Adjusting your front derailleur might seem complicated, but with a couple of tips, you can get it set up just right. Every cyclist knows how frustrating it is to be unable to shift gears just as you are coming to an essential point of your ride. The culprit is more often than not a maladjusted front derailleur.

When the front derailleur comes out of alignment, it keeps the chain in the bike from moving between higher and lower gears. There is no need to panic if this occurs and it is actually something that you can fix it by yourself. So, today we share with you how to adjust front derailleur.

Tools That We Need

1. Hex Wrench
2. Screwdriver
3. Penny

How To Adjust Front Derailleur- The Complete Guide

Adjusting the lower limit

To adjust the lower limit, first, you have to shift the smallest chainring in the front and largest sprocket in the rear. Now, you can set the lower limit. At that point when you screw the L-screw in, the front derailleur moves away from the frame and when unscrewing the L-screw, the front derailleur moves toward the frame. The lower limit is set accurately when the inner chain plate is ca. 1 mm away from the chain.

Adjusting the upper limit

To adjust the upper limit, first, you have to shift the largest chainring in the front and the smallest sprocket in the rear. Now, you can use the H-screw to set the distance between the external chainplate and the chain. At that point when you screw the screw in, the front derailleur moves towards the frame and when you screw it out, it moves away from the frame. The upper limit is set accurately when the outer chainplate is ca. 1 mm away from the chain.

Limit screws

Shift into the smallest front chainring and largest back sprocket. Of the two screws over the derailleur, the one nearest the frame usually controls the lower limit.

This directs how close to the frame the derailleur can move. Adjust it so the inner plate sits just clear of the chain. Spin the wrench to check the chain isn’t catching.

The correct cable tension

Now that the limits are set accurately, you can adjust the inner wire tension. First, you have to shift the front derailleur back and forth a few times. If the chain is not cleanly moving from the smallest to the largest chainring, then you have to increase the inner wire tension. To do this task, turn the barrel adjuster counterclockwise.


The second screw on the top of the derailleur controls how far outwards it can move. It may be important to back it off to allow the chain to reach the big ring.

When engaged on the largest ring, adjust the screw so the derailleur can move no further than 1mm past the chain. This will make sure the chain can’t over-shift and fall off.


With everything now locked in position, try shifting through the gears. Use the barrel adjuster to fine-tune the position of the derailleur. Turning it anti-clockwise will increase the tension, making it shift into the big chainring more easily. Don’t forget to shift across the rear cassette as well to ensure each individual gear combination works.

Derailleur trim

Riding with the chain in the smallest sprocket and smallest chainring, or biggest chainring and biggest sprocket will harm your drivetrain. On Shimano systems, it’ll also make the chain to rub the derailleur. Shimano shifters have a built-in half-click to allow small adjustments on the move, known as trimming.

Final Words

After all the adjustments, the front derailleur should shift easily and precisely. Time to get back out there and shred some trails or clock some kilometers on the road. We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions regarding how to adjust front derailleur please let us know in the comment section below. We will be happy to answer them to our best abilities.

Enjoy your ride!

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