General Discussion Gear Reviews & Questions » Changing gears on the bike Rss Feed  
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2013-05-19 7:19 PM

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Subject: Changing gears on the bike
Does anyone know of good resources to learn more about my bicycle gears? I learned that I am suffering needlessly on the bike because my gears are set way too stiff to where it is almost impossible to pedal uphill and harder than necessary on flat streets. My husband says he couldn't believe I actually made it 25 miles on it, as he used to ride bikes. The gears also may need looked at by a shop as the bike is very old, but even once I make sure they are functioning right, I still have no clue how to utilize them on hills, etc. I never grew up with bicycles and have more of a swimming history, and the bad bike technique makes my times ridiculously long, as well as my run very fatigued. Suggestions? Resources? Things I should have the shop check when I take it in?


2013-05-20 1:41 AM
in reply to: dorian5rider

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike
Do you know how they work? What type of shifters are they? Post some pictures of your bike.
2013-05-20 1:46 AM
in reply to: dorian5rider

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike
Most road bikes have 2 chain rings up front. The small ring is for easy riding or riding big hills, the big ring is harder to turn over and is for faster riding on the flats, downhills or small uphills. In the back you have cogs the smaller ones are your harder gears and the bigger ones are easier. So the big gear on your bike is the big ring and smallest cog. Your smallest or easiest gear is the little ring and the biggest cog. The steeper the hill the smaller the gear you will want. For the actual mechanics of shifting like I posted before pics will help determine if you have down tube levers, integrated brake/shift levers.
2013-05-20 1:27 PM
in reply to: dorian5rider

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike
It kind of depends... you might be able to just change the cassette to one with a larger inner cog (which is your easiest gear), I do say might, because you may already have a cassette that's at the maximum of the capacity of the derailleur. The second most economical choice would be to replace the crankset with a compact (typically 50 large ring and 34 inner, small, ring) or maybe even a triple (3 chainrings, but the drawback is that shifting is less crisp). Just keep in mind that all these changes do cost money and if you have an older bike, you might very well sink more money into the upgrades than what the entire bike is worth...
2013-05-20 10:26 PM
in reply to: dorian5rider

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike
Originally posted by dorian5rider

Does anyone know of good resources to learn more about my bicycle gears? I learned that I am suffering needlessly on the bike because my gears are set way too stiff to where it is almost impossible to pedal uphill and harder than necessary on flat streets.


As far as internet resources to learn more about bikes and biking, Sheldon Brown is pretty good.

I'm a little confused though as to what your problem is. Are you looking to swap out the casette? Or is it hard to shift (i.e. mechanical problem with derailleur, cable, etc)?
2013-05-21 7:45 AM
in reply to: Crazy Pirate

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike
If I understood correctly all you would need to do to make it easier to pedal is shift. Now if your shifting is not working correctly that is a different issue.

As mentioned before Sheldom Brown is a good source of information on pretty much every bike part available.

I like recommending the Park Tool website for people that want to learn bicycle mechanics or just how bike stuff works.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help


2013-05-22 11:43 AM
in reply to: Duvivr6

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike

I think you are saying you do not know how to shift correctly. Is that right?

If that is the case, just get out there and practice!!  You will quickly see which number combinations are easier to pedal and which are harder. You are not going to hurt anything by just shifting, just go one gear at a time slowly, and mare sure you are pedaling, you have to be pedaling for the gears to move. If the chain drops (comes off) its not that big of a deal to put on and you need to know how to do that anyway

On my bike I have 1-3 one one side. One is the easiest and 3 the hardest. The other side is 1-8. 1 being easiest, 8 hardest.  

 

THIS guy explains it pretty well thought he does talk really slooooww lol

 

If this is NOT what you were asking feel free to ignore Smile

2013-06-01 7:41 PM
in reply to: Meljoypip

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Subject: RE: Changing gears on the bike
Thank you everyone! I wasn't sure if there was something wrong or not, but I took it into a bike store and they said its fine. I have been practicing some things they showed me and its helped a lot! It's got a strange shifting system where you don't know what speed you're in (its a 10 speed), but now that I know to listen for what it's doing and shift gradually, it's gotten better. Thanks for the suggestions; I will check them out to learn more too.
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