The front derailleur on a bicycle is an important component for a smooth drive. It controls the course of the bicycle chain. We’ll show you how to adjust the front derailleur so that everything runs smoothly when shifting.
What is a front derailleur on a bike?
The front derailleur takes over with a derailleur gear an important task. It is located on the front chainrings and is the counterpart to the rear derailleur, which in turn is located on the rear axle. The function of the front derailleur is to push the chain from one chainring to the other chainring when shifting. He is as switching device on the wheel therefore only used for derailleur gears.
The bike chain moves through you when you pedal Cage above the front largest chainring. The cage guides the chain and is activated via the shift lever on the handlebars. The impulse triggered when switching now moves the cage in the desired direction.
This way the chain jumps onto a larger or smaller chainring. Cyclists refer to this as upshifting or downshifting. Two baffles, one outer baffle and a inner baffle serve as a guide frame for the bicycle chain.
When buying a new front derailleur, you have to make sure that it is approved size of your chain fits. Depending on the bike model, the chain is not just any size. Every bike has a maximum allowed chain size. In order for the gears to function properly, the front derailleur and the size of the chain must fit together harmoniously. Otherwise, the rear derailleur cannot be adjusted optimally.
Front derailleur models in different versions
There are two models of a front derailleur: the down swing and top swing variants. The first variant, the down swing, is permanently installed on the seat tube. The top swing model, on the other hand, is mounted further down. The mechanics are a little deeper in this version.
The type of bike and the space on the bike frame decide which of the two options are suitable for your bike. For example, the top swing derailleur is more suitable for bikes with a wide bike frame.
The two models can also be classified as top-pull, down-pull and dual-pull. The demarcation is based on the way in which direction the train management he follows.
- Top pull: Cable routing from above
- Down pull: Cable routing from below
- Dual pull: Train routing possible from two directions
Why does a front derailleur on a bike have to be adjusted correctly?
Riding a bike is only really fun when all the components are in place circuit works smoothly. A gearshift that is difficult to shift and has problems greatly reduces the driving pleasure. It is therefore worth checking regularly tensile stress on the rear derailleur and the right one adjustment for the front derailleur to control.
Only when the rear derailleur and the front derailleur on the front chainrings are working correctly is the gearshift in a state that prevents rapid wear and does not impair driving pleasure.
You can always tell if your front derailleur is set incorrectly by the chain via the small or largest sprocket jumps out the back. Another cause is that lack of chain support on the front chainrings. If the front derailleur is not adjusted correctly, it will ultimately have a negative effect on the entire gear system.
The rear derailleur and the sprockets on the rear axle also wear out quickly if the chain on the front derailleur doesn’t run smoothly. A precisely adjusted front derailleur therefore protects the sensitive elements of the rear derailleur and maintains driving pleasure.
Adjusting the front derailleur – instructions in six steps
The front derailleur can be adjusted the same on all types of bikes. The principle is identical for mountain bikes, racing bikes, e-bikes or city bikes. And adjusting the front derailleur is not as complicated as it might seem at first. You only have to adjust three screws to position the bicycle chain.
The right one Position of the bicycle chain is important for problem-free switching. We will now explain to you how to adjust the front derailleur in just a few steps.
Step 1: Check the components of a circuit for wear
The front derailleur adjustment is only possible if everyone else components of the bicycle gears work. For this reason, you first check the condition of the chain, chainrings and shift cables with their outer casing. It is important to look at the front derailleur baffle here.
This shouldn’t be bent. If the rear derailleur is OK and all gears can be shifted without any problems, you can start adjusting the front derailleur.
Step 2: Release the tension
The front derailleur on the bike is under tension. That’s why you have to loosen them first so that you can later move the cable in both directions for adjustment. To reduce the tension, turn it shift cable adjustment screw about halfway out. The screw for adjustment is located on the gearshift lever usually on the left side of the handlebars.
Step 3: Adjusting the lower front derailleur stop
First switch the bicycle chain to the smallest chainring at the front and to the largest sprocket at the back. The lower stop is set correctly when there is still about 1.5 millimeters of space between the chain and the guide plate. You change this setting with the L screw.
Step 4: Adjusting the front derailleur upper stop
In the next step, put the chain on the largest chainring at the front and on the smallest sprocket at the back. Also the upper stop is adjusted appropriately if there is also about 1.5 millimeters of space between the chain and the guide plate. To make a correction, turn it H screw in the respective direction to bring the stop into the desired position.
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Step 5: Check the setting
After adjusting the front derailleur, you now check the function. With the Shift lever you shift from the lowest gear to the highest gear. When the front derailleur lifts the chain precisely from the small chainring to the middle chainring to the large chainring, the two are front derailleur stops adjusted correctly.
It is important that the chain is switching process is not thrown beyond the outermost leaves. If there is a danger, you have to repeat the fourth step again and readjust.
Step 6: Adjust tension
In the first step you have that tension of the pull ropes released. After the front derailleur has been adjusted correctly, you now need to rebuild the tension in the cable. Use the shifter on the handlebars and throw the chain from the smallest chainring to the largest chainring and back.
If you notice that the chain does not change correctly to the next larger leaf when shifting into the individual gears, you need to adjust the tension of the cable using the adjusting screw increase. You can also use the adjusting screw to loosen the tension of the cable if the transition to the smaller chainring is not clean.
Once you have completed all the steps, you take one test drive. You can test whether the gear shifting on a bicycle runs smoothly or shifting into the individual gears is still a problem. You can adjust and readjust the front derailleur at any time.