Bicycle gears for dummies – How to shift gears bike?

Bicycle gears for dummies - How to shift gears bike

In the old days and how to shift gears bike? Cyclists had 4 speeds, thanks to which they moved perfectly on asphalt and rough terrain. About why nowadays an increasing number of bikes, especially mountain ones, have from 20 to 30 speeds, why they are needed, as well as how to choose and configure the optimal gear shift system, we will discuss in this article.

Why switch speeds on a bike correctly it all comes down to such a thing as cadence. It characterizes the optimal number of revolutions per minute for a comfortable bike ride. The normal value is in the range of 80-100 revolutions per minute. This allows you to move for a long time without strong overload and fatigue in the legs.

Bicycle gear shifter replacement

Riding over rough terrain – these are the various slopes that you need to climb, the slopes, where you should pick up the maximum speed, as well as sections of soil with varying degrees of terrain. In order to observe the same cadence in all these cases, a different gear ratio is required. That is, the speed will vary depending on the complexity of the area, and the number of rotations will be optimal and most comfortable. All this ensures timely gear shifting.

What is a bicycle transmission? There are 2 main mechanisms for implementing gear changes.

  • Internal (planetary sleeve): All system components are located in the rear wheel hub housing.  And ensure smooth action. Such variants are distinguished by high reliability and durability and are also well protected from the influence of weather conditions. However, on mountain bikes, which are discussed here, they are extremely rare due to the instability of the mechanism to shock loads.
  • External: It consists of a front and rear derailleur. The front includes a set of 2-3 stars (the system) and a direct switch (in the form of a frame through which the chain is passed). It shifts the circuit relative to the system. The rear speed selector consists of 6–12 stars (cassettes) and a switch shifting relative to the cassette (in the form of a foot with gears along which the chain rotates).

This solution is most common because of its simplicity, efficiency and relatively low price. Asterisks differ in the number of teeth and size. As a rule, the smallest has 11 teeth, and the largest – up to 42, but there are also variations (10-46, 11-50). The difference between the smallest and largest instance determines the range of possible changes in the gear ratio. In the system, the numbering comes from the smallest asterisk, in a cassette – vice versa. This information may be enough for normal communication in the store.

Many people forget about shifting gear on a bike

It is important to understand that the choice of transfer should be made on the system’s asterisks: 3 numbers are for maximum speed, the first is for ascents. For constant driving, the average value is used. These parts are designed to fine tune how to shift gears bike the gear ratio and achieve optimal kabanas. Now the question is, why are there so many of them? It’s simple. It is impossible to make a sharp switch from a large diameter cassette to a small one without damaging the circuit. In addition, it can tear. Fine tuning allows you to ensure the stability of rotation in different areas, in the presence of headwind, temperature, and humidity of the soil. Go to the choice of speed switch.  

The price range is quite wide, but the degree of exploitation and requirements for equipment play a decisive role. For simple walks, a simple 3-7 model (with three asterisks in the system and seven in a cassette) is sufficient. It is also important to consider the cost of consumables. The chain needs to be changed every season, and its price for a 10-star cassette can be 4 times higher than for a 7-star one (due to the different thickness of the chain and the same quality and durability requirements).

Switching gears on a bike

On the other hand, more speeds will ensure smoother and more accurate switching. The optimal balance obtained by Shimano experts during the study is 13% of the difference in the number of teeth between adjacent asterisks. The corresponding number of these elements will allow not only to gain the highest speed but also to overcome the steepest hill.

Setting the best bike gear shift system In order to set the correct gear shift, it is necessary to understand the principle of operation of both the front and rear switch. It all comes down to ensuring the correct position of the upper and lower gear limit screws (there are only 2 of them) and then adjust the cable tension. The process is initiated by the tension and loosening of the cable with the help of a regulator on the shifter (switch device on the steering wheel) or on the rear derailleur.

Bike speed

If the screws are set correctly, and the mechanism does not work, simply loosen or tighten the cable depending on the dropped gear. Comforting conclusion about the speed of the bike Different speeds is definitely needed and important, but their number is chosen based on personal preferences and financial capabilities of the cyclist.

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