How To Ride A Bike At Speeds

Gear shifting during ascent

If you understand that you are changing gears as needed, it means that you have already missed the optimal moment to change. This means that you will NOT keep the desired 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. Shifting from the rear to a comfortable sprocket and working with 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 adjust the gear using the rear derailleur!

How to ride a bike at speeds

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 on the topic. Found several articles. I bring to your attention the most useful theses of them.

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 the mountainous terrain, one had to adapt to the terrain conditions: while riding down a hill, 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 goes uphill until the moment he can pedal. Then he gets off the bike and proudly walks next to the summit to continue the journey down again.

In modern bicycles, there are two sets of gears. front (driving 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 will not be able to switch, and even break the gearshift mechanisms or break the chain (this to a large extent depends on the quality level of the bicycle components). The front derailleurs are especially hard.

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. Tracking sprockets 8 to 4 are usually used with this sprocket. Although in sports riding 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 from 6th to 2nd (which does NOT exclude the use of the entire set of rear sprockets). On these programs it is convenient 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) wrong. universes of bicycle chains are parallel, left (green) right!

How to set up speed switches. Gear shifting mechanism

The classic bike is equipped with two or three stars in the front transmission and 8-10 stars in the rear. The sprockets of the front compartment are calculated in the direction of increasing the teeth, the rear transmission. the size of the sprockets is reduced.

For example how to shift gears on a bike with a 3-8 star drivetrain:

    The large sprocket of the front transmission is used when riding on well-rolled asphalt or unpaved surfaces, without headwinds or other obstacles.

The large sprocket is combined with 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 chainrings of the transmission system. Sports skiing is NOT taken into account, there may be different combinations.

The front sprocket located in the middle of the transmission is used when driving on unpaved surfaces, poorly paved roads, loose sand.

Combines the middle sprocket with a 6-2 rear transmission, but complex use is not excluded. The installed different gears are convenient when traveling in densely crowded streets. The transmission to the middle star is established even with a strong headwind.

The small sprocket of the front transmission is used in combination with the rear ones from 5 to 1 stars.

Long transfer level is used when driving on steep slopes, riding in swamps, sand, in dense thickets of grass.

How the speed switch works

To learn how to switch gears, you need to understand a little about the structure of the gear shifter. It consists of steel gears of different diameters. They are called stars. The stars are collected in blocks. The unit closer to the front wheel is called the “system”, the unit closer to the rear wheel is called the “cassette”. The chain is stretched over the stars.

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On the steering wheel (left and right) there is a device for switching speeds. It is called “shifters”. You change the speed, i.e. you turn the shifter. the chain shifts to the star you need.

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The “cassette” or rear block is responsible for the bottom part of the chain. It is controlled by the right shifter. The “system” or front block is responsible for the top of the chain. It is controlled by the left shifter.

Speed ​​switch

You can switch levels in the star transmission mechanism only when the motorcycle is moving. Only the planetary system allows passive switching.

How to properly switch speeds on a bike:

  • It is optimal to switch with a relaxed or low load of the chain, in other cases Problems during switching are possible: breakage of the mechanism, damage to the chain or some other deformation of parts.
  • When entering a mountain surface, you should not increase the gears, the required speed mode must be adjusted before entering the mountain.

Only professional riders with a developed sense of the “feel of the bike” and the skills of shifting gears possess the technique of increasing speed when entering.

Without good skill, practitioners should not be switching to several gears at once, for beginners it is recommended to switch speeds in stages: only after a clear work of one speed can you switch to another.

Shifting depends not only on the professionalism of the cyclist, but also on the type, class and condition of the bike.

  • Always monitor the condition of the chain and avoid misalignment.
  • Types of speed switches

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


    It is convenient for each biker to ride with his own developed pedaling rhythm, at which the fastest gearbox of pedaling occurs.

    If the twisting frequency is less than the usual rhythm, then it will be a waste of energy.

    Incorrect cadence provokes injury to the limbs as a result of exceeding the load on muscle and articular fibers, therefore, when traveling, the state of comfort when pedaling is important.

    Pedaling in the same rhythm is recommended for any ride. Acceleration is done only with the gear selector.

    The same rhythm of twisting leads to less fatigue, therefore, increases the endurance of the rider and the ability to overcome obstacles.

    You should NOT start driving at high speeds, first you should warm up at low speeds and only then unwind to high.

    When choosing, it is better to stick to the middle. Poor road conditions reduce the ability to change gears.

    Bike specs are not always capable of quick chain shifting on star drivetrains.

    Riding with obstacles (wind pressure or climbing uphill) requires a reduction in the speed of the transmission.

    In this case, the pedaling speed increases and the transmission speed decreases.

    Skating on flat surfaces requires a 4: 1 speed support. When racing in high-speed gears up to 100 km / h, a combination of 8 to 1 or more is used.

    Simple muscular efforts may not be enough for such acceleration, so even professional cyclists use a 5 to 1 star gear and then increase their speed by pedaling.

    Many professional athletes avoid frequent shifting and when riding upwind, set the speed limit on the large rear sprocket and small chainring.

    How To Ride A Bike At Speeds

    Also, a professional when skating with obstacles can downshift to 2 to 1 and hold the High speed with the least effort.

    Small gears require frequent pedaling, up to 100 rpm.

    What is gear shifting for?

    Riding on a flat road, uphill or downhill require 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.


    If the device is unpacked and assembled, the method for adjusting the brakes has been completed, the algorithm on how to switch speeds on a Stealth bike is clear. you can ride. When moving, it is worth choosing the gear ratio correctly, excluding chain distortions:

    • Big star. Used when driving from slopes and no wind. Cooperates with rear set 5, 6, 7.
    • Medium asterisk. It is used when starting, moving along a flat road and a rolled intersection. Interacts with the rear block 3,4,5.
    • Small star. It is used when skiing on slopes, rough rough terrain, wetlands, viscous mud, sand, dense grass. Spins optimally with rear sprockets from first to third.

    Forming a skill: how to switch gears correctly using the example of a Stealth bike with 21 gears

    • Optimum crank speed ensures joint integrity.
    • Acceptable cadence is the key to effective muscle work.
    • Exemplary speed helps maintain plant life of components.

    You can learn and learn how to change gears correctly on a mountain bike only after mastering its high-speed design. So, on any Stels Navigator model the following are installed:

    • 3 stars in the front and 7 stars in the back.
    • Handlebar shifters.
    • Rear and front derailleurs, which are regular metal frames attached to the frame.
    • 2 cables linking the steering gears and frame spreaders.

    The process of regulating the position of the chain between the stars with the help of frames is called switching. It is carried out by working with the Shifter. The latter are of two types: trigger (with levers) and pin (rotate). They are installed on the steering wheel in two copies:

    • The left one is responsible for the operation of the front transmission.
    • The right moves the rear chain spreader.

    On the shifter, there are printed numbers showing the number of the current star. The asterisks are numbered from left to right. The shifting process itself consists in pressing or rotating the levers. When pressed (trigger shifters):

    • Upper Left Stick. Resets to smaller chainring in 3-1 sequence.
    • Lower Left Arm. Folds over to the large front sprocket (1-3).
    • Upper right handle. throws to parts with fewer teeth located at the back (1-7).
    • Lower Right Lever. Moves the rear frame towards the large stars (7-1).

    Switch in advance

    Switching speeds is possible only when there is no load on the pedals. When climbing up, overcoming unevenness or fast screwing in, the load is maximum, and it is too late to fold gears. This should always be taken care of in advance. For example, if you see a rise in front of you, then you need to switch at least a few meters before it. Otherwise, the mechanism may simply NOT work. In addition, there is the possibility of damage to the stars and breaking the chain. However, you can switch on the mountain. High quality equipment allows you to do this. But both with an expensive quality body kit and with the Simplest switch there is a way to switch on the mountain. It is enough to accelerate the bike until inertia appears, then loosen the pressure on the pedals and, while rotating the pedals while the bike is moving by inertia (or is at the balance point), change gear. In this case, switching will NOT cause difficulties.

    Switch device

    In order to properly use gear shifting, you need to understand how it works. The principle of operation of a bicycle transmission is based on the same gear ratios from school physics. This is how all manual transmissions work. For simplicity, if a small star turns a large one. this is a power low gear (i.e. you can go up a hill without effort), and if a large one turns a small one, then the opposite is true. It will be high speed gear or overdrive.

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    Accordingly, on a bicycle we have an open transmission. There are large stars in front (2-3 pieces in the standard case), and a cassette of 5-8 stars behind. It remains to throw the chain between them. For this, the gear selector is used (both front and rear derailleur).

    The movement of the chain through the blocks is provided by the front or rear derailleur, and the derailleur is connected to the levers on the bicycle handlebars (shifters). The right trigger usually adjusts to the front, the left trigger to the back. By combining different positions of the chain on the sprockets, the cyclist varies the speed of the bicycle, and with this, the gear ratio, and therefore the muscle effort required to obtain the result, changes. Shifting on the front block allows you to radically change gear ratios and quickly jump between the main modes. Moving around the cassette makes it possible to more accurately select the desired ratio.

    Switch on the go

    Shifting gears is possible only while the bike is moving. In a stationary state, the shifter will also work, but the position chain will NOT change. Then, after the start of the movement, there will be a sharp jump from one star to another. This can cause the chain to jump off or get stuck between the sprockets.

    Avoid distortions

    There is such a thing as prohibited transmissions. When changing the speed while riding, make sure that there are no strong distortions of the chain. If the front of the chain is on the outermost sprocket, and at the back. on the extreme inner (or vice versa), then, in addition to the likelihood of the chain slipping, there is a danger of its premature wear and damage to the mechanism. The more parallel it is in relation to the frame, the better. Optimal combinations of front and rear chain positions can be indicated as follows:

    • 3. large front. 4-8 back
    • 2. middle front. 3-6 back
    • 1. small front. 1-3 back.

    The best way to shift gears on a bike

    As already mentioned, gear changes can only be made with minimal pedal load.

    Therefore, the optimal speed switching scheme looks like this:

    • Pedaling hard, accelerating the bike.
    • Then stop pedaling. The moment when the bike is still moving by inertia at high speed without the assistance of a cyclist is optimal for gear shifting. If we are talking about grief, then you need to feel the balance point (although, if you have enough strength before acceleration to move by inertia, it’s even better).
    • At this moment, you need to click the shifter and hear the characteristic throwing of the chain.
    • After pressing, start pedaling again. at least until the moment, until I hear a click jumping to the adjacent chain star. If there were no clicks, or instead of it you hear the crackle of the chain hanging in an indefinite position, press a little on the same lever.Do not press it all the way. Continue pedaling while doing this. The chain will change position within a few seconds. However, the technique only works when we have direct thrust. Therefore, the focus will work only in those cases when the switching (and up or down) is provided by the tension of the cable. Otherwise there is little use. Then you can simply shift to the next gear, hear the shift and return the handle back. True, the chain can and will slip through the desired star. This happens on inexpensive, low-quality switches or on improperly configured hardware.

    If you are doing everything correctly, but gears are still difficult to shift, pay attention to the condition of the chain and sprockets. After each ride, they must be free of dirt and excess moisture. This is especially important when skiing in winter. The chain should be lubricated as often as possible. in the winter before each ride, in the summer once a week. The cause of switching problems may lie in the wear of the mechanism. If suddenly the chain starts to slide right over the teeth, then it’s time to change either the cassette or the corresponding star. Also, if the switch is already old, then the return springs could weaken and positioning could be lost. Such equipment will definitely not work to set up ideal work.

    9 tips for changing gears on your bike

    You’ve already noticed that spring is in full swing

    It’s NOT so hot yet to hide in the shade while sipping a mojito, and it’s NOT so cold to wrap yourself in a blanket, warming yourself with hotter drinks (I’m in tea, what did you think about?)

    Finally, the time has come when you can roll out your two-wheeled friend and drive blood through the body.

    In the article on contact pedaling, we casually touched on the correct gear shifting, so today I propose to consider it in more detail.

    The time when a bicycle had only one speed is long gone, and today’s bikes have a considerable number of them.

    Many are interested in the question of how to cope with all this stock of speeds?

    Outwardly, the question seems to be simple, there are special things (shifters) on the steering wheel that you know yourself, click and have fun.

    But if you dig deeper, it’s not that simple. To enjoy driving, it turns out, you need to know how to switch these things correctly.

    What does it mean right?

    Most modern bicycles have 3 stars in the front and 7 to 10 in the back. Seemingly switches them on its own and DO NOT give up with silly questions.

    But it turns out that there are such Mutual positions of the front and rear stars, which are extremely NOT desirable.

    Comments, this option is of course possible, but it first of all indicates the inexperience of the riders, and secondly, that soon he will have problems with the gearshift system itself.

    Why this is so, I will show with a simple example.

    Look at the picture and find the difference. Don’t you notice? I suggest.

    The figure shows a simplified diagram of the gearshift system (top view): the short black lines are our stars (front and rear), the red and green lines are our chain.

    It can be seen from the figure that in the variant with the position of the red chain (incorrect), the angle of its longitudinal bending is much greater than in the green (correct).

    This suggests that the red circuit is subjected to significantly higher loads than the green one, which means it will fail faster. At best, it will just fly off.

    In addition, increased lateral loads can damage both the chain box and the rear derailleur itself.

    I think the example is clear.

    Now let’s figure out what the correct chain position is and how to achieve it in different road situations in order to make the most of the shifting system.

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    Correct chain position and chainring

    We will make a start from the front stars, there are fewer of them and it is they who are responsible for the choice of the road situation.

    The smallest chainring is numbered 1, the next 2 and the largest 3 respectively (depending on the number of stars in the block).

    The largest sprocket (3) is designed for driving on a level road with good coverage

    The next (2) will be comfortable for driving on unpaved roads with bumps, small sandy areas, many bends, etc.

    The smallest one (1) is useful for off-road, steep climbs, driving through mud, sand, rocky and other not particularly flat sections of the path.

    But that’s not all. Each of the large stars corresponds to a set of rear.

    Rear sprockets are necessary for a more accurate adjustment to the road situation, and their numbering is directly opposite to the front.

    The largest star has number 1, and further, as the diameter decreases, 2, 3., how many of them we have.

    So, if the number of rear stars is divided by the number of front stars, we get for each of the front stars several corresponding rear.

    Example. We have a set of 3 front and 9 (for even counting) rear stars. Divide 9 by 3, we get 3. This means that each chainring corresponds to 3 rear.

    Moving along a straight, flat asphalt road, turn on the 3 front chainring, which means (remember in the correct position of the chain) that it corresponds to 9, 8, and 7 rear.

    We go to the dirt road from the pothole from the wheels of the transport, switches to 2 front, which correspond to 6, 5, and 4 rear stars.

    We go down the mountain paths with a steep ascent, switch to 1 front, which corresponds to 3, 2 and 1 rear stars.

    This is of course ideal, in reality you can add one more to the set of three rear ones on each side:

    3 front. 9, 8, 7, 6;

    2 front. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3;

    1 front. 4, 3, 2, 1.

    It may be difficult to remember the first time, but as you gain experience, this is introduced into the subconscious and brought to automatism.

    So, we figured out the correct position of the chain and the ratio of the stars. Now let’s discuss the question of when to change gears.

    When to change gears

    I’ll start with what you need to remember: When getting on the bike, select the middle chainring (2) and start pedaling (pedaling).

    I will explain. In order to reduce the load on the knees at the start.

    The bike Was stationary and requires some effort to accelerate.

    On a large star, this effort may be too great, on a small star, it may not be enough to maintain balance.

    As the acceleration progresses, I select the most suitable rear sprocket for torsion (remember what cadence is).

    If the road surface and the site allows, smoothly switches the stars to the maximum, corresponding to the average chainring (in our example, in the 7th) and only after that we switch to the large chainring (3).

    Shifting before lifting

    If the quality of the road decreases (bumps, bumps, sand), smoothly switches the stars to the minimum corresponding star (in our example, in the 3rd) and only after that we switch to the small forward star (1).

    As soon as the traffic situation begins to return to the original (flat area), we also smoothly return back to the middle chainring and then to the large.

    The working chainring is medium! We start with her, and end with her.

    How to change gears

    Finally, we got to the last, but no less important question. how to change gears.

    How not in the sense of where to press and what turns, but in the sense of how to switch correctly so as not to break the wood.

    As we said above, all switches should be smooth, without jerking and trying to jump over a star (if there are two).

    Wait for the moment of inclusion of the selected gear, and only then switch to the next.

    All switching needs to be done only in motion: standing still, it still will NOT work.

    Shift before descent

    No unnecessary stress on the pedals during shifting is not required: break the chain. Reached the required speed. temporarily removed the effort from the pedals (it is enough to simply accompany them). changed the gear. continued pedaling.

    Knowing and following these simple rules, we will greatly improve the quality of bike handling, save our own health and extend the life of a two-wheeled second.

    Speaking about extending the life of a bicycle, it is worth remembering about timely maintenance, but we will leave this for a separate article. In order not to miss it, I recommend subscribing to blog updates.

    And finally, 9 useful tips:

    • It is worth thinking about which gear to choose in advance, and not waiting for the moment when it will be too late;
    • Do not forget in the front derailleur: first switches the front, then the rear stars;
    • Trying to maintain an even cadence (cadence)
    • Before lifting, we switch to the small chainring in advance, then it may not work;
    • If the speed is chosen incorrectly on the rise. Wait for a more or less level area to switch, and do not break the chain;
    • We carry out all switching without unnecessary load on the pedals;
    • When driving on astringent soil, we switch to a higher gear. less likely to get stuck;
    • To rush into gearshifts is to endanger the gearchanging system. Smoothness is the key to success.
    • Before descending, we select the required gear in advance, then there may not be time for this, because you will have to follow the road and the brakes.

    What are the transfers for?

    The larger the sprocket at the back, the lower the speed of the bike, but the less effort it takes to twist. Low gear is ideal for uphill climbing, sandy, uneven ground or snow. The wheel moves slowly, but with great force. Accordingly, if the building is in mud, this is the ideal ratio.

    High gear provides a quick set of speed, but at the same time requires great physical effort from the cyclist. It is good for high-speed movement on roads with a smooth surface, as well as for driving downhill.

    As a rule, in each situation the most convenient gear ratio is selected over time. Experienced cyclists don’t even think about it, they switch gears automatically. A beginner needs to set everything empirically, because the speed of the bike will depend not only on the gears, but also on the physical condition of the rider. As we said earlier. to ride in one gear. Having a high-speed bike is very bad. At least, the cassette is erased faster, and then a bike with speeds is not needed. But first of all, this demonstrates the Inability to use the technique.