How to use bike gears
Many people today prefer multi-speed bikes over single-speed bikes. And this is not surprising, because they make it easier to drive through various hills. And if you have purchased one of these bicycles, we suggest reading our article, which will help you understand the gears.
Learning to understand how and when to change gears
It’s not so easy to immediately understand when to switch. But over time, this knowledge will come. Until then, keep on reading our guide to help you for sure.
If you are just getting on the bike and starting to ride, choose a low gear. Often the first cadences you make are the hardest because you need to pick up the optimal speed. Each time you start driving, change the gear to one of the lower gears to get back to speed faster and easier.
Also do this when you need to completely stop the bike and then start pedaling again. For example, you stopped at a traffic light, and then you need to quickly go further.
When you know you will stop shortly, it is also a good idea to downshift to make it easier for you to get started next time. Especially if you need to leave some difficult place.
As your speed increases, don’t be afraid to upshift. After all, when you go fast, you will realize that pedaling becomes too easy. And this means that you need to increase the gear. this will help you move more efficiently and faster. In fact, the process will look like this: You change gear and notice that pedaling has become more difficult, but your speed is getting higher.
If for your trips you have chosen a flat terrain (for example, city streets with small hills), then use the so-called medium gears. That is, do not let yourself go too easy or difficult. let there be balance. This is very convenient because it allows you to develop the necessary speed and cope well with bumpy roads. For example, you have an eighteen-speed bike. Use the second in front and third in the back for a comfortable and optimal ride.
Remember to downshift when approaching high hills. This is important because without such a transition, you can simply get stuck. After all, it is almost impossible to ride a bicycle up a hill in very high gear if you are not a professional. Therefore, reduce gears to the point where you find it easy to climb a hill.
Note: At first you may find climbing a hill very strange and slow. And besides, it is not very convenient. But if you learn to keep your balance, everything will be fine. You will get used to it and will be able to climb hills of different heights without much effort.
Likewise, shift into high gears if you are going to descend on a flat road. If you want to develop a tremendous speed downhill, then engage a high gear. But remember that with such a high-speed movement, you need to be very careful, since if you move incorrectly, you can damage yourself.
When changing from one gear to another, do it carefully so as not to damage your joints. Sure, getting the best out of your bike is fun and challenging, but always be on the safe side. You don’t need to pedal too hard if you don’t want your joints to be under a lot of stress. Otherwise, over time, you will get painful sensations, and even the most real problems with joints.
And in no case choose gears in which the chain can become crossed. What does this mean? And the fact that when changing gears, you can see that the chain is sometimes located in a diagonal position. This is not a problem if you change gears correctly. But if you admit cases when the chain runs either along the largest or the smallest stars in front and behind, then you can be sure that it will wear out in the shortest possible time.
How to use gears correctly
It takes a little practice to master gear shifting. We advise you to heed our recommendations and do everything as follows:
- Remember what the right and left switches are responsible for. If you want to shift into reverse gear, then use the right switch. And vice versa. This is very convenient and will help you to quickly bring the switching process to automaticity. Also know how these mechanisms work. The derailleur moves the chain from side to side to catch the new gear. This applies to forward gear. As for the rear, it has its own switch, which, thanks to the handle, also moves from side to side.
- If you want to pedal more easily, then downshift. Yes, you can change gears on your bike to make it ride easier or harder on a wide variety of terrains. And if, for example, you need to drive and make a minimum of effort, then a low gear will help to do this. You will start pedaling quickly and easily, but the bike will go slower.
There are 2 methods for downshifting:
- switch to a smaller sprocket in front;
- switch to big star at the back.
- If you want to drive better, but also harder, change to a higher speed. This can be done in a similar way to the situation described above, only the other way around. You shift into a high gear, which means that you will go faster, pedal less often, but it will be harder for you to do it.
Here, too, there are 2 methods of upshifting:
- switch to large star in front;
- switch to smaller star at the back.
- Learn to shift gears on the road. That is, practice. She will help you thoroughly understand this issue. You just start changing gears and learn how to do everything correctly in one trip! At the same time, study on a flat road, where it will be safe for you. It is advisable to choose a park or something similar.
Remember that you will hear clicking sounds as you shift gears. And this does not mean that some detail has broken. This will indicate that you are doing everything right. Distinctive sounds inform you that the gear has been changed. And do not forget that you only need to change gears while driving. Because the chain can only catch new stars when it is taut. And she stays in this position only during pedaling.
How to find out the number of gears
First you need to figure out what gears your bike has. With the help of our advice, you can easily do this:
- Count the number of gears at the base of the pedals. To get the hang of changing gears on your iron horse, you need it to be equipped with sprockets. It is very easy to check their availability. It is enough to look at the pedals, in the center of which there will be one or several rings with teeth on the outside, which enter the chain. These are called chainrings. And it is them that need to be counted.
Most bicycles have 1 to 3 chainrings.
- See how many sprockets there are on the rear wheel. After you have examined the pedals, you need to look at the rear wheel. You will see a chain running from the front sprockets, one row of different rings located in the center of the wheel. These rings will be the rear sprockets.
Count their number. And if your bike has gears, there will be more rear sprockets than front sprockets. Some bicycles have up to 10 pieces.
- Finally, to figure out how many gears your bike has, you need to multiply the resulting 2 values. That is, multiply the number of front sprockets by the number of rear sprockets. The final figure is the number of gears on your iron horse.
For example: You have 3 stars in the front and 6 in the back. It turns out that the bike has 18 gears (3×18). In another way, they can be called speeds, because we are talking about the fact that the bike is high-speed.
Another point: if your bike has only one sprocket on both sides, then it only has 1 gear (1×1). That is, it has a so-called fixed gear. And if your bike is like that, then you will not be able to switch gears on it, because it is one-speed.
When you encounter strong winds en route, select a lower gear. Yes, you will move a little slower, however, it will be easier for you to overcome the wind for a long time.
The difference in size between the front and rear sprocket determines how hard you need to pedal to drive. For example, if both the sprocket and the sprocket have the same dimensions, then with each pedal rotation the rear sprocket will rotate 1 time. On the other hand, if you prefer a large chainring at the front and a small chainring at the rear, then the rear wheel can rotate several times at any pressure on the pedal. This will give you the opportunity to gain excellent speed, but it will require more effort.
If you see an elevation, always change gear in advance. No need to press gears in a hurry just before lifting. this increases the risk of injury.
When going uphill, do not use the lowest gear.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to master the bike with all its mechanisms. Once you learn to understand the gears, driving it will become much more enjoyable and convenient.
Routine flushing and lubrication of the ropes and their jackets sometimes gives astonishing results. Practice shows that after this operation it becomes much easier to make transitions. If you find a torn cable with a part of unbraided wires, it should be replaced immediately. The same situation with the shirt, which is damaged.
Unexpected failures when transferring gears can be caused by two reasons:
- Pulled out the cable from the fixing bolt of the mechanism.
- At one end of the shirt, a plug was pushed through.
Before adjusting the rear derailleur on a mountain bike, you need to check the condition of the cock. It may bend from a fall or when driving on uneven surfaces. It is absolutely impossible to straighten the part directly on the bicycle, because the frame of the assembly is fragile, it is better to dismantle the bent cock and align it on a metal plate.
You should also pay attention to the degree of wear of the chain drive, which occurs due to a long drive on non-standard gear combinations. Chain tensioner rollers need periodic maintenance. they need to be cleaned and lubricated at least once a year.
Statistics show that the front derailleur requires less maintenance than the rear derailleur. Simplicity of design is also on the front end. Why, then, there are a lot of questions when installing and setting up this unit. What is the capriciousness of the front crossover? And in the end, how to do the work so that the result does not cause discontent and criticism.
Why do not the front speed change when changing from 1st to 2nd or from 2nd to 3rd
The reason the chain does not roll over to the large front sprockets without additional tension is due to the stretched cable. In this situation, there is no need to configure from scratch. It is enough to twist the shifting lever and everything will fall into place.
For your information. Additional pull is pulling the cable in the current mode using the trigger on the shifter. For example, you change the chain from the first sprocket to the second by clicking the knob to 2. The chain rubs against the frame, but does not go over to the adjacent gear. Then you pull up the cable, slightly pushing the handle towards the inclusion of third gear, but not turning it on, and the chain freely goes to the star
Unscrew the thumbscrew 1 turn and try shifting in place by lifting the rear wheel and pedaling. If the chain still does not move freely onto the large sprockets, turn the drum half a turn and try using the re-linking in place again. Repeat a series of 1/2 turn. check until shifts in both directions are accurate.
For your information. The lamb’s stroke is limited to 5-6 turns. If this margin is not enough, then tighten the cable on the switch itself by unscrewing the cable securing bolt. Before clamping, turn the drum on the shifter until it stops, and then release it 1 turn. Repeat the thumbscrew adjustment procedure again.
Having achieved a clear transfer in place, drive and test the operation of the front block of speeds. Under load, the setting may not seem so ideal, so you have to turn the drum in one direction or another within ½ a turn and immediately check the new position while driving.
Why is the front derailleur rubbing against the chain
To understand what is the matter, one such symptom is not enough. Specify which gear it is in:
- Hits on the middle star. A skewed gear is in use or the cable is under-tightened / over-tightened.
- It only clings to the first asterisk. The frame limitation (bolt L) is incorrectly set, the chain is strongly skewed or the cable is overtightened.
- Rubbing on the biggest star. The border for large gears (bolt H) is poorly adjusted, the chain is skewed or the cable is not tight.
For your information. The chain can touch the frame in any gear, if the edges of the frame are not parallel to the stars.
The listed transitions must be performed when installing a new switch. Basic adjustment can acquire a separate relevance in the case of a deep revision of the drive, shirts and cables, but not always. The main criterion for the emergence of the need to adjust the limiting points is the violation of the clarity of the transition of the chain to the extreme positions.
Chain Tensioner Adjustment
The tensioner is a spreader assembly that provides optimum chain drive rigidity. Excessive tension not only impedes the movement of the chain, but also wears out the gearshift system. The weakened state prevents a clear transition.
The tensioner assembly is debugged as follows:
- Place the chain at the rear on the largest sprocket and at the front on the smallest sprocket.
- If, when moving the chain, the tensioner roller touches the cassette, then you need to tighten the tension screw (position 3 in the figure) so that the gap between them is about 5 mm.
- Install the chain at the back on the smallest sprocket, and at the front on the largest sprocket, and repeat the operation described in point 2.
As mentioned above, a thorough cleaning precedes a competent setting. Sometimes even such a procedure can have a beneficial effect on the performance of mechanisms. Technological aspects of the preparatory work are as follows:
- Clean derailleur and sprocket cassette.
- Clean old grease from tensioner rollers.
- Wash and lubricate the chain.
Next, you need to release the hummock, for which the tension screws at the shifter and on the rear spreader are screwed in until they stop. The cable should be pulled out of the clamping screw, but it is not necessary to remove it. It will not hurt to inspect it in order to find damage and, if necessary, treat it with lubricant.
How to adjust the rear derailleur of a Shimano speed bike: detailed instructions
There is a popular belief among newbies that it is better not to go into the gearshift mechanism. The argument is. I don’t know how, I will knock everything down. However, there is nothing to be afraid of. self-adjusting the brakes on a mountain bike is no more difficult than adjusting the transmission. In addition, the indexing gearshift system is configured in such a way that it cannot be broken. The process should start with preparatory activities.
Why did the switch start to work poorly?
There can be many versions on this matter. One of the most common is the banal stretching of the cable and the sagging of the shirt. Occurs on new bicycles of any category after 200-300 km of run. Other options may be considered, or even variations of them:
- The cable is fluffed up or there are bumps on its surfaces in places of bends.
- Shirts are dirty. They are enough for a maximum of two cable changes. As a preventive measure, flushing the inner surfaces of WD-40 can be considered (splash and move the cable along the guide).
- Bent cock (part that holds the crossbar on the frame). Sometimes the traditional Shimano bike rear derailleur setting does not work. In this case, it is worth inspecting the holder for bending. The rooster is leveled with a special machine or on a frame. Care must be taken when performing an operation on an aluminum frame structure. the material is fragile.
- Backlash in the spreader. It is revealed very simply. it is enough to stand on the side of the bike, grab the place where the cable enters and move it away from you. On Shimano Tourney, Altus equipment groups, backlash is allowed. The rest should be absent. The presence of large displacements introduces fuzziness in the switching mechanics.
- It is not recommended to lubricate the cable, especially with viscous consistencies such as grease. the effect of light switching will disappear quickly, and the lubricant will attract dirt.
- It is undesirable to deliberately lengthen or shorten the shirts. there will be increased friction in the bending points.
Removing the pedals
After preparation, you can proceed to the removal process. For conventional mechanisms, it looks like this:
- We move the system to the working side. in the direction of the steering wheel.
- We try to carefully unscrew the pedals from the connecting rod.
- Remove the plug at the end of the platform, open the lock nut.
- Unscrew the lock nut, holding the axle at the connecting rod with the second key.
- Remove the washer (also at the end).
- Unscrew the cone.
- We remove the platform from the axle, holding the bearings (it is better to remove them separately, if they are bulk, then put a rag or sheet so that they do not roll far).
- Pedal removed and disassembled!
It is important not to forget that the left and right pedals are unscrewed from the connecting rod in their direction: on the right axis. the right thread, on the left. the left.
How to Replace a Bicycle Grip Shifter
The contact devices are a little more difficult to disassemble, but they will not cause any problems. when twisting and disassembling, a puller is used, which should hold the axis with a small contact pad.
How to put a pedal on a bike.
By the way, before starting the installation process, it would be very good to clean from old grease and dirt with a degreaser not only the thread on the pedal axis, but also the thread in the connecting rods.
Degreaser (degreaser) is a special degreasing compound designed to remove dirt, grease, oil.
Expert advice on how to remove pedals from a bike
A bicycle, like any other vehicle, requires attention and regular maintenance. All parts and mechanisms tend to wear out, but pedals are subject to the aging process more than others. They carry a significant traction load, and constant contact with water, dust and dirt significantly reduces the service life of the mechanism. Therefore, sooner or later, every cyclist will face the question of how to remove the pedals from the bike.
How to Disassemble Your Bike and Box It
Required tools and materials
Before removing the pedals, it is necessary to prepare the tool and auxiliary materials that are most likely to be needed.
- lubrication. the removed parts are recommended to be cleaned and lubricated;
- cleaning rags;
- kerosene or solvent. in case the axles do not unscrew or there are large contaminated areas.
- an adjustable wrench is a universal solution, a small one is desirable, otherwise it will be difficult to get to the nut;
- open-end wrench for 15. fits almost all models;
- bicycle kit. in case of emergency;
- pedal wrench. supplied by manufacturers for non-standard nuts and just in sets;
- puller. addition to the foot pedals. a standard tool, often supplied by the manufacturer, serves to hold the axle when turning to the side with a wrench.
When is it necessary?
This procedure may be needed at the following points:
- Replacing an old part with a new one;
- Installation of new speed switches on the transport;
- To make the chain shorter;
- To clean the element.
Removing the chain from a bike
Maintenance: DIY bike chain repair
Two-wheeled vehicle repair skills will help riders deal with difficult issues quickly and efficiently. The most common question of concern is how to remove the chain from the bicycle. At any time, unforeseen situations or the need for maintenance of equipment may arise and therefore several recommendations will help.
Removing an element with a lock does not take much time and effort. Today there are several varieties of this bicycle chain device, but the principle of their opening is similar. It is necessary to close the axles and remove the cover. For convenience, you can use pliers, it is also good if you have pliers for opening at hand. Thus, the whole procedure does not take much time and it will be possible to quickly remove the malfunction, change the part or remove the chain from the bike.
If there is no lock, then you need to make some effort. For work, you need a special squeeze. It is a tool with which it is very convenient and easy to squeeze out a pin. To work, place the chain link so that the release axle is directly opposite the pin. Then you need to twist the handle and squeeze out the pin itself. It is very important not to allow it to pop out, otherwise it will be very difficult to insert the pin into place correctly. Further, the bicycle chain can be replaced or repaired.
There are also some points to consider when working. For example, there was repeated removal of the same bicycle chain, then the next time it is necessary to open another link and segment, because after this process it loosens a little. Also, some models of pomace may have two seats and you need to fasten the link carefully, correctly and carefully.
Design and its features
A bicycle chain is a fairly simple metal structure that is designed to transfer the drivetrain from the drive sprocket to the driven one. Component elements:
The main difference between the different types is the distance between the rollers and the width. In some modes of transport, this part may be part of the gearshift system. This detail is important and requires special attention.
A bicycle chain requires regular maintenance, cleaning and repair to function properly. Periodic lubrication and flushing will ensure that the equipment works well, and every few thousand kilometers the chain must be replaced with a new one. There is also a certain indicator of the degree of elongation (0.5%), that is, the pores when a new part is needed. Without special tools for measuring, you can determine the degree of wear as follows: you need to install the element on the largest sprocket (leading) and pull it off, moving it away from the teeth. If the resulting space contains more than 4 teeth, then the bicycle part must be urgently replaced.