How To Adjust Rear Derailleur On Mountain Bike?

If you ride a mountain bike, you know how important it is to have smooth and efficient shifting. One key component that plays a role in this is the rear derailleur, which moves the chain between the gears (also known as cogs) on the cassette. Properly adjusting the rear derailleur can make a big difference in your riding experience, so in this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps for doing it yourself.

Before we get started, here are a few things you’ll need:

  • Hex wrench
  • Cable cutter
  • Derailleur hanger alignment tool (optional but recommended)
Preparing for the adjustment

Step 1: Preparing for the adjustment

The first thing you’ll want to do is shift your bike into the highest gear (smallest cog). This will make it easier to access the derailleur and make any necessary adjustments. Next, locate the cable pinch bolt on the derailleur and loosen it using the hex wrench. This will allow you to make adjustments to the cable tension.

It’s also a good idea to check the derailleur hanger alignment at this point. If it’s not properly aligned, it can cause shifting issues and even damage to the derailleur. You can use a derailleur hanger alignment tool to check the alignment and make any necessary adjustments.

Adjusting the limit screws

Step 2: Adjusting the limit screws

The next step is to adjust the high and low limit screws, which control the range of movement for the derailleur. The high-limit screw limits the derailleur’s movement towards the larger cogs, while the low-limit screw limits the movement towards the smaller cogs.

To adjust the limit screws, first, shift the bike into the highest gear (smallest cog). Then, use the hex wrench to turn the high-limit screw until the top jockey wheel (the small wheel that guides the chain) is aligned with the smallest cog. Next, shift the bike into the lowest gear (largest cog) and turn the low limit screw until the top jockey wheel is aligned with the largest cog.

Adjusting the cable tension

Step 3: Adjusting the cable tension

Once you’ve adjusted the limit screws, it’s time to fine-tune the cable tension. This will ensure that the derailleur moves smoothly and the chain stays properly aligned with the cogs.

To adjust the cable tension, use the hex wrench to turn the pinch bolt on the derailleur. If you turn it clockwise, it will increase the tension and cause the derailleur to move further towards the larger cogs. If you turn it counterclockwise, it will decrease the tension and cause the derailleur to move further towards the smaller cogs.

How To Adjust Rear Derailleur On Mountain Bike Finishing up

Step 4: Finishing up

Once you’ve adjusted the limit screws and cable tension to your satisfaction, it’s time to reattach the cable to the derailleur. Ensure the cable is properly seated in the pinch bolt, and then use the hex wrench to tighten it down.

Finally, test the shifting to make sure it’s smooth and the chain is not rubbing against the derailleur cage. If everything looks good, you’re all set!

It’s a good idea to regularly check and adjust your derailleur to ensure optimal performance. You may also want to lubricate the derailleur pivots and replace the cable and housing if they show signs of wear.

In conclusion, adjusting the rear derailleur on your mountain bike is a relatively simple process that can make a big difference in your riding experience. With the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can do it yourself.