Bicycle Mechanics - Proper gear shifting
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06-19-05, 11:17 PM
Hi! I'm somewhat new to mountain biking, and I'd like to ask more experienced riders about the proper way of shifting/choosing the right gear for the right condition. I've read some articles but I can't seem to get a satisfactory answer. For example, if I'm using the middle chainring, which sprockets should I use?
I'll get some arguement here, but in general I try to avoid 2 gears. Middle ring, avoid the biggest and the smallest. Big ring, avoid the two largest. Small ring, avoid the two smallest gears.
06-19-05, 11:43 PM
It depends completely on the terrain and how fast you want to go.
If its rough terrain your gina stick it in a low gear and pedal faster, because if you are too high you wont be able to push it. If your going on a flat surface like a road, then you want to shift up so you are pedalling slower and going faster. "Cadence" is how many revolutions per minute you have, I think you want to aim for ~80 when you are biking on a flat surface. Of course if you are biking up hill it will slow down.
Ever riden a motor bike? Its alot like that.
06-19-05, 11:53 PM
If everything is set up right, you should be able to use all your sprocketw with the middle chainring. Which one you use depends on the terrain, the grade and how hard you like to go. One tip I'd pass along is that almost everyone uses too large a gear when they start out. I know I did. Try one gear lower than you think you want and spin the pedals a little faster.
Gear selection is something you get by the feel. A little advice helps, but the only way to know it is to ride.
06-20-05, 09:15 AM
Think of those front chainrings as gear "ranges". Little (lowest) for rough terrain, climbing, and so forth. Middle for fairly level or rolling terrain. I never got my last MTB into the big ring....Missouri trails are pretty tight!
Then fine-tune your effort with the rear cogset. It can get tricky; remember that in low-traction areas, like muddy hills, you may want to shift up a bit to avoid wheelspin.
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