important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

How to Install a Front Derailleur

Removal and installation of a standard clamp-on front derailleur.

Today we’ll learn how to replace a standard band-type clamp-on front derailleur. We’ll cover the E-Type bottom bracket mounted derailleurs in a future tutorial.

Tools

For this job you’ll need a 5mm hex key for the derailleur’s mounting bolt, and a phillips(+) screwdriver to adjust the derailleur’s limit screws and remove the derailleur cage bolt. If you are removing the chain you may need a chain tool depending on your type of chain. You’ll also need wire cutters and either a 9 or 10mm metric open end wrench or a 5 or 6mm hex key to remove and install the front shift cable.

Front Derailleur Removal

The first step is to shift your chain onto the smallest front chainring. Then pull off the shift cable’s end cap and loosen the cable pinch bolt. Remove the cable from the derailleur.

Now you’ll need to remove the chain from the derailleur. Some chains have a special connector pin that need replacing if removed, so if you don’t need to remove the chain for cleaning or replacement you can simply undo the derailleur cage’s tail screw and flex the cage open to release the chain. Rest the chain on the bottom bracket shell to keep it out of the way.

If you are removing the chain, disconnect a link and pull the chain through the derailleur cage. Now you can undo the derailleur’s mounting bolt all the way counter clockwise to remove the derailleur from the frame.

Front Derailleur Installation

Before installing the new front derailleur, apply some waterproof grease to the mounting bolt. Then place the clamp around the frame and tighten the mounting bolt just enough to keep it in place. At this point you still need to be able to move it by hand.

Now adjust the derailleur’s height and angle. For height adjustment, the bottom edge of the outside derailleur cage should sit approximately 2mm above the top of the teeth on the largest chainring. For the angle adjustment, rotate the derailleur until the cage is parallel with your chainrings. Then fully tighten the clamp’s mounting bolt.

If your chain is still on the bike, undo the tail screw on the derailleur cage and flex the cage to pull the chain through. Then re-install and tighten the tail screw again. If you have removed the chain, re-route the chain through the derailleur cage and reconnect it. Search the site for tutorials on how to use a chain tool or a quick release chain link.

Front Derailleur Set-up

Now preset the low-limit (L) screw so the small chainring appears halfway between the derailleur cage when viewed from above.

Thread the shift cable back into the derailleur, pull it tight and tighten the anchor bolt so the cable flattens. Then find a bare stretch of cable and give it a good pull to make sure the cable is seated and has no slack. Then loosen the cable, pull it tight again and re-tighten it.

Now you’re ready to adjust the front derailleur as shown in previous tutorials. If necessary, trim the cable so there is about 2 inches remaining. Then slide on a cable end cap and crimp it in place.

Related Links

Related Tools

Categories

Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum

It's late. I'll do it tomorrow.

Lastest post 2 days ago

I suppose I should wait until daylight to do the job. My new lever shifter came a couple of days ago and tonight the handlebars arrived. Maybe I'll just remove the brake levers, twist shifter, grips, computer and light and then get some sleep. Well, it's stripped down. Maybe I'll just put the bars on and then get to bed. Yes, they look good but they'd look better if I just put the new lever shift...

Read more

Hello bike riders! Newbie here, happy to join. Visited fam during the holidays. Found my old Fuji mountain bike in the attic. Took it back home to use for weekend rides and occasional commuting. It has rigid fork. I prefer to swap it for suspension fork. I want it to be a DIY project. My first bike build in other words. Might get overwhelming at start. So where do I begin? Anyone here has done rig...

Read more

I ruined my expensive dynamo powered front headlamp. This is the kind that adjusts to motion and knows what time of day it is as well as having a built in ability to charge my phone and other electronics. I was ecstatic when I hooked it all up and went out on my first night ride with it through Forest Park in Portland, OR with four other buddies. I was over the moon in the early morning commutes t...

Read more

Hello, bike riders! Our community member Gabriel has shared his unpleasant experience with Deore T610 brake levers: "After 2 years of very limited use ... I'm still trying to understand why is there so many holes in such a critical place" Can anyone help by explaining the reasoning for such lever design and what might be the cause of the particular break (material quality, usage, design flaw)? ...

Read more

I have just acquired a Cervelo Soloist 2006, has the Ultegra 6600 groupset. It was making a clickity grinding sound whenever I'm on the larger 2 or 3 sprockets (doesn't matter which chainring) when I'm pedalling hard and fast. Anyways, took my crank, chain rings, and bottom bracket off to clean, inspect, regrease and retorque. Greased my new pedals and torqued them on. Adjusted my front derailleu...

Read more

New wheels for 1984 Bianchi nuovo

Lastest post 1 week ago

Hi, I posted this on reddit and got the suggestion to come to the experts here instead so here I am I recently had my front wheel of my vintage Bianchi stolen. First I was looking to just replace the front wheel but since the rear wheel is pretty old as well I'm thinking I might just change them both and at the same time size up from 23mm to 25mm for a little extra confort Does anyone have an...

Read more

Hello, My apologies for the simpleness of this question. I have a 1995 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo that I need to replace the front axle on. How do I find what to buy to replace it? It is missing so I cannot look at the existing part for guidance. Thanks!...

Read more

Rear disc brake is rubbing

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

I have a brand new MTB and the rear disc break is already rubbing/squeaking. What are the easiest fixes? Thanks...

Read more

Shimano hubs

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

Hi, bike riders! Can anyone recognize these Shimano hubs as seen on Schwinn Tune bicycle in NYC? Kudos to whoever gets this right! I'll post the answer by the end of the week.   schwinn-hubs-1.jpg (Size: 125.11 KB / Downloads: 37)   schwinn-hubs-2.jpg (Size: 124.7 KB / Downloads: 35)   schwinn-hubs-3.jpg (Size: 167.41 KB / Downloads: 38) ...

Read more

Help! 2018 Diamondback Line

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

I have a 2018 diamondback line 27.5” . I rode it a few times and the crankset makes a popping noise as i pedal most likely due to being 230lbs. Any recommendations on what i could replace the old ones with that would work better with my weight and handle my riding better....

Read more

Shimano ultegra shifting issues.

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Hey everybody, New to world of cycling, recently my bike started to not shift as smoothly as it was before so I thought I would check to see if the cable was frayed. I detached the RD cable and inspected it, found no issues relubed it and re attached the cable. Since I have done this, my shifter will only click 7 times, and I have a 9 speed so it should click 8. I’ll walk you through what I d...

Read more

Weak disc brake

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Back disc break on my Orbea commuter got much weaker this week. Front break is strong as always. I dont think that smth special happened, like crash, that damaged the brake. Never worked much on disc brakes. I want to fix this myself but I dont know where to look first and dont want to mess smth up. Where should I start? I have Shimano mech disc brakes....

Read more

Triple front derailleur

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

A couple of years ago I bought a new front derailleur from my LBS. He said it will work for a triple chain ring. I didn't install it right away, and in the meanwhile I stopped dealing with him because of numerous botch jobs. When I put the derailleur on the bike, it won't work on a triple chain ring. I can make it work on the small and middle ring, or the middle and large ring. So I'm stuck with ...

Read more

Chain Cleaning

Lastest post 4 weeks ago

Disclaimer: I am not a professional bicycle mechanic! After reading many procedures/methods for chain cleaning, utilizing many solvents/lubricants and/or water; I have only found one method that actually does the job properly and effectively. I am not here to "poo-poo" other means of accomplishing this goal, just providing what I have found has worked for me without fail. First: "wiping off" a...

Read more

REAR DERAILLEURS

Lastest post 1 month ago

What (if there is any) is the difference between 9, 10, 11 speed rear derailleurs?...

Read more