Bike Repair Resources- Front Derailleur Adjustment

What?! Another blog entry so quickly? I know, it’s amazing and also a thing called scheduling. I’m trying it out, so don’t think I’m just going to start posting on here every day or something like that 😉

Alright, so we talked about rear derailleurs in my last post. Rear derailleurs seem to be the majority of the cause of shifting issues due to the whole pesky derailleur hanger and the fact that rear wheels seem to get a lot of things caught in them. Also, bikes tip over pretty easily or get placed on their drive-sides way too often in transport.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a fair share of front derailleur issues. Ever have a chain fall off mid shift or mid ride? Yeah, that was likely your front derailleur misbehaving. Those pesky buggers are what keep the chain from going too far inside or outside on the crank’s chain rings. There’s also this new way that Shimano has you setting up much of the newer road and mountain bike front derailleurs that make mechanics want to tear their hair out when doing new bike assemblies or doing a drive train update on a bike.

Ever try to place a 1cm square piece of metal with an even smaller piece of double-sided tape on the back of it on a very specific spot on a bike frame in a very tight spot? Yeah, it sucks. I have tiny hands and I still have to use a tweezers, a 2mm hex wrench, and sacrifice a gallon of cold brew to the cycling gods to hope I don’t drop the damn thing for the 1000th time.

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The bane of every bike mechanic’s existence.

Needless to say front derailleurs are not my favorite. LONG LIVE 1x! Well, unless you live in an area with mountains or in the Driftless region of Wisconsin like I do, then you learn to love your double chain rings, no matter how many times you swore when you were assembling your new bike.

Luckily I’m not the one doing the educating on how to set up a front derailleur, I’ll leave that up to our friends at Park Tool and trusty Calvin. The man I’ve had to utilize on many a tricky repair to get me out of the weeds.

This video goes over how to properly set up and adjust a front derailleur. I should advise that this video doesn’t go over the newer installation of the Shimano front derailleurs with its evil tiny metal squares for frame protection, but they do have a more in depth guide that they link to in this video if you are in need.

Hopefully this will help you in order to keep your chain from falling off mid ride or at least get you to ride safely until you can bring your bike to your favorite mechanic for further diagnosis or repair.

I’ll keep posting resources like these for additional common bike issues that can be tackled by even the most novice of cyclists.

Derailleur adjustments and knowing how to do brake adjustments are great places to start in your D.I.Y. efforts to become a better bike mechanic. Stay tuned for more awesome resources on how to keep yourself riding!

Stay safe and sane everyone and…EAT WELL, BIKE OFTEN!

Bike Repair Resources- Rear Derailleur Adjustment

I’ve heard it thousands of times from patrons walking into my bike shop. “My gears are messed up.” or “I can’t shift into my ___ gear.” or “My chain shifted into my wheel.” Usually it’s some complaint about gears not working on the bike and the person not knowing what to look for, how to fix it, or even understanding how gears work on a bike.

I figured it would be a good time to share some of my favorite resources on how to do a little D.I.Y. maintenance to save riders from a trip to the bike shop or at least be able to do a quick adjustment while out on a ride until they can visit their favorite bike mechanic!

Park Tool has one of THE most comprehensive repair guides they print annually as well as an amazing YouTube channel that covers almost any problem a cyclist can come into contact with on a bike.

This particular video shows the famous Calvin of Park Tool explaining in depth on how to properly set up and adjust a rear derailleur on a bike. The rear derailleur is in charge of moving the chain up and down the rear cassette or freewheel on a bike for the smaller, incremental gear changes that happen on a bike.

The shifter located on the right hand side (if you are located in the US at least) is what is connected to the derailleur via a long cable that is enclosed in a length of housing on the bike.

I’ll just go ahead and save you some reading and post a link to the video as it is incredibly helpful for the budding mechanic.

Part of me posting this is that I’ve been considering hosting one on work basic mechanic workshops this winter to encourage more women-trans-femme and BICPOC (black, indigenous, people of colour) folx to learn mechanical skills.

The cycling industry has traditionally only catered to cis-gendered white men, which has not only been represented in much of the cycling marketing, but also has been the primary base of employees found at bike shops.

The world is finally catching on that just as many women want to ride and that cycling is an activity that all folx can enjoy. Representation at the shop level is important and fosters a greater community of riders.

With the off-season rapidly approaching I hope to share more in this series and continue some of my reviews of mass produced cycling bags as I think it’s nice to have information out there on more commonly found products as there’s a lot of info on high priced-niche market bags.

Nothing wrong with those options, but not everyone has access to them! Stay tuned and I hope everyone is staying safe and sane.

Fix A Flat Replacing A Bike Tube

Video three of my collaboration with Fitchburg Cycles is out now! This video covers that actual removal of a tire as well as replacing a tube and how to air it up using a pump. I go over using tire levers and some other tips on how to make sure you are correctly installing a replacement tube and the tire back onto your bike rim.

Check my previous posts on here as well as on YouTube for videos on gearing up for a ride with a tool kit as well as how to remove a wheel from a bike which covers detaching brakes and how to deal with a rear derailleur.

Thanks as always for checking out the blog. For more up to date and live content please feel free to follow @spokehaven on Instagram or Facebook.com/spokehaven.

Hope everyone is staying safe and sane!

ps- feel free to reach out via e-mail with questions, comments, content suggestions or review inquiries! info@spokehaven.com

-Cassandra

 

Fix-A-Flat Video Series Part 2!

Wow, two videos in a row?! I know. It’s a record for me. It’s amazing how much a person can get done outside of the usual daily grind.

I also have two weeks of Spring Break from having to do any schoolwork, so that’s also helped increase my productivity this past week!

FYI this video covers how to disconnect some various types of brakes on bikes as well as how to remove/install a rear wheel, since that seems to always be the most intimidating for folks when it comes to bike repair or replacing a tube.

Please feel free to reach out with any comments, questions, or content suggestions either via social or by e-mail.

Find me at facebook.com/spokehaven or @spokehaven on IG.
info@spokehaven.com for direct inquiries.

As always I appreciate the support and hope everyone is having a great week!

p.s. Video 3 will be getting edited later today and uploaded likely tomorrow! Stay tuned 🙂