At a time when indexed shifting can cause shifting to be almost effortless, on an occurrence of problems, it can turn out to be annoying or dangerous. A chain that is sticky, grinding or jumping is a sign that time has come to have your rear derailleur inspected and adjusted. This is something that is best done after the chain is cleaned and lubricated.
The rear derailleur adjustment is all in all a process that is easy and step by step. But if you don’t know how to adjust rear derailleur on your mountain bike or road bike then read below to know all the information you’re looking for to get rear derailleur adjusted properly.
The function played by the rear derailleur is guiding the chain from one gear to another. The rear derailleur adjustment process depends on three things only:
his is the relative alignment of the derailleur to the drive train and the frame. The rear should be hanging in a parallel position to the bike’s plane. You can be able to note this from behind the bicycle.
Barrel adjusters located on the shifters control this on mountain bikes, derailleur body on every bicycle, and in the event of road bikes at the attachments of the down tube cable.
These screws found on the body of the derailleur restrict the extent of the derailleur’s swing to the inside (L) or the outside (H): both sides maintain the chain from shifting off the cassette. This is the point you are to use a screwdriver in adjustment.
You are going to require one of either flipping over the bike such that it is at rest on the handlebars and seat or lifting the bike into a bike stand. To have the derailleur adjusted, you are going to need to pedal the bike as you work.
This is gear sprocket is the smallest on the rear cassette. It is at a distance furthest away from the bicycle. The working of a derailleur is via a cable tension, and the gear that is highest is in actual sense the point having the lowest tension. This means the work done by the derailleur is least and as such, the adjustment is easiest.
The barrel adjuster is the little cylinder that connects the cable to the derailleur. Follow the cable from the rear derailleur going straight to the handlebars. This cable’s tension is what results in shifting of gears. Ensure that it is not bent, and is sitting in its housing. Neither should it be caught in anything or loose. This is not an issue that is common, but we cannot rule out the possibility of it happening.
Continue pedaling the bike while at a time shifting gears. Take a note mentally of the times when the chain jumps a gear or requires to be twice clicked to skip a gear. Are there any problems as the bike goes up or down? Some grinding or noise maybe?
As you continue to pedal, have the barrel adjuster turned in the direction you want the cable to fall. The cable’s tension is changed by tightening of the barrel which consequently dictates which gear you are in.
The cable is tightened by loosening of the barrel adjuster making pulling it up towards the larger gears easier. In case nothing happens on shifting down, have it left in the shifted gear and continue turning the pedals. In anti-clockwise direction, turn the barrel till the chain jumps up and shifts on its own.
If a challenge is postured in moving your chain away from the bike, you can have the barrel tightened. If it is not going to shift on clicking it, continue pedaling and rotate the barrel. The effect of this is tension reduction on the derailleur making it possible for the chain to smoothly fall to the smaller gears. Continue turning bit by bit to a point where the chain shifts on its own, same as the gear you were trying to shift.
Upon the adjustment of one gear to smoothly shift, the remaining part of the derailleur often falls into the right place. Check each of the gears to make sure you are adjusted then continue. In the event there are still issues;
Have the chain in a lubricated state with some chain lube to make sure the stiff chain links do not affect shifting. And also to ensure the drive train is going to last for a long duration of time.
If you went through the instruction step by step then you should know how to adjust rear derailleur easily. As rear derailleur adjustment is almost same process to front derailleur adjustment so you will not find any difficulty to do that too. Happy Pedaling!