David Rome on keeping your shifting crips and accurate

Tool guy for CyclingTips

“Few things spoil a ride more than poor shifting. Replacing your gear cable and housing once in a while will go a long way to keeping your shifts snappy and light action.”

“It’s a good idea to check whether your derailleur hanger is straight, those things can go out of shape pretty easily. You'll need a special tool, but they're a sound investment.” (NO IMAGE)

“That humble chain deserves some love. Those 118-or-so links of chain go through hell with every pedal stroke, and over time wear will cause the distance between each link to lengthen (aka, chain stretch). This wear stops the chain from sitting at the base of the cog and instead it’ll ride up, and wear, the edges of the cog teeth. Eventually you’ll get the dreaded chain skip and an expensive cassette to replace.”

“A fresh chain can be a cost-effective way to get more from your drivetrain, and it’ll most likely improve your shifting, too. Chain wear checking tools are cheap and easy to use, and I’d recommend replacing your 10, 11 or 12-speed chain as soon as it shows .5% wear (this is a little earlier than what most chain manufacturers suggest, but it’ll help prevent cassette wear). For those using SRAM Eagle chains, look into either the Park Tool CC-4 or Pedro’s Chain Checker Plus II which will provide a more accurate reading with the subtly oversized rollers found on those chains."