How To Tighten A Bike Chain With A Derailleur?

Have issues with your derailleur and bike chain and need to tighten the bike chain with the derailleur. There are a number of reasons that your chain needs to be tightened with the derailleur. So, how to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur?

Tightening a bike chain with a derailleur can be done easily by adjusting the barrel adjuster. You may need to increase the cable tension by turning the barrel adjuster counterclockwise which will increase the tension. Loosen the cable if the chain moves to a bigger cog than indicated on the shifter. If it moves to a smaller cog than indicated, increase cable tension. Repeat until it is working correctly.

In this post, we will go through how to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur. Let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked

Types Of Derailleurs

As we know that the main job of a derailleur is that changes the gears. By de-railing the chain and then pulling it off one cog or sprocket onto another. A bike can have only a rear derailleur, or both a rear derailleur and a front derailleur.

There are also front and rear derailleurs, especially for MTB and there are derailleurs for road bikes.

Mountain Bike Derailleurs

Checking The Derailleurs Regularly

The derailleurs should be inspected regularly. A properly adjusted derailleur shouldn’t be making any real noise. If there is noise coming from the derailleur when shifting gears, the derailleur may need an adjustment.

If after the adjustment, the noise stills persists, it may be time to replace the derailleur. It is also worth going to the local bike shop to help to identify the problem and fix it.

There are others things to look out for when inspecting your derailleur, such as.

  • That the chain does not come off.
  • That the chain should line up smoothly with each chainring and be rubbing against the chain.
  • Any debris in and around the chain and the derailleur.
  • That the derailleur cage does not rub the crankarm.

How Tight Should The Derailleur Be?

You need to have it fairly tight before clamping it to the derailleur. So simply, as tight as needed to have accurate gear shifting. It should also be noted that derailleurs have minimum and maximum chainring sizes.

Why Is My Chain Hitting My Derailleur?

If there is a situation where the chain is rubbing or hitting the outer edge of the derailleur cage. You may need to increase the cable tension using the barrel adjuster. This is done by turning it counterclockwise which will increase the tension.

How To Tighten A Bike Chain With A Derailleur?

Before tightening a bike chain with a derailleur you need to remember that derailleurs have minimum and maximum chainring sizes. Make sure that you have the right derailleur size.

Let’s get started to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur.

Getting Setup

  • Starting off you need to place your bike on a bike stand as this will make sure that it does not move. You need to verify that it is the correct length should be.
  • Alternatively, if you do not have a bike stand you can flip your bike upside down on its saddle and handlebars. You can put a cloth on the ground to protect the saddle and handlebars.

Tighten A Bike Chain With A Derailleur

  • First, turn the barrel adjuster to the loosest setting which is clockwise, and then wind it back which makes it tighter by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Then you need to pull the cable fairly tight and lock the cable.
  • Now check by changing the gears that the derailleur shifts to the correct gears. If not, you need to adjust the cable tension with the barrel adjuster.
  • Remember that if the chain moves to a bigger cog than indicated on the shifter, loosen the cable. If it moves to a smaller cog than indicated, increase cable tension. You need to repeat it until the chain moves to the correct cog when changing gear.

Finishing

  • Finally, do a test that everything is working as it should. If everything is smooth you have done the job properly.

Wrapping Up

Finally, tightening a bike chain with a derailleur can be done easily by adjusting the barrel adjuster. You may need to increase the cable tension by turning the barrel adjuster counterclockwise which will increase the tension. Loosen the cable if the chain moves to a bigger cog than indicated on the shifter. If it moves to a smaller cog than indicated, increase cable tension. Repeat until it is working correctly.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on how to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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How To Tighten A Bike Chain With A Derailleur