3 Reasons Why Your Bike Will Not Turn

An efficient and smooth-riding bicycle is a joy to ride. But, when things begin not going your way, it can be extremely difficult. If you’re pushing your gear lever and nothing is happening this could mean the end of your ride.

It could also be a slow, painful ride back home with a gearing which isn’t heavy enough and your legs will spin like a ball on flats. Or too heavy, which could make it impossible to even climb the smallest slopes.

Why won’t your bike shift? In general, your bike won’t shift due to any of the three causes. Your shifter might be damaged or damaged, or the front or rear derailer may have a similar problem. These are usually caused by small or large impacts on the bike.

Let’s talk about it! How can you troubleshoot the issues that are causing you issues?

1. Shifters are experiencing problems

Do your shifters pull, hold and release the cable that runs through your gears? You can quickly rule out that the issue is in the shifters by switching gears and holding onto the cable. Unfortunately, this method will not be able to work because of the more modern internal cabling.

If you feel the cable moving then it is possible to eliminate the possibility that the shifter could be a problem. If you’re not experiencing any movement from the cable, it could be time to replace the shifters.

You could try to take them apart to see if you can see any parts or blockages that aren’t working However, at this point it’s better going to take your bicycle to a mechanic or simply purchase new shifters.

Problems with your shifters are usually what causes the bike not to shift properly. However, if you cannot reach all gears or annoying noises are being made in particular gears, then you must examine the front and rear derailleur’s alignment.

2. Rear Derailleur is damaged or broken

If you’re not able to get your gears up to the highest or lowest gears. Then it may be easy to adjust the low or high limited screws. Depending on the groupset, the position of these screws could differ slightly.

Two screws should be next to each other at the back of the derailleur. Test each adjustment and see if you can shift to all your gears.

If that does not help the issue, it could be an issue with the gear cable. It could be that the cable that is used to connect the gear is too tight. You can loosen the bolt connecting the cable to the derailleur, to allow it to loosen up and let it loosen up.

Try using a light grease (like this) through the gear tube to help ease any blockages or friction.

If your rear derailleur or the hanger of the derailleur is bent you will have difficulties shifting. The rear derailleur should coincide perfectly with the cogs of the freewheel whenever you look at it.

It’s not a good decision to bend it back to its original form if this is the situation. You’ll need to purchase a new rear derailleur or hanger for the derailleur (learn more about these here).

3. Front Derailleur is bent

The front derailleur is less temperamental as compared to the rear derailleur. If your bike doesn’t seem to be shifting on the front chainring , it could be due to a problem with the front derailleur.

Unable to shift down to the lowest gear. This usually happens due to an excessively tight cable or a low limiting screw that requires adjustment.

You can test this by moving to the lowest gear, and verifying that your front derailleur is in line with the smallest chainring. If not, you can adjust the limiting screw. You could also have a tighter gear cable.

It is common to make a quick twist adjustment on the levers. You may need to loosen the bolt in the front derailleur, and then pull out a new cable.

If you are unable to shift into the top gear. Similar checks must be made. It could be the high-limiting screw that requires adjustment.

Or, it could be the actual alignment of your cage. If you’ve had a collision or dropped your bike to the ground a bit too much, it could have the front derailleur thrown off of its alignment.

The front derailleur should be in line with your chainrings. It should be simple to turn it back in place.

Bike Not Turning Frequently Answered Questions

How do you fix a bike that won’t move?

The easiest method to fix your bike when it won’t shift is taking it to a bicycle mechanic in a specialist shop. If you’re looking to learn how to repair your bike on your own There are several videos and articles online that can assist you. It’s usually repaired by making a couple of quick adjustments.

Can you fix the gears of a bicycle?

Most of the time the issue of not being able to shift due to the chain is not aligned with the gears can easily be fixed! However, there are times when components could become damaged beyond repair.

What is the best way to shift the gears on a bike?

There are numerous ways to shift gears riding a bicycle. The most well-known method is to utilize the push-type lever. There are also twist shifters.

When you are at the point where you’re not getting resistance when pedaling, you can either push or twist your shifter to move it into the next gear until you feel resistance.


Regular maintenance and cleaning of your bicycle, including the gear cables, shifters as well as the rear and front derailleurs will help to prevent any issues that prevent you from completely shifting.

Every bicycle component has a shelf life therefore don’t be dissatisfied when the time comes to replace some parts and take advantage of it as an reason to upgrade your bicycle.

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