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It is very vital for bikers to master simple basics on adjusting gear ratios. This helps to minimize gear shifting technical hitches that arises when riding a mountain bike. This mostly occurs when a mountain bike skips a gear or fails to shift into gear. Mountain bikers experiencing this problem need to learn how to adjust their gears before biking.

The following are vital guidelines on adjusting mountain bike gears.

(a) Having a strong bike stand- This positions your bike well for easy gear adjustment when not riding.

(b) Ensuring that your limits screws are properly adjusted- This is possible by ensuring that your front derailleur is well adjusted by setting low and high limits properly. This is done using two tiny screws labeled ‘L’ and ‘H’ denoting Low limit and High limit respectively.

(c) Shifting to the lowest gear in the front- This is possible by shifting to the smallest gear using left shifter. You can use a screw driver to tighten the Low limit screw if you detect an over shift. An over shift occurs when the chain passes past the Low limit gear. It is also ideal to ensure that the chain shifts comfortably onto the “L” gear by loosening or tightening a quarter turn slowly.

(d) Shifting to High limit gear- This is facilitated by to the largest (H) gear and repeating the process in step “c” by adjusting the High limit screw.

(e) Ensuring that gear shifting is working smoothly- This is possible by loosening or tightening the cable using the barrel adjuster.

(f) Ensuring the front and rear derailleurs limits screws are properly adjusted- It is advisable to test whether the “H” screw is above the “L” screw.

(g)Shifting to “L” gear- This is possible by either loosening the Lower limit screw for under shift or tightening it for over shift.

(h) Shifting to “H” gear- This is done by adjusting the High limit screw to achieve under shift or over shift.

(i) Adjusting the cable tension- The real derailleur has a ball adjuster which can be used to achieve this adjustment. This makes sure that the chain is shifting properly from one rear gear to another. This limits technical hitches that arise when shifting from Lowe High limit gears to Low limit gears. This can also be done by adjusting the Allen bolt.

(j) Repairing gears that do not shift properly-It is advisable to repair all gears that fail to shift properly after adjusting ‘L’ and ‘H’ limits as well as the adjustment cable. Seeking a more experienced bike repairer is important to fix all problems that may persist after these adjustments.

(k) Adding lube to your chain- This ensures proper and smooth gear shifting.

Proper gear shifting ensures that your mountain bike is able to cruise easily on rough service, grass, loose gravel and mud. The bike is also able to overcome friction caused by excess dirt when biking. The main advantage of a mountain bike with smooth working gear ratios over a normal road bike is its ability to overcome the challenges of friction caused by gravel, dirt and mud. The mountain bike is also able to tackle hills with much ease than a normal road bike.

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