Get Rid Of Too Much Noise From the Rear Derailleur, Here is How!

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Rear Derailleur Adjustment - Gear Noise



Don has a new bike and it has Shimano Ultegra gears, his problem is that it is a little noisy. He wants our advice to sort this out so he doesn’t have to go back to the bike shop for a minor adjustment. So if you are having a similar problem read on:

Question: I have a new road bicycle with ultegra components, and there is too much noise from the rear derailleur. The noise is much like the derailleur is beginning to shift, but remains in the selected gear. Just a little too much chain noise. If I put a little inward pressure on the shifting arm everything runs quietly as it should. Is there an adjustment that I can make so I don’t have to make an extra trip to the bike shop?

Rear Derailleur Adjustment

Hi Don,

With a new bike this is quite a regular problem and it is due to either or both of the reasons we will describe. First it could be that the new gear cable has stretched, this is quite normal and is easily cured by turning the cable adjuster on the rear mech until it is tight enough, you will know that this is correct when the gear stops making the noise you are talking about.

The second reason could be that the retaining screw that stops the gear moving to far out when the chain is on the small sprocket needs turning in a little. Does the gear make the noise when the chain is on the smallest sprocket?

If it does then you need to screw it in a very small amount until it runs smoothly and quietly. After you have done this you will probably have to tighten the cable also. Change gear from the first sprocket to the second sprocket and if it won’t change up or changes up but is noisy then tighten the cable adjuster a small amount until everything is quiet and smooth.

There is one other possibility; new chains are packed with grease which is a little heavy to run smoothly. It’s a good idea to clean the chain off with a degreaser or diesel and then re-oil the chain; this takes some noise away and helps the good running of the chain.

Rear Derailleur Adjustment - Gear Noise2

This should help you gears to run perfectly, if not ask again or, as you suggest, it means an extra visit to the bike shop.


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2 Comments

  1. Ged Haydon

    HiThere is another possibility that creates noise.If the chainline is at too much of an angle then the chain can catch the edge of the jockey wheel cage at the bottom.This can be caused by a bottom bracket spindle that is too long for instance.

  2. iamtraffictoo

    These high-end components are great when they’re in tune but they’re so precise that minor things like new cables stretching can lead to imperfect riding. More than being annoying, riding with out-of-tune equipment causes quicker wear…not good when you’ve purchased $1,000s in componentry. Get a book, a repair stand and some tools, get yourself into a maintenance clinic at your LBS and avoid unnecessary trips and premature replacement of your expensive parts.

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