How to Adjust a Front Derailleur? 9 Easy Steps

A derailleur is a machine that helps to manipulate the gearing and chainring process of a mountain bike. Indeed, riding on hills by bike is a familiar scene nowadays. As a result, the demand for adjusting a front derailleur is very high. A front derailleur works to shift the chain on a bike from a chainring to another.

So, the fixing of a front derailleur is a burning question at present. Moreover, many bikers want to adjust it by own. As a result, today, we will give you the directions on how to adjust a front derailleur.

Let’s read and learn the ABC and the ways below.

front and rear derailleur of a mongoose mountain bike

9 Easy Steps To Adjust a Front Derailleur

1. Tools  

Firstly, you have to collect some tools. You cannot do the process without them. They are a Screwdriver and an Allen key. But the main part is a derailleur. Moreover, you can use a penny or a scale instead of the Allen key. If you have a bike stander, then it will be best.

2. Adjusting the derailleur at the correct height

Above all, How to Adjust a Front Derailleur may seem a hard nut to crack to a biker. But this is the easiest way. Firstly, you have to set your derailleur at 2 or 3 millimeters above the chainring. Secondly, fix it on that position you have marked. It may take some minutes. But you’ve to keep in mind that you cannot fix it at sixes and sevens situation. For better work, take the bike on a stander. But if you don’t have it, it will create no problem.

3. Adjusting the height with the positioning clamp

To clarify, a clamp is a thing that helps to adjust the derailleur with the body of a bike. But it is not for the use of a bike only. Because we use it in many ways, it is a handy tool. Firstly, you have to loosen the clamp to adjust it by turning clockwise. Moreover, you will refix it by turning back. But be careful! You have to do it while your bike is on the lowest gear. Otherwise, it may take you to be in a fixed situation.

4. Checking the position of a derailleur

After that, you have to shift your middle front. Because this shifting helps you whether the derailleur cage is in the proper place or not, generally, it is the main checking part of the whole process. If the case is not in the appropriate position, then you have to shift back into the lower gear.

Finally, readjust the height with the positioning clamp. You can fix the case if you do not feel at your wit’s end. Above all, you should bear in mind the point that you have an iron will to do the process.

appropriate position of a front derailleur
appropriate position of a front derailleur

5. Parallel position of the derailleur case and chainring

In this case, you have to check the chainring and the derailleur case’s position. Because this is another key point of the adjustment ways, if you do something wrong in this phase, the other works you have done may go to the dogs. So, you have to ensure the derailleur cage and the chainring are parallel. If they are not in the parallel position, you have to adjust. In short, glace over this phase very carefully.

6. Readjusting the bolt to the correct position

Meanwhile, you may have known the work that you have to do by the line, right? It would help if you readjusted the bolt on your bike. To readjust it, you have to loosen the bolt. Then shift to the lowest gear and turn the derailleur to the right position. Many of us know the bolt’s high and low signs as ‘H’ and ‘L.’ This is not the main fact.

7. Using the derailleur’s barrel adjuster to loosen the cable

In this case, you have to use the derailleur’s barrel adjuster to loosen. Then turn the derailleur’s barrel adjuster. If you want to release tension in the cable, you must turn the adjuster clockwise. Thus, you can use it.

8. Screw adjustment for inner and outer chainring

You have to focus on this phase. Because this is another crucial part of the adjustment process, in this case, you can use a screwdriver. Then twist the inner limit screw. In addition, you must do it till the inner part of the cage comes near to the chain. 

9. Check the derailleur & trimming

This is the last phase of the adjustment of a derailleur. If you have done the above sections properly, you should check the gear system, shifting process. To check, you must shift across the whole range of your bike. If you do all things properly, the derailleur can shift easily into large and small chainrings. And it will make no grazing at the time of shifting.

After that, keep an eye on your gear and ride. While riding, you have to do trimming over and over again for a time. To clarify, trimming means frequent and small coordination or adjustment at the time of riding on a bike. At last, having checked it, start riding as you do as usual.


(a) Why is my front derailleur not shifting?

Answer: A front derailleur doesn’t work for some reason. For example, the reasons can be:

  1. Inappropriate positioning
  2. For adjusting incorrectly
  3. The sluggishness of the cable
  4. Improper mechanism

(b) What happens if the front derailleur is too high?

Answer: Well, this is a common question. If you set the front derailleur too high, it will not work well. On the other hand, if you set it very near, this will also make a problem. So, you must know How to Adjust a Front Derailleur and adjust in a proper position.

(c) Why is the derailleur hitting my cassette?

Answer: Maybe the back wheel is not in the center position. As a result, it directly hits your cassette. Moreover, the cassette will get close to the derailleur when your wheel is not correctly positioned. In addition, at the time of downshifting, the derailleur may hit the large cogs.

Final Words

Suppose you are in a long race or a riding. All of a sudden, your gear or the derailleur has stopped working. Won’t you feel a bolt from the blow situation? What should you do then? There is nothing to worry about. We have discussed How to Adjust a Front Derailleur for this problem. If you follow the directions, you will surely fix your problem. Therefore, glace over the directions and enrich your knowledge with another great and necessary skill.

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