I made some adjustments to the front derailer on my road bike as when I was in the big front gear and smallest low gear the chain was rubbing on the front derailer outer edge.

I followed guides on how to do this, have changed the position of my front derailer, adjusted the derailer screws and put everything back together. But I am unable to get the shifters for the front gears to have any affect on the derailer. The cable is reattached and as tight as I can get it, and I have tightened the barrel adjuster as much as I can yet I get no tension in the shifter at all. the cable itself feels tense and when I use my hand there is no issue with derailer movement.

What can I do to regain gear control?

  • Even if you're tweaking the way the derailleur is mounted to the bike, you shouldn't have to take much apart.
    – Chris H
    Sep 15, 2017 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


From the question I'll assume the shifter lever moves, but it does not pull the cable.

My guess is that the shifter end of the cable is not seated in the shifter properly, or has become hung up somewhere. This may have happened when the cable was loose while not connected to the derailleur.

  1. Unclamp the cable from the derailleur
  2. Find where the cable is seated in the shifter, you'll have to pull back the rubber hood covers to find this, check the boss on the end of the cable is actually seated in the shifter properly
  3. Check the cable run: verify the cable runs the housing unimpeded, especially at the shifter end, make sure housings are fitted in bosses properly, look for snags in the cable
  4. To test, hold the cable where it run exposed or at the derailleur and put a little tension on it, actuate the shift levers and feel for the cable moving

Like Argenti start at the start, where cable is installed in brake lever and make sure it is properly seated, then grease cable through housing and pull on end of cable to make sure it moves properly in housing. Hold cable end and engage lever to make sure that when you use lever it pulls up cable. Once that is certain, set the derailleur limits by looking at the chainrings insuring enough clearance over top of big ring and setting the limit screws so the derailleur sideplates extend just beyond both inner and outer rings. This an initial course adjustement easier to do with no cable attached and even better with no chain. With that set, and chain in place, drop derailleur down to lower/inner chainring. Attach cable with the barrel adjuster set to middle of its range. Tighten cable, getting it snug, no slack. Now check shifting across front and then check shifting across rear, making slight adjustments to front derailleur to eliminate rub at rear high and low gearing. Use barrell adjuster as necessary to insure no slack in cable. Should not really be used as much for adjusting shifting. If you get the hi and low set right for front der and rear derailleur and cable tension is right it should shift perfectly.

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