How to Adjust the Deore LX Derailleur

Written by matthew ferguson
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The Shimano Deore LX derailleur system is designed to deliver smooth shifting performance for cross-country and general purpose bicycles. The system is comprised of two derailleurs, front and rear. Each derailleur is responsible for shifting the drive chain from one chain ring or cog to another. This action is achieved only if each derailleur is adjusted properly. Learning how to adjust the derailleur and taking the time to do so will help ensure efficient, worry-free performance from your bicycle.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

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    Rear derailleur

  1. 1

    Shift to the smallest rear cog and the largest front chain ring. The derailleur pulleys should be perfectly aligned beneath this cog. If not, turn the high-range screw located on the side of the derailleur. The screw will be marked with an "H."

  2. 2

    Shift to the next largest cog. Does the chain carry over to the cog without hesitation? If not, tighten the derailleur tension cable by turning the barrel adjuster located at the back of the derailleur. Turn the adjuster counterclockwise a quarter turn and test the adjustment.

  3. 3

    Shift to the largest rear cog and smallest front chain ring. Once again, the derailleur pulleys should be in line beneath the cog. If they are not, turn the low range adjuster screw marked with an "L."

    Front derailleur

  1. 1

    Shift to the smallest front chain ring and largest rear cog. Check the clearance between the derailleur cage and the chain. According to, this gap should be 1mm or about the thickness of a dime. Turn the low range adjustment screw, located atop the front derailleur, to adjust the gap.

  2. 2

    Shift to the smallest rear cog and large front chain ring. Does the chain carry over onto the large chain ring? If not, adjust the cable tension. Turn the barrel adjuster on your front shifter until the chain shifts.

  3. 3

    Check the gap between the derailleur cage and the large chain ring. Again, this should be 1mm. Turn the high range screw to adjust the gap if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • If your shifter cables are new, be prepared to adjust your derailleurs more frequently for a time. New cables continue to stretch, affecting derailleur adjustment.

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