How To Pull The Gearshift Cable On A Bicycle

Replacing the gearshift cable on a bicycle

Bicycle cables are a very important part of the gear shifting on a bicycle. Also, cables are used in the mechanical brake systems of the bicycle. The quality of this part and its setting will depend on many nuances when driving a two-wheeled vehicle: gear shifting and braking. How to choose and install the right cable? What is its cost and are there any guarantees? Find out further.

How to change the cable correctly

There are several different cables on the bike, which need to be changed in different ways.

    Change the gear shift cable. To do this, we need several tools: wire cutters, several hex keys, or one 5 mm hex adjustable wrench. In principle, the scheme of operation of changing the rear and front gearshift cables are quite similar in general terms. In the case of the front derailleur, before switching to work, the forward gear should be weakened, they will be transferred to a “lighter” one. The rear derailleur is installed against a small sprocket. After that, the clamping screw is loosened, and the end of the cable is also cut off. So that in the future there are no problems with the installation of gear shifting, it is at this stage that you should carefully study the location of clamping the end of the cable. It can be either the top or the bottom of the screw.

Disassembled Shifter.

Then you need to Get access to the protective cover: Using the key, loosen the Shifter and remove it. Then we remove the cover, returned it counterclockwise. The cable has now been accessed. Examine the diagram that opens in front of you. you need to completely pull the cable out. When this is done, a new cable can be installed. Sometimes, to simplify the task, an awl is used here to push the cable. After completing the actions, check that the new cable takes the same position as the old one.

Then Install the Shifter cover in place, Fix it, and attach the Shifter to its main position.

At the very end of the procedure, the installed new cable is pushed into the sheath. If this does not work and the cable is pushed with great effort, most likely the sheath will also have to be replaced. The reason may lie in its deterioration. this is the most common option. The cable pulled out from behind is set in the correct position and secured with the fixing screw.

The excess part of the cable is bite off, Using nippers, but left about 3 cm. The end is squeezed. Before setting off, you need to test the bike’s performance and test it on different road surfaces. If any trouble arises, you need to try to repeat the operation again or change the cable again.
We change the brake cable. This operation is only required if the movement of the cable is obstructed or if the shirt is worn out. Carefully monitor the condition of each of THESE parts and replace as needed. Otherwise, it may be difficult to put the brake levers back in place. Friction of the cable may also occur. If you find it difficult to work with one of THESE elements, both should be changed. First of all, you should unscrew the screw with which the cable is connected to the brake lever. Watch out for the safety of metal anthers, as they can often be lost during work. Then we unscrew another screw, which is located on the brake lever. You can do this with your fingers. Now it is enough to straighten the shirt so that the cable can be easily removed.

Metal cable lug.

Then we proceed to the procedure for replacing the shirt. To do this, we fit a new shirt in length, cutting it off with pliers. Edges Must be flat so that the cable fits easily. Then Install the metal tips. Now threading the cable into the shirt. A distinctive feature of a well-chosen part will be the free passage of the cable over the shirt.

The structure is ready and now is the time to put it in place. We attach the cable to the brake lever, fasten the adjusting screw. Then Anthers come into play: they must be put on the unattached end of the cable with the side where the narrowing occurs. This detail is also a must in the design: it prevents dirt from entering the shirt.

Then you need to tighten the cable. To do this, move the levers, then tighten the cable and fix the corresponding screw. Before introducing two-wheeled vehicles, we check the quality of the work performed and stretch the new cable. For THESE purposes, the brakes are pressed firmly several times. Make sure the shirt is in the right position: fits into the trim screw on the handle and the metal boot.

Finally, if everything works well, you should get rid of the excess part of the cable. We do it with pliers. It is very important that there is an extra 5-8 cm.

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To prevent the end of the cable from unraveling, secure it with an aluminum cap, which must be squeezed with pliers. We put the free edge of the cable into the brake.

What you need to know about ropes and shirts?

THESE two details determine the same function. the transfer of amplification from the brake lever or switch. The cable is located inside the jacket and is made of Teflon or wire. Moreover, the wire must be twisted and steel. As for shirts, they are made of flexible steel, which is rolled into a spiral. Cables and shirts are not capable of functioning without each other, since the shirt is located on the cable floor. Therefore, both details need to be given sufficient attention.

Since the cable and shirt construction carries a certain weight load on some models of bicycles there is a reduction in weight through the holders. They divide the shirt into several sections and are located on the fork and frame. Each holder is a small recess where the cable is inserted. Shirts are divided into 2 types:

  • Classic spiral. Due to the tightly woven wire, the shirt will hardly stretch or bend. To avoid excessive friction between the cable and the spiral jacket, the latter is wrapped in a thin layer of plastic. Sometimes, to reduce friction to almost zero, the cable is also wrapped in plastic. By the way, earlier it was necessary to lubricate both parts with oil without plastic.
  • Uncompressed shirts for switches. A relatively new invention that is an excellent alternative to a coiled shirt. Here, the wire is not arranged in a spiral, but almost parallel to the length. They are joined using two layers of plastic. The advantages of this system are the constant length during the bending process, and the stable signal transmitted to the switches is transmitted as clear as possible.

Types of braids (shirts).

Buying wire rope and shirts

Quality manufactured parts ensure a long and safe bike life. What should be purchased cables and shirts?

  • Attention should be paid to the material of manufacture. Ropes Must be made of stainless steel.
  • The cable must be sanded.
  • The shirt should be coated. For example, Teflon. The main thing is that it is low friction.
  • DO NOT skimp on details. It is better to give preference to trusted and well-known manufacturers.

The average cost of cables and shirts is approximately the same for them. It starts at 80-100 rubles and goes up to 200 or more, depending on the country of origin. Don’t forget to get extra tips and powerful sharp cutters for the job.

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”.

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.
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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.

Chain tensioner rollers

The tensioner rollers are included in the mechanism, which ensures high-quality chain tension during gear changes or while the bike itself is moving. Without it, the chain will not keep at the same level, which will NOT allow pedaling or shifting.

Cables and shirts

The cables for the front derailleur differ from the derailleur on the rear in that they can be slightly shorter, or even slightly thinner. And shirts are also divided into three types, and each shirt has its own cable.

Correct installation of the front derailleur

You can start the front derailleur setting only after adjusting the rear derailleur. Installation is the initial step in speed selector adjustment. It’s very important to do it right.

  • Before installing the switch, it is necessary to inspect the condition of the constituent parts and, if necessary, clean them of contamination and lubricate.
  • Next, adjust the location of the front derailleur. On the frame, it should be located along the pipe under the saddle.
  • Set the steering angle parallel to the drive sprocket on the front cassette of the transmission unit.
  • Next, you need to adjust the gap between the underside of the derailleur frame and the top line of the teeth of the large gear. The gap should be minimal.
  • Adjust the degree of cable tension.
  • Place the chain close to the inside of the frame.

It is also worth paying attention to the chain setup. The bicycle chain is a very important element, with the help of which the impulse is transmitted from one chain to another and the adjustment process takes place. The technical condition of the circuit is of great importance for the operation of the entire system. If, for some reason, the bicycle chain is stretched or deformed, this cannot but adversely affect the operation of the entire transmission unit. To prevent this from happening, the chain must be periodically removed and cleaned, and then set the correct position. There are lock and lockless models of bicycle chains. They differ in the way they are connected. To remove the locking chain, it is enough to find the link with the lock and disconnect it with a screwdriver. The lockless bicycle chain is disconnected using a squeeze. This tool helps to push out the link and make the connector. If it skews for some reason, this can adversely affect the gearshift process.

One of the best manufacturers of bicycle parts, including derailleurs, is the Japanese company Shimano, which has a proven track record of producing products in which Japanese quality is combined with budget and price. Shimano derailleurs (fig. 3) are suitable for all types of bicycles. Shimano derailleurs are installed on both regular touring bicycles and mountain and track bikes with gearboxes up to 33 speeds.

Another recognized market leader is Sram. The products of this company are used on bicycles of the city bike category, as well as on sports bicycles. Sram products are of good quality and affordable price for cycling enthusiasts.

Every bicycle owner who prefers this type of transport to others is obliged to understand how to switch its speeds. It is believed that the more speeds a bike has, the better it is. But in fact, speed only allows you to improve the quality of maneuvering and squeeze the maximum out of the bike’s capabilities, so then everything depends on the dynamic efforts of the person riding the bike. Conventional bicycles have a simpler design compared to high-speed ones. There is less hassle with such a bike, but it also has fewer possibilities. In the transmission unit of such bicycles there are only two stars: one large and one small. The multi-speed bikes that have gained popularity in recent years have two sets of views in their transmission units: front and rear. Each cassette contains stars of different sizes. To switch gears correctly, you need to remember a few basic rules:

  • If your bike is not equipped with a planetary hub, you only need to switch speeds on it while driving, otherwise there is a danger of damaging the bike.
  • During gear shifting, you should not apply significant dynamic efforts, in order to eliminate the danger of a burst of flowers, it is advisable to change gears consistently, and not making sharp jerks.

How to properly adjust the rear and front derailleurs on a bicycle photo and description of the process

Despite the fact that the bicycle was invented a long time ago and, it would seem, should have been out of date for a long time, but this two-wheeled vehicle is gaining more and more popularity every year. Cycling enthusiasts prefer this type of transport due to its convenience, ease of operation, environmental safety and practicality. Not only ordinary bicycles are very popular, but also mountain, track VELOBIKE, in which modern innovative technologies are involved. In order for the owners to enjoy cycling, they need to be looked after and the condition of all parts and assemblies should be monitored. If in the process of cycling, you hear extraneous sounds, creaking, knocking and twitching during gear shifting, it’s time to pay attention to such a detail as the gear selector.

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Useful Tips for Using Derailleurs on Your Bicycle

Of course, breakdowns and adjustments can be avoided if all the rules are carefully followed.


  • Wash the bike and its parts as often as possible, and then thoroughly dry it, since dirt and corrosion are the main enemies of metal products
  • Lubricate all parts with machine oil or grease (imported products do not cope very well, and often do harm)
  • Climbing independently provides mechanisms only in extreme cases, since inexperience can only aggravate the situation, so it is better to ask professionals or friends for help.

In conclusion, I would like to say that you can fix any thing yourself if you do everything correctly, following all the tips listed above. Or even start. Monitor its condition from the moment of purchase. And then you will NOT have to fork out for new parts, which also cost 2 times more than the bike itself.

Adjusting the bike speed switch

Possible problems and nuances

Repairing the brake does NOT end with the installation of a new cable. Adjustment required. Before tightening the brake cable on your bike, you need to determine how tight it is. To do this, simply lift the rear wheel, spin it and apply the brake. If the handle moves effortlessly for more than half the distance from the initial position to the handlebar, tighten the brake cable. To do this, we pull the cable on the handle itself with a curly bolt.

In cases where the brake freely reaches the steering wheel, you need to adjust the tension near the brakes. For this:

How To Pull The Gearshift Cable On A Bicycle
  • Unscrew the fastening screw.
  • We tighten the cable with pliers.
  • We fix the cable with a screw.

The remaining piece of cable is cut.

What is required

To change the transmission cable or brakes you will need:

  • Nippers;
  • Hex keys;
  • New rope.

For beginners, it is advisable to sketch out a plan for the path of the element to be replaced. There are replacement instructions on the Internet, but finding materials for a specific model will take time.

When does it change

The cable is changed when the rear derailleur malfunctions begin: voltage imbalance inside the braid, incorrect switching, refusal to move to the desired position. There are several reasons for refusals:

  • Wire and braid wear;
  • Clogging of the gap between them;
  • Gaps and kinks;
  • Erosion of metal elements.

Non-standard situations

Complete replacement of the cable is not always necessary. Sometimes an old braid can be used if it remains serviceable. In some cases, the cable and shirt are sold separately. In this case, it is necessary to lubricate the cable, thread it into the braid.

Which cable to choose and where to find

There are three types of braids:

  • Twisted. consists of a thin, twisted wire coated with polymer. An inexpensive option with a short service life;
  • SIS. similar to twisted, only instead of a wire for twisting the jacket, strips of metal with a Teflon coating inside are used. The most popular type is wire rope;
  • SIS-SP. consists of a shirt in which the threads are parallel. They are held together by a polymer layer. The braid does NOT stretch during operation. The tension is transmitted directly through the cable. Most reliable, accurate expensive variety.

How to change the cable

The cable can be replaced at home. You don’t need to use complicated equipment for this. All tools are usually found in every home. The order of work also does NOT cause difficulties for a person with skillful hands.

More about replacement

Cable. consists of a strong metal thread, which, after pressing the lever on the switch, transfers the force to the mechanism for connecting the chain to the wheels. A simple system works quickly and reliably, but it requires optimal tension.

The braid (shirt) is connected to the back feather of the mechanism. It also serves to protect the warp from damage. There are several varieties of shirts. Here is their design depends on the strength of the cable.

  • Trim frayed ends as wear occurs;
  • At least once a season Lubricate the cables;
  • Check the tightness of the caps (after every ride).

But even regular maintenance will NOT prevent wear.

Bicycles use two types of cables for brakes and gear shifting. They differ in knobs at the ends.

Step by step

Replacing the gear shift cable is performed in several stages:

  • Change the position of the rear derailleur so that it looks at the small bicycle sprockets, cut off the ridge of the rope and unscrew the screw.
  • We unscrew the cover until the end of the cable becomes visible, and pull it out. To release the tip, you will need to pull back the spring.
  • We take a cable prepared for replacement and install it, repeating the trajectory of the old element. An awl or a thin screwdriver is used to adjust the direction.
  • Replacing the cover. We set the switch to its original position if it has moved.
  • We tighten the screw to fix the cable.
  • Cutting the cable, leaving three centimeters, squeezes its end.

Changing the gearshift cable on a bicycle

Replacing the gearshift cable on a bicycle. Step-by-step instructions and necessary materials

The cable is an inexpensive but important element of a bicycle’s gear shifting system. Like any parts, it deteriorates over time. The transmission system stops working. Replacing the gearshift cable on the bike will restore the mechanism to work.