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When you want to get the most out of your bike, the gears must be working perfectly. If you also use ROTOR Q RINGS, to help squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of your drivetrain, the front derailleur needs to be adjusted just right. We will show you the best tricks to help you adjust it perfectly.

The front derailleur is still one of the most important parts of your drivetrain. Although in MTB, single front chainrings are spreading like wildfire across all price points, on road bikes, double front chainrings is still the most common setup. And if you use ROTOR Q RINGS, the front derailleur alignment is key to getting the most out of them, keeping the shift between the two rings as smooth as possible.

If you are using the standard Q rings, QXL Rings or the Q rings Qarbon, then the front derailleur adjustment is slightly different to a conventional setup allowing the shift between chainrings to be as smooth as possible. Below we will guide you through all the process.

1.First Adjustment

Once the chainrings are fitted to the cranks, we can see that as the Q Rings are oval, the distance between the front derailleur and the rings is variable when pedalling. With standard chainrings this distance is fixed, and is usually between 1.5 and 3mm. The first thing to do is to loosen the gear cable to remove any tension to the derailleur, after this we can loosen the bolt on the direct mount or the seat tube collar that attaches the derailleur to the frame. Once loosened, adjust the lower exterior part of the derailleur arm 1.5 to 2mm from the large chainring at the most oval part. This is important as if done incorrectly the chainrings will foul on the derailleur, which could damage both parts. Once we are sure that the distance has been adjusted correctly, we can then tighten the seat tube collar, or the direct mount, fixing the derailleur into place, making sure that it is parallel to the chainrings. The next step is to reattach the gear cable. Fine tuning of the gears can be done using the inline adjusters near the shifters. Once fitted, make sure that the derailleur arm moves freely without touching the chainrings. 

2.Second adjustment

To make sure that the front derailleur is working correctly, shift from the small to the large chainring a couple of times whilst working through all the sprockets in the rear cassette, making sure the chain shifts smoothly.  The H / L screws are used to limit the movement of the derailleur both in the lower and higher gears (small and large chainrings) this is needed with conventional rings also, it is adjusted so that the chain is not thrown off the chainrings.

3.The QXL rings spacer

If you are using the QXL rings, remember that if you have a direct mount derailleur you will need to install the spacer to the front derailleur to be able to shift correctly. With a QXL ring the oval shape is much more pronounced than the standard Q RINGS, too much for a standard direct mount derailleur, as it cannot be raised high enough to clear the chainrings. When you purchase any QXL Rings two spacers are included to fix this problem. The spacer is to be fitted between the mounting point on the frame and the derailleur. Due to the shape of the spacer, the derailleur is displaced slightly to the rear, allowing more room for the larger chainring. To install the spacer we first need to remove the gear cable, we then remove the bolt holding the derailleur in place completely. Once free we can install the spacer with the bolt provided and re-attach it to the frame using the original bolt, remember to install a chain guide if needed; this is to stop the chain falling off the small chainring. We then adjust the distance between the chainring and derailleur to 1.5-2mm, making sure it is parallel to the rings, fit the gear cable in place. Once fitted, make sure that the derailleur arm can move freely between the chainrings without touching the teeth. As said above, we can use the H/L screws to limit the movement of the derailleur, fine tuning it using the chain guide.

4.OCP Chainrings (Optimum Chainring Position)

If you are using chainrings with OCP technology, being able to adjust the rings to find the best position for maximum efficiency. You will not have clearance problems using the OCP system, once the derailleur is adjusted correctly. This is due to the fact that the overall maximum diameter is not changed by adjusting the position of the chainring, If you swap it out for a larger chainring, then you will need to re-adjust everything using the steps listed above.

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