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How to properly shift gears on a bike?
Recently I saw Alexey Baevsky, took the bottle holder from him to his Aggressor. Lesha reprimanded me and was CRASHED saying that I was changing gears incorrectly and I had a chain skew and soon it would be possible to throw it out. I got into no and started looking for material. Found several articles. I bring to your attention the most useful theses of them.
How to properly shift gears on a bike?
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 a quality of cunning professionals that allows you to squeeze the maximum possible resources out of the car in rough terrain.
It used to be simple: the road bike had one speed. Therefore, on the plain, everything depended on the skills of the cyclist himself, and to ride in mountainous terrain, he had to adapt to the terrain conditions: while riding downhill, the cyclist accelerates the car as much as possible in order to drive up the next mountain by inertia. If the ascent is protracted, then the cyclist rides uphill until he can pedal. Then he dismounts the bike and proudly walks alongside to the top to continue the 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:
- Only change gears while the bike is in motion (this 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 shift, and even break the gearshift mechanisms or break the chain (this largely depends on the quality level of the bicycle components). The front derailleur is especially hard.
- 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).
- Avoid large chain distortions.
Let’s take a closer look at the switching process itself:
- A typical modern bike has 2-3 stars in the front and 8-10 stars in the back.
- The numbering of the front stars from 1 to 3. in the direction of increasing stars, the numbering of the rear stars, 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 useful when driving on a good, level road (asphalt or rolled 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.
- The middle chainring is used when driving on dirt roads, bad asphalt, not very loose sand in combination with rear sprockets from 6th to 2nd (which does not exclude the use of the entire set of rear sprockets). It is convenient to use these programs to drive in dense city traffic, maneuvering between various moving and stationary obstacles. When there is a strong headwind on the highway, a middle chainring is also often installed.
- The small chainring is used with chainrings 5 to 1. These gears are used when driving on very steep climbs, wetlands, sticky mud, sand, dense grass.
Drawing of parallel universes. Left (in red) is not correct. the universes of bike chains are parallel, on the left (in green) is correct!
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.
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, ground conditions, tire pressure, wind, the rider’s physical condition, adrenaline and blood sugar levels. 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 driving efficiency and cause fatigue faster. In difficult road conditions (driving on mud, sand, grass or snow), the gears are lowered due to the fact that the torque reserve is required. The technical capabilities of the switches do not always allow the chain to be dramatically shifted from small to large stars. For mountain hikes with backpacks, a set of chainrings, e.g. 48, 38 and 28 teeth, is usually sufficient.
When driving upwind 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. Usually, however, 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.
In 1985, in the United States, John Howard set a speed record of 245.077 km / h. For the first time he covered 241 kilometers on a bicycle in one hour. Just ten years later, Rompelberg Fred from the Netherlands broke his world bicycle speed record with a result of 269 km / h.
Many novice cyclists avoid frequent gear changes and even when riding upwind, leave the chain on the large drive and small driven gears. Their ride is more like the maneuvers of a sailboat against the wind. As a result, after such a ride, knee pain can naturally occur. Meanwhile, a competent cyclist when riding upwind, having reduced the gear ratio to 2-3: 1, will be able to maintain a higher speed with less effort. In small gears, pedal at 80-90 rpm.
Gear shifting during ascent
If you understand that you are changing gears as needed, then you have already missed the optimal moment to change. This means that you will not keep the required rhythm and inertia of movement. Be more careful next time. Never shift gears with heavy pedaling, which will cause rapid component wear.
The most common mistake is rarely using the front derailleur. Shift the rear to a comfortable sprocket and operate the front derailleur. You will feel how much faster you find the right gear, because the effect of one shift on the front sprocket can be compared to the effect of shifting to two sprockets of the rear cassette, and much less time is spent!
It becomes possible to quickly gain the desired speed with a single switch. Then, when you get into the rhythm of the movement, you have the chance to use the rear derailleur to fine-tune the gear.
Remember: first select the correct forward gear, and only then use the rear derailleur to adjust the gear!
Tips for maintaining your gearshift system
Many bikers agree that the bike is alive. But don’t let him show character. This is especially true of the gearshift system: if the speeds are switched without your participation or do not change at all when you want it, this does not always mean that the components are worn out or broken, most likely the problem is in dirt or grass that has fallen into chain or sprockets. Be sure to clean and lubricate the chain, sprockets and derailleur. this kind of care contributes to smoother and more accurate shifting, and therefore a comfortable ride.
It is very important to feel the bike well, then you will hear any extraneous sound. For example, an extraneous “metallic sound” can occur due to the chain being stretched. This quickly leads to component wear. Change the chain at least! once a season.
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 are on your bike. You will not think about switching at all: everything will happen automatically, depending on the current road or racing situation.
The accuracy of the gears operation 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.
And for dessert: scientists decided to create a bicycle with gear shifting using only thoughts:
Important addition from user Arkady Belousov:
For a comprehensive assessment of the traction of a bicycle, the parameter “stowage” or “step” of the bicycle is used. this is the distance that the bicycle travels in one revolution of the pedals in a given gear. Less stacking means better traction in a given gear, but less speed.
For driving in tough conditions (where more effort is required) gears with a lower gear ratio are better because they have less styling. It is easy to see that the smallest gear ratio is obtained by choosing the first driving (smallest) and first driven (largest) sprockets. The same applies to bicycles with a single front sprocket. for riding in difficult conditions it is better to choose the first (largest) driven sprockets, and for light conditions the last (smaller) ones are more suitable
How do I shift gears on my bike? : 41 comments
damn, but I switched on the spot and now it seizes what to do
Try to figure out what exactly is jamming and sort out the transfer system. You may just need to adjust the switches. How to do it is written here-
Throw it off the roof of the house, fix it. The chain will break off the contacts will be pressed down at first they will not spin for 2-3 hours and then it will work like new.
The question is: the bike has three sprockets in the front and 6 in the back. The rear shifts properly. one flip of a coin. one gear. The front one is different. the divisions on the handle (on the steering wheel) are 6, therefore, in order to switch from one gear to another in the front sprocket, you have to move the handle (on the steering wheel) immediately to 3 divisions, because when translating to only one chain, it is not translated, but simply starts rubbing against the shifted switch. This is normal or you can somehow adjust?
Not okay. Switches must match the number of speeds
How to increase the switch travel for this? So that with one click, it carries the chain a sufficient distance (to the next sprocket)?
This is correct, even if you calculate mathematically Only 6 divisions, 3 stars, 6 divide by 3, it turns out 2, that is, for each star, there should be two switches
alexander, i have the same problem. Bicycle Stels Focus 18skors.
Hello, If you switch from 3rd gear to 2nd, then the chain remains in 3rd, and if you switch to 1st, then it goes to 2nd.?
I don’t remember exactly how to tighten or loosen the transfer cable (front derailleur), there was a similar problem I solved with the power of adjusting the cable tension
For a snack: “The left (in red) is not correct. the universes of the bicycle chains are parallel, the left (in green) is correct!”
“Popular budget drive 38” “Big chainring. on a good, flat road” “Small chainring. steep climbs” Not a word has been said about the rear sprockets (by the way, I have only one front star).
“Increase gear when overcoming hills, select gears in front of the mountain” “In difficult road conditions. gears are lowered” Not only is it not explained in any way what is meant by “raising” and “lowering” gears, but here in the text the same thing called opposite terms.
“Uphill. to” lower gears “close to 1: 1” “Slow driving pace with large gears” Again the same contradiction: according to the text, 1: 1 is both “lower gears” and “higher”.
Because of all this confusion (the use of rear sprockets alone and in combination with chain sprockets is not explained; it is not explained what and why “up” and “down” and what combinations of gears should be used in different conditions) on the first reading, I did not I understood. Fortunately, on velowiki.org I found a description of what a “gear ratio” in a bicycle is (one paragraph was enough for this), and from there it was already possible to make relatively simple independent conclusions about how to switch speeds.
So this page pulls no more than 2-3 on a 5-point system: there are a couple of useful points, but this is not enough for an educational program for a beginner user of a multi-star system, and even more advanced users have nothing to read here.
Thanks for your authoritative opinion! If you have already spent so much time writing this little comment, can I ask you for a service? Rewrite what you think is necessary and send me, in the feedback form, the finished text in html format. I promise to add your version if everything is ok!
I agree with the author of the commentary, I didn’t understand a damn from the article))). What was meant when driving uphill or against the wind “1: 1”. How to get 1: 1, because any chainring is always larger than any rear. Or I misunderstood something.
“Any chainring is always larger than any rear sprocket.” Not always, on MTB there may be rear 36, front 22, the gear ratio will be even lower than one, namely 0.61 in this case.
I changed the camera. and after that, the speed began to switch incorrectly (ringing of the chain when pedaling and their failure). what did I do wrong?
perhaps you just need to correctly find the position of the rear wheel on the frame, either push it back all the way or slightly forward, or it is better to move it all the way back and adjust the rear derailleur with the adjusting screws
Don’t mislead people. The lower the gear ratio, the MORE the styling! For persuasiveness, open the section “Drive axle, final drive” in any car manual.
When it comes to bicycles, there is a direct relationship. the larger the gear ratio, the greater the styling. Those. exactly the opposite compared to a car.
In order not to make such blunders, take a closer look at the topic first.
About cadence is not entirely true, it’s all about the knee joint, it is at a rotation speed of 80-110 rpm that the right amount of lubricating fluid is formed in the joint. Accordingly, if you twist slower or faster, it badly affects the knee.
I have now made myself a new automatic system. No more derailleur sprockets and chain tensioner. My front sprocket is telescopic and it grows from 38 to 70 teeth (according to the diameter of the star). under the pressure of the pumped brake fluid. And when I stop it decreases. And there is no rear switch. the chain is stretched and there are no stars on the rear wheel. I’m not worried uphill at all now. I also put such a system on the front. And then earlier, when you twist your hands, it was inconvenient to switch the speed. p.s Pedal cranks are also telescopic In the front-top position, the length of the pedals is maximum (double), and in the rear-lower position, the minimum (standard). There, the back of the connecting rod runs in a displaced circle that pushes it in and out. So your topic does not quite suit me, but still curious.
How reliable is this system? How many kilometers have already traveled?
I recently got my hands on a bicycle (MTB, 21 speeds), after 1 week of riding, problems with the front and rear derailleur began to arise. after reading the article, I understood everything (of course, I am to blame, I did everything in reverse and without any logic). The problem is the rear derailleur is stuck at 4 speeds (2 to 5) and the front derailleur is missing the middle sprocket. now I think. is it possible to fix it?
Hello. I ran into this problem: the chain on the front sprockets simply does not switch. when trying to shift manually, the chain is highly skewed. How to be ?
I put on a new chain, 1-2 teeth began to slip on small stars. Tell me the reason please
Maybe chain length plays a role. But honestly they say, I’m not a repairman to help with such questions
along with the chain, the cassette (rear stars) also changes, sometimes the system (chainrings), since they wear out along with the chain. I recommend changing the cassette, it is inexpensive
“Overcame 241 kilometers in one hour”. bullshit. It turns out that his average speed is 241 km / h? How much is the peak??
Hey. I bought a bike, I have 3 stars on the leader and 7 on the slave. Tell me which one is better to learn to ride? Well, to go slower. 1 front and 1 back?
If there is 1 on the front, then you can put 1-2-3 on the back, if 2, then 3-4-5, if three, then on the back there may be 6-7. Learning is worth riding everybody, it all depends on the speed and traction. On a flat road, you can walk to 3-6. It is better to ride uphill on lows. It’s not a car, where it’s better to stick in the fifth after a speed of 100 and a couple of years of driving experience.
I can’t try it yet, today I only started learning to ride, I still don’t hold on to the saddle so that I can switch in motion
My brother came, held the bike while I was switching, and it is as described above. for different speeds, the levers perform an asymmetric function. I wonder why so.
And why is it possible that the saddle leans back under the weight? Just because it is not tightly clamped? It seems to be great for me, the frame is 19, the wheel is 26, my height is 178. Today I traveled a bit, the saddle is thrown back again, well, now I bought the key for 13, I already clamped it tightly to mine, then I’ll check if it holds it when driving.
Maybe this is a sign that the saddle needs to be lifted? When the saddle is even, it is convenient for me to ride in general.
why is it wrong when in the 4th picture in red and how to fix it
“Try to change gears when the load is removed from the chain”. it is not clear here. When the load is removed from the chain. when? I’ve read that you need to switch when you just pedal, without any climbing uphill and other obstacles.
Hello, I have such a problem, when riding a bicycle when I switch the chainrings for example (when I switch from 1 to 2 it does not switch, when I switch to 3 it switches to 2 and to 3 at all) And on the rear wheel I have 7 stars how to do it correctly?
What are the best bike shifters
Every owner of a high-speed bike knows what a bicycle shifter is. These devices are directly involved in gear shifting, with their help the cyclist easily and simply controls the transfer of the chain through the cassette stars. The detail is small, but it depends on its state whether the bike will be high-speed, as it should be, or will “get stuck” in one gear.
What are shifters, and how are they arranged
Shifters are gear shifters that are attached to the handlebars of a bicycle. Modern high-speed bikes are 90% equipped with two shifting systems. front and rear. respectively, each equipped with its own shifter. On the left handlebar is the drive mechanism for the front derailleur, on the right for the rear.
In the classic 3 X 8 gearshift system, there are 2-3 rear sprockets for each chainring. By analogy, one division of the left shifter includes 2-3 divisions of the right. Single shifter bikes (rear cassette only) or planetary hub have one shifter on the right handlebar.
The professional name for these devices is shifters. Their internal structure is quite simple, it includes several associated parts:
- drive handle;
- movable block;
- free lever;
- shift cable;
- spring-ratchet lock.
The handle, which is operated by the cyclist, causes the position of the free arm to change. That, in turn, moves the block on which the gearshift cable is wound or unwound. The spring retainer serves to secure the position of the cable on the drum unit and does not allow the switch to independently throw the chain.
Thus, by changing the tension of the cable on the block, the corresponding gear is set. It is imperative that the shifting mechanism is fine-tuned, and one division on the shifter exactly corresponds to the chain tossing exactly one sprocket. If the shifter works properly, but the gears do not shift or skips two or three, then you need to adjust the speed switch.
Types of shifters, their differences
Initially, bicycle shifters worked on the principle of sliding a cable and fixing the cable with a nut. Here, the gear was determined by the tension on the shifter body, approximately as described above. Later, ratchets began to be installed in them, and the method of changing the position of the cable is called index.
Modern bicycle models are equipped with several types of drive mechanisms:
- brake. Dual control;
Gripper shifters change the cable tension by moving the drum around the steering wheel axis. The movement is carried out back and forth, in the center there is a pointer along which the gear is set. Other models can be equipped with an arrow display.
The advantages of these shifters include the geometric integrity of the devices, the absence of protruding parts and instant response when the drum moves. It is noted that grip shifts are easy to operate.
Among the disadvantages is:
- random switching;
- take up a lot of space on the steering wheel;
- the swivel mechanism of budget models breaks easily.
Triggers are the second most common type of shifters, where shifting is carried out by protruding levers: tension and release. The first upshifts, the second downs. Front and rear shifters work opposite to each other: the front up lever is down for the rear, and vice versa.
Benefits of triggers:
- clear operating principle;
- levers are light to the touch, do not distract from control;
- there is no risk of accidental switching as with grip shifters. hands on grips do not touch the shifters.
Of course, there are disadvantages, taking into account which grips are better than triggers:
- if the bike falls, the levers may break;
- tight pulling of the cable on fast transfers through 2-3 gears, which causes a delay in switching;
- incorrect alignment with the brake pincers (however, this is more a “joint” of the bike manufacturer than shifters).
Triggers come in several flavors:
- lever and button above the steering wheel (Ez-Fire Plus). budget “Shimanov” models;
- with steering column placement of levers (Rapidfire). Shimano high class;
- Trigger: SRAM single lever shifters, new SRAM models with lever and button.
Dual Control, or brake shifters, are activated by moving the brake lever in a perpendicular direction. The novelty was presented by Shimano. Compared to the previous types, drive units of this type are used in narrow circles and are installed on expensive foreign models.
Dual Control does not interfere with the bike’s control even when the grip is moved. Also of great interest is their design, where the brake claw has two degrees of freedom. We can say that shifters of this type are integrated into the brakes. Along with this, there are a number of serious disadvantages:
- cannot be installed on hydraulics;
- poor compatibility with rear derailleurs;
- put only “from scratch”.
Pistols. shifters specifically for racing bikes. Their design is analogous to Dual Control in that the gearshift mechanism and brake actuator are integrated and controlled by a single lever. To brake, you need to pull the lever back to increase the gear inward, and to lower it, press the auxiliary lever under the claw.
A significant advantage of this mechanism is ease of control in any grip, the disadvantages are high price and low braking force.
How to independently replace and sort out the shifters on a bicycle
Sooner or later, the shifter may stop working correctly or even refuse to serve further. Pulling or loosening the cable may not solve the problem, so you will need to replace the old mechanism.
New shifters come assembled with a cable, so you don’t need to assemble them from scratch. All operations are reduced to removing the old part, installing a new and mandatory adjustment of the switches.
How to change shifters:
- Removing the grips from the bicycle handlebars. Most often they are thicker than the grip of the shifter yokes and will interfere with removal.
- Disconnect the gearshift cables from the derailers.
- Loosen the mounting bolts and remove the shifters from the steering wheel.
After that, you can put new parts on the bike:
- Secure the shifters to the handlebars. Do not move the brake levers during operation.
- Gently thread the cables through the frame to the switches.
- Connect new cables.
- Adjust switches, test new shifters. Adjustment must be done with both cables attached to the switches.
If the shifters do not work very well, they get stuck on shifts, you can use an alternative option. bulkhead, cleaning and lubrication. In case of a malfunctioning part, you can put it from a similar model, then this is the repair of the shifter. In any case, you will have to disassemble it, and how to do this, we will find out further.
Bulkhead and repair using the example of Shimano shifter: 1. Unscrew the bottom cover bolt, pull it out.
Remove the top cover, which contains the speed indicator.
We get to the ratchet mechanism with dogs. Common problems, which can be: the entry of antennae, dirt or lack of lubrication. In the first case, further disassembly makes sense if you insert a new washer with antennae from another shifter.
Unscrew the central nut.
We take out the pressure piece and levers.
Unscrew the screw that holds the case.
We remove the case, take out the ratchet mechanism with a cable.
Separating the ratchet from the plastic washer.
There is a pull-up dog on the body near the cable fixing, it should not be disassembled, since it will be quite difficult to assemble.
Disconnect the levers: pry the springs at the junction of the levers with narrow pincers.
We carefully wipe and lubricate all the parts of the shifting mechanism. Installation is in the reverse order.
So, for example, the shifter is being repaired. The most important thing in work is to keep all the details separately from each other in the field of view.
So, in this article we learned how the bicycle shifters are arranged and work, what types they are divided into, their pros and cons. It will not be difficult to change the shifters yourself to new ones, disassembly should also not cause any difficulties.
Speed bike rear derailleur setting. self-adjusting bike speeds
Nowadays, the market for bicycles is overwhelming with a variety of rear derailleurs for bicycles, both entry-level and pro. But, in spite of this, the setting of the rear derailleur has approximately the same principle of adjustment. Nearly all modern rear derailleurs have 5 adjustments.
- cable fastener, screw or nut
- adjusting drum
- limiting screw L (low). for adjusting small gears (large sprockets)
- limiting screw H (high). for adjusting large gears (small stars)
- chain tensioner adjusting screw
On different models of rear derailleurs, the L and H adjustment stop screws may be on the side or back. It should also be remembered that you can also adjust the rear derailleur using the adjusting drum, which is located on almost all shifters. This is very convenient as the cables tend to stretch.
Preparation for setting the rear derailleur
It is required to clean the cassette of dirt, the rear derailleur itself, check the cable shirts, and it is also advisable to lubricate them if necessary.
Steps for adjusting the rear derailleur on a speed bike.
- Must switch to smallest sprockets in front and back.
- The tensioner drums (on the switch and on the shifter, if available) must be turned to the initial value, turned clockwise until they stop. This will give us the opportunity in the future, when weakening the rear derailleur cable, tighten the cable using this drum.
- We unscrew the screw or nut, weaken the cable itself. In this case, you can pull out the cable and check for defects or contamination of the cable jacket.
- Adjusting large gears with a screw “H”. It is necessary to turn the adjusting screw “H” until the derailleur rollers and the small sprocket are on the same straight axis. If, when switching to large gears, there is a shift of the rollers relative to the stars to the right, then it is necessary to turn the screw “H” clockwise, tighten until they are exactly on a straight axis. If the rollers are shifted to the left, the chain will be difficult to change to lower gears, you must loosen the screw “H”.twist counterclockwise. With the correct adjustment of large gears when the wheel rotates by pedaling, the chain should work silently without hooks on a small star.
Further, it transcends the adjustment of the chain tensioner, if any. To do this, put the chain on the smallest front sprocket and the rear on the largest. Then we pedal back, if the upper roller of the rear derailleur touches the teeth of the sprocket, then it is necessary to turn the adjusting screw to achieve such a value so that the roller is at a distance of about 5 mm from the teeth of the sprocket. Then we need to check the chain tension, only now we need to switch to the small rear sprocket.
Shimano switch setup video
If in the future, for example, if the chain is badly returned to the extreme sprockets, or from the extreme to the neighboring ones, then you can adjust the rear derailleur on the go by turning the drum counterclockwise, unless, of course, it is present on the shifter of your bike.
Perhaps the lever is bent due to falls or other circumstances, you can try to repair the rear derailleur by aligning the lever.
Not clear switching may also be due to a cassette not working properly, various deformations, distortions. Also, the reason for a fuzzy shift may be hidden in a dirty cable or a malfunction of the shift lever. After the correct setting of the rear derailleur, you can proceed to the speed bike front derailleur setting.
Bicycle speed selector: types and choices
- Description and purpose
- Popular brands
- How to choose?
- Installation and adjustment
- Subtleties of operation
Modern bicycles are equipped with gearshift switches, which are especially useful when riding on a variety of terrain. Of course, in order to understand which switch option to choose and how to properly care for it, it is better to familiarize yourself with it and its features in more detail.
Description and purpose
The greatest comfort while cycling and excellent energy saving is provided by a gearshift or derailer. With it, you can choose the optimal travel mode, which is fully suitable for a specific route. The switch is especially useful if the track changes from paved to off-road trail.
You also have to use the device when accelerating, smoothly braking, climbing uphill. It is worth noting that thanks to the switch on the bike, you can maintain a constant speed, which is very convenient when overcoming long distances. Difficult weather conditions such as strong winds or slippery tracks are also easier to handle with a derailer. It’s no secret that the bike is a great cardio trainer, which is greatly facilitated by the speed switch.
Derailer, which we know today, was invented in the 50s of the XX century by an Italian cyclist. The classic design is a block of stars. The unit that is installed in the front is called a system, and that in the back is called a cassette. The gears are shifted by shifting the bike chain to the side, which ultimately allows the chain to lie on the selected sprocket.
All stars differ in diameter, and the chain has a fixed length. Thus, it sags, but this moment is removed by a special tension spring, which is located on the rear of the switch.
The switches are controlled by cables. The tension of the cables can be adjusted using the shift knobs. There are shifters on the handlebars that pull the cable. When you press the shifter, the frame is displaced, and the chain is thrown to the adjacent star.
There is also an option where the switch looks like a drum that simply spins to the desired speed mark. The bicycle derailleur can also be designed as a trigger or a combination handle. Recently, electronic shift control is gaining popularity, which allows you to shift through all the stars at once.
It is worth taking a closer look at how a traditional speed switch works. The system speeds are located on the left side of the rudder handle, and the cassettes are located on the right side. When shifting the chain from one chainring to another, it is important that the pedals rotate. Also, it is impossible to pedal back in the process of switching between speeds so that the chain does not jam and the transmission does not break. It should be noted that there is no rear derailleur on models with foot brakes.
Modern manufacturers present different types of switches, which are created for different types of cycling.
- The external derailleur is the most common type and consists of front and rear derailleurs. This option works by throwing the chain between the stars through the frame. The advantages of this switch include lightness, clear design, and a large number of speeds. Also, energy is not lost due to friction of mechanisms inside.
However, it must be taken into account that such a switching system is subject to weather conditions. Over time, the chain will wear out due to strong distortion. Gears can only be changed while driving, and it is important to protect the bike from falling. Among the disadvantages, users also note the need for frequent maintenance.
- An internal or planetary derailleur is a mechanism that sits on the inside of the hub at the back. It has only one star in the back and front, and a chain. The number of speeds in such models starts from 3. Most cycling models with planetary hubs are also equipped with a built-in brake system, which is very convenient.
The advantages include high resistance to unfavorable weather and bad roads, high reliability, durability, ease of maintenance. Also important is shifting gears without pedaling. In this case, you need to know that the internal switches have an impressive weight. In such models, excessive friction of the nodes occurs, which leads to difficulties in movement. Among the minuses, it is worth noting the complexity of the repair.
- Combined. a hybrid of planetary and external switches. Most often they are equipped with urban models of bicycles. This type is characterized by the pros and cons of both switching mechanisms.
The most popular brand currently is Shimano. This company is known for producing a wide variety of switches, ranging from the cheapest to professional models. Many models from the manufacturer Shimano allow you to choose the best option for any bike: road, city or mountain. For beginners, the “Sora” or “Tiagra” model is an excellent option.
Among the popular manufacturers, Sram is worth noting. This company manufactures speed switches in different price segments. The main difference is the absence of thematic lines. Among the simplest and cheapest are the models “X-3” and “X-4”, and among the highest quality “X-7” and “X-9”.
Shimano’s main competitor in the near future is the Taiwanese manufacturer Microshift. The main feature of the company is good quality at low prices. Many European countries have already appreciated the speed switches of this company. It is worth noting that among the advantages of this brand there is another very important one. full compatibility with Shimano derailleurs. This plus can be used very profitably during repairs.
For lovers of the highest quality, you should pay attention to the German manufacturer Rohloff. Its planetary hubs are carefully selected and hand-assembled only. The advantages of the products of this company are huge, but it will also be quite expensive to pay for them.
How to choose?
The choice of gear shifter on a bicycle primarily depends on the price issue. However, it is important to consider some technical characteristics. One of the most important is the type of attachment. The following mounting options are currently available:
- clamp to the frame pipe;
- on a special site;
- on the carriage of the bicycle.
It should be borne in mind that the last two options are quite rare guests on the modern market. When fastening with a clamp, consider the thickness of the bike frame.
When choosing a derailleur, it is also important to choose the type of steering cable wiring. Most often, the cable is pulled to the gear selector or down the bottom tube under the carriage or the top tube of the frame. Thus, there are universal derailleurs, as well as top or bottom link.
Another important point is the parameters of the star system. Two or three speed systems are most common. It is also important to know the number of stars in the rear derailleur as the chain thickness depends on this. It is better to take into account the dimensions of the largest sprocket, the capacity of the system, the minimum difference of teeth on the large and medium sprockets, the length of the carriage axis and the angle of the chainstays.
Installation and adjustment
Setting the gear selector is not an easy task, and it will be very difficult for a beginner to cope with it especially. Better to leave it to a specialist. But the rear and front derailleurs are worth learning how to set up yourself. This requires a number 5 hex wrench and a Phillips screwdriver. It is most convenient to set up when the bike is in a position with the wheels up.
The rear derailleur adjustment is as follows.
- The chain by pressing the shifter on the right side of the handlebars is thrown to the smallest sprocket.
- Next, the switch is unlocked by releasing the screw that holds the cable. This is done by unscrewing the screw marked “H” with a screwdriver.
- This screw adjusts the stars holding the chain so that they are located along the same line.
- Now you need to pull the cable, and then fix it using the screw.
- Next, the switch is checked for proper operation. If necessary, you can improve the transition to large stars by turning the wing counterclockwise.
- By pressing the shifter, the chain is transferred to the smallest star.
- Use the screw marked “L” to adjust the switch position so that the largest sprocket and the switch foot are in line.
Front derailleur adjusts slightly differently.
- The shifter moves the chain to the smallest sprocket at the front and the largest at the back at the same time as the pedals are pressed.
- Then the screw holding the cable is released. This is done with a hexagon.
- With the screw marked “L” using a screwdriver, move the frame so that the distance between its inner part and the chain is about 4 mm.
- Then the cable is pulled and the screw is tightened that holds it.
- To debug another star, you need to throw the chain at the back to the minimum star, and leave it at the smallest in the front. If the chain touches the frame, then you need to adjust the cable with a thumb, which is located on the left side of the steering wheel. It is worth remembering that the lamb must be mixed counterclockwise.
- The third star is adjusted with a screw marked “H” and a screwdriver.
Subtleties of operation
The gear shifter on a bicycle works precisely and for a long time if it is used correctly. To do this, you should familiarize yourself with some recommendations. For example, switching between speeds should only be done while cycling. It is also recommended to reduce the pressure of the feet on the pedals when changing gears, especially this will facilitate the condition of the front derailleur.
Before going uphill, it’s best to change gears ahead of time. This advice should be followed by beginners who do not yet know how to “feel” their transport. Also, do not shift multiple gears at once. The transition between gears should be carried out gradually so that the chain has time to jump to the previous sprocket.
How to choose a bike derailleur in the video.