9 tips for changing gears on your bike
It’s not yet hot enough to hide in the shade while sipping a mojito, and not so cold to wrap up in a blanket and warm up with hotter drinks (I’m talking about tea, what did you think about?)
Finally, the time has come when you can roll out your two-wheeled friend and drive blood through the body to his heart’s content.
In the article on contact pedaling, we casually touched on the correct gear shifting, so today I propose to consider it in more detail.
The time when a bicycle had only one speed is long gone, and today’s bikes have a considerable number of them.
Many are interested in the question of how to cope with all this stock of speeds.?
Outwardly, the question seems to be simple, there are special things (shifters) on the steering wheel that you know, click and have fun.
But if you dig deeper, it’s not that simple. To enjoy the ride, it turns out, you need to know how to switch these things correctly.
Most modern bicycles have 3 stars in the front and 7 to 10 in the back. It would seem, switch them at your own discretion and do not ask stupid questions.
But it turns out that there are such mutual positions of the front and rear stars, which it is extremely undesirable to allow.
No, this option is certainly possible, but it first of all indicates the inexperience of the rider, and secondly, that soon he will have problems with the gearshift system itself.
Why this is so, I will show with a simple example.
Look at the picture and find the difference. Don’t you notice? I suggest.
The figure shows a simplified diagram of the gearshift system (top view): the short black lines are our stars (front and rear), the red and green lines are our chain.
It can be seen from the figure that in the variant with the position of the red chain (incorrect), the angle of its longitudinal bending is much greater than in the green (correct).
This suggests that the red circuit is subjected to significantly higher loads than the green one, which means it will fail faster. At best, it will just fly off.
In addition, increased side loads can damage both the chain box and the rear derailleur itself.
Now let’s figure out what the correct chain position is and how to achieve it in different driving situations in order to make the most of the shifting system.
Correct chain position and sprocket ratio
We will make a start from the front stars, there are fewer of them and it is they who are responsible for the choice of the road situation.
The smallest chainring is numbered 1, the next 2 and the largest 3 respectively (depending on the number of stars in the block).
The largest sprocket (3) is designed for driving on a level road with good coverage
The next (2) will be convenient for driving on unpaved roads with bumps, small sandy areas, many bends, etc.
The smallest one (1) is useful on off-road, steep climbs, driving through mud, sand, rocky and other not particularly flat sections of the path.
But that is not all. Each of the large stars corresponds to a set of rear.
Rear sprockets are necessary for a more accurate adjustment to the road situation, and their numbering is exactly the opposite of the front sprockets.
The largest star has number 1, and further, as the diameter decreases, 2, 3., how many of them we have.
So, if the number of rear stars is divided by the number of front stars, we get for each of the front stars several corresponding rear.
Example. We have a set of 3 front and 9 (for even counting) rear stars. Divide 9 by 3, we get 3. This means that each chainring corresponds to 3 rear.
How To Fix Bike Not Shifting Gears
Moving on a straight, flat asphalt road, we turn on the 3 front chainring, which means (remember the correct position of the chain) that it corresponds to 9, 8, and 7 rear.
We go to a dirt road with potholes from the wheels of the transport, we switch to 2 front, which correspond to 6, 5, and 4 rear stars.
We go down a mountain trail with steep ascents, switch to 1 front, which corresponds to 3, 2 and 1 rear stars.
This is of course ideal, in reality you can add one more on each side to the set of three rear ones:
It may be difficult to remember the first time, but as you gain experience, this is introduced into the subconscious and brought to automatism.
So, we figured out the correct position of the chain and the ratio of the stars. Now let’s discuss the question of when to change gears.
I’ll start with what you need to remember: when getting on the bike, select the middle chainring (2) and start pedaling (pedaling).
I explain. In order to reduce the load on the knees at the start.
The bike was stationary, and you will need to make some effort to accelerate it.
On a large star, this effort may be too great, on a small star, it may not be enough to maintain balance.
As the acceleration progresses, we select the rear sprocket that is most suitable for torsion (remember what cadence is).
If the road surface and the site allows, we smoothly switch the stars to the maximum, corresponding to the middle chainring (in our example, up to the 7th) and only then switch to the large chainring (3).
If the quality of the road decreases (bumps, bumps, sand), smoothly switch the stars to the minimum corresponding star (in our example, to the 3rd) and only after that switch to the small front star (1).
As soon as the traffic situation begins to return to the original (flat area), we also smoothly return back to the middle chainring and then to the large.
The working chainring is medium! We start with her, and end with her.
How to change gears
Finally, we got to the last, but no less important question. how to change gears.
How not in the sense of where to press and what to turn, but in the sense of how to switch correctly so as not to break the wood.
As we said above, all switching should be smooth, without jerking and trying to jump over a star (or even two).
Wait for the moment of inclusion of the selected gear, and only then switch to the next.
All switching needs to be carried out only in motion: standing still, it still will not work.
There should not be any unnecessary loads on the pedals during switching: you will break the chain. Reached the required speed. temporarily removed the effort from the pedals (it is enough to simply accompany them). changed gear. continued pedaling.
Knowing and following these simple rules, we will greatly improve the quality of bike handling, save our own health and extend the life of our two-wheeled friend.
Speaking about extending the life of a bicycle, it is worth remembering about timely maintenance, but we will leave this for a separate article. In order not to miss it, I recommend subscribing to blog updates.
And finally, 9 useful tips:
- it is worth thinking about which gear to choose in advance, without waiting for the moment when it will be too late;
- do not forget about the front derailleur: first we switch the front, then the rear sprockets;
- trying to maintain an even cadence (cadence);
- before lifting, we switch to the small chainring in advance, then it may not work;
- if the speed is chosen incorrectly on the rise. wait for a more or less flat area to switch, do not break the chain;
- we carry out all switching without unnecessary load on the pedals;
- when driving on viscous soil, we switch to a higher gear. less likely to get stuck;
- rushing to shift means endangering the gear shifting system. Smoothness is the key to success.
- before the descent, we select the necessary gear in advance, then there may not be time for this, because you will have to monitor the road and the brakes.
P.S. If you have any questions after reading the article, do not hesitate to ask in the comments.
P.P.S. You can familiarize yourself with the topics that will be revealed in the near future on this page.
How to shift gears on a bike
When choosing a bike, beginners pay primary attention not only to its design, but also to the number of available speeds. At the same time, they do not understand the principle of their work and believe that the more they have in stock, the better. Of course, if it is great without any speed at all, then this is no good. it is physically very difficult to ride it and reach some record indicators or pedal for a long time without the appearance of chronic fatigue. Great with the ability to shift gears opens up ample opportunities for the cyclist.
Benefits of Timely Gear Shifting
Timely and correct gear shifting on a bicycle will not only allow you to ride for a long time without much fatigue, but also climb slides that ordinary bicycles will not be able to do. Competent and skillful gear shifting on a bicycle will ensure the following:
- The work of the cyclist’s muscles will be at maximum efficiency, their efficiency will be really very high;
- The wear of all parts of the bicycle transmission will be significantly reduced or even completely reduced to nothing. The chain, sprockets and the gearshift mechanism itself will last much longer than usual;
- The health of the cyclist himself. The load on the knees is significantly reduced, the health of which the cyclist must and always need to maintain.
Correct switching of bike speeds. we do everything correctly
An experienced cyclist, like a motorist, changes gears very quietly, smoothly and gently. The inexperienced will ride in jerks, the gears will jam, the bike mechanisms will creak and crunch. the ride will turn into a battle with the bike without becoming a pleasure.
There are some general guidelines for gear shifting that are recommended for both beginners and experienced cyclists:
- The process of shifting gears itself should be carried out only while driving. It is highly undesirable to do this business while standing still, as the chain mechanism will break. If you have to change speeds on the spot, you need to raise the rear wheel of the bike and pedal. And only then switch. Most often this is done to lower the gear, in case of forgetfulness, lower it while driving. There is an exception. special planetary hubs, but they are still installed on a very limited number of bicycles for city walks;
- You need to switch at a time when the load on the circuit is minimal. At the same time, this must be done in a timely manner, without waiting for a decrease in speed. The pedals should rotate easily and naturally;
- Before changing gear, you need to stop for a couple of moments and not pedal. Generally. Only after changing the speed can you start their smooth promotion. Gradually you will understand when the right moment comes and will do everything automatically, correctly;
- It is very undesirable to switch several gears in a row at once, everything must be done measuredly, gradually and in order. Of course, in this case, no catastrophe will occur, but the switch will fail so sooner or later;
- It is advisable not to shift reverse and forward gears at the same time. The chain will very easily get stuck between the stars and the mechanism will come to an end;
- When changing gears, make sure that there is no particularly large chain distortion. For example, if your bike has three stars in front and eight in the back, then it is advisable not to switch like 1-8, 3-1, 3-4, and so on. This can damage the entire switching mechanism, a wedge will occur.
It will be useful for beginners to find out, and for experienced cyclists to remember that the average working star in the unit is usually considered, therefore, most often the reverse speeds can be switched without compromising the speed of the movement itself. Pedaling efficiency will also stay the same, so chainring won’t worry.
Similarly, but vice versa, you can change gears from higher to lower.
If you change gears on a bike exactly as described, then the above three most important advantages will always be with you.
Cadence. what is it and how is it related to gear shifting
The word cadence refers to the cadence of a bicycle. It is quite logical that cadence is directly related to the speed of the unit. The cadence must be maintained at a certain level. usually around eighty rpm (plus or minus ten rpm). With the correct cadence, you will use your strength more evenly and will be able to protect your knees from unnecessary dangerous loads.
And some recommendations from professionals:
- If you are passing an area with mud, then turn on an overdrive. so the probability of getting stuck will be much lower than usual;
- If you are driving on sand, then it is advisable to put a lower gear. otherwise, when the speed decreases, turning the pedals will be very difficult. Although, if the section with sand is short, you can safely pass it in high gear, the inertia force will help out here;
- Analyze the rise before climbing it. It is necessary to carefully review all areas where the gear change will be optimal. On the highway or off-road, always plan your route slightly ahead of time and calculate gear changes in advance;
- Regardless of your physical condition, always maintain a single cadence.
Any cyclist should know how to properly switch speeds on a bicycle. When they buy a bicycle for children, they are always interested in how many speeds it has. And the higher the number of speeds, the better. But experienced cyclists know that the speed of a bicycle depends on the rider, or rather, on the work of his muscles. And the art of competently changing gears is the quality of cunning professionals, which allows you to squeeze the maximum possible resources out of the car in rough terrain.
5 Shifting Problems You’ll Have And How To Solve Them
It used to be simple: the road bike had one speed. Therefore, on the plains, everything depended on the skills of the cyclist himself, and to ride in the mountainous terrain, one had to adapt to the terrain conditions: while riding downhill, the cyclist accelerates the car as much as possible in order to enter the next mountain by inertia. If the ascent is protracted, then the cyclist rides uphill until the moment he can pedal. Then he dismounts his bike and proudly walks alongside to the top to continue his journey down again.
Modern bicycles have two sets of gears. front (sprocket) and rear (driven sprocket). It is extremely important to learn how to choose the right gear depending on the nature of the ride. First, you need to learn a few simple rules for gear shifting:
- There is no need to change gears when the bike is stationary. This could damage the switches.
- You should change gears even before your speed drops in front of difficult-to-pass areas (for example, sand or loose snow) or on the rise.
- You don’t have to pedal hard when changing gears. Switching is easiest if there is no load on the circuit and there is a speed margin.
- When switching, you need to make sure that the chain is not strongly skewed. That is, do not use a large chainring and a large rear sprocket. In reality, you should use the following gears: with a small star in front to 4-5 stars in the back, from the second front. from the 3rd (2nd) to the 6th (7th), and with a large front. from the 5th to the last 8th (9th).
Now let’s talk about choosing stars. It is impossible in advance to accurately match a particular gear to specific road conditions. Of course, there are many formulas, graphs and tables, but most of them are calculated for road bikes, fair weather and smooth asphalt. Should the conditions change, and all the calculations are down the drain. The choice of gear depends on the road or lack of it, the slope of the track, temperature, soil conditions, tire pressure, wind, the physical condition of the cyclist, the level of adrenaline and blood sugar. There are other criteria that cyclists can use as a guide. One of them is cadence. It is known that the optimal cadence when driving on a horizontal surface. for example, in road bikes. is on average 95. 115 rpm, while for cross-country riders this value will already be 70. 90 rpm. But for amateurs and cyclists, this is just a guideline, not a rule. There is no need to try to start immediately from high gears, first in low gears we warm up the muscles, unwinding to optimal gears. When choosing a gear, as in any business, the cyclist needs to stick to the “golden mean”, and not go to extremes. A slow pace of driving in large gears is very detrimental to the condition of the knee joints. Pedaling too often will reduce riding efficiency and fatigue more quickly. In difficult road conditions (driving on mud, sand, grass or snow), the gears are lowered due to the need for a torque reserve. The technical capabilities of the switches do not always allow the chain to be dramatically shifted from small stars to large ones. For mountain hikes with backpacks, a set of chainrings, for example 48, 38 and 28 teeth, is usually sufficient.
When driving against the wind or uphill, you need to switch to “lower gears” close to 1: 1). This set of gears increases cadence but decreases speed. When driving on flat terrain, the gear ratio can be 4: 1 to maintain speed. In a motorcycle race, a speed of over 100 km / h can be achieved. In these record-breaking rides, cyclists use a gear ratio of 8: 1 or more. However, usually the muscle strength of the legs is not enough to spin such gears from a place. Even athletes do not use gears greater than 5: 1, but rather increase their cadence.
How to properly shift gears on a bike?
Even in the distant past, singspeed was the only bicycle option among the mass of the population. Happy bike owners felt great on smooth asphalt, but had to adapt to rough terrain: to forcefully pull the pedals up on the slopes, accelerate from descents to “take off” to the next hill, lower the tires to drive on uneven dirt. Sometimes the skills were no longer enough, and the cyclist left the saddle to go through an unfavorable area on foot.
Over time, everything has changed: manufacturers began to produce a large volume of “highly specialized” bikes. road bikes, mountain models, hybrids, sports, etc. The former leader in the person of single speed has noticeably receded into the background and is bought exclusively for road trips and light dry primers.
Most modern bicycles are equipped with so-called speeds. The most common variant is an open sprocket transmission. It is used on all types of bikes, including city bikes. Shifting gears on a bicycle allows the cyclist to adapt his transport to specific traffic conditions, as well as to rationally use his own strength.
The presence of speeds, of course, gives an advantage over the single-speed version, but the benefits are manifested with skillful use of it on the road. There are simple principles that will tell you how to properly shift gears on your bike and not collapse with fatigue after each ride. But even with proper operation, the speed system fails over time, so you need to be able to configure it.
Drive sprocket switch adjustment
Over time, the chain flip worsens, the gears shift poorly, or even fail altogether. Since there are few stars in front, it is simply impossible not to notice the malfunction.
If the problem of a tight jump of the chain or its absence is caused only by a detuned switch, then it is quite possible to save the situation on your own. Why is the switch not working properly? The main reasons include:
- mismatch of the gear with the planes of the stars;
- poor tension in the drive cable;
- the switch is loose.
As practice shows, these problems do not come one at a time, so you will have to adjust everything at once, and not just, say, the tension of the cable.
At the first stage, we wipe the body of the device, as well as the sprockets and the chain from adhering dirt and dust. We check the mounting bolts of the switching device housing, tighten it all the way if necessary. Important: tweaking a loose switch does not make sense!
Next, we find the screws “L” and “H”. adjusters of the position of the shifting gear. We loosen them, but do not unscrew them completely. Our task is to tighten them in such a way as to achieve the coincidence of the gear with the planes of the outer stars.
- Switch the chain to position “1” at the front and “maximum” at the rear. If the system works very badly, the chain is installed manually.
- Tighten the adjusting screw to achieve full alignment of the shifter gear with the plane of the first chainring. Deviation up to 1.5 mm is not critical.
- Loosen the cable fastening nut, tighten it a little.
Front derailleur H setting:
- Set the chains in reverse position: “maximum” in front, “1”. behind. For system 38, this will be “3” and “1”, respectively.
- Tighten screw H until the shifter aligns with the large sprocket.
- Tighten the cable in this position.
When the limits are set, the chain swap should be restored. If the screws are clearly set, and the system does not work well, we try to tighten or loosen the cable. How to determine? Gears go tight from high to low. tighten, on the contrary. loosen the tension.
Speed Bike Transmission Sprockets: Recommendations for Use
Bicycles with an open gear system have two derailleurs, which are responsible for the chain jump from one sprocket to another on the drive and driven cassettes, respectively. For reference, the driving sprockets are the front or “connecting rod” sprockets, the driven ones are the rear ones, at the drive wheel. There is a small paradox, as in the numbering of asterisks.
The front ones are counted “from small to large”. The standard cassette set is three stars. The first is the smallest or lowest gear. Next comes the second, middle gear and the system is completed by the largest, “highest” star.
Reverse gears are counted in reverse: the largest sprocket corresponds to the first gear, and the smallest gear corresponds to the highest gear. The number of sprockets is several times higher than the set of front ones, therefore, for each gear in the front cassette, several rear ones are selected.
The chain switching devices are controlled by shifters on the steering wheel: left. front, right. rear. The first rule of changing speed is not to confuse them with each other. Chain jump occurs only when the bike is moving forward by pedaling. It is unacceptable to change the gear ratio in the reel, as on the planetary hub.
A few more important recommendations for switching:
- sequentially, through each asterisk;
- before entering the rise, select the gear in advance;
- avoid excessive pressure on the pedals when throwing the chain.
And one more thing: we never experiment with the transmission, pedaling in the opposite direction.!
Now let’s touch directly on the question of how to choose gears for specific driving conditions. The general rule of thumb is: on a flat road, we increase the gear to the maximum at which we can maintain a suitable cadence and ensure the maximum travel speed. When driving downhill, against a strong wind or off-road, we lower the gear, ensuring the bike’s cross-country ability and uniform load on the legs.
The largest star and several of the smallest are responsible for the highest gears in front. This position of the chain will provide a minimum acceleration time, high speed and roll-off. For standard 37 (8) transmission systems this will be position “3” at the front and “1” through “5” at the rear. Faster, more precise gearshift systems have a wider range of sprockets.
The middle chainring is activated when small obstacles appear in the path: wind, sand on the road, gentle hills, and bumps on the road. In system 38 for the second sprocket, the lower limit of the rear cassette is shifted one, and the highest. two stars back. Recommended positions are 23, 24, 25 and 26. The second front, third rear chain setting brings the speed bike closer to single speed performance. Lower gears reduce speed, increasing flotation.
On a mountain bike, gear ratios are actively used with the position of the chain on the first front sprocket. Rear sprocket ranges from 6 to 8. Low gears are used in tough conditions: twisty trails, mud, sand, bumpy dirt and steep climbs. Movement speed is minimal, while cadence and leg loads are maintained.
It is strongly discouraged to use higher chainrings and lower rear sprockets, and vice versa. Overuse of such experiments will quickly destroy the stars, circuitry, and very expensive switches. In general, the chain skew between the front and rear cassettes is present even in the normal position, so aggravating it is more expensive.
If we talk about sensations, then the cyclist with the wrong position of the chain will feel one discomfort from the high-speed bike. The correct use of gear ratios is the key to successful riding and a long service life of the transmission.!
Setting the rear gear system
The next step is to adjust the chain travel along the rear sprockets. Most often, it is there that problems are observed, and it is no coincidence: there are more stars, plus a tensioner. First, carefully clean the mechanism of dirt.
- Checking the cock and bolts.
- Gear Limit Adjustment, Cable Tightening.
- Selection of the optimal chain tension.
A bent cock must be replaced. Simultaneously checks if the switch is loose.
- Loosen both screws.
- Throw the chain to the highest (smallest) sprocket (front to maximum).
- Tighten the bolt “H” until the derailleur idler is aligned with the sprocket in the same plane.
- Engage first gear (largest, and in front. first).
- Turn the screw “L” to match the roller with the star.
- Check switching accuracy.
- Tighten or loosen the drive cable. Determined according to the same principle as with the front derailer.
Is the gear not shifting quickly, the limits are correct, and the cable is tight? Then it’s time to work with the chain tensioner. Find the special screws “A” and “B”. The first adjusts the position of the frame relative to the smallest, and the second. to the largest asterisk.
The adjustment is carried out according to the principle: change to the appropriate gear and tighten the screw. By turning the knob “A”, the tension force is increased by raising the frame to the higher sprocket. Conversely, screw “B” lowers it to the large sprocket. An incorrectly set tension does not make it possible to easily select the desired gear: a too loose chain can hang in the space between the sprockets, and an overtightened one can break due to excessive tension.
Periodically adjusting the derailleurs on a speed bike is considered normal. It will be invaluable when the chain and cassettes are in good condition. Setting up the gearshift system in combination with the rules of use when cycling will significantly increase the resource of all components of the transmission, as well as use its resources to the maximum.
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 by hand 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.
Bicycle Rear Derailleur Setting
A very common problem faced by cyclists is the rear derailleur not working properly. Today we will try to figure out how to set it up from scratch or adjust it if the settings are out of order.
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, ranging from 2 to 11 speed sprockets on the rear wheel.
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 don’t see 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), it is best to place the chain where you use it most. This is usually the central star on a 3-star system.
Loosen the hexagon or bolt that holds the cable.
We twist it all the way, and then return one turn back all the adjusting thumbs of the cable tension, which are located 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 twist 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 top 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”.
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 go 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, the 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 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 are pulling the cable).
Then again we check and switch from the highest speed one step lower (if an 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 adjusting screw on the switch is responsible for adjusting this gap. By 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.
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 you can also cope without it.
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 turned on.
Sometimes, to save money, they lubricate the cable 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 will 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 set 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 crossover 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 subsequently one of the thin threads begins to separate from the main bundle, as a result, interferes with 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.
If a new cable was installed, then sometimes after a certain number of kilometers (about 100 km), you can notice a deterioration in switching. this is due to the fact that the cable is slightly stretched. 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!
Does not shift reverse gears on the bike
They allow you to go faster or spend less effort on movement than a single-speed transmission. over, in some situations it will be completely impossible to ride a bicycle with one single gear (for example, in a very steep climb).
However, today almost no one doubts the expediency of a multi-speed transmission on a bicycle. The only question remains is the correct gear shifting. How to change gears correctly? Let’s formulate some simple but important rules:
Shift gears only while the bike is in motion (this rule does not apply to planetary hubs).
Try to change gears when the load from the chain is removed or insignificant, otherwise you may not be able to switch, and even break the gearshift mechanisms or break the chain (this largely depends on the quality level of the bicycle components). Particularly hard on the front derailleur.
We do not recommend increasing the gear when overcoming hills, select gears in front of the mountain (riders use uphill shifting if necessary, but this technique requires skill and “feeling of the bike”).
Without proper skill, do not shift multiple gears at once. Do this in stages: after waiting for one gear to work well, go to the next (this moment also depends on the class of the bike’s equipment and the cyclist’s skill).
Let’s take a closer look at the switching process itself:
A typical modern bicycle has 2-3 stars in the front and 8-10 stars in the back. The numbering of the front stars is from 1 to 3. in the direction of increasing stars, the numbering of the rear stars is from 1 to 8 (9.10), in the direction of decreasing stars.
For simplicity, let’s take the popular budget 38 drive as an example:
The large chainring is used when driving on a good, level road (asphalt or compacted soil) in the absence of strong headwinds. Trailing sprockets 8 to 4 are usually used with this sprocket. Although in sports skating and racing, you can often see any combination of.
The conditions that we have described above are just a guideline for understanding when and what kind of transmissions it is rational to use. But the determining factors are always the specific riding conditions and the level of training of the cyclist. Beginners should always remember about the correct cadence, which in general, with a uniform movement, should not fall below 60 rpm. And remember that you need to look not at the switches, but at the road.
Ideally, one should strive to move to the intuitive level of shifting that athletes and experienced cyclists are perfect for. It shouldn’t matter to you how many gears and what type of drive you have on your bike. You will not think about switching at all: everything will happen automatically, depending on the current road or racing situation. The clarity of the gears depends on the class of equipment, the degree of wear of parts, the correct setting of the mechanisms, the condition of the cables and their shirts, as well as the degree of contamination of the mechanisms and the chain.
The gears were invented for convenience and more comfortable riding on the bike, thanks to them you can choose the optimal force applied to the pedals so that the cyclist can easily overcome obstacles in his path (uphill, downhill, ground) There are several gearshift mechanisms on a mountain bike types:
To rotary-type switches (grip-shift, revoshift). they work in a type similar to the throttle stick on motorcycles. Gear shifting is carried out by rotating a special shift knob on the shifter. towards yourself or away from you.
Lever mechanisms (Rapid-fire, trigger, dual-control) include shifters that switch speeds using one or two levers. There are single-lever and two-lever. In double-lever shifters. one lever is responsible for raising the gear, and the other, on the contrary, lowering.
Basically on modern high-speed bicycles, the right derailleur is responsible for shifting the reverse gears, and the left derailleur is responsible for the front.
Speed bikes usually have 3 stars in the front and 6-10 (/. 2) in the back. If you look at the numbers on the shifters, the front stars from 1-3 go up (1 is the smallest star), and the back ones, on the contrary, go down (1 is the largest).
Here are some more tips on how to shift gears correctly:
If on the left shifter (chainrings) the derailleur is in position “3” (largest chainring). mainly used for acceleration on a flat road, with this sprocket it is rational to use small rear sprockets on the rear wheel.
Small chainring, position “1”, it is rational to use with large chainrings on the rear wheel. You will need this for significant climbs, driving off-road, sand, etc.
When changing gears, ideally, you should feel the bike yourself, control the load on the pedals, in general, everything will come by itself over time.
Additional rules for changing speeds on a bicycle:
Do not increase gear when overcoming hills, it is necessary to switch to lower gears in front of the mountain in advance.
Shift so that the chain is not too skewed. For example, on the front sprocket, the chain is on the largest sprocket (3) and at the back, too, on the largest sprocket (1). there will be a skew.
Switching speeds must be carried out while the bike is moving.
Avoid abrupt switching, immediately through several stars, switching should be alternate. Before switching, it is necessary to wait for the clarity of the work of the previous one, then switch to the next.
Do not start at the fastest gears to avoid breaking the chain or breaking the derailleur. Try to keep the shifting balanced, if the load on the pedals is heavy. you need to change to a lighter gear.
There is no special science in shifting gears on a bicycle; at first glance, everything is simple. Two levers on the left, two on the right, or even just a grip-shift. what could be easier. But nevertheless, observing novice cyclists, one may notice not entirely correct and coordinated actions. But consistency when cycling is the most important thing! Only in this way will you be able to move around on a bike as efficiently as possible, make maneuvers, overcome obstacles.
As an example, we will consider the most ordinary mountain bike (MTB) with three stars in front and 8-9 in the back.
Let’s immediately highlight the most common errors and problems:
Too heavy gear is a common mistake. Many newbies even say that 44 (or even 48) stars in the front are not enough for them. It’s a delusion. Constantly spinning a heavy gear you are simply killing your knees. Try to keep track of your cadence (cadence) until it becomes automatic. You can even count the number of revolutions per minute for the sake of interest. If it is around 90-100, then this is very good. And so, gear 44-11 is enough to accelerate on the plain to
60 km / h So try to convince those who say that 44 stars are not enough for the city. By doing this, you may help to keep people healthy.
Curve transmission. it is not uncommon to observe how people, without looking at the chain, include gears like 3-1.2. In this case, the chain goes to bend, its wear increases, at the wrong moment it can simply fly off. The optimum chain position is when it passes from the chainring to the rear with minimal skew. So be sure not only to make it easy to twist, but also the position of the chain.
Switching under load. so even fragile girls manage to break chains, what to say about healthy men. And what a crunch at the same time. When shifting, reduce the load on the pedals to a minimum, just rotate them with ease until the chain jumps to the desired sprocket. Therefore, it always makes sense to assess the situation, possible obstacles and change gear in advance.
Chain biting is when the chain is pulled up by the chainrings when shifting. An unpleasant situation in which the nib near the carriage assembly may be severely scratched. This could be due to cogging on the star, dirt, improper assembly and setup. This is another plus to why you need to watch the shift, and not just mindlessly flip the shifters. All movements should be smooth, even airy.
Chain skipping. for example, you put a new chain on an already similar cassette (by the way, the chain resource
1500 km). As a result, when the load on the pedals increases, the chain slips and the pedals fail unpleasantly. This must be taken into account and travel more carefully until everything gets used to it. Even for a fairly strong cassette, the rubbing period is about 200 kilometers.
Why gear shifts poorly on a bicycle
On entry-level bicycles, the transmission of the cheapest groups is installed, and when the gears begin to shift poorly and jam, the owners just shrug their shoulders. what, they say, you can take from cheap trash.
A big surprise befalls those who buy a much more expensive bike, and after a while again encounter shifting problems. The point here, of course, is not karma, but the wrong attitude to technology.
I am by no means claiming that there is no difference between starter and top-end components. Of course, the experienced cyclist with eyes closed will distinguish the Shimano Alivio from the XTR in three clicks.
But the reasons for the fuzzy operation of the transmission do not so much depend on the class of the transmission as on its condition and settings. In this post, I will not talk about how to configure the switches, for this a separate article will be released soon, subscribe, and I will send you a notification about its publication.
Causes of fuzzy operation of gear switches
Cables and shirts. This is the most common problem, especially for beginner cyclists. I just wonder what a terrible state some cyclists are in.
At the end of the cable, there must be an aluminum cap that protects it from loosening. Using pliers, you can carefully remove it and unscrew the bolt securing the cable to the rear derailleur.
Release the shirt from the stops by carefully removing it from the cable. The cable itself can be left in its slot in the shifter. When he is completely naked, once again inspect for raised threads and scuffs. Spray WD40 on a rag and wipe it thoroughly.
The shirts, if they are in order, can also be used a second time. Fill them with more WD40, and gently rub there with a cable. The task is to drive out all the dirt that has accumulated during the riding period.
Here I ask Honor for such a thing. ropes and shirts do not need lubrication. Never lubricate them with thick lubricants, such as grease. Literally after a few trips on the ground, you will have a consistency in your shirts, consisting mainly of dirt.
If you need to calm the soul, then spray with Teflon spray, it dries quickly, but leaves a thin gliding layer. Which, however, will be erased after a dozen switches.
One more point. There are teflon-coated cables, such as the Shimano XTR Cable, which cost quite a lot of money. In the days of fetishism, I used only these, because of the sliding cover, the effort on the shifter is slightly less.
Unfortunately, after about a year of active skating, Teflon in places of friction is erased completely. However, these cables have a very big advantage. they come with spout stops, which effectively prevent dirt from getting in.
Returning to shirts, make sure that nowhere are too long, or vice versa, short sections, because of this, there will be increased friction in the bending places, and sooner or later dirt will accumulate there.
Bent cock. If you do not know what this part is, then here you can read a note about the bicycle cock. Sometimes it happens that a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur does not work clearly, despite fresh cables and shirts.
The reason may be that during transportation, the bicycle is clamped somewhere, and the cock bent slightly. If you cannot achieve a clear gear change, then remove the cock and put it on the table.
If it is a little crooked, then you need to bend it. Do not overdo it, aluminum can give microcracks. How exactly to bend it. I will not advise. I do it in a handicraft way. I put it on the bike and pull it with my hands. Ideally, you need to edit with a special typewriter, which even takes into account the asymmetry of the dropouts.
Rear derailleur play. Move the rear derailleur towards you and away from you, keeping where the cable goes. Ideally, there should be no backlash at all, but a small free play does not represent anything criminal, especially on the initial transmission groups.
During operation, this backlash tends to increase, and then delays in switching, fuzziness, etc. begin. If everything is in order with the cables and the rooster, then with fine tuning you can overcome the negative effect of backlash.
Most often, the reason that the bike shifts poorly is a complex of problems. Dirt in shirts, a slightly bent cock, a slight backlash in the switch, poor tuning. all the tolerances add up.
over, many Catalans drive like this, and find it normal when the speeds are switched according to the principle of three forward, two back. Guys, this is not normal!
Any drivetrain, even the lowest Shimano Tourney, needs to work well. Do not get used to the bad, otherwise, even if you buy an expensive bike, you will get the same thing in a season or two.
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