How To Use The Gears On Your Bike Properly

How To Use The Gears On Your Bike Properly


Hi there, it’s Peter from the Over 40 Cyclist.
Today I wanted to give you a little tip about using your gears that might both save you
some money and also reduce a little noise while you’re riding your bike. Of course everyone is aware that on a road
bike you have 2 sets of gears, you’ve got gears at the front and the gears at the back.
At the front you’ve got a bigger ring on the right and a smaller ring on the left. And
on the cassette at the rear you have the opposite, you’ve got the biggest of the rings on the
left and the smallest on the right of the gears. And if you’re not aware of using your
gears properly that can cause you some problems. Now here is the nature of the problem. When
you’re cycling on the flat you’re generally and the big ring at the front. But when you
come to a hill you’ll start changing down and the chain at the rear shall start moving
to the left until, if you just keep changing down, you’ll get to the stage where you will
have your chain on the far left of the cassette at the rear of the bike, so the chain is going
from the far right at the front to the far left at the back. That means it’s coming off the front ring,
and going on to a ring at the back at the greatest degree of angle on both rings. That
will cause wear and can also stretch your chain and apart from that it may also make
a clattering noise because your chain is rubbing on the rings. And the exact opposite can occur when you’re
going over a hill, because if you’re in the small ring at the front, and start changing
up, you will eventually end up with your chain going from the small ring at the front on
the left to the small ring at the back on the right and that causes the exact same sort
of problems, and give you some little examples of that. Okay I’ve just got the chain set up to demonstrate
the problem with the big ring at the front engaged and also the big ring at the back
and what you’ll notice is that your rear derailleur is stretched quite a long way forward and
that will add extra tension to the chain and will increase the likelihood that you will
stretch the chain. And I’ve now got the opposite situation here
which is that you’ve got the small ring engaged at the front, the smallest ring engaged at
the rear and you’ll see that the rear derailleur is hanging back about as far as it can go
and that won’t necessarily stretch the chain but it’s not the optimum working position
for the rear derailleur. So when you’re out cycling next, if you’re
not familiar with this, just make a little mental note to think of it more about where
your gears are and just try and remember to check where your gears are and where your
chain is from time to time and after a while it will become 2nd nature. And in particular
remember that when you’re starting to go up by hill you need to be aware of it and also
when you’re going over the top of the hill and starting to descend you also need to be
aware of it.