How to Adjust a Shimano 3-Speed Hub

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The Shimano 3-speed hub replaces the derailleur commonly found on geared bikes. The purpose of the hub is to provide consistent shifting with fewer maintenance issues. If your bike is shifting poorly, it's probably because of stretched cables. Shimano has allowed for cable issues with an easy to adjust hub. There are two types; one you can adjust with your fingers, the other requires simple tools.

Items you will need

  • 10-millimeter wrench

  • Pliers (optional)

Step 1

Lean the bike up against an object or use the kickstand if it has one.

Step 2

Shift the bike into the second, or middle, gear. Locate the hub shifter. It's a small mechanism protruding out from the back wheel on the right side. It has a cable attached horizontally to the front of it.

Step 3

Locate the gear position indicator on the top of the hub shifter. It looks like a small window with two yellow lines across it. Turn the barrel connector, as needed with your fingers, to center a small indicator bar between the yellow lines. The barrel connector looks like a serrated knob where the cable enters the body of the shifter. If there is no barrel connector proceed to Step 4.

Step 4

Loosen the lock nut on the shifter with a 10-mm wrench. The lock nut is located where the cable enters the body of the shifter. Turn an additional knob next to the lock nut to center the indicator bar between the yellow lines. If you can't turn the knob with your fingers use pliers. Tighten the lock nut with the wrench when the indicator bar is centered.


  • Three-speed hubs often use grip-shift handles. Shifting problems can occur if they get dirty. Check them for dirt or grit and clean them if needed.


  • Ride the bike, shift through the gears, check it again and fine-tune if necessary.