Recreational & Family - Advise in figuring out gears
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I just bought a Giant, Cypress DX and would like to be advised on how to use the gears. On the left handlebar the number goes up to 3 and on the right handlebar it goes up to 9. Please instruct me on how to use my gears. Obviously I am a novice at this and bought a bike over my head at the advice of my brother, in hopes to become an avid rider one day.
Are you looking for strategy or operation advice? For operations, it's probably best to have the bike shop (assuming you bought it from a bike shop) show you along with operations of other things such as your quick releases. For strategy, you may want to check out Sheldon Brown's website on bicycle gearing (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears.html).
I need strategy and operational advice. I will go to the bike store that is probably my best bet. Thanks for the advice.
07-17-05, 08:44 PM
Middle chainring for the flats, small chainring for going uphill, big chainring for going downhill. Adjust rear cogs to match your speed and cadence.
07-18-05, 03:46 AM
To start with, leave the front on the middle ring(2). Just shift using the rear cogs.
Start in the biggest cog (1). Shift gear to get more pedalling resistance. You pick a gear to give you the resistance and the pedalling speed that suits you. For uphills you need a low gear. For downhlls you need a higher gear For the flats you stick in the middle of the range.
When approaching a halt, shft down before you stop, ready for the satrt.
When you approach a steep hill, shift down before pedalling becomes to hard.
Mos beginners use a gear that gives too much resistance, and pedal too slowly. It is more efficient to pedal more rapidly against less resistance.
Dan and Mike have given you the basics for getting started. Follow their advice. Like everything else...time and experience will allow you to become more familar with the bike and gears. You'll do fine.
07-19-05, 12:53 PM
You have good advice so far, but I can't help thinking you're making this much more complicated than it really is (my wife, an occasional rider, has been doing the same thing for nearly 20 years).
The short answer is "pedal in a gear that's comfortable for you." If you're straining to get the pedals to go around, shift to a SMALLER chainring or a LARGER cassette in back. If your legs are spinning too fast, go to a LARGER chainring or SMALLER gear in back. But don't think about that--just do what feels appropriate. You're not likely to break anything, so if you try something and it's wrong, do the opposite. You'll work it out.
To get the feel of things, I agree with the post that said to start with the middle chainring. Put the chain on that and then forget completely about the left shifter. Do ALL your shifting with the right one, moving the rear derailleur, for an entire ride, or an entire week or whatever it takes. When you've got that down, experiment with the left shifter, which moves the front derailleur.
One fine point to remember: Most experts agree it's best to stay in a gear that lets you pedal at 80 to 100 revolutions (complete revolutions of the crankset, 360 degrees) per minute. If you're straining and can't reach that cadence, shift to a lower (easier) gear. If you're going faster than that, shift to a harder (higher) one. Don't try to work it out in your head in advance, though. Just move the lever, and if things get worse, move it the other way. There are only two directions; you'll soon figure out which one is right.
As for the numbers, forget them. They aren't of any use, and I've never heard anybody say, "I was in the 2 and the 6" or whatever.
On my Cypress I usually start with the left shifter in 2 and the right shifter in 2. I would suggest practicing with the right shifter first. The multi - positions on the left shifter takes a little time to get use to. On my bike, if the right shifter is in 1,2,or 3 I need to go to 2 plus one click on the left shifter to upshift. Practice and it will come naturally.
Have great fun riding
07-21-05, 02:38 PM
BTW, you bike should only have one handlebar, not two.
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