If you’re a cyclist, chances are you’ve encountered the common problem of malfunctioning bicycle gear. It can be extremely frustrating when your gears don’t shift properly and impede your cycling experience.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps that can help you to fix a bicycle gear and get back on the road in no time. In this article, we will discuss how to fix bicycle gear so that you can enjoy cycling again without any hiccups.
1 Preparing the Bike
Begin by removing the chain from the derailleur and shifting it onto the smallest rear cog. This will make it easier to access and work on the components of the drivetrain.
Next, use an adjustable wrench to loosen any nuts or bolts that may be present in order to remove components such as the derailleur cage, pulleys, and chainring fasteners. Once these are removed, clean all of the parts with a degreaser solution and a brush or rag. Lastly, inspect all of the parts for wear and tear before reassembling them back onto your bike.
1.1 Gather tools
Before beginning the repair process, make sure to have the necessary tools on hand. A set of Allen wrenches, a Phillips-head screwdriver, and a flathead screwdriver are all necessary for most repairs.
Additionally, you may need special tools such as chain breakers or cable cutters depending on the type of bike and the problem that needs to be addressed. Having these tools close at hand will help ensure that you can complete the repair quickly and easily.
1.2 Take off parts
It’s vital to set up the bicycle before attempting to fix the gear. This entails removing any components that can obstruct the performance of repairs, such as the rear wheel and chain guard.
To do this, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the axle nuts on either side of the back wheel and remove it from its frame. Then, unbolt any screws or other fasteners holding the chain guard in place and take it off as well. With these components removed, you can now proceed with fixing your bike’s gears.
2 Adjusting the Gears
The good news is that it’s typically simple to remedy any gear-related issues you may be having with your bicycle. You can put your bike back in gear and get it ready to go by following a few easy steps.
First, make sure that all of the bolts and nuts on the bike are properly tightened. If any of them are loose, tighten them up before continuing. Next, check the derailleur system for proper alignment.
The derailleur is responsible for moving the chain between different gears. Make sure that it moves freely and isn’t catching on anything when you shift between gears. Now take a look at your shifter cables and make sure they are properly adjusted.
Your shifters should be adjusted so that there is no slack when shifting from one gear to another, but not so tight that it makes changing difficult or impossible. Once everything looks good, move on to adjusting the limit screws on your derailleur system.
These screws control how far each gear will go before hitting its limit and preventing further shifting in either direction. Adjust these until you have achieved smooth shifts through all of the available gears without any skipping or hesitation while changing between them.
2.1 Determine problem
It’s crucial to determine the issue prior to attempting to alter the bicycle’s gears. To do this, just pedal the bike while keeping an ear out for any grinding or clicking sounds.
If there is a noise, it could indicate that the derailleur needs adjustment as this component shifts between gears. Additionally, if one of the gears won’t shift at all then this also indicates an issue with the derailleur which will need adjusting.
If there are no noises when pedaling and all of the gears shift properly, then the problem may lie in other parts such as a loose chain or worn-out sprocket teeth. In this case, other adjustments may be needed in order to fix these problems.
2.2 Adjust the cable
To adjust the gears of a bicycle, start by loosening the cable pinch bolt on the derailleur. Shift the bike into its highest gear and then turn the barrel adjuster clockwise until it stops.
This will tighten the cable and move your chain onto the largest cog in your cassette. Once your chain is on this largest cog, tighten up the cable pinch bolt again. Test to make sure you can shift through all of the gears without any problems or skipping. If needed, you can fine-tune your adjustment with help from a barrel adjuster.
3 Re-gearing the Bike
If your bicycle is not shifting properly, it may be time to re-gear the bike. Re-gearing involves replacing or adjusting the gears on your bike in order to make them better suited for the terrain you’re riding on.
This process can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some tips for re-gearing your bike: First, determine what type of terrain you will most often be riding on and choose an appropriate gear ratio for that terrain.
The gear ratio determines how much force is required to move the chain from one sprocket to another. For example, lower ratios are better for climbing hills while higher ratios are best for flat roads or descents.
Next, decide whether you need new components or if adjustments can be made to existing ones. If you need new components such as cassette cogs or chainrings, make sure they fit correctly and match the gearing range of your derailleur system.
Once all of your parts are ready, start by removing any existing components from the hub shell and then install each piece according to its instructions (e.g., reverse threading when fitting a cassette).
3.1 Change the cog
To change the cog, remove the rear wheel and locate the freewheel. Use a wrench to unscrew the retaining nut and then slide out the old cog. Put in a new one that is compatible with your bike’s chain line and tighten it up with a wrench.
Be sure to check for proper alignment before putting the wheel back on. When finished, adjust the derailleur so that it shifts smoothly between gears.
3.2 Change the chainring
To do so, the rear wheel must be removed from the bicycle frame. The chainring is bolted to the crankset, which is attached to the bottom bracket. Using a hex key wrench, loosen and remove the bolts that hold it in place.
Once they are removed, take off the chainring and replace it with a new one of your choosing. Re-attach it using the same hex key wrench and bolts.
4 Finishing up
Make sure that all screws are tightened securely and that no parts are loose. Check for any signs of wear or damage on the chain, sprockets, and derailleur.
If anything looks worn or damaged, replace it before continuing to ride. Once everything is secure, take your bike out for a test ride! With a few simple adjustments and some patience, you can easily fix a bicycle gear issue.
4.1 Reassemble parts
Start by putting the chain back on the cassette, making sure it is fully seated. Next, attach the derailleur to its hanger, and secure it with a bolt. Reinstall the cable in its housing and adjust it so that when you shift into larger gears, the derailleur moves outward.
Finally, reattach all brake cables and levers to their respective calipers or levers. Adjusting the tension on each may be necessary for proper shifting performance.
4.2 Check alignment
Make that the chain is moving smoothly and the new gear is properly positioned once it has been placed. Measure with a ruler from the crank arm’s center to the largest cog’s center on both sides.
The measurements should be equal; if they are not, adjust accordingly. Check that each gear engages properly when shifted and that there is no noise or grinding coming from the drivetrain.
4.3 Test the gears
Start with the highest gear and pedal forwards. If you hear any grinding noises or feel resistance when pedaling, this is a sign that something is off and needs further adjustment.
Then switch to a lower gear and repeat the process until you’ve tested each one. You should now be able to smoothly transition between different gears without any issues.
Adam is an active cyclist, he has an extensive knowledge of cycling mechanics and techniques that allows him to go from beginner to pro on any level.