How to Change Gear Like A Pro – Gear Shifting


Shifting gears at the right moment makes a world of difference in a race. This piece of skill distinguishes ordinary cyclists from a pro. Learning this basic but vital skill can make you a better cyclist. And today we give some noteworthy pointers about gear shifting that would help you to become a pro.

Gear Shifting Basics

What is a gear and how it works?

In simple terms, gear is the mechanism on the bike that conveys the pedaling power to your rear wheels. It is crucial because gear change helps your rotation speed of the paddle. This has a technical term in cycling known as Cadence. And it is measured using RPMs which is short for rotation per minute. Riders utilize the gear to achieve lower or faster speeds. By shifting gear down we get smoother gear, that helps us to increase the cadence. And if you feel you are revolving the paddle too fast then you can easily shift the gear up to find harder gear. Lower gears are suitable for climbing as they got more teeth on the chains. But if you want to ride fast then you need to shift to higher gears with fewer teeth. You will have to focus on your body position as well to get the best out of your mountain biking.


Now we know about the gear of the bicycle and the idea of how it works. But we aren’t looking for all that. So, let’s dive into the action to learn how to shift like an actual sporting cyclist.

Gear Shifting Basics You Need to Know

  • The sprockets are changed with the handle on the right while the trays are changed with the left lever. The shift mode depends on the model and the transmission mark.
  • Do not change trays and sprockets simultaneously as their is the risk of derailing.
  • The change of plateau is more delicate, in order not to derail it requires a certain anticipation, it is necessary to avoid “the fall of the plate” in the precipitation when one enters an important slope so it doesn’t derail.
  • The gear change must be done gradually. Care must be taken to lower or raise speeds one by one. Only the high-speed transmissions allow a change of several speeds at the same time during intense efforts where the speed of rotation of the crankset is important.
  • It is necessary to always pedal simultaneously with the change of gear. The greater your pace, the more easily you will pass from one to the other.


Important pointers


The Correct time to SHIFT :

Knowing when to shift is part of the game. You want your shifts timing to be as fluid as its possible so it is easier for you to keep a good cadence movement. So, you need to always think forward and plan when would you make the shifts. You need to check your route and make decisions according to it. If you tackling a short climb, always try not to shift. But if the climb is longer you need to shift to lower gears as it is suitable for climbing. In sharp turns, you need to break and then pick the pace up from the lower gear. All things depend on making the transaction sleekly. Always switch your gears when your cadence rate needs to perfect enough so that you can adapt to the changes.


Switching the SHIFT :

Changing the gears is an art itself. And amateur riders often get this completely wrong by skipping a gear. Often being too eager they paddle too fast while shifting and the chain gets off. Such disasters will leave you at the end of the pack in a competitive situation. So, riders need to have a clear idea of how to make the perfect transactions. It is advised to not put too much force on the paddle when you shift. Because that is the recipe for disaster as your chain can jump or even break some teeth. You want your shifts to be gentle while changing the gears. So, ease up on paddling too hard. This way your shifts will be smoother and quite faster.


We change the gears for different reasons. Sometimes to go faster and sometimes to go a bit slow while facing an obstacle. The art of knowing how to shift the gears and when to do them makes you a better rider. And I hope these tips will be profitable to your cause. Just practice and become more skilled as a rider.

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About the Author Donny Minchillo

Hey everyone, by day I'm a developer, but my mind is always outside. I spend as much time as possible discovering new trails and mountain biking through the Costa Rican jungle!