26. How to Shift Your Gears
Learn how to use your full range of gears: applies to 21, 24, and 27 speed shift systems.
Most bikes these days come with '21 speeds'. However, this doesn't mean you have 21 useable gears. Actually, on a 21 speed system it's closer to 13. A lot of people get confused by all of the gear combinations available. I myself didn't understand it when I first started using a multi-speed bike, so today we'll learn how to use your gears most effectively.
It's very important not to shift under pressure, as this will cause shift problems and damage your drivetrain. If you're going uphill and you need a lower gear, keep pedaling, but ease off and pedal lightly while you shift.
Most systems have three gears on the front, which are controlled by your left shifter. The rear gear cluster usually has 7 gears, with some systems having 8 or 9. Not to worry, the concepts here are the same.
For most everday riding, you'll want to keep your chain on the middle ring on the front, or number 2 on your left shifter. This allows you to use the full range of rear gears. Number 1 on your right shifter is the easiest gear for climbing hills, as it puts your chain on the largest rear sprocket. Number 7 on your right shifter is the hardest gear for going really fast, and it puts your chain on the smallest rear sprocket.
I find it helps to think of numbers 1 and 3 on your left shifter as options for extreme circumstances.
If you're climbing a really tough hill and your left 2 and right 1 combination aren't easy enough, you can shift your front derailleur to number 1 which drops the chain down to the smallest front chainring. While you're in the smallest front gear you can shift the rear gears between 1 and 3 for a finer range adjustment, but you should always shift the front back to 2, or the middle chainring before using gears 4-7 on the rear.
If you're going really fast and need a harder gear, and your left 2 and right 7 combination isn't fast enough, you can shift your front derailleur to number 3 which pulls the chain up to the largest front chainring. While you're in the largest front chainring you can shift the rear gears between 5 and 7 for a finer range adjustment, but always shift the front back to 2, or the middle chainring before using gears 1-4 on the rear.
Never use the full range of rear gears when you're in either the small or large front sprockets (number 1 or 3 on the front shifter). This causes too great an angle in your chain line, which can cause noise and shifting problems.
My new 10 speed Shimano 105 block came with a skinny aluminum spacer, which was intended to fit behind the block. Does this always need to be fitted or is it for special circumstances? I also have new 10 speed specific wheels and the chain does clear the spokes without the spacer. The new chain is not smooth under pressure, could taking out the spacer be a solution? Thanks.... Read more >>
Dear friends, I wanna buy a bike that will provide me both road and trail usage. and it should be also economical. There are lots of level of quality between shimano accessories such as Tiagra, Xtr.. and also same thing for Sram. Could you advice me the correct hierarchy between models acc to price. And advice a bike for both road and trail usage.Thanks in advance.. http://bikebest.net/versus/... Read more >>
The metal cap at the end of my derailleur cable somehow came loose so now the cable end has unravelled into multiple strands. They are a cut hazard and look ugly. Appreciate any suggestions on how to fix.... Read more >>
It's presently 0 Degrees F, with a -16 wind chill in Chicagoland...
It's been ~3 months since the overhaul of the 2 bikes, and I've been alternating them from the repair stand (Bunji Straps hanging from ceiling joist in basement)..
When I started I figured a squirt of oil was all that was needed. I had no idea what nice bikes I had!
I learned about strange part sizes from Here & Internet.
I learned about parts & "Alternate Parts" procurement from LBS, Here, & Internet.
I learned about loose bearings from the first dis-assembly.. and found b... Read more >>
I have two Deore LX derailleurs... one is a RD550 and the other is a RD565.
Which one is a better derailleur or is there a better one?? Any differences between the two other than the model number?? Both have the SGS long cage.
Trying to figure out the Shimano numbers and quality grades.
Thanks... Read more >>
I have a Boarman Hybrid Pro (2010 Model - White http://road.cc/content/review/4160-boardman-urban-pro-ltd) and the I have had a lot of repairs on it recently.
After the latest repair I noticed the chain was wobbling from left to right more than what I expected. I bought it back to the bike shop but they gave me lip service on the cause and the repair for the problem.
With further inspecition I noticed that that both rear derailleur pulleys are wobbling and are l... Read more >>
Hi, I need to replace and old broken RD-TZ30 drlr 7 speed.
Does anyone know if the Shimano Acera M360 7-8 Speed would be an ok replacement?
It is for an old (but much loved) Schwinn Jaguar beach cruiser.
Thanks!... Read more >>
I took off my rear derailleur to clean my bike and i need help putting it back on. Its a shimano derailleur with the hook. And i have a diamondback mountian bike. If anyone can help it would be appreciated!! I dont remember exactly how it was attached to the frame
Jay... Read more >>
I have an early 90's Merlin MTB frame with 90's era Shimano xt and xtr on it. I now use the bike primarily as a pavement hill climber (I live in a hilly residential area) with maybe 20% off road. Recently, the front derailleur stopped returning when released by the shifter. The derailleur shifts to a larger chain ring perfectly. When shifting to a smaller chain ring, the shifter appears to release the cable correctly, but the derailleur is not returning, despite obvious slack in the cable. I have to kick it over with my heel. Lubricating the various pivot points did nothing. I assume the... Read more >>
I purchased a 18 speed bicycle with shimano gears having revo shifters yesterday.
Today I noticed that while shifting from 2nd gear to the third gear it skips the third cog at the back and jumps to the fourth. There is no issue with other gears.
I would like to know why has this happened and at the same time what can be done inorder to fix this problem.. Kindly reply.. ... Read more >>
I've got an old high end Giant mountain bike I'm wanting to convert to a gravel bike, mainly changing the MTB bars to CX/road bars with integrated brake levers/shifters. Any recommendations for some road shifters/levers that would work with the Deore XT 7 speed / triple front derailleurs and cantilever brakes? Don't want to spend a lot, so replacing lots of other components isn't an option.
Thanks for any help you have.... Read more >>
I don't exactly know how it happened. I've been trying to fix it for days but nothing works.
So let's say you had a 1-9spd derailleur:
If we would want to shift to the biggest cog we would go to the 1st gear, and if we would want to shift to the smallest cog we would go the the 9th gear. BUT that's not the case in my rear derailleur. I could only go to the 2nd smallest cog, and if I would want to shift to the biggest could I would only have to shift 8 times, this means that I would have 1 more shif... Read more >>
i dont know whats really going on but when i was riding my $300 swiss mountain bike i took a brake then got on and tried to peddle. it spawn around w/o catching the back tire. i checked to see if the chain was on, it was. i was having very slow reaction with the front gears with alot of noise before this. i have not used this bike no more then 4-6 times.
if anyone can help thanks. if i can repair it my self i would rather do that since i dont have cash for a repair person..
(but i did notice it started to catch when i go down the drive way (going somewhat speed... Read more >>
I'm a real novice at this so please make allowances! I was having trouble (front derailleur) shifting up from first to second. When I flicked the shift lever into 2nd, the cage would move across seemingly correctly, but the chain would struggle, make a lot of noise and refuse to shift up. If I pushed the shift lever over a little more - towards 3rd - and held it for a couple of seconds, the chain would move up on to 2nd position and stay there OK. I tried to correct this by increasing the tension a little on the shift wire. The result of that was that it shifts up to 2nd correctly, but wo... Read more >>
I'm re-bearing, lubing, and overhauling my wife's 1969-70 Gitane Grand Sport Mixte, and I'm showing here the 'status' of the re-build... Expenses so far: ! $40.00 if I split the cost of tools in half!
Overall she's happy with the improvements in bearings and lube, and she's 'buying' the improvements in the braking system that hasn't arrived yet... but..
As only a wife can do... She says: "You know, I like the location: (Stem Shifters) of what you have on 'YOUR BIKE', and wish I had the same on: "My Bike"...... I have to reach too far to change gears..... Read more >>