I have noticed that I can not get my rear derailleur to sit perfectly allowing all of my gears to feel good. Mid range often feel a bit lumpy or there good when using either one of the front chain rings but not both.

I clean the chain once a week and I'm always fiddling with the cable tensioner screws, more than I think I should be. I recently replaced the gear cable.

The bike is less than a year old, its a nine speed Sora. enter image description here

Is it likely that I need a new chain already, the chain rings are a bit worn, not sure if too much and occasionally the chain seems to slip when i pull off (mid range gears)

I just had the bike on a stand the back wheel is making a creaking noise when i spin it and the cassette has 5 to 10mm wobble, could this be causing the issues & should there be that much wobble on the cassette ?

Also the Gear cable is frayed again - I only changed it 2 months ago.

  • 2
    Get a tool to measure the chain.
    – paparazzo
    Aug 20, 2017 at 22:47
  • 1
    Chain rings can be almost worn off before they start to slip. Is it possible your cassette is worn on your favourite gears ? Note its the cassette that takes the strain, not the rear derailleur.
    – Criggie
    Aug 21, 2017 at 5:16
  • By the way, it's a great derailleur (so just believe, man!). I recently bought one for my bike, as a replacement. I'm well-informed, had a number of choices and was quite ready to spend twice as much as I did. In the end it was the long-cage Sora.
    – Kaz
    Aug 21, 2017 at 21:21
  • A chain stretch gauge costs about US$10, and is something that every serious cyclist should have. Aug 22, 2017 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


I would guess that chain and/or cassette cogs are worn (typically middle ones go first) if you've tried adjusting and can't get it just right. I go through about a cassette a year on bikes I ride a lot, especially when I don't do a great job of cleaning and relubing the drivetrain. However, just replacing the chain can be bad if it's already jumping. It can get worse if you put on a new chain to the old cassette.

You might be to the point where you need to clean your derailleur/ jockey wheels / front chainrings of any existing grit and replace both chain and cassette.

Other less likely considerations could be: - A damaged freehub body (if you have an aluminium freehub body). - Misaligned Derailleur hanger (as Nathan Knutson Mentioned) - Poorly Adjusted or damaged shifting cables, or cables that are corroded / sticking in cable housing.

  • Don't put the new chain on an old cassette, it will wear our the chain very quickly.
    – user4035
    Aug 21, 2017 at 19:42
  • 1
    I don't have a steadfast rule about new chain on old cassette. Usually I'll have 2 chains per cassette if I can replace my chain early. If I let it wear too far past 0.75 wear then I'll typically want to replace my cassette. If it hits 1.0 wear by my chain checker, then I'll toss them both for sure or if I have any jumping after putting on a new chain.
    – Benzo
    Aug 22, 2017 at 14:03

From the description, odds are very high your rear derailer hanger needs to be aligned, you've got excess cable friction, or both. Both can create situations where it seems impossible to get it shifting and running smoothly in all gears.

Hanger alignment in particular has quietly become a much bigger deal over the years, as rear shifting has only gotten more sensitive to it, and many bikes have very easily tweaked replaceable hangers. If you don't want to buy a hanger alignment tool or take it to a shop, you can typically make it at least somewhat better on an easily-bent aluminum replaceable hanger by bending it around with your 5mm allen stuck in the pivot bolt.

  • I was wondering about hanger alignment, this is going to sound silly - do all bikes have hangers i keep thinking mine is screwed into the frame! I have definitely fallen off of the bike at least once. Aug 21, 2017 at 12:37
  • Many old/cheap bikes don't have them, but yours will if it's a recent Sora bike. Aug 21, 2017 at 15:03

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