How to use bike speeds
Many people paid attention to the number of available speeds when buying a bicycle, but not everyone uses them while riding. There is someone who does not use the speeds quite correctly, which can lead to bike breakdown. Knowing the principles of shifting and speed combinations allows the cyclist to make the ride comfortable and efficient.
- 1. Assigning bike speeds
- 2. How to use bike speeds
- 3. The order of switching speeds on a bicycle
- 4. How to use bike speeds correctly
Cycling speeds (or gears) are used to provide a comfortable and efficient ride under the various factors that a cyclist encounters on a ride:
- Road surface type;
- Need for acceleration.
The speed indicator is formed due to the work of the stars. rounded plates consisting of teeth on the outside, along which the chain clings. One group, larger and smaller, is located at the base of the pedals. the front ones. Another group, called rear sprockets, is on the rear wheel. The number of speeds on the bike is determined by multiplying the number of front sprockets by the rear.
By knowing how to use the speeds on the bike, the cyclist has the ability to adjust the chain tension. The force that must be applied during torsion depends on this. Less tension. less effort and more pedaling, higher tension. vice versa.
The question for the cyclist is how to use the gearshift on the bike. Directly changing speeds occurs using the switches located on the steering wheel. shifters. As a rule, on the left handle there is a shifter for shifting forward gears, on the right. rear. There are two types of switches:
The first type works by rotating around its axis, the second. by switching the lever with the fingers. Rotational are considered less accurate than lever.
When shifting gears, the chain with a special hook moves to the selected sprocket, changing its tension. Usually the forward gear consists of 1-3 stars, and the reverse. up to 10. The main task of changing gears is to set the most comfortable mode for movement. Making the most of your bike for an efficient ride.
The gear changes on the bike are done in a specific order to keep the derailleurs working and reduce chain wear. The basic rule is that the chain does not have to be in a diagonal position. When changing gears, pay attention to the sounds made by the bike: if they are something that looks like a grinding, and also do not look like natural. this is a sign of improper shifting.
Bicycle sprockets are numbered from the frame: the closest sprocket to the frame is the first. The size in the front increases with distance from the frame, in the rear it decreases. For the correct gear change, asterisks are used that are located opposite each other: the first with the first, middle with the middle, extreme with the extreme.
There are fundamental differences in how to use the speeds on different bicycles: mountain bikes with 6, 18 speeds or 21 speeds. Below is a table that summarizes the data on gear shifting on a bicycle, their designation and application. The division is rather arbitrary, but the main switching principle should be observed on a bicycle with any number of speeds. the straight position of the chain.
|Forward gear||reverse gear||transmission mode||Torsional force applied||Number of revolutions||application|
|1||1-2||reduced||weak||High||Driving uphill or in strong winds|
|2||3-6||Average||the average||the average||Normal conditions, moderate driving|
|3||7-8||Increased||strong||low||High speed highway driving|
Cycling has its own nuances, especially if it takes place in regularly changing conditions. Active use of the bike‘s capabilities in the form of gear shifting will make the ride as comfortable and efficient as possible. Correct gear changes can also protect critical parts from breakage and wear.
How to properly shift gears on a bike?
Along with brakes, gear shifting is one of the main mechanical functions of your bike. Choosing the right gear for a particular section Not only will improve your speed, but also make your trip more comfortable and conserve your energy on long journeys. These rules are mostly not relevant for planetary gearshift systems, which can be switched on the spot.
There are some simple rules, which we recommend for beginner cyclists to follow:
1) it should only change gears while driving, while you pedal and set the transmission in motion.
2) The chain must NOT be too tight when shifting gears. In this case, the transmission may break down until the chain breaks.
3) it is not recommended to switch to several gears at once. Depends on the level of the switch itself and the general condition of the transmission, but in any case, beginners are advised to switch the gear in series.
4) Try not to skew the chain if your bike has a front derailleur. More on this later in the article.
Below is a diagram to guide you when changing gears if your bike has a front derailleur.
For cyclist convenience Some rear derailleurs are marked to match the rear derailleur position to the chainring position to avoid chain skew.
Chain misalignment can negatively affect gear shifting and also lead to rapid wear of the bicycle drivetrain. In fact, if a bike has 3 stars in front and 9 in the back, although it says that the bike has a total of 27 speeds, it is not recommended to use all speeds in a row. What’s more, in today’s bicycle industry, bigger doesn’t always mean better or faster.
The current trend in bicycle equipment manufacturers is to strive for similar gear range with fewer stars. So, for example, a modern transmission with one chainring in front and 12 at the rear completely overlaps the range with 3 stars at the front and 9 at the rear, it does not already speak of the outdated groups with 6-8 stars on the rear wheel. As a rule, with fewer views, the transmission is more convenient to operate, maintain, set up and has less weight.
Most efficient switching.
Remember one rule: There is NO perfect gear, switch! Too often we see people putting too much energy into their pedals when they climb a steep incline on a small star in the back, as if trying to break cranks or how quickly the legs get into cyclists riding downhill in too light gear. Your goal while riding should be to maintain the rhythm (the speed at which your pedals go through a full revolution) as much as possible. The cadence is called cadence. You need to monitor it and maintain in the range of 80-100 rpm. It is necessary not only to keep the drivetrain, but also for the health of your own knees. We recommend switching frequently to improve efficiency while riding.
Preparation for commissioning
Before adjusting the bike speeds, you need to clean and lubricate the chain and derailleurs. It is also advisable to produce:
- Inspection of the drive cable for the presence of rough bends that violate the smoothness of its movement along the inner surface of the shirt, unweaving and solidity of the connection with a stop based in the shifter;
- Monitoring the condition of the jackets. in case of strong wear of the inner, often silicone insert, or the presence of fatigue fractures, their replacement is required;
- Inspection of the rear derailleur and the frame counterpart (rooster) for deviations from the vertical position. the cassette rollers and the counter sprocket must lie strictly in the same plane.
Also, before adjusting the speeds on the bike, it is necessary to loosen the cable tension and it is strongly recommended to turn the adjusting drums all the way. In the already tuned state, the following dependence is observed: the less the drum is unscrewed, the more accurately the system works, and also a guaranteed departure margin is maintained, which is necessary for instant compensation of the cable lengthening during the trip.
Effective options: how to adjust disc brakes on a bike of any level
High performance retarding units include a hub-mounted rotor and a frame or front fork-mounted machine. When starting a targeted training on how to properly switch speeds on a bicycle with disc brakes, or planning a simple ride, the owner must check:
- The shape and tightening force of the rotor;
- Wasps for bends;
- The quality of the wheels on the dropouts and the clamping force of the eccentrics;
- No backlash in bushings.
The disc brake adjustment procedure is carried out in order to:
- Achievement of the optimal position of the pads. they must be evenly spaced from the brake disc at a distance of a safe gap (0.5-1 mm), which excludes the possibility of rubbing the rotor when turning the wheel during movement;
- Ensuring strict parallelism between the pads and the rotor, which will keep the disc shape flat; selection of the optimal brake actuation moment.
The methodology for asking how to adjust cable disc brakes on a bicycle is based on the following principles:
- Disconnect the cable from the brake assembly;
- Weaken the caliper;
- Screw in the screw that regulates the extension of the fixed shoe until it stops;
- Press the machine against the brake disc, making sure that the inner friction part is completely in contact with the rotor;
- Tighten the screws securing the machine;
- Set a gap of 0.5-1 mm between the brake disc and the fixed pad;
- Fix the cable;
- Rotating a special drum or moving the cable into the slot of the caliper with subsequent fixing with a screw, select the optimal moment for blocking the wheel.
You can also set up a mechanically driven disc brake in the second way: by unscrewing the screws securing the machine, find the position at which the pads are at the same distance from the disc, and fix it.
“Hydraulics” works according to a more favorable power scheme. under the influence of fluid pressure, both pads approach the rotor. Therefore, the technology of how to adjust the hydraulic brakes on a bicycle is easier:
- Loosen the screws fixing the brake machine;
- Squeeze the brake handle;
- Tighten the caliper fasteners in small steps (half a turn) alternately.
If during rotation the rotor touches one of the friction parts, it is necessary to slightly loosen the brake machine and move it, while maintaining the parallelism of the arrangement of the shoes and the rotor.
Reasons for the deterioration of the rear derailleur:
1. Lack of maintenance. Most often, when buying a bicycle, the derailleur works well and flawlessly, but after the season of operation, you can replace the deterioration in performance or even the chain jumping off the extreme sprockets. In 70% of cases, setting the rear derailleur helps, but sometimes this does not help either, then the cable and shirt should be replaced, as they become clogged with dirt and interfere with the smooth running of the cable in the shirt. Usually bike maintenance is done once a year, in which the switch settings are enabled.
2. Wear of the switch itself. Everything ever breaks down and the bike derailleur is no exception. Most often, the parallelogram axes of the switch wear out, due to which a small backlash is formed, which does not allow the switching to be set correctly.
3. Worn derailleur sprockets. Over time, plastic sprockets wear out due to which the chain no longer holds on to them, which leads to poor operation of the derailleur. Also, the sprocket wasps can wear out and the sprocket will dangle unnecessarily on the axle, which leads to poor shifting.
4. Curve cock or the switch itself. When you fall or hit something with a switch, the cock is most likely to bend (break), since it is made specially from a weaker alloy than the switch itself (to keep the more expensive spare part intact). The curvature does not allow the chains to rise straight, which reduces the efforts to adjust the transfer to zero. Read how to straighten a cock with your hands.
5. Problems with the cable. Sometimes, during installation or when dropped, the cable may bend strongly, after which the place of the bend will prevent the smooth movement of the cable in the shirt. In this case, its replacement is required.
It also happens that the cable gets loose (that’s why you should use the ends of the cables) and later one of the thin threads begins to separate from the main bundle, as a result, prevents the normal movement of the cable in the shirt. Sometimes one thread in the cable can break and also prevent it from working normally, here you can isolate it from the main bundle along the entire length of the cable. But the best option would be to replace the cable with a new one.
If a new cable was installed, sometimes after a certain number of kilometers (about 100 km.) You may notice a deterioration in shifting. this is due to the cable stretching a little. In this case, you will need to tighten the cable tension bolt a little.
When speed adjustment is necessary
The bike speed system needs to be adjusted if not all gears are engaged or the shifting is Incorrect. This can happen as a result of:
- Replacing one or more transmission elements (chain, cassette, roller, bearing, etc.)
- Worn (stretched) cable or shirts
- Deformation of parts due to impact or falling
Sometimes additional adjustments are required after buying a bike. It is recommended to wash your shirts before adjusting the speeds on your new bike. To do this, pull the cable with moderate force wherever it is exposed. After mechanical action on the cable, you will see that it began to sag. Release the cable on the rear derailleur, tighten the adjustment on the shifter and fasten it again.
Before setting the speeds on a used bike, clean all the transmission elements from dirt and dust, heat the spring, cables and chain. For the derailleur to function properly, the chain width must match the front derailleur. Inadmissible Strong play of the switch and carriage bearings. Make sure the stars of the system are perfectly even and rotate in the same plane.
Setting the high gear limiter
At the rear, the chain is moved approximately to the middle of the cassette, at the front using the shifter Switch to the middle sprocket. If the chain is reluctant to move to the top sprockets, tighten the cable by loosening the screw on the front derailleur slightly. By adjusting the chain on the middle sprocket, it switches the front to the large, and from the back to the small. This is the second extreme position, which corresponds to the high gear screw H. In this position, we adjust the screw in such a way that it limits the travel of the front derailleur frame and the chain does NOT fall off the connecting rod. Make sure the chain does NOT catch on the outer front frame when pedaling
How to switch gears correctly.
By keeping the gear shifter running before each cycling season, transmission problems will be minimized. It is very unpleasant when the mechanism fails along the way. And adjusting the speed switch yourself and troubleshooting is easy even for a beginner.
Internal gear shifting for mountain bike
The basis of this design is planetary bushings. This mechanism does not use cassettes. The transmission includes only 2 stars: front and rear. The whole mechanism is hidden inside. There is usually no front derailleur either.
All elements of the speed switch are hidden in the body
This mechanism is often found on road bikes, walking bikes, folding bicycles and city bikes. The system itself is located inside the rear planetary hub. This type of gear shifter can be seen, for example, in the Forward Surf city bike (3 gears).
Rear derailleur fine adjustment
From time to time, you will have to fine-tune the rear spreader in the following cases:
- If the repair, replacement, adjustment of the chain drive units was performed.
- New cables and shirts installed on the bike.
- Low-quality cables stretch strongly during operation, and plugs at the ends are squeezed out of the shirts.
Adjust the switch by unscrewing the hollow cable tension screw half a turn to the left. It is easier to unscrew the screw when the cable tension is released. when the shifter is reset to the highest speed. Be sure to check the accuracy of the setting while riding a bike.
There is an unambiguous answer to the question: “Which gear to choose?” It depends on many factors: the terrain, your personal convenience, the characteristics of the bike. But first, you can use the table, which is compiled for a bicycle with 24 speeds (it has three positions on the left shifter, and eight on the right). For a bike with 18 speeds (there are three positions on the left shifter and six positions on the right), the table will look different.
These tables give a rough idea of which gears you can select. (The gear range for an 18-speed bike is shown in brackets) you have to draw the exact table that is perfect for you.
|Uphill||1-2 (1)||1-4 (1-3)|
|Driving on a flat road||1-2||2-5 (2-4)|
|Descent from the mountain||2-3||4-8 (3-6)|