How to shift gears on a bike 24

Introduction to mechanisms and terminology

Since bikes came with more than one sprocket front and rear, they were commonly referred to as the number of gear combinations offered. For example, a road bike with two chainrings and a five-speed freewheel at the rear was “10-speed” because the five rear sprockets could be matched to either of the two chainrings. (2 × 5 = 10, that’s simple math.)

But once you learn more about transmission, you realize that this is a really convoluted way of describing things. So, first, let’s understand the terminology:

The front sprockets attached to the connecting rod are called sprockets. If you have two sprockets (large and small), this is called a “double” setup. If you have three stars (large, medium and small), you have a triple setup.

The gear cluster on the rear wheel is an overrunning clutch or cassette. If your bike has five gears in the rear, it probably has a freewheel If your bike has eight to ten gears in the rear, it has a cassette Each ring on the cassette is referred to as a cog (There is no difference between a freewheel and a cassette in this article, so don’t worry about it.)

This article will take a modern mountain bike with three chainrings and an 8-speed cassette as an example. Some people would call it 24-speed, but most avid cyclists and bike mechanics just call it 8-speed. ”

Basic principles of gear selection

You are now familiar with the basics of how derailleurs and derailleurs work, so let’s move on to gear selection.

Most importantly, there is no such thing as “correct” gear. The choice of gear depends on many factors, not least comfort. In fact, transmission is personal preference. so you and your friends are likely to be driving in different gears even if you are driving at the same speed on the same road.

However, one thing to consider is your cadence cadence. this is another word for cadence (basically, the speed at which your feet rotate in a circle). It is measured in revolutions per minute, or “revolutions per minute”.

Cadence is important because it directly affects your comfort level. Slow pedaling usually means that you are using a gear that is too hard and your leg muscles tire quickly. It can also hurt your knees. A good rule of thumb is to keep your cadence high enough, typically in the 75-90 RPM range. (Here’s how to count your cadence.)

But aside from comfort and cadence, the middle of your gear range is a good starting point. Let’s say you’re starting out on a flat road at an easy to moderate pace (on a “24-speed” bike). You should be in the middle ring (2) in the front and about the fourth largest gear train (4) in the back.

(A good moderate transmission is shown on the left.)

To make small changes to your speed, you will need to shift the rear derailleur. If you need to move a little faster, switch to a smaller gear (5, 6, or 7.) If you want to slow down, switch to a larger gear (1, 2 or 3.)

But if you come out on a steep climb or a long descent, you will need to make a big jump in your gear. So instead of flipping the rear derailleur, you flip the front derailleur first.

Cross chain

Crossed Chain is the term for being in one of the following gear combinations:

LARGE / LARGE: Largest cassette tooth (lightest gear) and largest star ring (hardest gear))

SMALL / SMALL: Smallest tooth in the cassette (hardest gear) and smallest chain link (lightest gear)

In these positions, the chain stretches at an angle that can damage the transmission over time. In addition, the chain may slip or cause the front derailleur to make noise and malfunction.

How to shift gears on a bike

Effective and efficient gear shifting techniques

Okay, here’s the most important thing to remember when riding any bike: THERE IS NO PERFECT GEAR! SHIFT!

Very often we see people putting too much energy into their pedals when they climb a steep incline in a large chain ring, or swing their legs when they are spinning in a gear that is too easy for the descent they are riding. ride time. keep your cadence as constant as possible (the speed at which your pedals make a full revolution)! This requires one of two things: shifting gears or increasing power output. The problem with power output is that unless you’re Wonder Woman, you have a limited supply of power. We recommend changing gears frequently to improve efficiency while riding.

Liv’s Tip: Start shifting into lighter gears with your right hand early to maintain a steady cadence. Remember, your right hand is for small terrain changes. If you find that your pedaling speed is slowing down dramatically, you may need to use the front derailleur (left hand) to make it easier to shift gears for the big climb ahead. But if you’re already uphill and putting out a lot of power to the pedals, you might notice that your front derailleur doesn’t want to work! You will move, you will hear a grinding noise, but nothing will happen and you will most likely stop in the middle of a hill.

Instead of chafing these gears, you will need to apply a little more power to the pedal travel right before shifting, and then ease the pedal travel when shifting. With less pressure on your chain, it will be easier for your derailleur to remove your chain from the larger ring to the smaller one.!

Choosing the right chainring

Although the gear range of the transmission depends on the choice of cassette, you can shift up and down depending on the size of the chainring. The smaller the chainring, the easier it is to lift in the lowest gear; the larger the chainring, the faster you can go in the highest gear. You can calculate the gear ratio by dividing the chainring teeth by the gear teeth on the cassette. For clarification, we will use the following example.

Let’s say you have a Shimano XT 11-46 cassette and a 32T chainring. In this configuration, the lowest gear has a gear ratio of 32/46 = 0.696 and the highest gear has a gear ratio of 32/11 = 2.909. The SRAM 10-42 cassette has a very similar gear range, but with a sprocket of 32 teeth, the lowest gear has a gear ratio of 32/42 = 0.762 and the highest gear has a gear ratio of 32/10 = 3.200. If you had to upgrade to a 30 tooth star. On a SRAM drivetrain, you would achieve gear ratios similar to Shimano XT: 30/42 = 0.714 and 30/10 = 3,000.

We have compiled a diagram comparing the gear ratios of three common transmissions with the following gear levels:

SRAM Eagle 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42-50
SRAM 1 × 11 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28.32-36-42
Shimano 1 × 11 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-37-46

Cassette Sprocket Lowest gear Highest gear
SRAM Eagle 1 × 12 (10-50)thirty0.6003.000
SRAM 1 × 11 (10-42)280.6672,800
Shimano XT 1 × 11 (11-46)thirty0.6522.727

Once you understand the basic principles, you can easily compare gear ranges and ratios of different transmissions. If you switch from a 1X11 SRAM drivetrain with a 32T sprocket. On an Eagle drivetrain, you will know to fit a 38T sprocket. For an equally easy lift. The same applies when you upgrade to the new XTR 12-speed drivetrain, as its 10-51 cassette is very similar to SRAM’s Eagle drivetrain. If you had to switch to a Shimano 1 × 11 drivetrain with a 34T chainring, the lower gear will be a little easier than before, or a little harder than before with a 36T chainring. The same obviously applies to the largest equipment available.

What does all of this mean ?!

Terminology is one of the hardest things to learn to switch Low / High, Large / Small, Light / Hard, Fast / Slow, Front / Rear, One by One, Twice, Three for if your head is already spinning you can brush up on the following dictionary words:

Low Gear = Easy = Good for Climbing: The “low” gear on your bike is the smallest chain ring in the front and the largest gear on your cassette (reverse gears). This is the easiest position to pedal and you will be able to pedal uphill with minimal resistance. Getting into this position is called “downshifting”.

High Gear = Hard = Good for Descending: The “highest” gear on your bike is the largest chain ring at the front and the smallest gear on your cassette (reverse gears). This position will be the hardest to pedal and will allow you to accelerate downhill. To get into this position, it is called “upshifting”.

_- Speed ​​Bike: When you were a kid, you probably bragged to your friends about the number of “speeds” of your bike. Whether it’s 7, 18, 21, etc., what you meant was the number of gears on your bike. You can determine this number by multiplying the number of teeth in the cassette (rear gears) by the number of chain links (front gears) on your bike. For example, if your bike has two chain rings and 11 teeth in the cassette, then you have a 21-speed bike. However, in today’s bicycle industry, expensive adult bikes are rarely referred to this way because, in fact, bigger doesn’t always mean better. on this below.!

One, Two, Three-Po: The number of chain links (front gears) on your bike determines whether your drivetrain (gear system) will be referred to as “alternating,” “two,” or “three-deck.” The current trend in the bicycle industry is to strive to produce the same gear range with fewer chain links. The result is a larger cassette (rear gears) that has more teeth and often more teeth on the largest gear train in the cassette. What for? Because, as a rule, fewer chain rings make the bike more efficient, lighter, and easier to operate and adjust. For this reason, you will often see single drivetrains on high-end mountain bikes and dual drivetrains on high-end road bikes.

How to properly shift gears on a bike

Hello to all my readers. New video How to shift gears on a bike.

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Be sure to watch this great video How to Shift Gears on a Bicycle

Important points

You were unable to change the speed if extraneous sounds are heard after switching. Please try again following all the above rules.

Remember that shifting gears correctly will make your ride more comfortable and less physically demanding, and will also extend the life of your bike.

How to properly shift gears on a bike?

Most modern bicycles are equipped with a multi-speed gearbox, which makes them versatile and very comfortable. This allows you to increase, if necessary, the speed of movement or, if desired, increase the load on a particular muscle group. Well, when cycling in mountainous terrain or poor road surface, the gearbox is generally irreplaceable. It can make lifting and moving much easier.

However, despite the convenience, there are pitfalls here. And inexperienced, novice cyclists have encountered them more than once. If for professionals or experienced cyclists, gear shifting is not difficult (it is done automatically), then beginners have problems with this. And since the transmission of many modern bicycles is a rather complex mechanism, it is quite easy to damage it.

26 inch Alpine Men’s Mountain Bike | Huffy

Of course, if you have many years of experience, then it will save you from annoying mistakes and breakdowns. But it is not worth giving up a good bike due to lack of necessary knowledge. It is enough to familiarize yourself with the useful information that we generously share with you. And then. follow these simple rules.

Rule 1: Avoid shifting gears while stopping. This can cause the chain to fly off. Only in a dynamic position, when you are driving, the sprocket will move freely down or up.

Rule 2: Shift gears firmly, but smoothly, like clockwork. Do not pedal hard if you feel noticeable resistance. This will only damage the chain or knock out the tuning. Correct shifting is light and smooth. You should feel a pliable pedal movement and chain movement.

Rule 3: As with a static position, avoid shifting the pedals on uphills. Let experienced, professional cyclists do it. Shift gears before going up.

Rule 4: Gear shifting should be phased, sequential. Do not try to switch multiple speeds at the same time. Just one by one.

Rule 5: Avoid gross misalignment of the chain. The front and rear wheel speeds should be approximately the same. Well, if there is a difference, then let it be insignificant.

Briefly. about drives

Three chainrings and eight chainrings are the most common and most popular drive. When driving on a flat surface in calm weather, use a large chainring. It is combined with large rear sprockets (8-4).

Strong wind, bad road surface, traffic jams, dirt. all this is served by the middle chainring in combination with reverse gears. This allows you to easily navigate uneven surfaces and deftly avoid obstacles.

Everyone, who has ever ridden a bicycle, knows what an effort it takes to climb a mountain, move on mud, sand or tall grass. In this case, the small front chainring will greatly facilitate the task. Its use in conjunction with small rear (1-5) is the best solution for overcoming such terrain.

Universal rules

But there are also some more universal rules. For example, the important rule of optimal cadence. Its essence lies in the fact that a cyclist must perform 70-100 pedaling rotations per minute.

Do not be afraid to experiment with the transmission, but try not to get hung up on pedaling, not to be distracted from the road. At first, you risk getting into an accident, and Secondly, do not allow your brain to bring actions to automaticity. Trust me, with experience, you will automatically switch gears.

And of course, do not forget about caring for an iron friend. Lubricated chains, whole cables, cleanliness of all mechanisms are a prerequisite for a comfortable, safe ride. Have a nice trip!

Why randomly switch gears

The reason for this phenomenon may be the condition of the cable that passes under the carriage of the bicycle frame. When pedaling, the frame flexes in different directions under load. These deformations affect the tension or loosening of the cable with each subsequent revolution of the pedals.

If, nevertheless, the above methods cannot help, then more drastic measures must be taken. For example, to make the movements of the cable predictable and correct, you can install additional rollers along which the cable will pass. This will help fix the problem.


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 well-groomed 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, thick grass. Spins optimally with rear sprockets 1 to 3.

Assignment of the speed switch

Shifting gears while driving is essential for maximum comfort and energy savings. You can choose the mode that suits your specific conditions. It is necessary to change gears if:

  • You change the track. For example, start off-road driving from flat asphalt;
  • You are changing the way you ride. If you are accelerating or accelerating, want to slow down smoothly or not spend a lot of energy climbing uphill, you cannot do without a speed switch on your bike;
  • You maintain a certain pace of the ride. The speed switch helps the rider maintain a certain speed limit. This is especially true when traveling long distances, as well as competitions;
  • You ride in difficult weather conditions. Strong headwind or tailwind, slippery track. all this affects the quality of the bike ride;
  • You use your bike as an effective cardio workout. To improve your physical fitness, you can use your usual bike as an exercise machine. You will expend more energy during your workout using the speed selector.

The speed switch, or derailer by another name, appeared in 1950 thanks to the Italian cyclist Tullio Campagnolo. The mechanism is a system of stars (front “system” and rear “cassette”), to which the chain is directed by shifting gears. During shifting, the chain is shifted sideways to the desired sprocket. The front system usually has no more than three stars. The cassette is up to 10 stars.

Shifting between gears occurs when you select the desired speed mode using the handle on the steering wheel. It’s called a shifter. There are usually two such handlebars on the steering wheel, a front and a rear. The cables are connected to the shifters, which change the type of cycling.

Setting the chain hop limits and quality on the front derailleur

The next part of tweaking the transmission is adjusting the front derailleur. The work includes debugging the accuracy of the chain travel limits using the H and L-screws, as well as the speed of the chain transition when gears are engaged.

If it was correct to start from the rear with the high gear limiter, then here first the position of the roller is adjusted from the side of the lower gears:

  • The chain is transferred to the “lower front, higher back” position.
  • The cable is detached from the derailleur.
  • By turning screw L, the minimum possible distance of the chain from the inner frame is achieved.
  • The cable is put on and pulled by the drum adjuster.

Setting the correct limiting with screw H differs from the L-setting by the reverse position of the chain on the stars (smallest in front and largest at the back) and the approach of the chain to the outer frame of the derailleur.

How to Adjust the Accuracy and Response Speed ​​of the Front Derailer:

  • We turn on the top gear from the front.
  • We consistently transfer to lower gears.
  • We tighten the cable if the chain is tight and slow.
  • We reach the lowest star and switch in reverse order.
  • We loosen the tension by turning the drum if the chain does not go to higher gears.

Tightening and loosening the cable with the drum adjuster

When tuning, it is necessary to achieve fast operation of the switch on all stars. Initial position of the chain at the rear: when checking for insufficient tension, the smallest sprocket, and for excessive tension, the largest sprocket.

It is on this simple principle that the front and rear parts of the transmission are debugged. Quality parts such as shimano rarely need adjustments and last a long time afterwards. In any case, it is quite possible to fix the imbalance problem with your own hands without going to the workshop.

Another look at this topic:

Seized bicycle chain links. It may happen that when cycling, you regularly feel that the pedals slip or jerk every three or four revolutions. This suggests that there may be links in your bike chain that are tight and not bend well. Most often this happens.

Bicycle chain skipping. Chain overshoot causes one of two unrelated phenomena. direct overshoot and spontaneous gear changes. The main thing to solve the problem is to determine what exactly comes from the two cases.

Mountain bike step. On mountain bikes, 24 gears are common. Chainring system with 42, 32 and 22 teeth and cassette with 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 26 and 30 teeth. Such a system with a cassette as an example and consider.

shift, gears, bike

Gear shifting on a bike. 1. Option. Matching transmission sprockets when driving through mud, sand, loose ground, tall grass, rocks and when climbing a mountain. using the smallest chainring with the largest rear sprockets.

Bicycle gear selection. Experienced cyclists often give advice on how to choose gears on a bike, depending on the riding conditions. For example, in a city it is recommended to choose a ratio of 1.6. Where does this number come from.

Drive sprocket switch adjustment

Over time, the chain flip worsens, the gears shift poorly, or even fail altogether. Since there are few stars in front, it is simply impossible not to notice the malfunction.

If the problem of a tight jump of the chain or its absence is caused only by a detuned switch, then it is quite possible to save the situation on your own. Why is the switch not working properly? The main reasons include:

  • mismatch of the gear with the planes of the stars;
  • poor tension in the drive cable;
  • the switch is loose.

As practice shows, these problems do not come one at a time, so you will have to adjust everything at once, and not just, say, the tension of the cable.

At the first stage, we wipe the body of the device, as well as the sprockets and the chain from adhering dirt and dust. We check the mounting bolts of the switching device housing, tighten it all the way if necessary

Important: tweaking a loose switch does not make sense!

Next, we find the screws “L” and “H”. adjusters of the position of the shifting gear. We loosen them, but do not unscrew them completely. Our task is to tighten them in such a way as to achieve the coincidence of the gear with the planes of the outer stars.

  • Switch the chain to position “1” at the front and “maximum” at the rear. If the system works very badly, the chain is installed manually.
  • Tighten the adjusting screw to achieve full alignment of the shifter gear with the plane of the first chainring. Deviation up to 1.5 mm is not critical.
  • Loosen the cable fastening nut, tighten it a little.

Front derailleur H setting:

  • Set the chains in reverse position: “maximum” in front, “1”. behind. For system 38, this will be “3” and “1”, respectively.
  • Tighten screw H until the shifter aligns with the large sprocket.
  • Tighten the cable in this position.

From top to bottom: cable fixing bolt, L and H adjusters

When the limits are set, the chain swap should recover.

If the screws are clearly set, and the system does not work well, we try to tighten or loosen the cable. How to determine? Gears go tight from high to low. tighten, on the contrary. loosen the tension

Operation: how to adjust the reverse speeds on any type of bike

Before starting the process of adjusting the rear derailleur, you should familiarize yourself with its configuration. The standard module has five adjustment elements:

  • nut securing the cable;
  • cable tension drum;
  • limit screw for the lowest gear (Low);
  • limit screw for the highest gear (High);
  • chain tension screw.

The method “how to adjust the reverse speeds on a bicycle” consists of three stages.

Configuring Limiters

Performed, as a rule, once. when installing a new derailleur and in order to prevent the chain from jumping off on the outer stars of the cassette. The sequence of actions is as follows:

  • the largest star is installed in front, the smallest one at the back;
  • the cable is released;
  • adjustment is performed by turning the screw H clockwise or counterclockwise (the frame of the dereiler moves, respectively, to the spokes or to the frame feather) until the rollers with the smallest cassette star lie in the same plane;
  • after that, the cable is pulled and fastened, the switch is transferred to the largest star in the back and the smallest in the front;
  • by turning the screw L, they achieve a similar position of the rollers in relation to the sprocket.

Gear shift

In fact, at the time of gear shifting, the chain from some stars is transferred to others. Adjustment of gear shifting on a bicycle is done with the help of handles on the handlebars, called shifters. Usually the left stick is responsible for controlling the 3 front gears, and the right one for the stars in the rear cassette.

Correct use of each switch:

  • Star. used during high climbs, when traveling on sticky soil and loose sand, in gusty winds or in conditions of dense grass. The presence of resistance to traffic: large stars from 1 to 3 are used on the rear cassette. This combination will give the maximum degree of power.
  • The star is needed when driving on asphalt, unpaved roadway, dense sand and on small slides. Rear stars with a number from 2 to 6.
  • Star. used on smooth roads and asphalt, when there is no gusty wind, during descent and to maintain speed at low physical loads. The combination of chainring and chainring will give excellent speed.

In addition, for the correct speed change on a bicycle, there are several nuances to be learned.

Mechanism: pros and cons

Positive aspects of external switches:

  • Simple construction.
  • Little weight.
  • Democratic cost.
  • Large number of gears.

Negative sides of external switches:

  • Bad influence of negative factors from the outside.
  • Maintenance needs to be adjusted regularly.
  • There is a risk of breakage if dropped.

If you analyze the gear shifting on a bicycle, 24 speeds and 18 speeds are no different, just in the first case you can go faster.

Change Gear Like A Pro | How To Change Gear On A Mountain Bike

Changing speeds

Tips from Cycling Experts and Experts:

  • Cannot adjust speeds when the bike is stationary.
  • The gear change should take place without noise. When a sharp grinding is heard, the wrong gear ratio is selected or the chain “slid”.
  • You should change the position of the handle in advance, before starting the maneuver, whether it is a descent or an ascent.
  • It is not necessary to adjust the front and rear indicators. the chain sometimes wedges.

With these principles of gear shifting on a bike, by constantly monitoring chain position and leaving derailleurs in a spotlessly clean state, your vehicle will stay on track for a long time.

Bicycle gearshift mechanism and its criteria

Learning how to properly switch speeds on a bicycle is very simple. just understand the algorithm. The gears are designed for the convenience of the cyclist, with their help you can save energy by choosing a comfortable riding mode with respect to:

  • Road surface relief.
  • Quality of the road.
  • Set travel speed.
  • Weather.
  • Driver’s physical condition.

Correct operation allows you to get from point A to point B faster and more economically than when traveling by transport without speeds. By choosing the right gears, the life of the bike is extended. This also works in the other direction. if the gears are used incorrectly, the period will decrease.

If the gearshift mechanism on the bike is not working properly, the knees are under severe stress.

Important nuances

With experience, the cyclist will intuitively feel how to switch speeds on a 21.7-speed bike. To understand how to set up gear shifting on a bicycle (21 speeds), you should look at the diagram.

You need to adjust the handles carefully at first, and after understanding how shifting works on a bicycle, a quick correction is achieved with practice.

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