The bike does not switch speeds how to do

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How to set up your bike’s derailleurs

Every cyclist sooner or later faces the problem of poor gear shifting on a bicycle.

There may be several reasons for this. damaged cables or dirty shirts, a stretched chain, poorly tuned front or rear derailleurs. It is the latter circumstance that most critically affects the quality of gear shifting on a bicycle and can turn your ride into a continuous torment.

Many beginners rely on experienced mechanics for this procedure. This is the correct approach. But over time, you realize that you need to learn how to independently make the specified setting. This will not only help save a certain amount of money on the services of a bicycle mechanic, but will allow you to independently, at any time, adjust the speed, ensuring the perfect gear shifting of the bike throughout the entire trip. This text provides specific steps that even a beginner cyclist can follow to adjust the speed of his bike on his own.

Rear derailleur setting.

The first thing to start with the adjustment is an external examination of the rear overhang. It is necessary to make sure that the gearshift cable is securely fastened and supplied, its integrity, cleanliness and no wear of the upper and lower derailleur rollers. And also, the flatness of the foot, which during the operation of the bicycle can deform when falling.

It is very easy to check the evenness of the foot. you need to look at the rear of the derailleur and make sure that the corresponding sprocket of the cassette or ratchets, as well as the upper and lower roller of the derailleur, are on the same line perpendicular to the ground. If all of the above conditions are met, you can safely proceed to setting.

It is necessary to set the chain to the minimum rear sprocket, correspondingly turning on the maximum reverse speed on the bike. To carry out the adjustment, both the front and rear cross-overs have two adjusting screws on their body, denoted by the letters H and L (High and Low, respectively). Since at the beginning of the adjustment, the chain was set to the maximum gear at the rear, for adjustment you need exactly the screw with the letter H, which is responsible for adjusting the high speeds. Rotating it clockwise or counterclockwise, they achieve such a position of the switch foot so that both of its rollers are strictly in line with the smallest back sprocket. After that, it is necessary to engage the minimum reverse gear, in which the chain is on the largest sprocket at the back. And with another screw, which is designated by the letter L, make an identical adjustment before aligning the rollers with a large sprocket.

Sometimes a situation arises when, after correct and careful tuning and adjustment of the rear derailleur, a problem arises when shifting into high or low gears is poor. This is due to a strong or weak tension in the gear shift cable. This adjustment can be done in two ways. a special regulator on the rear derailleur, or a regulator on the gear shift knob (shifter). Which of the options is used on a particular bike depends on the level of equipment set by the manufacturer. If the chain is thrown poorly into lower gears, the tension of the cable should be increased, and if the chain is dropped to higher gears, on the contrary, it should be reduced.

On the rear cross-overs of the middle and high level there is the possibility of another adjustment. the distance of the guide roller (upper) to the cassette stars (chain tensioner adjustment). It is produced as follows. The chain is installed on the largest sprocket at the back and the largest at the front. In this position, the rear derailleur foot will be pulled to the maximum. And with the adjusting screw, you need to achieve a distance of approximately 5mm from the top roller to the sprocket teeth. It is at this distance that the smoothest and most precise gear changes are made. It is not worth reducing it, as there may be a risk of grazing the roller by the sprocket teeth and damage it.

Front derailleur setting.

Before adjusting the front bumper, the first step is to make sure it is correctly positioned on the bike frame. For beginners, there are two recommendations. The first is to make sure that when you engage the largest chainring at the front, its teeth are at a short distance from the bend of the derailleur frame, as well as at the same distance from it. At the same time, in no case should they touch the frame or, on the contrary, be far from it.

The second is the parallelism of the switch frame to all the stars in the horizontal plane. That is, if you look at the switch from above, then its frame should be parallel to the stars of the system.

You need to start the adjustment by setting the chain to the minimum front and maximum rear sprocket. Next, you need to unscrew the bolt that fixes the cable to the switch housing. After that, it will take its natural position and you can proceed directly to the setting. Turning the screw marked L (Low) in different directions, you need to set the gap between the chain and the switch frame in the region of 1-2 mm. It is this distance that will ensure perfect shifting, and also eliminate the possibility of chain friction on the derailleur frame during driving. After that, it is necessary to fasten the shift cable with a slight interference, making sure that it lies in the required groove in the clamping area. With the chain set to the maximum chainring and minimum sprocket, use the adjusting screw marked H to adjust the same way until the minimum clearance is found between the chain on the large chainring and the derailleur frame. If, after carrying out the above procedure, difficulties arise with the inclusion of low or high forward speeds, it is worth adjusting the tension of the shift cable, similar to setting the rear derailleur.

Having mastered both types of speed adjustment on a bicycle as quickly as possible, you will protect yourself from unpleasant surprises that may arise during the ride, having the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments at any time, spending a minimum of time and effort.

How to properly shift gears on a bike?

Shifting gears on a bicycle is easy. It is enough to adhere to a few simple rules and then your riding style will be more efficient and comfortable. And your shifters will last longer, saving you money ๐Ÿ™‚

If you understand that you are changing gears as needed, then you have already missed the optimal moment to change. This means that you will not keep the required rhythm and inertia of movement. Be more careful next time. Never shift gears while pedaling hard, which will lead to rapid component wear.

The most common mistake is rarely using the front derailleur. Shift the rear to a comfortable sprocket and operate the front derailleur. You will feel how much faster you find the desired gear, because the effect of one shift on the front sprocket can be compared to the effect of shifting to two sprockets of the rear cassette, and much less time is spent!

It becomes possible to quickly gain the desired speed with a single switch. Then, when you get into the rhythm of the movement, you have the chance to use the rear derailleur to fine-tune the gear.

Remember: first select the correct forward gear, and only then use the rear derailleur to adjust the gear!

Tips for caring for your gearshift system

Many bikers agree that the bike is alive. But don’t let him show character. This is especially true of the gearshift system: if the speeds are switched without your participation or do not change at all when you want it, this does not always mean that the components are worn out or broken, most likely the problem is in dirt or grass that has gotten over chain or sprockets. Be sure to clean and lubricate the chain, sprockets and derailleur. this kind of care contributes to smoother and more accurate shifting, and therefore a comfortable ride.

It is very important to feel the bike well, then you will hear any extraneous sound. For example, an extraneous “metallic sound” can occur due to the chain being stretched. This quickly leads to component wear. Change the chain at least! once a season.

Do not allow the chain to be strongly skewed (guideline according to indicators 3×1; 1×7, 8, 9), strive to ensure that the chain runs as straight as possible.

Shifting speeds during descent

You need to select the desired gear while approaching the descent. on the very descent you will not have time for this. You will need to keep an eye on maneuvering and controlling the bike, not shifting gears.

As you move, evaluate the terrain in terms of choosing the most optimal gear. Change gears on the bike just like on a car: there is an optimal gear for each speed.

  • When you’re rolling through mud and roots, upshifting will help you pedal less often and stay in the saddle. Also less likely to get stuck.
  • Try to maintain an even pace of pedaling.
  • Before driving up a steep hill, when you need to switch from medium to small, accelerate before shifting so that the pedals are spinning almost idle, and only then change the gear. In this case, the transition from one speed to another will be smoother.
  • In winter or in unfavorable conditions, it is advisable that the entire cable be covered with a jacket. the speeds will switch noticeably slower, but uninterrupted.
  • Calculate gear changes in advance. Already during the descent, you need to evaluate the steepness of the next climb and decide which gear you will need to switch to.
  • The main thing is to choose the right time to change gears. During DH races, it is better to shift before exiting the counter-slope. this will help you quickly pick up speed after it, rather than search for a feverishly needed gear.
  • Be careful when shifting while pedaling: 9-speed cassette chains are thin enough to break under heavy load.
  • On XC, it is advisable to calculate gear changes when approaching an uphill, this will help you maintain the desired pace.
  • If, while climbing, you realize that you have chosen the wrong speed, wait for at least a small area of โ€‹โ€‹level ground to switch to the desired speed, otherwise you may damage the chain or sprockets.
  • During bikercross races, the chain wears out very quickly due to the need to accelerate sharply. Sometimes in such modes, the chain is changed up to 4 times a season. Biker cross races are very fast, there is no time to think about the safety of the chain.
  • If you are concerned about chain wear, avoid shifting under load while racing. You will switch anyway, but the chain will not wear as much as, for example, during a switch at the starting jerk.
  • Calculate gear changes in advance when driving on a slope and watch the pedaling force when shifting.

How to adjust the front derailleur on a bike

Adjusting the front derailleur is a little easier than adjusting the rear derailleur. An important factor here is its correct and reliable installation on the frame, and everything else is done within 15 minutes.

The correct front derailleur position is when the chain is on the largest sprocket and a distance of 1-3mm is maintained from sprocket to frame. Then we can assume that the switch is set correctly.

  • you need to set the minimum speed, that is, at the back, the chain stands on the largest star, and in front on the smallest.
  • slightly loosen the tension of the cable and turn the screw L until there is a 1mm gap between the chain and the frame
  • we firmly fix the cable, before inserting it into a special groove.
  • we set the highest speed
  • adjustable with screw H the gap between the chain and the inner side of the frame
  • we check the performance
  • if the switching is tight, then we adjust with screws to the desired state
  • After all the manipulations, the bike should be washed and lubricated all parts (chain, sprockets, etc.)
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Cables and shirts

Special attention should also be paid to cables with shirts. The shirt is the sheath of the cable. And special attention should be paid to them for the simple reason that if the cable or shirt is damaged, then at the most crucial moment it can break, and subsequently switching speeds will be impossible.

Therefore, they must be chosen very carefully so that there is no damage or traces of rust, and for each cable there is a different type of shirt. There are only three of them. a SIS lash, a SIS-SP braid and a twisted braid. Based on the selected cable, the correct shirt should also be selected. Otherwise, it may happen that the cable will rub the entire sheath, and it will fail.

Steering wheel switches

There are two types of steering wheel switches. lever and cylindrical. Lever are a small lever located on the left or right of the steering wheel, with which the cable is pulled.

Cylindrical switches are switches that mount with a rubber or plastic handle to the edge of the handlebars. Switching here occurs by turning the handle down or up, then pulling the cable and moving the chain to the desired sprocket located at the back. They guarantee high-quality and fast shifting without getting off the bike and while driving.

Why gear shifts poorly on a bicycle

On entry-level bicycles, the transmission of the cheapest groups is installed, and when the gears begin to shift poorly and jam, the owners just shrug their shoulders. what, they say, you can take from cheap trash.

A big surprise befalls those who buy a much more expensive bike, and after a while again encounter shifting problems. The point here, of course, is not karma, but the wrong attitude to technology.

I am by no means claiming that there is no difference between starter and top-end components. Of course, the experienced cyclist with eyes closed will distinguish the Shimano Alivio from the XTR in three clicks.

But the reasons for the fuzzy operation of the transmission do not so much depend on the class of the transmission as on its condition and settings. In this post, I will not talk about how to configure the switches, for this a separate article will be released soon, subscribe, and I will send you a notification about its publication.

Reasons for poor performance

So, adjusting bike speeds starts with the rear derailleur if you need to adjust both. Otherwise, we set up exactly the one that needs it. But first, it’s worth understanding what exactly are the reasons that the gearshift system works poorly:

  • The cable is stretched;
  • The return spring does not work well;
  • Rooster. a metal part that protects the frame and the switch from deformation upon impact. is damaged;
  • There have been changes in the switch itself.

It doesn’t take much effort to solve the first possible problem. All you have to do is just increase the tension on the adjusting drum rope. In the case when the cable is very stretched, then it is changed to a new one. If the problem lies in the spring, it should be properly cleaned under a strong stream of water, and then well lubricated with special grease. If the cock is deformed, then you can notice it on the crooked gearshift frame. If the level of deformation is small, then you can do it yourself. To do this, grasp the rear derailleur and frame and bend the part to the proper level. But this technique is not long-term; in the future, the cock will require replacement. It also often deforms during impact. Deformations in the front derailleur are rare. If the frame is bent, it can be leveled, but if it burst and cracked, then only a replacement will help. Deformation of the chain tension adjustment screw may also occur at the rear. This problem is not global, but it will eventually lead to the need to replace the switch.

Cables and shirts

The cables do not differ from the derailleur on the rear in that they can be slightly shorter, or even slightly thinner. And shirts are also divided into three types, and each shirt has its own cable.

Rear derailleur setting

Correct setting will help you to efficiently and efficiently switch gears on your bike The rear derailleur setting will be of good quality if all defects that have occurred are eliminated, and all parts are new or in relatively good condition.

For those who are engaged in such a business for the first time, you need to know that this element of the bicycle structure in its design has two screws, which are indicated by the letter system: H and L. You need to start by choosing a higher speed, while the chain is located at the smallest of all the stars that are in the cassette. Now we turn the screw H to the position so that the gearshift roller goes down to the position from the small star. We turn to the low speed group and stop at the one when the chain position is on the largest of the cassette stars. Rotate the screw again, but now with the L value, so that the roller aligns with the position of the large star. On the shifter, the rear derailleur is at maximum speed. This will allow the cable to be properly tensioned so that it fits in the groove next to the fixing bolt and just tighten it. You can check the correctness of such manipulations if you switch speeds on a bike of a high category. If they turn on with difficulty, slightly loosen the cable tension. If the reset is not going well. a decrease in speed, then the cable must, on the contrary, be pulled.

The last stage of the adjustment is the smoothness of gear shifting. To do this, you need to fix the chain at the front on the small sprocket, and at the back on the large sprocket and roll the pedals back. In order to adjust the gearshift on the bike correctly, it is worth installing the upper roller as close to the star as possible, but not touching it. This moment can be achieved by rotating the tension screw. This customization item is available on more expensive bike variants. On cheap models, it is most often absent.

Moving on to the next step in adjusting the bike speeds. Here, the whole process is much easier and faster. Before starting work, make sure the front derailleur is properly installed and secured to the frame. Determining this is elementary: from the largest star on which the chain is fixed, to the frame there should be about 3 mm, and the frame itself should be parallel to the arrangement of the stars. Now we proceed to the direct setting of the front derailleur. Set the minimum speed. Remember that the chain is located at the front on the smallest of the stars, and at the back on the largest. We loosen the cable and turn the screw L until a distance of 1 mm is formed between the chain and the frame. Next, we attach the cable, as in the case of the rear derailleur, and tighten it well, but still not zealous. The whole process needs to be well experienced. Now we turn to absolutely opposite actions at the minimum speed and rotate the screw H until the same minimum gap is formed. If at the same time it is difficult to put the chain on large stars, then the screw should be slightly loosened.

You can find out the quality of the work performed only in a practical way. While riding, we begin to switch speeds on the bike. If the chain does not respond well to a decrease in speed, then a tension adjuster is installed on the steering wheel selector knob. Rotate it until the desired result is achieved. If the problem is with high speeds, then the cable must be pulled using the same manipulations.

Only practice will tell you thoroughly how to adjust the speeds on your bike, so don’t be afraid to act on your own and you will succeed. The ability to switch speeds on a bike conveniently and correctly is a guarantee of a comfortable ride.

Any specialized service center can help with the correct adjustment of the front and rear derailleur of the bike. The chain, cables and stars will be set up here.

how to set up derailleurs on a bike

Shimano is known as a manufacturer of quality components and parts for bicycles. Bicycles with many parts need periodic maintenance and Shimano comes to the rescue.

The rear shimano derailleur on the bike has some nuances, so you should not neglect the debugging principles set out below.

There is, perhaps, in the world of bicycles, on which the details of the famous brand would not stand. All of them are easy to install and high technology.

For many cyclists, repairing the bike’s front derailleur is easy, and the rear derailleur seems like a challenge. But, you can always contact the service workers to fix the problem, although it is not so difficult to do it yourself.

Remove dirt and debris from all transmission components

  • Clean the rear derailleur. To do this, we clean the parallelogram spring and foot rollers from dirt.
  • Clean, lubricate and check the cable for integrity. Cleaning and lubricating the rear transfer cable is very important. This is due to the fact that excessive contamination or damage (rust or fiber breakage) greatly impairs gear shifting. This is because a dirty cable creates additional friction inside the jacket, thereby impairing shifting. After cleaning and lubricating the cable, you may not need further adjustment of the transfer.
  • . If you have a dirty and unlubricated chain, it will be more difficult to get crisp shifters.
  • Clean the cassette of rear and front sprockets from dirt. Since we have cleaned all the transmission units of the bicycle, we should not forget about the star systems. If we do not clean them, the dirt from the sprockets will again adhere to the chain and derailleur rollers.

Varieties of bicycle speedometers

There are two main types of bicycle speed measuring devices: mechanical and electronic (wired and wireless). The first ones are the least functional, basically show only the speed and mileage. The latter are minicomputers with the ability to display on the liquid crystal display a variety of readings (from the current time to the maximum speed during the trip). The choice of this or that device depends on both personal preferences and financial capabilities.

Installing a mechanical speedometer

How to install a speedometer on a bike? Installation algorithm:

  • Loosen the front wheel nuts and remove it.
  • Unscrew the right fastening nut completely.
  • We attach the speedometer drive to the axle so that its inner metal sleeve rotates with the wheel.
  • We put the wheel in place (the adapter for connecting the cable on the drive must be directed upwards).
  • Using the bracket, we attach the dial gauge to the steering wheel.
  • We connect the speedometer drive and the speed indicator using a cable (it is included in the delivery set).
  • We make a few turns of the wheel.
  • We fix the cable with plastic clamps on the front fork and handlebar.

Important! Significant bends in the cable are not allowed.

Pros and cons of electronic devices

The most popular nowadays are electronic bicycle speed meters. A convenient digital display shows not only the speed (current, average for the trip and maximum), but also the time, as well as the mileage (day and total). Package Included:

  • the digital device itself;
  • mounting panel;
  • reading sensor;
  • magnet;
  • connecting wire;
  • elements for installation and fastening.

The main advantage of such devices: they are universal and they are easy to adapt to any type of bicycles, regardless of the size of the front wheel. The disadvantage, albeit minor, is the need to periodically replace the battery.

How to install a speedometer on a bike? Instructions

Cycling speed is of interest not only to professional athletes, but also to numerous fans of this means of transportation (by the way, the most environmentally friendly one). Usually the bike is not equipped with a speed meter at the factory. However, you can install the speedometer on your bike yourself, because it does not require special technical skills. over, the cost of such a device is low and the choice is quite diverse.

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Construction, Advantages and Disadvantages of a Mechanical Bicycle Speedometer

The mechanical speedometer on an old Soviet-style bicycle was a roller that fits tightly to the front tire and was connected with a cable to the speed indicator. A small figure eight or sticky dirt led to the fact that the readings became unreliable or even contributed to the failure of the device.

The design of modern mechanical speedometers is quite simple and reliable. Such a device consists of only three parts:

The undoubted advantages of such speed meters include:

  • lack of batteries;
  • independence of indications from the influence of electromagnetic fields.

The main disadvantages of a mechanical bicycle speedometer are:

  • The product is not universal and is only intended to be mounted on a bicycle with a specific front wheel size. Therefore, before purchasing, be sure to carefully read the instructions for use.
  • These speedometers may not be installed on all bicycle models.
  • For reliable and long-term operation of the device, the cable must be lubricated periodically.

Setting up a bicycle electronic digital speedometer

How to adjust the speedometer on a bike? Quite simple if you approach this process with due care. First of all, we remove the battery (if installed by the manufacturer). We do this in order to return all factory settings to their original position.

Then we measure the circumference of the front wheel. This can be done in two ways:

  • Turn the bike over with the wheels up. We apply a flexible tape around the tire. We write down or remember the measurements obtained (necessarily in millimeters).
  • We place the bike in an upright position. Use a long ruler to measure the diameter of the front wheel (D). Using the formula (well known to everyone from school) L = ฯ€D, we calculate the circumference.

Using the buttons installed on the body of the device, we enter the obtained value. The speed readings will now accurately match the specific bike. A small error (which appears as a result of the tire being pushed under the weight of the cyclist) can be neglected.

Next, using the button for switching the operating modes, we set the exact time and mileage of the bike (if known). After each ride with the help of such a bicycle speedometer, you can find out: the start and end time of the trip, mileage, average and maximum speed. We reset the readings before the next trip.

Installing an electronic speedometer

How to put a speedometer on a bike? Installing an electronic device is much easier than a mechanical one:

  • We fix the reading element on the front fork.
  • Opposite it, place a small magnet on the spoke, so that when the wheel rotates, the gap between it and the sensor is the manufacturer’s recommended distance (usually from 3 to 10 mm).
  • The mounting panel for the digital device is installed on the steering wheel in the most convenient place for viewing.
  • We fasten the wire connecting the sensor and the speed indicator with clamps so that it does not interfere with movement, brake pads and steering.
  • We install the digital device on the mounting platform and proceed with the setup.

Cables and shirts

This problem most often occurs among novice cyclists. It is enough to click the shifter or even remove the cable from the shirt and inspect it for contamination. In addition, the cable can be unwound somewhere, which will significantly affect the shifting.

Deformed rear derailleur bracket

There are times when a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur malfunctions despite new cables and shirts. The reason may be that the bike was caught somewhere during transport, and the bracket bent a little. If it is not possible to establish a clear gear shifting, then it is worth removing the cock and putting it on the table. Crooked? You need to fix it. But it’s important not to overdo it, as aluminum cracks.

Cycling does not switch gears

Transmission components should be kept in good condition at all times, lubricating the chain promptly, adjusting switches and troubleshooting. As the kilometers increase on the bike, individual parts wear out, and if maintenance is not performed on time, the part may become unusable altogether. In this article, we will look at the most common problem associated with speed derailleurs.

Bent cock

It sometimes happens that a seemingly perfectly tuned rear derailleur doesn’t work well despite fresh cables and shirts. The reason may be that during transportation, the bicycle is clamped somewhere, and the cock bent slightly. If you cannot achieve a clear gear change, then remove the cock and put it on the table.

If it is a little crooked, then you need to bend it. Do not overdo it, aluminum can give microcracks. How exactly to bend it. I will not advise. I do it in a handicraft way. I put it on the bike and pull it with my hands. Ideally, you need to edit with a special typewriter, which even takes into account the asymmetry of the dropouts.

What does it all depend on and what to do

Starter bikes are equipped with the cheapest transmission, and the gears are poorly shifted and jammed. An experienced cyclist will quickly be able to determine the level of the drivetrain. The point is that its disordered work is not always associated with the class, but more depends on the setting and state. Let’s try to list most of the factors causing such problems.

It must be understood that the speed changes only when the chain moves forward. If you jerked the shifter, then you need to turn the pedal so that the chain spreads from one star to another. If, when switching, clicking or any other extraneous sounds are emitted, you need to adjust the switching.

The main reasons for inaccurate switching:

  • The transfer cable is torn, stretched, or is on the verge of breaking.
  • The switch itself is broken or the spring in it is worn out.
  • The teeth of the rollers are worn down.
  • The switch needs to be adjusted.
  • The chain or cassette is worn out.
  • There is a lot of dirt in the chain.

Rear derailleur play

Move the rear derailleur towards you and away from you, keeping where the cable goes. Ideally, there should be no backlash at all, but a small free play does not represent anything criminal, especially on the initial transmission groups.

During operation, this backlash tends to increase, and then delays in switching, fuzziness, etc. begin. If everything is in order with the cables and the rooster, then with fine tuning you can overcome the negative effect of backlash.

To prevent damage, you need to be able to switch gears correctly.

How to switch gears correctly?

Correct gear shifting allows you to ride easier and more comfortable with less effort, as well as increase the service life of all elements of the bicycle transmission. We have prepared several rules and recommendations on how to properly switch speeds on a bike:

  • You can switch speeds only on the move, that is, while pedaling.
  • For correct and smooth shifting when shifting gears, it is necessary to reduce the load on the pedals.
  • Switching speeds should occur sequentially, you do not need to jump over several speeds at once.
  • When going uphill, you should not throw the chain between the chainrings, but between the rear stars it is quite acceptable. If there is a slide in front, it is better to change the speed before you enter it.
  • If, after switching the gears, extraneous sounds are heard, it means that the switching did not occur and it is necessary to press the shifting lever.

If the fault diagnosis and adjustment is carried out correctly, in accordance with the algorithm, it lasts for a long time. Often, in practice, it is limited to setting the rear derailleur. Timely elimination of violations in the system will allow the transmission to serve for a long time without failures. To reduce the wear rate, it is necessary to use the correct speed system.

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Let’s figure out how to correctly and when it is necessary to switch speeds on a bicycle, i.e. find out the principle of gear shifting.

Most bicycles have two to three sprockets in their design, which are in the front, and seven to ten driven sprockets, which are in the back.

The front stars are numbered from small to large, and the rear stars are numbered from large to small. Consider how the gear changes on a bicycle, three stars in the front and eight stars in the back:

  • A large chainring is used when you are driving on a level, good road and there is no strong wind blowing towards you. This star assumes the use of led stars numbered 4-8.
  • The middle sprocket is designed for driving on dirt roads, sand and uneven asphalt. The trailing stars that are used with it are numbers 2-6. This star will allow you to ride if the headwind is strong enough.
  • The small chainring is designed for uphill climbing, and also if you are driving in mud, sand, swampy soil, thick grass. The rear sprocket numbers that are used with it are 1-5.

Incorrect operation of these mechanisms will shorten their service life. For example, if you allow the chain to be strongly skewed.

When choosing gears, keep in mind the concept of “cadence”. This word refers to how fast your bicycle pedals are. The cadence depends on the number of revolutions per minute. For comfortable movement, it should be equal to somewhere between 80-110 rpm.

Therefore, it is worth choosing gears so that the cadence is kept around 80-110 revolutions. At the start, you should not immediately take high gears.

It is better to warm up the muscles at light speeds and reach a comfortable cadence, and then you can change gears higher. As your riding experience improves, you will learn to intuitively sense which gear to shift and when.

Rear derailleur

It does the same job as the front one, but it has more stars (up to nine), and there is also a special frame in its design that provides chain tension.

Such switches also differ in certain characteristics:

  • Rear derailleur for each type of bike.
  • Fixed size of the largest star.
  • Different cable lengthening when moving the switch (its pitch).
  • Switch capacity (difference between the size of the largest and smallest stars).
  • Traction type (forward or reverse thrust).
  • Mounting type (with a rooster or directly to the frame).
  • simple construction;
  • little weight;
  • small price;
  • the number of gears such switches have a lot.
  • strong influence of external factors;
  • heavy chain wear;
  • frequent switch maintenance;
  • a high probability of breakdown if the cyclist falls;
  • gear shifting is not possible if the bike is stationary.


Over time, every cyclist has trouble shifting gears. Either you cannot switch from one gear to another. you jump over a couple of stars, or you cannot switch at all. This is where the need for awareness arises on how to set up gear shifting on a bicycle.

Adjusting the speeds on a bike is not a complicated procedure (although at first glance it seems so). If you are configuring two switches, start from the rear.


This type of derailleur uses planetary bushings. In this case, the shifting mechanism is hidden inside the rear hub, which results in one sprocket on the front wheel, a chain, and one sprocket on the rear wheel.

The current planetary hubs have a different number of gears (from three to fourteen), they can also have a built-in brake.

Such mechanisms are mainly used on walking and road bicycles, very rarely on mountain bicycles.

Consider the merits of these switches:

  • increased resistance to weather and road conditions (the parts of the mechanism are in the case);
  • the presence of a built-in brake;
  • they are quite reliable and durable;
  • such a mechanism allows you to change gears without pedaling;
  • fairly simple maintenance.

However, such mechanisms also have disadvantages:

  • quite heavy weight;
  • complication of movement may occur due to strong friction of the nodes;
  • it is impossible to repair the mechanism in field conditions.


Bicycle gearshift is a transmission component that directly serves to shift gears. Correct speed control is an important part of a comprehensive approach to cycling comfortably and safely. Next, let’s talk about why you need a speed switch on a bicycle, what types there are, how to set up and how to switch speeds on a bicycle.


Bicycle gearshift is a transmission component that directly serves to shift gears. Gear shifting for a bicycle is a very important and sometimes very necessary function for a bicycle, which allows you to effectively distribute the energy expended on the effort directed to pressing the pedals and the frequency of their rotation.

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The gear ratio between wheel and pedals that changes and allows this distribution to occur.

There are several types of switches:

  • external switching mechanism;
  • internal switching mechanism;
  • combined mechanism.


Every cyclist should know how to properly switch speeds on a bike. Correct gear shifting will allow you to drive much faster and more comfortably with less effort and, moreover, it will increase the life of the sprockets and chain.

The first thing I would like to note is, always select the gear so that it is easy to pedal (cadence 80-110 rpm).

So, what you need to know to properly shift bike speeds?

Modern bicycles have a chain drive. This means that when the cyclist pedals, he transfers the force from the pedals to the cranks, and then to the system stars, which are located on the front wheel (leading), and then, accordingly, to the driven cassette stars. Ending effort on spinning the wheel.

If we consider switching speeds, then the essence is to drag the chain from one star to another. Of course, while choosing the correct star size.

Brompton hub gear setup. Sturmey Archer 3 or 6 speed

Let’s take an example of the correct speed switching algorithm. We put the middle sprocket in front and start off. We select the gear with the rear derailleur, taking into account that there is no heavy load on the legs.

If the road goes uphill, then we throw the chain onto the large star in front. We carry out this principle of action with low gears, when we are going uphill, and there is no longer enough range of cassettes, with the middle front chainring on, then we go to small.

Most importantly, remember that the middle chainring is the working chainring, only there will be no significant chain skew from it. If you take into account all of the above while cycling, then the transmission will last for a very long time.


These derailleurs are used much more frequently on bicycles. Gear shifting takes place using two switches: rear and front. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.

Cycling gear shifting

What is gear shifting

The essence of switching speeds is to drag the chain from one star to another. Various combinations of front and rear sprockets allow you to regulate the cyclist’s load. But first, let’s turn to the bike drivetrain.

The transmission is all the parts and assemblies of the bicycle that provide the transfer of energy to the rotational movement of the rear wheel. The transmission consists of a carriage, a system of connecting rods, a chain, sprockets or cassette (or ratchet), front and rear derailleurs, as well as shifters (they are also sometimes called shifters).

Gear shifting occurs through the shifters located on the steering wheel. Using the rear derailleur shifter located on the right handlebar, the chain is thrown between the rear sprockets, and using the front derailleur shifter (it is on the left on the steering wheel) between the front sprockets.

Most multi-speed bikes have three drive sprockets and six to eight driven sprockets. The fore stars are counted from small to large, and the rear stars, on the contrary, from large to small.

What is gear shifting for?

Riding on a flat road, uphill or downhill requires different efforts from the cyclist. On a single speed bike, there are no options, since there is only one gear. And those who have experience riding a single speed bike know how difficult it is. But in the case of a multi-speed bike, new possibilities appear. you can adjust the load. On a bike equipped with multiple gears, for example, it is much easier to ride uphill. Let’s figure out how the gearshift occurs.

Correct star combinations

Select speeds based on the terrain and your physical capabilities, and so that the chain does not tilt. You can make sure that there are no distortions simply by looking at the chain. If it moves parallel to the frames of the front derailleur, then the selected speed is optimal. Skew occurs when the chain is on the front large chainring and on the rear, also large.

Let’s see which sprocket combinations are applicable for a bicycle with three chainrings and eight chainrings. The main principle is simple: it is necessary that the combination of front and rear sprockets 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 chainrings. This combination is suitable if you are riding on lightly rough roads, 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 chainrings 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.

Types of speed switches

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

How to set up the shifters

External switching mechanism

This type of derailleur is used on most multi-speed bikes, from city bikes (eg Forward Dortmund 28 2.0) to mountain bikes (eg Forward Apache 27.5 2.0 disc). Gear shifting is carried out using the front and rear derailleurs.

Front derailleur
The front derailleur transfers the chain between the chainrings. The derailleur design has a moving frame within which the bicycle chain runs. When shifting gears with a shifter, the frame moves and becomes above the desired star, which ensures the movement of the chain to this star.

Rear derailleur
The rear derailleur is a spring-return mechanism that moves a frame (or foot) with rollers fixed between them within a transverse axis. In one direction, the switch is moved with a cable, and in the opposite direction, with a return spring. When the derailleur is moved, the chain passed through it is thrown from one rear sprocket to another, and the chain tensioner automatically removes the chain slack.

Pros of external switches:
simple construction
light weight
low price
a large number of gears

Cons of external switches:
– are highly susceptible to the influence of unfavorable external factors
– the need for adjustment and maintenance
– risk of breakage when the bike falls
– it is impossible to change gears if the bike is stationary

What to do if your bike’s derailleur is broken

Transmission components must be kept in good condition at all times, lubricating the chain promptly, adjusting switches and troubleshooting.

As the kilometers increase on the bike, individual parts wear out, and if maintenance is not performed on time, the part may become unusable altogether. In this article, we will look at the most common problem associated with speed derailleurs.

It must be understood that the speed changes only when the chain moves forward. If you jerked the shifter, then you need to turn the pedal so that the chain spreads from one star to another. If, when switching, clicking or any other extraneous sounds are emitted, you need to adjust the switching.

The main reasons for inaccurate switching:

  • The transfer cable is torn, stretched, or is on the verge of breaking.
  • The switch itself is broken or the spring in it is worn out.
  • The teeth of the rollers are worn down.
  • The switch needs to be adjusted.
  • The chain or cassette is worn out.
  • There is a lot of dirt in the chain.

Transmission repair steps

Repair includes adjusting the front and rear derailleurs, as well as checking the condition of the cables, chain, cassette and rollers.

  • Unscrew the bolt holding the cable.
  • Disassemble the shifter and remove the cable from it and from the shirts. Shirts are also recommended to be replaced!
  • Clean shirts and put a drop of oil in them for better cable glide.
  • Thread the new cable through the shifter and then into all shirts.
  • Start configuring the switch.
  • Bite off the excess part of the cable and secure the end with a special tip.

If you see that the teeth of the transfer rollers or cassettes have worn out, they must be replaced with new ones. Worn cassette or rollers rotate the chain, and the quality of gear shifting on the bike suffers greatly.

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Over time, the chain deteriorates. It is recommended to keep several chains in stock and change them every 100 kilometers, because the chain deteriorates due to chain wear. Multiple chains will wear out more slowly and your cassette will last longer. You can determine the state of the chain using a special tool. It is impossible to repair the chain, you just need to replace it if necessary.

If the chain is in good condition, simply remove it, clean and lubricate. Remove excess with a napkin or dry cloth.

Front crossover

It is important to set it up especially accurately, since if the adjustment is not good enough when switching speeds, the chain can fly off or even break. The sequence of your actions will be as follows:

Use the rear shifter to shift to the middle sprocket so that the chain is not too skewed.

Next, put the chain in first gear and unscrew the bolt securing the cable.

Use the screw “L” to move the transfer frame so that the distance from the chain to the switch on the left and right coincides.

Without too much tension, place the cable and secure with the bolt.

Switch to the biggest star in the front.

Tighten the screw “H” so that the chain is again exactly in the middle of the frame.

Check adjustment results and achieve maximum shifting accuracy with the thumb on the shifter.

If the shifter triggers are too tight, loosen the cable tension.

Rear derailleur

Make sure the cock is level first. If it is still bent, you can contact the service to straighten it, or try it yourself. Alternatively, you can simply replace it. For 2016, for roosters are only about 300-900 rubles. Do not even try to tune the derailleur with a bent cock, as the gear setting on the bike in this case will not work for you.!

Some firms produce the so-called cock guard, which is attached to the frame. Do not buy it under any circumstances! A rooster is a consumable component that can and should be replaced if it breaks. When hitting this very protection, the cock will remain intact, but the frame may crack. The frame is harder and more expensive to change.

When you are convinced that the rooster and the cable are in good condition, you can proceed to the actual setting.

Place the chain on the largest chainring in the front and the smallest in the back.

Unscrew the bolt that holds the rear crossover cable.

By rotating the bolt with the inscription “H” you need to make sure that the switch rollers lie in the same plane with the desired sprocket.

Then slightly stretch the cable and tighten the bolt holding it. Over-tensioning the cable will make the crossover difficult to work.

bike, does, switch, speeds

Shift the speed to the lowest (i.e. the largest star in the back and smallest in the front).

Rotate screw “L” until the derailleur rollers line up against the large sprocket.

Check if gear changes are good.

If shifting is not correct, use the thumbscrew on the shifter, which changes the cable tension.

Now that you have set up the rear derailleur, you are ready to adjust the front.

Switching recommendations

Drive only at speeds that will not cause the chain to tilt too much. For example, you cannot set the speed to 1/8, 1/10, 3/1 (the first number is forward gear, the second is reverse), and so on. For the smallest front chainring, you can turn on 1โ€“4 speeds at the rear, for the middle. 3โ€“7, for the largest. 7. If you nevertheless put an incompatible gear, there will be a risk of chain jamming and spinning, as well as an increase in its wear rate.

On a speed bike, fast gear changes are very important, especially if you are competing. Transmission repairs should be carried out before the race, and then after, as aggressive driving can cause the shift adjustment to be out of order. If you do full maintenance of your bike at least once a season, it will serve you for a very long time.!