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  1. #1
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    A Question About Gear Shifting, Just To Make Sure

    I know that there has been a lot of questions on gears. I am asking this just to make sure that what I have learned is correct.

    I understand that, for the rear gear, you keep on pedaling while shifting.

    But for the FRONT gear, you need to stop pedaling, shift the gear, and then continue pedaling, correct?

    Thank you
    Last edited by Aznman; 02-18-13 at 06:52 PM.

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    No. The chain can't ramp up (or down) to the next gear unless it's moving. Just "soft pedal" for a second until the shift is complete.

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    for bikes with deraileurs, as you describe you pedal when shifting, bike with Internal Gear Hub (IGH) can be shifted pedaling or not pedaling.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    If you are pedaling up a steep hill, unweight the pedals a bit as you shift, but don't stop pedaling.

  5. #5
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aznman View Post


    But for the FRONT gear, you need to stop pedaling, shift the gear, and then continue pedaling, correct?
    You need to stop talking to whomever told you that.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    If you are pedaling up a steep hill, unweight the pedals a bit as you shift, but don't stop pedaling.
    Yes. Ideally you shift into the easier gear before it gets too steep. Plan your shifts a bit early when going uphill.
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    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    You'll quickly figure it out, pedal too hard and you'll feel a heavier clunk. If you don't pedal, it will never shift.

  9. #9
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Yes. Ideally you shift into the easier gear before it gets too steep. Plan your shifts a bit early when going uphill.
    I was going to say, it's just like driving a stick shift car. But nobody (except apparently me) drives one in the states anymore...

    To the OP: What everybody has told you here is correct. When shifting, you need to be spinning the pedals forward.

    Imagine you are riding at 10 mph and you are spinning your pedals at 80 hz (80 times a minute). If there's a hill coming up and you want to shift into a lower gear before getting to the hill, slow your pedaling down a little bit (say, to a cadence of 75 hz). You are still pedaling, but you are no longer propelling the bike forward. Now shift. This is what we mean by unweigting the pedals or easing up.

    Again, I'd say it's just like manual transmission cars: The idea behind gears is that you want to match road speed to engine speed. In this case, you are the engine. The idea is that you find a cadence of turning the pedals and you want to keep that cadence regardless of your speed and the terrain. To do this, you shift into easier (lower) and harder gears as appropriate.

    Good luck and have fun,
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    Thank you for the great answers, guys.
    I will now try to ride the bicycle in the correct way

  11. #11
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    They are called derailleurs in reference to trains coming off the tracks, Moving.

  12. #12
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I was going to say, it's just like driving a stick shift car. But nobody (except apparently me) drives one in the states anymore...
    No, 8 vehicles since 1972 and none have been automatics. They've been 4-spd, 5-spd and 6-spd; all with a clutch! And yes, I am a Purist...
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I was going to say, it's just like driving a stick shift car. But nobody (except apparently me) drives one in the states anymore...

    To the OP: What everybody has told you here is correct. When shifting, you need to be spinning the pedals forward.

    Imagine you are riding at 10 mph and you are spinning your pedals at 80 hz (80 times a minute). If there's a hill coming up and you want to shift into a lower gear before getting to the hill, slow your pedaling down a little bit (say, to a cadence of 75 hz). You are still pedaling, but you are no longer propelling the bike forward. Now shift. This is what we mean by unweigting the pedals or easing up.

    Again, I'd say it's just like manual transmission cars: The idea behind gears is that you want to match road speed to engine speed. In this case, you are the engine. The idea is that you find a cadence of turning the pedals and you want to keep that cadence regardless of your speed and the terrain. To do this, you shift into easier (lower) and harder gears as appropriate.

    Good luck and have fun,
    Charles
    Revving up before shifting so that you can keep the pedal force light is key -- much like with clutchless shifting.
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  14. #14
    imi
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    A Question About Gear Shifting, Just For Confirmation

    ... and never pedal backwards whilst shifting!

  15. #15
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    The thing that you were originally told (about stopping pedaling) was probably a misunderstanding.

    What the person meant was that you need to stop applying as much force while pedaling, particularly when shifting to a bigger ring, particularly in front.

    Applying force means that the chain is stretched taut. When it is stretched, it is harder to move it onto a bigger ring, because your shifters are working against the tension of the chain. In the rear, it's not a big deal because most gaps are 1-tooth and they rarely go above 4-5 teeth. In front, the gap is 10-15 teeth. It is fairly common for mechanical shifters to fail to shift under enough tension in this situation.

    On the other hand, if you had electronic shifters, that would not be a problem, they'd force the chain where you needed it in any circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I was going to say, it's just like driving a stick shift car. But nobody (except apparently me) drives one in the states anymore...
    For the record, neither my wife nor I have ever owned an automatic. We're just beginning to car-shop now, and it rocks the salesmen back on their heels when a 62-year-old woman says, "If we can't get it with a manual transmission, we're not interested."

  17. #17
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    ... and never pedal backwards whilst shifting!
    Unless it's a kickback hub.

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  18. #18
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    For the record, neither my wife nor I have ever owned an automatic. We're just beginning to car-shop now, and it rocks the salesmen back on their heels when a 62-year-old woman says, "If we can't get it with a manual transmission, we're not interested."
    Be sure to tell her for me:

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