Shifting levers or gear control levers are the controlling essence of any road bike and when you are using a Shimano, it becomes imperative to know how to adjust Shimano shifting levers. These are the aid to riding comfortably and efficiently, irrespective of the riding terrain and let you change gears almost immediately. A shifting lever fits into one end of the bicycle handlebar, and once set in the required position also serve as a potential hand rest. In order to have a smooth and comfortable ride, it is essential that you adjust the Shimano shifting levers properly, by yourself.
To adjust Shimano shifting levers, you will need:
- Wrench set
- A set of pliers
The step by step guide to adjusting the Shimano shifting levers:
First and foremost, set up the bicycle in job stand so that you can work upon while it is stationary. In case a work stand is not available, set it up on its own stand used to station the bicycle.
Next, using a wrench, try to make the cable stop bolts on the left and the right derailleur lose enough. Turn the barrel adjusters clockwise with your fingers and make it tight on each shifter in a manner that it is toward rather than away from the shifter body.
Make use of your pliers to drag the front derailleur cable till it is stretched tight beneath the cable stop. Now, also work to make the cable stop tight enough so that it does not work loose.
Work similarly on the rear derailleur. Using the pliers, drag the rear derailleur cable till it is stretched tight beneath the cable stop. Work to make the rear derailleur cable stop so tight that it does not work loose.
Now, check to see that the shifters are adjusted as desired. If the bicycle is set on the job stand, rotate the cranks of the bicycle forward and if not, take the bicycle for a ride so that it can be tested. Then, shift through all the gears on the left and right shifters to check if there is a missed shift or over shift. In case the shifter is too rigid and over shifts or shifts two or more gears at a time, make an attempt to slightly slacken the cable beneath the cable stop. On the other hand, if the shifter is too slack and misses shifts or does not shift at all, twirl the barrel adjuster on the shifter in a manner which is counter-clockwise with a view to tauten the cable.
Congratulations! You have now learned how to adjust Shimano shifting levers. A very useful tip is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ gear to be riding your bicycle in and you should shift in the manner that seems appropriate to you. As the landscape of the road where you are riding changes, you operate the shifters to make it smoother or tougher to pedal depending on what feels right to you. Try to find the gear most suitable to the type of road where you are riding by keeping on shifting until you reach the one which is just right for you. With experience this gets easy and can be done with minimal or no effort at all.