Fix Bike Rear Derailleur That Won’t Shift Into Highest Gear/Small Cog

I show the steps how to diagnose and repair a rear derailleur that wont shift to the high gears/small cogs.

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  • thank you, that was a great help

  • I cant change my rear gears atall anymore, its stuck on 3rd gear even if i put the chain to like 2nd or other.

  • DL

    Thanks. I'm working on a 67 Schwinn Colleigate. I suspect its a little mucky back there, and i need to check alignment.
    It will shift great thru three gears, the problem is…its a five speed. This gives some stuff to go on. Thanks for the post.

  • I'm a mechanic at a small bike shop. A customer brought in a bike with a broken derailleur, so I ordered up a new one: Shimano Tourney, nothing fancy. Problem is that the new derailleur will not shift into smaller cogs at all… I can manually move it into 7th and it will stay, but using the shifter will not move it. It's not the cable tension and not limiting screws and shouldn't be gunked up. Any other suggestions?

  • K

    Hey i need help…the indicator for my gears says im on gear 7 but its actually on 5 so when I move the chain manually to 7 it switches back….I tried tightening and loosening the limiting screws but it isnt doing anything.

  • Thanks for the video, fixed my shifting problems!

  • i'm new to road biking. i bought a new fuji bike. road only 5 times. sat in my finished basement for 6 months until today. won't shift lower. i'm stuck in highest gear. i'm stumped and don't know what i'm doing.

  • my front derailleur won't go to the highest gear which is 3 any clues?????

  • thanks had 2 gears not working for some time. The wire was tight so i pulled the allen keys out and gave it a lil slack and my 2 gears came back . Thanks

  • So I have a problem with my bike. So after Off flew off my bike from a soccer ball that rolled under my my bike my chain fell off. After that I put my chain back on and now its not on the right gear that I usually use for harder and intense bike rides. The gear that i am on the the Last gear which is 6th gear and its not shifting to that right it seems like its on gear 3 or 4 and I'm trying to fix it but the chain keeps on going back to the gear that I am not using which is a bad thing. So I have to take a look at it again and see if I can fix the bike which I think I messed the wheel and the chain after the I flew over or rolled over a soccer ball.

  • So I did re-did the cable tension and took it for a test ride. It didn't have issues shifting to 6th cog. However, whenever it went to 5th cog, it tried to go up to the 4th cog. I loosened the tension a bit on the barrel adjuster and then when I tried to shift up to the 6th cog, it struggled again.

  • Hey RJ.. My bikes been having issues with gear shifts. When my bike is in the 7th cog, and I want to shift up to 6th cog, it's having issues going up sometimes even though the cable has plenty of tension on it. What do you think the problem is? By the way, my bike doesn't have a derailleur hanger on it. The derailleur mounts directly on the frame.

  • i have different problem, when the rear derailleur is set to 6th gear it doesn't change position, it rests on 7th only.

  • Finally… My problem was fixed by the WD40 + wet lube. Thanks for the great video, The RJ Bike Guy!

  • what is the bank part that shifts called

  • i need help the thing that changes the gears wont move but when i move the cage withbmy hand it moves can someone help me ?

  • Fantastic- exactly what I was looking for when troubleshooting!

  • Many thanks! Spring was gummed up, some WD-40 and compressed air and working it out and all is, finally, well again! Will be nice to have top gear back finally! Many thanks. Next ride, to get proper chain lube as you state WD-40 is not long term good for the chain and derailer assembly.

  • very good video thanks, didn't fix the problem i have but gave me some new knowledge as well as renewing my focus on said problem

  • excellent video, especially good that you addressed multiple issues why the derailleur may not be functioning correctly.

  • instead of wd-40 could i use brake cleaner and then put lubricant on it?

  • What if it won't go into the lowest gear?

  • My rear derailleur will not go into low gears , 5th gear lowest I can get it to go. no problem getting into big gears.

  • My clutch for my rear derailleur is broken. Right now its stuck on the highest gear/smallest cog.

    How do I permanently put it on the lowest gear/big cog.

    I rarely change the back gears so I just want to keep it at the lowest gear. Thanks.

  • Hi thank you for the video! I have recently upgraded my hybrid bike from Shimano Sora to SHIMANO 11V 105 5800 – 11/32 rear mech. I purchased the rear mech new. My rear casette is only a 9 speed but even so, I'm having the same problem you described in this video. Any ideas? Thank you! Keep up the great work!

  • This is quite easy to resolve, but i got more serious problem. Shimano Revoshifter 1×8 -speed system on a very brand new bicycle. Whenever ALTUS derailleur shifts from 8th to 7th gear without problems, 1st to 2nd gear doesnt shift and after adjustments it's vice versa – problems appears in 8-7th gears again! Played with gear cable adjust and tension, limiting screws are ok, tried B-tension screw, checked chain length (ok), derailleur is straight, cassette doesnt wobble, wheel is straight and firmly put into dropouts. No idea what cause this. Spent like one hour on this one. Didn't have this problem before with revoshifters, which usually are really easy to adjust xD. Help?

  • LOL hanger was loose

  • hey,i cant get my gears to go to the biggest cog, I cleaned my chain using a park tool cleaner, the guy at the bike shop said it might cause me problems if i did ,because of the wear of the chain/cassete, the bikes 7 yrs old now, i think he meant the chain/cassete may not match after cleaning…… I`m not sure how to fix this. I hope you have some idea what I mean ! I`ve tried adjusting the alignment screws and barrel adjuster, i dont have any wd40, but i dont think it`ll work as I think the chain & cassete arent matching now……gears 1-6 work fine, but the 7th it just wont go onto it, it was fine before i cleaned the chain & cassete, there were a lot of bits of metal in the cassette, mostly what seemed to be bits of thin wire

  • +RJ The Bike Guy Hello, I have an issue with my mountai bike. When I shift to a smaller gear it shifts nicely but when I pedal really hard the chain tries to go on a lower gear (without me touching the gear shifter) Please help, and great video:)

  • +RJ The Bike Guy I just replace the cassette on my bike, it is a 7 speed and it slightly large than the original. The problem I have is when I try to shift to the biggest cog it won't shift to it. I also notice the derailer is touching the cogs in any speed. How can I solve this problem . I think it is the chain length because the cassette is larger and the original was smaller.

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