Derailleur adjustment question

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Derailleur adjustment question Empty Derailleur adjustment question

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat May 25, 2013 5:34 pm

I have a Schwinn 21 speed mountain bike with Shimano derailleurs on it and the rear one seems to be off by just a bit. It is off by 1 gear, until i hold the shifter past 1st, and it will then go into 1st but once i let go it will skip past 2nd and go into 3rd. Otherwise the shifter will be 1 number low. In the final position 7 will be 6. The cable has a little slack when i hold it in 1st but i cant remember if i need to adjust the screws or if i need to tighten or loosen the cable. Its been along time since i worked on a bike and never liked messing with derailleurs. Anyone have a clue as to how it needs adjusted? My main bike guy no longer lives in town or i'd have him look at it.
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Post by Steve Johnson on Sat May 25, 2013 7:00 pm

The screws on the derailleur are limit screws so it does not fall off the inside or outside cog. In less you have messed with them already or it got bent there should be no need to touch them.

The cable tension is what needs to be adjusted. There should be no slack in the cable when it's in the smallest cog. There should be an adjustment barrel the cable enters the rear derailleur through.
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Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat May 25, 2013 8:00 pm

I havent touched the screws. Its not bent either. I couldnt remember what they did, so i left them alone. Where the cable goes in it there is a nut to loosen, similar to adjusting brakes. I just need to know whether to pull it tighter or to loosen it so it will line up the gears properly. Right now i left it in the 1st gear, which is the largest sprocket. If i shift all the way up it will only go in to the 2nd smallest sprocket.
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Post by Steve Johnson on Sat May 25, 2013 10:02 pm

Either the outside adjustment screw is too tight or more likely the cable is too tight. It should drop into the small outside sprocket but have no slack in the cable. Try turning the cable adjustment barrel in enough to allow the derailleur to drop the chain onto the outside sprocket.

If the cable is loose and it still won't drop onto the outside sprocket then the derailleur is bent, binding, or the outside adjustment screw is too tight.
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