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Gear Shifting When Riding Uphill?

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Gear Shifting When Riding Uphill?

Old 07-26-07, 11:32 PM
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biltu
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Gear Shifting When Riding Uphill?

Hi, I am new to mountain biking. I am just curious what is the best gear to ride when doing a climb? Also, when riding on flat land, which gear is the best for me to get the most workout.
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Old 07-27-07, 12:38 AM
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Hello biltu, the best gear to use when climbing is the one which gets you up the hill without hurting your knees. In other words, it depends .

On flat land, I think it depends on whether you're fast twitch or slow twitch. I get more of a workout in larger gears, myself.

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Old 07-27-07, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by biltu View Post
Hi, I am new to mountain biking. I am just curious what is the best gear to ride when doing a climb? Also, when riding on flat land, which gear is the best for me to get the most workout.

Biltu, most cyclists express the most comfortable gearing in terms of their pedal cadence. You have a tolerance for pedaling hard vs. pedaling fast. You have to find your own comfort zone and the gears that will get you into that comfort zone. It's trial and error. Start experimenting.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:20 AM
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I agree: climbing depends on the climb. Typically, you want to anticipate what gear you'll need for the whole hill (you at least need to be in the correct chainring).

As for a workout, it depends on what kind of workout you want to do. Riding big gears is great muscle workout (and it will sap your energy), but so is spinning. Books and magazines make a lot of suggestions, but you can do intervals of either. I typically crank a big gear when I'm riding urban paths/roads. Also, you can crank with one foot at a time.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:25 AM
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2-3 and I usually go up and down depending on how I feel and differences in angle.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:26 AM
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First of all I would like to start with my thanks to all the people who replied.
Ok, now I might sound stupid but do not laugh..when you guys say big gear does that mean..2 or 3 on the left and anything between 6 - 8?
on the flat, should i keep it 2 and a 6 on the right?
I am using clipless, so what will help me get the best...
Thanks again guys ...
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Old 07-27-07, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by biltu View Post
Hi, I am new to mountain biking. I am just curious what is the best gear to ride when doing a climb? .
15th


Originally Posted by biltu View Post
Also, when riding on flat land, which gear is the best for me to get the most workout.
8th or maybe 4th.

What about downhill, do you know which gear to ride in case of a downhill?
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Old 07-27-07, 09:19 AM
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A "big gear" would refer to larger chainrings (on the front) and smaller cogs.

As others have said, it's a good idea to be in the correct chainring when starting the climb. What works for me: If the climb is short and steep, get some good speed up before and stand up and power over in a bigger gear. If the climb is longer, I stay seated and spin in lower gears; one thing that helps with this is to anticipate and shift into a larger cog before you need to. This way you can take some pressure off the pedals to smooth the shift.

rb07's spinning practice ideas are good for this - practice spinning on smooth trails so you can concentrate on spinning and not worry about obstacles.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:26 AM
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Start off on the flat in the middle ring on the front and something near the middle at the back. Do most of your shifting with the back shifter. If your lungs hurt more than your legs shift into a higher gear (smaller cog at the back). If your legs hurt more than your lungs shift into a lower gear. If neither hurt, keep pedaling and enjoy the ride. Shifting at the front gives the equivalent of 2 or 3 shifts at the back so if you hit a very sudden increase in grade a shift down into the little ring at the front before you hit the grade will help. Dont push hard on the pedals while you are shifting.
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Old 07-27-07, 10:51 AM
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how do you calculate which gear you are in

How do I calculate if I am in 15th or 12 th gear...when I have 3 Gears on the left and 8 on the right
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Old 07-27-07, 07:07 PM
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As far as shifting when riding uphill...

As you're going uphill and getting beat down, you need to surge forward and then "soft-pedal" as you shift. This will help eliminate chain suck, broken chains, and damaged gears. So...when you want to down shift:

-pedal harder for a rotation causing you to increase momentum
-as you shift to a lower gear, let up on the "leg power" for a moment
-allow the chain to fully seat on to the lower gear
-then you're good to lay down the power again

Hope that makes sense.


Edit:
If for some reason you are feelin' strong and want to shift to a bigger gear as you're climbing, try your dang'dest to avoid shifting the front chainrings. You can really mess stuff up that way unless you get really proficient at the "soft pedal" thing.
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