An essential part of trail and off-road bikes, mountain bike gears connect to the pedals and accommodate a chain that propels the bicycle forward to traverse trails, dirt paths, and obstacles of all types. To keep the bike in peak operating condition, one of the essential jobs mountain bike owners should know how to perform is properly maintaining and repairing the top and bottom bike gears. Whether the materials needed to make the repairs come from a sporting goods shop or online at eBay,, mountain bike owners can complete most gear repairs in the span of an afternoon following a simple process.
Before repairing mountain bike gears, owners should give the bike a thorough examination to get to the root cause of the problem. Some common issues include worn chains or cassettes, a bent derailleur hanger,, dirty or rusted cables, or a shifter that does not properly engage with the cables to switch gears effectively.
To complete repairs properly, owners need specific tools and materials. Items to gather include a wire brush,,WD-40,, an adjustable wrench,, a flat head screwdriver,, a star or Phillips head screwdriver, and possibly replacement shifter cables that correspond to the particular brand and model of mountain bike. To maintain a clean work surface, bike owners should consider using a canvas tarp or old sheet as well as a pair of safety goggles to protect their eyes.
If the mountain bike gear looks bent or broken, the quickest and easiest way to make the repair is removing the chain to gain access to the affected sprocket section and replacing the old gear with a new model of the same size and weight. However, if the gear is in good enough condition, troubleshooting and minor adjustments make the bike operate like new with considerably less effort than a complete repair.
If the mountain bike's gears and chain have dirt or rust caked on them, remove the chain from around the gears, spray the chain and gears with WD-40 or bike gear cleaner, and scrub them clean with a wire brush to dislodge the dirt or rust particles. Afterwards, thread the chain back onto the gears and housing.
Mountain bike cables ensure proper gear shifting, so when the knob becomes hard to move, examine the point where the cable connects to the shifter knob to make sure the components connect securely. If the cable looks worn at the connection point or has multiple twists or kinks, remove the two existing cables and replace them with a new comparable set, taking care to secure them with the adjustable closure for a proper fit.
If everything looks to be in good condition, check the length of the cable, taking special care to notice whether the cable has any slack. To combat low cable tension, turn the barrel adjuster counterclockwise with an adjustable wrench and test the tension again after two to three turns.
The front derailleur is the hub of the gear system and when this part falls out of alignment, the entire system suffers. To test it, locate the derailleur at the bottom of the seat tube and ensure that it is parallel and at least 1 to 3 mm above the teeth of the largest chain rings.
If the distance measures too short, use a flat or Phillips screwdriver to give the screw marked L a turn to the right in order to raise the derailleur height. Conversely, if the distance between the components looks too great, adjust the H screw one turn to the right to compensate for the distance difference and ensure the derailleur remains in the proper position for gear alignment.
Whether you need replacement gears or other tools, you can find all the items you need to keep your mountain bike gears turning freely on eBay. Be specific when using the Search bar found on any page of the site and use phrases like "mountain bike derailleur hanger&", " mountain bike replacement cables&", or "stiff wire brush" for targeted results.
Repairing mountain bike gears is something all riders need to know how to do. After adjusting the settings, attaching new cables, and maintaining the existing chain, mountain bike owners can get back on the trail with bikes that ride and feel like new.