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Greater Arizona Bicycling Association, Inc.
Where cycling is more than just riding a bike
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HomeRear Derailleur Adjustments and Cable Replacement
Derailleur Cables - Removal and Adjustment
Replacing the derailleur cable is essentially the same procedure as brake cables. Derailleur cables also come in a universal length. Select a stainless steel or Teflon coated cable, lube it and install. Be sure to feed the cable through any guides and housing on its way to the derailleur to ensure crisp shifting.

Rear Derailleur

1.  Shift the chain to the smallest cog and largest chainring combination, then remove the old cable.

2.  Line up the top pulley directly under the smallest cassette cog (highest gear) using the 'H' limit screw.

3.  Thread adjuster barrel at derailleur and shifter (if applicable) clockwise until they stop.

4.  Install the new derailleur cable and pull through housing. Remove slack from cable and tighten cable anchor bolt.

5.  Shift through all the gears. If shifting is slow to lower gears, turn barrel adjuster counter clockwise.

6.  Shift into lowest gear - the smallest chainring and the largest cog. If shift is smooth, tighten 'L' limit screw until there is resistance. If lowest gear cannot be reached, turn adjuster barrel counter clockwise until shift lines up.  If indexing is accurate, turn 'L' screw counter clockwise to allow derailleur to reach to lowest gear.

7.  Rear derailleur is properly set up if top pulley is lined up directly below a cog in the middle of the cassette.


The anchor bolt clamps the cable into the derailleur, just like with brake cables. Shift to the highest gear, (the smallest cog on the rear) then pull the cable snug and tight before tightening the clamp.

Use the barrel adjuster to make fine adjustments so that clicking the shifter makes for quick, precise shifts. Unscrewing the barrel adjuster tightens the cable, causing it to shift to a bigger cog. Screwing it in relaxes the cable, causing it to shift to a smaller cog.




Recommended Tools:
  • 5mm Hex wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Cable/housing cutter

















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