How to Adjust a Shimano Ultegra Front Derailleur

Written by matthew ferguson
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Ultegra is a line of performance road bicycle components produced by Shimano Cycling. Positioned over a collection of gears called "chain rings," a front derailleur forces the chain from one chain ring onto another. In order to transfer the chain effectively, the derailleur cable must be properly tensioned. If the cable is loose, which can occur as the cable stretches, the derailleur will fail to pivot fully, and the chain will not reach the desired chain ring.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 5mm Allen key

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  1. 1

    Flick the front gear shifter lever so that the derailleur and chain sit above the smallest, innermost chain ring. This position gives the front derailleur cable maximum slack.

  2. 2

    Use a 5mm Allen key to loosen the pinch bolt that secures the cable to the Shimano Ultegra derailleur. This bolt is located just above the derailleur.

  3. 3

    Locate the derailleur cable adjuster barrel, midway along the cable’s path to the gear shifter. Turn the barrel clockwise all the way into the bicycle frame followed by two full turns in the opposite, counterclockwise direction.

  4. 4

    Pinch the end of the cable, and pull it tight. Use the 5mm Allen key, and retighten the pinch bolt back onto the cable.

  5. 5

    Use the gear shifter to pivot the derailleur above the largest chain ring. If the derailleur and chain fail to shift proceed to Step 6.

  6. 6

    Turn the cable adjuster barrel counterclockwise. Attempt shifting onto the large chain ring a second time.

  7. 7

    Continue turning the adjuster barrel counterclockwise as needed until the derailleur and chain shift onto the large chain ring.

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