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Yesterday, I was having this problem. Taking the advice, I messed with the barrel adjusters. Now, every gear is working great except the highest gear and lowest gear. I put my bike in the highest gear and I can still click the shifter once more, but nothing happens. When it comes time to shift down gears, I have to click the shifter once before shifting has any effect. In the lowest gear, the chain jumps. I have to hold down the shifter to stay in gear there.

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Yeah, you need to adjust the limit screws. Since these don't normally go out of adjustment, if the bike was previously working well it may be that either the derailer has been bent, or somehow the wheel is not properly mounted in the dropouts (maybe a washer on the wrong side of a dropout, etc). –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 30 '12 at 17:42
    
If you are having to click twice to get it to move, you probably have dirt in the cable housing. If the end of the cable is in good shape, you can clean it by putting a couple of drops of oil on the cable and drawing it through and back a couple of times. –  Ken Hiatt Sep 30 '12 at 19:42
    
Are you sure you tightened the cable to fix the previous problem? I.e., turning the adjuster anti-clockwise. It sounds like the cable is even looser now which would explain the redundant click at the top end (smallest sprocket). –  swl10-speed Oct 1 '12 at 6:26
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here's a video that explains how to adjust your rear derailleur. Since you didn't mention adjusting the high gear or low gear adjusting screws, this may be your problem area. Sometimes it's best to start with all adjustments in a "neutral" condition before you attempt to "fine tune" the derailleur. It would benefit you to tell us the brand and model of your deraileur syatem the next time you have a problem. Even different models from the same company, can have their little "quirks" ofetn learned by experience rather than instructions. Hope this will help you out! Good luck!

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One thing not mentioned in this video is that you will often need to shift out of the highest or lowest (according to what limit screw you're trying to adjust) and back into that gear to see the result. This is especially true of older cables and housing because of the gunk that builds up in them over time. –  jimirings Oct 4 '12 at 20:17
    
Thanks. All gears running smoothly now. –  Joe Johnson 126 Oct 6 '12 at 16:07
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Here are a couple of links that explain derailleur adjustment:

http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/rear-derailler-adjustments-derailleur

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These are indeed both good reads but the answer would be better if you would summarize the sections that you think apply to the original poster's problem. –  jimirings Oct 4 '12 at 20:20
    
Good point - I should have said that I suspect that other replies already cover the most likely causes, but these might be useful if more information turns out to be needed. –  armb Oct 5 '12 at 11:21
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