Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought my first road bike recently, and I've noticed I can't change into the largest cog/sprocket on the rear derailleur because when I pull the shifter the chain is pushed into the side of the largest sprocket and not over any of the teeth.

If I (gently) use my thumb to push the arm (chain guide?) the chain will mount the largest sprocket but as soon as I let go with my thumb it jumps down to the second largest sprocket.

I'm guessing this isn't normal and somehow it hasn't been fitted quite right? Is there anything I can do to fix this or should I just take it back to the shop?

share|improve this question
The limit screw needs to be adjusted. Search for rear derailleur adjustment. – Carey Gregory Aug 4 '13 at 19:38
Or the derailleur angle screw might need to be adjusted. – amcnabb Aug 4 '13 at 20:43
Combination of both of the above - I found this video Thanks! – Bendihossan Aug 4 '13 at 22:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Just about any new bike you ever purchase will need a good tune up after the first 100 miles, not unlike a lot of cars or motorcycles. It's perfectly normal for most of the parts, especially parts under tension like brakes and cables, to settle and loosen a bit the first few times you ride the bike.

It's likely that the cable for the rear shifter has loosened a little bit and needs to be tightened, or the limit screw has settled. The shop you bought the bike from should have no problem performing the tune up for you, it's very common practice ( and if they try to charge you for it, hesitate to give them your business, the 100 mile tune-up should be complimentary ).

share|improve this answer
But note that one should learn how to, at the very least, "tweak" the barrel adjusters for the shifters. These compensate for cable stretch. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 5 '13 at 0:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.