Picture of How to tune a rear derailleur
This instructable will help you to tune up a rear derailleur.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Tools

Picture of tools
You will need:

Allen Keys
Cleaner( I use Pedros Oranj Peelz)
Screw Driver
Chain Lube

Step 2: Clean

Picture of Clean
First thing, put some cleaner on your rag and clean the outside of the derailleur.

Step 3: Pulley crud

Picture of pulley crud
Next clean the crud off of the pulleys. I just pedal the bike while running the rag over the pulleys. The inside of the top pulley can get filthy...

Step 4: Clean the chain

Picture of Clean the chain
Next clean the chain.

I put cleaner on a rag, then turn the cranks backwards while holding the rag over the chain right at the bottom of the derailleur cage.

Step 5: Lube the pivots

Picture of Lube the pivots
Drop of few drops of chain lube on the pivots of the derailleur, the most important are 8 spots on the parallelogram.

Wipe off any excess.

Step 6: Lube the chain

Picture of Lube the chain
While we have the lube out, lets lube the chain, I use white lightening, it has worked well for me for years.

I drip lube on the chain above the cassette.

Then use your rag to remove any excess lube from the chain, you don't want the lube to be on so thick that it gets dirt and grime caked on.

Step 7: Grease the bottom cable

Picture of Grease the bottom cable
If you have been using this cable for a while, crud can build up in the housing down by the rear derailleur.

What you can do is shift all the way up to the biggest ring in the back.

Once the chain is in the biggest ring, do not pedal, but shift to the smallest ring.

Step 8: Clean the cable

Picture of Clean the cable
At this point you can pull the housing and cable out of the last cable stop on the frame.

Step 9: Slide the housing up

Picture of slide the housing up
Slide the housing up, if the cable has any corrosion on it you can use some green scotch bright to rub it off.

Step 10: Lube the cable

Picture of Lube the cable
I put a little grease on my fingers and lube the cable before putting the housing back on and in to the cable stop on the frame.
Tangski1 year ago
This is great information I have been looking for. Just a tip, I would suggest you take the bike and power wash the gears so they are clear of mud, then show the 'clean' steps. Next, put arrows to places and spots you are talking about. I had to really look for that H and L making...and line up the gear sprokets etc. As well, the last instruction, is that using H or L? Not sureLOL
Anyway, thanks so much for doing this, as now I can help the kids on the block when they are trying to keep that chain on, and can't fix..but now I can fully fix for them! Cool!:)
spizzak2 years ago
Some labels on the pictures would be helpful in these steps.
bears03 years ago
my chain seems to click because the derailleur is slightly off and the sprocket is hitting the side of the chain. what should i do?
iloqutiss13 years ago
White lightning is probably the best chain lube.. for dry weather. If you live in an especially rainy area or ride a lot in winter where it snows a lot you will want a different type of lube. I used to ride year round in Milwaukee, WI and during the summer I used White Lightning.(self cleaning, no greasy residue, great lube) Winter and spring called for something like Tri flow. A little messier but held up to the elements better.
sharlston5 years ago
thanks for the ible my derailer cogs are touching each other likethe little metal tab on top of the little cog my chain rubs on it and creates this horrible noise how do i adjust it?
Hycro sharlston5 years ago
If it's only when you have it on the smallest-sized gears, then it's a simple thing of shortening the chain a little bit, but it's nothing to really worry about, all it does is slowly wear a track on the tab your chain is rubbing against. I had that problem, shortened my chain, and it cleared it up...although, I also had the problem of the chain not being tight enough because the derailleur I was using was smaller than the bike and chain were designed for (I go through a lot of rear derailleurs, either they were of poor construction, I changed something and forgot to re-set the limits, or the stop-pin somehow wears out and the derailleur puts a kink in my chain and I have to push it home since my suspension forks won't work right if there's no oil in them, and if it's laid down, it leaks oil, and we no longer own a minivan and have no bicycle carrying racks for any of our 3 cars...)
sharlston Hycro5 years ago
thanks ive done it now
Hycro sharlston5 years ago
sharlston Hycro5 years ago
thanks im getting a chaibreaker next week so ill shorten it