How to tighten the gearshift cable on a bicycle

Chains and sprockets

represent a cassette. which consists of 6-7 stars. It all depends on the number of speeds on the bike.

And the chains vary in pitch and length. The chain pitch is the size of one link on the sprocket or chain, and in accordance with the pitch on the sprocket, you need to select the chain with the desired pitch. The length is basically the same everywhere, but it can also be of an individual size. Then you will have to look for it for a very long time, or rivet it yourself.

How to tighten the gearshift cable on a bicycle

It must be said right off the bat that the hardest thing to tune is old, worn out switches. The cheapest spreaders made of low-quality material wear out very quickly. After years of operation, so much material is produced in the joints of their mechanisms that backlashes are already becoming noticeable. Large wiggles in the rear derailleur will prevent you from adjusting to at least remove loud crackling noise when driving.

Adjusting the gearshift paddles is not a difficult job to be contacted by a mechanic. You will not be able to break the gearshift mechanism, the index system for changing speeds is the simplest and most reliable of all.

How to adjust the rear derailleur on a bike

Setting up the speed switch is not a tricky business, and anyone who knows at least a little about the mechanisms can do it.

To independently configure all the mechanisms and put them into action, you need to do the following:

  • you need to check if the switch itself is bent. This can be determined by looking at the tensioner. it should be parallel to the stars on the rear wheel. If it’s all about him, then you need to try to straighten it with pliers or other tools.
  • if everything is fine with the switch, then most likely the rooster is to blame for everything (this is the mount on which the switch is placed). Most often, it also bends, and it has to be straightened periodically, so that at the first breakdown it needs to be replaced.

If all of the above is done or in order, then you can proceed directly to setting the switch itself.

This should be done as follows:

  • put the switch on the highest speed (that is, on the smallest star)
  • we find two screws. H and L. Turn the screw H so that the roller on the switch moves one mark with a smaller star
  • put on the lowest speed (large sprocket), and rotate the screw L until the roller is aligned with the large sprocket
  • again set to the highest speed, and pull the cable. In this case, you need to make sure that he got into the special prem. It should be pulled tighter!
  • check switching! If it switches very tightly, or does not switch at all, then you need to loosen the cable a little, or, on the contrary, pull it.
  • if everything works well, then we can assume that the job is done.

Rear derailleur cock

If, when the chain is on any one sprocket in front, the gear change from the rear is smooth, and when changing to another front sprocket, it becomes difficult to shift, then, most likely, the cock is bent on the bike.

The rear spreader, located down and away from the frame, is more prone to breakage than other parts of the bike when riding over logs or curbs. In the event of a fall, both the parallelogram switch itself and its mounting may bend from a side impact. If the rear parallelogram is attached directly to the frame, then it can break. If the switch is put on special fasteners, then it itself can remain intact, and the cock will bend, as a rule, towards the spokes.

In order to determine whether the cock is bent, and the rear derailleur at the same time, it is enough, sitting down behind the bike, to look at the position of the derailleur. Two rollers of the chain tensioner must be in a strictly vertical plane in relation to each other.

Under no circumstances should you try to straighten the bent cock by grabbing the rear derailleur. The spreader frame is very fragile. First, it is she who will begin to bend, and not the deformed fasteners. It is a good idea to completely remove the cock from the bike to align it on the plate. Better yet, use a special tool with which you can accurately straighten the bent mount directly on the bike frame. This tool works like a lever and has a pointer showing how accurately the cock is vertically aligned.

Steering wheel switches

If the shifter on the steering wheel breaks, then it will not be difficult to understand, since the cable tension will immediately weaken, or it will simply stop pulling. Chasing expensive Sram, Shimano components in the hope that they will not work better is not worth it. For an ordinary inexpensive bike, the speed of gear changes and the weight of components are not as important as the maintainability and cheapness of replacement parts.

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about setting the rear derailleur in a short

Chain tensioner rollers

The small sprockets on the derailleur frame should also be cleaned and lubricated at least once a year. Having outlived their own, and even without a share of attention, the rollers always jam, and the chain on them often simply rubs, bouncing and flying off the rear sprockets.

As for the material for making the rollers, that is, a carbon coating on top, and ceramic bearings inside. But to save the household budget, it makes no sense to buy expensive toys, since all common plastic wheels will last longer than the switch itself, of course, with simple maintenance.

Reasons for the malfunction of the rear spreader

  • Unlubricated or damaged cable and its shirt.
  • Curved attachment to the rear spreader frame, the so-called cock.
  • Worn chain and sprocket cassette on the rear wheel.
  • Seized chain tensioner rollers on rear spreader.
  • Defective shifter for changing speeds on the steering wheel.

Steering wheel switches

The switches here are exactly the same as on the rear wheel. They are absolutely no different, and even located exactly the same.

Chain tensioner rollers

The small sprockets on the derailleur frame should also be cleaned and lubricated at least once a year. Having outlived their own, and even without a share of attention, the rollers always jam, and the chain on them often simply rubs, bouncing and flying off the rear sprockets.

As for the material for making the rollers, that is, a carbon coating on top, and ceramic bearings inside. But to save the household budget, it makes no sense to buy expensive toys, since all common plastic wheels will last longer than the switch itself, of course, with simple maintenance.

Chain tensioner rollers

The tensioner rollers are part of a mechanism that provides 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 you to pedal or switch gears.

Rooster bent or broke

If the foot of the rear derailleur is oblique, then the mount is bent. You can fix this defect yourself.

  • Hold the foot with one hand and grasp the switch with the other.
  • Carefully, without sudden movements, align the position of the rooster until the rear frame is level.

The rooster should be replaced with a new one as soon as possible. Even if you align it, such a detail will not last long.

How to adjust the rear derailleur on a bike

Setting up the speed switch is not a tricky business, and anyone who knows a little about the mechanisms can do it.

To independently configure all the mechanisms and put them into action, you need to do the following:

  • you need to check if the switch itself is bent. This can be determined by looking at the tensioner. it should be parallel to the stars on the rear wheel. If it’s all about him, then you need to try to straighten it with pliers or other tools.
  • if everything is fine with the switch, then most likely the cock is to blame (this is the mount on which the switch is placed). Most often, it also bends, and it has to be straightened periodically, so that at the first breakdown it needs to be replaced.

If all of the above is done or in order, then you can proceed directly to the switch setting itself.

tighten, gearshift, cable, bicycle
  • put the switch on the highest speed (that is, on the smallest star)
  • we find two screws. H and L. Turn the screw H so that the roller on the switch moves one mark with a smaller star
  • put on the lowest speed (large sprocket), and rotate the screw L until the roller is aligned with the large sprocket
  • again set to the highest speed, and pull the cable. In this case, you need to make sure that he got into the special prem. It should be pulled tighter!
  • check switching! If it switches very tightly, or does not switch at all, then you need to loosen the cable a little, or, on the contrary, pull it.
  • if everything works well, then we can assume that the job is done.

How to tighten the gearshift cable on a bicycle

Possible errors when setting the rear derailleur

Question: What if I unscrewed the adjusting screw to the end, and the chain still does not switch to 1 speed lower?
Answer: Most likely you pulled the cable poorly by hand from step 4, or you did it with insufficiently tightened cable tension adjusting screws from step 3, and it is also possible that you did not pull the cable at the highest speed on the shifter described in step 1.

Question: I reached stage 7, but the chain was not on the smallest star why?
Answer: You may have pulled the cable too tight by hand in step 4, in which case try to loosen the cable tension slightly with the adjusting screw. If the chain still does not go to the extreme small star, repeat steps 1 to 4.

The gearshift mechanism is a very important element of modern sports and mountain bikes. There are many different systems, but the principle of their adjustment is almost the same. First of all, you should clean the mechanism of debris, dust and dirt. Now look at the switch. It has a limitation of extreme positions, which are indicated by the letters “H” and “L”. Often the problem lies in the tension in the cable, which just needs to be tightened.

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Before adjusting the gear shifting on the mechanics, you need to combine the small sprocket with the rollers. The bike chain must also be aligned correctly. On the front gear, it should hang on the largest star, and on the back. on the smallest. In this case, you need to monitor the tension of the cable. Now you can test the regulator. To do this, shift the gear lever down one notch, after which the chain should be on the next sprocket. If this does not happen, you need to debug the cable tension.

If you observe wobbling, then adjusting the gearshift on your bike begins by checking the sprockets and derailleur frame for parallelism. Also pay attention to the height of its installation. However, remember that the last two gears do not need to be shared. This is a general concept about regulator debugging.

Since several mechanisms are involved in the process of increasing or decreasing speed, each should be considered separately. Switching must be configured from the rear of the system. First of all, make sure that the roller lever, which helps to transfer the chain from one sprocket to another, is not bent. If this is the case, then the mount should be aligned.

Adjusting the bike’s gearshift, front derailleur, is very simple. The main requirement is its correct installation. Make sure that the frame is parallel to the stars, and the distance between them is 1-3 mm.

First, you should set the lowest speed. Now you need to slightly loosen the cable and turn the screw marked “L”. This will set the required distance between the star and the frame. After that, the cable can be fastened back. Now you can set the maximum speed using the screw marked “H”.

After all the settings, you should check the bike in motion. If the chain does not bounce well from one chainring to another, adjust the cable. Bicycle gearshift adjustments should be made as soon as problems are found. For example, if the chain slips during pedaling, then in this case you should completely change it, since it is stretched. At the same time, it should not skew during gear shifting.

You should also check the cable for damage and breakage. In severe cases, it requires a complete replacement. It also happens that you have to install a completely new mechanism. So, adjusting the gearshift on a bicycle is a fairly simple procedure that you can do yourself.

Both derailleurs of the bicycle have two limit bolts that prevent the chain from flying into the spokes or shifting beyond the smallest gear. you do not need to touch them, only in the most extreme cases. For example, if the chain does not shift to the largest gear, the upper stop bolt must be slightly unscrewed. As a rule, there are no markings on them, so squat down on the back of the bike, so that both wheels of the bike are in line and, turning the bolt slightly, trace where the derailleur is moving. There is nothing complicated about it.
Now about the adjustment of the derailleur rear derailleur of the bicycle. Place the chain on the largest gear. Now, pedaling, use the shifter to move the chain to the second gear. If the chain jumps immediately to the third, then loosen the tension on the cable jacket by rotating the plastic boss where the cable meets the derailleur. Turn about 1/8 of a turn clockwise.
If the chain does not jump to the second gear, it is necessary to increase the cable tension by slightly unscrewing the boss.
After that, place the chain on the second gear from the back, pedal and very slowly unscrew the plastic boss. As soon as you feel the chain is about to jump to the third gear, screw the boss back about 1/8 of a turn or less, before the characteristic noise in the system disappears. This ends the setting. the rest of the gears after that will already be tuned.
All the same tricks are true for the front derailleur of a bicycle, with the only difference that the front derailleur has a plastic boss usually located at the shifter on the handlebar.
In general, a properly tuned system should not emit extraneous noise when driving; switching should occur clearly, without unnecessary noise. Avoid shifting under load and strong chain distortions if possible. do not use gears such as “small gear in front. small in rear”, they are impractical and will only increase wear on the chain and derailleurs.

Internal gear shifting on 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. Usually there is no front derailleur either.

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 gear shifter can be seen, for example, on the Forward Surf city bike (3 gears).

This mechanism is difficult for a layman to adjust. Better contact a bike shop if necessary.

Combined mechanism

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

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.

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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 sprockets, or the gears are not shifting at all. The problem comes 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 are still poorly shifted. New parts, or parts with little wear and tear, installed in a transmission unit are a common cause of poor chain sprocket running.

Correct cycling gearshift setting

Modern bicycles equipped with a gear system allow you to move quickly and with minimal energy losses in any conditions: long climbs, rough terrain, roads with sharp turns that require constant changes in speed and gear ratio. This can also include driving against the wind, off-road conditions, poor quality asphalt. In general, the value of the transmission unit is simply colossal, especially on mountain bikes.

Despite the invaluable help, the transmission is great and requires frequent attention, care, and sometimes long and tedious fuss. One component that needs to be taken up periodically is the shifting mechanism, which consists of front and rear derailleurs. At first glance, the arrangement of these parts seems complicated. In practice, setting up gear shifting is very simple.

Setting switches at home

Now let’s figure out how to set up the high-speed system ourselves. Derailleurs on bicycles with multi-gear transmission are divided into front and rear. The latter are most vulnerable when riding in a variety of road conditions, the risk of damage is higher compared to the front ones, but the adjustment must be done at the very beginning. Obviously, the rear derailleur serves more stars, so it takes longer to set up.

Attention! If there is damage, and the tensioner is not parallel to the frame and cassette, then it will not be possible to correctly adjust the system!

First you need screws L and H. they are clearly visible, no need to look. Also includes a cable adjuster, tension and fixing screws.

  • H is used to align the roller with the small rear sprocket. By tightening the screw L, we set the roller on one straight line with the large rear sprocket.
  • Set the highest speed on the shifter.
  • Tension and fix the cable with the fixing bolt.
  • Large gears should be included without interference, otherwise, using the adjuster, the cable is slightly weakened. Additional tension will be needed if gears are poorly reset.

How to Adjust Rear Derailleur Cable Tension

Actually, the adjustment itself is made, it remains to adjust the switching accuracy. This is especially true for systems with a large number of stars. For this, the chain is mounted on a large chainring at the back and a small chainring at the front. By tightening the tension screw, we achieve the optimal position of the roller. as close as possible to the cassette. The same must be done and vice versa: set the chain to the maximum chainring in front and minimum. at the back. The roller should not rub against the cassette, just be located next to it.

How to properly set up the switch in front:

  • Check device attachment.
  • At minimum speed, release the cable tension.
  • Use screw L to create a gap between the derailleur body and the chain (1 mm).
  • Secure the cable with the adjusting bolt.

The same should be done with the H-screw. The maximum speed must be set, and the gap with the chain must not exceed one millimeter.

Adjust the speeds on both bike derailleurs until the chain is free to swing from one sprocket to the other. If it is difficult to walk, it is necessary to adjust the correct position of the cable using the adjusting bolt.

After all the manipulations, the entire system is checked. To do this, you need to ride a bike and try all the recommended gear ratios. Note that on mountain bikes, the transmission adjustment is a common periodic procedure, and if suddenly the transmission goes tight, we are not in a hurry to draw conclusions about the breakdown, but we do what is described above.

Do not think that a high-quality transmission does not need to adjust the shifting system. Yes, it may be necessary to do this less often for shimano components, but sooner or later you will still have to face.

We just saw an easy way to adjust the front and rear derailleurs. Is it really necessary? Adjustment of the shift mechanism is necessary for the transmission, like tires for a wheel. Timely assistance to the “traffic node” will allow not only to solve current problems, but also to prevent them in the future. Eliminate all inconveniences in time and ride with pleasure!