Got Gears?

johnnyhotdog Posts: 142
edited March 2008 in Road beginners
well, after living the single life for many years, i've finally taken the plunge and got some gears:


going from a life single/fixed gear riding, what do i need to know about gear change technique?

thank you!



  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    I would say the main thing is to change down in anticipation of a climb or need to accelerate rather than waiting till you arrive at the hill or point you need to accelerate (or a stop at the traffic lights). Changing down doesn't work too smoothly when under load. And setting off in too high a gear because you forgot to change down before stopping is quite inelegant! (I am sure you realsise that unless using a hub geared bike, you can only change gear whilst on the move).

    Second thing is, avoid chainline extremes, i.e. large chainring to largest sprocket. It will work, but places more strain on the chain.

    Third thing, when hill climbing, go for gears in which you can still spin at the same cadence rather than grinding away in a higher gear (until you run out of gears, obviously),

    Fourthly, probably aim for a consistent cadence of about 90 rpm.

    Fifthly, there is no fifthly (well, I expect there is, can't think of anything though).

    Lovely bike - an excellent purchase!!!
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Ah, fifthly, when changing up the gears on the chainring, or down on the cassette you may need to hold the shift lever across momentarily longer than when changing the other way, as the shifting is going against, rather than being assisted by, the return spring on the mech. It is only a very subtle difference and one you quickly get used to, and may be negligable if you have a beautifully setup and slick gear system.
  • thank you for the advice - it all helps!

    i did notice that when changing up on the chainring and down on the cassette that it needs an extra little flick on the levers to index properly.

    i wll get Mr. Zinn's book out and aim for a perfectly slick stup though.

    after riding fixed/single i was amazed by how much friction a geared setup produces - the drop off in speed is quick compares to my fixed.

    still, it's all bloody good fun though which is why i do it!

  • Harry B
    Harry B Posts: 1,239
    Nice bike, it's the 2008 model isn't it? I got the 2007 last year :D
  • northpole
    northpole Posts: 1,499
    And don't forget the joy of cleaning all those sprockets, etc after riding out in the rain!!
  • northpole wrote:
    And don't forget the joy of cleaning all those sprockets, etc after riding out in the rain!!

    the rain!! :shock: i'll think i'll stillm ride a single speed in bad weather, unless i get caught out!

    Harry B - it's last years model - i got the very last one in my size! :D