When you first assemble your bike, your derailleur may need to be tuned if you hear any noise as noted in the video below or if it is not shifting smoothly. If your chain is coming off the largest diameter cog, this can be a serious issue and should be properly tuned before riding any further, or avoid that gear until you can return home to adjust the derailleur.
Adjusting your rear derailleur is crucial for smooth shifting and to prevent the chain from falling off during rides and is something that you can do at home. If you aren't comfortable working on your bike, we recommend you take it to a local bike shop for help. Any shop should be able to help with this adjustment, though it is always a good idea to call them ahead of time to ensure they are willing to work on your bike.
The Ride1Up warranty does not cover tuning, adjustments, or the associated labor.
If it is found that an in-warranty part is defective, Ride1Up will gladly replace that part so you can replace it yourself or have it done at your local bike shop. Please get in touch with Ride1Up Support for parts before having any warranty work done.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to adjust your rear derailleur:
- Inspect the Setup: Make sure the chain, derailleur, derailleur hanger, cassette, and chain ring are in good condition. The chain can be visually inspected for kinks and debris, and a chain wear indicator can be used to see if the chain is worn. We also recommend checking that the derailleur hanger is straight and checking the teeth on the cassette and chain ring to see if they are worn. Any bent or worn parts can affect the shifting performance.
- Check Cable Tension: Shift your bike into the smallest cog (the highest gear). If there's slack in the cable, use the barrel adjuster near the derailleur to tighten it until the chain moves smoothly onto the smallest cog without hesitation.
- Set the High Gear Limit Screw: Shift your bike into the largest cog (the lowest gear). If the chain is not shifting onto the largest cog properly or is shifting past it into the spokes, adjust the high gear limit screw (marked "H" on the derailleur) until the chain sits directly below the largest cog without rubbing against it or overshooting into the spokes.
- Set the Low Gear Limit Screw: Shift your bike into the smallest cog again. Now, if the chain is not shifting onto the smallest cog properly or is falling off the cassette, adjust the low gear limit screw (marked "L" on the derailleur) until the chain sits directly above the smallest cog without rubbing against it or falling off.
- Check Indexing: Shift through the gears to ensure smooth shifting between all cogs. If you encounter any hesitation or the chain is skipping, use the barrel adjuster near the derailleur or on the handlebars to fine-tune the cable tension until the shifting is smooth and precise.
- Fine-Tune: After initial adjustments, ride your bike and fine-tune the derailleur as needed. Cable tension may settle after the first ride, so readjust if necessary.
- Final Inspection: Once you're satisfied with the adjustments, inspect the entire drivetrain for any signs of wear or damage and ensure everything is properly lubricated.
If you do want to adjust your derailleur at home, here are a few videos from YouTube on derailleur adjustments.
- How to Adjust a Rear Derailleur – Limit Screws & Indexing
- A SIMPLE FIX TO MAKE YOUR BIKE QUIETER (clutch derailleur service and adjustment) | Syd Fixes Bikes
- How a Rear Derailleur Works