Using your gears

When you take part in a group cycle, you will become very much aware of all the crunching and clanging coming from people’s gears. With that in mind I thought I would focus on some gear shifting tips that will make your cycling more efficient and less noisy.

Before I give you the tips, you should understand that the purpose of gears is to make the bike easier to pedal up hills and enable you to pedal down them. You are looking to be able to move your pedals at a constant pace (cadence) changing your gears in accordance with the terrain and wind. There is no point in having lots of gears if you don’t know how to use them.

Tip one – You must be pedaling when you shift gears. In order for the derailleurs to derail the chain to the next sprocket the chain must be moving. If you decide to shift the gear when you are freewheeling and then pedal, it will not only stretch the gear cable a little but will cause some very disturbing noises.

Tip two – Lighten the pressure on the pedals as you change gears. Keep them turning, but don’t force them down while you shift. Lightening the pressure will drastically smooth out your gear change. It will not only reduce those grinding noises when you shift but will also lengthen the life of your drive train. When climbing hills you should shift down before your legs slow down too much.

Tip three – Avoid using the big sprocket on the front with the large ones in the back, and likewise, avoid using the small one in the front with the small ones in the back. This tip has to do with chain line. Although no real harm is done using the wrong gears together, avoiding them can stop those rattles and rubs you sometimes hear. With the amount of gears that come on bikes today, you should be able to avoid “mixing your lows and highs” and still find a comfortable gear in which to ride.

Tip Four – Shift back to a lower gear before you come to a complete stop. This will make it easier to pedal off when you go to start again so that you’ll be in an easy gear for starting out again.

So, there is four simple tips that will allow you to pedal much more efficiently without the crunching of gearsgroup

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