Why your bike shifts like garbage

Why your bike shifts like garbage

Although derailleurs can look intimidating,
they’re actually pretty easy to adjust. We learned this in another video. The thing is, adjusting your cable tension,
limits, and B screw doesn’t always do the trick. Old cables, improper routing, worn parts,
and a whole host of other things can make your bike shift like total garbage. It’s no surprise that I had shifting problems
after that crash. On the ride home, I needed to mess with the
barrel adjuster just to keep it from ghost shifting everywhere. You can keep dicking with your derailleur
to no avail, or you could get down to the root of the problem: the part it’s mounted
to. So first of all, why does this happen so often? Well hangers are strategic failure points. They are designed to be weaker than your frame
or derailleur so that they will fail. When your rear mech gets impacted, the hanger
bends or snaps. This is better than the derailleur itself
breaking, but even more importantly, it protects your frame. When an impact isn’t big enough to snap
your hanger, it gets tweaked. You can stare at it all you want, but you’ll
rarely be able to see which way it’s bent. Usually it’s tweaked in all sorts of directions,
but we could just replace it right? Good luck with that early on a Sunday morning. Derailleur hangers are specific to your bike
frame, so while shops will usually have a whole bin of them, it’s often times a special
order item. Lucky for me, Alexander had a specialty tool
that would save the day. This tool isn’t just for bike shops. Anyone who does a fair amount of mountain
biking can benefit big time from a derailleur hanger alignment tool. The concept is simple; the tool threads into
your hanger, and allows you to compare it to your rear wheel. Even if your rear wheel is bent, you can gauge
it against a reference point like the valve stem as you move around the wheel’s radius. The trick is to make the gauge skim along
the edge of your wheel at the same distance in all places. It’s easy to see where you need to tweak
it out, or in. Now I actually keep replacement hangers around,
since they’re bound to snap, but in this case I was unprepared. Hangers are also more expensive than you would
think, making the cost of a gauge pretty palatable. This Park Tool model is what a professional
bike mechanic would use, and it’s under $70. A cheap one barely costs more than a new hanger
does. So even if you buy a top of the line model
it could save you money, but more importantly it can get you back on the trail right away. Now I’ve bent back derailleur hangers by
hand before, with varying levels of success. When Alex did it with the gauge, it was flawless,
just like a new hanger. So if you’re scratching your head trying
to figure out why your bike shifts like garbage, more likely than not your hanger is out of
alignment. You could order a new one, go to a shop, or
try your luck with the adjustable wrench trick. While those options sound great, I’m leaning
towards buying that tool to avoid getting stuck again. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

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  1. Put it in a vise jaws and crank it down to flatten it. Flip it to do both sides. Lay it up to a window pane glass to see if it is flat. Glass is flat. Check both sided. Repeat as needed.

  2. There is also a companey i dont remember the name right now but it actualy makes much stronger derailer hangers if you dont want to replace them all the time.

  3. Just carry a spare hanger at all times, they only weigh a few grams and you can straighten the bent one when you get home.

  4. I found this video years ago when I broke my first hanger & actually thought my frame was beyond repair!

    You can actually do a fairly good trail side approximation by looking down, lining up the two derailleur jockeys with the cassette, & just manhandling the derailleur. Use the derailleur itself as the alignment tool!

  5. You can DIY a hanger alignment tool. Take a piece of square steel tube, drill a 10 mm hole, and attach it on a cup and cone front wheel axle. Google it and you will find more than one ways to DIY a hanger alignment tool.

  6. This video is the reason why I left working in the bike industry. In the 90s and the early 2000s, bike standards were, well, standard. Most parts were universal. Now there is far too much proprietary bullshit and so much to that some bikes even require a proprietary kickstand….I will still to my old steel frames. I can bend the hanger back and if it breaks, well the frame I am currently riding cost $35. I will find another one for cheap as well.

  7. Is there a way to tell when the hanger has become weak from too much bending? I had a hanger snap just a week after it was aligned. I had a very long walk back; don't want to repeat that again.

  8. Dont know why this was recomended to me, but it is a Dream come true – i have this problem on my bike!!!! 🙏😁


    I've hit the derailleur a few times but didn't think anything of it since the hanger didn't snap (like the previous impact that sheared it off my bike twice)

  10. Hello so i adjusted the speed of my bike and my bike is called bold ing i think and then it breaked pls show me how to fix it

  11. Seth, thanks. You likely solved my old Trek 800 Sport singletrack's middle gear shifting like garbage. Will check that hanger alignment.

  12. I had to fix a hanger lately. I just took a pair of vice grips to my derailleur (probably not great for it I know but I just scraped some of the metal on it still works perfectly) and bent it back to straight. The hanger was visibly bent so I managed to get it straight enough that is shifts perfectly now.

  13. The good old Stromey Archer gears in the wheel hub were and still are the best and last forever, I know because all my bikes Ive owned have this system"

  14. Yeah, when I see local shops asking more than 20 of your Earth bucks for a hanger and an alignment tool is only 29, I can't resist it!!! Aliens on Fat Bikes rule!!!!

  15. Give a man a derailleur hanger and bike for a day
    Teach a man to use a derailleur hanger tool and shred for a lifetime
    Thus sayeth the Lord.

  16. Dont forget that the hangers made by aluminium. if its bend and you bend it back, that will be bend again or even broke apart !! thats only a temporary solution. Otherwise with steel frames thats an usable tool and fix it for ever.

  17. hey man. I dont know if you will ever read this but if you do: please help me out to understand that a direct attachement on a rear derailleur really means? is it safe ? is it weaker?

  18. before my big 3 times to break. I do not understand …. and I see your video, I understand everything thanks for attentively)

  19. All hangars we sell at my shop are $12 they fit almost all types of bike, more th an $20 for a hanger.. 🤨

  20. fyi you can buy these pieces of aluminum (hangers) from china for like 2€ thats usually the most universal ones and even the rarer ones are like 4€
    seen a shop sell 57different hangers

  21. LOL – I rode and raced XC for years and never mashed up my XT delailleur or hanger. Learn to ride and you won't have this problem.
    And yeah it easy to adjust if you have quality stuff. If you have garbage it may never work right.

  22. My mid drive 2000w 30 ah ludicrous ate through my hanger. I was talking to a neighbor. Turns out he works at a machine/CNC shop and made me a new one. Charged me nothing. Make sure it doesnt get loose bc those screws aren't much long. But I LUCKED OUT.

  23. Ha. Thus fucin' deraileur hanna's cost a lot! In my case this shit was 58$! I made it myself from Al using a router.

  24. When you have a shitty Evade Mountain Bike you don't have all the same screws and shit so it's impossible to follow any tutorials.

    I was so annoyed that my bike for some reason in the middle gears starts making noises and I didn't know why it was happening…

  26. i expected some help but quickly after watching like a minute i realised that i would need to not have problems with so old bike with so old chain and gears that usually gets stuck while shifting

  27. Alot of his more technical videos I still find hard to understand, I just bought my new MTB and I'm loving it, made a 20km ride from shop to home with it.

    Hopefully as I go on I'll learn more about my bike more.

  28. Lol I have a nice Walmart bike and I like to see how different and hard it is to service. I don’t even have a hanger on it. The derailer is just help on with the tire itself. Really hard to fix

  29. derailleur hanger? whats that? my kona has a whole solid drop out piece, dont think that will bend or break anytime soon

  30. MTB Jesus knows his stuff big time! 😀
    Thanks Alex and Seth, I never got the concept of a derailleur alingment tool till today!

  31. one question, what do you do when you actually bend your frame where you mount the derailler?… seriously this has happened to me

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