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  1. #1
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    shifting technique info needed

    Old geezer here. Away from biking since 1955 timeframe. Wife is old biddy. Away from biking since 1975 timeframe. Gas price crunch has caught us, and we just bought bikes for short haul stuff to save on gas.

    Wife's is an approx 5 speed Huffy. What is the proper technique for shifting (both up and down shifting)?
    Thinking of both uphill downshifting, and downhill or level upshifting.

  2. #2
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Don't understand your question. When it's hard to go uphill, shift to an easier gear. When it's too easy and too hard to move your legs faster, shift to a harder gear.

    Tell us the name of the bikes you have and where you are noticing difficulty and someone should be able to give better info.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  3. #3
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    My wife's bike is a Huffy Hermosa.

    What I'm trying to do is learn what to tell her so that she doesn't tear up something on the bike by improper shifting technique.

    Basically, I guess the question is : do you shift with tension on the chain, or do you slack the chain for shifts? In other words, can she downshift while climbing without having to go netral on the pedal pressure? Can she upshift on the level without having to go netral on pedal pressure?

    Seems like shifting with tension on the chain would result in a "slam" or forced shift type thing. If so, maybe that's OK.

  4. #4
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Keep light tension on the chain by continuing to pedal, but don't apply strong pedal pressure, just enough to keep the cranks turning.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_cyclist
    Keep light tension on the chain by continuing to pedal, but don't apply strong pedal pressure, just enough to keep the cranks turning.
    Absolutely spot-on advice. About the only way to damage a properly-adjusted drivetrain is to mash on the cranks while trying to shift, or to force the derailleurs to move while the chain is stationary.

    "Shift while pedaling lightly" also implies that one needs to downshift early, as when approaching a hill. Although one does ideally have to anticipate downshifts, one can always upshift as late as desired, so there is no time urgency there.

    If I get caught in a high gear at a red light or after a sudden stop, I sometimes lift the rear wheel and downshift a couple of cogs while I wait for the light to change.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Old geezer here. Away from biking since 1955 timeframe. Wife is old biddy.
    How old is "old geezer" and "old biddy?"

    Also, please see:

    Gear Shifting Help
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Good info, Cyclist. Thanks. That's what I needed to know.

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    Good info, Cyclist. Thanks. That's what I needed to know.

  9. #9
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    Good info, Cyclist. Thanks. That's what I needed to know.

  10. #10
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    Good info, Cyclist. Thanks. That's what I needed to know.

  11. #11
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    Good info, Cyclist. Thanks. That's what I needed to know.

  12. #12
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    You're welcome. You're welcome. You're welcome. You're welcome.

  13. #13
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    Wow! Wonder why my post did the "machine ***" act?

    For DnvrFox: the geezer is 67. If I told you the biddy's age I wouldn't have to worry about riding bikes anymore.

  14. #14
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Test your shifting several times in non traffic areas. It's actually quite easy and quickly becomes a natural act. Harder lesson to learn is to shift to an easier gear BEFORE you stop at a sign or light. It's a pain to try to start up when you forget and are in a harder gear. Be patient with the biddy and shifting, they are often more sensitive to criticism and thinking they may look foolish.

    Good luck and welcome back to biking. It's amazing how much youthful energy a bit of biking can recover.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  15. #15
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbig
    Wow! Wonder why my post did the "machine ***" act?

    For DnvrFox: the geezer is 67. If I told you the biddy's age I wouldn't have to worry about riding bikes anymore.
    Okay.

    Wife 67, I am 65.

    Lots of young folks our ages and a lot older around here.

    Keep up the good work and bicycle more and you may even lose the "old" and the "geezer" and the "biddy" bit.

    Good luck, hope the shifting gets better.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Okay.

    Wife 67, I am 65. ...
    ... and both look younger than they are. Keep cycling!
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbig
    Wow! Wonder why my post did the "machine ***" act?

    For DnvrFox: the geezer is 67. If I told you the biddy's age I wouldn't have to worry about riding bikes anymore.
    The site must have been going coo-coo yesterday because it wouldn't even let me log on and it was approx the same time your reply "machine gunned". Just wanted you to know it wasn't you

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