Newbie here, just got a carrera Parva bike but don't really know how the gears work or correct way to use them any advice?

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Right shifter does the rear derailleur moving the chain up/down across the cassette, left shifter does the front derailleur shifting between the front two chainrings. The lever in the front does up/down depending upon the side and the lever below does down/up gears.

If you got this new from Halfords didn't they demonstrate?
 

Rusty Nails

We remember
Is your query specifically about gears on the Parva, or derailleur gears in general. I rebuilt a Parva for a friend last week and it had Shimano Tourney gears and Shimano shifters.

As @DCLane said the left shifter moves the chain up and down the three chainring on the cranks, while the right shifter moves the chain up and down the cogs on the rear wheel. The big lever on each shifter uses pressure via the thumb to shift the chain from smaller rings to large, and the smaller lever behind it takes much less pressure to move the chain from big to small rings, basically using the springs in the gears to provide the movement.

At the front the bigger rings make the pedal cranks harder to turn and vice versa. At the rear it is the opposite with the bigger the ring the easier to turn.

Big ring at the front and small at the rear is used on the flat if you want to go fast, small ring at the front and big at the rear is used for steeper hills. Many different combinations in between for different terrain.

Trying to write it down makes it seem complicated, even to me and i wrote it, but once you ride with those gears for a while it becomes intuitive.

All this assumes, of course, that the gears on your bike are working properly.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
One good tip for you, for absolutely anything cycle related (that you don't already know how to do) is that it's the law of the internet that someone on YouTube, somewhere has already made a very passable and helpful video demonstrating how you do it.
From how the gears work, to repairing a puncture, right up to servicing your brakes.

View: https://youtu.be/YhOT5GYUZJw


And we're all happy to help too, of course! Just sometimes it's easier to see it done.
 
My advice is to simply listen to what your legs are telling you. If your legs are spinning around like egg whisks with a danger of your hips unscrewing, then change the right shifter to a larger number until they are going around at a comfortable rate. If you reach the stage when you run out of bigger numbers on the right, change to a bigger number on the left shifter and start all over again.

The reverse is true: if your legs are going around at an agonisingly slow rate with a possibility of your thighs exploding, then change to a lower number with your right shifter. If you end up in gear 1 on the right and the legs are still asking you to do something about it, then change to a lower number on the left shifter.

The principle is the same whether we are talking left, or right shifters: low numbers help you go up hills. Some gears are marked with + and - , but it is the same idea in that the minus direction will help you go up hills.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Use gears to match your pedalling speed and pedalling force to the conditions ( gradient, roughness, wind)
Start off in a lowish gear (small front/ big rear) for easier acceleration, esp at busy junctions or on hills.
Shift the gears higher as you gain speed using the rear gears ( from 1 to 7)
At some point you run out of higher gear cogs at the rear (gear 7) and have to change the front to the bigger ring. Note that there is a lot of overlap in the gears so when you change the front from small to large, you also have to change the rear from smallest (7)to larger cog (5 or 6) just to stay on the same overall gear ratio.

The extreme combinations of gear that make the chain run at an angle can wear down the cogs and chain faster. You can use the overlap or duplication of gear ratios to pick a combination that runs the chain in a more straight line. As a beginner you can ignore this to start with but as soon as you figure out the gears then you can do this.

Dont look at the gears when you should be looking at the road, pick a safe trail to practice gear shifting.
 
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