Shimano Gear Adjustments

On this page you will find the instructions to adjust the Shimano gears on your STRØM City E-bike

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Step by step

1 – Introduction

Derailleurs are fitted with limit screws that stop the derailleur from moving too far inward or too far outward. If you look closely as the derailleur moves, you can see the limit screws stopping the derailleur at each end of its travel. The main purpose of the limit screw is to prevent the chain from going into the spokes or into the frame. Tightening the H-limit screw restricts the limit as shown. The goal is to dial it in as close as possible to the inward cog, as shown in the previous photo. !!!PICTURE OF REAR DERAILLEUR ALIGNMENT AND LIMIT SCREWS!!!

Begin with a visual check of the derailleur hanger. If it’s clearly bent, your adjustments are not going to work. Refer to our page on hanger alignment to fix this issue!!!HANGER ALIGNMENT PAGE LINK!!!.

If the chain does not shift to the smallest cog, it is likely being stopped either by the limit screw, or cable setting. First, turn the H-limit screw counter-clockwise a few turns. Pedal and see if it makes the shift outward. If it still does not shift outward, turn the barrel adjuster on the derailleur body clockwise a few rotations. Pedal to see if it shifts. Your chain should now be on the smallest cog and there should be no more clicks left in the shifter mechanism. Turn the barrel adjuster clockwise another two turns, or until it is screwed in all the way, whichever comes first. The reason we do this comes from the earlier point regarding shifting position and proper limit screw settings. This will move the shifting positions beyond the limit screw setting so we will get an accurate assessment of current limit screw settings. We are now ready to dial in the H-limit screw.

Step 2 – High Limit Screw Adjustment

If the limit screw indicators can’t be found, pick one and turn it in and out while watching the derailleur. If the derailleur does not move, try the other limit screw. The H-limit screw will cause the derailleur to move. Find the correct setting by first making the H-limit screw adjustment too tight. Now back out the H limit screw until it sits directly below the smallest cog. Take your screwdriver and tighten the H-limit screw one-half turn. Listen for excessive noise while pedaling. If there isn’t any excessive noise coming from the drivetrain, tighten the screw until you hear the chain rubbing on the next cog. Once you hear the excessive noise, begin to back out the H-limit screw one-quarter turn at a time until the noise stops. If there are two settings that seem equally quiet, go with the tighter of the two settings. The H-limit is now set. !!!PICTURE OF THE LIMIT SCREWS, AND A MARK ON H-LIMIT SCREW!!!

Now turn the barrel adjuster counter-clockwise a couple of turns. The idea is to bring it back to roughly where it was before. Don’t worry if it isn’t completely precise just yet. As far as the L-limit screw, we will wait to adjust that until after we have adjusted the derailleur indexing and cable tension.

Step 3 – Indexing Adjustment

The process of indexing is to line up the guide pulley with the cogs so that each incremental shift lines up with each cog. The barrel adjuster allows us to make these adjustments. A quick note is that there is a range of acceptable adjustments, meaning that there may be more than one barrel adjuster position that results in good shifting performance.

Start on the smallest cog. Pedaling at a normal riding cadence, shift the shifter only one indexed click, not more than one click. We want this one click to shift one, and only one gear. If the chain did not make it to the next gear, return the shift lever to the outermost click, and turn the barrel adjuster one full turn counter-clockwise. Try the shift again and repeat the process until it makes the shift. If you have un-threaded the barrel adjuster that it has come out, or has nearly come out, thread the barrel back in fully and then out one or two turns. Make sure that you are on the furthest outward shift position and the smallest cog, then remove the slack from the cable at the pinch bolt.
If you shift the shifter one click and the derailleur moves two sprockets, shift back to the first cog, turn the barrel adjuster clockwise one turn, and try the shift again. Now that our chain is on the second sprocket after one click of the shifter, the shifting can be fine-tuned.

Turn the barrel adjuster until it is clearly out of the acceptable range of the first shift. You will hear noise when pedaling. Make sure that the source of the noise is coming from the chain beginning to strike the next inboard cog, then slowly turn the barrel adjuster clockwise until the noise goes away. While this is an adequate setting for this cog, you must now check each subsequent cog in the cassette one at a time. Shift and listen at each position for any excessive noise in the drivetrain. If you hear a noise in any cog, turn the barrel adjuster clockwise one-quarter turn. Test the shift to that cog again, and listen for any excessive noise. Repeat and continue to check until you find the barrel adjustment that allows good shifting in every rear cog, with the exception of the largest cog. The shift to the largest cog will be done later.

Now, shift outward in every cog, checking for excessive noise and good shifting performance. If any of these shifts are slow coming outward, that can be improved by another quarter turn clockwise at the barrel adjuster. Our indexing is now properly set and it’s time to move the L-limit screw adjustment.

Step 4 – Low Limit Screw Adjustment

Similar to the H screw setting, make the L screw too tight and back it out slightly until it is just right. This will provide the most protection from the derailleur shifting the chain beyond the largest cog and into the spokes. Shift the chain next to the largest chainring in front. Shift to the second-largest cog in the rear. Now, try shifting to the largest cog in order to determine where the L-limit screw is currently set. If the chain does not make the shift, then the L screw is already too tight, and that’s where we want it for now. If the chain shifts slowly to the largest cog, that is also a symptom of a too tight L screw. If there is excessive noise when the chain is on the largest cog, again, the L screw is too tight. If it makes an acceptable shift with no excessive noise, the L screw is not too tight. Shift the derailleur one-click outward and tighten the L screw one turn clockwise and check the shift again. Repeat this process until there are symptoms of a too tight L screw. Once the too tight L screw is causing symptoms, turn the L screw out one-quarter and check the shift to the largest cog until the symptoms of excessive noise and slow shifting go away. The L-limit is now set.

As a check, put extra pressure on the shifter and watch at the rear derailleur. The cage should not move inward.

Step 5 – B Screw

The spacing between the pulley and the cogs is controlled by the B screw or body-angle screw.
This adjustment is to check when the chain is on the smallest sprocket up front and the largest cog in the back. Our derailleur requires a gap between 5 and 6 millimeters You can use a hex wrench to gauge this distance. Don’t get too hung up on this particular adjustment. If the bike is shifting well, the B screw is probably within an acceptable adjustment range. To increase the gap, tighten the B screw. To decrease the gap, loosen the B screw. If you do make significant changes to the B screw, double-check the indexing adjustment. Otherwise, you are done, and your derailleur is properly adjusted.