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.
I'm upgrading my Dahon MU SL folding bike from 9 to 18 speeds by adding a 2nd chainring in front.
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I'm thinking of using a either SRAM Apex/Rival or Shimano 105/Tiagra front derailleurs, but want to use an SRAM X0 or X9 2 speed trigger shifter.
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Is this fixable without having to buy anything else?
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Need some advice if possible.
Removed broken Simplex red label derailleurs front & rear. Rear any 10 spped will work as I read online probably better than the Simplex Prestige that was original.Schwinn Caliente 10 speed donor bike removed the Shimano Tourney Rear Derailleur and Installed it.
The front is a bottom pull so limited somewhat to compatibility. Found that a Suntour Spirt (not spirit) will work as it is a bottom pull. I know I could jump up in the Huret All metal French derailurs but Suntour parts are readily available and much cheaper. Clamp on same style.
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I have a dunlop signature series Raider mountain bike. The three speed gear shifter on the left no longer catches and I can only use gears 13-18.
the gear shifters have no name on them but the derailleur has the dunlop logo on it. I have tried to contact dunlop with no luck. Do you have any idea which gear changers are compatible with this bike
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So I have an odd problem,that leaves me helpless. I welcome any ideas. I just purchased a new(to me), but slightly used, MT bike. Cannondale Adventure 400. The bike has a Shimano Nexave front derailer over 3 chainrings. And a Shimanno Deore rear derailer operating an 8 cog cassette. My shifters are SRAM MRX PRO 1-8 on the right and 1-3 on the left. This bike is basically brad new but was stored indoors for several years.
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I recently purchased a bike from someone and the front derailleur does not work. I am sorry, but there is really not much i can tell you about the problem. I don't want to mess around with it because it didn't turn out well the other time. If someone could give me a few suggestions, that would be nice. If it helps the model of the bike is the 2009 giant tcr alliance 1
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