How to find the ideal gear ratio for your MTB drivetrain
For many riders, designing gear ratios seems like a Gordian knot; There is still a concern that there will be NO gear range when shifting to the 1x transmission. However, with a little mental math, you can quickly bring light into the darkness. We show you step by step how to find the right cassette and chainring combination that suits your needs.
Technique for correct gear shifting
Switching. There is more to it than just turning the levers. Shifting requires precise coordination between arms and legs the better you coordinate your movements, the smoother your shifts will be.
The basic principle here is that you have to pedal for the bike to move. The chain must move forward for the derailleurs to do their job, so always depress the pedal when shifting.
But there is a little trick. For smooth gear shifting, you need to pedal lightly and gently. This is called “soft pedaling”.
If you pedal too hard, the force of your foot will override the switches, and there will be no shifting, just a grinding sound! (Think about it, your legs are big and muscular, and the derailleurs and chain. Just small pieces of metal.)
So here’s how to change:
When moving the switch by hand at the same time, Loosen the pedal one stroke. You should hear and feel the smooth shifting. Then you can resume pedaling with full force. Don’t worry, you only relax for a second, so you will NOT lose speed just by gently pressing the pedals.
That’s all. Most people who have trouble shifting gears just have to try gently pedaling. It is a common misconception that you need to pedal hard and fast to change gears; proper gear shifting actually requires the opposite approach.!
Just go and practice.
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What is gear shifting for? Offset impact hardware
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to adjust the geometry of the bike. Use a shock absorber with an offset. This works much like a flip chip, but instead of flipping the shock in the frame, the shock offset hardware changes the effective length of the shock between the eyes. Decreasing the length between the eyes compresses the suspension linkage, reducing the BB height and decreasing the head angle without actually compressing the shock. When changing the process in the opposite direction, the head tilt angle increases and the carriage height increases.
The range of adjustment that can be achieved with shock absorber offset equipment is limited by the diameter of the shock absorber eye and the size of the shock mount bolts. With 8mm shock absorber bolts, offset equipment typically offers 2mm offset at each end, increasing to 3mm with 6mm shock bolts. It doesn’t sound like much, but as the shock intensifies, these small changes add up quickly.
You can use one or both of the hardware offset sets to fine tune the amount of geometry change, and which option you choose will be largely determined by the tire / frame clearance at the bottom. It is not uncommon for tires and seatpost bars to hit the back of the seatpost when both sets of offset bracing are installed.
In addition, with the rise in popularity of trunnion mounts, most modern bicycles automatically limit the use of offset equipment to only one end of the shock. In fact, the latest Specialized Enduro and Stumpjumper come with an offset damper at the end of the damper link to allow for high and low geometry settings.
It is enough to lower the carriage height by 7 mm and decrease the head tilt angle by 0.4 °. Specialized hardware is tied to a link so it doesn’t rotate, but if you need a third average geometry setting, you can simply install the regular hardware.
By far the best in offset shock equipment. This is that it is cheap and does not require any special tools to install. Brass hardware tends to be the most readily available as it is soft and easy to work with, but if you want something more durable then Burgtec titanium offset hardware at £ 19.99 per end is hard to beat.
Introduction to mechanisms and terminology
Since bicycles 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 x 5 = 10, that’s simple math.)
But once you learn more about transmission, you realize that this is a really confusing way of describing things. So, first, let’s understand the terminology:
The chainrings attached to the connecting rod are called chainrings. If you have two stars (large and small), this setting is called “double”. 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 back, it probably has a freewheel; if your bike has eight to ten gears in the back, it has a cassette. Each ring on the cassette is referred to as a cog. (There are differences in this article between a freewheel and a cassette, so DO NOT worry about that.)
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. “
Cross chain. This 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, which can damage the transmission over time and may cause the chain to slip or cause the front derailleur to make noise and malfunction.
Correct star combinations
Let’s see which sprocket combinations are applicable on a bicycle with three chainrings and eight chainrings. The main principle is simple: it is necessary that the combination of front and rear stars is always approximately in the same vertical plane.
The large chainring is matched with 4-8 rear chainrings. This combination is optimal when riding on a flat road.
The middle chainring is matched with the 3rd to 6th chainring. This combination is suitable if you are riding on a slightly rough road, or if you want to give yourself more physical activity while riding on a flat road.
The small chainring is matched with 1 to 3 rear sprockets for uphill climbing. In this case, much less effort is required from the cyclist when pedaling, but more frequent pedaling.
Incorrect combination of front and rear sprockets, leads to a strong misalignment of the chain, shortening the life of not only the chain, but also the derailleurs.
How to switch gears correctly
How to properly shift gears on a bike
The bicycle appeared as a fast means of transportation, but was designed for hardy riders and was far from comfortable. On the first “run bike” the rider sat on the frame and kicked off the road with his feet, even such familiar things as pedals and saddle did not appear immediately. Modern models, among other amenities, have a transmission that allows you to change the effort on the pedals if necessary. Next, we will look at the design and explain the switching principle of the most common type of transmission. Chain transmission. It is popular due to the relative simplicity of the device and undemanding maintenance.
Most beginners, when choosing their first bike, focus on the number of speeds, I believe that the more gears, the faster the bike goes. But the speed of the bike is more dependent on the pedal effort than the number of gears. A regular road bike with a single gear is just as fast as a high-speed road bike. So why do you need a lot of gears on a bike? We’re going to answer this question and also find out important related points.
Why bike speeds are needed
In cars, gear shifting is necessary to reduce engine load and save fuel when driving conditions change.
Shifting gears in a bicycle transmission serves the same purpose: to reduce pedaling effort and reduce cyclist fatigue. If you ride slowly several times a week along a standard route, then the load on your muscles is more or less uniform and there is a special need to change gears. However, if you are driving over difficult, rough terrain at high speed or are fond of long rides, then it is extremely important to select the correct gear. To determine the desired transmission, you need to know about such a concept as cadence.
Cadence is the number of revolutions of the pedals performed by the cyclist in one minute. For example, they say: “cadence 90”. This means riding at a pace of 90 pedals per minute. There are also concepts such as high, low and optimal cadence:
Low cadence. you do a little RPM but still pedal effort. It is unsafe to ride at this pace for a long time due to the enormous stress on the heart and joints.!
High cadence. you pedal very quickly. The load on the legs is small, but there is little sense from such a ride. it is not very pleasant to move with Turtle speed.
Optimal cadence. pedaling tempo that is convenient for you personally, allows you not to get up to go far and for a long time. You ride for fun, but your muscles and joints are NOT overloaded and train endurance. For an amateur, the optimal cadence is 60-70 at the beginning of the season, and after a couple of months of continuous riding, you can pedal with a cadence of about 90-100. Athletes who do regular training are able to maintain an optimal cadence greater than 100.
Changing gears makes it easier for you to maintain a constant cadence all the way, no matter if you are driving uphill, with a headwind, or racing on Smooth asphalt. The cyclist should constantly monitor the maintenance of the cadence. To do this, it is convenient to use a cycling computer with the ability to calculate cadence.
How to find out how many speeds a bike has
Nowadays, almost every bicycle is equipped with a gear shifting system. Usually there are 6 to 33 gears. For road or mountain bikes, 18-27 gears are a reasonable norm. Often even city or road bicycles also have gear shifters, for this type of bike 6-7 speeds are enough.
To determine the number of gears, you need to multiply the number of front and rear sprockets. For example, on the cranks of a bicycle there are 3 stars and on the rear wheel cassette you see 7 stars, such a bicycle has 21 gears. More gears, up to 33, are needed in rare cases and require more careful handling and also significantly complicates and increases the cost of the bike transmission.
Having considered the concept of optimal cadence, let’s move on to studying gear shifting techniques.
How to properly switch gears on a bike
We have already understood why it is important to maintain a constant cadence. But moving, for example, on the ground is much harder than on asphalt and so that the cadence on the ground does NOT decrease on the ground, the gear should be lower. You need to know that shifting to one gear on the leading sprocket changes the effort on the pedals 2-3 times faster than if you shifted to one gear on the driven stars. Changing the chainrings dramatically changes the load on the drivetrain and your muscles, so they are changed much less often than the rear.
The guide sprockets set the basic pedaling pace and will switch as needed when driving conditions change rapidly. The small guide sprocket is designed for uphill driving and engages well before starting the climb. The largest guide sprocket is designed for high speed, quality pavement or launching. Usually there is a third star in the front in the middle for standard driving conditions. Rear sprockets are needed to fine tune pedaling effort.
If you see a patch of sticky ground or a rise in front of you, you need to move to the smaller guide star in advance. You can do this before the very climb, and if the climb is small, you can turn on a lower gear in advance and, by increasing the cadence, accelerate to pass the inertia climb.
On descent, you can switch to a larger guide sprocket for better acceleration.
Gear shifters are quite delicate mechanisms; if used incorrectly, they wear out quickly. You need to know some simple rules to keep your bike’s transmission running:
A strong diagonal chain skew is harmful and contributes to the rapid wear of the chain, and also requires expensive repairs with the replacement of sprockets. How to correctly combine combinations of asterisks is shown in the figure below. The larger the chainring, the smaller the chainring at the rear should be used with it. The two smallest chainrings should be used with the largest chainring. The two largest sprockets are designed to be paired with a small sprocket in front.
When changing gears, you continue to pedal, but you should not press hard on the pedals. If you are shifting the front drive sprocket, then generally reduce the effort on the pedals to avoid jerking. Do not click gears. this will damage the switches. A simple rule of thumb: you can shift one gear in one turn of the pedals. Some equipment allows you to change several gears at once, but for a beginner it is difficult to switch correctly in this way.
The professional shifts gears silently. Hear one slight click when switching. great, you did everything right. If the gear changes with multiple crunching, sharp crackling, then one of two things: you are shifting incorrectly, or you have a worn out misaligned transmission.
The more gears in your bike, the more careful you should be to keep the sprockets and chain clean and in good condition. The limitation on physical dimensions forces designers on bicycles with a large number of gears to use thinner sprockets, chains and some other parts. All clearances in multistage transmissions are smaller, and parts are more compact, therefore the sensitivity of such a design to contamination is higher, and wear is faster.
In the end, I would like to say that if you are going to buy a high-speed bike, then you just need to learn how to use the gear shifters correctly. Indeed, when skating, you put in physical effort, and the correct technique gives not only pleasure from the process, but also safely strengthens your body, increases your endurance. Gain experience and gear shifting will take place on a subconscious level, and you will stop wasting energy.
This article provides basic knowledge of manual transmissions. The material is generally not applicable in relation to systems with planetary hub and second automatic bike transmission.
How to change the speed on the car? Tips for novice car enthusiasts
- I let go of the gas and smoothly press on the clutch. It is important that the first pedal is turned off and the second pressed with minimal waiting. In practice, you will catch this moment.
- We translate the gearshift lever according to the diagram drawn at the top of the handle to the desired position. But before changing the speed on the machine, you first need to move the handle to neutral and after 1 second engage the desired gear. This is done in order to reduce the load on the transmission gears.
- Then I smoothly release the clutch and press on the gas a little.
- After you have completely released the clutch, increase the pressure on the right pedal.
- Continue to the next gearshift.
First you need to understand at what point you need to switch from a low gear to an up one. 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 on 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 begins to turn into red, here we are shifting to a higher gear. For convenience, you can also use a speedometer. In this case:
How to properly switch gears on a bike
There is a 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 flu-shift. what could be easier. But nevertheless, observing the Beginner cyclists, one may notice Not quite correct and coordinated actions. But consistency when cycling is the most important thing! Only in this way will you be able to move around on a bike as efficiently as possible, make maneuvers, and 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.
- Let’s immediately highlight the most common errors and problems:
- Forming a skill: how to switch gears correctly using the example of a Stealth bike with 21 gears
- Consolidating knowledge or how to properly change gears on any mountain bike without harm to humans and equipment
- In short
- How to change the speed on the car? Tips for novice car enthusiasts
- How to change gears correctly
- How to change gears on a car
How to change gears correctly
- Release the gas pedal;
- Decrease the vehicle speed by pressing the brake pedal to match the low gear;
- Squeeze the clutch completely;
- Engage the appropriate gear with the gear shift lever (DO NOT hold the lever in neutral)
- Release the clutch pedal smoothly and simultaneously increase the fuel supply using the accelerator pedal.
You need to drive a certain distance in second gear to feel confident and comfortable when driving at this 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, road markings, 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 stops.
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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 front are NOT enough for them. It’s a delusion. Constantly spinning a heavy gear you just kill your knees. Try to keep track of your cadence (cadence) until It comes to automaticity. You can even count the number of revolutions per minute for fun. If about 90-100, then this is very good. And so, gears 44-11 are enough to accelerate across 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 keep people healthy.
1500 km). As a result, when the load on the pedals increases, the chain slips and the pedals fail unpleasantly. This needs to be taken into account and the trains are more careful until Everything gets used to it. Even for a fairly strong running cassette, the rubbing period is about 200 kilometers.
If you are new to the saddle, pay a lot of attention to pedaling, gear shifting, try to work both in front of it and the rear derailleur. Try to choose a gear depending on the maneuver being made. For example: you are a brake, 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.
Forming a skill: how to switch gears correctly using the example of a Stealth bike with 21 gears
Competently switching is to choose a suitable pace at which the cyclist will use 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 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).
On pin switches, the gear selection mechanism is similar. 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:
- 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.
Consolidating knowledge or how to properly change gears on any mountain bike without harm to humans and equipment
Awareness of the gearshift mechanism is not enough to confidently and safely operate a bike. It is also worth reading 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, it is necessary to turn the pedals at idle speed (raise the rear wheel).
- Use the transmission only with an unloaded chain. In other words, to move the links of the chain drive exclusively with the rapid rotation of the connecting rods, but not in any way 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 reroll multiple stars at once. It only takes one click to reposition the frames. 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 star in the front and a large one. at the back, we have obvious wear, which is expressed from the expanded grooving of the flexible links. By the way, a typical mistake of drivers who ignore technology, how to properly change gears on a high-speed mountain bike with 18 and more speeds. use the rear sprockets in the whole, and put only a large one in front.
Note. 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 a bike computer, for example, CatEye Strada Cadence. Be sure to drink during pokatushek. These two rules will save your knee joints.
- The main goal 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 transmission works. It consists of: 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 splashing. The grade of oil belongs to the type of transmission and is usually class SAE30 / 85-90W.
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 necessary, it will switch from the second to the third speed within 40 km / h, the motor starts to “subluxate” 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.
When it comes to gear shifting, these are almost always standard derailleurs, but there are other models, for example, planetary hub and “hello” from the automotive world. automatic transmissions.
First of all, the correct shifting depends on the bike device. Previously, there were no problems with shifting, as there were no speeds on most bicycles. All obstacles were overcome with the power of the rider or on foot. To understand how to change speeds, you should study the design of the shifting system itself.
Correct switching does not require much knowledge. Almost all models of bicycles are equipped with a cable, which brings the force from the lever. the control element of the switch. to one switch.
When the cable is pulled, the derailleur frame moves and transfers the chain to a chain of a larger diameter, when released, it falls or moves to smaller stars. These actions are carried out without auxiliary devices, with the introduction of chain flexibility and friction with the switch frame, i.e. The chain and all elements are under stress; transmissions are not provided for in normal operation. Because of this, there is a recommendation NOT to switch speeds under load or without movement.
How to properly switch gears on a bike
In fact, shifting speeds on a bicycle is an art of the trainee that depends on the physical condition of the rider, and on long-term training, and on the device of a particular bike. Consider various factors in this article.
Consider the physical fitness of a cyclist.
Cadence is the cadence at which the cyclist rides. Ideal for long-term travel is stable cadence, i.e. if the pedals rotate evenly throughout the length of the path, and the unevenness of the terrain, the headwind is compensated by combinations of speeds.
But if endurance is important only over long distances, then at any time you should keep in mind the health of joints and muscles. Many novice riders overload the knees, giving maximum effort on every crank revolution. Not only does this tire and damage the muscles, but with prolonged repetition it will affect the health of the knee joint. Professionals use stable and frequent movements without serious stress on the legs. This mode is the safest for both cyclists and bicycles.
Training and preparation
To prepare for driving at the start of the day or season, it is recommended to use a low gear. For the first 10-20 minutes of a long ride, the legs need to “warm up”, for which a cadence of 60 rpm (movements per minute) is ideal and minimal load. ie. Speeds with 1 and 2 stars in front of them.
A similar recommendation in a more global sense. the first hundred kilometers of the season, especially on a mountain bike, should be overcome in lower gears so that the legs “remember” the skills and are NOT damaged by too serious changes in the daily load.
Despite the fact that the nominal in the transmission can be 27-30 speeds, i.e. Combinations of sprockets, not all of them are recommended to be used, as they are dangerous for the bike’s devices. Why it happens? But not all stars are in the same plane, which means that when they are combined, the chain experiences a load at a small angle, which causes additional friction and, as a result, the curvature of the links, then the chain stretches and subsequent damage to both the chain and the stars.
The basic rule is the approximate parallelism of the chain of the plane of the stars, without distortions. In numbers, for the current classic 24-speed mountain bike, the value on the rear derailleur should be between double and triple the value on the front, with a few exceptions at the edges, such as combinations 1-1. THOSE. It is recommended to use the following gearshift scheme out of 24 options:
- On 3. the largest chainring. reverse speeds 6, 7, 8.
- 2 stars. rear 6,5,4.
- On 1 star. rear 1,2,3.
Of course, these rules may be violated depending on the conditions, but they have already become a generally accepted standard.
Speeds and stars
The first derailleur bikes were models such as the Tourist, the massive heirs to the 70s sports bike. They did not have a front derailleur, but the cassette allowed you to choose 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 views, 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 the star, and the total gear ratio is obtained from a combination of the current Pokas, selected by the front and rear derailleurs.
Of course, manufacturers DO NOT live quietly in a stable market, and they are looking for new areas of application of their engineers’ talents. So, for a long time, the top companies Shimano and SRAM have been producing small batches of automatic gearboxes, where, using electronic sensors (Shimano Nexis, Auto, etc.), they switch the speeds to planetary hubs.
There are also rare models with automatic gear shifting on a mechanical basis. the rotational speed is determined by the centrifugal force of the load, which is why the mechanism changes the gear ratio.