How to Adjust a SRAM Rear Derailleur

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Like other derailleurs, SRAM rear derailleurs rely on tension from a cable in order to pivot back and forth. This cable connects the rear derailleur to a gear shifter on the handlebar. When operating the gear shifter, a change in cable tension causes the derailleur to transfer the chain to another gear. In time, as the cable stretches, cable tension decreases, and derailleur performance becomes less precise. Adjusting the cable helps restore derailleur performance.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 mm Allen key
  • Use the rear gear shifter to transfer the rear SRAM derailleur and chain to the smallest rear sprocket.

  • Locate the derailleur cable pinch bolt, on the underside of the derailleur. Using a 5 mm Allen key, turn the bolt counterclockwise to release all tension upon the cable.

  • Find the adjuster barrel at the back of the derailleur. The derailleur cable passes through the adjuster barrel on its way into the derailleur.

  • Turn the adjuster barrel in toward the derailleur until it stops. Then turn the barrel adjuster three times in the opposite direction.

  • Pull the end of the SRAM derailleur cable tight, and re-tighten the pinch bolt onto the cable.

  • Use the rear gear shifter once again, and try shifting the derailleur and chain to the next largest sprocket. If there is not enough tension on the cable, derailleur response will be sluggish.

  • Turn the adjuster barrel counterclockwise to add tension to the cable. Continue to add tension until the derailleur shifts the chain onto the sprocket without hesitation.

  • Use the rear gear shifter to shift the derailleur and chain to each of the rear sprockets. Whenever the chain hesitates to shift to a larger sprocket, use the adjuster barrel to add tension to the cable.

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