When it comes to road bikes, the feature that makes this bicycle so good at chasing speed is the gear options. Most road bikes will have rear gear options of 10 to 12. Not to mention if it has the extra front gear options as well, where it can range from 1 to 3. For example, if a road bike has 2 front gear and 12 rear gear options, it will usually be described as 2×12. It basically means that the bicycle has 24 combinations of gears.
At this point, you might be overwhelmed by the technical stuff that goes into shifting gears. You might wonder, how to use your gears efficiently? Which gear is the best for uphill, downhill, or flat terrain? How often should you switch gears? When is the best time to switch your gears? All those questions might make you steer clear of touching the gear shifter. But, using your gears correctly will upgrade the overall experience of your ride, starting from the comfort, to the efficient and effective speed chasing. Let’s break it down one by one!
Knowing Your Road Bike Gears
Most bicycle on the market will come with rear gear options. But, most road bikes will come with extra front gear options as well. The rear gear is situated on the rear wheel, while the front gear is on the pedal crank arm.
The rear gear of a road bike will usually have 10 to 12 options. Gear 1 has the biggest cog size and is attached on the inner side, which is also the easiest gear. Gear 12 (or whatever maximum gear your road bike has) has the smallest cog size, is attached on the most outer side, and is the hardest gear. To change the rear gears, you have to use the right gear shifter.
The front gear of a road bike will have up to 3 chainrings. Contrary to the rear gear, gear 1 will actually have the smallest chainring size, attached on the inner side, and is the easiest gear. Gear 3 (or whatever maximum front gear your road bike has) has the biggest chainring size, is attached on the most outer side (directly to the pedal crank arm), and is the hardest gear. To change the front gear, you have to use the left gear shifter.
How to Switch Gears
Road bikes nowadays will have an electronic gear shifter. The gear shifter is located behind the brakes and will have 2 parts, the smaller one on the most outer side, plus the bigger one that is in the middle between the smaller part and the brake lever. The smaller part is to switch to lower/lighter/easier gears, and the bigger part is used to switch to higher/heavier/harder gears.
To actually switch your gears, the best time to do it is when you are not pressing hard on the pedals. You do not want to switch your gears when you are putting so much pressure on the pedals, as when you are riding fast, there is already so much strain on the chains, resulting in an uncomfortable switch. So, lessen the pressure you are giving towards pedaling, then proceed to switch your gears. Additionally, you will want to switch your gears when you are going between 80-90 rpm. You can monitor your speed by having a cyclo computer attached to your bicycle so you are able to know it for sure.
Tips For Efficient and Effective Gear Switching
When switching gears, there are different gear options that are best for different kinds of situations. Also, you will want to pay attention to the timing of switching your gears so that it is efficient and effective.
When climbing, you will want to use the easier gear. This means the bigger rear gear and the smaller chainring. The best time to switch to the easier gear is before the climb actually comes. When you notice a climb ahead of you, change the gear when it is still on flat terrain. Remember to take some of the pressure off your pedal when switching gears, you do not want to push too hard or stop completely, as the chain will skip or fall off.
When you want to reach your optimum speed, choose the gear that is the hardest. This means, go higher on your gears. The easy way to remember this is moving the chain closer to the bike makes pedaling easier. Moving the chain away from the bike makes you faster. The best timing to switch your gears is before the start of the speeding, so you can have less pressure on the pedal to switch gears smoothly. Again, avoid switching gears when you are pedaling hard. Oh, and this gear setting also applies when you are going downhill.
Long Flat Terrain
On flat terrain, you can really mix it up while cycling. It is recommended to use the smaller or middle chainring and whichever rear gear you want. This is the best time for you to experiment with your gear combinations and figure out which one works best for you! While of course, paying attention to the surrounding traffic and making sure you are on a clear route before trying out new stuff.
For cornering, you will want to have your bike set on the lower gear, in other words, the easier gear. The lower gear is much lighter, making it easier for you to accelerate towards the exit while also managing to balance yourself on top of your bicycle. The best time to switch to the lower gear is as you are approaching the corner.
Starting After Stopping or A Red Light
Avoid shifting while you stop. Chances are your chain will slip when you push it. So, before you come to a stop, switch your gear to the lower ones. This will help you to easily accelerate your bike at the start of the ride. A bigger gear will require much bigger effort to make it actually move after a standstill.
That completes our tips on how to change your gears on a road bike! To further enhance your road biking adventure, shop for your high quality bikes at Rodalink Malaysia! To visit our store, search for kedai basikal near me and pick the closest store location. On site, our professional team is ready to help you find your perfect bike! You can also get tips on how to operate your gears efficiently and effectively through demonstrations. Another way to upgrade your cycling experience is to have the complete bike parts and accessories, which we are having a sale on right now! If you decide to shop online, you can enjoy free local shipping, with 0% installment, and choose the payment method that is best suited for you. To get more promos and events, sign up to become a member of Rodalink Community. Shop now before the promo ends!