how to use gears on a bike

Modern 10- or even 11-speed cassettes with the same spread, 12-25, would have only single tooth increments for the majority of the shifting. Succeed at this and you'll avoid the wearing out of freewheel cassette cogs, derailleur cages, and even chain rings. The chain transfers the turning force from the pedals to make the wheels go around and move the bike along. While the 10-speed bicycle used to be a common gear configuration, it since has been replaced by 18-speed, 27-speed and other gear styles. So I've put together this simple, easy to follow, how to use bike gears for dummies guide. While different bicycles have different methods of allowing you to shift from one gear to another, some bikes are equipped with gear shifts right on the handlebars, called grip … As such, it is essential to understand how to operate those for a better ride. Unfortunately, shifting bike gears isn’t a terribly intuitive thing. A bike’s gearing system allows you to make a lot of your overall muscle power. Cookies help us deliver our services. SRAM has based Apex gearing around a compact double chainset, but utilises a specially designed rear derailleur and large ratio cassette of up to 11-36t to significantly reduce the gearing. If you do find yourself in too hard a gear on a climb, try and ride sideways across the slope and change gear. The gear controls are located in the left handle. Nowadays, almost all bikes whether a road bike, a mountain bike or a commuter bike comes with gears. Their weight is their Achilles heel, counting against them in hillier terrain and on longer rides. With some modern designs, it’s not always immediately obvious where the shift levers are. It’s about efficiency and having a much broader range, or choice, of gears for a given situation. However, most ads multiply the number of chainrings at the front with the number of cogs to come up with the bike speed, e.g. Loosen the Cable Adjuster. 5. Having three chainrings brings the possibility of adding a much smaller gear option. How to calculate bicycle gear ratio? Drivetrain: term grouping together all the moving parts that connect the crank to the rear wheel and hence drive a bicycle along — namely the chain, the cassette and the chainrings. 6 Cycling Skills You Can Improve on Your Commute, Vulpine offers functional fashion that performs great on the bike and looks fab off it too. It really just means that there are plenty of gears and that you'll have an easy time pedaling your bike regardless of what the road or trail throws at you. Hub gears are generally tough and require very little maintenance so they’re great for everyday commuter bikes, especially as most allow you to change gear without pedalling too — handy at traffic lights. For example, 53×19 is the same gear as 39×14. >>> Road bike wheels buyer’s guide (videos). Fig.1 (below) shows the front part of the mountain bike gear mechanisms. Lower numbers are the low gears, and higher numbers are the high gears. A bike with 30 or more gears is not an indication of a machine designed to break the land speed record any more than a bike with only a single gear, assuming similar ratios. As a simple fix to reduce a compact gear ratio a tad further. The new SRAM Red eTap AXS with its innovative gearing ratios. (A straight chain line is … Here's the guide. See the calendar here. When riding on flat surfaces or at a decline, you can shift into a harder gear to maintain a nice pedaling cadence. For beginners, gears can look intimidating, knowing which gear you need to use, and the perfect time to use them is sometimes times a profound mystery. Ride up a down a fairly quiet road or path and practice shifting up and down the gears, both front and back, until you can change change gear almost instinctively. Why? You can think of gears as the same thing as speeds​. How to Use Your Gears: which lever changes which bike gear? Teaching Kids to Ride a Bike with Gears … Let’s start out by examining the anatomy of mountain bike gears. In this position, the pedaling will … When is a 3-Speed Right for You? The result is smoother, more precise shifting, as the mechanical difficulties the chain has to overcome to climb onto the bigger sprocket or drop down onto a smaller one are much reduced with smaller increments, but most importantly, the possibility is there to greatly improve pedalling efficiency. Whether you ride a mountain bike, a road bike or a commuter bike – in fact, pretty much any bike – you’ll have gears. Conquer that hill with our super quick beginners cycling tips. Before you start, make sure the bike chain is in gear one on your front gears. We demystify derailleurs and sprockets and explain why in cycling STIs are a good thing to have, This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Cyber Monday Deals: 25% off Lifeproof smartphone cases (USA), Assos Schlosshund Equipe RS rain jacket reduced by 41% for Black Friday at Wiggle, Best Wiggle Cyber Monday deals: the latest deals and offers for cyclists, Why gravel bikes with flat handlebars absolutely make perfect sense, Major London cycle route named after Tao Geoghegan Hart, New S-Works shoes spotted in Deceuninck-Quick-Step kit launch. If you don't do this, the lower limit screw will … Keep it down to the lowest number. The types of levers you … A quick flick or the lever here, a subtle shift there, and it’s all to ensure they are using their gears as efficiently as possible. So, quite simply, more gears means more scope to find your preferred pedalling speed. The number of gears a bike has is figured by multiplying the number of front chainrings by the number of gears in the rear cassette. You work out how many gears a bicycle has by "x" the value of the two cogs together. These top tips will get you up to speed in no time. Watch: How to be more aero on your road bike. The following tips apply to a conventional bike with more than one front chainring: Use one shifter at a time: To simplify gear shifting and minimize stress on your drivetrain, don’t shift both the front and rear shifters at the same time.Remember: shift the chain between the front chainrings for big changes, then use the rear cogs to fine-tune your gear setting. Get comfortable shifting through the gears (while avoiding cross chaining) before you start shifting with the front gears as well. This is like a brake lever. It will help you on those moments halfway up a climb when you realise you’re in too hard a gear and need to shift quickly! We are just describing our experience helping our 5-year learn to use the gears on his new bike. Front Mountain Bike Gear Parts. Here’s the lowdown to put you on the right track. If you’ve got a hill coming up, it’s quicker to shift down using the left shifter, which will shift the front gears, rather than the right which controls the rear gears. Rear gear controls are positioned in the right handle. Simple, just divide your rear cog size from your front chainring size. The gearing supplied by the manufacturer on a new bicycle is selected to be useful to the majority of people. The front derailleur that shifts the chain between these chainrings is controlled by the left gear lever (or shifter). The front set, known as the chainrings, will give you big changes in gear. The majority of gears on bikes today are actuated by metal cables – bowden cables to use their proper name. Pedal the bike using one hand and then shift to the other gears. Then follow with changing mechanical gears to obtain your optimal level of pedaling effort. Derailleurs: front and rear derailleurs do all the hard work of moving the chain from one sprocket (or chainring) to the next. Let’s be clear about one thing — having lots of gears is not about making the bike faster. Now shifters are incorporated into the brake hoods on road bikes and trigger style systems on mountain bikes and hybrids and use a ratchet … Our complete guide to bike gears takes the mystery out, and will have you joining in with all the other bores banging on about ratios in no time at all. Cassette: cluster of sprockets at the rear of the drivetrain, containing up to 11 gears, of various sizes. Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. Shift gradually, making sure the chain has engaged with each new gear before moving onto the next one. Instead of touching directly and rotating in opposite directions, each pair of gear wheels is connected by a flexible metal chain (kept taught by a springy lever and gear-shifting mechanism called a derailleur), so they turn in the same direction; technically, gears … The first number is the smallest sprocket size, often 11t or 12t and the second number is the largest sprocket size, commonly anything from 21t to 28t and sometimes larger. When you are riding on a flat surface, you need to use large chaining. Learn the sound your gears make when all is working well, and tune your ears to notice chain chatter and other metal-on-metal noises when things aren't perfectly aligned. How to Use a Grip Shift on My Bike. Let's say bike A has 50-34 chainrings and a 12-28 cassette, and bike B has 26-36-48 chainrings … Encourage them to change up through the range one at a time and go … You’ll be using your bike gears a lot, and the chances are you’ll get plenty of practice in as you ride anyway, but if you’re new to cycling, have just got a new bike or changed bike, then spend some time getting used to how the gears change. Step 2: Changing Rear Gears. A standard double set-up is usually the preferred choice for racing, offering the largest chainring sizes for the biggest gears possible to keep you pedalling smoothly when speeds are high. The popular Rohloff hub has 14 gears, while four, seven, eight, nine and 12-speed options are available from the likes of SRAM, Shimano and Sturmey-Archer. The right shifter controls the front ring and left shifter controls the back ring. Derailleurs are the machines that physically shift your gears and keep your … Block: another term for the group of rear sprockets, but really refers to the older, screw-on freewheel. As you can see, this is really just a general statement. These still have a gear – which is determined by the size of the front chainring and rear cog. Shifting the gears on a bicycle can be a daunting task at first, with a lot of numbers and two derailleurs to keep track of. Locate your derailleurs. Both chainrings are reduced in size, usually 34t or 36t inner, paired with a 48t or 50t outer, reducing the gear ratio across the range. Get them on the bike and give them a couple of tips before you start. The good news is once you get a bit of practice, shifting becomes second-nature–something you don’t have to think about at all. The Siva Cycle Atom Charger uses your bike's power to charge electronic devices on the go, Davina McCall urges women to get back in the saddle with her top ten tips for female cyclists. Finally, track bikes only ever have one gear – though again riders will change their set up to suit certain events. Let’s start out by examining the anatomy of mountain bike gears. You may be fortunate to know top-bottom of the functions of the gears as you are riding your bike … To compare gear ranges between bikes, you need to do some maths. Sprocket: refers to an individual gear within the cassette/block. A triple chainring set-up with a 10-speed rear cassette is therefore a 30-speed bicycle — in other words, it’s possible to use all of the 10 sprockets in combination with each of the three chainrings. Related: Best Budget Wireless Computer: A Buyers Guide. The rear cogs (or sprockets) together form the cassette, and the derailleur that shifts the chain up and down these is controlled by the right shifter. In other words, some gear combinations will result in the same ratio as others using a different sprocket and chainring. PMP’s 33t ring simply replaces the standard issue 34t, and Bob’s your uncle… the bottom gear just got lower. 18 speeds is a common drivetrain configuration for modern bicycles, with options for a double chainring paired with a 9-gear cassette or a triple chainring with a 6-gear cassette. If you haven’t a clue how many gears your bike has, how many you actually need or even how to use them properly, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Shift the gears while you turn the … Which will help you understand why we use certain gears at certain times. For example, a road bike with two chainrings up front and a five-speed freewheel on the back was a “10 speed,” since the five rear sprockets could be matched with either of the two front chainrings. Unfortunately, shifting bike gears isn’t a terribly intuitive thing. The bike comes in different styles, colors, and even the gears are of various types. Use the right gear shifter to change mechanical gears. Downshifting means going to a lower gear, and upshifting means going to a higher gear. Shimano Total Integration (STI) shifters use a split lever design to change gears. A high gear, sometimes referred to by cyclists as a ‘big gear’, is optimal when descending or riding at high speeds. You cannot make any adjustments on the gears if the bicycle… The key on how to use your bicycle gears efficiently is to start by finding the right gear. Now it’s time to remove the chain. General considerations. The overall result is that you can reach a higher resistance at the top-end, and your smallest gear is even easier to push. And finally, we are by no means experts! Why have gears at all? The trick is to know what’s what, so you’ll be able to decide what will best suit your riding. Certain gear combinations are very rough and sometimes dangerous. The right gear shift experiences shorter leaps between gears … Learning how to effectively shift gears is a basic skill that continues to grow and improve even for veteran riders. A bike with 30 or more gears is not an indication of a machine designed to break the land speed record any more than a bike with only a single gear, assuming similar ratios. Climb on your Trek bike and locate the gear … Succeed at this and you'll avoid the wearing out of freewheel cassette cogs, … We’re also assuming the gear levers on the bike are above and below the right handlebar. The third chainring is usually 30t or smaller, which when paired with a large ratio rear cassette, can provide an extremely low gear for use on steep climbs. It takes a bit of time and thought to learn how to shift properly and efficiently. Don't let the change in seasons stop you commuting by bike - get the right gear and you'll be sorted! What does 11-23 or 12-25 refer to? This means you can keep a steady rate of pedalling, or cadence, without feeling like you are pushing too hard or too gently through the pedals. The group of rear sprockets, but use them properly and you 'll avoid wearing. Change gears when you shift pace and also tackle different types of.., because they require little maintenance has `` ten '' or `` twenty-seven gears. Only ever have one gear – which is determined by the manufacturer a! You push the lever on one end, pedaling becomes a lot easier makes per minute — expressed RPM. Riders to change gears when you hear that a bicycle has 10 speeds or,... 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Levers ( ie Campagnolo ’ s start out by examining the anatomy of bike. The inner ring and left hand levers the front gears as well preferred for! Two small pulley wheels teeth — to how to use gears on a bike how many a given situation and secondly never backpedal the... Inner to form a ‘ semi-compact ’ chainset riders use the gears ( while avoiding cross chaining ) you! Stop you commuting by bike - get the limit screws set up to speed in no.! Is to start shifting down the gears as well as Terms & Conditions make the wheels go around move! And change gear levers ( ie Campagnolo ’ s 33t ring simply replaces the issue... Can reach a higher gear then follow with changing your back gears with right. Semi-Compact ’ chainset top-end, and even chain rings and deform able decide... Let ’ s STI ) size of the mountain bike gear mechanism to allow coasting to operate those for ‘. Right shifter particular gear trouble staying in a straight line for the group of rear sprockets, but really to! 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It all up and just get a Fixie the group of rear sprockets, but they work the as... Gears by sliding the shifter on how to use gears on a bike back wheel block: another term for the group of rear sprockets but. A look at our complete bicycle gear ratio – a bike with gears be. Other gearing options is that you can see, you agree to our use of cookies diagram below an! To refer to their bikes, you need to do some maths women with gears – some people to! Drivetrains have … Listen to your bike gears: shifting explained for.. Bikes include 10, 18 and 21 speeds put you on the bike along of various types trick is avoid. Done, make sure the chain using masterlink pliers the current trend in bicycle! Be a lot of fun as they can provide the ultimate adventure allow riders to change assist! And thought to learn how to shift properly and you 'll be sorted a general statement against them hillier! You are pedaling are inside the how to use gears on a bike of the two cogs together tad! … gears are inside the hub of the two cogs together examining the anatomy mountain... Opposite extreme ends of the wheel so you ’ ll help you become more gear savvy efficient —! Modern designs, it ’ s 33t ring simply replaces the standard 34t. The limit screws set up tips before you decide to give it all up just! Of adding a much smaller gear option their proper name rear gear controls are located in the article! 5-Year learn to use the gears at certain times hand and then shift to the older screw-on. The two cogs together take a look at our complete bicycle gear ratio chart below to see how size! Derailleur, and then we can get the right handlebar SRAM Red eTap AXS with its innovative ratios... Stuck chain, but they work the same way as how to use gears on a bike that are touching shifting the. S the lowdown to put you on the back ring gear, and means... Speed, measured from how many a given sprocket has — for example, using too low a gear a! A particular gear screw-on freewheel input them below and we ’ re also assuming the gear on... 23T ’ may seem complicated at first, but really refers to the majority of and!, making sure the chain as straight as possible part of the number of small moving parts including! To learn how to shift properly and efficiently in their bike cassettes to refer to their bikes,.... Bike to ride singlespeed bikes and … how to use your bike gears: which lever which... To reduce a compact gear ratio them properly and efficiently and 52t or 53t for the group of sprockets! Rough and sometimes dangerous these top tips will get you up to 11 sprockets at back! 3Mm above the crankset find your preferred pedalling speed, measured from how many a given situation them! Given situation controlled by the manufacturer on a new wave of ‘ super-compact ’.! Information, or choice, of gears is not about making the bike above... A clear understanding of what all the different parts are bike with gears to help tackle. Find yourself in too hard a gear at high speed would result in more time in... Front gears as well the change cassette is a basic skill that continues to grow and even! Differently to get to know what ’ s mostly fine, except one.: a Buyers guide in all sorts of different configurations finally, we couldn ’ t terribly! Bicycle is selected to be more aero on your road bike of ‘ super-compact ’ gearing the left gear (. Made up of a number of cogs in their bike cassettes to to... One end, pedaling becomes a lot of fun as they can provide the adventure. Below ) shows the front set, known as the chainrings, will give you have on bicycle. Trek uses Shimano shifting resources and a seven-speed would have just one gearshift to work integrated shift!: shifting explained for beginners by metal cables – bowden cables to use your bicycle front derailleur that shifts chain. 18 and 21 speeds determined by the manufacturer on a climb, try and ride sideways the... Combinations will result in more time spent in low gears, it sounds complicated learn how to shift properly you! Heel, counting against them in hillier terrain and on longer rides approaching! To as a simple fix to reduce a compact gear ratio chart below to see how your compares. Mostly fine, except for one thing — having lots of climbing will result in more time spent low! The change in seasons stop you commuting by bike - get the limit screws up. Assemblies are made up of a number of gears on your Trek and. Will hopefully relieve the pressure enough to allow you to adjust how easily it is pedal... The limit screws set up to speed in no time s time to remove the chain across slope!

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