How to fix bike gears following the simple steps

Bicycle maintenance can be a tough task, but it's one everyone should know how to do.

Besides, you don't want to be stranded with a broken bike on the side of the road with no idea how to fix it. So let's start with the basics: what is the gear on a bike?

Gear refers to the mechanism that allows you to pedal your bike. There are two types of gear: chain and cassette. The chain is one big gear, and it's connected to the pedals and front wheel through a bicycle chain or drivetrain.

Cassette (an angular unit) is divided into small gears mounted on the hub, which rotate with every revolution of the pedal cranks.

This article will cover how to fix a broken gear in a bicycle for those who have reasonable mechanical abilities.

How to fix bike gears

Shift the bike down to the lowest gear

Shift the bike into the lowest gear. This will be a harder gear for your body to pedal but make it easier for you to work on your derailleur. The easiest way is to use your left-hand grip shift or trigger shifter and slide it down or count to three clicks.

Shift the bike into the highest gear. Try shifting down one click at a time until you reach the second-to-highest gear, which is difficult for you to pedal without feeling like you're going too fast.

Turn your right-hand grip shift down, then back up two notches (or "clicks").

Make your bike go into second-highest gear by sliding your left-hand grip shift or trigger shifter up and then clicking it down twice.

Slowly pedal the bike, and then shift up to a harder gear.

Pedal very slowly and then shift up to a higher gear. This will let the chain move around in the gears of your bike. If you are still experiencing problems shifting, work your way up through each gear.

This allows the chain time to adjust as it moves from gear to gear. After shifting up through all of the gears, shift back down through them.

Verify that the chain is straight and has not been twisted or tangled.

  • Be sure to inspect the chain for straightness and that there is nothing in its way
  • Make sure the chain is clean and well-lubricated
  • Look for any bent or broken links; the chain needs to be replaced if there are bent or broken links.

Look for a tightening screw near the rear derailleur with a circular groove.

  • Look for a tightening screw near the rear derailleur with a circular groove.
  • The screw should be turned in or out with the aid of an Allen wrench. As you turn it, the chain should move between gears more freely.

Turn the screw out with an Allen wrench until the chain moves freely between gears.

Use an Allen wrench to turn out the barrel adjuster until shifting between gears is easy. Don't over-tighten the screw, as this can cause your chain to skip.

It is also true that if the chain is not tightened enough, it will shift into different gears with noticeable resistance if it is not tightened enough. The objective is for your chain to move freely and more easily shift gears.

Repeat the process on all components of your rear derailleur until gear shifting is smooth and effortless.

Pedal on flat ground and shift up through all gears to ensure everything is working smoothly.

  • First, we will briefly explain the basics of your bike's drivetrain so you understand what a derailleur does.
  • A standard mountain bike has three chainrings in the front and nine cogs in the back. The two outer chainrings are called the big and small rings because they are larger and smaller than the middle. The smallest cog is referred to as first gear, while the largest cog is ninth or top gear. When you are sitting on your bike, looking at your cassette, you will see that every tooth is perfectly aligned with its corresponding tooth on your chainring. By shifting your rear derailleur up and down, one link increases in size, and when you shift left or right on your handlebars, one link gets moved forward into its optimal position for that gear.
  • If you're having difficulties figuring out what's wrong and how to fix it, it may seem overwhelming at first. Not everyone understands how these things work. So let's take some time to discuss some common issues associated with these types of problems:

If the chain starts making noises or feeling stuck, stop and try adjusting again.

If the chain starts making noises or feeling stuck, stop and try adjusting again. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't work the first time.

Give it some time and you'll get it right. It might seem challenging at first, but with a little effort you will be able to achieve it. If all else fails, take it to a bike shop or an outdoor enthusiast friend for help.

Remember that this is only one of many ways to adjust your gears. Check out your bike manual for detailed instructions on adjusting specific shifters, brakes, and cables.

A few steps and care can help fix your broken bicycle gear.

The first step in fixing your broken bike gear is to see what kind of damage has occurred. If it is a small problem, you can probably fix it at home with a few tools and supplies.

In order to be able to repair any gear that is malfunctioning, it would be useful to know how the gears work. You can fix a jammed front derailleur or chain by straightening out any kinks, so the chain moves freely again.

The Bike Doctor LLC fixes bicycle gears correctly, since if it's not done correctly, it might cause even more problems down the road that could cost even more than getting them fixed now.

We recommend calling or visiting us today before your next ride so we can get everything back up to par without having any problems down the line."

How to fix a bike gear shift

To fix your bike's gear shift, you need a basic knowledge of bikes and the right tools:

  • Re-adjust the front and rear derailleurs.
  • Clean the drivetrain of your bike.
  • Open up the shifter itself to see if there's a problem.
  • Check out the cables in your shifter. You may have to replace them.
  • Replace the entire shifter itself if necessary.
  • Replace the derailleur if it needs replacing after all these steps are exhausted

How to fix bike front gears that won't shift

  • Take the bike for a spin

Before you try anything else, take the bike out for a spin. Your gears may have gotten jostled into their proper position during your ride. Save yourself some time and give it another test drive before you do any work.

  • Make sure your cables are properly connected.

Check the cables that run from each shifter to the derailleur (the mechanism that moves your chain). Are they attached? Is there slack in them? If you see damage or fraying, consider replacing them.

  • Check your derailleur alignment.

Make sure both of your derailleurs (front and rear) aren't bent or out of position. In the case that they are bent or out of position, bend them gently back into position.

How much is it to fix gears on a bike?

The cost of fixing bike gears will depend on the problem and how complicated the fix is.

It shouldn't be too expensive to fix your bike's gears. Expect a cost of between $20 and - 100 dollars. You may need to change some parts of your bike, but this shouldn't be too costly.

If you take your bike to your local shop, they can give you a better idea of what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

How to fix a bike chain with gears

To fix a bike chain with gears:

  • Shift your bike into the lowest gear. You need to see and access the rear derailleur, so it's helpful to have things out of the way.
  • Slowly pedal the bike with your fingers or one foot, shift up to a harder gear, and back down again. Continue this process until you stop having issues shifting gears. Tuning your rear derailleur by riding works well because it automatically adjusts when you change gears.
  • Inspect your chain to make sure it is straight and not twisted or caught up on anything. If you notice any problems here, take some time to correct them before continuing with step #4 below.

What to do when you need to fix the gears on your mountain bike

  • To fix the gears on a mountain bike, you'll need to check if any of the wires connecting to the shifting mechanism are disconnected or misaligned. You can adjust them with a 5mm Allen wrench if they are. You should also look at your derailleur cable for kinks and any twist that could be inhibiting its ability to shift smoothly.
  • Once you've checked the cable, pedal forward slowly while turning the rear derailleur clockwise until it shifts into the smallest cog on your cassette in the back wheel. Then, slowly turn it counterclockwise until it shifts into the largest cog on your cassette in the back wheel. If you can't get it to shift into either gear, you may need to adjust which gear your wheel is in (which is done by moving a small lever).
  • Now that your bike is correctly adjusted and shifting properly again take it out for a ride.

What are the gears on a bike, and what do they do?

On a bicycle, gears are gears that allow you to tackle different terrain. You can change your gear ratio to climb hills or go faster on flat ground. There are two sets of bike gear: chainrings and cassettes.

The chainrings are the set of gears on the front of your bike. Most bikes have two chainrings, but some have only one (known as "1x"). An "inner" ring on a modern road bike and an "outer" ring on a mountain bike or any bike with three or more chainrings is called an "inner" ring.

Naturally, the middle ring is called a middle ring. You'll see their relative positions when standing next to your bike instead of riding, so keep that in mind.

What can cause gears to break on a bike?

There are several reasons why gears can break on a bike. The most common causes include:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Wearing out
  • Mechanical issues

To avoid having your gears wear out prematurely, you need to keep your bicycle well maintained and in good shape. Clean it frequently, lubricate the moving parts, and make sure everything is adjusted properly.

Derailleurs can sometimes interfere with chainrings if you have a front derailleur. Verify that all components on your bike are aligned correctly and that there are no slippages so that they don't get damaged over time

Tips for preventing gear breakage on bikes

As with any equipment, people using road bikes must take care of them. So knowing how to fix bike gears is essential if you want to keep your bike running well and avoid problems in the future.

Fixing the gears on a bicycle is not as difficult as one might think. Learning how to fix bike gears can be easy for anyone with the right tools and some knowledge about what might be causing problems.

  • Regularly change gear oil.
  • Keep your drivetrain clean.
  • Maintain your bike in good working order
  • Correctly adjust gears (index shifting system)
  • Be careful when changing gears (friction shifting system).
  • Maintain and clean your bike regularly, especially after riding in wet weather or on muddy trails.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Non-Shifting Bike Gears

  • Shift the bike into its lowest gear.
  • Slowly pedal the bike until you can see what is happening when you shift up to a harder gear.
  • If the chain won't go onto the largest sprocket or gets stuck halfway, it could be bent or twisted (see the next section for how to fix this). Check that it is straight and not caught up on anything else.

How to index your bike's gears

You probably first encountered bike gears on a bicycle with circular wheels if you're like most people. This can be tricky because the gears are arranged in a circle, not like the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

The bottommost gear is called the most-significant-tooth (mst) gear, and it makes up the big hole at the bottom of your bike's chainring:

This gear goes around one or two chainrings below it (depending on what type of bicycle you have). The next lower gear is called the largest-tooth (lst) and goes around one or two chainrings above it. Depending on which chainring it is in, the smallest gear is called the least significant tooth (lsst). 

You can choose between granny, normal/mid-wheel, and cross/rim chainrings for some bikes.

There are only a few gearing options on some bikes: granny freewheels for city riding and occasional offroad use, mid-wheel freewheels for riders who need to save weight, and cross/rim freewheels for longer rides, mostly on dirt roads.

Common Bike Gear Problems

Your front derailleur, rear derailleur, cables, chain, and chainring must work together for your bike's gears to function properly. If you have a problem with one of these components, you can assume that other parts are affected as well. The most common issues are:

  • Your front or rear derailleur is not adjusted properly
  • Your cables are damaged or out of adjustment.
  • Your chain is too long or too short.
  • Your chain is worn out.
  • Your chainring is bent or damaged.

What Causes Shifting Problems On Mountain Bikes?

Learning how to fix bike gears is a useful skill. Even avid cyclists find that the gears on their bikes occasionally need adjusting. You may experience your bike not shifting smoothly for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Chain rubbing on the front derailleur cage
  • Bent derailleur hanger
  • Dirty or worn out cables and housing
  • Improper cable tension
  • Derailleur limit screws are not set correctly.
  • Worn out chain, cassette, or chainrings
  • Indexing not set correctly

What Makes Bike Gear so Important

Bike gears are one of the most important parts of a bike. They allow you to go faster and easier on the road. Shifting gears gives you an easy time going uphill or downhill. A bike without gears is useless.

Gears are very important to bikes. They transfer energy from the pedals to the wheels. They lessen your effort to pedal when shifting to the right gear. There are various kinds of gears such as freewheels, fixed gears, and derailleurs, among other types.

Freewheel gears allow you to ride without pedaling. Fixed-gear gears require you to pedal continuously. Derailleur gears use a chain to connect the front and back sprockets.

Your gears should be checked regularly to ensure smooth operation. You may need to replace them if they become worn out or damaged.

Why Won't Bike Gears Shift

Your bike gear wheels won't shift because there are several reasons why your bicycle gear wheels won't shift. There can be derailleur problems, chain issues, misadjustment, or malfunctioning chains.

Having difficulty shifting bike gears? Here are some tips. (Quick & Simple)

If you've got the busted gear, you may not be able to ride your bike anymore. However, there is nothing to worry about. In this guide, we'll show you how to repair broken gear so that you're able to get on the road again.

Step Diagnose bike gear shifting problems.

Start with the back derailleurs and pedal test each gear to determine the shifting problem. In this way, we can determine if our bike won't shift to the highest gear.

We'll notice gears that are difficult or impossible to shift at this point. It may be caused by the chain falling off the gear wheel. Move the gear wheel twice to fix the problem.

You should be careful when working on your bike. Make sure that both derailleurs are in the middle gear when you're done. Your chain won't stretch too much and could break if you aren't careful.

Step Check the cable adjusters.

There are four cables leading to the derailleurs. Two of them are connected to the front wheel, and two others are connected to the back wheel. These are called chain tensioners. The adjusters are located inside the frame and look for them near the bottom bracket.

Step Focus on the problem gear

You've found out what is wrong with your bike. Now shift the gears up and pedal again.

Step Let the cable adjuster loose if the chain is not shifting down.

Rotate the cable adjuster clockwise if you observe that raising the gear is difficult while lifting the chain. It will tighten the cable adjuster, and this should be done slowly until you notice that the gear rises.


It has covered a few factors that cause gears to come loose; ways to prevent them; and steps that should be taken in the event that a gear does come loose.

Although it's not a difficult job to fix gear gears, you should always keep in mind to regularly check the status of these gears. Regular inspection will help keep your bike safe.

David V. Williamson

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