I have a cheap (but very nice!) secondhand bike I bought that I am slowly servicing/repairing using YouTube, forums etc.

I am stuck on the rear derailleur, I can index it properly and it shifts fine, but if you see the attached photo the angle at which the cable goes from the barrel adjuster to the pinch bolt is very sharp and the cable is rubbing against the barrel adjuster. What am I doing wrong?

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  • Welcome. I'm not sure you're doing anything wrong. You might make sure that the cable is fully seated in the back of the derailleur, but otherwise it looks correct. Is there some noticeable problem with the shifting?
    – Andrew
    Aug 28, 2020 at 10:26
  • 1
    Thank you! The shifting works well and positively (except a lot of chain rub in the cross-chained positions, but it's a 3x7 so to be expected), but I was worried about excessive cable wear, or the barrel adjuster wearing out since it's basically sawing through the side of the adjuster when I shift, and was wondering if somehow I had done something wrong. Thanks for confirming that this is a normal cable path! Aug 28, 2020 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


The bolt is mounted onto a moving part. As the cable pulls, the parallel plates will pivot around so the bolt becomes in-line with the adjuster.

The tension on the cable is greater when you're in the easier gears, which is also when the cable is straightest.

  • Thank you, that makes a lot of sense. In my simplistic view, I imagined that the cable should make an arc where the two extremes would be equal angles from straight through at the easiest and hardest gears, but never thought about differences in cable tension between the gears. Aug 31, 2020 at 1:35

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