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Old 09-19-06, 10:42 AM   #1
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Embarrasing Question

How do you work the gears? My son and his friends all have twist grip gears so they don't know. At the moment the bike is in 1st gear and I would like to be able to change gear. It is a vintage Raleigh Ladies Racer mixte frame (c. 1980's) with 5 speed Huret gears. Here is a pic of the gear lever.

Sorry this is such a silly question

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Old 09-19-06, 10:46 AM   #2
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You should be able to pull the lever toward you and shift.
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Old 09-19-06, 10:53 AM   #3
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And if you can't pull it towards you, it is probably because the inner cable is seized and needs replacing or because that little plastic nut is too tight.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:01 AM   #4
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I have the same set-up with the left lever for 10speed schwinn circa 90's, it looks like you have better tape on the handles. I would do as the above poster suggested and lube the cable with some oil or mess with the fastener on the lever if it's stuck.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:01 AM   #5
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you pull it towards you to get into a lower gear. There isnt an exact position where it shifts you have to move it so the chan runs quietly around the cogs. If the gear moves to a higher gear all by itself you need to tighten the plastic nut in the middle.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:05 AM   #6
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So basically it's guess work? You move the lever and the chain moves to a different gear and there's no set position on the lever to correspond with which gear?

I know with my son's bike (twist grip gears) you just keep pedalling and change gear. With the gears on my bike, do I stop pedalling when I change gear?

I know these are probably daft questions, but I don't want to end up damaging my bike. Thanks for your patience
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Old 09-19-06, 11:14 AM   #7
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No click stops here! You may have to overshift a tad, then pull back to stop any chatter. Pedal as you shift.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:14 AM   #8
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No, you have to keep pedaling. "Changing gears" means that the chain will be moved from one cog to another. On your rear hub, you'll have a spring loaded mechanism with two small jockey wheels called a derailleur. See how the chain is threaded around the cogs on the hub and through the jockey wheels? The lever in your picture above is attached to a cable, the other end of which is attacehd to the derailleur. When you push or pull the lever in the picture, you'll move the derailleur in or out, thus "derailling" the chain from one cog to another.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Python
So basically it's guess work? You move the lever and the chain moves to a different gear and there's no set position on the lever to correspond with which gear?

I know with my son's bike (twist grip gears) you just keep pedalling and change gear. With the gears on my bike, do I stop pedalling when I change gear?

I know these are probably daft questions, but I don't want to end up damaging my bike. Thanks for your patience
Yes, it's called friction shifting. It's not difficult at all, just pull or push the lever to change gears and leave it in a position where the chain is not making any clicking noise on the rear sprockets. That noise is caused from the chain not being centered on the sprocket. Just move the shift lever slightly so it's not making noise.
I actually prefer friction shifting with a good compensated shifter. A compensated friction shifter has an internal spring that levels out the pressure of the spring in the rear derailleur so the shifter requires very little friction to hold it in place.
You always pedal when shifting gears with all derailleur-gearing systems.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:49 AM   #10
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Thank you all. That answers my questions. The derailleur is a little stiff with lack of use so probably needs oiling.
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Old 09-19-06, 01:00 PM   #11
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Don't oil the shifters!! Or else you will lose the friction-shift function.

The derailleur only needs drops of oil on the pivot points around the cage (4 of them). If there is trouble shifting, it is likely the galvanised wire cables have corroded inside the sheathes and need replacing.
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Old 09-19-06, 01:16 PM   #12
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Thanks for that. I haven't oiled anything yet (had to do some housework which has been sadly neglected in favour of the bike for the last couple of days ). I'll make sure only put a drop of oil on the pivot points. I some suspect the cable might have to be replaced.
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