Recreational & Family - How to explain friction shifting?
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03-20-05, 07:04 PM
I bought an 80s Nishiki road bike for my girlfriend and fixed it up. Yesterday we went for a 15 mile ride together, for the first time, and had a lot of fun.
The only problem was she had difficulty with the stem-mounted friction shifters. I had trouble explaining to her how to get the feel of them. I explained to her how the shifters move the derailers and so she knows how it works, but had trouble getting the feel of it.
Any retro riders out there who know a good way to teach friction shifting? I just do it fine by feel but am not too good at explaining it apparently. Any tips appreciated :)
I haven't ridden anything with a friction shifter in a while, but I seem to remember that I just moved the shifter a little until I have the resistance I wanted. Wouldn't know how to explain it though.
03-20-05, 10:33 PM
if you have a stand or something to hold the bike up then prop the bike up. While you pedal, have her shift with the friction shifters while she watches the derailleur.
Most importantly, tell her to push the lever slowly so that she can feel when the chain jumps to the next cog, or if shifting in the front, when the chain contacts the derailleur.
Thats how I learned, just riding up and down the bike path while cycling through the gears.
03-21-05, 10:41 AM
Sound and feel are very important too . If the chain is not properly on the cog she will feel and hear it.
A combination of feel, sound, and technique... overshoot and then go back a nudge to fine adjust.
I think overshooting is necessary in order to shift quickly, otherwise you have to wait too long for the chain to be moved over.
Bar-ends are easier to shift because you can keep most of the fingers firmly on the bar and shift with your palm and little fingers and get feedback through your hand bones.
03-21-05, 02:34 PM
Since she only had one time to try it, take her out on a flat route and let her go at it again. The earlier suggestion of "slowly" moving the lever until she feels the change in resistance (the shift) was the best advice. Heck for $400 or so you could get her a new comfort bike with SRAM shifting!
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