How to Adjust Gears & Derailleurs | Bicycle Repair

How to Adjust Gears & Derailleurs | Bicycle Repair


We’re going to talk about adjusting your front
and rear derailleur. If your front and rear derailleur are not
working properly, it could be a number of different things. Basically there’s a thing right here called
the derailleur hanger. If your gears are kind of skipping all over
the place, that could be bent. It’s made to bend so that your frame doesn’t
actually crack. It could be that your chain is worn out. It also could be, we see a lot of times, where
the cable in housing hasn’t been replaced in a long time. Basically that gets corroded, and it can’t
move properly in and out of this piece of housing. That could be for both front and rear, the
reasoning for why it’s not working. This is a brand new bicycle, so those things
won’t be an issue, but to adjust the gears you’re going to need a Phillips head screwdriver,
and this is either a three-way, which has three different sides, or you’re just going
to use a 5mm Allen. To start out you want to make sure that your
rear derailleur is shifted all the way down to it’s smallest gear here and that you take
the tension off of the cable. The cable tension is what allows the derailleur
to go up and down. Now we’re going to in the back here. This is kind of an advanced thing. You may want help from somebody who has done
this a couple different times, because it can be dangerous if it’s not done properly. These are called limit screws, and it limits
the derailleur from either the chain going into the frame or the chain going into the
spokes; which can be very dangerous because it could actually push the derailleur into
the spokes and break the spokes while you’re riding. What we’re going to do is we get really really
close, and look at it completely straight up and down, and see where the derailleur
is. There is usually an H and an L, meaning high
and low gear, on the two different screws. If not you could just try out a screw and
see if it works, and then if it doesn’t then unscrew it and try the other one. This is the high screw, and we’re in the high
gear which is the the smallest gear here in the back here. It’s the hardest gear to peddle. You start screwing that screw, and you’ll
feel resistance eventually and you’ll the actual derailleur move. You can see the derailleur moving back and
forth. What you want to do is you want to get that
nice and straight to the actual cogs, so it’s nice and straight up and down. You can see if it’s going to fall off, if
you can just pull the derailleur. I’ll show you what I’m talking about here. If it’s not adjusted properly, the derailleur
will pull right off and go right into the frame. See that, how it’s coming off and going into
the frame. Just to tighten it down so it’s pushing towards
that way and it’s not skipping up. If you do it too much, it’ll start to skip
up into the second gear. You can see that, so that’s not good. You want to make sure that it’s at the proper
location. Now that’s adjusted properly on the highest
gear here, which is where you want to start. You’re going to place the cable onto the nut
here. Basically what you want to do is you want
to be finger tight at first, making sure that this barrel adjuster has been zeroed out. Zeroed basically means that it doesn’t look
like it’s very far out like this. You kind of want to make it flush with the
plastic and the metal or if it’s metal, metal. Whichever it is. Then you have some room to either make the
cable a little bit tighter or a little bit looser, just as very small adjustments.