I biked to school today with my bike in perfect condition. Locked it up and went to class. When I went to my bike a couple hours later, the derailleur was bent out of position. My bike's front gear was at 3, but the derailleur was forced to the first/smallest sprocket. Now I can't shift gears on my front wheel as the derailleur won't move. Is this fixable? Or do I need to buy a new derailleur. If it's fixable, would it be difficult for me to do it myself out should I simply take it to a shop?

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  • Can't really tell from the picture what's bent. But if it's just the cage then that can usually be straightened up with a pair of pliers. The tricky part is not straightening it, but removing it to work on it, then getting it back on and properly aligned/adjusted. Commented May 30, 2015 at 2:20
  • (And note that it's possible that it's not actually bent, but simply got twisted on the seat tube or has slipped. It kind of looks suspiciously like it's slipped down the seat tube.) (A picture from the side would help us see it better.) Commented May 30, 2015 at 2:21

2 Answers 2


Several possibilities... its happened by normal wear and tear, or someone's put a boot into your bike and bend things.

If the latter, then the cage could be bent or rotated. Hang the bike up and spin the pedals by hand, while using your other hand to change gears. Try and eyeball what's not working. Do be mindful of hair and fingers getting caught in moving parts - this hurts.

Try moving the cage directly by hand, and also by pulling on the right wire. Could be that the wire clamp has slipped and the cage has been moved by the spring.

If you think it was damaged by someone, just don't park your bike on the end of the rack. Same defence helps with knife-induced punctures etc - there are some vandalistic people out there, and some of them even ride bikes.

Finally - bikes are just simple machines. Don't be scared to give it a try. The worst that can happen is it doesn't work right, so try again. Do let us know how you get on.


You say it's bent, but we can't confirm that by the picture. (Your picture is very sharp, but a side view would be helpful) It looks (as someone else commented) like the derailleur may have slipped down the seat tube. If you can't determine exactly what the problem is, you probably should take it to a shop.

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