Bicycle Speeds How They Work

How to adjust the speeds on a shimano bike. How to set up gear shifting on a shimano bike. Velobaggio

The gearshift mechanism may seem like a rather complicated system at first. However, in reality everything is quite simple. It takes a little time and patience to learn how to adjust the gear changes on your bike yourself. This article will help you understand all the intricacies of this process.

Before learning how to properly shift gears on a bicycle (no matter how many speeds it has. 5, 21 or 24), you need to configure the mechanism itself. There are two types of derailleurs. front and rear.

First, you should do the setting of the rear derailleur, and then go to the front. Setting the rear derailleur will take longer (more stars), so please be patient and tools.

Adjustment is done with screws H and L;

bicycle, speeds, they, work

Align the roller with the smallest rear sprocket using screw H and then with screw L align the roller with the large sprocket;

Set the shifter (switch) to the latest speed;

Pull and fix the gear cable;

If large gears do not shift well, loosen the cable. If your gears are badly reset, then, on the contrary, stretch the cable.

Now it’s just a small matter. adjust the gear shift accuracy. Place the chain on the back on the largest sprocket and on the front on the smallest. Using the tension screw, we set the roller in the desired position. in the immediate vicinity of the cassette.

Now you need to do the opposite: in front. a large star, in the back. a small one. The roller should not touch the cassette, much less rub against it.

Front derailleur

How to set up cycling gear shifting on the front derailleur?

  • Set the minimum speed and loosen the cable;
  • Using screw L, set the minimum distance between the chain and the switch. 1 mm;
  • Secure the cables with the bolt.

Pay attention to the distance between the chain and the switch body. it cannot be more than 1 mm. Then repeat the operation, only with the screw H.

With these simple steps, the switches are fully configured until they begin to work freely. If the process is delayed, then try to tighten or loosen the cable.

Speed ​​modes

Each type of riding has its own speed mode, for example, when going uphill, it is easiest to use 1 × 1 (1st forward speed and 1st reverse). If you want to ride with maximum loads on the legs and some other muscle groups, then set the 3rd speed in front and 8th in the back, although this option is not suitable for everyone. you need to have good physical fitness and endurance in order to effectively press the pedals when this combination of stars.

While riding, a person makes 60 pedal rotations (cadence) per minute. this is the best option for a comfortable and unhurried bike ride. Accordingly, for high-speed driving, it is necessary to increase the revs along with the increase in speed.

There are several types of switches:

  • triggers;
  • pistols;
  • grip-shift;
  • Dual control. brake.

What is good for mountain biking will no longer be as effective on road.

How do I shift gears on my bike? It takes a little time and practice to learn how to properly shift gears on your bike. The task can be complicated by the skew of the chain. when the front chainring is installed in the 1st position, and the rear sprocket in the 7th position. When climbing and descending a mountain, set the desired speed in advance.

Now grab your faithful two-wheeled friend and go on a scout. check out the work just done on setting the gearshift.


How to adjust the speed on a shimano bike. Velobaggio

Every cyclist has encountered a situation when, when switching speeds, the bike makes unpleasant sounds, the chain rattles or crunches. Sometimes, when switching speeds, the chain jumps immediately by 2 stars, or vice versa, it cannot jump to the desired star. Why is this happening? It’s just that you have lost the gearshift settings.

Either you do not know how to switch speeds, or you do not know the Rules for switching speeds.

Another reason for poor gear shifting. the chain and the entire system would not hurt to clean. how to remove and wash the chain.

But in this article, we will only consider setting.

How to set up your bike’s shifters

I will not torment you with long manuals on professional setup. professionals obviously do not look for this on the Internet. Therefore, I will tell you briefly.

Place your bike on the seat and steering wheel, and have a screwdriver ready!

We will adjust the gearshifts using these bolts:

We put the chain in the leftmost positions (large chainring and small rear). And we unscrew the bolt, nut or whatever you have that holds the cable so that the cable is completely unhooked.

Then, by twisting the bolt, which is highlighted in the photo, we adjust the position of the two gears so that they are on the same straight line. The bolt should be marked “H” or “High”. high speed, they say.

After adjustment, the cable fixing screw must be tightened again. The cable, of course, must be fixed, and not just tightened the screw.

Then we put the chain in the rightmost position on both sprockets (i.e. the largest on the back and the smallest on the front). The position of the gears in this situation is adjusted using the adjacent bolt marked “L” or “Low”, we achieve a straight line.

The photo is unsuccessful, it is not visible that the gears are on the same line. But I hope it’s clear how to adjust the bike speeds.

Then we put the chain in the middle position on both sprockets and carry out a relatively accurate adjustment of the gearshift using the screw. “wing”. which is highlighted in the photo. Do not forget that we achieve a vertical position of two gears in the same plane.

I personally prefer to twist this lamb after a test drive, when some speed does not want to switch, or vice versa, the chain flies several stars at once.

P.S. When lining up a straight line of stars, it is not scary if there are deviations of a few millimeters to the right and to the left: the system is not designed for such precise settings. However, the gear changes will be slightly worse. Therefore, after running the bike in combat conditions, it will be possible to identify all inaccuracies and carry out more detailed settings.

Setting the bike’s forward gear shifting

The forward speeds are adjusted in almost the same mode, everything is intuitive there, so I will say it briefly. Chain movement on the chainring is controlled by a metal stop. The position of which is adjusted with two bolts. The system is the same, so don’t get lost.

When switching speeds to the highest and lowest speed, even during the test, do not forget the rules for switching speeds and be sure to follow them.

If you didn’t understand anything (and I can explain that no one understands anything), then you can watch the video (not mine, but understandable):

Liked? Then read on:


How to switch speeds on a bike?

Any cyclist should know how to switch speeds on a bicycle and how to set them. Just stick to some simple rules to make your cycling comfortable and efficient. Plus, your derailleurs will last you longer and save you money.

When we were small, there was no trace of speed on the bike, and no one thought about it. We just pedaled and the bike just moved. But today the simplest model of a bicycle is necessarily equipped with a certain number of speeds and has two brakes. At the same time, many people think they know how to switch speeds on a bicycle. But, in fact, it is not as easy as it seems at first glance.

Switching correctly

Correct gear shifting is determined by one main rule, the observance of which is very important. when driving you need to make sure that the chain does not twist. This can happen if the chain is engaged at opposite extreme positions of the chainrings and chainrings. With this arrangement of the chain, it clings to all possible and impossible obstacles, is exposed to uneven load and wears out much faster.

Here are some tips to help you switch gears correctly:

  • Better not switch gears when driving downhill. The first thing that will happen to you is the loss of your riding rhythm, which will affect your stamina and movement speed, respectively. This is also not worth doing, since when going uphill, the chain tension is already quite high, and if, at the same time, throwing a chain between the stars. Such actions will adversely affect the resource of parts, and, soon, a breakdown may follow. So you need to switch gears before lifting, at the moment of the greatest relaxation of the chain.
  • A huge number of cyclists rarely use the front derailleur on their bike. Why it happened so is difficult to answer, but, nevertheless, it is a fact. It is much more efficient to use forward gear when driving on a sloping road. One shift on the chainrings, in this case, will have more effect than two or three changes on the rear. Just put the chain in the back on the middle sprocket and shift the front.
  • When a fairly serious descent is planned on your way, then, again, change gears before starting to go down. This is due to the fact that when the process of driving downward begins, it is better not to be distracted from the brakes, and you will need to follow the road especially carefully, because falling on the descent is an unpleasant thing.
  • Gear shifting should be smooth. There should be no rumbling, grinding, knocking or other extraneous sounds. If you follow this, the gearshift system will serve you for a much longer time.

Setting and adjusting

Sooner or later, any bike enthusiast begins to notice that the gearshift system emits extraneous sounds, such as crunching, rumbling, etc. It happens that during a gear change, the chain jumps a couple of sprockets or the opposite situation: you cannot switch to the required sprocket. So what’s the deal? You just do not have gear shifting configured. So how do you set your bike speeds? Let’s try to figure it out.

The gearshift setting can get lost because you are not familiar with the gearshift rules and are shifting them incorrectly. Or your gearshift system is simply too dirty and needs to be flushed out. But the reasons are a separate conversation, and we will focus on setting.

Let’s not go into the nuances of professional tuning. professional cyclists are unlikely to search for speed settings on the network. Therefore, let’s move on to a short rate setting course:

  • Secure your bike with the wheels upside down (using a special stand or simply placing it on the handlebars and seat). The speed setting is carried out using special bolts on the switch.
  • Now you need to set the chain to the leftmost positions (on the large chainring and small rear). After that, unscrew the part that serves to fix the cable to completely unhook the cable.
  • Now, tightening one of the bolts on the speed switch, you need to adjust the two gears so that they are opposite one another. You will know which bolt to turn by the “H” or “High” mark next to it. What does high speed mean?
  • After that, we install the chain in the rightmost positions of both stars (on the largest rear and smallest in front). Adjust the gears again with the second screw, which is marked “L” or “Low”. Putting the stars in one line.
  • Now, you need to install the chain on the middle sprockets at the front and rear and adjust the gear shifting as precisely as possible using a screw called a “wing” and located directly on top of the cable. It must be remembered that our goal is to ensure that the middle gears are opposite one another. Before you start twisting the “lamb”, it is better to perform a test drive, which will give an idea of ​​how difficult it is to switch or, conversely, too easy.

Putting the asterisks one opposite the other, do not worry if there are slight inaccuracies, plus or minus a couple of millimeters does not affect anything: the system does not provide such accuracy. But still, gear shifting will be slightly better if the stars are aligned. For this reason, after the test ride, it will become extremely clear in which exact place you need to do more detailed settings.

Adjusting the forward speeds of the bike

You need to adjust the forward speeds in about the same way, there is nothing difficult there, and you can figure it out at the level of intuition, therefore, we will consider only some points. The chain runs along the chainrings with a metal stop that can be adjusted with two bolts. The principle is the same, so, as mentioned earlier, there is nothing complicated about it. And, again, in order not to suffer again with the setting, switch the speeds correctly, as described above.

Shimano derailleur

However, the shifter is a kind of “heart” of the transmission system and, for the most part, it is he who is responsible for the quality of gear shifting. Today, a limited number of companies manufacture high quality derailleurs, and the most popular among them is the Japanese giant Shimano.

For the convenience of customers, all Shimano derailleurs are divided into groups. Let’s dwell on each of them in order:

  • Shimano Tourney is the easiest beginner derailleur. They are distinguished by their low cost and high reliability. Bicycles equipped with components of this class are designed to be used at a leisurely pace on the track or on tightly packed soil. This Shimano derailleur cell needs constant adjustment and starts to fail if too much dirt gets on it. Fits Shimano 2300 Road Group.
  • Shimano Altus / Acera is also the entry-level equipment. But Acera derailleurs are already installed on bicycles designed for use in sand and mud, of course only at the amateur level. For those people who, for whatever reason, cannot get more expensive options and ride both on the ground and on asphalt, this type of Shimano derailleur is ideal. Fits Shimano Sora Road Group.
  • Shimano Alivio. This group of equipment is something in between, it cannot be called professional yet, but it is no longer amateur. Equipped with Alivio derailleurs, the bikes are great for recreational riders and cycling trips. This Shimano derailleur group is reliable and unpretentious. The price-quality ratio in this group of switches is implemented most successfully. Fits Shimano Tiagra Road Group.
  • Shimano Deore is a professional line of derailleurs, but if you look at things soberly, the differences from the Alivio are not that great. All that changes is the indicators of lightness and reliability, they get a little better, but the price increases significantly. Fits Shimano 105 Road Group.
  • Shimano Deore SLX and XT are lightweight and reliable professional equipment. The reliability of the Deore SLX / XT derailleurs is eloquently reflected in the value: the price of a Shimano Alivio rear derailleur is approximately 45. and the Deore costs between 90 and 110 Ideal for professional athletes to train every day. Fits road groups. Shimano Ultegra and Ultegra Di2.
  • The Shimano Deore XTR is the ultimate racing equipment. Not afraid of any stress. Extremely expensive. Fits Shimano Dura-Ace Road Group.

Shimano doesn’t just make derailleurs for mountain and road bikes. There are many derailleurs available for touring, city and adventure bikes. But we do not consider them, since these bicycles are not popular in the CIS.

Setting bike speeds.

All of the following applies primarily to MTB (mountain bikes), or other bikes that have MTB derailleurs.

Before proceeding with the configuration, you need to make sure that:

  • All transmission components are of more or less quality. Shimano Acera or SRAM X4 level, at least. You can customize the Shimano Tourney or Shimano Altus, but the settings will be smaller. The chance to successfully customize components of little-known or no name brands is close to zero.
  • All transmission components (shifters, derailleurs, chain and sprockets) are designed for the same number of gears and fit together. SRAM rear derailleurs are not Shimano compatible, except in some cases, which require a separate article. SRAM and Shimano front derailleurs are compatible.
  • The chain is the correct length. Those. with the chain on the largest sprockets at the back and front, the derailleur frame is almost parallel to the chainstay.
  • The switches are not bent and do not have much backlash. If the backlash is noticeable. change the switch.
  • The rear derailleur mounting bracket (“cock”) stands level, and even better, it is bent in the direction opposite to the wheel by three degrees. Better to focus on the upper derailleur roller. It should also be parallel to the stars when viewed from above or below.
  • The shifters are working properly (we click to idle with the cables unfastened from the switches, we count the number of clicks and check if the cable moves).
  • Shirts and cables are clean, undamaged, straight-cut and run with minimal bending. If necessary, we change or cut, wash and blow through the shirts, as well as install new cables and tips. It is better to cut with a special tool, especially for shirts. Household pliers / nippers do not cut smoothly.
  • No backlash in the rear hub and bottom bracket. If necessary, we eliminate the backlash, if possible. Or we change the part completely.
  • The cassette / ratchet does not “eight” when the rear wheel rotates. A small figure eight is permissible, but if the runout is noticeable, then most likely it is necessary to change the axle in the rear hub, or the entire hub, if the axle is not removable.
  • Derailleur chain, sprockets and rollers are clean and not worn out. The wear of the chain can be measured with a caliper (I will not describe in more detail, it is enough to type in a search engine: “the chain was measured with a caliper”). With significant wear, we change the chain and the worn out sprockets. In case of contamination, we clean the stars dry, after which we rinse, lubricate and wipe the chain dry. After applying the lubricant, pedal for at least 30 seconds to allow the lubricant to penetrate into the chain. There should be no lubricant on the stars and the outer surface of the chain, it only collects excess dirt.
READ  How to remove the bottom bracket on a bicycle without a puller

Now you can proceed to setting up. Let’s start with the rear derailleur.

  • Turn the cable tension adjuster on the shifter and switch until it stops clockwise. Do not overtighten, do not use the tool. These adjusters should be free to twist with your fingers for later adjustment.
  • We find two screws labeled “H” and “L”, or as “High” and “Low”. These screws restrain the switch frame at the end positions. With the cable unfastened, the derailleur frame should be close to the small star. An exception to this is reverse pull switches. If we have a derailleur with a standard pull, set the screw “H” so that the chain rotates freely on the smallest star of the cassette. It is necessary to leave a gap to the adjacent star. 1 mm or slightly less.
  • We fasten the cable and consistently switch to the first speed (the largest star). Do not forget that gear changes only when the pedals are rotated forward. At this stage, we are unlikely to get a clear shift, especially if we put in a new cable and removed the shirts with tips. If there is no special tool for pulling the cable, then it is necessary to drive the switch from one extreme position to another several times in order for the shirts with the tips to sit in their place. If the switch does not reach the largest sprocket, then an over-tightened screw “L” may interfere with it. If you feel a stop, do not press, so as not to break the shifter, check the screw “L”, adjust if necessary. Another reason is that the cable is not tight enough. Turning counterclockwise the cable tension adjuster on the switch (or on the shifter, if it is absent on the switch), we catch the optimal position at which the chain passes equally well from small to large stars and vice versa. Adjust the limit screws if necessary. Make sure that the tension adjuster does not twist too much, if it is held on two or three turns, it may simply break off.
  • Most derailleurs have a third screw that adjusts the derailleur position in the vertical plane, which Shimano calls “B-tension”. The closer the top chain derailleur roller is to the cassette stars, the better the shifting. Adjust the B-tension so that when the chain is on a large sprocket, the distance between the edge of this sprocket and the edge of the top roller is 5-6 mm. Less is possible, the main thing is that the chain would normally be thrown and thrown off onto a large star and not pressed against it. If the chain is pressed by the roller against the cassette star, a characteristic rattling is heard, especially in gear 1-1.
  • Several more times we check the switching on all stars of the cassette, if necessary, make the necessary adjustments.

Once the rear derailleur has been configured, you can proceed to setting the front.

  • Turn the cable tension regulator on the shifter until it stops clockwise, just as we did on the rear shifter.
  • With the cable unbuttoned, set the front derailleur so that the frame is parallel to the stars and when switching to a large sprocket (with the cable unbuttoned, pull the derailleur out by hand, look at the bike from the side) the distance from the edge of the frame to the edge of the teeth of the large sprocket was about 2 mm.
  • Set the rear to first gear (large sprocket) and adjust the screw “L” on the front derailleur so that the distance between the chain and the inner (closest to the frame) edge of the front derailleur frame is slightly less than 1 mm. This is necessary in order to maximize the low gears in the rear, with the front first gear engaged (small sprocket).
  • Fastening the cable, trying to switch to the second star. Don’t forget to pedal forward. If the chain remains on the small sprocket, then unscrew the cable tension regulator on the shifter counterclockwise until the gear shifts. Checking switching to a small star.
  • If there is a third (large) star, switch to it. If switching does not take place, then check if the limiting screw “H” interferes. Unscrew it if necessary. If even after this there is no switching to a large chain, we tighten the cable even more using the adjuster on the shifter. It is important not to drag, otherwise it will not switch to the small star. After making sure that all forward gears are engaged, put the largest sprocket in front and the smallest one at the back. Adjust the screw “H” on the front derailleur so that the distance from the large sprocket to the outer edge of the frame is just under 1 mm. This is necessary in order to maximize the high gears in the rear, with the third star included in the front. Or the second, if there are only two.
  • If there are three stars in front, set the chain to the middle position and by switching the rear derailleur from one extreme position to another, adjust the tension of the cable in the front so that the chain rubbed against the front derailleur frame in as few gears as possible. It’s good if you can open the entire cassette except for the extreme stars. On good transmissions, you can fully open the entire cassette, provided that the front derailleur is correctly set, especially with regard to the parallelism of the frame relative to the stars.
  • Once again we check the shift in all gears. We make adjustments if necessary. Low-end transmissions often have to compromise.

In most cases, the 3-speed front derailleurs are more “moody” than the 2-speed ones. A good option is one sprocket in the front and a large-range cassette in the back. In this case, the front does not need a switch at all, but a damper is required, either one / two rockrings (which is not always possible), or Narrow Wide stars. But this is already a topic for a separate article.

How to fix bike speeds. How to properly adjust the rear and front derailleurs on a bicycle: photo and description of the process

Despite the fact that the bicycle was invented a long time ago and, it would seem, should have been out of date for a long time, but this two-wheeled vehicle is gaining more and more popularity every year. Cycling enthusiasts prefer this type of transport due to its convenience, ease of operation, environmental safety and practicality. Not only ordinary bicycles are very popular, but also mountain, track bikes, which use modern innovative technologies. In order for the owners to enjoy cycling, they need to take care of it and monitor the condition of all parts and assemblies. If, in the process of cycling, you hear extraneous sounds, creaking, knocking and twitching during gear changes, it’s time to pay attention to such a detail as the gear selector.

Rear derailleur

The gear shifter is an important part of a multi-speed bike. Thanks to this component, it becomes possible to move in extreme conditions, which include upwind movement, ascents, poor road quality. The transmission unit must deal with all these problems. The quality of the ride and the safety of the cyclist depend on the smooth operation of the speed switch. This skill is very useful, and every bike owner should learn how to independently adjust the gear shifter. Every cyclist can make adjustments to bicycle shifters. You need to study the theory in detail by reading the instructions, or using the advice of experienced bike owners.

Before setting the derailleur, the rear derailleur must be adjusted. Placing the bike in the correct position (wheels up) will greatly facilitate the entire adjustment process. So, all the necessary details will be in sight, and it will be much easier to get to them.

Reasons for poor gear shifting:

  • physical defects of the switch parts;
  • contamination of parts. To prevent this from happening, the components of the transmission unit must be periodically cleaned of dirt, dust and old grease;
  • worn out cable with elements of damage. Such a part requires replacement;
  • damage to the cock.

If you observe damage, deformation and wear of the constituent parts, they must be replaced as they are practically irreparable.

If all parts are OK, adjust the switch. What does the speed switch consist of? The components of the speed switch are as follows:

  • Handle for gear shifting located on the steering wheel;
  • A shifter that attaches to the handlebars near the handles. Handles and a cable are attached to the shifter. It is with the participation of the cable that the impulse is transmitted from the shifter to the stars;
  • Cassette, which includes stars of different sizes;
  • front fixing mount;
  • rear derailleur, whose main function is to switch the chain to the required sprockets.

How the switches work

Using the handle and shifter, the cyclist activates the required speed. In a certain position of the handle, the cable is pulled. As a result of this tension, the frame is thrown onto larger sprockets; when the cable is loosened, it is not thrown onto small sprockets. As mentioned above, bike setup can be started from the rear derailleur. Procedure for adjusting the rear derailleur:

  • select the second star in the front block, and the smallest in the rear one and set the switch chain on them;
  • The bike’s rear derailleur system has two bolts that act as stops. One is abbreviated as H, and on the other. L. These two bolts are used to adjust the high and low gears on the stars. If during the adjustment process any extraneous sounds occur, you can get rid of them using the latch;
  • check the tension of the cable and, if the tension is not correct, use the regulator located on the shifter;
  • Test the switching quality. If the switching occurs smoothly, no extraneous sounds are heard, then you did everything right.

What to do if you can’t adjust the bike’s rear derailleur

There are several methods for solving this issue. But if the standard tuning instruction did not work, to tune the rear derailleur you need to:

  • dismantle the chain, remove the cable;
  • move the switch to the chain position to the smallest star;
  • use adjusting bolts (this way you can tighten the cable);
  • set the adjusting bolt H to the extreme position;
  • move the part called the parallelogram to the big star and adjust the position of the bolt L.

The regulator is fixed with screws. It must be set to the extreme position. After that, the chain must be displaced in this order: the front cassette is the largest star in diameter, the rear, on the contrary, is the smallest.

Bicycle front derailleur

The transition to setting this mechanism is possible only when the rear derailleur is set. This feature is important to take into account before starting work. The figure shows the switch (round, black).

Leave the chain on the middle sprocket of the front block and place it on the large sprocket in the rear block. If chain friction is observed, re-engage adjuster L. To adjust stop H, the chain moves to the largest sprocket at the front and smallest at the back. The adjuster will help you position the chain in the optimal position without friction and excessive chain tension. At the end of the work, be sure to check the quality of its implementation.

Correct installation of the front derailleur

You can start the front derailleur setting only after adjusting the rear derailleur. Installation is the initial step in adjusting the speed switch. It’s very important to do it right.

  • before installing the switch, it is necessary to inspect the condition of the constituent parts and, if necessary, clean them of dirt and lubricate.
  • Next, adjust the location of the front derailleur. On the frame, it should be located along the pipe under the saddle.
  • Set the steering angle parallel to the drive sprocket on the front cassette of the transmission unit.
  • Next, you need to adjust the gap between the underside of the derailleur frame and the top line of the teeth of the large gear. The gap should be minimal.
  • Adjust the degree of cable tension.
  • Place the chain close to the inside of the frame.

It is also worth paying attention to setting up the chain. The bicycle chain is a very important element, with the help of which the impulse is transmitted from one chainring to another and the adjustment process takes place. The technical condition of the circuit is of great importance for the operation of the entire system. If, for some reason, the bicycle chain is stretched or deformed, this cannot but adversely affect the operation of the entire transmission unit. To prevent this from happening, the chain must be periodically removed and cleaned, and then set the correct position. There are lock and lockless models of bicycle chains. They differ in the way they are connected. To remove the locking chain, it is enough to find the link with the lock and disconnect it with a screwdriver. The lockless bicycle chain is disconnected using a squeeze. This tool helps to push the link axle out and make the connector. If it skews for some reason, this can adversely affect the gearshift process.

One of the best manufacturers of bicycle parts, including derailleurs, is the Japanese company Shimano, which has a proven track record of producing products in which Japanese quality is combined with budget and price. Shimano derailleurs (fig. 3) are suitable for all types of bicycles. Shimano derailleurs are installed on both regular touring bicycles and mountain and track bikes with gearboxes up to 33 speeds.

Another recognized market leader is Sram. The products of this company are used on bicycles of the city bike category, as well as on sports bicycles. Sram products are of good quality and affordable price for cycling enthusiasts.

Every bicycle owner who prefers this type of transport to others is obliged to understand how to switch its speeds. It is believed that the more speeds a bike has, the better it is. But in fact, speed only allows you to improve the quality of maneuvering and squeeze the maximum out of the bike’s capabilities, so then everything depends on the dynamic efforts of the person riding the bike. Conventional bicycles have a simpler design compared to high-speed ones. There is less hassle with such a bike, but it also has fewer possibilities. In the transmission unit of such bicycles there are only two stars: one large and one small. Multi-speed bicycles, which have gained popularity in recent years, have two sets of sprockets in their transmission units: front and rear. Each cassette contains stars of different sizes. To switch gears correctly, you need to remember a few basic rules:

  • If your bike is not equipped with a planetary hub, you only need to switch gears on it while driving, otherwise there is a danger of damage to the bike.
  • During gear shifting, it is not necessary to apply significant dynamic forces, in order to eliminate the danger of a burst of flowers, it is advisable to change gears sequentially, without making sudden jerks.

Bicycle Rear Derailleur Setting

A very common problem faced by cyclists is the fuzzy rear derailleur. Today we will try to figure out how to set it up from scratch or adjust if the settings are lost.

This article is suitable for setting up all shimano, sram, campagnolo, microshift and other derailleurs, no matter how many speeds you have on your bike, from 2 to 11 speed sprockets on the rear wheel.


The tools you may need are a Phillips screwdriver and possibly a 10 or 8 hex key or wrench depending on the switch. It is also very convenient to carry out work on a special bike rack, but without it you can do it too.

Reasons for the deterioration of the rear derailleur:

Lack of service. Most often, when buying a bike, the derailleur works well and flawlessly, but after the season of operation, you can replace the deterioration in performance or even the chain jumping off the extreme sprockets. In 70% of cases, setting the rear derailleur helps, but sometimes this does not help either, then the cable and shirt should be replaced, as they become clogged with dirt and interfere with the smooth running of the cable in the shirt. Usually bike maintenance is done once a year, in which the switch settings are enabled.

Sometimes, in order to save money, the cable is lubricated with grease or any other lubricant and it turns out to improve the work for a while, but later the lubricant attracts dust to itself and the work deteriorates again, so you have to do this procedure more often than you would like.

Deterioration of the switch itself. Everything ever breaks down and the derailleur on a bike is no exception. Most often, the parallelogram axes of the switch wear out, due to which a small backlash is formed, which does not allow the switching to be adjusted correctly.

Derailleur sprockets are worn. Over time, plastic sprockets wear out due to which the chain no longer holds on to them, which leads to poor operation of the derailleur. Also, the sprocket axles can wear out and the sprocket will dangle unnecessarily on the axle, which leads to poor shifting.

Curve cock or the switch itself. When you fall or hit something with the switch, the cock will most often bend (break), since it is made specially from a weaker alloy than the switch itself (to keep the more expensive part intact). The curvature does not allow the chains to stand up exactly, which reduces the efforts to adjust the throw to zero. Read how to straighten a cock with your hands.

Cable problems. Sometimes, during installation or when dropped, the cable may bend strongly, after which the place of the bend will prevent the smooth movement of the cable in the shirt. In this case, its replacement is required.

It also happens that the cable gets loose (that’s why you should use the ends of the cables) and later one of the thin threads begins to separate from the main bundle, as a result, prevents the normal movement of the cable in the shirt. Sometimes one thread in the cable can break and also prevent it from working normally, here you can isolate it from the main bundle along the entire length of the cable. But the best option would be to replace the cable with a new one.

READ  Setting up rear disc brakes on a bicycle

If a new cable was installed, then sometimes after a certain number of kilometers (about 100 km), you may notice a deterioration in switching. this is due to the fact that the cable is stretched a little. In this case, it will be necessary to tighten the cable tension bolt a little.

Important! If at least one of the 5 problems you have, it will not be possible to adjust the switch perfectly!

Bicycle Rear Derailleur Adjustment

After we have eliminated all 5 possible problems with the rear derailleur, we can begin to configure it. I took a bike with a shimano rear derailleur and divided the whole setup into 8 steps:

On the shifter, we throw off to the highest speed (which corresponds to the smallest star on the block of led stars). We pedal so that the chain is on a small star. (now you understand why it is so convenient to work with the rack)

I do not show numbers on the shifter, but believe me the position of the indicator is on the “number” 9. Which corresponds to the smallest star on the cassette.

When adjusting the rear derailleur on the sprockets (front) the chain is best positioned where you use it most. This is usually the central star on a 3-star system.

Weaken the hexagon or bolt that holds the cable.

We twist it all the way, and then return one turn back all the cable tension adjusting knobs that are on the switch and on the shifter (sometimes there is only one adjustment screw on bicycles, most often it is on the switch, less often on the shifter).

In my case, the cable tension regulator is located only on the shifter. The photo shows how I spin the lamb.

We pull the cable with our hand (it is not necessary to pull with all our strength, the main thing is that it does not sag and be stretched along its entire length) and tighten the bolt holding the cable.

Align the center of the derailleur foot rollers with the center of the smallest chainring on the bike. Some people remove the chain for stages 5 and 6 to fine tune them. I do not see the need for this, you can not shoot, especially if you have a switch that is not of the highest level, such as shimano tourney, acera or alivio.

Actually, all this movement of the switch occurs using the adjusting screws with the letters “H” and “L”.

The shift pad position adjusting screws look something like this.

We turn the screw “H” with a screwdriver until the centers of the rollers on the foot of the switch and the small star coincide and proceed to the next step.

In the photo, I showed a red line, along which you can see that the switch roller is under a small star on the cassette, which means that the extreme position is set correctly.

We switch on the shifter to the lowest speed (number 1), which corresponds to the largest driven star. We twist the pedals so that the chain goes to the extreme sprocket. And also align the center of the foot rollers with the center of the largest sprocket. All this alignment takes place with the screw “L”.

On the shifter, there is an indicator for switching the speed to number 1, if there are no numbers in the most extreme position, which should correspond to the largest star on the cassette.

Essentially, the “H” and “L” screws act as end stops for your derailleur, which keeps the chain from flying off while driving and keeps you alive.

We expose the extreme position of the switch foot so that the switch does not hit the wheel spokes. By aligning the axes of the largest sprocket on the cassette and the axis of the derailleur foot.

We drop again at the highest speed. Don’t forget to pedal The chain should be on the smallest star. Next, switch to one speed and turn the pedals, if the chain does not jump or does not jump right away, then you need to slightly unscrew the adjusting screw that adjusts the cable tension (it turns out we pull the cable).

Then again we check and switch from the highest speed to one step lower (if the 8-speed cassette, then from 8 to 7 speed), if the switch happened immediately, congratulations you set the switch! You can check the remaining speeds will also easily and clearly switch both up and down.!

The chain should jump to the adjacent speed. In my case, this is a 9 speed cassette. Switching from 9 to 8.

Adjust the distance from the largest star to the derailleur roller. This distance should be about 4 mm, if the distance is greater, the switching clarity will be reduced. The adjustment screw on the switch is responsible for adjusting this gap. Unscrewing the screw the distance decreases, screwing it in increases. tuning is done on the largest star corresponding to the number 1 on your shifter.

Possible errors when setting the rear derailleur

Question: What if I unscrewed the adjusting screw to the end, and the chain still does not switch to 1 speed lower? Answer: Most likely you pulled the cable poorly by hand from step 4, or you did it with insufficiently tightened cable tension adjusting screws from step 3, and it is also possible that you did not pull the cable at the highest speed on the shifter described in step 1.

Question: I reached stage 7, but the chain was not on the smallest star why? Answer: You may have pulled the cable too tight with your hands in step 4, in which case try to loosen the cable tension slightly with the adjusting screw. If the chain still does not go to the extreme small star, repeat steps 1 to 4.

Rear derailleur setup video:

Share your experience with setting switches in the comments.

How to adjust the speed switch on a bike

It often happens that either the speeds on the bike are not switched clearly, or some new transmission elements have been installed. In this case, you will need to adjust the speed switch and it is quite possible to do this work on your own, without contacting specialized workshops.

Necessary terminology

To understand the process of self-adjusting the speed switch, you need to know the definition of some specific terms, otherwise it will be difficult to understand the instructions.

Things to remember:

  • Speed ​​switch (override). This is a transmission element that is specifically responsible for gear shifting. If there is a rear overhang, then it also acts as a support for the tension of the bicycle chain. The crossover (back and front) can be described as follows: it is a parallelogram mechanism equipped with a powerful return spring, on which the frame is fixed. The rear derailleur has two rollers inside the frame. if the level of cable tension rises, the frame shifts the chain to large stars, and if this cable tension decreases, then the chain is shifted towards small stars with the help of the frame. The mechanism of the front derailleur works in the same way.
  • Shifter. It is designed to switch speeds by changing the tension level of the cable. Most often, the shifter is located on the handlebars, but in some bicycle models it can also be located on the lower tube of the frame triangle. Note:shifters and speed switches have a common connection on the steering wheel (this is provided by a cable) and are covered with a jacket.
  • Cassette. This is the name of the rear transmission unit, which consists of stars of different sizes (of different diameters and with a different number of teeth) and is installed on the rear hub drum. If the bike model is old, then a ratchet is used instead of a drum in the rear hub.
  • Cock. This is a metal part that helps to maintain the integrity of the frame and rear derailleur in the event that the vehicle has been hit. The rooster is always attached to the frame, and a cross-over is already attached to this metal part. When a blow occurs, it is this very cock that breaks down, and the frame and the speed switch (crossover) remain intact.
  • System. This is the name of the front transmission unit, which consists of stars of different diameters and with a different number of teeth. These stars are fastened to each other and the connecting rods with special hollow bolts on the connecting rods, but you need to know that there are no hollow bolts in cheap bicycles. the stars and connecting rods are riveted together.

Why is there a violation of gear shifting

To understand what action should be taken to adjust gear shifting, you need to understand what causes may lead to the problem under consideration. Experts identify several such predisposing factors:

  • deformation of the rooster;
  • stretching the cable;
  • deformation of the speed switch;
  • malfunctioning return spring.

How to fix defects

The speed switch will work perfectly and the bike itself will be with a new (or not very old) cable, with absolutely intact shirts (and not dry!) ​​And not deformed (or in a small volume) stars and chain.

If the cable is just stretched, then you just need to pull it up. But if the cable breaks, then you cannot do without replacing this element. The process of replacing the cable is not difficult, the main thing is to strictly adhere to the recommendations of specialists:

  • unscrew the cable fixing screw, which is located on the cross-over;
  • pull the cable out of the shirts;
  • if necessary, disassemble the shifter and pull the cable out of it;
  • a new cable must be inserted into a special groove in the shifter, and it is the metal tip of the cable that must enter into the groove;
  • lubricate the entire cable with a special grease, you do not need to spare the consumable;
  • pass the cable through the shirts;
  • there are special grooves on the frame, into which shirts are tucked;
  • fasten the cable with a screw on the front.

In case of poor gear shifting, pay attention to the return spring. it must be clean and lubricated. To achieve this, you just need to rinse the spring under running water, dry it completely and lubricate it thoroughly.

If the frame of the rear derailleur is crooked, then this can only mean one thing. the cock is bent. If this is not critical, then you can correct the cock with your hands. you need to take the rear switch in your hand, which is fixed on the cock, and with the other hand hold the frame. Slowly pull out the problematic transmission element (rooster) until relatively level.

Note: this “repair” of the cock is a temporary solution to the problem of shifting gears. The fact is that the rooster is a consumable that needs to be changed in time, and not constantly repaired / pulled.

In some cases, the bike owner pays attention to a deformed rear derailleur (the front derailleur rarely suffers on impact). it can also be returned to its original position using the hands. But if the rear derailleur is deformed too much, then it is advisable to replace it.

Note: After performing specific manipulations to repair bent / deformed parts, you should not use the bike for too long. this may end in a fall, another breakdown at the most inopportune moments. And in some cases, such carelessness can lead to a road accident.!

How to properly adjust the rear derailleur

To independently adjust the rear derailleur on a bicycle, you just need to strictly follow the step-by-step instructions from experts in this process. So, follow all the steps:

  • Move the chain to the small sprocket with the right shifter.
  • Unscrew the fixing screw and release the cable.
  • Find the screw with the “H” mark. Use a screwdriver to adjust this screw so that the smallest star lies in the same plane with the rollers, which are located in the foot (frame).
  • Pull the cable by hand and fix it with the screw.
  • Check the operation of the switch, and if it does not work correctly, the chain does not switch well to large stars, then you need to tighten the cable harder (either with the help of a drum or with a switch).
  • Move the chain to the largest sprocket available in the cassette.
  • Find the screw marked “L” and adjust it so that the tab (frame) and the sprocket are in the same plane. in this case, the crossover will not be able to get into the spokes of the front wheel.

How to adjust the front derailleur

There are also clear and simple step-by-step instructions for adjusting the front derailleur:

  • Move the chain to a smaller star.
  • Unscrew the fixing screw and release the cable.
  • We find a screw marked “L”, with its help we adjust the position of the frame so that the chain is between the plates of the frame, but at the same time does not touch them.
  • We stretch the cable, fix it with a screw.
  • Now we move the chain in the cassette to a smaller sprocket. it is convenient to do this using the rear derailleur.
  • With the front derailleur, move the chain to the middle sprocket and look. if the chain on the second one touches the outer side of the frame everywhere, then you need to increase the tension of the cable using the drum located on the left shifter.
  • We switch the gear to the largest sprocket in the cassette and check. if the chain touches the walls of the frame, you need to move the last element so that the chain is in the middle. This manipulation can be done using the screw marked “H”.

Why the bike does not switch speeds, how to fix a breakdown

Cycling is often burdened with all sorts of problems, so constant maintenance is a must. Nevertheless, certain difficulties do arise sometimes. If something is wrong with the transmission components, then the transport in most cases fails. In particular, drivers sometimes complain that they do not switch gears on their bike: this kind of breakdown can be associated with various reasons. However, it can be easily repaired if the switch is readjusted correctly or worn parts are replaced.

Switch types

Bicycle derailleurs can differ in structure and mechanism of action. There are three types of systems:

Take the survey

  • internal switching (planetary bushings);
  • external switching;
  • combined.

Internal shift mechanism is a non-standard option. Unlike the external unit, there are no sprocket and tooth cassettes or paddle switches. On these bicycles, everything is different. It has only one sprocket in front, a chain and another one in the back. The mechanism itself is located inside the rear hub. Thanks to this structure, it is resistant to adverse conditions (including bad weather), durable and reliable. over, it is easy to operate with it: you do not need to pedal to switch gears, and the brake can be built-in at all.

External switching mechanisms are a more common solution. They can be located in front or behind. At the front bicycle derailleur, the chain is transferred from one chainring to another according to this principle: it passes through the frame, which can be moved thanks to the parallelogram mechanism. When switching, the frame moves and takes a position above the required sprocket, and under its influence, the chain jumps to a similar position.

The rear derailleurs seem to work in a similar way. However, when using them, more stars are involved. For the front transmissions, up to 3 are enough. the rear ones can work with cassettes up to 9 stars.

External switch Shifter Planetary hub

Different types of speed switches have their own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Versatile, even suitable for bicycles with non-standard geometry;
  • simplicity of design is a guarantee that it is easier to maintain and repair in the event of a malfunction
  • The derailleur frame can touch the bike frame, which leads to an incorrect setting of the speed mode;
  • under load, it is quite difficult to transfer the chain (especially from a smaller sprocket to a large one)
  • The heavy weight of the structure can complicate the operation of the bike;
  • due to constant friction, rapid wear of the mechanism is possible

Rear Front

Causes of breakdowns

If the bike does not change gears, you need to find out the cause of the malfunction. This kind of problem can be associated with various factors:

  • Improper condition of cables and shirts. For effective gear shifting, these parts must be intact and clean. If there is contamination, they must be removed. If the cable is damaged due to wear (fluff or torn), it must be replaced with a new one.
  • Lack of lubrication. If there are no dirt or defects, but the bike does not shift gears well, the cable can be treated with Teflon grease. This will ensure proper glide. It is strictly forbidden to lubricate parts with thick compounds (like grease).
  • Deformation of the bicycle cock. The rear derailleur device may malfunction due to bracket problems. He could easily bend while transporting the bike. This nuisance is especially relevant in the case of purchasing a new bicycle.
  • Backlash between parts. During prolonged operation, the rear derailleur may have large gaps between the cable and other structural elements. Free wheeling is not always a bad thing, but if the speed does not switch immediately or it is difficult for the driver to adjust the mode he needs, then the backlash has increased significantly and the switch needs to be reconfigured.

Timely maintenance of your bike is essential to avoid breakage. Any changes in its work can signal possible problems. This does not necessarily indicate defects or wear. The gearshift mechanism may not work correctly due to the common mistakes of beginners. incorrect transmission settings or untimely cleaning of parts.

It is also important to be able to use it correctly to avoid breaking the speed switch on your bike. Firstly, it is possible to change the speed mode only while driving. if the pedals do not rotate, then an attempt to move the chain can lead to a breakdown of the entire structure. Secondly, this should be done only when driving on a flat surface and not uphill. If there is a climb ahead, you must change the speed in advance. Thirdly, for a smooth shifting, you should ease the load on the pedal (especially if the bicycle has a front derailleur).

READ  Rear wheel staggers on a speed bike

The speed mode must be changed sequentially one by one. without skipping over several.

Deformation of the bicycle hinge Broken cable Loop between parts Lack of lubrication

Correct setting

First of all, you need to make sure that all parts are intact and undeformed. If this is not the case, the bike components must be replaced and only then proceed to setting the speeds. In particular, it is required to check for suitability:

Of the tools, you only need a wrench to tighten the threaded connections, with which you can tighten the bolts. When replacing the cable, pliers can also come in handy to help “bite off” the excess part. The further sequence of actions depends on the type of switch.

To work you need a torque wrench

If you need to adjust the rear derailleur, the instructions will be as follows:

  • The chain must be on the largest star in the front and the smallest in the back.
  • The bolt that fixes the rear crossover cable must be unscrewed.
  • The derailleur rollers should be set so that they are in the same plane with the desired sprocket. To do this, you just need to rotate the bolt with the inscription “H” until they take the required position.
  • Pull the cable well and tighten the bolt.
  • Then the speed switches to the lowest (so that the chain radically changes its position and is on the largest star at the back and smallest at the front).
  • The “L” screw must be turned until the derailleur rollers are directly opposite the large sprocket.

For the derailleur on the rear wheel to work properly, it is important that the cable is not overtightened. If the transition from one speed to another is difficult, you should use the shifter. It will allow you to change the tension of the cable. then the switch will not work so tightly.

The front steering wheel switch is configured differently:

  • With the help of the rear shifter, you need to go to the middle star. This is necessary in order to avoid severe distortion of the chain.
  • The chain is installed in first gear, and the bolt securing the cable is unscrewed.
  • Turning the “L” screw will move the transfer frame so that the distance between the chain and the derailleur on both sides is the same.
  • Tighten the cable (not too much) and secure with a bolt.
  • After that, you need to switch to the largest star in front.
  • Screw “H” should be turned until the chain is exactly in the middle of the frame.

You can adjust the adjustment results with the thumb on the shifter, as is the case with the rear derailleur. If the triggers are too tight, it is recommended to loosen the cable tension slightly. If you complete each step in accordance with the instructions, the switch will work properly.

Combinations of stars

The speed of the bike is directly dependent on the gear cost. When transferring the chain from one chainring to another, the transport will go faster or, conversely, slower on the front gears and rear cassette. The number of speed modes, by the way, depends on the design of the transport:

  • If he has one front gear and a rear cassette for 6-7 stars, the bike provides 6-7 speeds.
  • If its design is equipped with 3 chainrings and a similar rear cassette with 6-7 stars, as in the first case, then the number of gears increases to 18 and more.
  • Rear cassettes with 9-10 stars are rare. They are used only by professional bicycles with a record number of speeds up to 27-30.

Different combinations of front and rear sprockets, in turn, allow you to choose the right mode for cycling in different conditions:

Bicycle speeds how they work. Bicycle speeds how they work. Velobaggio

Anyone who has purchased a bicycle should know how the gear shift adjustment works on a bicycle. Many modern bicycles have 21 to 27 gears. Therefore, bike owners need to be aware of how to adjust the gear changes on their bike.

Typically, a modern bike is equipped with 2-3 stars in front and 6-8 in the back. They are conventionally divided into modes. There is a small star in front, which turns on when driving uphill. The second star is used in recreational riding, and the third, the largest star, is responsible for the speed limit.

All shifts need to be done only when driving, when you pedal. There are gear shifting levers on the handlebars. Levers can be used to switch both front and rear stars.

The chainrings are switched on the left side of the steering wheel. In this case, the large lever moves the chain to the large stars, and the small lever drops the chain to the small stars. Accordingly, on the right side of the steering wheel there is a large and small lever for shifting the rear gears.

Also, a large lever moves the chain to the larger chainrings, and a small lever (located under the brake lever) drops the chain to the smaller chainrings.

How to Adjust Gear Shifting on a Bicycle. video

When changing gears on a bicycle, there is one very important rule: when changing the high-speed transmission mode on the front gears (while pressing the shift lever), it is necessary to release pressure on the pedals, making the pedal travel smoother.

What is it for? Thanks to this, the chain will more correctly go to the large gear. The amplitude of pressing the lever should be maximum (to the end). When shifting the rear gears, this rule (smooth movement of the legs) does not have to be followed.

Since the difference in teeth here is no more than three, respectively, the switching time is much faster than in the case of the front gears, where the difference in teeth reaches 10.

Correct gear shifting on a bicycle

So, if you notice that you are pedaling a lot and your strength goes to idle, increase gears. In doing so, be guided by the following shift pattern: the lightest gear is 1 × 1 (1 reverse and 1 forward). As a result, this mode allows you to pedal frequently, the driving speed is minimal and you hardly move forward.

This gear is usually engaged on uphill gradients. The most powerful gear (in the above modes) is considered 3rd gear in front and 8th gear behind. It is important to remember that with this mode you will experience additional stress on the chain and on the legs (for example, on the knee joints).

The preferred pedaling option is one in which you reach a cadence of about 60 rpm. This rhythm of riding is beneficial for both the bike and your health. Have a nice trip!

Read other topics:


How to properly shift gears on a bike

In the old days, 4 speeds were enough for cyclists, thanks to which they perfectly moved on asphalt and rough terrain. We will talk in this article about why an increasing number of bikes, especially mountain bikes, have from 20 to 30 speeds these days, why they are needed, as well as how to choose and configure the optimal gear shifting system.

Why switch gears correctly on your bike

Everything rests on such a concept as cadence. It characterizes the optimal number of revolutions per minute for comfortable cycling. The normal value is in the range of 80-100 rpm. This allows you to move for a long time without severe overload and fatigue in the legs.

Here you can quickly find what you need!

Riding on rough terrain. these are various slopes that you need to climb, descents where you need to pick up the maximum speed, as well as sections of soil with varying degrees of passability.

In order to maintain the same cadence in all these cases, a different gear ratio is required. That is, the speed will vary depending on the complexity of the site, and the number of rotations will become optimal and most comfortable. All this ensures timely gear changes. Next, we’ll look at how to shift gears on a bike.

What are bike gears

There are 2 main mechanisms for implementing gear shifting.

  • Internal (planetary sleeve). All system elements are located in the rear wheel hub housing and allow for smooth operation. Such options are highly reliable and durable, and are also well protected from the effects of weather conditions. However, on mountain bikes, which we are talking about here, they are extremely rare due to the instability of the mechanism to shock loads.
  • External. It consists of a front and rear derailleur. The front includes a set of 2-3 sprockets (system) and the switch itself (in the form of a frame through which the chain is passed). It moves the chain relative to the system. The rear derailleur consists of 6–12 sprockets (cassette) and a derailleur that moves relative to the cassette (in the form of a foot with gears along which the chain rotates).

See also: Choosing contact pedals for a beginner

This solution is most widely used due to its simplicity, efficiency and relatively low cost.

Many people forget to change gears on a bicycle.

It is important to understand that the choice of gear should be made on the sprockets of the system: number 3 is for maximum speed, the first for ascents. For constant driving, the average value is used.

These parts are designed to fine-tune the gear ratio and achieve optimal cadence. Now the question arises, why are there so many? It’s simple. It is impossible to make a sharp switch from a large diameter cassette to a small one without damaging the chain.

In addition, it can tear. Fine tuning allows to ensure the stability of rotation on different terrain, in the presence of headwind, temperature and soil moisture.

Moving on to choosing a speed switch

The price range is quite wide, but the degree of operation and the requirements for the equipment play a decisive role. For simple walks, a simple 3-7 model is sufficient (with three stars in the system and a family in the cassette). In addition, it is important to consider the cost of consumables.

The chain must be changed every season, and the price for a 10-star cassette can be 4 times higher than for a 7-star (due to different chain thicknesses and the same quality and strength requirements). On the other hand, more gears will provide smoother and more precise shifting.

The optimum balance, as determined by Shimano’s research, is a 13% difference in the number of teeth between adjacent sprockets. The appropriate number of these elements will allow not only to gain the highest speed, but also to overcome the steepest hill.

See also: How to carry out maintenance of a bike at home, lubrication of units

Setting up the gearshift system

In order to set the correct gear shifting, it is necessary to understand how the front and rear derailleur works. It all boils down to ensuring the correct position of the upper and lower gear limit screws (there are only 2 of them), and then adjust the cable tension.

The process is initiated by pulling and loosening the cable using the adjuster on the shifter (steering wheel switch) or on the rear derailleur. If the screws are set correctly, and the mechanism does not work, simply loosen or tighten the cable depending on the dropped gears.

A comforting conclusion about bike speed

Different speeds are definitely needed and important, but their number is chosen based on personal preferences and financial capabilities of the cyclist.

How to properly shift gears on a bike

There are many gears in a modern bicycle. Every day, manufacturers are introducing an increasing number of speeds into their models. Whereas about a decade ago Shimano Alivio’s original line of components was designed for 6 stars in a cassette (i.e. 3×6 = 18 speeds), today bikes are fitted with 9-star cassettes in this class (3×9 = 27). Even recently popular (only a year or two ago) 8-star cassettes are now rarely seen, except on cheap bicycles. All this is done not only for the sake of marketing purposes, but also to improve the performance of the transmission: firstly, the speed range is slightly expanded, and secondly (and this is more significant), the jolts from changing the gear ratio become smoother. The load on the chain and sprocket is reduced, which increases the life of the components.

How to deal with all this economy correctly? How do I shift gears on my bike? Let’s figure it out. These tips come in handy for all riders with more than one gear on their bikes. Although no, just everyone, so that you can teach the mind-mind of your friends-acquaintances.

Learning to switch correctly

Each program, like a good joke, should be appropriate. On the ascent we go down, on the descent we go up. The pedal effort will tell you the right gear ratio for your driving conditions. If it becomes difficult to turn, you should switch lower, too easy. higher. But in any case, the load on the legs must be maintained, you need to rotate the pedals with tension. this is the only way pedaling will be effective.


Regarding the rotational speed (cadence). Each person is comfortable with their own cadence, at which the pedals will rotate with maximum efficiency. If the speed of rotation is lower than the rhythm you are comfortable with, then the forces will be wasted. If the cadence is incorrect, there is also a risk of injury. This is due to increased stress on joints and muscles. So pay attention to this point when driving.

You don’t need to pedal too quickly, otherwise you will quickly get tired. Finding the ideal frequency for yourself is easy, rely on sensations. I will only add that in addition to road conditions, the choice of gear and cadence is affected by the strength and direction of the wind, as well as the physical form of the cyclist at the moment.

Under any conditions, the goal is one. to pedal at a constant speed and constant effort on them, regardless of the selected gear. The same rhythm significantly postpones the onset of fatigue and increases endurance. Consequently, a significantly greater distance can be overcome.

Transmission device

In a nutshell about the structure of the gearshift system. Modern bicycles have two derailleurs. front and rear. They are controlled through the shifters: the left one is for the front derailleur, the right one is for the rear. The number of positions on them must correspond to the number of stars in the crankset and in the cassette.

The principle of operation of the front derailleur is quite simple. it moves the chain from one drive sprocket to another. The rear derailleur is more complex, since it is entrusted with the function of tensioning the chain, the length of which changes when moving from star to star. It has a double roller foot and a powerful spring. Thanks to this design, the chain does not randomly jump off or sag, and if necessary, with the effort of one finger, it quickly and clearly moves to the adjacent sprocket.

How to properly shift gears on a bike. basic recommendations

The pedals can only be turned forward when shifting. Some “unique” (mostly children, regardless of age) like to do the opposite, scoffing at the bike. Bad example to follow, agree. And the power gap does not contribute to effective acceleration in any way.

At the moment of shifting, it is necessary to slightly reduce the effort applied to the pedals. The shift to another gear will be smooth, without bumps, which positively affects the durability of the entire transmission.

With experience, you will intuitively find chainring and chainring combinations. If the switching system is not yet fully mastered by you, follow the position of the chain in one position or another. There are more than two dozen gears (the overwhelming number of bicycles today have 24, 27 and 30 speeds), but only two thirds of them can actually be used. The problem is severe chain misalignment that occurs when the outer chainring and inner (closest to the frame) rear chainring is used, and vice versa. The chain and sprockets in such sprocket combinations deteriorate quickly, and the rear derailleur is under increased stress. The coefficient of friction is generally higher, which requires extra effort from the cyclist motor. After all, it’s noisy.

Therefore, we remember: large chainrings and small rear ones are gear ratios for fast driving, a small front and large rear ones are for off-road and overcoming obstacles. It is impossible to combine “fast” with “slow”.

Take your time: shift gears one at a time, not several at once. Wait for the chain to move to an adjacent star, and only then continue switching.

On the rise, it is not recommended to shift due to increased loads on the entire transmission. Therefore, choose a gear suitable for its slope in advance. Immediately exclude the large front one from the possible options, since it will be very difficult to climb up with it.

Keep your bike clean, lubricate and adjust mechanisms in time.

Most importantly, be smart about cycling.

Maxim Kolesnik, only for

Video dessert. Scientists took the last phrase of this article literally and decided to create a bicycle with mental gear shifting.