjusted the chain on the middle sprocket, switch the front to the large one, and from the back to the small one. This is the second extreme position, which corresponds to the high gear screw H. In this position, we adjust the screw so that it limits the travel of the front derailleur frame and the chain does not fly off the connecting rod. Be careful not to catch the chain on the outer front frame when pedaling

Crossover setup

At the back we install the chain on the large cassette star, in the front. on the small one. Make sure the cable is in the correct position in the groove.

Screw in the adjusting screw on the shifter all the way, then unscrew it one turn. We unscrew the screw securing the cable and remove it. Loosen the retaining screw of the front derailleur clamp to adjust it to the desired height and angle (in case the front derailleur is attached to the frame with a clamp). When installing a crossover, observe two conditions:

  • The front derailleur frame is at a minimum (2-3 mm) distance from the teeth of the large sprocket.
  • Cassette stars and frame are in the same plane.

We tighten the cable with pliers and fix the fastening screw.

Rear derailleur

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

The rooster is a special attachment, and, being usually a part separate from the frame, the rooster is damaged by falls 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 on the loosening of the cable becomes problematic

The springs are usually changed along with the entire device. The cable feed is a secondary test, on many derailleurs, especially budget Shimano, the cable is wound 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.

Adjustment screws and cable attachment to rear derailleur

Gear shift types

Before making any adjustments, determine what kind of gear shift your bike has. There are 3 main types of switches.

  • External switching mechanism.
  • Internal switching mechanism.
  • Combined type.

Internal gear shifting for mountain bike

The basis of this design is planetary bushings. This mechanism does not use cassettes. The transmission includes only 2 stars: front and rear. The whole mechanism is hidden inside. There is usually no front derailleur either.

All elements of the speed switch are hidden in the body

This mechanism is often found on road bikes, pleasure bikes, folding bicycles and city bikes. The system itself is located inside the rear planetary hub. This type of shifter can be seen, for example, on the Forward Surf city bike (3 gears).

External shifting on a speed bike

The outer type belongs to most multi-speed bicycles. It is used on both mountain and city walking models. The mechanism is made up of gear shifters and stars that form a cassette or system. Variable speed with rear and front derailleurs.

External gear shift elements. derailleur and cassette

This type of gear shifting can be seen on both the Forward Dortmund city bike (7 speeds) and the Forward Agris mountain bike (24 speeds). You can customize this switch yourself by examining the mechanism.

Bicycle chassis design, principles of operation. video. Combined mechanism

The combined type is a combination of external and internal mechanisms. It attaches to the bike’s rear wheel hub.

The combo derailleur is a hybrid of the external and internal types of bike shifting.

This mechanism is extremely rare, since it has collected all the negative aspects of both external and internal gearshift systems. It is configured only by a professional.

Front derailleur setting

The front derailleur is even easier to adjust than the rear

But it is important that it is properly secured to the bike frame. When the chain is on the largest sprocket, the sprocket to derailleur frame should be 1 to 3 mm

And the frame should be parallel to the stars. If so, then you can start customizing.

Set the speed to minimum. the rear is the largest and the front is the smallest star. Loosen the cable tension and turn the screw marked L (Low (where it is visible in the picture) until there is a millimeter gap between the chain and the derailleur frame. he lay in a special groove near the screw.

Now we set the maximum speed when the front chain is on the largest sprocket, and on the smaller cassette, and we turn the screw marked H (High) so that the gap between the chain and the inner plane of the frame is a millimeter. If, after that, the chain still reluctantly climbs onto a large sprocket, slightly unscrew the screw H.

Now we sit on the bike and try how successful the gearshift settings were. If the chain does not shift well to low speed (smaller chainrings), twist the cable tension adjuster located on the front derailleur coin on the handlebar to loosen the cable tension. When the chain sluggishly climbs onto large sprockets, tighten the cable with the same adjuster.


If the chain slips with effort when pedaling, it 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.

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 definitely in the cable: either it is badly tightened with the fixing bolt, or it broke.

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 circuit arrangement 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.

Switch classification

In the modern world, there are many companies that create equipment for bicycles. The best quality models are made by corporations such as Shimano (Japan) and Sram (America), producing entire lines of derailleurs.

Devices for professionals:

Sports bike lines:

  • Sram ESP 7.0 and Shimano Deore are similar designs. Made from highly durable components and designed for 24 gears.
  • Sram ESP 4.0, Sram ESP 5.0, Shimano Nexave and Shimano alivio are cheaper than the professional line. They can handle up to 24 speeds and are designed for touring bike models.

Sram ESP 7.0 derailleur specially designed for sports bikes

Hobbyist Switch Line:

  • The Sram ESP 4.0, Shimano C201 and Shimano acera are bundled with cheaper entry-level hybrids and mountain bikes. Withstand up to 24 gears.
  • Sram ESP 3.0, Shimano Nexus and Shimano altus are designed for touring, city bikes.
  • The Shimano tourney is built for a calm, smooth ride. Shifts 21 gears.

There is no fundamental difference in the adjustment and operation of different switch lines from the same company. For example, different Shimano derailleur groups work the same and are interchangeable. Let’s say that the drive of eight-speed Alivio, Altus, Acera switches can be equipped with nine-speed Deore, Deore XT, Deore LX, XTR systems and vice versa.


Setting up a bike transmission consists of adjusting the front and rear derailleur by:

  • adjustment of the limiters of large (H) and small (L) gears with the corresponding screws (performed only once. when installing a new switch);
  • adjusting the tension of the cable, which affects the smoothness of gear shifting;
  • adjusting the chain tension, ensuring high-quality and fast shifting (only on the rear derailer).

The basics of good gear shifting. minimal chain misalignment and no significant load on the chain immediately before changing gear.

How the speed switch works

To learn how to shift gears, you need to understand a little about the gear shifter. It consists of steel gears of different diameters. They are called stars. The stars are collected in blocks. The unit closer to the front wheel is called the “system”, the unit closer to the rear wheel is called the cassette. The chain is stretched over the stars.

On the steering wheel (left and right) there is a device for switching speeds. It is called “shifters”. You change the speed, that is, you turn the shifter. the chain shifts to the star you need.

The “cassette” or rear block is responsible for the bottom part of the chain. It is controlled by the right shifter. The “system” or front block is responsible for the top of the chain. It is controlled by the left shifter.

Competent riding technique: how to switch speeds on a bike in different conditions

Considering the technique of enumerating gears from the standpoint of a driver with the goal of increasing the transmission resource, two fundamental principles should be noted:

  • the selection of suitable sprockets should occur with a minimum load on the transmission system;
  • with the obtained gear ratio, the chain misalignment should be minimal (when using 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears in front, rear (for example, on a 24-speed transmission), select a position in the appropriate range: 1-3, 4- 6, 7-8).

Based on this, you can determine how to switch speeds on a bicycle in different conditions:

  • when approaching a mountainous area, you should select a suitable gear ratio in advance (go to lower gears);
  • noticing a sandy or muddy area, you need to shift to higher gears;
  • downshift when approaching any obstacle;
  • when driving actively on busy streets, you should select the optimal ratio that can provide dynamic acceleration.
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The choice of gear ratio is also determined by the physiology of the knee joint. the most vulnerable part of the cyclist’s body. Increased stress (low cadence) causes a lot of friction in the knee joint, increasing the risk of failure of the “live joint”. A cadence of 90-110 rpm is optimal for both a loaded “hinge” and for the cyclist’s cardiovascular system.

When speed adjustment is necessary

The bike speed system needs to be adjusted if not all gears are engaged or the shifting is incorrect. This can happen as a result of:

  • replacement of one or more transmission elements (chain, cassette, roller, bearing, etc.)
  • wear (stretching) of the cable or shirts
  • deformation of parts due to impact or falling

Sometimes additional adjustments are required after buying a bike. It is recommended to wash your shirts before adjusting the speeds on your new bike. To do this, pull the cable with moderate force wherever it is exposed. After mechanical impact on the cable, you will see that it began to sag. Release the cable on the rear derailleur, tighten the adjustment on the shifter and re-fasten it.

Before adjusting the speeds on a used bike, clean all transmission elements from dirt and dust, lubricate the spring, cables and chain. The chain width must match the front derailleur for proper derailleur operation. Strong play of the switch and carriage bearings is unacceptable. Make sure the stars of the system are perfectly even and rotate in the same plane.

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 ​​switch (crossover). This is a transmission element that is specifically responsible for gear shifting. If there is a rear overhang, 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 rises, 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.

The shifter. It is designed to switch gears 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 bottom tube of the frame triangle. Please note: the shifters and derailleurs have a common connection on the handlebars (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 (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. This 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 a cross-over is already attached to this metal part. When a blow occurs, it is this very cock that breaks down, 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 together.

Preparation for commissioning

Before adjusting the bike speeds, you need to clean and lubricate the chain and derailleurs. It is also advisable to produce:

  • inspection of the drive cable for the presence of rough bends that violate the smoothness of its movement on the inner surface of the shirt, unweaving and solidity of the connection with an emphasis based in the shifter;
  • control of the condition of the jackets. in case of strong wear of the inner, often silicone insert, or the presence of fatigue fractures, their replacement is required;
  • inspection of the rear derailleur and the frame counterpart (cock) for deviations from the vertical position. the rollers and the cassette counter sprocket must lie strictly in the same plane.

Also, before adjusting the speeds on the bike, it is necessary to loosen the cable tension and it is strongly recommended to screw the adjusting drums all the way. In the already tuned state, the following dependence is observed: the less the drum is unscrewed, the more accurately the system works, and also a guaranteed departure margin is maintained, which is necessary for instant compensation of the cable lengthening during the trip.

Effective options: how to adjust disc brakes on a bike of any level

High performance retarding units include a hub-mounted rotor and a frame or front fork-mounted machine. When starting a targeted training on how to properly switch speeds on a bicycle with disc brakes, or planning a simple ride, the owner must check:

  • shape and tightening force of the rotor;
  • axles, for bends;
  • the quality of the wheels on the dropouts and the clamping force of the eccentrics;
  • no backlash in bushings.

The disc brake adjustment procedure is carried out in order to:

  • achieving the optimal location of the pads. they should be evenly spaced from the brake disc at a distance of a safe gap (0.5-1 mm), which eliminates the likelihood of rubbing the rotor when turning the wheel during movement;
  • ensuring strict parallelism between the pads and the rotor, which will keep the disk shape flat; selection of the optimal brake actuation moment.

The methodology for asking how to adjust cable-operated disc brakes on a bicycle is based on the following principles:

  • disconnect the cable from the brake assembly;
  • loosen the caliper;
  • screw in the screw regulating the departure of the fixed shoe until it stops;
  • press the machine against the brake disc, making sure that the inner friction part is completely in contact with the rotor;
  • tighten the screws securing the machine;
  • set a gap of 0.5-1 mm between the brake disc and the fixed shoe;
  • fix the cable;
  • by rotating a special drum or moving the cable in the slots of the caliper followed by fixing with a screw, select the optimal wheel blocking moment.

You can set up a mechanically driven disc brake in another way: by unscrewing the machine’s fastening screws, find a position in which the pads are at the same distance from the disc, and fix it.

“Hydraulics” works according to a more favorable power scheme. under the influence of fluid pressure, both pads approach the rotor. Therefore, the technology of how to adjust the hydraulic brakes on a bicycle is easier:

  • loosen the screws that fix the brake machine;
  • hold the brake handle;
  • alternately in small steps (half a turn) tighten the caliper fasteners.

If during rotation the rotor touches one of the friction parts, it is necessary to slightly loosen the brake machine and move it, while maintaining the parallel arrangement of the pads and the rotor.

Reasons for the deterioration of the rear derailleur:

Lack of service. Most often, when buying a bike, the derailleur works well and flawlessly, but after the season of operation, you can replace the deterioration in performance or even the chain jumping off the extreme sprockets. In 70% of cases, setting the rear derailleur helps, but sometimes this does not help either, then the cable and shirt should be replaced, as they become clogged with dirt and interfere with the smooth running of the cable in the shirt. Usually bike maintenance is done once a year, in which the switch settings are enabled.

Deterioration of the switch itself. Everything ever breaks down and the derailleur on a bike is no exception. Most often, the parallelogram axes of the switch wear out, due to which a small backlash is formed, which does not allow the switching to be adjusted correctly.

Derailleur sprockets are worn. Over time, plastic sprockets wear out due to which the chain no longer holds on to them, which leads to poor operation of the derailleur. Also, the sprocket axles can wear out and the sprocket will dangle unnecessarily on the axle, which leads to poor shifting.

Curve cock or the switch itself. When you fall or hit something with the switch, the cock will most often bend (break), since it is made specially from a weaker alloy than the switch itself (to keep the more expensive part intact). The curvature does not allow the chains to stand up exactly, which reduces the efforts to adjust the throw to zero. Read how to straighten a cock with your hands.

Cable problems. Sometimes, during installation or when dropped, the cable may bend strongly, after which the place of the bend will prevent the smooth movement of the cable in the shirt. In this case, its replacement is required.

It also happens that the cable gets loose (that’s why you should use the ends of the cables) and later one of the thin threads begins to separate from the main bundle, as a result, prevents the normal movement of the cable in the shirt. Sometimes one thread in the cable can break and also prevent it from working normally, here you can isolate it from the main bundle along the entire length of the cable. But the best option would be to replace the cable with a new one.

If a new cable was installed, then sometimes after a certain number of kilometers (about 100 km), you may notice a deterioration in switching. this is due to the fact that the cable is stretched a little. In this case, it will be necessary to tighten the cable tension bolt a little.

Why bike speeds don’t shift well

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

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

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

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

Very often, all the components of the transmission are in good condition, and the gears still shift poorly. New parts, or small workpieces installed in a transmission unit are a common cause of poor chain sprocket travel.

What to do if you can’t adjust the bike’s rear derailleur

There are several methods for solving this issue. But if the standard tuning instruction did not work, to tune the rear derailleur you need to:

  • dismantle the chain, remove the cable;
  • move the switch to the chain position to the smallest star;
  • use adjusting bolts (this way you can tighten the cable);
  • set the adjusting bolt H to the extreme position;
  • move the part called the parallelogram to the big star and adjust the position of the bolt L.

The regulator is fixed with screws. It must be set to the extreme position. After that, the chain must be displaced in this order: the front cassette is the largest star in diameter, the rear, on the contrary, is the smallest.