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This article covers the role of bike gears, it's usage, the different types of shifters, the do's and don'ts along with maintenance tips. Also, I think it’s also important that we talk a bit about caring for your bike chain.READ MORE
You won’t find any signs along the road telling you which gear you should be using; it’s entirely a matter of feeling.
You should shift to a lower gear (smaller number) when you feel that you’re having to put too much effort into pedalling.
Conversely, as soon as you feel that you’re pedalling “empty” (without any resistance), you should switch to a higher (number) gear.
Ideally, find a balance between ease of pedalling and the need to feel some slight resistance with each turn of the crankset. Don’t hesitate to change gears frequently if you feel the need.
If your bike is equipped with only one shifter, then it’s very easy; just click away, or turn the handle, as you wish or feel the need. If your bike is equipped with two shifters, and therefore two derailleurs, it gets a bit more complicated. In this case, you should be aware of the following.
Never change gears while stationary.
To switch gears smoothly and efficiently, you have to keep your bike well cared for. Now, there’s no need to take it apart nightly to degrease and lube each piece with cotton swabs!
Make sure that you can shift to each gear properly, one by one, and that the chain doesn’t derail when moving to either the biggest or smallest chainwheels or cogs. If this quick check raises some concerns, take your bike to get a tune-up as soon as you can. Or learn how to do it yourself if you’re a DIY type person; it’s not that complicated, actually.
Make sure the cables that connect the shifters to the derailleurs are always in good condition.
It’s also very important that all of the cogs, the chain, and the chainwheels are always slightly lubricated. However, avoid using grease or thick oil that can quickly solidify into a thick greasy paste—you know, that black stuff that loves to get on your clothes.
Instead, use oil that is very fluid, or even better, use lubricating spray specially designed for bike drivetrains. Regularly clean your chain with a cloth, and lubricate it immediately afterwards. Take care not to spray or drip the oil on your brakes (the brake pads on the rims or the discs/pads).
The last thing—when you wash your bike, or you have used it in the rain, make sure that you don’t let your chain rust. Lubricate it after it has got wet.
Now you know everything you need to know about bike gears. If after reading this article 3 times a day for a month you still don’t understand a thing, immediately proceed to sign up at your local bike riding school!
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