How To Adjust Shimano Front Derailleur?

How To Adjust Shimano Front Derailleur?

If you thought that finding and purchasing a tubeless valve stem was a complicated enough matter for your mountain bike, then you just did not meet the front derailleur adjustment thing.

Because this thing is sort of tricky, but at the same time easy to execute. Of course, maintaining precise adjustment is where people become confused.

And so, guides like this one on how to adjust Shimano front derailleur come in handy. Shimano because it’s one of the most commonly used ones. Let’s get into it!

How To Adjust Shimano Front Derailleur?

Let’s Find Out How to Adjust Shimano Front Derailleur

You’ll need to adjust the height, angle, limit screw and check whether or not the derailleur is functioning right for the adjustment process.

Having the right setup with proper adjustment will avoid your bike gears to work smoothly. It’s already going through a lot, with constant use. From increased friction of mud and dirt to undiscovered wear and tear residing inside, there are a lot of things that the components go through.

Not to mention the loss your chain would face by jumping between chainrings and sprocket due to lack of right adjustment. And that’s why you must not delay getting the front derailleur to the right portion by doing the necessary adjustments.

But if you are having a hard time understanding how to adjust Shimano front derailleur on mountain bike then this piece will help, keep reading…

Tool To Use:

  1. Needle nose plier – Try the Park Tool Needle Nose Pliers.
  2. Screwdriver – The CRAFTSMAN Screwdriver Set a one-in-all type of option to get for such and many similar chores.

The Height & Angle Adjustment of the Front Derailleur.

You should be able to get Shimano tourney front derailleur adjustment for both height and angle with this, follow the instructions.

For The Height Adjustment

  • Having the derailleur sitting on the right height is very important. Just above the hinge chainring, it should be at 1 to 3 millimeters high. If the cage is too far from chainring, then bike shifting becomes poor. And having it too far below will cause the chainrings to rub on it. Even if you use the best bike chain lube, the performance will feel degrading.
  • You must make adjustments based on the millimeters difference for the very reason. And being precise here is a must. Get a repaired bike stand for handling the process even better. A penny will help in steaming the adjustment for the right height. This is because a penny is around 1.5 millimeters thick, so that shall guide you in very precise adjustments.
  • There should be a positioning clamp that plays the part of connecting derailleur to frame. And you must adjust it for the height adjustment. Loosen the clamp basically, turn it clockwise and that’s going to allow you to adjust the height. Once you are done, make sure to tighten the bolt.
  • Have your bike in the lowest gear. Otherwise too much tension may cause harm to the inner wire.
  • Check if the cage is in the right position. You want to try shifting back with low gear otherwise and readjust the height until the right height of the derailleur cage is achieved.

For Angle Adjustment.

  • Start by observing the derailleur angle with chainrings, is it parallel? If your answer is no, then adjustments are necessary.
  • You have to look down from above for a better understanding of what adjustment exactly needs to be made. Try imagining an alignment between the bike frame centerline and cage center.
  • It’s all about readjusting the bolt. And bringing it to the correct position. You should find the bolt in the bike frame attaching the derailleur part. Loosen it and then have the bike shifted to the lowest gear. Now go ahead and turn the derailleur to make it sit at a right angle.
  • Don’t forget to tighten the positioning clamp once you are done. And that’s it!

Adjusting The Limit Screw.

Another adjustment that you need to take care of with the front derailleur is regarding the limit screw. Here’s what to do.

  • The bolt that attaches the frame to the derailleur is what you need to readjust. Have the bike on the lowest gear and make the derailleur sit in the right position at the proper angle and then have the clamp tightened back.
  • Next, you need to work with the cable tension adjustment. It basically attached at anchor bolt. You want to have this cable as tight as possible. And then get the anchor bolt tight back as well use a needle nose plier for this task. It’s not necessary for the tool helps.
  • Now have the front derailleur up. And it should be into the biggest chainring. The rear derailleur meanwhile should stay in the smallest cog. Use a screwdriver and turn the outer limit screw. Make the outer derailleur cage come close to the chain. However, it should not touch the chain.
  • This limit setup basically helps to ensure the chain never over shifts and falls out. You can control how far the derailleur shifts outwardly using the outer screw. It is marked with an “H” mark often.

Derailleur Functioning Properly.

You should check whether the part is functioning right or not after making the adjustments. Here are the steps regarding it.

  • A whole range of bike gears needs a set to be shifted through. And the derailleur should easily shift to large and small chainrings. This should happen without running on the chain of course.
  • Fine-tuning the position by twisting the barrel adjuster shall help here. Just turn a few quarters counterclockwise. So that there’s more tension for easy larger chainrings shifting.
  • Try pushing the derailleur out. If it allows that, the cable tension is incorrect. And you need to rotate the barrel adjuster to correct it.
  • Ride the bike and try making tiny adjustments, also known as strumming. This way the chain won’t rub against the derailleur and it will stay protected. It also helps to keep the alignment of the derailleur.
  • If despite the adjustment, the derailleur is again misaligned after a short while, there are severe issues that need checking and fixing. Try contacting a professional as soon as possible. Unless you are sure you can fix it yourself.

Frequently Asked Question.

1. Why won’t my front derailleur shift up?

There are many reasons for appending so. First, the body positioning of the derailleur is not right. Then the front derailleur adjustment screws are adjusted wrong. Also having a dirty mechanism can be the cause. Improper tensioning and cable damage could be behind that as well.

2. Which derailleur do you adjust first?

It’s best to get the front derailleur adjusted first. And the go for the rear one.

3. Is it normal for chain to rubbing on front derailleur?

Sometimes proper adjustment can also not prevent the chain to run on the front derailleur. You can try loosening the H-limit a bit.

So that the front cage can move a bit out. And this helps usually in preventing the rubbing. However, there’s a problem with this solution. It might end resulting in the chain shifting to the largest ring. And then there’s also the chance of coming off.


So, it’s not that hard to understand how to adjust Shimano front derailleur, as you can see. It’s just a few important instructions and notes that you need to keep in mind while conducting the adjustments. And things shall fall into their place by that.

See You Soon In Some Other Similar Topic, Till Then Take Care!