Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the February Giveaway for Villy Custom Elvis beach cruiser valued at $590 💙

Gear cables either too loose or too tight, never in between...
Hello everyone,

I've recently started up overhauling an old claud butler bike I have laying around, but I've run into a snag, already! and what a surprise - it's with the gears.

I've bought a new front and back mech, followed the instillation manual that comes provided with both the parts and also watched countless videos online. Everything seems to be setup correctly, but I'm having problems shifting the rear mech, allow me to explain:
When the chain is in the highest gear, the gear cable is extremely loose. Then, when I shift to the lowest gear, in this case "8" the cable is extremely tight..so tight I could play it like a guitar.
I've readjusted the cable countless times but it either goes extremely tight in the highest gear and extremely loose in the lower or the other way around: tight in low, loose in high.
I've checked all the housings and made sure there are no snags and so on and it all came up clean, so i'm out of ideas.

I hope this isn't too vague. I can provide the rear and front mech specs as well if need be. I'm using rapidfire shifters with both mechs as well.

Thanks guys and I look forward to getting to know you allSmile
Hello and welcome rootio,
That is a nice bike to overhaul. Not saying you have to do this but maybe watch this video on Rapid fire shifters .....

Another guess is that the rear derailler wasn't made for as many gears you had.?

Also here is a little page FYI for fun reading on your bike..
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Bill's right, the shifters have to match the gear cluster in count and brand and the derailleurs usually have to match too. But assuming you've got that all right, it may just be you're focusing on the wrong thing. You don't really worry about "how tight" the cables are when you adjust gears, you just get it so it shifts. You follow the steps:
- set the outer limit screw
- take the slack out fo the cable
- check the shifting and do fine adjustments to the cable tension
- set the inner limit screw

It can get a little more complex than that, but that's the basic process. You should end up with a lot of slack in the cable when it's in the outer cog, but it's supposed to be tight when it's shifted all the way up.

One note, just be careful to be consistent about what you mean by "high", "low", etc. High gear usually means the smallest cog in the back and the largest in the front. Lowest gear in the opposite. I like to use "inner" and "outer" as it's less ambiguous when you're trying to describe in words.

Possibly Related Threads...

Forum Jump:

10 Latest Posts
Identify and Appraise Vintage Torelli Ro...
Yesterday 05:21 PM
Vintage bike stuff
Yesterday 11:26 AM
Hello from Oregon!
Yesterday 04:07 AM
Cracked shimano DI2 front derailleur
02-07-2023 10:51 AM
Bikepacking/gravel bikes
02-07-2023 03:45 AM
Help riding this tricycle
02-05-2023 01:00 PM
What was your first bicycle?
02-05-2023 10:02 AM
Riding in a foreign country?
02-04-2023 02:02 PM
Club Rides
02-04-2023 10:08 AM
02-03-2023 07:48 PM

Join BikeRide on Strava
Feel free to join if you are on Strava: www.strava.com/clubs/bikeridecom

Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Sybian
15 posts
no avatar 2. enkei
14 posts
no avatar 3. Jason in Ecuador
11 posts
no avatar 4. Lss555
11 posts
no avatar 5. Talha
11 posts