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Noob question about gears and brakes

bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
edited June 2016 in Road beginners
This may be a very silly question, but here goes....

I'm just about to take delivery of my first road bike. Now, I understand that to change down gears at the back I move the large brake level. But....how the hell do I change down AND brake at the same time, when I'm slowing down, given that I'm trying to do both with the same lever??

On the MTB, that I'm used to, it's easy, because you have the brake level separate from the gears.

Is there a technique for this?

Posts

  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,127
    If they are Shimano you pull the lever towards the handlebar while clicking it to the left.
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    webboo wrote:
    If they are Shimano you pull the lever towards the handlebar while clicking it to the left.
    Yeah sorry, I should have said, It's Shimano Sora.

    Thanks. I guess it something that will become clear once I actually try doing it
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,127
    Sora might be different I think it might have a lever on the inside which you push down with your thumb. Which move the chain down the cassette I.e. changes it up. For changing down it should be as described.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,012
    It's very intuitive. Just try it - and after about 10 seconds you will have got the hang of it.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    I've been cycling for years with drop bars, and with a hybrid with straight bars, and I don't think I've every braked and changed down gears at the same time. I just tend to brake to slow, and then change down gears but I do it instinctively. I usually brake with my front brake only, but if I wanted to change down the cassette at the same time, I'd probably use my rear brake with my left hand while changing down gear with my right hand. I'll need to consciously look at what I do next time I'm out.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,328
    I've been cycling for years with drop bars, and with a hybrid with straight bars, and I don't think I've every braked and changed down gears at the same time. I just tend to brake to slow, and then change down gears but I do it instinctively. I usually brake with my front brake only, but if I wanted to change down the cassette at the same time, I'd probably use my rear brake with my left hand while changing down gear with my right hand. I'll need to consciously look at what I do next time I'm out.

    What he said. I don't think I'd try and change gears at the same time as front-wheel braking, too much risk of not doing either properly. If necessary, brake a bit, change gear, brake a bit more, change again if necessary, etc, etc.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    The two actions are independent. Pull the brake lever towards the drops for braking, and push it inwards towards the centre of the bars to change gear. To change gear in the opposite direction push the thumb lever presumably.

    It uses different cables for braking and changing gear and rotates on different axes, so there's no conflict. Some people say they never do both at the same time; that's fine but some of us do as there's no real reason not to a lot of the time.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I've never really got the hang of front braking and simultaneously changing gear, I tend to do them separately. Occasionally I'll do it by accident though, so it's certainly possible.

    Current Sora is now the same as the higher groupsets, with a second lever behind the brake lever. No thumbs required...
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    Anticipation is the key then changing down and braking at the same time will not be needed.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    diamonddog wrote:
    Anticipation is the key then changing down and braking at the same time will not be needed.
    What if you want to though? Never doing it is missing out on a useable skill, like how we were told for years never to cross hands on a steering wheel now its a police advanced driving recommendation to do it. Losing speed quickly and being in the right gear earlier is a useful addition to the armoury.
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,104
    CiB wrote:
    The two actions are independent. Pull the brake lever towards the drops for braking, and push it inwards towards the centre of the bars to change gear. To change gear in the opposite direction push the thumb lever presumably.

    It uses different cables for braking and changing gear and rotates on different axes, so there's no conflict. Some people say they never do both at the same time; that's fine but some of us do as there's no real reason not to a lot of the time.

    I agree.
  • pedarbypedarby Posts: 28
    CiB wrote:
    The two actions are independent. Pull the brake lever towards the drops for braking, and push it inwards towards the centre of the bars to change gear. To change gear in the opposite direction push the thumb lever presumably.

    It uses different cables for braking and changing gear and rotates on different axes, so there's no conflict. Some people say they never do both at the same time; that's fine but some of us do as there's no real reason not to a lot of the time.

    I believe that there are two levers on most Shimano now, there is on mine anyway! With one sat flush behind the other so you actually pull across with your finger to change either up or down. Move the whole brake lever to shift up or the smaller lever sitting behind it to shift down :D
  • SMESME Posts: 348
    I've been cycling for years with drop bars, and with a hybrid with straight bars, and I don't think I've every braked and changed down gears at the same time. I just tend to brake to slow, and then change down gears but I do it instinctively. I usually brake with my front brake only, but if I wanted to change down the cassette at the same time, I'd probably use my rear brake with my left hand while changing down gear with my right hand. I'll need to consciously look at what I do next time I'm out.

    What he said. I don't think I'd try and change gears at the same time as front-wheel braking, too much risk of not doing either properly. If necessary, brake a bit, change gear, brake a bit more, change again if necessary, etc, etc.

    I do pretty much the same, I think. But a full shift of the lever can step down two or three gears. I have had occasions where I do brake at the same time as shifting, but only move the lever partly across to shift down just one gear. I guess it depends on road conditions.

    If you come to s full stop and find yourself in the wrong gear, if your clipped into your pedals you can apply the front brake, push on the bars to lift the rear wheel, and pedal around with one foot while moving the lever across to shift down the gears. Then you'll be in the right gear to move off again.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Anticipation is all well and good if you know the road - but new routes will always catch you out.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    keef66 wrote:
    I've never really got the hang of front braking and simultaneously changing gear, I tend to do them separately. Occasionally I'll do it by accident though, so it's certainly possible.

    Current Sora is now the same as the higher groupsets, with a second lever behind the brake lever. No thumbs required...

    Much easier if you have the front brake lever on the left ;-)
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    drlodge wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    I've never really got the hang of front braking and simultaneously changing gear, I tend to do them separately. Occasionally I'll do it by accident though, so it's certainly possible.

    Current Sora is now the same as the higher groupsets, with a second lever behind the brake lever. No thumbs required...

    Much easier if you have the front brake lever on the left ;-)

    I have actually contemplated swapping the brake cables for this very reason. That and the more relaxed cable routing to the front caliper / cable stop on the top tube.
    Managed OK on a Euro cabled MTB in Tenerife a couple of years ago. Well, the accident wasn't because of the brakes anyway...
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    keef66 wrote:
    That and the more relaxed cable routing to the front caliper / cable stop on the top tube.

    The better cable routing was the main reason for me. Its just better all round and probably how it is supposed to be. I find it very convenient that I can brake at the same time as either changing gear on the rear or do something with my right arm like indicate to go right, hold water bottle etc.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    Yep another vote for front brake on left. I have been using it for last 5 or 6 years. The benefits it gives for indicating right and slowing down make it the ideal choice for UK riding.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,127
    drlodge wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    I've never really got the hang of front braking and simultaneously changing gear, I tend to do them separately. Occasionally I'll do it by accident though, so it's certainly possible.

    Current Sora is now the same as the higher groupsets, with a second lever behind the brake lever. No thumbs required...

    Much easier if you have the front brake lever on the left ;-)
    I'm sure this will be illegal once we are out of the EU :roll:
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    stevie63 wrote:
    Yep another vote for front brake on left. I have been using it for last 5 or 6 years. The benefits it gives for indicating right and slowing down make it the ideal choice for UK riding.
    I always change the Brifters around, if they aren't set up this way. It's safer and easier.
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    Funnily enough, I've taken her on several rides now, and I haven't had any issues with gear changes and slowing down/stopping. 8)

    I guess I don't need to do both at the same time as much...or at all..... as I thought I did.

    Seems I was concerned about nothing. :)
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