This episode of Fools with Tools is the second and final chapter of our two-part series on derailleur tuning. Tori and Zach tackle their biggest challenge yet: Derailleur hanger alignment. It can be a little tricky, but it's doable with a few tips! Check out this episode for instructions on how to do it at home.
We recommend watching Part 1 here to learn about adjusting limit screws, B-screws, and cable tension.
Also be sure to subscribe to The Path Youtube channel so you don't miss out on more mechanical adventures with Tori and Zach!
How to Align a Derailleur Hanger
- Derailleur Hanger Alignment Gauge
- 5mm Allen
- Start by slowly shifting through the gears to check how they're functioning. Note: Avoid the chain going into spokes if it is misaligned.
- If there is improper function such as skipping or clicking, start the alignment process by engaging the cage lock for SRAM derailleurs or turn off the clutch on Shimano derailleurs.
- Remove the chain from the chainring to relieve any tension on the derailleur.
- Unbolt derailleur from hanger using a 5mm Allen.
- Install hanger gauge onto hanger by screwing it into where you just removed the bolt.
- With hanger tool at the 12 o'clock position at the top of the wheel, use the depth gauge to measure distance to rim edge at the valve
Note: Use the valve as your only point of reference and rotate it around the wheel to the various positions. Using two different spots will not give you a proper alignment.
- Rotate wheel move the valve to 6 o'clock position and check distance between rim edge and depth gauge.
Note: Remember that you are adjusting just half the distance seen in order to align the hanger.
- Pull on hanger gauge as necessary to make distance at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock equal. It may take a bit of effort, but don't over-do it as you do not want to snap the hanger.
- Repeat steps 6-8 until this distance is equal.
Out of Alignment:
- Once the first half is aligned, it's time to check the other. Begin with the hanger tool at 9 o'clock, and use the depth gauge to measure distance to rim edge, still using the valve as your guide.
- Rotate wheel and hanger gauge to 3 o'clock and check distance between rim edge and depth gauge.
- Pull on hanger gauge as necessary to make distance at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock equal.
- Repeat steps 10-12 until distance is equal.
- Verify that all 4 reference points (3, 6, 9, 12) are equidistant to the rim edge at the valve. If all 4 points are equal, hanger is true. If not, repeat these steps until it is.
- Once completed, remove the hanger alignment tool and reinstall derailleur.
- Unlock the derailleur.
- Reinstall the chain.
- Go through the gears and check to make sure shifting has returned to normal.