Can't shift into lowest gear (rear derailleur)

tedlarue Posts: 54
edited March 2017 in The workshop
After giving my commuter bike some TLC and a very much needed clean, I can't now seem to shift into the lowest gear at the back.

Had no problems at all prior to having the rear wheel off but since putting it back on I can now only go as far as the second largest sprocket. I'm a novice when it comes to the world of bike maintenance and am not that proficient at getting the back wheel on so do you think I've busted something in the process?

I've had a read up and started playing about with the limit screw and barrel adjuster but no matter how much I adjust it won't shift over onto the lowest gear. In fact it's not even close as there is no give in the shifter when I try and change gear.

Anything else I can look out for or try adjusting?


  • prowlbass
    prowlbass Posts: 159
    Unlikely you've busted anything just removing a wheel and cleaning your bike. Check the wheel is definitely in straight as a first step. Also check the cable is running smoothly as you change through the remaining gears - if you've turned the wrong screw and it now overshifts when you go into the hardest gear, you'll see/hear it and can rectify (also, do this test with the barrel adjuster completely eased off).

    Also worth looking closely at the mech to make sure you haven't blocked the screws or spring with a dead bit of cloth or sponge etc. Finally, the worst case scenario is you've bent your mech hanger - stand the bike upright and look where the mech joins the frame - this should be parallel with the wheel and a crisp, straight line ... if it's at all off centre, you'll probably need a bike shop to bend it straight for you.
  • tedlarue
    tedlarue Posts: 54
    Thanks, will have a look at those. It shifts better than it did before on the gears I can select so at least that's a plus point for now!
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    When taking the rear wheel off and hen back on... I dont know if you do know this... but click the gears to have the chain on the small front chainring and the smallest rear cog at the back. It makes for easy life getting wheels off and on again. Before tightening the qr, make sure wheel is properly centred in the dropouts - be firm with it.