Cycling Literacy: How to Change Gears on a 21-Gear Stealth Bike
A typical city bike has one sprocket at the front and one at the back. One gear is not enough to comfortably navigate any terrain and maintain the correct cadence. These disadvantages are eliminated by the multi-speed transmission, which is equipped with modern mountain and road specimens. Correctly selected gear ratio allows you to pass swampy, sandy and other areas of increased complexity, which are beyond the power of a single-speed “bike”.
Forming a skill: how to switch gears correctly using the example of a Stealth bike with 21 gears
- Optimum crank speed ensures joint integrity.
- Acceptable cadence is the key to effective muscle work.
- Exemplary speed preserves plant life of components.
You can learn and learn how to shift gears correctly on a mountain bike only after mastering its high-speed design. So, on any Stels Navigator model the following are installed:
- 3 stars 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 connecting the steering gears and frame spreaders.
The process of regulating the position of the chain between the stars with the help of frames is called switching. It is carried out by working with shifters. The latter are of two types: trigger (with levers) and pin (rotate). They are installed on the steering wheel in two copies:
- The left one is responsible for the operation of the front transmission.
- The right moves the rear chain spreader.
On the shifters, there are 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).
If the device is unpacked and assembled, the method for adjusting the brakes has been completed, the algorithm for how to switch speeds on a Stealth bike is clear. you can ride. When moving, it is worth choosing the gear ratio correctly, excluding chain distortions:
- Big star. Used when driving from slopes and no wind. Cooperates with rear set 5, 6, 7.
- Medium asterisk. It is used when starting, moving along a flat road and a well-groomed intersection. Interacts with the rear block 3,4,5.
- Small star. It is used when riding on slopes, rough rough terrain, wetlands, viscous mud, sand, thick grass. Spins optimally with rear sprockets 1 to 3.
We consolidate knowledge or how to change gears correctly on any mountain bike without harming people and equipment
Awareness of the gearshift mechanism is not enough to operate a bike confidently and safely. It is also worth familiarizing yourself with the tips on this matter:
- The chain can only be thrown during movement. If the position of the frames was changed on a stationary bike, you need to spin the pedals at idle (raise the rear wheel).
- Use the transmission only with an unloaded chain. In other words, to move the links of the chain drive exclusively with fast rotation of the connecting rods, but not at the start or under load. This is fraught with the fact that the actuators can break and the chain break. And indeed, with a lot of effort on the pedals, there is a great risk of not switching at all when the corresponding command is given.
- Do not transfer multiple stars at once. It only takes one click to reposition the frames. In this case, the clarity of the transmission is ensured.
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 speed of the transmission so that pedaling is easy. The optimal cadence verified by cyclists is 80-90 rpm. To measure it, you can use bike computers, for example, CatEye Strada Cadence. Be sure to drink during pokatushek. These two rules will save your knee joints.
How to change the chain on a bicycle?
Replacing a bike chain is an essential skill for every home mechanic. Chain. a consumable for the transmission of a bicycle. Over time, it tends to stretch and wear out. So sooner or later the time for replacement will come.
The video below shows the process of installing a new chain on a bicycle. The instruction is suitable for both mountain bikes and road bikes.
How to install a chain. video. Tools for work
- Chain squeezing;
- Chain wear indicator (chain stretch tester);
- Bicycle spoke;
The transmission elements of bicycles of most manufacturers, with rare exceptions, are compatible with each other. All you need to do is match the same number of transmission and chain speeds. For example, a nine-speed transmission would require a chain designed for the same number of speeds.
Removing the old chain
Using a chain pull, press out one of the rollers (the pin connecting the chain links) in the lower chain passage. If there is a lock link, then remove it. After removing the roller, carefully remove the chain from the bike.
If one chain is used for a long time without replacement, it may be necessary to replace the cassette.
Installing a new chain
Shift reverse and forward to the largest sprockets. If your bike has a clutch, loosen it. Place the chain over the front sprocket, thread the end through the front derailleur. Crank the pedals so that the end of the chain hangs down from the sprocket about 10 centimeters. Thread the other end through the rear fork of the bike frame and slide the cassettes over the largest sprocket. Lower the rear derailleur down.
Place the chain over the idler roller, pull it through the mechanism tabs, and wrap around the tensioner roller. Gently release the gearshift mechanism.
Make sure that the chain behaves properly when shifting into any gear without damaging other parts of the bike. For testing, the chain must be installed on the two largest sprockets, front and rear. Even if you never ride in such a gear.
Align the two ends of the chain and identify the extra links to be removed. Use a piece of bicycle spoke to lock the chain in this position.
After the required chain length has been determined, remove unnecessary links. Throw the chain back onto the smallest sprockets.
Attention! On fully suspended mountain bikes, make sure the chain is long enough to compress the suspension.
Shimano chains require a roller to connect both ends. After installation, the excess of the roller is broken off with pliers. At SRAM and KMC, a special locking link is inserted between the ends of the chain, then the plates are snapped into place. For a complete connection, special pliers are used, but you can use the following method.
Rotate the pedals so that the locking link is in the middle of the upper aisle. Then, hold the rear wheel to prevent it from spinning. Step on the pedals and the locking link will finally sit in place. Make sure the chain is installed correctly. Pedal your bike using all gears.
Regular cleaning and lubrication. the best way to extend the life of the chain. Use a bike chain lubricant. Lubricate each roller. Only lubricate the inside of the chain, there should be no lubricant on the outside.
Do not spin the chain in the opposite direction and apply lubricant in a hurry. In addition to the increased consumption of funds, you can overload the links. Always wipe off excess grease with a cloth. After driving in wet weather, wipe the chain dry and re-lubricate. This will prevent rust and chain stretching.
It is believed that the chain stretches due to improper driving. In fact, the chain lengthening effect is due to wear on the rollers and pins. As the chain wears down, it will damage the sprocket teeth, causing the chain to slip. There are special tools for determining chain wear.
Forcing and chain wear indicator
There is a wide variety of pomace of different sizes from different manufacturers. It is worth noting that this tool is definitely a must for those who want to change the chain themselves. Chain wear can be determined using a standard ruler. But for constant monitoring, it is better to purchase a special tool. a chain wear indicator.
Bicycle chain main dimensions
The bicycle chain, the dimensions of which are selected individually for each bike, is part of the transmission. It transfers the force of pressure from the legs of a person to the sprocket of the rear wheel, from which rotation occurs. The bike will not run without this element.
Any bicycle chain is made of links, they are also from two half-links, pins and a roller. All chains are the same and the step between the half-links (the distance from one half-link to the other) is equal, therefore you should choose only according to your own preferences and chain thickness.
Bicycle chain device
Any bicycle chain (except Half-Link) consists of several elements, namely:
- Outer link plate.
- Inner plate.
- Sleeve (glass).
- Full chain link.
- Side bend clearance.
1 link consists of 2 half-links. They are connected to each other using a pin placed in the “glass”. A roller is put on it. The roller is needed to hold the bicycle sprockets on the teeth (where the chain is put on). The length of one full link is 1 inch, which translates to 25.4 millimeters. The length of the entire chain is determined by how many links it contains.
For a 12-speed adult bike, a 126-link chain is usually used. There are many variations, the number of links varies from 110 to 126 pieces. Mountain bikes (MTBs) use 106 or 108 chains.
Types of bicycle chains
There are 4 types of chains in total, they have their own distinctive features.
For single speed bicycles
This is the simplest type of chain and is usually found on budget bicycles for teenagers or kids. They only fit bikes with 1 rear wheel sprocket. This type practically does not wear out. This is because the chain does not flex like on multi-speed bikes. They are usually made of thick steel, and the plates are thick and very strong.
For multi-speed bikes
Used on bicycles with a gear shifter. The main difference from single-speed chains is the presence of a gap for bending the chain to the sides. In addition, their plates are thinner due to the fact that multi-speed bikes have smaller sprockets. Such chains are almost constantly skewed, which negatively affects their wear. In addition, the front and rear sprockets of the bike are erased.
Lightweight bike chains
They can be for both single speed and multi-speed bikes. The main difference is the empty pins and the presence of holes in the plates. This makes them lighter than their counterparts by about 20-25 percent. Typically these chains are used by racers in disciplines where every gram counts. Lightweight bike chains stretch, wear and tear the fastest due to their nature.
A special species that differs in its structure. Such a chain has no internal or external links, but consists of repeating elements. Can be used on single speed and multi speed bike.
One of the advantages is that it is much easier to fit them to the required size of the bike. But of the minuses, this is not the perfection of the design, in which the base stretches and wears out very quickly.
Bicycle chain main dimensions
A bicycle chain is made up of links. The standard distinguishes between internal, external link and their connection. Modern chains can be used on almost all types of bicycles. There are separate specialized types for multi-speed bikes.
Many people make chains with chamfers that speed up the gear change process. When using a chain from the same manufacturer on different types of bikes, it will behave and wear differently. When choosing a suitable chain, you should pay attention to the main dimensions, of which there are 3.
Bicycle chain pitch
This is the distance between two pins (elements connecting two half-links). According to the standard, this step is ½ inch or 12.7 millimeters.
Bicycle chain width
The width can be determined by measuring the pin size. All chains have different widths, and it is determined depending on their purpose. There is a tendency for the number of sprockets on a multi-speed bike to be inversely proportional to pin size.
The approximate ratio of the number of stars (pcs.) To the width (mm.):
- 1. 7-11
- 4-5. 8.7
- 6. 7.8
- 7. 7.3
- 8. 7.05
- 9. 6.6
- 10. 5.85
- 11. 5.5
The chain length depends on the manufacturer, it varies from 110-126 links. For MTB, 106 links are usually used, for 29ers 112 links, and for road 126 links. If the chain sags when put on the sprockets, it must be shortened.
Bicycle chain markings
The marking contains all the geometrical parameters of the chain, for example ½ “х3 / 16”. 120 links Pinlength 7,3 mm.
½ ”is the so-called chain pitch (distance between pins), as mentioned above according to the standard, it is always the same and is half an inch or 12.7 millimeters.
3/16 ”- Width between inner links. Depending on this indicator, it is clear whether such a chain can be put on a wide sprocket or not.
There are 4 variations in total:
- 1/8 ”- commonly used on single speed bikes for freestyle and BMX.
- 3/16 “- at the moment is practically not used, previously made for walking, single-speed bicycles.
- 3/32 ”is the most common type for multi-speed bikes with 6 to 8 stars.
- 11/128 ”- for multi-speed bikes with 9 or more sprockets.
120 links is the number of links in one chain, as mentioned above, there are from 110 to 126 pieces.
Pinlength 7,3 mm. this is the outer width of the pin, it determines the number of stars on a multi-speed bike and whether this chain fits. The thinner the pin, the more suitable it is for a bike with many stars.
How to choose the right bike chain?
The first step is to pay attention to the markings that are installed on the chain. It is on it that the basic and necessary data about the chain are indicated.
In addition to actual performance, manufacturers often define the quality of their chain by letter and number markings. The higher the number, the better the quality. For example, a Taiwanese manufacturer of KMS dyes chains in a certain color, gold is considered the best.
The most popular are these manufacturers:
- Shimano is the Japanese company that pioneered the use of dry lubrication in chains.
- Compagnolo is an Italian firm that works closely with sports cycling teams to produce quality but not cheap items.
- SRAM is an American pioneer in link locks.
- KMC is a Taiwanese company that has occupied its niche for over 30 years, producing chains close to the quality of Shimano and SRAM but at affordable prices.
- Wipperman is a German company famous for its quality and reliability, as well as high cost.
- Tyazhmash is a Russian manufacturer that has been making chains for 40 years, known for their increased wear resistance. Their chains can withstand a load of 1100 kilograms.
As with any machine, the transmission needs to be lubricated, adjusted and properly stored. In order for the chain to last longer, it must be lubricated with specialized oil at least 1 time per season and cleaned from old oil and dirt.
If the bike will be stored without use for several seasons, the chain should be removed and placed in a container with kerosene. This is done so that it does not stretch during downtime and maintains its appearance. You can determine chain wear using a regular ruler or 24 links. Length should be 12 inches, which is 304.8 in millimeters.
If your chain is longer than:
- 1.5 millimeters. normal;
- 2.5 millimeters. should be replaced;
- 3 millimeters. there will be problems with gear shifting, a replacement is urgently needed;
- more than 3 millimeters. the entire transmission needs to be replaced.
What to do if the bike chain falls off?
During the operation of the bicycle, the owner has to deal with a situation where the chain comes off during the ride. This situation is dangerous when driving at high speed, as well as in the process of screwing down a hill. Even if you use slip-on pedals with shoes to keep your foot from flying off the pedal, when the chain falls off, the cyclist can sprint over the handlebars or fall on his side. In this article, we will look at the main reasons why the bicycle chain flies, and also give practical advice on how to fix this breakdown.
There are a number of reasons why the chain fails. They are listed below:
- weak tension (applies to both bicycles without gears and with variable transmission);
- curvature of one or more links;
- deformation of one or more teeth in the chainring or chainring;
- the chain is stretched as a result of prolonged use;
- incorrectly configured front or rear derailleur.
Now let’s take a closer look at each problem. Here we will also offer solutions to emerging difficulties.
If your chain goes off on a bike without gears, all you need to do is unscrew the two nuts on the rear wheel axle and then pull it towards you. Tighten the nuts, but make sure that the wheel does not move closer to the center of the frame. By following these steps, you will see that the chain will not sag. Accordingly, the likelihood that it flies again is completely excluded. But in the case of this problem, on a high-speed bike you will have to sweat. A special spring is installed in the gear selector, which automatically pulls the chain. With prolonged use, it loses its elasticity, which leads to similar problems. Since the transmission is not separable, you will have to change the switch to a new one.
Curvature of one or more links
Such a problem can be encountered quite rarely, but it can still bother you at any time. If you notice that the links are curved, you have two options. The first is to completely replace the chain. The second is to get rid of the bent links using a special squeeze. Do not use this method on bicycles without variable transmission. It is recommended to use this method as a temporary solution on models with gear derailleurs.
Deformation of one or more teeth in the chainring or chainring
Why can teeth warp? The first obvious reason is due to impact, the second is due to severe wear. In any case, if the chain falls off solely due to problems with the cassette teeth, then it must be replaced with another one.
The chain is stretched due to prolonged use
This happens in the process of wear and tear. The switch spring cannot tension it normally, it constantly sags. In this case, there is only one way out. to replace the circuit with a new one. In practice, it is rare to find bicycles in which the chain is stretched and skips when shifting gears. It is virtually impossible to restore its elasticity.
Front or rear derailleur incorrectly configured
This only happens on bicycles with gears. All you have to do is adjust the rear derailleur as precisely as possible. The problem is quite simple to notice: the chain can randomly jump to another gear in the process of turning the pedals with great force, but you will not press on the shifter petal. There are two bolts on the switch housing, with which you need to adjust the travel limit of the mechanism.
If you see that your chain flies, it does not always mean that you need to change it entirely. It is possible that the problem lies elsewhere. If you do not want it to fly off at the most inopportune moment, we recommend that you carry out maintenance from time to time. Check the transmission very carefully for wear. A simple check before driving will help you avoid serious injury, especially if you prefer to ride in an aggressive or even extreme style. We hope that the tips above will help you avoid future breakdowns.