How to Adjust the Shimano 600 Ultegra Derailleur

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How to Adjust the Shimano 600 Ultegra Derailleur
Proper derailleur adjustment helps you shift smoothly. (bike image by Dubravko Grakalic from Fotolia.com)

The Shimano 600 Ultegra is a bicycle component group from the early-'90s. Previous models were simply "600" and later models became known as "Ultegra." The Ultegra is a top-end group and it is important to know how to adjust your derailleurs in order to shift smoothly and get the most out of the components. The adjustment of the 600 Ultegra follows the same principles as most other derailleurs, meaning you make incremental changes to the limit screws to get the derailleurs to move your chain efficiently.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mount the bike in a bike stand so that the pedals can be turned freely. You will need to change gears and pedal the bike (by hand) to work on the derailleur.

  2. 2

    Locate and identify the limit screws on the rear derailleur. The topmost screw will be the high limit screw and the bottom one will be the low limit screw. The screws are often marked with an H and L, but this may have worn away.

  3. 3

    Shift the chain onto your biggest chain ring (chain rings are the front "gears") using the left shifter and then shift onto the smallest cog on the cassette (the gears in the back) with the right-hand shifter. Pedal the bike by hand as you do so, then apply the brakes to stop the back wheel turning. If the chain doesn't move smoothly onto the smallest cog, loosen the high-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until it does. If, however, the chain goes over the smallest cog and into the frame, tighten the high-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until the chain moves smoothly and readily onto the cog.

  4. 4

    Shift the chain onto your smallest chain ring using the left shifter and then shift onto the biggest cog on the cassette with the right-hand shifter. Pedal the bike by hand as you do so, then apply the brakes to stop the back wheel turning. If the chain can't move or doesn't move smoothly onto the largest cog, loosen the low-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until it does. If, however, the chain goes over the largest cog and into the wheel, tighten the low-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until the chain moves smoothly and readily onto the cog.

  1. 1

    Mount the bike in the bike stand so that the pedals can be turned freely. You will need to change gears and pedal the bike (by hand) to work on the derailleur.

  2. 2

    Locate and identify the limit screws on the front derailleur. The outermost screw will be the high limit screw and the inner one will be the low limit screw. The screws are often marked with an H and L but this may have worn away.

  3. 3

    Shift the chain between your chains chainring using the left shifter. Pedal the bike by hand as you do so then apply the brakes to stop the back wheel turning. If the chain falls off the smallest chainring into the frame tighten the low-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until it shifts smoothly and mounts onto the smallest chainring. If the chain can't make it onto the smallest chainring from the bigger one, loosen the low-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until it can.

  4. 4

    Shift the chain between your chains chainring using the left shifter. Pedal the bike by hand as you do so then apply the brakes to stop the back wheel turning. If the chain goes over the biggest chainring to the outside tighten the high-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until it shifts easily onto the biggest chainring. If the chain can't make it onto the biggest chainring from the smaller one, loosen the high-limit screw a quarter turn at a time until it can.

Tips and warnings

  • It is important to make very small adjustments as you turn the screws. It doesn't take much to make a big difference.
  • Test your bike out after making your adjustments because bikes will perform differently with a rider than they do without the extra weight.
  • Watch your fingers as the back wheel is turning when you are pedalling by hand. It is quite easy to get a finger caught in the spokes.

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