My front derailleur is kinda old and malfunctioning and while I'm not buying a new, I would like to make it shift only from the small cog to the middle one. It's, currently, shifting from the biggest cog to the middle one (it doesn't make it through the three anymore). How can I make this little adjustment?

Thanks in advance!

  • Question is really too broad to be easily answered. Please go through this guide and edit question if you still have problems. parktool.com/en-int/blog/repair-help/…
    – mattnz
    Jan 11, 2023 at 21:49
  • Maybe you simply have too much friction in the cable (or too much tension) which prevents it from going to the smallest chainring?
    – Michael
    Jan 12, 2023 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


I think what you mean is that you only want the chain to shift between the larger and the middle of 3 chainwheels (or what some call sprockets) .

You can do this easily by adjusting the limit screws, which you should normally find close together on the derailleur. One screw prevents the derailleur from guiding the chain too high, and the other limits its movement in the opposite direction. Most manufacturers label the screws with an "L" for the low gear or "H" for high gear.

With the bike upside down or on a stand, you should be able to screw the L screw far enough in so that you can only shift between the higher two gears.

See help pages such as https://www.parktool.com/en-int/blog/repair-help/front-derailleur-adjustment and https://sheldonbrown.com/front-derailers.html for more instruction.

Image of Shimano 600 front derailleur (1980)

Shimano 600 front derailleur (1980)

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