Technique help + crossing the chain

supermurph09
supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
edited February 2013 in Road beginners
Hi

I'm coming into a local climb from a quick descent in high gear, can someone describe or link me to how I should change gear to be in the right gear as I start the climb. Seems very basic, but despite riding for 7 months I know I'm not getting it right. I'd tend to cross the chain by jumping into the small ring and small cog and then working my way to the easiest gear. Do I need to drop down a few cogs from high gear then shift to the small ring so I'm not crossing the chain and then I can go either way dependent on the climb?

Seems such a basic question and whilst I feel like my climbing ability is quite good (given my relative short time on the bike) but its the technique approaching the climb that I'm rubbish. Having just bought a new bike with Ultegra/105 I'm keen to ensure I don't destroy it.

Appreciate your time.

Comments

  • Usually if I'm going from small front chain ring to big at roughly the same time I click down a gear at the back as it gives you a closer ratio to the one you're already working in to then make better use of the new front gear. Put simply right at front and left at back one or two gears if going faster or left at front and right one or two (this depends on the difference between your two front chain ring ratios I've found) to start climbing. This is purely to get a similar starting point so you don't cross over to the extremes. Hope this helps
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Unless the next uphill is mentally steep, I usually stay in the big ring trying to maintain momentum and click progressively through the cassette till I'm in the middle, then drop to the smaller ring.

    A rapid transition from steep downhill to steep uphill might see me dropping to the inner ring sooner. Don't be afraid of making lots of gear changes in quick succession; that's the key to maintaining a comfortable cadence.
  • +1 to what keef66 says

    If you move to the centre of the cassette you eliminate cross chaining then just as cyclingsheep says shift with both levers at the same time to achieve the closest ratio. This means if left lever is going down right must go up and vice versa, you will find they are the same lever on either side of the bike so the 2 brake levers together or the 2 other levers together.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    As you asked, I might drop down a couple of cogs at the back then drop onto the smaller ring before working the rest of the way down the cassette. Or it might happen that it's straight onto the small ring and then down the cassette. It doesn't sound like anything worth worrying about tbh. Crossing the chain isn't recommended but equally the occasional time won't have any disastrous consequences. Do what comes naturally at the time would be the best way I'd have thought - concentrate on getting the power down, not whether the the same ratio that you'd have arrived at via a different choice of cogs is wrong.
  • Try getting as much power and speed on the downhill & don't give up as you get the bottom really drive into the base of the next hill and carry as much speed and momentum as you can up the first part of the hill.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    My chain line isn't centered in the middle of the chainrings, its a little more to the outside. That means running small-small is actually fine but large-large gives more acute cross-chaining. I wonder if most modern bikes are made this way?
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  • drlodge wrote:
    My chain line isn't centered in the middle of the chainrings, its a little more to the outside. That means running small-small is actually fine but large-large gives more acute cross-chaining. I wonder if most modern bikes are made this way?

    At a guess if it were the other way around the chain would snag on the larger chainring wouldn't it?

    I think most double chainsets can access all of the gears on the cassette without too much of a problem but triple chainsets have a problem because there are 3 chainrings and thefore the width is greater and the angle more acute.
  • Try getting as much power and speed on the downhill & don't give up as you get the bottom really drive into the base of the next hill and carry as much speed and momentum as you can up the first part of the hill.

    While I don't disagree with this you do want to change into your smaller ring before you have excess tension. This is for two reasons, firstly there is a higher chance of the chain coming off and potentially jamming and secondly the added chance of chain snap. Obviously neither of these things should happen on a correctly set up and well maintained modern bike but sometimes they do.
  • Try getting as much power and speed on the downhill & don't give up as you get the bottom really drive into the base of the next hill and carry as much speed and momentum as you can up the first part of the hill.

    While I don't disagree with this you do want to change into your smaller ring before you have excess tension. This is for two reasons, firstly there is a higher chance of the chain coming off and potentially jamming and secondly the added chance of chain snap. Obviously neither of these things should happen on a correctly set up and well maintained modern bike but sometimes they do.

    I understand what you are saying here, thanks. At the moment I'm having the opposite issue, no tension! But I've got this right in my head now, really appreciate the assistance.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    I've twice bent my front deraileur by dropping the chain to the small ring whilst under tension and got a good telling off for it at the LBS who later repaired it. Definitely better to get into the small ring before you start climbing, it's not just the chain that can get damaged.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    You just need to back off a bit when changing at the front.
  • gethinceri
    gethinceri Posts: 1,517
    djm501 wrote:
    I've twice bent my front deraileur by dropping the chain to the small ring whilst under tension and got a good telling off for it at the LBS who later repaired it. Definitely better to get into the small ring before you start climbing, it's not just the chain that can get damaged.

    So you were given a telling off by people to whom you were paying to fix your bike, they are idiots on two counts:
    1. They will earn money for their wages by fixing what you've broken.
    2. They will cheese you off and never see you again.

    Well, that's how it would be for me.
  • Gethinceri wrote:
    djm501 wrote:
    bent my front deraileur by dropping the chain to the small ring whilst under tension and got a good telling off for it at the LBS who later repaired it. Definitely better to get into the small ring before you start climbing, it's not just the chain that can get damaged.

    So you were given a telling off by people to whom you were paying to fix your bike, they are idiots on two counts:
    1. They will earn money for their wages by fixing what you've broken.
    2. They will cheese you off and never see you again.

    Well, that's how it would be for me.
    In my case, I would

    a) appreciate their advice and learn from it
    b) understand from the fact that they were taking the trouble, that their intention was not to rip me off
    c) go back there next time I needed something because they had built trust the previous time.
    d) recommend them to others for their constructive advice

    Idiots? I don't think so.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?