General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Shifting a road bike

Old 06-27-07, 10:21 AM
Cries on hills
Thread Starter
supton's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central NH
Posts: 1,088

Bikes: 2007 Trek Pilot 1.2, 1969 Raleigh Sprite 5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shifting a road bike

I'm finding that I'm using like 4 gears total as I break myself back into riding. My road bike has friction shifters, on the stem; and it just seems like too much of a hassle to crank up/down through the gears as I go. Is that normal?

Where the bike seems reasonably light, and the tires reasonably narrow, I don't seem to mind the hills quite as much. I use 1/1 (36 gear inches, 40t/30t) for starting and "tired" climbing; then seem to cruise at 1/3 (51 gear inches, 40t/21t) and crusing around 14mph. When I want to kick it up a notch, I go to 2/3 (67 gear inches, 52/21) at 18mph. Lastly, if I want to push my luck, I go top gear 2/6 (117 gear inches, 52/12 I think) and go upwards of 36mph (which hurts!).

Before you ask, my MTB has indexed shifting, and I'm quite used to banging through the gears on that. Actually, last ride I took on that, I pretty much used all 7 gears on the middle chainring (on-road only; 26 to 59 gear inches, not bothering on racing down hills).
supton is offline  
Old 06-27-07, 10:48 AM
Senior Member
tpelle's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am also riding an old 10-speed bike (a Ross) with stem-mounted friction shifters. Where I ride it's pretty hilly, and I tend to stay in the small chainring a lot. With an old-tech bike like mine, you want to aviod cross-chaining, so I when I ride on the small (inner) chainring I stay on the (inner) biggest three cogs. When I get on a flat stretch, and want to kick it up, I go from the inner chainring/middle cog, to the (outer) big chainring and the (outer) three little cogs.

Does that make sense?

BTW, there's nothing wrong with friction shifters. I like the ability that they give to fine-tune the derailleur position to get rid of chain clicks. I'm buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker, and one of the reasons is that it DOES NOT come equipped with indexing shifters (it has bar-end shifters that can run in pure-friction mode).
tpelle is offline  
Old 06-27-07, 10:48 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, the theory of gear use is to allow you to use an efficient pedaling cadence at all times. Naturally, it's very hard to "spin" up a very steep climb, but for most hills you encounter you should be able to keep up a reasonable cadence. If you're really struggling, you need lower gears....

This is all dictated by conditions, of course. I normally ride a 2.5mile course around the perimeter roads of a local park. There are two hills on each side of the loop. I find that on my roadster, I can stay in the small front ring and use maybe 4 cogs around the whole thing.

If you're able to pedal comfortably with those gear choices, you're doing fine!

Most serious road riders find the stem-mounted shifters a pain; it's hard to maintain a good riding position. That's why most better friction-shift roadsters have them mounted on the downtube.
Bikewer is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.