Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all. I am having some major issues with my shifting. I think it is a rear derailleur/indexing issue. I ride a Hardrock 29er, SRAM X4 in the back. The issue started out as a chain slipping kind of thing. Once I got past middle gear on back (going towards the smaller gears), the bike would just shift by itself. I would be in my highest gear, but my shift lever would still have one more gear to go.

Obviously I read the Derailleur Set-Up thing in the maintenance section, but i am having some issues. I have been fiddling around for about 30 minutes, and I just keep making it worse. Most frequent issue is what I described...highest gear on sprockets allows the shift lever to click up once more, which means I can't shift to the lowest gear.

I guess I just don't know where to start. I want to fine tune/index it all up, but I don't even have the chain catching on all 7 gears. What do I need to adjust (barrell things, body screw, H/L screws) to get this thing into a decent starting point to fine tune?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
Hey, all. I am having some major issues with my shifting. I think it is a rear derailleur/indexing issue. I ride a Hardrock 29er, SRAM X4 in the back. The issue started out as a chain slipping kind of thing. Once I got past middle gear on back (going towards the smaller gears), the bike would just shift by itself. I would be in my highest gear, but my shift lever would still have one more gear to go.

Obviously I read the Derailleur Set-Up thing in the maintenance section, but i am having some issues. I have been fiddling around for about 30 minutes, and I just keep making it worse. Most frequent issue is what I described...highest gear on sprockets allows the shift lever to click up once more, which means I can't shift to the lowest gear.

I guess I just don't know where to start. I want to fine tune/index it all up, but I don't even have the chain catching on all 7 gears. What do I need to adjust (barrell things, body screw, H/L screws) to get this thing into a decent starting point to fine tune?
That means the cable tension is way too loose....tighten it up by moving the adjustment nut out from the stop.

The RD is jsut sitting on the lower limit screw.
 

·
Huckin' trails
Joined
·
6,060 Posts
Try to set the H/L screws to allow the rd to shift good to the smaller cog. Then pull the cable tight and tighten the bolt to hold it in place. Then start turning the crank and going up shift. Adjust with the barrel adjuster the cable tension to give a good upshift.

More tension equal faster up shift. Less tension equal faster down shift.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the help. Let me clear things up so I can get this thing repaired ASAP. I have one barrel adjuster up by each shift lever. Are you saying I need to just tighten that all the way up, or should I be loosening something near the RD and actually pulling the cable tighter?

Everyone is so kind to noobs in the beginners corner. Thanks again. I have a free tune up at the LBS, but I can't be without my gym transport for 7 days.
 

·
Picture Unrelated
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
The RD is jsut sitting on the lower limit screw.
I think you might mean high limit if we are talking about the small gears.

Assuming your high and low limits are set properly (always the first step) I would suggest shifting into the highest gear (8 or 9 or 10) which takes the tension off the cable. Then un-tighten the cable pinch bolt to free the cable, pedal the bike into the highest gear (smallest cog), pull it snug, and re-tighten the pinch bolt. It's very important to make sure the cable is routed through the pinch bolt correctly or you could be out there all night trying futilely to get the thing to shift.

Once the cable is reset like that you can fine tune the shifting using barrel adjusters. More tension causes the cable to go to the easier to pedal gears (1st: largest diameter) and less tension makes it easier to get to the harder to pedal gears (8,9,10: smallest diameter).

Big assumptions are:
  • Your derailleur hanger is straight
  • Your high and low limits are set properly
  • Your cable and housing is clean and moving freely
  • You don't have rapid rise (low normal). If you do, then you perform the setup operation using 1st gear, the largest diameter cog instead of the smallest.

Have you checked out youtube tutorials on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you might mean high limit if we are talking about the small gears.

Assuming your high and low limits are set properly (always the first step) I would suggest shifting into the highest gear (8 or 9 or 10) which takes the tension off the cable. Then un-tighten the cable pinch bolt to free the cable, pedal the bike into the highest gear (smallest cog), pull it snug, and re-tighten the pinch bolt. It's very important to make sure the cable is routed through the pinch bolt correctly or you could be out there all night trying futilely to get the thing to shift.

Once the cable is reset like that you can fine tune the shifting using barrel adjusters. More tension causes the cable to go to the easier to pedal gears (1st: largest diameter) and less tension makes it easier to get to the harder to pedal gears (8,9,10: smallest diameter).

Big assumptions are:
  • Your derailleur hanger is straight
  • Your high and low limits are set properly
  • Your cable and housing is clean and moving freely
  • You don't have rapid rise (low normal). If you do, then you perform the setup operation using 1st gear, the largest diameter cog instead of the smallest.

Have you checked out youtube tutorials on this?
This is what I am not understanding. How do I know if my limits are set right? Let's say everything is being all wonky. I have moved both H and L screws around a lot today, and I have messed with the body screw a good bit. I didn't realize having the limits right was the first step, I thought that would be more of a fine tuning thing. I haven't watched any youtube yet.

Let's say I want to get my limits right and then play with cable tension. What exactly do I do?
 

·
Probably drunk right now
Joined
·
6,753 Posts
What we are saying...

Thank you for the help. Let me clear things up so I can get this thing repaired ASAP. I have one barrel adjuster up by each shift lever. Are you saying I need to just tighten that all the way up, or should I be loosening something near the RD and actually pulling the cable tighter?

Everyone is so kind to noobs in the beginners corner. Thanks again. I have a free tune up at the LBS, but I can't be without my gym transport for 7 days.
The barrel adjuster by the shift lever should be in the middle of its travel. Shift the derailer to the small gear. Loosen the hex nut that holds the cable in place on the rear DR. Pull the cable taught and tighten the hex nut. That will get you close. Then you can use the barrel adjuster to fine tune the shifting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
Thank you for the help. Let me clear things up so I can get this thing repaired ASAP. I have one barrel adjuster up by each shift lever. Are you saying I need to just tighten that all the way up, or should I be loosening something near the RD and actually pulling the cable tighter?

Everyone is so kind to noobs in the beginners corner. Thanks again. I have a free tune up at the LBS, but I can't be without my gym transport for 7 days.
I should have said High limit screw....it is set correctly even without the cable the HL screw will keep the RD on the small cog....

Yeah just tighten the cable until when you first click the shifter it goes up onto the next cog...barrel adjusters...

There now it is very close and all the other issues can be checked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
838 Posts
Additional tips...
Rear Derailleur: Low = big cog limit. High = small cog limit.
Front Derailleur: Low = small cog limit. High = big cog limit.

If your limits are set and your cable tension is right, you more than likely have a bent derailleur hanger. Get access to the Park tool to adjust it. (I guess I need to buy one instead of using the one at work all the time.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
If you follow all these tips/videos and you are still having trouble, keep in mind you can also run into issues from the following:

  • Frayed cable - won't allow the derailleuer to return to smaller cogs on rear cassette can also cause slow or un responsive shifting, moving to another gear long after you moved the shifter.
  • Dirty/gunked up cable housing: won't allow cable to slide properly and can cause slow shifting response or no response.
In fixing a lot of bikes, many older bikes need a replaced cable, housing, or some tri-lube in the housing to free up movement.

Good luck!!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top