How to Fix Bike Gears
Are you an avid bike rider? If you are, then you are probably already acquainted with the bicycle basics that every rider should know. Having a bike isn’t just about learning how to ride it well – it also means you have to take a good care of it in order for you to get the most out of it.
Proper bike maintenance definitely goes a long way, and doing constant checks, especially with a bike mechanic, can certainly improve your performance as a rider.
It is good bike etiquette to do a check before every ride. You have to make sure that there aren’t any loose components and everything is in its best condition. This is how you ensure a safe and smooth ride. Aside from that, here are other reasons why you need to do constant maintenance checks on your bike:
- It ensures your safety. Bike accidents may not have as much impact as car accidents but they can still get you seriously injured. Making sure that your bike is in a good riding condition is a preventive measure against accidents. Don’t wait for your bike to break mid-ride and end up getting injured.
- It makes you avoid spending more on repairs. In all things, prevention is indeed better than cure. Getting your bike repaired when it breaks will definitely cost you more. You can avoid this by doing regular maintenance checks on your bike.
- It guarantees a smooth ride. Keep your bike in an excellent shape and enjoy smooth rides on it by doing at least two tune-ups a year. You can do simple bike maintenance on your own but you need to have your bike checked by a mechanic because there are some parts of your bike which can be too complicated for you to fix.
Every rider knows that the three main components of a bike that needs to be checked constantly are the brakes, chains, and tires.
Oftentimes, the gears are overlooked and riders don’t realize that the efficiency of bike gears makes a lot of difference in the smoothness and the ease of their ride. Just like all other parts of your bike, the gears need correct adjustment.
If your derailleur is adjusted incorrectly, you can have it accidentally slip into your spokes. That’s going to end up real bad for you. That’s why you have to make sure that your gears are exactly where it should be and that they’re positioned really well.
If you don’t know how to do or check that, these are essential information that you need to know about adjusting your bike’s gears.
How to adjust the rear derailleur
#1: Place the lever into top gear and let the chain get to the smallest cog that’s on the cassette by turning the pedals.
#2: Look for the cable-securing bolt on the derailleur and undo it, and then remove the cable.
#3: Push the rear derailleur towards the rear wheel manually with one hand while turning the pedals with the other. You’ll know if the inner adjusting screw of the derailleur has been adjusted correctly because it will only go as far as the largest cog. If it travels further than that, you have to re-adjust the derailleur by adjusting the screw in a clockwise motion. Do it until the chain sits comfortably on the largest cog.
#4: Once you’re done, let the derailleur’s spring push it outwards to the tiniest cog.
#5: The derailleur should travel comfortably from the high and low cogs on the cassette. When it does, you can refit the gear cable and secure it with the bolt.
How to adjust the front derailleur
#1: Place the lever into lowest gear. Check for a cable adjuster and if you see one, screw it all the way in. Look for the cable-securing bolt and undo it then remove the cable.
#2: Check if the front derailleur is properly aligned. It should be parallel to the chain ring and there should be a gap of about 2mm between the outer plate bottom and the top of the biggest chain wheel of the front derailleur. If it’s not aligned properly, loosen the clamp and correct the alignment.
#3: The chain should sit in the center of the derailleur side plates when it’s on the smallest chain ring. If it isn’t, you need to adjust the inner screw.
#4: Put the chain on the tiniest cog and pedal the bike as you pull the front derailleur and allow the chain to go into the biggest front chain ring. It should be in the center of the derailleur plates.
#5: Put the derailleur back to its position, refit the cable, and secure it with the bolt.
If you had a hard time following these instructions on how to fix your gears, check the easy-to-follow videos at DIY Bike Repair.