• James

How to adjust your Shimano gears!

Updated: May 17, 2020

A relatively simple task that many people have problems with... Well it is simple if you do it in the correct order and, as with most things, its all in the preparation (before you start twiddling with screws!)

Step 1: Set your limit screws before you clamp the cable. With your rear derailleur in the resting position, the jockey wheels should be just out of line to the right of the smallest sprocket (as you look at it from the rear of the bike). Turn the "H screw" to adjust this

then turn the cranks and push the derailleur by hand up to the largest sprocket. Be careful not to trap your fingers and do this very slowly because if the "L screw" isn't set properly the derailleur will crash into the spokes, which is not what we want! Adjust the "L screw" until the jockey wheels are directly in line with the largest sprocket.

Step 2: Screw the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur clockwise until it is all the way in, then back it off 1 full turn. Do this with all barrel adjusters (on the gear lever itself and any inline adjusters along the length of the cable for the rear derailleur).

Pull the cable as tight as you can by hand and clamp it with the cable pinch bolt on the derailleur.

Step 3: With the chain on the largest front chain ring, rotate the cranks and click the rear derailleur into 2nd gear (the second smallest sprocket). If it does not shift, then rotate the cranks and at the same time slowly wind the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur anti-clockwise until it shifts to the correct gear.

So with Shimano, this next bit is an important step. It is written in their instruction manual but is not very clear at all! Keep rotating the cranks and continue to turn the barrel adjuster anti-clockwise until you hear a rattling/ticking sound. Once you hear this sound, turn the barrel adjust clockwise until the point where you cannot hear the sound any more.

Step 4: Now shift up and down the gears to check they are indexing properly.

If it is not shifting up to a bigger sprocket then turn the barrel adjuster anti-clockwise.

If it is not shifting down to a smaller sprocket then turn the barrel adjuster clockwise.


Any problems get in touch!

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