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Friction Gear

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Friction Gear

Old 09-06-12, 09:32 AM
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Friction Gear

Hello, i'm new to this site and I have a question.
I'm not sure if thread is in the right 'Forum' but I wasn't sure where to ask it.

I just got a new bike and on the right handle there is numbered gears but on the left it says "Friction".

How do you use "Friction"?
What happens if I go towards the +'s or -'s?


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Old 09-06-12, 09:49 AM
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Friction means that the shifter is held in place by simple friction. That means you can move it continuously through it's range, even though only certain positions will put you right on the gears you want. The alternative is indexed shifting, which means that the shifter will click into place in the right spots (hopefully) for each gear. The advantage there is you don't have to try to find the right spot. Friction, though, has the advantage that it doesn't go out of adjustment as easily - if your indexed shifter goes out of adjustment, some or all of your gear-positions will give you chain rub and not work well, but with friction shifting if your derailleur isn't in just the right spot all you have to do is tweak it.

As you go toward the plus, the rear derailleur will move the chain to smaller rings, meaning that the rear wheel will spin more times for one full turn of the pedals, meaning if you keep pedaling the same RPM, you'll go faster. The opposite is true for the minus.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:27 AM
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The left shifter is for the front derailleur, which only has 2 or 3 gears. It's simple enough to shift the front without indexing, especially if you only have 2.

Start pedaling, shift while pedaling, you'll figure it out. Too hard to pedal ? shift into an easier gear. Feet spinning like mad, shift into a harder gear.
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