How to Adjust Bicycle Gears Perfectly – You Should Know Before Riding a bike

How to Adjust Bicycle Gears

Now a day’s cycling is very popular to the people. Being environment-friendly it is very helpful for the body postures. There are several types of the bicycle such as mountain bike; cruiser bikes; road bikes etc. but every modern bike has gears. Correct adjustment of bicycles gears is very significance in terms of maintenance procedures.

Efficient and smooth bicycle gears can make all the variation to the pleasure and comfort of a journey. Although they look confused, making your gears running accurately is truly quite easy and straightforward. You should not be afraid by your bike gears. A little understanding can help you to go a long way.

How to adjust bicycle gears-this article will provide significance indication for the proper adjustment of the bike gears. It is also interpreted how to diagnose and fix the common problem with your bicycle gears effectively.

Are you confused with your bike gears?

Have you ever faced a problem with your bike? If your bike is not shifting correctly or falling off the chain unexpectedly, then you will need to adjust your gears properly. You should not be worried about these problems and don’t need to go any shop to get your bike shifting properly. Just adjust your front and rear derailleur! Although they seem complicated, adjusting bicycle gears is not difficult.

Your patience and some basic knowledge about how to adjust bicycle gears are enough to solve the problems associated with your bike. Through this article, you will know the basic concept and easy way to adjust your gears effectively.

How to adjust bicycle gears

In this section, you will know how to adjust rear derailleur and the front derailleur in details. You should follow several steps to the proper adjustment of your bike gears. If you learn how to adjust bike gears, you will reward with a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Adjusting the Rear Derailleur

Tools you need: Adjusting rear derailleur is a relatively easy task. It requires only a standard crosshead Screwdriver and some step by step process. Following steps are very crucial for the easy understanding Rear Derailleur adjustment of the bike.


Place the gear lever in high gear, rotation the pedals and make sure the chain to go the smallest cog. Whenever there is a cable adjuster upon the derailleur body or gear lever body, then tighten it almost every way. Loosen the cable-safety bolt on the derailleur and then release the cable out of the way.


​Rotate the pedals and applying your opposite hand to press the rear derailleur into the rear wheel manually. If the derailleur’s inner screw adjusted correctly, the chin will only roam to the largest cog and not go further.


​If it goes far the cog and falls into the spokes, turn the derailleur adjusting screw (often marked as high limit or ‘H’ screw) and repeat steps-3. If the chain does not place easily on the largest cog, extract the adjusting screw (high limit screw) a few and attempt again.


​If you are satisfied with this, let derailleur’s spring to drive the derailleur’s to the small cog. Again if the chain comes off, or does not remain properly on the small cog, use the other adjusting screw (often marked as lower limit or ‘L’ screw) to transfer the derailleur position.

​Step- 5

​If the derailleur journey seems smoothly from the large to small cogs on the cassette, then fit the gear cable and tighten securing bolt.

​Steps- 6

​Finally applying the gear lever, go within all the gears more times. However, the derailleur is a delay to go into the smallest gears, extract the cable adjuster a little. You need to screw in the cable adjuster if the derailleur is slow to move higher gears. Re-check all the safety bolts and go for a soft ride.

​Adjusting the Front Derailleur

Tools you need: Adjusting front derailleur is not so difficult. It requires a screwdriver, 5 mm Allen key, and your patience.

Step- 1

Insert the gear lever into the smallest gear; screw the cable adjuster (which located at the gear lever frame). Loosen the cable-safety bolt on the derailleur and then release the cable.


​Make sure that your front derailleur and chainring are the parallel position. There should be a minimum 2mm gap between the largest chain wheel and bottom of the external plate. If it not happens, you should release the fixing clamp and re-arrange the derailleur.


​Adjust the inner screw including the chain on the lowest cog of the original cassette. Then rotate pedal and pull the derailleur till the chain runs to the biggest chainring. Ensure this by the screwing and unscrewing the external adjusting screw which located at the frame of the derailleur. Back then derailleur to pre-position upon the lowest chain ring. Re-organize the cable including tight the safety bolt.


​Now your bike took off the ground, and chain with the biggest cog at the rear, check the forward derailleur by rotating the chain within small and the next chainring, the gear lever is important for doing this job. Make this with crank arm at the different angle for apparent any small curve in the chain ring. If your chain comes off the smallest chain ring, adjust the inner screw (often marked as ‘l’ screw for lower gear) a little.


​Set the chain on the little cog on the back cassette. If your bike has three ring cranks, repeat the above step, this time the chain moving between middle to largest chainring. If you find the chain comes off to the chainring, you need to adjust the external adjusting derailleur screw (often marked as ‘H’ screw for higher gear) a little. By doing this job, your derailleur does not travel to other.


​If you see any trouble that the derailleur is a problematic journey from smallest to largest chainring. Loosen the cable adjuster a little. Only make sure that does not become delay changing down. Finally, recheck all the bolts are tightening and enjoy a soft ride.

​Essential Tips:

  • Make sure that your derailleur hasn’t been bent. If this happened, you need to fix or replace it.
  • Make any change gradually and give full attention at the time of adjusting gears.
  • To lessen shifting troubles, lubricant and clean your chain regularly.
  • If you don’t have pre-bicycle repair experience, you should be more careful.


  • Lack of proper adjustment of the derailleurs can cause the chain to fall off, shifting incorrectly and damaging the rear wheel.
  • Poorly adjustment of the gears can be dangerous both for you and your bike.

The Final Verdict:

Gears are the fundamental instrument of the modern bikes. Correctly adjusting bike gears is very significance regarding maintenance procedures. If your bicycle is not shifting correctly or falling off the chain unexpectedly, you should not visit any bike shop for a fix. Just you need some basic knowledge and tools. With practice and patience, you can solve your gear problems yourself.

Although they seem little complicated, it is quite simple to adjust bicycle gears. I hope that above mention procedure is helpful to you, which indicates the proper guideline and tips on how to adjust bicycle gears effectively.

Here is our another guide on how to fix a broken chain. Check this out.

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