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Adjusting your shifting system - we show you how it's done!

Nothing's more annoying than a poorly adjusted MTB shifting system. The chain jumps, there is clicking noise and dragging. Your drive components are worn unnecessarily as well, which can be easily avoided. We show you how to set up your 1x shifting system correctly and what to pay attention to.

Some useful advice in advance

  1. The procedure shown can be applied to a large number of 1x drivetrains. If you're still on the trail with 2x or 3x systems, you also need to adjust your front derailleur.
  2. First, check the condition of your drivetrain components. Often, a bent hanger or a bent cage is the reason for a poorly working rear derailleur. Check the wear of your chain and sprockets as well. If these components are badly worn, swap them so they can be easily adjusted.
  3. Don't be surprised if your shifting system doesn't work as precisely as immediately after the setup when you hit the trails a couple of times. A new shiftet cable stretches a little bit at the beginning, so you need to readjust.

You have read that? Then we can now start with adjusting!

1. Preparation

Working steps:
  1. If your shift cable is tensioned, first remove it from the rear derailleur.
  2. Engage the highest gear (the smallest sprocket).
  3. Turn the fine adjuster clockwise until it stops and turn it back one or two turns.

2. Adjusting the top and lower stop

Working steps:

  1. Turn the H-bolt (lower stop) until your chain jumps on the smallest sprocket when turning the crank by itself (also without shift cable). Align the derailleur by turning the L-bolt so that the guiding role and idler pulley are in exact alignment with the sprocket and the chain runs smoothly over the sprocket.
  2. Clamp the shift cable by hand and fasten it to the shifting system. Now engage the smallest gear (the largest sprocket).
  3. Adjust the L-bolt as well to align the guiding role and the idler pulley with the sprocket and make sure the chain runs smoothly over sprocket.

To understand:

H-bolt (H is for "high" = high gears) = lower stop of the derailleur

  • Clockwise rotation - Derailleur moves towards the wheel
  • Counterclockwise rotation - Derailleur moves away from the wheel

L-bolt (L is for "low" = low gears) = top stop of the derailleur

  • Clockwise rotation - Derailleur moves away from the wheel
  • Counterclockwise rotation - Derailleur moves towards the wheel

3. Adjusting the angle

The angle adjustment specifies how far away the jockey pulley is from the sprocket and how far the sprocket is enclosed by the chain. It's adjusted with the so-called B-screw.

To understand:

  • Clockwise rotation - Jockey pulley moves away from the sprocket
  • Counterclockwise rotation - Jockey pulley moves towards sprocket

Attention: For mountain bikes with rear suspension, you need to check the distance to the Jockey pulley as well as the stop of the derailleur, because the frame's rear and length changes during compression.

4. Fine tuning

To fine tune your shifting system, you can use the setting dial on your shift lever.

To understand:

  • Clockwise rotation - Reduced tension
  • Counterclockwise rotation - Increased tension

Working steps:

  1. Slowly turn the crank and shift from the largest to the smallest sprocket and check how the derailleur reacts. If the chain doesn't fall onto the smaller sprocket instantly, or not at all, you must reduce the tension.
  2. Now switch from the smallest to the largest sprocket. If the chain isn't pulled onto the larger sprocket immediately, or not at all, you must increase the tension.
  3. Switch through all gears and check the function. Done!

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