How to properly switch gears on a bike 18

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 plains, everything depended on the skills of the cyclist himself, and to ride in the mountainous terrain, one had to adapt to the terrain conditions: while riding downhill, the cyclist accelerates the car as much as possible in order to enter the next mountain by inertia. If the ascent is protracted, then the cyclist rides uphill until he can pedal. Then he dismounts his bike and proudly walks alongside to the top to continue his journey down again.

Modern bicycles have two sets of gears. front (sprocket) and rear (driven sprocket). It is extremely important to learn how to choose the right gear depending on the nature of the ride. First, you need to learn a few simple rules for shifting gears:

  • Shift gears only while the bike is in motion (this rule does not apply to planetary hubs).
  • Try to change gears when the load from the chain is removed or insignificant, otherwise you may not be able to switch, and even break the gearshift mechanisms or break the chain (this largely depends on the quality level of the bicycle components). Particularly hard on the front derailleur.
  • We do not recommend to increase 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 the clear work of one gear, go to the next (this moment also depends on the class of bike equipment and the skill of the cyclist).
  • Avoid large “distortions” of the chain.

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 is from 1 to 3. in the direction of increasing stars, the numbering of the rear stars is from 1 to 8 (9.10), in the direction of decreasing stars.

For simplicity, let’s take the popular budget 38 drive as an example:

  • The large chainring is used when driving on a good, level road (asphalt or compacted soil) in the absence of strong headwinds. Trailing sprockets 8 to 4 are usually used with this sprocket. Although in sports skating and racing, you can often see any combination of.
  • The middle chainring is used when driving on dirt roads, bad asphalt, not very loose sand in combination with rear sprockets 6 to 2 (which does not exclude the use of the entire set of rear sprockets). On these programs it is convenient to ride 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, thick grass.

properly, switch, gears, bike

Drawing of parallel universes. Left (in red) is not correct. the universes of bike chains are parallel, on the left (in green) is correct!

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 lead to 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!

Cadence

Regarding the 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 strength will be wasted. If the cadence is incorrect, there is also a risk of injury. This is due to increased stress on the 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 not difficult; rely on sensations. I will only add that in addition to road conditions, the choice of gear and cadence is influenced 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 the same. 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, soil conditions, tire pressure, wind, the physical condition of the cyclist, adrenaline and blood sugar levels. There are other criteria that cyclists can be guided by. One of them is cadence. It is known that the optimal cadence when driving on a horizontal surface. for example, in road bikes. is on average 95. 115 rpm, while for cross-country riders this value will already be 70. 90 rpm. But for amateurs and cyclists, this is just a guideline, not a rule. There is no need to try to start immediately from high gears, first in low gears we warm up the muscles, unwinding to optimal gears. When choosing a gear, as in any business, the cyclist needs to stick to the “golden mean” and not go to extremes. A slow pace of driving in large gears is very detrimental to the condition of the knee joints. Pedaling too often will reduce riding efficiency and fatigue more quickly. In difficult road conditions (driving on mud, sand, grass or snow), the gears are lowered due to the need for a torque reserve. The technical capabilities of the switches do not always allow the chain to be dramatically shifted from small stars to large ones. For mountain hikes with backpacks, a set of chainrings, for example, 48, 38 and 28 teeth, is usually sufficient.

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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. However, usually the muscle strength of the legs is not enough to spin such gears from a place. Even athletes do not use gears greater than 5: 1, but rather increase their cadence.

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. 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 a frequency of 80-90 rpm.

Tips for caring for 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 gotten over 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 you have on your bike. You will not think about switching at all: everything will happen automatically, depending on the current road or racing situation.

The clarity of the gears depends on the class of equipment, the degree of wear of parts, the correct setting of the mechanisms, the condition of the cables and their shirts, as well as the degree of contamination of the mechanisms and the chain.

And for dessert: scientists decided to create a bicycle with gear shifting using only thoughts:

Important addition from user Arkady Belousov:

Each sprocket has teeth and their pitch (distance between the teeth) is always the same and coincides with the length of the chain links, so the number of teeth on the sprocket is dictated by its size (diameter). The most important transmission parameter. the gear ratio (the ratio of the number of wheel revolutions per pedal revolution). depends on the number of teeth on the driving and driven sprockets. Usually it is the number of teeth and is designated (for example, “gear 42-14”). To transfer 42-14, one revolution of the pedals (one revolution of the driving sprocket) will require 42/14 = 3 revolutions of the wheel (three revolutions of the driven sprocket). The range of gear ratios for mountain bike transmissions will most often be from 0.68 to 3.8 (that is, more than 5 times). In practice, they just talk about the number of “speeds”, since common types of bicycles have approximately the same set of stars.

For a comprehensive assessment of the traction of a bicycle, the parameter “laying” 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 suited 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 to properly shift gears on a bike?

Recently I saw Alexei 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. I found several articles. I bring to your attention the most useful theses of them.

How is the mechanism for gear shifting?

On a modern mountain bike, there is usually a system of 3 stars of different sizes in front, a group of stars, the so-called cassette, is also provided at the back, but there are more stars, from 6 to 10.

The system in front consists of:

  • A small star, which is responsible for climbing uphill at low speed, but gives a lot of thrust;
  • An average star, also called a marching or walking star. As a rule, the largest part of a cyclist’s path passes through it;
  • Large sprocket designed for driving on asphalt, flat surface. Wherever serious effort is not needed, it allows you to drive with great power at high speeds.

Gear Shifting Basics. Flat Bar shifters

The set of stars placed at the back has the same logic, only the size goes the other way around, from the largest, which is closer to the frame, to the smallest outer.

Gear shifting is assisted by mechanisms on the handlebars called shifters or shifters. Most of the shifters have a trigger shift mechanism, some hybrid bikes are equipped with shifters like a rotation handle, but more advanced ones have a shifter combined with a brake lever.

Trigger shifters are controlled using levers, and grip-shift is a turning method, this is in more advanced bikes. There are two levers for each shifter, for downshifts and upshifts. The trigger mechanism is as follows. the voltage from the shifters is transmitted through a cable to the switches that are installed on the wheels. The rear group of stars changes the position of the chain on the stars using the rear derailleur, for the front system there is a derailleur at the front.

The shifters can have dials that show which gear you are currently in. In some models, the dials are replaced by a mini-display. Novice cyclists often look at shifters, and experienced cyclists, by the way the pedals move, feel in which gear they are currently riding.

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Please note that if you have two switches on your wheels, front and rear, then there are also two shifters on the steering wheel. If you have 3 stars in the front system, and 8 stars on the rear, then on the shifter, which is responsible for shifting gears in the front, there will be three divisions, for the rear mechanism, respectively, 8 divisions!

you can make a small list of theses, according to which, even before gaining the proper experience, you can switch quite accurately and correctly using the following speed switching rules:

  • switch only while driving and without serious load;
  • control the bike using the transmission, rather than muscular effort;
  • switch in advance, and not at the last moment, or when “it became too difficult”;
  • shift gears one by one and in turn in front and behind;
  • do not deviate from the normal combinations of stars;
  • keep the bike clean and avoid excessive wear of the parts.

How to properly shift gears on a bike

If you’ve never ridden a high-speed bike before, the presence of handlebar levers and a row of sprockets on the crank arm and cassette are sure to ask you a lot of questions. In addition, sometimes happy owners of a bike with speeds or a simple mountain bike hardly understand why speeds are needed at all.

On a flat road with good coverage, it is quite possible to do without gear shifting. The cyclist simply selects the optimal chain position and a comfortable gear ratio. The speed of the bike here is determined by stubbornness and physical form. But it’s better to learn to play with gears even here, choosing the optimal cadence depending on the angle of inclination and road conditions. The preferred gear ratio for most beginners is 2-5 or 2-4.

To drive up a hill, drive through sand or snow, the speed ratio alone will not be enough. On bicycles at the same speed in such a situation, everything depends only on the intensity of pedaling, the strength of the cyclist’s muscles, riding technique and the ability to “pull” in time.

The presence of gears greatly simplifies this process, but only on condition that the speeds are changed correctly and in a timely manner. In addition, you shouldn’t forget about the health of your knee joints. It is much more useful if the knees do not overload on difficult areas, but do more movements. i.e. cadence more.

Speeds and stars

The first derailleur bikes were models such as the Tourist, the massive heirs to 70s sports bikes. They did not have a front derailleur, but the cassette allowed you to select one of four speeds.

Over time, the number of available speeds grew, and now bicycles with 18, 21, 24 and 27 values ​​are becoming the de facto standard. Usually this is a combination of 3 stars on the front derailleur and 6-9 on the rear, in a combination of 3 and 7 stars, 21 speeds are obtained. Some high-speed models have already acquired 10 stars on the rear derailleur, but so far this is a rarity.

Actually, “speed” is a star, and the total gear ratio is obtained from a combination of the current stars selected by the front and rear derailleurs.

How to properly switch gears on a bike?

Bicycles designed for sports or walking are equipped with a multi-speed transmission, so the biker has the ability to change gears depending on the situation on the track. Manufacturers produce 18,21,24, 27-speed bicycles. However, from most beginners you can often hear that in so many gears on a bike they are intimidated, they get lost and do not imagine how they can confidently cope with so many speeds.

How To Change The Gears On Bicycle. Correct Shifting SAVING POWER. SickBiker Tips.

Let’s first figure out why you need gears on a bicycle, as well as how many of them there can be.

It’s simple enough. the gears on the bike are needed to keep your knees healthy and comfortable to ride. With their help, you should set your optimal cadence, that is, the cadence per unit of time and the pressure on the pedals. This will allow you to optimally spend energy, save your bike and health. Your cycling will be extremely productive in any terrain.

The optimal number of revolutions per minute is individual for the biker and depends on many factors. his physiology, age, experience, driving style and terrain. On average, beginners are recommended to cadence 80-100 (110) rpm.

Now let’s figure out why we need gears on a bicycle in such an amount, because this is not a motorcycle or a car.?

In reality, experienced bikers ask you not to be intimidated by multi-speed cycling equipment, because as soon as you learn how to pedal correctly, then not everything will be involved in your work, for example, 27 speeds, but almost two less.

So how do you know how many bike speeds you have? It depends on the number of stars, on average, manufacturers like to produce 21-24 speeds, that is, when there are 3 gears on the front wheel and 7-8 gears in the rear.

How is the mechanism for gear shifting?

On a modern mountain bike, there is usually a system of 3 stars of different sizes in front, a group of stars, the so-called cassette, is also provided at the back, but there are more stars, from 6 to 10.

The system in front consists of:

  • A small star, which is responsible for climbing uphill at low speed, but gives a lot of thrust;
  • An average star, also called a marching or walking star. As a rule, the largest part of a cyclist’s path passes through it;
  • Large sprocket designed for driving on asphalt, flat surface. Wherever serious effort is not needed, it allows you to drive with great power at high speeds.

The set of stars placed at the back has the same logic, only the size goes the other way around, from the largest, which is closer to the frame, to the smallest outer.

Gear shifting is assisted by mechanisms on the handlebars called shifters or shifters. Most of the shifters have a trigger shift mechanism, some hybrid bikes are equipped with shifters like a rotation handle, but more advanced ones have a shifter combined with a brake lever.

Trigger shifters are controlled using levers, and grip-shift is a turning method, this is in more advanced bikes. There are two levers for each shifter, for downshifts and upshifts. The trigger mechanism is as follows. the voltage from the shifters is transmitted through a cable to the switches that are installed on the wheels. The rear group of stars changes the position of the chain on the stars using the rear derailleur, for the front system there is a derailleur at the front.

The shifters can have dials that show which gear you are currently in. In some models, the dials are replaced by a mini-display. Novice cyclists often look at shifters, and experienced cyclists, by the way the pedals move, feel in which gear they are currently riding.

Please note that if you have two switches on your wheels, front and rear, then there are also two shifters on the steering wheel. If you have 3 stars in the front system, and 8 stars on the rear, then on the shifter, which is responsible for shifting gears in the front, there will be three divisions, for the rear mechanism, respectively, 8 divisions!

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How to use the switch correctly?

To avoid increased wear on the cassette on the rear wheel, chainrings on the front wheel, chain breakage and not damage the gearshift system of your bike as a whole, you need to know a few basic rules for shifting gears. So:

When changing speeds on a bicycle, you should not allow maximum chain skew, for example, such a position as in front of 1.back 8, and vice versa is unacceptable.

Please note that the stars are numbered from the frame!

Using the example of a 24 (38) high-speed transmission, we will show how to combine gears:

The lightest gear is when the stars are in the 1-1 position. In the process of riding, you should strive for a larger number, increase power and speed, but do not resort to the maximum increase in movement often, as this is an additional load on both the transmission mechanism and the joints of the legs.

The main guideline is that pedaling should not be difficult for you, but also not very easy, the effort should be comfortable.

Experienced bikers advise: the difference between the speeds should not be more than 4!

When you decide to change gears, especially for chainrings, you should definitely reduce your effort a little and not push hard on the pedals. Why? The fact is that the front group of stars works with the upper part of the chain, which at the moment of movement experiences maximum tension, therefore it can break if you change the position of the speeds without stopping to pedal with effort.

Switch should only be done when you are on the move.!

Need to switch multiple speeds at once? Do it in stages, don’t skip.

Also, when shifting, you need to squeeze the lever of the shifter as much as possible, which is responsible for the front group of stars.

How do you know if you did everything right? A great way to find out if you’ve learned how to shift gears right. listen to it, if the chain has laid down correctly, then you will not hear any extraneous sounds in the form of clanging or cracking. of course, provided that you have the chain in proper condition, it is lubricated, not old, and so on. The only thing that a cyclist can catch. so it’s a little click.

How to catch and feel the moment when you need to change gears on your bike? An important condition for this. learn to focus on your own feelings, if you don’t have enough strength and you started to pedal idle, then it’s time to switch to the next speed.

So, when the answer to the question of how to change gears on a bicycle has become clear, you need to get as much of your own experience as possible in order to begin to feel the moment when and how you need to change gear. To do this, ride in different conditions, for example, on the highway, go up and down the mountain, feel how the revolutions of each wheel change with changing speeds on the bike. Exclusively in this way, you will run over your experience with the bike transmission, learn how to pedal with the optimal cadence for you.

Cables and shirts

This problem most often occurs among novice cyclists. It is enough to click the shifter or even remove the cable from the shirt and inspect it for contamination. In addition, the cable can be unwound somewhere, which will significantly affect the shifting.

Bent cock

It sometimes happens that a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur doesn’t work well despite fresh cables and shirts. The reason may be that during transportation, the bicycle is clamped somewhere, and the cock bent slightly. If you cannot achieve a clear gear change, then remove the cock and put it on the table.

If it is a little crooked, then you need to bend it. Do not overdo it, aluminum can give microcracks. How exactly to bend it. I will not advise. I do it in an artisanal way. I put it on the bike and pull it with my hands. Ideally, you need to edit with a special typewriter, which even takes into account the asymmetry of the dropouts.

What does it all depend on and what to do

Starter bikes are equipped with the cheapest transmission, and the gears are poorly shifted and jammed. An experienced cyclist will quickly be able to determine the level of the drivetrain. The point is that its disordered work is not always associated with the class, but more depends on the setting and state. Let’s try to list most of the factors causing such problems.

It must be understood that the speed changes only when the chain moves forward. If you jerked the shifter, then you need to rotate the pedal so that the chain spreads from one star to another. If, when switching, clicking or any other extraneous sounds are emitted, you need to adjust the switching.

The main reasons for inaccurate switching:

  • The transfer cable is torn, stretched, or is on the verge of breaking.
  • The switch itself is broken or the spring in it is worn out.
  • The teeth of the rollers are worn down.
  • Switch needs to be adjusted.
  • The chain or cassette is worn out.
  • A lot of dirt got into the chain.

Rear derailleur play

Move the rear derailleur towards you and away from you, keeping where the cable goes. Ideally, there should be no backlash at all, but a small free play does not represent anything criminal, especially on the initial transmission groups.

During operation, this backlash tends to increase, and then delays in switching, fuzziness, etc. begin. If everything is in order with the cables and the rooster, then with fine tuning you can overcome the negative effect of backlash.

To prevent damage, you need to be able to switch gears correctly.

Cycling does not switch gears

Transmission components should be kept in good condition at all times, lubricating the chain promptly, adjusting switches and troubleshooting. As the kilometers increase on the bike, individual parts wear out, and if maintenance is not performed on time, the part may become unusable altogether. In this article, we will look at the most common problem associated with speed derailleurs.

Deformed rear derailleur bracket

There are times when a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur malfunctions despite new cables and shirts. The reason may be that the bike was caught somewhere during transport, and the bracket bent a little. If it is not possible to establish a clear gear shifting, then it is worth removing the cock and putting it on the table. Crooked? You need to fix it. But it is important not to overdo it as aluminum cracks.