Help with Gears


Senior Member
I have been doing a bit or riding lately (40-50 miles a week) mostly on the flat. I ride a road bike with shimano shifters etc. and I have been using the shifter on the right mostly. When I have tried to use the left one nothing really happened. I must say that I think its just me and not the bike as I believe the bike to be in excellent condition.

Today I went on another route with more hills and climbs and I was coming down a steep hill and clicked the right shifter down until I was in the fastest gear. I noticed the chain was on the largest front cog ring and the smallest rear cog. I dont think that is the fastest gear is it? Is the fastest the smallest front and smallest rear cog? I think if I know how to work the shifters/gears better my riding would be faster and more efficient. Can anyone give me an idiots guide on how to use my gears and work my shifters? Thanks


Über Member
Gearing is all about the ratio of teeth on the front ring to teeth on the rear.

Large front and small rear is your highest speed gear but takes the most effort to drive.

Conversely, smallest front and largest rear is the slowest but easiest.

Raging Squirrel

Well-Known Member
North West
no you can engage it at any speed as long as you are turning the crank. Take it to your local bike shop to see if the gear cables need to be adjusted maybe?
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