I've just bought a Kilimanjaro bicycle for cheap. One reason it was cheap, I expect, was the gears system. It's only partly functional, and I don't understand why. I would go to the bike shop with it, but they'd charge me five times as much as I've paid for this bike, and I still wouldn't have an idea what to do if this happens again.

Rear gear minimum position (second-to-smallest ring):

I somehow forgot to take a picture of the maximum position, but it's like two rings up. I'd like it to be able to go to all rings.

Front gear:

It only goes to the lowest and middle ring. I'd like it to go to the highest one too.

Front gear control:

Rear gear control:

Is there anything I can do to fix it?


I've made a video showing the shifters. Does this help identify what's wrong? Do I really need to replace them?


  • 1
    Yep, Park Tool and Sheldon Brown have info on derailleur adjustment. You need to study up to where you kind of understand what you're doing, vs just following a "cookbook". Mar 19, 2015 at 17:27
  • Can't be sure, so not posting it as answer, but it seems, that you have to replace cables (maybe outer too), and clean rear shifter - open it, and spray wd40 on every spring and between them. From what I can see in the picture, your derailleur not seems to be bent. Yet, better to check it as @Batman wrote.
    – Alexander
    Mar 20, 2015 at 15:08
  • Looks like bad link on video (opens a how to adjust gears video). The shifters can not be diagnosed by video - the springs are inside, and this can only be felt when using it.
    – Alexander
    Mar 26, 2015 at 21:26
  • @Alexander youtube.com/watch?v=X99cR36BLPc Yes, but I've opened them up.
    – Abu Dhabi
    Mar 28, 2015 at 6:28
  • Did you try to oil it (simply spray some wd40 on all the springs in the shifter)? If it doesn't help, you should replace shifter.
    – Alexander
    Mar 29, 2015 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


You need to read about derailleur adjustments. The first thing to do is check that the rear derailleur is not bent. If it is, you need to unbend it.

Once that has been determined, you can read up on rear derailleur adjustments and front derailleur adjustments. I'm including cable tension as a derailleur adjustment.

Other problems may be cable friction (replace the cables) or the shifter pawls not catching (replace the shifters). But start with the derailleurs.

  • At the picture rear derailleur is not looks bent.
    – Alexander
    Mar 20, 2015 at 15:04
  • Can't tell from the photo angle.
    – Batman
    Mar 20, 2015 at 15:39
  • It doesn't seem bent to me, either. When I pull the wire to change gears, they change within the full range. I've opened up the shifters, and there's something wrong there - not sure what, but they don't "reset" after being pushed once, so they can be only shifted one or two gears (if pressed fully). Shifting up more than that does nothing.
    – Abu Dhabi
    Mar 21, 2015 at 9:09
  • @Alexander, Batman: I've edited the question. Does the video help?
    – Abu Dhabi
    Mar 25, 2015 at 17:25

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