Nothing is more frustrating than poorly indexed or sticky gears. When you start to go uphill and need to shift down, you want the shift to happen instantly instead of the chain skipping around or making a horrible grinding noise as it doesn’t quite reach the next cog. By learning how to adjust mountain bike gears, you can ensure that your shifting is always perfect and you will not have to rely on your local bike shop making adjustments for you.
Here at The Adventure Junkies, we want you to be able to carry out minor maintenance tasks on your bike so we have written this guide to help you adjust your gears the next time they need some attention.
Fortunately, once you have gotten your head around what each of the screws on a derailleur does, adjusting your gears is not as hard as it might sound. If you are unfamiliar with the different components, have a look at the explanation below of each of the parts that make up your bike’s gears.
CHAINRING: The cog or cogs attached to the cranks.
CASSETTE: The nest of cogs on your back wheel.
DERAILLEUR: This is the moving part that pushes the chain from one cog or chainring to another.
LIMIT SCREWS: These screws decide how far the derailleur can move. There is an upper and a lower screw. They need to be properly set, otherwise, the derailleur will push the chain too far or not far enough. If a chain falls between the cassette and spokes, the chain or wheel can get damaged.