How To Correctly Set Cycling Speed

How to set bike speeds. Correct cycling gearshift setting

Modern bicycles equipped with a gear system allow you to move quickly and with minimal energy losses in any conditions: long climbs, rough terrain, roads with sharp turns, which require constant changes in speed and gear ratio. This can also include driving against the wind, off-road, poor quality asphalt. In general, the value of the transmission unit is simply colossal, especially on mountain bikes.

Despite the invaluable help, the transmission is great and requires frequent attention, care, and sometimes long and tedious fuss. One of the components that needs to be spent periodically is the shift mechanism, which consists of front and rear derailleurs. At first glance, the arrangement of these parts seems complicated. In practice, setting up gear shifting is very simple.

Why bike speeds don’t shift well

Usually, the thought of needing to fix derailleur problems comes when the chain is shifting too hard between the stars, or the gears are not shifting at all. The problem visits suddenly, as an option, you can contact the master.

However, this issue can be resolved in the service in a couple of minutes, and the money will have to be paid in an hour. Maybe you should tinker yourself?

Before proceeding with the instructions for setting up the bike speed system, let’s determine why it does not work correctly:

  • Switches are damaged. A complete replacement is needed to solve the problem.
  • Deformed cock. protection of the rear derailleur. Usually it is advised to change, but once you can straighten.
  • Spring worn or stretched cable. Replacement required, switch setting.

Very often, all the components of the transmission are in good condition, and the gears still shift poorly. New parts, or small workpieces installed in a transmission unit are a common cause of poor chain sprocket travel.

Setting switches at home

Now let’s figure out how to set up the speed system ourselves. Derailleurs on bicycles with multi-gear transmission are divided into front and rear. The latter are most vulnerable when riding in a variety of road conditions, the risk of damage is higher compared to the front ones, but the adjustment must be done at the very beginning. Obviously, the rear derailleur serves more stars, so it takes longer to set up.

Rear derailleur setting:

First you need screws L and H. they are clearly visible, no need to look. Also includes a cable adjuster, tension and fixing screws.

  • H is used to align the roller with the small rear sprocket. By tightening the screw L, we set the roller on one straight line with the large rear sprocket.
  • Set the highest speed on the shifter.
  • Tighten and fix the cable with the locking bolt.
  • Large gears should be turned on without interference, otherwise, using the adjuster, the cable is slightly weakened. Additional tension will be needed if gears are poorly reset.

Actually, the adjustment itself is made, it remains to adjust the switching accuracy. This is especially true for systems with a large number of stars. To do this, the chain is installed on a large chainring at the back and a small one at the front. By tightening the tension screw, we achieve the optimal position of the roller. as close as possible to the cassette. The same must be done and vice versa: set the chain to the maximum chainring in the front and minimum. in the back. The roller should not rub against the cassette, just be located next to it.

How to properly set up the switch in front:

  • Check device attachment.
  • Release cable tension at minimum speed.
  • Use screw L to create a gap between the derailleur body and the chain (1 mm).
  • Secure the cable with the adjusting bolt.

The same should be done with the H-screw. The maximum speed must be set, and the gap with the chain must not exceed one millimeter.

Adjust the speeds on both bike derailleurs until the chain is free to swing from one chainring to the other. If it is difficult to go, it is necessary to adjust the correct position of the cable using the adjusting bolt.

After all the manipulations, the entire system is checked. To do this, you need to ride a bike and try all the recommended gear ratios. Note that on mountain bikes, the transmission adjustment is a common periodic procedure, and if suddenly the transmission goes tight, we are not in a hurry to draw conclusions about the breakdown, but we do what is described above.

Do not think that a high-quality transmission does not need to adjust the shifting system. Yes, it may be necessary to do this less often for shimano components, but sooner or later you will still have to face.

We just saw an easy way to adjust the front and rear derailleurs. Is it really necessary? Adjustment of the shift mechanism is necessary for the transmission, like tires for a wheel. Timely assistance to the “traffic node” will allow not only to solve current problems, but also to prevent them in the future. Eliminate all inconveniences in time and ride with pleasure!

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.
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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.

How to step by step adjust the speed on different bike derailleurs

Switching functions can be oiled, malfunctioning, delayed. This affects the ride quality. The cyclist must know how to adjust the speeds on the bike so that they can be adjusted in time. You can carry out the setting at home without resorting to the services of specialists. The main thing is to understand the device, follow the instructions.

Varieties of switches

The shifting part of the transmission needs tuning. The crossover consists of an attachment to the cock, a shirt stop, guides, clamps, chain adjustment screws, a parallelogram, a tensioner roller and a foot. The adjustment of the rear derailleur for bicycles depends on the design:

The tuning of the bike is determined by the shifting mechanism. The inner one is hidden in the back panel, the number of gears varies from three to seven. Withstands frequent use, operation does not depend on weather conditions, durable and reliable. Planetary hubs allow speed changes without even pedaling.

External switches can be front, rear. They are distinguished by their simplicity of design, low weight and low cost. Allows activating a wide range of speeds. Gears with such a switch have negative sides:

  • are influenced by an unfavorable environment;
  • easily damaged by mechanical stress;
  • if the transport falls, they fail;
  • cannot be switched on a stationary vehicle.

The correct gear shifting is carried out only in motion, and during the process the load is removed from the pedals. Extraneous sounds, clinking. a reason to adjust the functioning of the switches. Perfect operation is ensured by a serviceable cable, an undeformed chain, stars.

Outer Rear Outer Front Inner

Tools and preparation

Poor gear shifting can be caused by parts malfunction, damage to the mechanism, wear of the spring, or a stretched cable. Poor sprocket running is also source of malfunction. You can eliminate the shortcomings yourself, without the help of specialists. The main thing is to stock up on the following tools and materials:

  • pliers;
  • screwdrivers;
  • set of hex keys;
  • rags.

All parts are pre-cleaned from dirt, adhering dirt. Rags will relieve excess grease. The whole process comes down to loosening the cable, adjusting it and pulling it. Adjusting the rear and front derailleur on a bicycle is done after checking the following factors:

  • serviceability of components;
  • even position of the switch frame;
  • the presence of deformations;
  • lack of backlash;
  • integrity of rollers.

Before setting up, check the chain for wear. A special ruler will allow you to assess the degree of stretch, skew. They also clean parts, remove dirt from springs, rollers, legs. They get rid of dirt and dust from the cable, check its wear. If everything is in order with the part, then it is lubricated.

The front derailleur setting is made last. It is recommended to do the rear first. It should be taken into account, regardless of the manufacturer’s firm (Forward, Stealth, etc.), the correction takes place in a standard manner.

Prepare tools Bicycle cleans dirt Check chain for wear

Step-by-step instruction

The stability of gear shifting depends on the length of the cable, the presence of damage. In this case, the drum is rotated clockwise to the correct position. In some situations, the drum is twisted until the chain jumps smoothly. If the problem persists, the cable must be replaced. A torn or damaged product can be replaced by yourself.

When the problem is in the spring, it is cleaned of contamination, then lubricated and checked. Adjustment and regulation will not be required if, after troubleshooting, the speeds are restored. Before adjusting the switches, check for deformation of the cock plane.

The appearance of the malfunction could begin after the bicycle has been dropped or hit. In this case, the vehicle is checked for deformations. Broken screws, frames and ears are replaced. Then the transport is checked again.

After all checks, you can adjust the front derailleur and rear. Otherwise, manipulation will not help. Any malfunctions can negatively affect the ride quality, lead to unexpected serious breakdowns, injuries. It is useful to carry out the gear tuning as a preventive measure for the health of the vehicle.

Before starting tuning, you need to check for deformation of the cock plane

Rear derailleur

Owners need to know how to properly set the bike speeds. Self-regulation requires compliance with the instructions:

  • move the chain to a small star;
  • unscrew the screw;
  • weaken the tension of the cable;
  • adjust the screw with the letter “H”;
  • pull the rope.

Check the functionality of the switch mechanism. They spin the pedals several times, observe the chain throwing. If the problem persists, tighten the cable tighter. After checking, move the chain to a large sprocket and adjust the tension of the screw with the letter “L”.

Switching can be configured with screwdrivers, hex keys and pliers. It is not necessary to fix the transport itself. It is advisable to prepare a cloth for cleaning parts and a lubricant in advance. Adjustment of the limiters is possible after checking the health of the components of the mechanism.

Rear derailleur design Shift diagram

Front derailleur

A step-by-step guide will show you how to adjust the shifters on your bike. The process comes down to adjusting the tension and gear limiters. Setting the quality of the re-roll is important. It is worth eliminating backlash in advance, replacing deformed parts. You can configure the front derailleur as follows:

  • the chain is rearranged to the smallest star;
  • remove the fixing element;
  • weaken the tension of the cable;
  • adjust the frame with a screw with the letter “L”;
  • the cable is pulled;
  • fixed with a screw.

The chain is moved to the middle sprocket and checked. If necessary, adjust the frame again, fix the correct cable tension. The drum on the left coin will help you quickly get the right tension. Check the front derailleur.

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Any cable tension is released at minimum speed. To complete the adjustment and quickly adjust the front derailleur, after correcting the position of the cable, fix it with a bolt, repeat the check.

Gear shifting must be in good condition. Adjustment may be required due to loosening, wear of parts, damage. You can carry out the work yourself if you familiarize yourself with the design of the mechanism in advance, study the instructions, follow the algorithm exactly.

Front Derailleur Device Setting

Video. Switching speeds on a bike. What is gear shifting for?

Riding on a flat road, uphill or downhill requires different efforts from the cyclist. On a single speed bike, there are no options, since there is only one gear. And those who have experience climbing a mountain on a single speed bike know how difficult it is. But in the case of a multi-speed bike, new possibilities appear. you can adjust the load. On a bike equipped with multiple gears, for example, it is much easier to ride uphill. Let’s figure out how the gearshift occurs.

What is gear shifting

The essence of switching speeds is to drag the chain from one star to another. And various combinations of chainrings and chainrings allow you to adjust the cyclist’s load. But first, let’s turn to the bike drivetrain.

The transmission is all the parts and assemblies of the bicycle that transfer energy to the rotational movement of the rear wheel. The transmission consists of a carriage, a crankset, a chain, sprockets or cassette (or ratchet), front and rear derailleurs, as well as shifters (they are also sometimes called shifters).

Gear shifting occurs via shifters located on the steering wheel. Using the rear derailleur shifter, located on the right handlebar, the chain is thrown between the rear sprockets, and using the front derailleur shifter (it is on the left handlebar) between the front sprockets.

Most multi-speed bikes have three drive sprockets and six to eight driven sprockets. The fore stars are counted from small to large, and the rear stars, on the contrary, from large to small.

Types of speed switches

There are two main types of speed switches. external and internal shifting.

Internal switching mechanism

City bikes often use an internal gearshift mechanism that is hidden inside the rear planetary hub (for example, the new Forward Surf 2.0 cruiser). Planetary hub bikes have only one chainring and one sprocket. The number of speeds / gears in planetary bushings is usually from 3 to 7. The planetary hub has a rather complex internal structure.

Pluses of planetary bushings: they withstand adverse weather and road conditions well, since the mechanism and all its parts are enclosed in a case and, as a result, are reliable and durable; you can switch speeds without pedaling.

Cons of planetary bushings:. heavy weight;. very difficult repair, impossible in field conditions.

External switching mechanism

This type of derailleur is used on most multi-speed bikes, from city bikes (like the Forward Dortmund 2.0) to mountain bikes (like the Forward Agris 27.5 3.0 disc). Gear shifting is carried out using the front and rear derailleurs.

Front derailleur The front derailleur transfers the chain between the chainrings. The derailleur design has a moving frame within which the bicycle chain runs. When shifting gears with a shifter, the frame moves and becomes above the desired sprocket, which ensures the movement of the chain to this star.

Rear derailleur The rear derailleur is a spring-return mechanism that moves a frame (or foot) with rollers between them within a transverse axis. In one direction, the switch is moved with a cable, and in the opposite direction, with a return spring. When you move the derailleur, the chain passed through it is thrown from one rear sprocket to another, and the chain tensioner automatically removes the chain slack.

Advantages of external switches: simple design low weight low price high number of gears

Disadvantages of external derailleurs:. highly susceptible to unfavorable external factors. need for adjustment and maintenance. risk of breakage if the bike falls. it is impossible to change gears if the bike is stationary

Correct star combinations

Choose speeds based on the terrain and your physical capabilities, and so that the chain does not tilt. You can make sure that there are no distortions simply by looking at the chain. If it moves parallel to the frames of the front derailleur, then the selected speed is optimal. Skew occurs when the chain is on the front large chainring and on the rear, also large.

Let’s see which sprocket combinations are applicable on a bicycle with three chainrings and eight chainrings. The main principle is simple: it is necessary that the combination of front and rear sprockets is always approximately in the same vertical plane.

The large chainring is matched with 4-8 rear chainrings. This combination is optimal when riding on a flat road.

The middle chainring is matched with the 3rd to 6th chainrings. This combination is suitable if you are riding on lightly rough roads, or if you want to give yourself more physical activity while riding on a flat road.

The small chainring is matched with 1 to 3 rear sprockets for uphill climbing. In this case, much less effort is required from the cyclist when pedaling, but more frequent pedaling.

Incorrect combination of front and rear sprockets, leads to a strong misalignment of the chain, shortening the life of not only the chain, but also the derailleurs.

How to adjust the speed switches. How to switch gears correctly

Correct gear shifting allows you to ride easier and more comfortable with less effort, as well as increase the service life of all elements of the bicycle transmission. We have prepared several rules and recommendations on how to properly switch speeds on a bike:

How to set bike speeds

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 bike with one single gear (for example, on 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:

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 it in stages: after waiting for one gear to work well, go to the next (this moment also depends on the bike’s equipment class and the cyclist’s skill).

Avoid large chain distortions.

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.

correctly, cycling, speed

For simplicity, let’s take the popular 38 budget 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.

The conditions that we 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 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 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 (ups, downs, 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 increasing the gear, and the other, on the contrary, lowering.

Basically on modern high-speed bikes, 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 switch is in position “3” (largest chainring). mainly used for acceleration on a flat road, it is rational to use small rear sprockets on the rear wheel with this chainring.

Small chainring, position “1”, it is rational to use with large chainrings on the rear wheel. You will need this for significant climbs, off-road driving, sand, etc.

When changing gears, ideally, you need to feel the bike yourself, control the load on the pedals, in general, everything will come by itself over time.

Additional rules for switching speeds on a bicycle:

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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 previous work, 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! This is the only way you will be able to move as efficiently as possible on a bicycle, 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 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 fun. If about 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 can we 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 clicking 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.

How to properly set the bike speeds?

The popularity of two-wheeled eco-friendly vehicles is beyond doubt. Bicycles with speeds have become especially popular. But, the pleasure of riding is obtained if the bike rolls easily, without making any extraneous sounds. Therefore, the question of how to set the speed on a bike correctly is relevant for many cyclists.

About setting places

The cyclist’s speed changes depending on the situation, so the coin, the signal from which goes to the speed switch, which throws the chain onto the rear sprocket of the bicycle, should be within its reach, i.e. on frame or handlebar.

It fits onto the bike frame and is held in place by a device called a “cock”. a metal holder that prevents damage to the derailleur.

Directly involved in the selection of gears is a cassette or a rear set of a bicycle transmission, which consists of gear wheels of different diameters installed on the rear wheel.

There is also a front drivetrain set, also consisting of gears of different diameters. It is mounted with cranks that hold the pedals required to drive the transmission on the bicycle axle (in front of the frame).

When to adjust the speeds?

There are three such cases:

  • if the cable is stretched or torn, the transmission of commands from the coin is disrupted and there is a need for adjustment;
  • wear of the return spring located on the cassette leads to the performance of functions not in full (failure when switching speed, etc.);
  • deformation of the “cock” or switch, arising from aggressive driving.


In order for the bike’s gear shifting to always be effective, there must be a derailleur and a cable in good condition, on which the operation of the latter depends.

You need to tighten the cable using the drum located on the coin. In order for the cable to work properly, it must be lubricated periodically. The sprocket chain also needs to be lubricated to keep out noise when cycling to ensure easy shifting and reduce friction.

You can determine the state of the “rooster” visually or using a special device. It can be easily repaired or replaced by checking if the switch is deformed, in which the parallelogram is considered the weakest point.

What tools are needed to tune bike speeds?

Usually they all come with a bike: pliers, a screwdriver, a set of hex keys or open-end.

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What you need to know about customization?

Setting bike speeds begins with adjusting the height and angle of the front derailleur, which should not touch the gears, nor should it be far from them. It is correctly fixed if it is 3 millimeters higher than the toothed largest wheel. Adjust the angle, means the switch must be set parallel to the rotation of the wheels.

The following bolts are used to adjust the gear shift:

Putting the chain in the extreme left position, disconnect the cable by unscrewing the nut that holds it or the bolt. After that, proceed to adjust the gears, ensuring that they are on the same straight line, for which they tighten the bolt (marked “High” or “H”) indicated in the picture. After finishing the adjustment, we tighten the fixing cable with the screw again.

For further adjustment, put the chain in the extreme right position, i.e. the largest at the back and the smallest sprocket at the front). Adjust the gears with the “Low” or “L” bolt until they are in line.

The next step is to tune the largest cogwheel corresponding to the lowest speed. To do this, we tighten the screw on the switch, marked with the letter “L”, again trying to position the roller and this wheel in parallel.

Then you need to set the position on the switch lever that will correspond to the highest speed.

Next, we adjust the rear derailleur, for which we install a chain on the small gear wheel and the largest rear gear. Scrolling the pedals backward, adjusting the chain tension with a screw, bring the upper roller (as close as possible) to the gear wheel. This is necessary for smooth gear shifting.

Achieve a distance of 1 mm between the frame and the chain. To do this, first loosen the control cable for adjusting the screw L, then fix it with a screw.

Finally, move on to fine tuning by moving the chain to the center position on both sprockets. Use the screw highlighted in the photo. Both gears must be in the same plane.

It is recommended to twist the lamb shown in the picture after the test drive: if the gear does not shift or jumps over the sprockets, the chain.

How to set up the correct gear shifting?

Carry out the adjustment by analogy with adjusting the rear shift using a metal stop and two bolts shown in the photo below.

The final gear setting is carried out on the front derailleur, when the chain in front is on the large gear wheel, and on the small one at the back. This operation is carried out with a screw H until a distance of 1 mm is achieved between the chain and the frame.

If it is difficult to switch at low speed, you need to adjust the cable on the front derailleur. If the chain is heavy on the large wheel. adjust the cable tension on the same adjuster.

How to tune gears on a mountain bike?

The setup is done in five steps. If you need to adjust both switches, it is recommended to start from the rear. First you need to make sure that the cable is working properly. In the second step, inspect the chain tensioner, which must be installed strictly parallel to the cassette sprockets.

This is achieved by pulling the switch. When the requirements are met, proceed to setting the gears. Place the chain on the smallest sprocket, set the highest speed, and then use the High screw to make the small star show the mark of the derailleur roller.

At the next step, the lowest speed is fixed, for which, setting a large one, turn the Low screw until the roller is level with the large sprocket. The chain is on the largest sprocket. Tighten the bolt well.

Finally, step five. adjusting the smooth gear shift. Putting the chain on a small sprocket in the front and a large sprocket at the back, they pedal, bringing the roller and sprocket together. This completes the adjustment.

Setting bike speeds