How to switch gears on a bike

Optimal cycling gear range

Depending on the training of the cyclist or the terrain on which the bike rides, you use a certain set of ratios of front and rear sprockets, which leads to their accelerated wear.

If you never include at least 50% of the speeds on your bike, it is worth thinking about optimizing not only their number, but also the gear ratio. For example, your bike has 22/32/42 chainrings and a 12–32 cassette at the back.

In this case, you most often include gears 22 and 32 in front, and only middle sprockets at the back. In this case, consider changing the cassette to a model with fewer teeth on the large side. For example, modification 11-28 or 11-25.

In this case, instead of 3 sprockets at the back, you will use at least 5-6, because the load between adjacent gears will not be as noticeable as on version 11-32.

The same can be done with chainrings, but in addition to reducing their size, you can reduce the number of speeds by removing 1 or even 2 stars.

In addition to optimizing the load and more rational use of transmission parts, you will slightly reduce the weight of the bike;).

In the case of a lack of low gears, it is worth installing a set of rear sprockets with an increased number of teeth on the larger side or reducing the size of the chainrings.

Types of speed switches

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

Bicycle Speed ​​Shifter

A bicycle drivetrain is perhaps one of the most complex mechanical parts.

And of course the most important one, because it is he who sets the bike in motion, transmitting the efforts of the legs through the pedals, cranks, sprockets and the chain to the rear wheel.

  • single speed
  • multi-speed

With the first point, everything is simple, we have a classic composition of elements: a front rear sprocket, and a chain between them. The size of the gears (the number of teeth) will determine the ratio with which the efforts of your legs are converted to transfer them to the rear wheel.

Often, manufacturers use average values ​​to make the cyclist on a single-speed bike feel confident on level areas, he had enough strength to conquer a slight rise and accelerate a little off the slope.

If the ratio does not suit him, you can increase or decrease the number of teeth on one of the sprockets, thereby ensuring the optimal load.

Multi-speed transmissions feature a much wider gear range available to the rider in one or more finger motions. The choice of speeds makes it possible to make the ride more dynamic, faster and more interesting.

But what is there, high-speed bicycles allow you to ride where it is difficult to climb on foot, as well as accelerate almost like a car (albeit for a short period of time).

Speed ​​bicycles are much more complex and require special training to handle.

Consider the composition of the transmission on a bicycle with speeds: chainrings, front derailleur, chain, rear stars, rear derailleur, and most importantly, the bike’s gear shift knobs.

In addition, it is worth mentioning such tiny but very important elements such as cables and shirts (wires in the top versions), with their help, the movements of your fingers are transmitted to the speed switches.

In addition to the number of speeds, they are also distinguished by the structure of the switching system: planetary (gears of different diameters are located inside the rear hub or bottom bracket of the bicycle), or the classic multispeed, where all nodes are visible to the outside.

Correct gear shifting

Now that you’ve figured out how to set up the rear derailleur on your bike, it’s worth investigating how to properly shift the gears on your bike. The fact is that if you do not “click” the gear shift knob, but approach the issue of their choice responsibly, you will significantly extend the life of your bike.

How To Use Road Bicycle Gears

If you try to change the speed in a stationary position of the vehicle, it can lead to failure of the transmission. Before you start shifting, the pressure on the pedals will need to be released.

If you need to change gears quickly, try to do so consistently without jumping over them. The fact is that when you miss a few gears, it can break the stars and the derailleur itself. In the same case, when this procedure is carried out sequentially, all units and parts of the transmission will not be damaged.

If you do not know how to adjust the rear derailleur on a bicycle, try not to “throw” the chain between the front sprockets when riding uphill, as this will simply knock the derailleur setting. If you decide to switch between the rear sprockets in this way, then this does not contradict the requirements of the bike‘s instruction manual.

It is worth remembering the following rule: if you want to overcome a hill, shift the gear up before starting to climb it. By doing this, you will not only save your strength, but also protect the transmission from damage. The same rule applies when descending from a hill.

Preparatory operations for setting

All the guides written on how to set up the rear derailleur on a bike, the first paragraph contains advice on how to properly prepare the bike for this operation.

The fact is that the speed switch is a rather thin device located in a relatively inaccessible place.

Before you start to regulate it, it will be necessary to eliminate all the reasons that prevent the correct implementation of such a procedure.

You should pay special attention to the cleanliness of the bike and its individual structural elements. the cassette with stars and the derailleur itself. In addition, the bike chain will need to be lubricated. Such operations will allow you not to get dirty and clearly see those nodes that you have to adjust.

The next stage of the preparatory work will be the transfer of the bicycle chain so that it stands on the stars of the smallest diameter, both in the front and in the back.

To do this, you will need to find the adjusting screws located on the switch, which are labeled: H (high) and L (low). Their purpose is to adjust the gears of large and small ranges.

Here you need to unscrew the screw under the letter “L” to the maximum value.

Before you start adjusting your bike, you need to clean and lubricate it.

After the screw is unscrewed, it is necessary to turn the drum until it stops, moving clockwise.

This cable tension drum is not installed on all models of modern bicycles. This is worth bearing in mind. A similar drum is usually placed on the shifter.

It also turns in a similar way, while you will need to stop without screwing about 4 turns all the way.

One of the final steps in preparing the bike derailleur is to loosen the screw that secures the cable directly to the derailleur. If it is rusty and dirty, then it will have to be replaced. In the case when it is not too worn out, namely, it is not visible that it is unraveling, clean it and lubricate.

It will be necessary to check the ease of sliding of the cable through the “jacket”, which are plastic tubes mounted on the bike frame. The fact is that in most cases the gears change poorly precisely because they are clogged with dirt. To prevent this from happening, “shirts” must be washed.

In the event that you do not have sufficient experience in operating a bicycle and do not know how to adjust the rear derailleur on a bicycle, you will need to carefully study the instructions for your bike.

Usually it is written in simple and understandable language, and you can figure it out without outside help.

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If it is difficult for you to understand everything, you can contact the master who has sufficient experience in adjusting this unit.

The very same adjustment procedure must be started by checking that the roller designed for tensioning the chain is located exactly above the small sprocket.

If this position is not set, it must be set using the adjusting screw marked with the letter “H” In order to move the roller to the left, you need to turn the screw clockwise, if you need to turn it to the right. counterclockwise.

Once you are satisfied that the large gears are set correctly, you can begin installing the derailleur cable. To do this, it must be tucked into the fastening screw.

Further work is to tighten it harder with one hand, with the other tighten the screw itself, acting on the hexagon.

If you are new to cycling and do not know how to adjust the rear derailleur on your bike, remember that the retaining screw must not be tightened to the maximum torque.

After the cable is installed, it is necessary to adjust the small gears. For this purpose, the chain is transferred to the rear sprocket of the largest diameter. After that, check that the tensioner roller is above the large sprocket, setting it in this position using the screw under the letter “L”. It is configured in the same way as above.

If your derailleur has the ability to adjust the chain tension level, adjust it. After you finish adjusting the derailleur, try changing gears on your bike while moving. They should change quickly and easily. If you feel some difficulties, then adjust the device additionally using the cable tension drum.

Bicycle Rear Derailleur Setting

It will be best if you choose the optimal settings for yourself and remember them. In the future, you can set them, already knowing which position of the adjusting screws or the drum is optimal for you. This will make cycling easier and will significantly extend the life of your bike.

Chain placement on a speed bike

The position of the bike chain on certain gears also has some peculiarities that affect the accuracy of gear changes and the durability of the drivetrain components. Some very helpful tips: never use the smallest sprocket in the front and the smallest in the back.

The same applies to the large star in front and the large star behind. If you neglect these recommendations, a so-called chain skew is created in the transmission, which will negatively affect not only its durability, but also the efficiency of the cyclist.

The fact is that with a strong misalignment of the chain, the links have a detrimental effect on the teeth of the front / rear sprockets, bending or licking them to one side. Also, if the ratio of the stars is incorrectly selected, the connections between the pins and the links of the chain will be loosened, accelerating its wear.

As for the efficiency, it decreases through an increase in friction between the transmission elements, although not significantly.

How to properly switch gears on a bike

No matter how many speeds your bike has, you definitely need to know how to use them correctly in order to extend the life of the transmission components and the ride does not turn into a nightmare with crackling or slipping of the chain. It is important to remember a few rules that will help make gear shifting easy, and most importantly safe.

  • Study the transmission of your bike. you should know how many gears you have in total; how many stars are in front and how many are behind; where to move the shift knobs to increase or decrease the load.
  • Pedaling is a prerequisite for speed shifting. It is not enough to simply push or turn the handle, it is important to make one full revolution of the front pedals so that the chain takes up the chain of your choice in front or behind.
  • Gear changes will only occur when no or minimum load is applied to the pedals. Even the most expensive derailleur will not be able to move the chain onto an adjacent sprocket if you are not pedaling with all your might. Therefore, practice doing this among flat areas, and over time you will be able to change gears even in the most difficult conditions.
  • Monitor the technical condition of your bike’s shifting system. When the components are not worn out, lubricated in time, and the switches are adjusted, then the gear change occurs in an instant.
  • Remember, the main thing is to cycle as much as possible using the gearshift system. The developed muscle memory will allow you to change gears in spite of the transmission or indicators on the steering wheel with light finger movements without squeaks and other troubles.


Many cyclists like to pedal in higher, stiffer gears to train their legs. However, it is better to pedal faster using lower speeds. Pressing the pedals will increase your endurance on long rides and allow you to accelerate faster. In the language of strength training, pedaling fast is like fast, high repetitions with less weight. over, it reduces the load on the transmission system and the chain, increasing operational loads. This way, you get not only good leg workout, but also good cardio.

It is recommended to use light gears on the left and right. So if you are using left gear, shift right to.4. Likewise, if you are on the left gear, you should use it with.7 gears on the right. can be used with.7 on the right.

switch, gears, bike

This tip is about maintaining your bike chain. The use of maximum speeds with maximum and minimum with minimum on the left and right sides, respectively, avoids “cross-coupling”, preventing the occurrence of abrasion and unpleasant sounds. Of course, with the number of gears that modern bicycles are equipped with, it is possible to avoid chain damage and find a mode that is comfortable for riding.

Remember to lower the gear before stopping. This makes it much easier to start your trip next time. It is recommended to set left and right. the best combination for starting a ride.

What are speeds for?

The primary purpose of the mechanisms is to facilitate movement on different elevations. The reason there is a need for a large number of gears on bicycles is because the cyclist can adjust the mode to suit him / herself.

Different speeds allow you to travel long distances with less energy. Since the cyclist moves at a certain pace, limited by the physical abilities of a person, he can adjust a particular gear for himself, optimizing his own energy consumption, pedaling speed and, accordingly, the distance traveled. No one really uses all the gears, but it is important to understand how each gear works depending on the elevation to make the ride easier.


Each gear is numbered from 1 to 7 or more; smaller ones are designed for climbing hills, hills. Thus, choosing a gear with a higher number increases the travel speed. However, upshifting increases the severity of the pedaling and conversely, downshifting makes the pedaling process much easier so that the bike can climb hills more easily.

When changing gear, you must pedal. This is because the chain must move for the switches to move the chain from sprocket to sprocket. If you press the shifters without scrolling, the gear change will not occur until you start pedaling; with the start of the movement, unpleasant sounds will appear, the risk of stretching the high-speed cable and wear of the stars increases.

Reduce the pedaling speed when changing gears. A light touch on the pedals significantly smoothes gear shifting; this prevents unpleasant shifting noises, which significantly lengthens the bike’s life. When approaching a hill, it is necessary to calculate in advance the moment when to change gear, so as not to lose speed and balance.

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Most bicycles, despite constant modernization, have twenty-one or more gears and two shifters for changing them: one on the left for the chainring and one on the right for the rear. Some shift gears by turning a knob, while others by pressing levers.

The left derailleur has three gears, each of which has a huge impact on the speed and severity of pedaling. The first is suitable for steep climbs (used extremely rarely), the second is for flat terrain and gentle slopes (most often used), and the third is for descents.

The right derailleur has seven or more gears. Used for minor changes in the severity of a turn, making finer adjustments. Most of the gear changes are done on the right shifter. Please note that the left and right switches work independently of each other.

How to properly switch gears on a bike

There are a lot of questions about how to properly switch gears on a bike. This is due to the fact that no one has ever given a full explanation. Let’s try to understand in more detail the mechanisms of the bicycle, the importance of speeds and much more.

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

Features of gear shifting for road bikes

The above tips also apply to road bikes, road bikes. The difference is only in small points:

  • Shifters are built into the brake levers; to change the speed, you need to push them to the side;
  • There is no numbering of programs;
  • The left derailleur has a “trim” function for the front derailleur.

As with all bike models, the left derailleur is for changing gears at the large sprocket, and the right derailleur at the rear for more precise tuning. To shift up to the right, you press the paddle-shaped lever behind the brake lever. To downshift to a lower, lighter gear, shift the entire brake lever. Since the gears are not numbered, you must look down to see which sprockets the chain is on.

Chain friction is mitigated by the Trim function on the left derailleur. Sometimes after shifting to the large chainring, you will hear the chain rubbing against the front derailleur. This is because the derailleur needs some time before pulling the chain over the sprocket. This feature moves the derailleur closer to the center axis to avoid chain friction. If you lightly touch the lever after changing gears, you will feel a faint click, which indicates that the switch is moving towards the inner axle, but not about changing gears (if you press the lever too hard, the gear will shift).

The most common use of this function is when shifting the chain to a larger chainring on both the front and rear. The use of this function significantly increases the performance of the chain, reduces wear.

So, a summary for road, road bikes. You should always pedal when changing gears. To move faster, press the small lever on the right side, and if you need to drive up a hill, shift the entire brake lever. The left switch should be used for large changes in riding mode, and use the switch on the right side for finer and more precise tuning. It is recommended to switch gears while reducing the intensity of pedaling, avoid “cross chains”. Shift down to a lower gear before stopping to help you get started.

How to properly switch gears on a bike

There is no special science in shifting gears on a bicycle; at first glance, everything is simple. Two levers on the left, two on the right, or even just a grip-shift. what could be easier. But nevertheless, observing novice cyclists, one may notice not entirely correct and coordinated actions. But consistency when cycling is the most important thing! This is the only way you will be able to move as efficiently as possible on a bicycle, make maneuvers, overcome obstacles.

As an example, we will consider the most ordinary mountain bike (MTB) with three stars in front and 8-9 in the back.

How to change the speed on the car? Tips for novice car enthusiasts

First you need to understand at what point you need to switch from a low gear to an upshift. The tachometer, speedometer and, of course, the sound of the engine always help us in this. We will not pay special attention to the noisiness of the latter, but to the readings of the dials. just the opposite. The question of when and how to change gears on a car is really nothing complicated. If the tachometer needle has left the green scale and slowly starts to turn into red, then we switch to a higher gear. For convenience, you can also use a speedometer. In this case:

How to change gears correctly

You need to travel a certain distance in second gear to feel confident and comfortable when driving at that speed. Remember to look at the road while driving, not at the instruments or your fellow traveler. Try to control movement on the sides, behind the car, monitoring the situation with the help of side mirrors and rear-view mirrors. It is necessary to learn how to timely notice traffic signals, road signs, markings on the road, means of organizing traffic (bumpers, pillars along the road, barriers, etc.). Be sure to try to stop and pay attention to the braking distance. this is the distance that the car travels from the moment it starts braking until it comes to a complete stop.

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Let’s immediately highlight the most common errors and problems:

  • Too heavy gear is a common mistake. Many newbies even say that 44 (or even 48) stars in the front are not enough for them. It’s a delusion. Constantly spinning a heavy gear you are simply killing your knees. Try to keep track of your cadence (cadence) until it becomes automatic. You can even count the number of revolutions per minute for the sake of interest. If it is around 90-100, then this is very good. And so, gear 44-11 is enough to accelerate on the plain to

60 km / h So try to convince those who say that 44 stars are not enough for the city. By doing this, you may help to keep people healthy

  • Curve transmission. it is not uncommon to observe how people, without looking at the chain, include gears like 3-1.2. In this case, the chain goes to bend, its wear increases, at the wrong moment it can simply fly off. The optimum chain position is when it passes from the chainring to the rear with minimal skew. So be sure not only to make it easy to twist, but also the position of the chain.
  • Switching under load. so even fragile girls manage to break chains, what to say about healthy men. And what a crunch at the same time. When shifting, reduce the load on the pedals to a minimum, just rotate them with ease until the chain jumps to the desired sprocket. Therefore, it always makes sense to assess the situation, possible obstacles and change gear in advance.
  • Chain biting is when the chain is pulled up by the chainrings when shifting. An unpleasant situation in which the nib near the carriage assembly may be severely scratched. This could be due to cogging on the star, dirt, improper assembly and setup. This is another plus to why you need to watch the shift, and not just mindlessly flip the shifters. All movements should be smooth, even airy.
  • Chain skipping. for example, you put a new chain on an already similar cassette (by the way, the chain resource
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    1500 km). As a result, when the load on the pedals increases, the chain slips and the pedals fail unpleasantly. This must be taken into account and travel more carefully until everything gets used to it. Even for a fairly strong cassette, the rubbing period is about 200 kilometers.

    If you are new to the saddle, pay a lot of attention to pedaling, shifting, try to work with both the front and rear derailleurs. Try to choose a gear depending on the maneuver being made. For example: you slow down, but for this you will need to accelerate. Shift the gear lighter even when braking, then it will accelerate faster.

    The clarity of gear shifting is highly dependent on the technical condition of the bike components. Monitor and, if necessary, replace the cables and shirts in time, the rear derailleur rollers, the switches themselves, the drive elements. the chain, cassette, front sprockets.

    Building a skill: how to shift gears correctly using the example of a 21-gear Stealth bike

    Competently switching is to choose the appropriate pace of the ride, at which the cyclist will spend the minimum amount of energy. How important this really is is clear from the following theses:

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

    You can learn and learn how to shift 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 on the front and 7 stars on 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 shifters. 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 one moves the rear chain spreader.

    On the shifters, there are numbers showing the number of the current star. The stars 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).

    The gear selection mechanism is similar on pin switches. By rotation, the cable either loosens or stretches, pulling the frames behind it.

    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:

    WRR48: How to Shift Gears on a Motorcycle (smoothly!) at

    • Big star. Used when driving downhill 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.

    We consolidate knowledge or how to change gears correctly on any mountain bike without harm to humans and equipment

    Awareness of the gearshift mechanism is not enough to operate a bike confidently and safely. It is also worth familiarizing yourself with the tips on this matter:

    • The chain can only be thrown while moving. If the position of the frames was changed on a stationary bike, you need to spin the pedals at idle (raise the rear wheel).
    • Use the transmission only with an unloaded chain. In other words, move the links of the chain drive only when the connecting rods rotate quickly, but not at the start or under load. This is fraught with the fact that the actuators can break and the chain break. And indeed, with a lot of effort on the pedals, there is a great risk of not switching at all when the corresponding command is given.
    • Do not transfer to several stars at once. Changing the position of the frames is only one click. In this case, the clarity of the transmission is ensured.

    A lot has been said about the need to avoid skewing the chain. Why is this necessary? It’s simple: when the chain is in the position, for example, a large sprocket in the front and a large sprocket at the back, we have obvious wear, which is expressed in additional grinding of flexible links. By the way, a typical mistake of drivers who ignore the technology, how to properly change gears on a high-speed mountain bike with 18 and more speeds, is to use the rear sprockets in the whole, and put only a large one in front.

    For your information. The chain must be washed with, say, a high pressure washer and lubricated. If it slips on the cassette, it must be changed along with the rear sprockets.

    Another important aspect is to select the transmission speed so that pedaling is easy. The optimal cadence verified by cyclists is 80-90 rpm. To measure it, you can use bike computers, for example, CatEye Strada Cadence. Be sure to drink during pokatushek. These two rules will save your knee joints.

    • The main purpose of the transmission is to provide an easy pedal travel (80-90 rpm) in any driving situation.
    • Switching is carried out by pressing or rotating (trigger or pin shifters, respectively).
    • The selected gear is displayed on the steering wheel shift control.
    • When traveling around the city on a 21-speed bike, it is optimal to use the middle chainring and one of the three rear sprockets: 3, 4, 5.

    How to change gears on a car

    Before you know how to change gears on a car, you need to understand how a manual gearbox works. It includes: a primary shaft connected through a clutch to the engine output shaft, an intermediate shaft with a set of gears with different gear speeds and, finally, a secondary, rigidly connected to the driven (cardan) shaft of the car. All this set is placed in the case. the crankcase. The gears are lubricated by spraying. The grade of oil belongs to the type of transmission and is usually of the SAE30 / 85-90W class.

    Then you need to pick up a speed of about 15-20 km / h, quickly and smoothly squeeze the clutch with your left foot, move the gearbox handle with your right hand to the 2nd position, while simultaneously throwing off the gas with your right foot, release the clutch and add gas. If it is necessary to switch from the second to the third speed within 40 km / h, the motor starts to “howl” slightly. In this case, it is necessary to repeat the manipulations described above. In short, it looks like this: in turn: the clutch is squeezed out, then the gas is released a little, the manual transmission handle is moved to the 3rd position and the clutch is smoothly released and gas is added. The transition to the 4th and 5th speed is identical to the previous ones.

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