How To Make Shift Adjustments to a Road Bike

Your bike has well-adjusted gears if it can shift precisely, smoothly, and quietly. Improper adjustment would result in inaccurate pedaling, which might cause accidents. It is important that bike owners know how to make shift adjustments to a road bike. Doing so is not necessary everyday but doing this once in a while could save lives and improve the biking experience. Below are the steps on how to adjust the shifting system:

  • Set the chain first. This means that the chains should be in proper position before you start the adjustment. For instance, if you will set the rear derailleur’s low gear, the chain should be around the biggest cog. Of course, the shift gear should have made to its proper position first. In case the chain is not aligned properly, correct its alignment by turning the pedal or the appropriate screw.
  • Check the derailleur’s height. To do this, try to shift the gear. The derailleur should not hit anything. It should also be parallel with the chain ring. Look from the front to check if it is parallel to the chain rings. If the derailleur is okay, then you don’t need to do any adjustment. Proceed to the next step if it hits anything or if it’s not parallel to the chain rings.
  • Adjust the limit screws. These screws are usually found on top of the derailleur. Simply turn the screws clockwise or counterclockwise. You’ll notice that the derailleur moves up and down when you turn the screws.
  • Check the cable’s tension. The tension should not be too loose or too tight. It should be enough for safe biking. To check the tension, simply pedal the bike with your hands. If it feels loose, start loosening its bolt first. This is the bolt that holds the cable. After that, pull the cable ends using a pair of pliers until the right tension is achieved. Turn back the bolt to tighten it after correcting the tension.
  • Continue the first steps until all the adjustments are made. After that, check if the shift is working smoothly as you have expected. If anything seems wrong, then consider making more adjustments. Simply follow the same guidelines mentioned above.
  • Add lubrication for the moving parts. Add some drops of lubrication to the moving parts like the derailleur, chain rings, and chain. The lubrication will also prevent early wearing out of the parts and will keep your bike ride safe and smooth. This will also avoid any rusts and dirt from getting on the way of the parts. Wipe off any excess lubrication. Too much lube could be so greasy and messy.

Try the newly adjusted bike right away. Feel the difference of what this simple adjustment can make to the smoothness of your shifting and to the overall quality of your ride. In case you can’t seem to get the right adjustment, it will be best to consult a technician. Sometimes, a rough ride could mean that something is going wrong with the system. Don’t ride your bike until you are sure that it is safe for use.


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