How to Adjust a Shimano Rapidfire Shifter

shifters

Shimano XTR Rapidfire Shifters

Shimano Rapidfire Shifters are used on upright handlebars and use a mechanism that consists of a thumb and an index finger trigger. The thumb moves you to a larger sprocket and the index finger usually takes you to a smaller sprocket.

Like a trigger on a gun, the Shimano Rapidfire Shifters click over briskly. This is a very popular option, as trigger shifters are the more common option on a bike.

How to Adjust a Grip Shift Bike Shifter

allen wrench
shifters

SRAM Grip Shift

Grip shifters are basically rings that twist on the handlebar itself. They differ from the trigger shifters in that they don’t have a lever extending from the handlebar, creating a bit of a cleaner look. People opt for grip shifters for a variety of reasons, mostly for aesthetics and/or for the rapidness with which you can shift from one gear to another.

To shift gears, all you have to do is to twist with your thumb and forefinger.

The right shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left controls the front derailleur.

The most popular make of grip shifters is Sram but there are other brands so make sure you do your comparison shopping. 

These types of shifters are normally found on a mountain bike. 

How to Check If Your Bike Chain is Worn Out

chain

What is chain wear?

Chain wear can definitely affect your ride for the worst and can cause an accident. They wear out as a result of the rivets being pulled on by the outer plates. It’s what they call a chain stretch. The chain itself doesn’t really stretch; it’s just the plates being pulled apart.

At any rate, it’s no good so to check if there is wear. If things don’t look perfectly round or straight, that is a possible indication of damage.

Your chain is really far gone if, because they stretched and pulled so much, they don’t even sit on the sprocket teeth and ride up.

There are also a couple of methods you can use to check. One is using a chain checking tool like this one:

Park Tool Chain Checking Tool CC-3

How to Make Sure Your Bike Chain is the Right Length

chain tool
chain

In order to make sure you have the right length of chain on your bike, place the new chain on the largest chainring as well as the largest sprocket. You don’t have to thread it through the derailleur just yet.

Once you’ve got that done, pull the ends together. See where they could approximately connect. Then take the longer end and count off two pinholes more. Make sure they are able to mate with the other end and normally, that means that the part that you cut with the chain tool must end with INNER PLATES. If the point of two more pinholes ends in an outer link, round up and cut at the next inner link. DON’T EVER ROUND DOWN!

Thread the chain through the derailleurs and then with your chain tool or with your master link, connect the two ends. With either case, you will probably need to pull and bend a tad the link as it will probably be a bit stiff.  

How to Install a Shimano Chain

chain tool
chain

Chains are where you can get a lot of grit and just plain dirtiness accumulating so it’s something you should clean and maintain on a regular basis. If you need to install a chain, remember to get one that is compatible with your system because the larger the number of sprockets you have on your bike, the thinner the chain you will need. A thin chain for a 10-sprocket bike can theoretically be used on sprockets designed for wider chains.

The inverse is not true. You cannot use a chain from a single-speed bike (wider sprocket) on a 10-speed (thinner and multiple sprockets).

How to Overhaul a Threaded Headset

headset

When you want to overhaul your threaded headset, remove the handlebar stem and use a wrench for the locknut. Remove the spacers and the top race. Check the races for pitting. Remove fork and bearings. The bearings are normally in casings. Check these for pitting too (though because they are cheap, you could just as well buy new ones). Clean everything. 

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