Adjust Bicycle Gear - How To Do It

Smooth and efficient gears make a big difference to your bike laps, and adjusting them is not as difficult as you might think! When ordering your bike, you should always have your bike pre-assembled and well-adjusted so that you do not have to do it when you get your bike home. However, when I did my first lap with the bike this week, the gears needed adjustment to work as usual again. Fortunately, both I and the bicycle did well!

It feels like when you have a well-functioning gear system, the chain should easily jump between the gears without it jumping back or sounding unusually loud. You should also not be able to switch up or down several steps when you are already on the highest or lowest gear. It may not sound dangerous to have incorrectly adjusted gears, but there is a risk that the chain jumps off or that the rear gear gets stuck in the spokes, which can cause you to fall.


Adjust bicycle gear - How To Do It

How To Check Your Bicycle Gears

  1. Put your gear in the highest (heaviest) position and let the chain jump to the smallest gear, screw the adjusting nut on the rear gear driver all the way in, almost.
  2. Gear down and let the chain jump up to the highest gear. If the chain fails to jump up to the last gear then turn the adjusting nut counterclockwise. If the chain jumps too far, instead turn the adjusting nut clockwise. Depending on your model, you can also adjust the handlebars on the gear cable.
  3. Test that the bike runs smoothly on all gears.

How To Check Your Front Gears

If you need to adjust the front gear, the process is almost the same as the steps I laid out. But, that you adjust by tightening the wire with a multi-tool or on the adjusting nut on the wire. (can differ between different marks).

  1. Put your front gear in the lowest (lightest) position and let the chain jump to the smallest gear, adjust and check that the outside of the front gear is in line with the largest gear and about a 2mm gap to the gear teeth. When you ride on the lightest gear in the rear and front, the chain should pass the gear driver and not scrape against the inside. If you hear scratching sounds, you need to lighten the wire.
  2. Switch up and let the chain jump up on the largest gear, also make sure that the gear driver does not scratch against the chain. Adjust until the chain and gear go smoothly by fine-tuning the adjusting nut on the cable at the handlebars.
  3. Test that the bike runs smoothly on all gears.

Now that you are up and running, you can also make sure that you have a clean and well-oiled chain. I use wet oil that I apply after each wash.