how to adjust bike gears

How To Adjust Bike Gears?

The gear system is one of the most important parts of a bicycle. It is in charge of transferring the power from the pedals towards the wheels, using several cogs and a chainring, which results in the forward or backward movement of the machine. If the gears are damaged or not assembled correctly, it will majorly affect the bicycles overall range of motion.

In principle, tweaking bicycle gears should be very simple, especially for experienced cyclers. However, many users find this to be very complicated. Right now, I would like to share these few easy steps on how to properly adjust the gears on your bike.

Determine Where The Problem Is

First and foremost, you’ll need to identify where the adjustments need to be made. Scan your bike gear properly and carefully check on your front and rear derailleurs. If there’s something snagging on your chain, there’s probably damage somewhere in these areas.

bike derailleurs

Specifying where the problem lies is always the most basic step. We cannot proceed to find a solution if we are unclear where the hitch is coming from. Until we answer this question, we won’t be able to proceed to the next steps.

Adjusting Your Rear Derailleurs

Once you’ve identified that the problem is indeed in the rear derailleurs, you will need to modify a few of its parts as well. Namely, the upper limit, lower limit, cable tension and the B-tension screw. Here are a few tips on how to do this.

  • Turn the chain until it reaches the small cog at the very end. This should mean that this is already at its lowest possible gear
  • Loosen the cable from the derailleur
  • Adjust the high limit screw first – move the derailleur so that the upper jockey wheel lines up right below the highest gear
  • Manually move the pedals and move the chain until it reaches the high gear
  • Adjust the low limit screw – alternate between tightening the loosening the screw until you see that it works properly. Make sure that it doesn’t reach the spokes.
  • Move the bike’s derailleur again until it reaches the highest frame
  • Adjust the cable tension and B-tension screws
  • Move the pedals of the bike and observe whether the gears are shifting seamlessly and the tensions are just right
  • Test drive – Make sure the derailleurs are working by taking a quick test drive

Adjusting Your Front Derailleurs

On the other hand, if it is your front derailleurs that need adjustment, here are some helpful tips. Compared to the rear derailleur, this is a lot simpler to adjust.

  • Make sure your rear derailleurs are working properly
  • Check the distance between your front derailleurs – the cage should be 1 to 2 mm above the biggest chainring
  • Move your gear until it reaches the lowest level
  • Adjust the low limit screw – tighten and loosen the screw until you see that it efficiently moves from the small to the larger chainring
  • Adjust the cable tension
  • Manually move the pedals and observe if the chains are working properly
  • Test drive – Make sure the derailleurs are working by taking a quick test drive


Adjusting your rear and front derailleurs is difficult at first, but as you get the hang of doing this, it slowly becomes easier. It just takes a lot of practice and experience to perfect. Additionally, be sure to make it a habit to constantly check your gears, even if everything seems to be running smoothly. It’s a good practice to prevent any untoward incidents from happening.

Happy riding, everyone!

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