maintenance

How to Fix Bike Gears that Won’t Shift – Simple Guide to Tune Bike Gears

Riding a bike is one of the most pleasurable things to do. But, when the gears won’t shift, the pleasure turns to frustration very quickly. Let us just ease this right here for you and say that we have the solution. Wait. There’s more – the solutions are easy and may not take more than a few seconds. 

How to Fix Bike Gears that Won’t Shift

Now that we have your attention, we shall first talk about why a bike’s gears won’t shift. Understanding the problem will help you figure out the right answer. Plus, you will know if there’s something you can do to avoid it.

The most common problems are as follows :-

  1. The gears simply don’t shift 
  2. The gears are sluggish
  3. The chain keeps coming off
  4. The chain shifts too much in any one direction
  5. Up-shifting is the problem, but downshifting is working fine
  6. The chain is jumping or slipping

The gear refusing to shift is the most common problem with a very simple solution – indexing. When indexed properly, the gears shift one after the other with ease. If you are skipping gears and facing problems, the indexing is to blame. That’s why you must know how to index your bike’s gears.

  1. The front derailleur must be in the smallest ring or the middle ring. Shift it and then wind the rear barrel in the clockwise direction. Now, release the cable mounting bolt. This should happen behind the derailleur
  2. Use the pedal gently to push the derailleur so that the chain comes up. Be gentle in this step because sudden movements could cause problems. Once the chain reaches the second-smallest cog, you can stop and tighten the retention bolt while pulling the shifter cable taut. Again, be very careful and do not tighten too much.
  3. Now, start pedaling again so that the chain goes back to the smallest cog. maxresdefault
  4. After this, you can test your gears once by using the shiftier. If everything is fine, you are done. But, if up shifting is still problematic, you should work on the barrel adjuster to turn it anticlockwise. This will increase the tension and solve the problem. If the bike is over-shifting, you will need to tone it down by turning the barrel clockwise (basically, the opposite of what you did to fix the up shifting).
  5. You may also be in a scenario where up-shifting is perfect, but when you try downshifting, you are unable to achieve any success. In this case, your inner cables need some maintenance. Clean them, lubricate them, or replace them based on their condition.

We understand that this process looks tedious but trust us, it is pretty easy! When you start doing it, you will realize that you only a few minutes to get your bike back in tip-top condition. However, if you aren’t confident or if the aforementioned process does not work for you, we advise you to head to a mechanic or bike specialist to solve the problem.

Also, before we end this article, we would like to emphasize the importance of taking good care of your bike. Cleaning it after every long expedition, servicing it regularly, lubricating the chains, and getting professional treatment every now and then will avoid gear shifting problems to a great extent. Your bike gives you so much happiness. Isn’t it only fair to give some back?

Elizabeth Davis

Hi, I am Elizabeth Davis. I am an auto enthusiast and love writing about cycles, bikes, cars, and other automobiles. After being the motoring journalist for over five years, I decided to share my knowledge regarding the details, performance, and techniques of riding different vehicles. Apart from writing, I love traveling around the world on my bike and trying new cuisines.

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