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Bicycles have gears to help you ride more efficiently when going uphill, downhill, and on the flat road. Without easy gears, you need to pedal with a lot of energy.

But how do gears work? Well, in this blog – “How to Shift the Bicycle Gear, we’re going to show you.

How to Shift the Bicycle Gear

How many bicycle gears do you have?

How to shift the bicycle gear

It’s a simple multiply calculation, the number of the front chainring multiplied by the number of rear cassettes.

For example, a double chainring paired with an 11-speed cassette is a 22-speed gears set-up, and so on.

The Types of Gears

Bicycle shifters are located at the handlebars. The most common way to perform shifting is by gripping, triggering, and thumb pressing on the shifter.

How to shift the bicycle gear
(Picture Source: Internet)
How to shift the bicycle gear
(Picture Source: Internet)
How to shift the bicycle gear
(Picture Source: Internet)
How to shift the bicycle gear
(Picture Source: Internet)

For the Flight Deck Shifter, you need to push the shifter inward towards the bicycle stem to perform gear shifting.

For most bicycle brands, the right shifter adjusts the rear derailleur; the left shifter adjusts the front chainring.

How to Shift Gears on Bike

How to shift the bicycle gear
(Picture Source: Internet)

We aim to get comfortable cycling on a bike with efficient gears. When you head uphill, you shift to lower gear on the cassette.

Try to shift early and don’t wait until you can feel the pedalling resistance is strong.

When you shift, keep pedalling, especially on hills—if you’re pushing hard or if you stop pedalling completely, the chain may skip or fall off. Don’t wait!

When riding downhill, you need to lower the speed by using the brake. Prevent immediate stop from fast speed.

If you are riding too slow on flat roads, you can shift to high gear. It can save your energy from pedalling hard.

Once you feel more comfortable, you can start playing with different bike gears and see how it feels to ride in different gears in different situations.

How to shift the bicycle gear

Things not to do

How to shift the bicycle gear

We need to prevent cross-chaining when shifting the gear.

Once we give the chain too much pressure when cycling, it will easily cause the chain to slide off from the chainring (dropped chain), chain bent or damage the chain.

What to do if you drop your chain?

How to shift the bicycle gear
(Picture Source: Internet)

Slow down and pull over to the safety side:

  1. Push the rear derailleur arm forward
  2. Take the chain and put it back on the front chainring
  3.  Release the rear derailleur arm to tighten the chain
  4.  Lift the rear tire and hand pedal twice to ensure that the whole chain back in place

Find the nearest bicycle shop if you can’t solve the problem. The following are some common issues and solutions.

Common Issues Solution
Chain dropping when shift gear (Cross-chaining happen)
Manually adjust back onto chainring and cassette
Front chain dropping
Adjusting front derailleur’s limit screws
Rear chain dropping
Adjusting rear derailleur’s limit screws
If the chain is still dropping
The crankset may incorrect position, look for a technician to fix it
Chain bent/twisted
Replace with a new chain
Chain stack in the chainring/cassette
Find a bike technician to pull it out with a special tool. (Replace with a new chain if necessary)
Chain frayed/rusty
Bring to the bike shop for replacement
If cycling not smoothly
Lubing & cleaning the chain
Maintain the bicycle performance
Half/full cleaning services (cassette, chain and chainrings) for the bike once a year

That’s it, you have the basic understanding of how to use bicycle shifting gears.

Once you feel more comfortable riding, you can start to explore different hill climbs and long term cycling.

Would you be interested to explore more shift gear facts at steep climbs?

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